Logbooks are very important to me. I actually maintain 3 on my boat. This comes from my experience as a private pilot where I maintain 4 (flight log, engine
log, prop log) These are required by the FAA.
When I bought my boat I was amazed to find that there was nothing that was even close to what I consider real logs.
So I have now gone to Office Depot and purchased two good quality 4x8 hard bound blank books
with about 200 pages each. One is an engine
log and the second is a hull
log. I have a third much larger bound book which is the more traditional trip log used in boating
I use the trip log as described as some discussed in this post. I do require myself or crew to log lat,lon, boat speed and other relevant conditions each hour. Of course much else may be recorded as desired. There are some pretty good reasons for this in off shore sailing. I have lost
my electronic charting capabilities more than once for part or all of the remainder of that trip. This log information gave me this ability to chart my course on the paper charts
I carry (I look at those paper charts
trips but no longer mark each time check). Making the completion of the leg safely. I also log when (hours run) and how much fuel
is added to track consumption
This was how I was trained by the very experienced person I learned to sail with. And I have found it to be very valuable.
In both the engine and hull logs I record the date and a detailed account of each repair or improvement I make. This is so important to me because I know the process used to do the repair or maintenance
item, speeding up and making it more efficient the next time. These logs also show if parts
or my instillation is failing in short order and needing a better installation
or a better part. Also I need this information to know when fluids where changed etc.
To me after having this same experience with aircraft. I was incredibly frustrated to have none of this information on the boat I purchased. These logs save me lots of time and money
by having this information.
Probably over done but this method has proved valuable to me, and once you form the habit of filling it these logs they take little time.