Commodore’s Corner- March/April 2017

With the termination of the BSA policy that required a “Tour and Activity Plan,” should we still make use of a “Float Plan?”

Yes!  Use of a Float Plan is a best practice for anyone who goes boating.  Smart boaters always use a Float Plan to insure trusted persons ashore know about the boater’s vessel, voyage, participants, and safety equipment.

Here is some information drawn from the US Coast Guard Auxiliary website:

A float plan includes a description of your boat, who is on board, a description of the safety equipment you are carrying, where you expect to be, and when you expect to be there.

  1. Instruct the person holding the float plan to notify the Coast Guard or other appropriate agency if you do not return within a reasonable time after your scheduled arrival.
  2. When you arrive at your destination, or if your plans change, notify the person holding your float plan.

There is no official form for a float plan, but you can use the customizable form at:

Why did BSA do away with the Tour and Activity Plan?

Check out this link to FAQ’s related to the termination of the Tour and Activity Plan:

You will find some discussion there about liability insurance.  For additional information about liability insurance for boats used in Sea Scout activities check this link:

Who has been selected to be the National Boatswain for 2017-2018?

Sea Scout Mercedes Matlock has been selected as the 2017-2018 National Sea Scout Boatswain.  Her term of office is from June 1, 2017 through May 31, 2018.  Mercedes Matlock will relieve Rachel West as National Boatswain at a ceremonial change-of-watch at the Sea Scout/Venturing Reception at the BSA National Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL; 6:00pm, Thursday, May 25th.

Get to know Mercedes:

Learn more about the National Annual meeting:

Discount on life jackets.

Save money for your Ship.  Want a discount?  Explain to any vendor that you are part of the BSA program; sometimes a polite request will yield positive results.  Other vendors advertise their discount. As proponents of safe boating, MTI Adventurewear offers Sea Scouts a discount on lifejackets.  You can find the information under the “Discount Purchase” button at this link:

How can a Sea Scout Commodore get access to “Commissioner Tools” on

Dual-register as Assistant Commissioners at the appropriate level, and you will have access to Commissioner Tools.

Inherent in the Sea Scout program, there are some unique challenges when it comes to providing Commissioner services.  Some Councils have only a few Sea Scout Ships; or none at all.  In many Councils, the Chair of the Sea Scout Committee/Council Commodore, provides Commissioner-like services.  The National Commissioner, Charles Dahlquist, and his staff have decided to formally enable the assistance of Sea Scout Commodores.  Accordingly, Sea Scout Commodores are encouraged to dual-register as Assistant Commissioners at the appropriate level—national, regional, area, or council.  This registration will empower their work and provide them access to Commissioner Tools.

Watch for an article on this subject in “The Commissioner Newsletter” in late May at:

You can submit your question to the Commodore’s Corner at; or click here. We’ll answer the most frequent or urgent questions in a future edition of the Commodore’s Corner.

Subscribe to the Commodore’s Corner via the National Sea Scout Distribution list here.

In many places in the USA, it’s already boating season–so get out there.  If it’s still a bit chilly in your homeport, make special plans for traditional “opening day” activities at nearby boating and yachting clubs.  Spread the word #SeaScouts #getonthewater !