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Old 13-11-2014, 19:25   #1
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Sailing Logbooks

Newbie question...
What kind of sailing logbooks should one have? Is there a particular type or brand or is a basic "journal" type book okay?

Do chartering companies ever want to look at logbooks?
Thanks!
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Old 14-11-2014, 19:53   #2
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Re: Sailing Logbooks

My wife is getting a custom logbook made up for the Van, so we've been talking a lot about this lately.
Their certainly isn't a special brand- not that I know of. I have some ideas that might help.
A good logbook should be more than a stroll down memory lane. It should be an account of miles sailed in a day, weather conditions, ullage (how much stuff is in your various tanks and what you did about it.
Ideally, you should be able to take your log from say 3 years ago, look up a specific passage and be able to make reasonable estimates about time, costs, currents challenges and other details.

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Old 14-11-2014, 22:21   #3
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Re: Sailing Logbooks

I've only had to use our logbook in an 'official' capacity once -- an insurance company wanted a page. We were giving some folks a ride to a deserted island, who had travelers insurance, and they lost a bunch of camera equipment when a wave filled the cockpit and drained through an open window onto the quarter berth. They needed the page for the insurance company to pay them for their cameras.

Ours is very informal, a bound book of blank pages. It holds everything, to-do lists, notes on navigation (more scrupulous when we are bored enough to be traditionally navigating), anchoring, maintenance, people we meet, communication between watches, and etc.

The only structure is, on passage, we make columns on the right side of the book for navigation notes (time, velocity, direction, pressure, wind speed and direction), and keep the left side free to talk about the cat, dinner, or doodle.
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Old 15-11-2014, 00:07   #4
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Re: Sailing Logbooks

Okay, that's a little different from my approach, but I'm sure works for Msponer. I would still guide you towards a more structured approach, but what works for you, works for you.

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Old 15-11-2014, 03:27   #5
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Re: Sailing Logbooks

$20 buys you one from Amazon. Remember, a ships log is actually a legal document and can be used for insurance purposes and in case of collisions etc. So you really should be a bit conscientious in filling it in.

http://www.amazon.com/BookFactory%C2.../dp/B006GSE3D0

WE record every trip - even the short evening sails. Fun actually to be able to go back and read it. A couple I know have kept theirs for over 30 years. Every time the boat left its slip. Weather, wind, sailing conditions etc.

Besides it gives you something to do while at sea.
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Old 15-11-2014, 05:12   #6
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Re: Sailing Logbooks

when we bought our boat two years ago, I asked previous owner if he had any log books, from either himself and his six years owning it, or from either of the other two previous owners. I was very interested in going through the logs, of course. This boat has quite a cruising history, from factory in England to Med, across Atlantic to Caribbean, to Central America for years, to the US Gulf Coast, to Florida, across the Atlantic to Ireland, and back, and then to Mexico and back to Florida, where it sat in St John's river for five years until we bought it. Three previous owners before us.

The guy we bought it from was a Lt. Cmdr. retired after 20 years in the US Coast Guard. He told me he didn't believe in keeping a logbook, and never did so. I thought this a little strange. We probably dumped a hundred pounds of old books out of that boat, mostly musty old paperbacks left on board but a couple boxes of outdated sailing books, too. But three previous owners, and no logbooks. And I thought it strange for a USCG lifer not to keep a log.

Do people keep their logs when they sell their boats? I thought the logbook should stay with the boat.
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Old 15-11-2014, 08:55   #7
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Re: Sailing Logbooks

"Do people keep their logs when they sell their boats? I thought the logbook should stay with the boat. Canibul
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We did and would keep our present logs(mechanical and cruising) if we ever buy another boat. We have 25 years of invaluable information that could never be replaced. If a new owner wanted copies, we would gladly comply. These logs represent an invaluable history of your life and your boat. I find it surprising that anyone who has cruised extensively would not keep a log-- especially an ex-military man. Perhaps he thought you wanted to keep the logs and not return them as some might do. Good luck and good sailing.
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