Episode #007: Your Pocket Sailing Instructor Podcast: Day Trip Planning – Things to Consider

This week I am giving you the foundation of a successful day trip plan. There are key pieces of information that you should include, and I’m going to provide you with my pro tips and tricks!

Listen to Episode #007: Day Trip Planning – Things to Consider

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  1. #53: Crew Overboard!
  2. Technical Tuesday: Flares!

Sections of Your Trip Plan Document

  • Boat – key information and unique features
  • Crew – who and emergency contact info
  • Itinerary – destinations and locations (GPS coordinates)
  • Emergency Procedures – what do to if you don’t check in

Examples of Trip Planning Documents

Trip Planning Apps

Things you need to consider to prepare your trip plan

The first part of your trip plan is determining when you’re going to head out. Depending on your area this could depend on winds, tides, currents, or crew schedules. Regardless, your planning should start several days before your intended departure. The types of things you should be researching include:

  • weather patterns: anything odd brewing in the area
  • wind patterns: forecasted wind directions and strengths
  • crew health: everyone in good health and physically ready for the trip
  • boat readiness: safety gear checks, fuel topped up, water topped up, maintenance complete

Who should you file your plan with?

The purpose of the trip plan is to have someone follow it. This could be a spouse, family member, friend or even just a vigilant neighbour! Either way, try to find someone who will keep track of where you should be and when, and they should notice when you do not check in.

Pro Tip

I suggest creating your own trip plan document that contains your boat specific information and emergency contact information populated that you can just re-use each time you want to head out. Then you only need to fill in the crew section, destinations and check in times!

Happy Planning!


  1. Great episode…and this may be a not so intelligent question! When (what types of trips) do you do a day trip plan? Like, where we are in southeastern North Carolina (USA) we can go out the river and sail up or down the coast…but there isn’t really anywhere to go, which means the vast majority of our sailing is day trips. We leave our marina in the morning and return by evening. Would you suggest filling out a trip form for each time you leave the dock, or more for multiple day/night trips? Not trying to overthink, but curious how to be safe/prepared as possible.

    1. Hi Joseph, great question! I would say that you create a “typical” trip plan of where you usually go and perhaps you just have to update your crew info now and then. However, if you plan on changing up your trip drastically (and being several miles away from original plan) that is when I would create a new/updated trip plan. It is primarily for overnight and multiple day trips in my opinion. Have fun!

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