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Boating Protocols


  1. Check availability of boat and⁄or truck. This can be found on the board located outside the lab manager’s office. If the boat is available, the vessel operator must reserve the boat on this board. Boats are available for use on a first-come, first-serve basis.
  2. Complete a float plan. The float plan must be approved by the Marine Operations Manager (Pete Meier) or the Lab Manager (Sarah Prior) before launch. Please note that uncompleted sections will delay approval of the float plan. Trips scheduled for a weekday should be submitted 12 hours in advance. Trips scheduled for weekends must be submitted before noon on Friday. If crew members change, it must be noted on the float plan prior to leaving. All crew members must complete an emergency information sheet if they do not have one on file.
  3. Check weather by VHF radio or at NOAA. Weather on the water can change abruptly so the weather check must be made just prior to launch.
    Boats cannot be operated under a small craft advisory!
  4. Collect and inspect the appropriate gear for the voyage.
  5. Conduct pre-voyage maintenance: Check oil and gas levels; charge boat and VHF batteries; start engine; check trailer, lights and tires for problems; inspect bridle if required.
  6. Transport boat to launch site. Check tilt safety latch. Install plugs.


  1. Notify the Marine Operations Manager (Pete Meier) of your return. If the voyage occurs on the weekend, the marine operations manager must be notified prior to launch as well.
  2. Report any problems or accidents to the lab manager. These must be recorded on the vessel log.
  3. Refill gas tank of boat and truck. The boats use premium gas and the truck uses plus grade.
  4. Remove all drain plugs.
  5. Flush the motor with fresh water. Double flush if operation occurred in shallow water.
  6. Wash boat, trailer, and motor with soap and water. Rinsing with fresh water will not remove the salt deposits.
  7. Return gear and equipment including boat registration and gas card. Stow boat in its proper place.
  8. Complete vessel log (page 2 of float plan) and leave with float plan on clipboard outside the lab manager’s office.

Kayak Trip Protocol

Captain of trip must have completed boater certification course, complete one kayak trip and be checked out by the Marine Operations Manager or Lab Manager.
  1. Complete a float plan and submit to Marine Operation Manager or Lab Manager
  2. An emergency information sheets must be completed for everyone on the trip
  3. Must have partner (no solo kayaking)
  4. Complete weather check just before launch
  5. Check out and check in with the person that approved the float plan
  6. Must wear personal flotation device (PFD) while on the water
  7. Wash kayaks and equipment and return gear to proper storage place