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Old 07-05-2012, 05:34   #1
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Deck (Watchkeepers) Log

Obviously don't want the crew scribbling all over the Ship's / Captain's logbook! - therefore am wondering whether any merit in having a seperate logbook for use by crew when Skipper not on deck (especially when asleep!) and if so what to include in it.

If we can come up with something, will put up (in Excel or Word) on me website that can be saved by all (and then tweeked by self, if required).

Am thinking half A4 size and loose leaf that can be held in a small ringbinder.

The idea being mainly to ensure that the Crew remains awake! and are attentive when on watch - and also for the Skipper to have something to review, even if only to reassure self that all was good. Also think it would be worthwhile having the Skippers standing orders included at the front (in a laminated card?) - particularly on when to call (wake!) him / her. plus any specific orders for that watch (i.e course change, cautionary reef at sunset? or whatever).

Not intending to drown the watch in paperwork!, but enough to ensure that they are awake - plus a way of explaining by practice what is important. Any idiot can read a book on deck for 6 or 8 hours, standing watch a little bit more involved - even if it does also involve a bit of book reading!

The below not exhaustive (and the idea is to fit everything onto half an A4 piece of paper!).

Deck Log

Start of Watch

Watchkeeper (name)
Date & Time
Course (GPS and Compass)
GPS co-ordinates
Sails set (including any reefs)
Sea State
Wind Speed / Direction
Barometic pressure

During Watch

Hourly - Course (GPS and Compass)

Sightings / radar contacts of other vessels (type / course / distance)
Encounters with anything in the water (fishing pots / nets / Containers! / Whales!).
Sail Changes (including reefs in and out)
Course changes (whether in accordance with Skippers instructions or not).
Skipper / Crew called (whether for guidance or assistance).
Weather forecast received (summary).

Any Comments / Observations.



End of Watch

Date & Time
Course (GPS and Compass)
GPS co-ordinates
Sails set (including any reefs)
Sea State
Wind Speed / Direction

Watch handed over to (name)

Any comments for next Watch / Skipper


Captains Standing Instructions

- First Reef in the mainsail above F?
- Lifejacket to be worn (as Watchkeeper)
- Harness to be clipped on (as Watchkeeper)
- blah
- blah
- blah

Skipper to be called:-

- At each course change (planned or not)
- When land first sighted / 10 miles out

IF YOU ARE NOT SURE - CALL THE SKIPPER!


All ideas welcomed
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Old 07-05-2012, 05:50   #2
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Re: Deck (Watchkeepers) Log

Isn't this already in the chartplotter right next to the helm
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Old 07-05-2012, 05:58   #3
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Re: Deck (Watchkeepers) Log

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Originally Posted by Wotname View Post
Isn't this already in the chartplotter right next to the helm
Ok, then maybe we need an APP..........to automatically click the boxes saying:-

a) I was not asleep for 8 hours - honest.
b) I read the numbers and had at least a vague understanding of what they meant / that they were important.
c) we didn't hit anything bigger than us.

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Old 07-05-2012, 07:17   #4
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Re: Deck (Watchkeepers) Log

David

It is common practice in the Commercial world to have a draft log, which is later transcribed into the official ship's log.

Although, your suggested format seems extreme, I also have the crew (When we have them), keep an hourly log of Lat/Log, Course, Speed and sea observations. I also have then note any radio contacts or unusual ocurrances.

I have found this makes them as crew members feel more responsible, not to mention awake!

Beyond that if the electronic components fail, I can quickly chart our location based on the log.

Just my thoughts :-)
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Old 07-05-2012, 07:39   #5
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Re: Deck (Watchkeepers) Log

Boat speed/SOG.
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Old 07-05-2012, 07:51   #6
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Re: Deck (Watchkeepers) Log

The log is the log, its not a pretty book to keep for memories. I have my crew notate in the log at the end of each shift when they go below. The chartplotter and MaxSea also maintain an electronic log. My wife does a pretty log on her computer and emails that to friends daily.
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Old 07-05-2012, 07:58   #7
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Re: Deck (Watchkeepers) Log

Here is a link to one I use.

http://www.swiftsuresailing.com/documents/decklog.pdf

Legally the pages should be bound and numbered. Entries in ink.



The information on the deck log includes:
∑ Time in 24-hour format (include the date on the first entry and date changes),
∑ Position, either as a geographic position (latitude and longitude) or a relative position
(distance and bearing to a landmark, for example, 0.5 miles North of Turn Point),
∑ The vesselís course in compass, magnetic and true with appropriate deviation and
variation,
∑ The vesselís speed through the water as measured by the knotmeter,
∑ The set and drift of any current,
∑ The course (in true) and speed made good,
∑ Distance covered since the previous entry, and
∑ Any remarks, which might include:
o Engine hours and other engine information,
o Bearings taken,
o Adjacent aids to navigation,
o Whether under sail, or power,
o Weather conditions: wind strength and direction, barometric pressure, clouds,
etc.,
o Where anchored or moored,
o Customs and immigration clearance numbers,
o Notes about anchorage or dock,
o Any incidents,
o Any anything else that might be pertinent.
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Old 07-05-2012, 09:44   #8
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Re: Deck (Watchkeepers) Log

That's pretty close to what I designed for myself many years ago.

