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Old 30-04-2010, 10:42   #16
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Aside from the mundane, like weather, course, fuel, engine rpm, SOG and next waypoint, we record everything of interest, like Mark's avian visitor or the dolphins who called in for a while, including species if possible. Basically anything that happens in what otherwise would be just another day at sea. Legally it shows that the watch is attentive to their duties. With regard to memories, priceless!

P.
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Old 30-04-2010, 10:49   #17
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luvver, don't worry about erasing, just use pencil. Honest. Back when the FBI used to give public tours of their labs, they used to say the most permanent way to write on paper was with a #2 pencil, because ink could always be bleached out, but graphite particles stayed in the paper forever--making a permanent record, erased or not.

Mark! But how can you keep a log without having lead weighted covers, so you can safely toss it overboard in case of capture? Well, OK, with all the modern hazmat regs, I suppose you'd have to use scrap iron instead of lead these days... :-)
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Old 30-04-2010, 13:13   #18
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I don't think a log is a "legally required" document for a pleasure boat in the UK either. But, it becomes a legal document by its existance. A log is a desired document, which can if contemporaneously kept, be used as evidence.

An example rearing its head recently, is that if say, a UK boat enters Dutch waters with Red diesel aboard, you can save yourself having to pay the duty on the fuel, again, by keeping details of when and where the fuel was loaded, so that it can be proven that the fuel was duty paid etc. Keep receipts and log the fuel onboard, is the advice given to avoid paying tax twice.

The sum is therefore, that the log is used to enter contemporaneous notes about the voyage etc, that you may later rely upon, rather than memory. The obvious one is, if navigation by GPS, enter from time to time, your location, so that if the GPS fails, you can revert to a known position to "Dead Reckon" from. Thus: enter in the log anything in reason that may be useful, or that you may want to refer back to later.
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Old 30-04-2010, 13:37   #19
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I try to keep a note of depart and arrive times, and who's on board. Skipper noted.
I only do coastal trips at the moment and I am working up to keeping a day log as we go, noting time at major points, problems arising, equipment and rig issues. A summary is put in the ship's log as a record of roughly where we were on what day. If the Harbour Master comes looking for me I can prove 'It wasn't me, here's my log book.' (hopefully).
On the longer trips I'm going to have to get in the habit of recording the DR, time, wind and sea state, sails rigged at each change of the 'Watch Officer' with the addition of speed and course to allow DR calcs to be worthwhile. We are prone to fog in a busy commercial waterway. Knowing where I am, or being able to work it out, will one day save me and the boat from distress.
There are also, for you real cruisers, the issue of where you've been and when. Customs and Harbour Authorities will always be interested, a good working log book will help them to judge you as a person. It will also add very considerably to the provenance of your boat when you come to sell her. Proven World Cruiser for Sale. 'Oh, yeah? Prove it!'
And what great reading when you come to plan the next trip, places worth a second visit, a complete miss. Can we have a thread for 'Transcripts from Logs'.
The day log can be loose leaf,
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Old 30-04-2010, 13:53   #20
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The day log can be loose leaf, but has lower evidencial value, as it can more easily be tampered with. A bound log gives a sequential record, where it becomes obvious/detectable if pages have been removed. Of course, most of us will probably never need the log for evidence. It's one of those things like lifejackets - you don't know if you will ever need them. But if you do....

Also, I would bet many of us have found old logs, and had a nostalgic evening reading back through them. Whether or not they are our own.
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Old 30-04-2010, 14:36   #21
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It is mandatory for French yachts to keep a log when sailing offshore (more than 6 NM from shelter). The regulations say that I must record:
- the crew list,
- the time of departure,
- the forecast and observed weather,
- the position, course and speed at regularly spaced times,
- the consumption and remaining fuel
- any incident, breakdown or damage happening onboard or observed in the area.
Of course, I also write down the engine hours, the sail changes, the tide predictions, etc. This makes a very official document, not intended to be funny.

It is well known that if an accident happens, the police / coastguards will seize the logbook and make their opinion about the proficiency of the skipper and navigator. If this opinion is unfavorable, the skipper might be in trouble and have to face a judge.

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Old 17-05-2010, 13:57   #22
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I don't know if a log is a required document, but I think it's a legal document.

I've always considered a log as a legal document, travelogue, and journal.

Legal document:
To cover that base, I record the crew, date, time lat/long, heading, speed, weather details, and sea state hourly. That way, should my GPS(s) go belly up I can recover and DR based on paper charts. The crew list can be helpful when entering/leaving ports/countries. I also record any medical problems or concerns, radio calls, distress calls, and route info.

