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Old 31-08-2010, 04:06   #1
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Do You Sailors All Keep Logbooks ?

We are inthe learning stages and I read as much as I can. This forum is fantastic to fill ones brain.
As Germans do I have the urge to keep a logbook for our future trips and believe it would be a handy tool.
What is the general view on this?
And is this logbook worth using or better what is missing in this template.

Design a logbook - Ottawa River Sailing Page
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Old 31-08-2010, 04:52   #2
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I don't think keeping a log book is a "requirement" for pleasure boaters, but it is certainly nice to do.

I keep a log, and my wife keeps a journal. Together we can refer back for important information and/or just to relive our experiences.

We gave up on finding the "right" logbook for us. I just built a form in Excel and print them out as we need pages. Then into a three ring binder. When the binder starts getting too full, we pull the first 100 pages and store them ashore.

My log book has three sections, log, maintenance log, and guest register.

George
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Old 31-08-2010, 05:23   #3
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Ships log, maintenance log, and deck log just for position data
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Old 31-08-2010, 05:56   #4
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Guess thats one of the differences between "you Germans" and "us Austrians"
:-))
(just kidding!)

I gave up on keeping logbooks in 1987 at the point when the ttl came to 40,000 miles as skipper (lending a hand every now and then elsewhere never counted anyway)

Other than that I agree with Sunspot: It's nice for future reference and there are some trips I was on after that above date I now, 20+ years later am not able to recall correctly. Would be nice to being able to pull out the logbook from these days and look it up.

I, on the other hand, am more a "future"-person so what happened in the past doesn't count for much. Just as I believe that "experience" (especially the bragging with it! ) is quite over-rated: At least as far as I am concerned it seems that in all these years I never encountered the exact same situation twice which would have allowed me to fall back on "my experience" and state: "That's the way this has to be handled!"
Boats differ, situations differ, wave length differ, space to leeward differs and no gale ever seems to mirror any other one has lived through before.

Don't know about you guys, but for me it's always the full learning curve when I set foot on a boat......
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Old 31-08-2010, 05:57   #5
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I keep a log, but only when on passage, if I am just spending a week around Moreton bay then it does not get used. Just as well I did keep a log when crossing the Pacific, Customs in the Marquesas wanted to see my clearence papers from the last port expecting it to be south America, I did not get one from customs/imigration from San Francisco as they were not interested. They just wanted a phone call 24hrs before leaving the bay. but French Customs wanted proof so out came the log and chart and all was good.
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Old 31-08-2010, 06:31   #6
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If you search the archives, you'll find lots of good information on this.

Your log is a legal document which is evidence of where the vessel has been, who was on board, and so forth. In my opinion it is semi-irresponsible to go out into the ocean without keeping one, even if it is not always strictly required. There are different situations where you might need to prove something like this, besides the value to you of a record of your journeys.

We don't log position every hour but we do log:

Depart from, where when
Arrive to, where when
(or noon position)
Who on board
Miles run
Weather
Sail or motor or motorsail and how many hours of each
Note any technical difficulties or fuel taken on board
Observed depths in trickly places
Remarks.

On the left side of each log page, I do my passage plan -- tides, currents, planned dep and arr times, state of tide at both places, note down weather forecast, etc.

It's all very little trouble and very much worth while in my opinion. It's my little ritual upon safely anchoring or mooring up some place to write my log, before doing anything else. I refer to old log entries constantly, for various purposes, so the log book is well thumbed.
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Old 31-08-2010, 06:43   #7
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While a log is not a legal requirement, certainly on this side of the pond. It is standard practice. Its worth noting that some authorities dont like ring bound logs , as they feel pages can be removed without leaving any evidence.

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Old 31-08-2010, 07:13   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
While a log is not a legal requirement, certainly on this side of the pond. It is standard practice. Its worth noting that some authorities dont like ring bound logs , as they feel pages can be removed without leaving any evidence.

Dave
Just curious, which side is that?
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Old 31-08-2010, 07:22   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverRat View Post
Just curious, which side is that?
The one where it reads: "One week laying in total calm in the middle of the ocean. Swimming, reading, daydreaming....."
While in reality you did a quick dash down to Columbia to "restock" & *big LOOOL*!

Seriously: I have never heard of any authorities REQUIRING me do present a logbook?! The worst I once had to show receipts from buying provisions in the last port I claimed I was at.
Other than that, especially in the US, there are -for us "aliens" (from Mars & -mexi-Co) always stamps in the passport showing entry and exit.

But needless to say, I have not been nearly to all countries yet, so this is a new fact one certainly needs to keep in mind.
(Since I also always track my course & position in paper charts: does that count for a "logbook substitute"?)
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Old 31-08-2010, 07:46   #10
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My attorney advised against keeping a log as they are very often used against the captain - many people who have presented a log book lost the case because it was determined that the Captain had done things wrong in the past , and could be twisted into a pattern- I make only small note of bottom and holding at anchor, little things like that
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Old 31-08-2010, 08:49   #11
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If you have a commercial license to protect... you must keep a log, but for private use it is not mandatory
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Old 31-08-2010, 09:11   #12
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If you have a commercial license to protect... you must keep a log, but for private use it is not mandatory
Protect from what? Is keeping a log a requirement for those with Masters tickets?

And one (possible) advantage in keeping a log is to be able to document your 'sea time' for getting a masters ticket. Although it seems that the actual validation can be quite....casual. Some schools, in fact, are quite a bit more restrictive than the USCG seems to be.
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Old 31-08-2010, 10:05   #13
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If you plan on getting a captain's license you'll need to have your sea time documented (including signed off by the owner of the other vessel if not on your own).
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Old 31-08-2010, 11:31   #14
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The keeping of a ship's log isn't a requirement for private or non-commercial operation. However, AFAIK, commercial vessels are required to carry one. It's carried to show proper ship operation, document details that lead to the incident, and is a legal, binding document. It must be bound, the pages sequentially numbered, and filled out in ink. It also documents crew, disciplinary actions, and adherence to local requirements.

I've carried a log for as long as I've been cruising and that was well before I became a licensed captain. Looking back in those old, stained, salt encrusted, torn pages, brings back memories that photos don't seem to capture.

The other reason for a log is to document sea time, something all professional deck mariners must show for license renewal. I find the task of keeping a log neither onerous, time consuming, nor unimportant.
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Old 31-08-2010, 11:31   #15
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Great timing,
was just about to ask about logs for our new adventure. I'll be considering the 3 ring binder. Can anyone recommend an economical alternative, no gold leave lettering here. Would like to keep one on the pc as well.
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