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Old 07-05-2012, 09:59   #9
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Re: Deck (Watchkeepers) Log

Nice Alchemy

I like to keep the Speed and True course columns adjacent, as that is what gets recorded on the chart.
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Old 07-05-2012, 12:04   #10
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Re: Deck (Watchkeepers) Log

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremiason View Post
David

It is common practice in the Commercial world to have a draft log, which is later transcribed into the official ship's log. - me hands on knowledge of the commercial world not great (aka zero!), but I figured that both Capt Bligh and Nelson etc didn't let the watch scribble all over his logbook . and if that involves me transcribing some numbers, then so be it (also shows that I am interested in what they have written. IME when people know what they have written is checked / read! / is regarded as important then they tend to be bit better with their contribution).

Although, your suggested format seems extreme, I also have the crew (When we have them), keep an hourly log of Lat/Log, Course, Speed and sea observations. I also have then note any radio contacts or unusual ocurrances. - I must confess have not quite polished what I am after (I expect for each skipper there will be differences anyway) - certainly not trying to keep the watch snowed under with paperwork as would kinda defeat the object!....but these things have a habit of growing , my view is that less is more - a little bit more thinking for me to do on that!

I have found this makes them as crew members feel more responsible, not to mention awake! - that basically is the nub of what I would be after. Plus I want to keep the buggers away from my (the ship's) logbook as I have lots of (onshore) hands on experiance of dealing with folks who "know better" when it comes to paperwork (and sometimes they even actually do! - just that whether better or not, someone marching to the beat of own drumb always generates a worse result for everyone else - especially when that comes as a surprise to all ).

Beyond that if the electronic components fail, I can quickly chart our location based on the log. - I figure that if push comes to shove - some numbers (even with a wide circle of uncertainty) are better than......"the magic box was ok 5 minutes ago" ...."where were we yesterday?" .....plus my figures (in my / the Ship's Log book) that can be relied upon, at least by me!

Just my thoughts :-)
The other examples (and comments) also appreciated - going "Sideways" accross the page makes sense, will ponder further..........
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Old 07-05-2012, 12:21   #11
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Re: Deck (Watchkeepers) Log

For large commercial vessels it is a much more serious thing, with the greater liability potential, the Coast Guard looking over their shoulders more often and a greater number of people onboard. It is also a commercial venture with different and tighter requirements found in the CFR's.

Does anyone know if there are any legal requirements for logbooks on yachts? (non-commercial vessels) If there are then please cite the law. I realize there are common sense practical requirements so the skipper has a record of what happened and for the authorities.
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Old 07-05-2012, 13:37   #12
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Re: Deck (Watchkeepers) Log

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Does anyone know if there are any legal requirements for logbooks on yachts? (non-commercial vessels) If there are then please cite the law. I realize there are common sense practical requirements so the skipper has a record of what happened and for the authorities.
I do not know of any requirements for recreational vessels, but a logbook would be be valuable in a court of law or an insurance claim.

I used a deck log to recreate an incident for an insurance claim. I hit a log at might just after altering course to avoid a tug and tow. We had recorded the regular log entry just prior, recorded the course alteration and the time of the close encounter of a log kind.
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Old 07-05-2012, 15:08   #13
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Re: Deck (Watchkeepers) Log

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I do not know of any requirements for recreational vessels
In some countries (e.g. France), there is a requirement for offshore yachts to keep a logbook. In French regulations, "offshore" begins 6 nm from shelter. The logbook is required to include:
  • composition of crew,
  • time the ship sets sail,
  • weather forecasts and observed weather,
  • position, course and speed at regular intervals,
  • fuel consumption and remaining fuel,
  • any incident, breakdown or damage either on board or observed in the sailing area
Alain
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:23   #14
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Re: Deck (Watchkeepers) Log

You seem to have most things covered, and I'm sure it will be perfect for your purposes. I've sailed on 80,000 gt cruise ships with little more in our logs then that, and the commercial yachts I sail on now have fairly similar deck logs.
One pendantic point is that the Compass is a heading not a course, so would be HDG and the GPS track would be Course Over Ground, COG.

Happy sailing.
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:57   #15
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Re: Deck (Watchkeepers) Log

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Originally Posted by ZenithOcean View Post
You seem to have most things covered, and I'm sure it will be perfect for your purposes. I've sailed on 80,000 gt cruise ships with little more in our logs then that, and the commercial yachts I sail on now have fairly similar deck logs.
One pendantic point is that the Compass is a heading not a course, so would be HDG and the GPS track would be Course Over Ground, COG.

Happy sailing.
I agree that that the columns should probably read heading as opposed to course. I may make that change.

The CMG / SMG as terms used in set and drift calculations. COG ?SOG are from the standard GPS terms.
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