Travelogue/Journal:
In the notes section, all manner of comments abound - save insult and derogatory comment. Fish caught, boats passed (!), chats with boats, and notable sea creatures encountered. The notes section can also have comments about the intended route, questions for the next watch, changes in standing orders, maintenance issues, and crossing the equator.

For me a log is proof that I took early and reasonable action to avoid the problem that brought me to court or the insurance company first, and a reminder of what happened, second. I've always been amazed at what a much scribbled chart and beat up log book can do to bring back great (and not so great) moments.
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Old 17-05-2010, 19:37   #23
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In addition to the Boat's Log as detailed above in Douglas Abbot's post - a separate maintenance log is very desirable. It should contain a listing of planned maintenance tasks and categorize them in order of importance. It should list installations of new equipment with their warranty particulars.
When repairs or servicing of equipment are effected, full details of the fault/s, breakages should be itemized together with details of methods used to fix, including costs of parts labour etc..
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Old 17-05-2010, 19:37   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoonlightShadow View Post
I don't think a log is a "legally required" document for a pleasure boat in the UK either. But, it becomes a legal document by its existance. A log is a desired document, which can if contemporaneously kept, be used as evidence.
An example rearing its head recently, is that if say, a UK boat enters Dutch waters with Red diesel aboard, you can save yourself having to pay the duty on the fuel, again, by keeping details of when and where the fuel was loaded, so that it can be proven that the fuel was duty paid etc. Keep receipts and log the fuel onboard, is the advice given to avoid paying tax twice.

I was of the understanding that as of Oct 2008 it was illegal for a pleasure craft to use red diesel in the UK unless proof was supplied that it was purchased before the date of the above directive.
As to keeping a log of my route.. coastal I mark it off on the chart every 8 hrs and if my GPS dies I can triangulate my position from landmarks on shore... if on a crossing I mark off every 12 hrs...
In other words I have not kept a log since 2001 when my boats electrics died 300 miles NW of the Azores and I dead reckoned my way to Falmouth.
Maybe essential for commercial vessels but not on pleasure craft... except as PP's have said.. for posterity...
BUT.... a DELIVERY is a whole different ballgame
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Old 18-05-2010, 02:26   #25
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I would dearly like to see the log book belonging to the vessel. Where has my boat been before and under what names? Has she always been a day/weekender. I do know, from sight of log book on my first inspection of her, that she spent a fortnight anchored off the west french coast on a family holiday and had issues with Battery Capacity for the Autopilot on the way home. Where else has she been?
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Old 18-05-2010, 03:33   #26
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The question of how legally important keeping a proper Log… is pretty much dependant on your qualifications and licensing.

A pleasure boat skipper who is involved in an event is held to a much lower standard by the courts and may only get a smack on the knuckles for not demonstrating good management.

However a Captain with professional licenses is (from previous Court Rulings) judged to a much higher standard of management and experience. In that same event, he could loose or have suspended his license (and livelihood) if his Log (or lack of) shows poor management.

For us, it is not about our livelihood, but a useful tool as you see fit.
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Old 18-05-2010, 07:03   #27
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I do think people get confuse as to what a legal document is and what its not.

Any bit of paper is a legal document only when tendered in court and taken into evidence.

A bit of paper a lawyer gets you to sign, witness and all that is still only a bit of paper. when its registered in a court it may be a dit different.

A log can not be called a legal document in a zillon different ways. For a start no entry is signed, none witnessed etc.

Its just a book of paper.

If a commercial captain has a history of filing out logbooks as required by his company or his countries regulations is still just a log book. I can't see how it can be more. Until its tendered in court... and even then its just evidence. Not necessarily factual.

As Boatman points our the cash register receipt will get you much further than me writing the same information.


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Old 18-05-2010, 07:49   #28
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Old 18-05-2010, 07:53   #29
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I do think people get confuse as to what a legal document is and what its not.

Any bit of paper is a legal document only when tendered in court and taken into evidence.

A bit of paper a lawyer gets you to sign, witness and all that is still only a bit of paper. when its registered in a court it may be a dit different.

A log can not be called a legal document in a zillon different ways. For a start no entry is signed, none witnessed etc.

Its just a book of paper.

If a commercial captain has a history of filing out logbooks as required by his company or his countries regulations is still just a log book. I can't see how it can be more. Until its tendered in court... and even then its just evidence. Not necessarily factual.

As Boatman points our the cash register receipt will get you much further than me writing the same information.


Mark
The fact remains that if something happens or not, various authorities may want to see your log. Since they may take it seriously, I take it seriously.

Its also a document that may get you out of a difficult situation.

Probably most relevant and helpful for the vessel owner, its also a record of when and where things happened.
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Old 21-05-2010, 04:16   #30
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