A “float plan” is a written record indicating the planned destination and approximate length of time for the outing. Sample forms are available here from the Coast Guard’s website.
One should be completed and left with a relative or friend prior to each trip. In case of an emergency or failure to return within a reasonable period of time, pertinent information will be available to assist local marine police or the Coast Guard in determining whether a search should be performed.
Be sure to notify the float plan holder upon return.