Passage Planning

Things to consider when planning a passage. I am going to print this out to have in the front of my passage plan/log book.

  • Obtain and study the charts for the area, make any corrections as per notices to mariners, and note the chart numbers to use on the plan
  • Study the pilot book or cruising guide for the area and highlight or make a note of any points of interest in the plan
  • Plot the course on the chart and the way-points in to the GPS – and double check the track for any hazards
  • Cross track error loaded in to the GPS
  • Note on the plan the way-points, distances and courses to steer
  • Note the tides, tidal heights and tidal streams that may affect your passage
  • Note any shipping hazards, shipping lanes, and traffic separation schemes.
  • Estimate the time the trip will take and when it will be daylight or night time, sunrise and sunset times
  • Estimate fuel usage and any extra fuel to be carried (Wildy uses 1 litre per hour at 2000 rpm)
  • Note the lights along the way to keep a look out for – if you are arriving at night, will there be lights to guide you in?
  • Note any hazards along the way and any required clearances
  • Note the possible places to shelter along the way and pre-load the waypoints in your GPS to get to that place.
  • Tactics – what may change along the way and how will you react?
  • Weather forecast at departure and at destination, methods of checking the forecast along the way
  • Marina berth/Mooring or anchorage at destination
  • Communications plan – trip report, coastal voyage form completed
  • Crew, and watch roster
  • Seasickness medication
  • Prepared meals, snacks, and water
  • Paperwork that might be required if on an international trip
  • Transport home if required

Safety Checklist

  • Liferaft in easily accessible position
  • Flares
  • Grab bag and supplementary bag
  • Jack lines installed
  • Crew harnesses and life jackets
  • First Aid Kit
  • Fire Extinguishers & fire blanket
  • EPIRB
  • Handheld VHF
  • Wet weather gear & warm clothes for all crew
  • Bolt cutters, axe etc
  • Torches
  • Bilge pumps
  • Crew safety briefing given with a plan for adverse weather, MOB, Fire, Dis-masting, collision, sinking etc

Pre-Departure Boat Checklist

  • Engine – oil and filters, belt tension, spares – impeller, belts etc
  • Tools
  • Steering – check, lubricate, check auto helm, have an emergency steering system
  • Fuel – fill tanks and any spare fuel required
  • Sails – check for any wear and repair as necessary
  • Hank on or have close to hand the storm jib and trysail
  • Rig – closely inspect the mast, boom, all shackles, blocks, sheaves, standing rigging, running rigging, spreaders
  • Galley – fill gas bottles, check burners, check fridge, fill water tanks, prepare food supplies, prepare first few meals, snacks
  • Anchor – secure anchor and chain, note the location of the spare anchor, rode for trailing, turn off windlass breaker
  • Bilge – check that it is free of water and that pumps are working, location of manual bilge pump and buckets
  • Electronics – check batteries, navigation lights, interior lights, compass light, charger for electronics, check VHF radio, auto helm
  • Navigation – charts, spare batteries for GPS, VHF, carry the iPad, Garmin Glo, log book
  • Plumbing – check sea cocks, soft wooden plugs in place, check head is working
  • Documentation – all important documents stored in the secondary grab bag, instruction books for everything on board
  • Bunks – where will the crew sleep? – set up lee cloths
  • Stowage – stow dinghy, outboard motor, food, spare fuel, dive tanks, anything important that might get wet, secure hatches
  • Hull – clean and check propeller, keelbolts, rudder
  • Lifelines – check all staunchions and lifeline wires
  • Crew – brief on use of oven, engine, batteries, head, sea cocks, radio, EPIRB, safety briefing, writing in the log, maintaining a look out, regular boat check, watch system
  • IMG_4552

One thought on “Passage Planning

  1. Pingback: Sailing at Night | Astrolabe Sailing

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