Proper planning and preparation prevents pitiably poor performance. Any (Exasperated) Military Instructor
Many leisure craft sail without the skipper preparing a passage plan. Under Chapter V, Regulation V/34 of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS V), introduced on 1 July 2002, it is mandatory that all craft, including leisure craft, have a passage plan for each voyage. It is unlikely that leisure craft will routinely be asked to produce their plan or be penalised if they cannot but, after an incident, especially one involving damage or personal injury, its absence may be considered a contributory factor and the skipper prosecuted or his insurance claim queried.
A passage plan is much more than routeing information. It covers every aspect of a voyage with the aim of preparing both ship and crew so that the passage is made in a safe, seamanlike and enjoyable manner.
It is not the purpose of this booklet to teach navigation, tides, weather forecasting, leadership or boat management. It is an aide-memoire. Place it alongside a sheet of blank paper and prepare your plan by following the headings. Not every heading applies to every passage. Voyage by voyage you decide which to omit.