Before you head out to sea, you should plan your route and provisions.
When you’re planning, you should think about wind, waves, tides and of course, safe havens. Make sure you mark all the safe havens along the route where you can shelter in case the weather turns nasty.
Also, you should always leave a copy of your route plan with a reliable person who can sound the alarm to the relevant authorities if you're overdue or missing.
In your plan, make sure you include a description of your vessel, all your planned stops, the names of all your passengers and when you expect to return.
You should also use the marine radio network on VHF to log on and provide trip details. And always remember to log off once you arrive at your destination to avoid needless searches.