Hi, I'm Jim Young, a part-time boater and full-time software developer in the Pacific Northwest. I've spent the last 20+ years building software. Now, I'm combining two things I love, building software and boating. In fact, much of the Float Plan Registry application was written aboard our family boat, a 34 foot Tollycraft, while cruising in the San Juan Islands in Washington state.
I'll be constantly improving Float Plan Registry, as software applications are never truely finished. There are always improvements to make and cool new things to add. If you have suggestions on how to improve this site, you can reach me here.
The idea for Float Plan Registry came to me several years ago when digging around the internet looking for an online float plan solution. After extensive searching, the best that I could come up with was an online PDF form that you download, fill out, and print. Hardly a solution. I just couldn't stop thinking that if float plans were easier to create and distribute, more people would do so. One definite thing I've learned from my years on the planet is that if something isn't easy, you can be sure most of us won't do it!
We all know we should create a float plan before leaving the dock. The problem is, (as with many things) the barrier to completing the task is too high. You can create your own, or download one from the internet. Either way, it ends up being a manual data collection process that no one wants to do. Half the information you need to write on the form you can't remember and have to go searching for. Do you remember the registration number for your boat? The HIN number? Probably not.
There has to be a better way, right? What if we could enter all the information about our boat, our crew, and our contacts (the people we trust to give our float plans to) in a secure place, just once. Then we could easily include that information in our float plans without having to re-create it each time. Wouldn't that make it easier to assemble a float plan? Would that lower the barrier enough so that we would actually create one? Maybe? Well, Float Plan Registry does just that, and more! You enter most of the information needed for filing a float plan into your secure profile, then, when you build a float plan, that information is automatically included in your float plan - you don't have to re-enter or remember anything!
Another annoying factor of creating float plans manually, is that you have to distribute them manually. Maybe you print them out and physically give them to someone you trust. Maybe you fill out an online PDF form and email it to someone. However you slice it, it's a manual process! Float Plan Registry automates the distribution of your float plan by sending it to all your plan contacts for you. Your contacts can then view your plan online. No paper. No more tracking down the people you need to give your plan to. What's more, when you make changes to your plan, you don't need to redistribute it, your contacts can view the plan changes instantly, online.
Once you distribute a traditional paper based float plan, it just sits there, doing nothing. When conceiving the idea for Float Plan Registry, I thought, what if a float plan took an active interest in my trip. What if it asked me if I returned home safely? What if it could automatically notify my contacts if I didn't return home.
Float plans created with Float Plan Registry take an active interest in your safety. You can set alerts in your float plans that trigger automatic check-in reminders, and overdue notices. In other words, your float plan will automatically remind you to check in. If the system does not receive a check-in status from you after a few attempts, it automatically notifies your contacts so they can try and reach you as well.
So if you find yourself stranded on a desert island like Gilligan because your trip isn't working out like you planned, you'll rest easier knowing Float Plan Registry has already notified your contacts.