Sailing log book

El Borracho

Verified User
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2,642
Pacific Rim
Concerning the actual log book I prefer loose log book pages
Totally cheating, loose pages are. Coming from a research and engineering background, loose leaf notebooks are a sure sign of a scoundrel up to no good. Certainly wouldn't fly in my company. Same with the sales staff. Given the general tendency towards malfeasance of many sea captains I would think the same would be true on a proper ship. If I were a ship owner I would be very skeptical of my captain carefully transcribing the log. Computer records would be okay if there were some RCS (revision control software) used.

 
Mostly here to spectate, as I haven't found the ideal solution for the boat.  There's always a trade-off between printing up a form and using freeform pages. Forms can be helpful when they double as a check-list.  Then there's the problem of adding digital information - tracks, photos, etc... ( A small version of problems experienced in the lab - some time around 1984, computer-generated data started blowing up the written notebook.)

For most mobile note-taking, I buy Ben Meadow's Fieldbooks by the case.  Fairly weather-resistant, fit in a hip pocket, stack neatly on the shelf.  Well crap... appears BM doesn't exist any more.  Pretty much this:  Slap your own label over the cover imprint.  



Last year, I tried printing up some worksheet-style logbook pages, for ring or comb-binders, with the idea that the written notes are on the chart table, then in the evening, one could transfer that information to the computer/iPad and mix in photos and other data.  It sort of grew out of making a logbook for drone flying.  Didn't really follow through though.  A lot of day-sails could have been one-liners.  Well, except for the list of stuff that broke...
The "Rite in the rain" books are great for misc stuff use one for a radio log and have at the helm for taking notes.  They are pretty bullet proof.  On log books in general it's pretty easy to go overboard, no pun intended.  Whatever you are putting in it is only of value if it's going to be referenced.  There are some general items that probably should go in like weather seastate and machinery history.  There definately isn't a one size fits all format. 

 

slug zitski

Super Anarchist
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worldwide
Totally cheating, loose pages are. Coming from a research and engineering background, loose leaf notebooks are a sure sign of a scoundrel up to no good. Certainly wouldn't fly in my company. Same with the sales staff. Given the general tendency towards malfeasance of many sea captains I would think the same would be true on a proper ship. If I were a ship owner I would be very skeptical of my captain carefully transcribing the log. Computer records would be okay if there were some RCS (revision control software) used.
I don’t sell shit 

And I don’t   give a dam about your background

 

Marcjsmith

Super Anarchist
3,881
1,045
Washington DC
So, to jump in this thread...   I’m going to start crewing on a boat this year, with the hopes of owning something in the next year or so.  While I don’t think I’d ever sit for a Capt lic,  obviously good habits are always a good thing and getting in the habit of logging ones time in a boat makes sense   

shouod I keep a log of my time spent crewing on someone else’s boat?  Even if I’m down in the belly  bagging sails or sitting on the rail?

 

toddster

Super Anarchist
4,262
998
The Gorge
Yeah, in past lives, we were not only supposed to sign and date every page in the official bound controlled notebooks, but we had to get the boss (or more usually, just each other) to look at it and sign as a witness to ensure no funny business.  But it got to the point that most of the actual data were pieces of print-outs or photos scotch-taped to the pages.  Or just references to computer files.  Kind of defeated the purpose.  

In my lab now, (no boss) I use loose-leaf notebooks. Pre-printed worksheets for common procedures.  Each project accumulates a set of worksheets and print-outs from the instruments.  Extra stuff on engineering pad pages.  Customer-supplied documents.  Etc.  When everything on the master sheet is completed, the whole file gets scanned as an (immutable?) PDF file and the paper gets thrown away.  I'm sure modern people aren't using paper at all.  

Like BJ, I've heard that bound books are what "The Authorities" want to see, if they ever want to look at your logbook.  But like Slug, I figure I mostly have only myself to please at this point.  

Well, this is somewhat embarrassing, but here are the worksheets I made up last year for the boat logbook. I'm changing a few things this year.  It's a little bit silly, but the point is to figure out a system that works before I actually need it.  Could always go back to the fieldbooks.  If one had a sufficiently organized mind, one probably wouldn't need worksheets...

One page a day worksheet (Actually two half-pages):    

image.png

If more than one day, or a really complicated day, there are these extra sheets to drop in:

image.png

Plenty of blank pages on hand if needed.  Extra space for notes turns out to be often needed:

image.png

And some radio log pages to drop in if needed.  (The "call sign" is to sort out whether I'm operating as ship's station or ham. Should be separate logs, probably, but see above about "pleasing myself.")

image.png

Maintenance log is just free-form at this point.  Except fuel & lubrication tables.  Though it might be handy to have a few pages printed up with boat diagrams. Lots of messy sketches & scribbled measurements that get taken home and drawn on the computer before attempting to execute a project.  

 

Not My Real Name

Not Actually Me
43,038
2,823
So, to jump in this thread...   I’m going to start crewing on a boat this year, with the hopes of owning something in the next year or so.  While I don’t think I’d ever sit for a Capt lic,  obviously good habits are always a good thing and getting in the habit of logging ones time in a boat makes sense   

shouod I keep a log of my time spent crewing on someone else’s boat?  Even if I’m down in the belly  bagging sails or sitting on the rail?
You mention captain's license. You never know...it makes it easier if you have the time logged.

 
So, to jump in this thread...   I’m going to start crewing on a boat this year, with the hopes of owning something in the next year or so.  While I don’t think I’d ever sit for a Capt lic,  obviously good habits are always a good thing and getting in the habit of logging ones time in a boat makes sense   

shouod I keep a log of my time spent crewing on someone else’s boat?  Even if I’m down in the belly  bagging sails or sitting on the rail?
Can't hurt.  MIght make interesting reading later in life. . .

 

Diarmuid

Super Anarchist
3,563
1,577
Laramie, WY, USA
My wife keeps the log, such as it is. So when I'm solo, it vanishes. It is nice to read what was going on after the fact, filtered through someone else's eyes.

When we go on a trip, 2 weeks, a month, two or three months, I don't read anything until we're done. Makes it way more interesting.
"Tuesday. Wednesday? The voices are getting louder. Every day, water water water. I have taken to hiding kitchen knives around the boat. He thinks I am enjoying this, ha!"

 
So, to jump in this thread...   I’m going to start crewing on a boat this year, with the hopes of owning something in the next year or so.  While I don’t think I’d ever sit for a Capt lic,  obviously good habits are always a good thing and getting in the habit of logging ones time in a boat makes sense   

shouod I keep a log of my time spent crewing on someone else’s boat?  Even if I’m down in the belly  bagging sails or sitting on the rail?
If you are in the US you can download a USCG generic form for seatime and have the captain or owner of the boat sign it for you.  Much to the chagrin of the rest of the maritime world you can literally use a kayak for seatime towards a entry level captains license like a Six Pack in the US.

If you are keeping a sailing log it helps to get the dates and time sorted when you tally it all up.  Also a good idea to let whoever is running the boat know what you are up to, some captains or owners can get a little wierd about it.

 

slug zitski

Super Anarchist
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worldwide
Yeah, in past lives, we were not only supposed to sign and date every page in the official bound controlled notebooks, but we had to get the boss (or more usually, just each other) to look at it and sign as a witness to ensure no funny business.  But it got to the point that most of the actual data were pieces of print-outs or photos scotch-taped to the pages.  Or just references to computer files.  Kind of defeated the purpose.  

In my lab now, (no boss) I use loose-leaf notebooks. Pre-printed worksheets for common procedures.  Each project accumulates a set of worksheets and print-outs from the instruments.  Extra stuff on engineering pad pages.  Customer-supplied documents.  Etc.  When everything on the master sheet is completed, the whole file gets scanned as an (immutable?) PDF file and the paper gets thrown away.  I'm sure modern people aren't using paper at all.  

Like BJ, I've heard that bound books are what "The Authorities" want to see, if they ever want to look at your logbook.  But like Slug, I figure I mostly have only myself to please at this point.  

Well, this is somewhat embarrassing, but here are the worksheets I made up last year for the boat logbook. I'm changing a few things this year.  It's a little bit silly, but the point is to figure out a system that works before I actually need it.  Could always go back to the fieldbooks.  If one had a sufficiently organized mind, one probably wouldn't need worksheets...

One page a day worksheet (Actually two half-pages):    

View attachment 351178

If more than one day, or a really complicated day, there are these extra sheets to drop in:

View attachment 351179

Plenty of blank pages on hand if needed.  Extra space for notes turns out to be often needed:

View attachment 351180

And some radio log pages to drop in if needed.  (The "call sign" is to sort out whether I'm operating as ship's station or ham. Should be separate logs, probably, but see above about "pleasing myself.")

View attachment 351181

Maintenance log is just free-form at this point.  Except fuel & lubrication tables.  Though it might be handy to have a few pages printed up with boat diagrams. Lots of messy sketches & scribbled measurements that get taken home and drawn on the computer before attempting to execute a project.  
You can have as many entries as you want in a log book

I like the log to be compact 

With a log book I am most interested in ensuring  my crew knows how to Dead Reckon and  that they record their watch observations 

no corrected SOG or COG 

that  calculated data is all over the chart plotter, radar , B and G  , iPhone 

I simply enter  time  , course , speed,  wind speed , wind angle , Wind direction ,log , ,position , bilge level  , sail combo and comment 

the watch  plots their DR on the chart

comment  is a  brief description of how you sailed the  boat during your watch ...... a short story 

poled out  starboard  jibe ,  sailed  15 degrees high of course to avoid shipping lane  , wind soft ..........

 

DanJ

New member
10
1
Yeah, in past lives, we were not only supposed to sign and date every page in the official bound controlled notebooks, but we had to get the boss (or more usually, just each other) to look at it and sign as a witness to ensure no funny business. But it got to the point that most of the actual data were pieces of print-outs or photos scotch-taped to the pages. Or just references to computer files. Kind of defeated the purpose.

In my lab now, (no boss) I use loose-leaf notebooks. Pre-printed worksheets for common procedures. Each project accumulates a set of worksheets and print-outs from the instruments. Extra stuff on engineering pad pages. Customer-supplied documents. Etc. When everything on the master sheet is completed, the whole file gets scanned as an (immutable?) PDF file and the paper gets thrown away. I'm sure modern people aren't using paper at all.

Like BJ, I've heard that bound books are what "The Authorities" want to see, if they ever want to look at your logbook. But like Slug, I figure I mostly have only myself to please at this point.

Well, this is somewhat embarrassing, but here are the worksheets I made up last year for the boat logbook. I'm changing a few things this year. It's a little bit silly, but the point is to figure out a system that works before I actually need it. Could always go back to the fieldbooks. If one had a sufficiently organized mind, one probably wouldn't need worksheets...

One page a day worksheet (Actually two half-pages):

You have interesting thoughts about in-flight magazines, everyone has different requirements and wishes for them. For now, I dream that the day will come when I can use the electronic version.
 
You can have as many entries as you want in a log book

I like the log to be compact

With a log book I am most interested in ensuring my crew knows how to Dead Reckon and that they record their watch observations

no corrected SOG or COG

that calculated data is all over the chart plotter, radar , B and G , iPhone

I simply enter time , course , speed, wind speed , wind angle , Wind direction ,log , ,position , bilge level , sail combo and comment

the watch plots their DR on the chart

comment is a brief description of how you sailed the boat during your watch ...... a short story

poled out starboard jibe , sailed 15 degrees high of course to avoid shipping lane , wind soft ..........
In large part I agree — a good set of recordings and very similar to what we do, though we add barometer (but I suspect you do too, just you didn’t mention it).

We use a Levenger notebook (grid lines) to which I stick on column headings. Much though I like the W&P logbooks, I find they don’t fit very well with want we want to record.

We also have a Yacht Devices Voyage Recorder so ultimately everything is recorded. Yacht Devices have many great products at very reasonable prices. Every so often I’ll be thinking “wouldn’t t be great if I could get … on the N2k network” only to find they’re a step ahead of me. We have a YDVR, a YDTM, a YDBC, a YDEN, a YDAB, a YDCC and no doubt something else I’ve forgotten. Their customer support is terrific — I’ve received custom code within a day.
 

kiwin

Member
362
235
Auckland
For decades I have used a simple blank lined exercise book. I hand rule some columns in and use 1 page per day. I have the crew make an entry at every change of watch. They record in the columns the time, log reading, position, barometer reading and any comments. If all the electronics goes west I can transfer to paper charts and keep track. I have them check the bilges on each watch change and record other things like engine and generator hours when relevant. Other info like performance, sail configuration, breakages etc gets recorded. At the back of the book I keep a maintenance log with records of when I fixed shit. I also use the logbook to record phone numbers, names, Anchorage details etc
 

TheDragon

Super Anarchist
Wow, guys, especially kiwin, that's far beyond what I have managed. In fact, I kept a little log book for the first few days of my Pacific crossing, then gave up in favor of blogging on Predictwind with tracker. And now that is my entire record of my trip, with precious little of the data you all record. I don't even know my coordinates most of the time, just use iSailor on iPhone and iPad to figure out where I am and where I am going. Have yet to figure out waypoints, or how to measure distances, I just use the scale bar and the width of my pinky finger, over and over. Some of you will be appalled, and amazed I have made it for six months now without hitting anything, but it has been a blast, French Polynesia was wonderful and Fiji is great, and I will have a complete record of my trip and experiences downloaded at the end of each season from Predictwind.
 

Dogscout

Member
315
258
On walkabout
I use a Moleskine Quad rulled. Write down date, departed (time and place), arrived (t&p) engine hours. notes of anything significant. Then I have a few pages of fuel purchases, maintenance actions, etc.

Nothing fancy.
 

Steam Flyer

Sophisticated Yet Humble
44,189
9,574
Eastern NC
Anybody here ever follow the tradition of having the youngest person aboard write a poem in the log on New Years (or at solstice)?
 

Finknottle

New member
25
31
UK
These are good, Imray UK:
1664718207542.png



Quite small, reusable hard cover, flexible - include as much detail as you like. Blank pages for notes doodles, workings out etc. The used books stay lightly bound for stashing away.
 

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