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Old 19-07-2014, 17:24   #1
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Logbooks

G'day folks,

Amongst the multitude of boaty things floating about my mind is the topic of logbooks.

What belongs in it, and what doesn't?

I've heard it's a legal document, so I guess one has to be diligent and cautious in filling it in, but discerning as to what doesn't belong in there.

Does the logbook stay with the boat when it is sold?

Since it is an important document, what do you experienced cruisers do to make the things long lasting? Can it be a ring binder, or does it have to be a bound book?

Could I make a squillion bucks selling waterproof floating logbooks with matching indelible ink pens (and indelible ink un-indeliberiser for those vital corrections post-collision for insurance purposes)? What about pencil?

It's something I haven't seen mentioned directly in all the cruising bumf one wades through, yet it crops up often enough to make me curious....
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Old 19-07-2014, 17:47   #2
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Re: Logbooks

A logbook is not a legal requirement for a pleasure boat (as it is for a pilot for example) however in the case of a fatality or serious accident I suppose information in a log book could be used in court. Most people use a logbook when on a passage to keep track of and pass watch information to the person coming on watch. It also helps to record speed, daily distance traveled, health concerns, items of interest, etc.

A maintenance log book is a very useful item to keep track of all repairs, replacements, maintenance performed, etc. Not only useful for your own records but might be useful when you decide to sell the boat.

A communications logbook can also be fun. You can keep track of contacts, conversation, etc.

Most of this can be done using readily available computer programs.
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Old 19-07-2014, 17:48   #3
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Re: Logbooks

There is no requirement to keep a log for a private vessel. Many people keep a sailing log of their trips and passages - This to me is a personal log and would never be transferred with the boat.

I also keep a pretty detailed expense log (in Quicken) that documents all the parts and repairs I buy so it is a pretty good maintenance log. I'd let this go with the boat if asked.

I also keep a binder with major receipts, manuals for all the systems etc. All that, of course, would transfer with the boat.

I don't keep a paper maintenance log although if you have a complex boat one may be useful to record oil changes etc.

There are a lot of iPad apps and PC programs out there. I have never found of these to suit me.

As far as being a legal document? I am sure all the armchair lawyers are sharpening their pencils but...

Basically if you get into a big enough legal kerfuffle, anything you record (paper or PC) would theoretically be discoverable.
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Old 19-07-2014, 17:50   #4
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Re: Logbooks

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
A logbook is not a legal requirement for a pleasure boat (as it is for a pilot for example) however in the case of a fatality or serious accident I suppose information in a log book could be used in court. Most people use a logbook when on a passage to keep track of and pass watch information to the person coming on watch. It also helps to record speed, daily distance traveled, health concerns, items of interest, etc.

A maintenance log book is a very useful item to keep track of all repairs, replacements, maintenance performed, etc. Not only useful for your own records but might be useful when you decide to sell the boat.

A communications logbook can also be fun. You can keep track of contacts, conversation, etc.

Most of this can be done using readily available computer programs.
Wow - beat me by a minute - LOL...
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Old 19-07-2014, 17:57   #5
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Re: Logbooks

I like the idea of a Quicken file and binder for receipts. Together they make a pretty fair maintenance log, and PM items could be added in an Excel file to round it out.

All of these log books could be kept in an Excel or Apache Open Office book. Different page for different logs.
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Old 19-07-2014, 18:00   #6
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Re: Logbooks

Thanks for the replies.

So, a maintenance log to stay with the boat, a sailing log for the sailing stuff, and a comms log for chuckles. Hmmm, some logbooks might be goldmines for all the useful info in them. Must get around to making that traverse board so filling in the course/speed bit is easier...
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Old 19-07-2014, 18:00   #7
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Re: Logbooks

I have read of people adding photos of places they visit and friends they meet along the way to their logs. Also attaching business cards, marina info etc. to log entries.
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Old 19-07-2014, 18:06   #8
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Re: Logbooks

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I have read of people adding photos of places they visit and friends they meet along the way to their logs. Also attaching business cards, marina info etc. to log entries.
The gold is the really old timer with the hand sketches of hidden anchorages etc. We have a guy here who has shown me is "scrapbook" he has some real gems in there, but of course won't share - bahstahd...
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Old 19-07-2014, 18:09   #9
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Re: Logbooks

There are no restrictions on what could/should go into a log aboard a pleasure craft but I have found them to be indispensable for routine maintenance recording, which is particularly helpful when selling your boat to demonstrate a regular and thorough maintenance program.
As a professional mariner, I saved my butt by entering several Lat and Long's at anchor when another vessel drifted down on us one night and was subsequently sued by the drifter. Because I held a Master's Lisence, the Judge said he held me to a higher standard of seamanship than the other party and had I not noted our stable position in the ships log, I could have been held partially liable.
Additionally, it is fun to reminisce about passages gone by, crew you have worked with, guests aboard, weather and sea conditions you have experienced. On deliveries, it was helpful to note gear failures and weather conditions to support time delays and extra expenses.
Although, a friend of mine, also a professional, had alluded to a couple of extra marital affairs with names and contact info in his log which was discovered by his ex-wife and it was introduced during his divorce proceedings so be careful what you write!
All in all, they are good documents to maintain... just be prudent about who you write about! Phil
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Old 30-07-2014, 08:17   #10
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Re: Logbooks

Love me logbooks... As noted above, not required for recreational vessels, but wonderful to have down the way, and possibly useful in a legal pinch.

My favorite log book (and maint book, and quartermasters supply book, and general journal) is the good old military "green book". DOD number NSN: 7530-00-222-3531. (Google the number for a jillion sources) I buy them 12 at a time (interestingly enough they are mfgd by "Industries For The Blind") as I use them for everything... 192 lined pages with cloth cover, 5-1/2"x8", big enough to keep track of, small enough to fit in a 1/2 gal ziplock bag. If you ever did any time in the US military... you know what I am talking about.



Ships Log entries include:
  • Position (hourly) Includes Lat/Lon, Heading, Speed
  • Weather Observations (every 4 hours or as required to note changes)
  • Way-point arrivals or major course changes
  • Interactions with other vessels (offshore where uncommon)
  • Unusual observations (whales, UFOs, uncharted or missing navigational aids etc)
  • Anything I might want to remember later... Great sunset, general attitude, practical jokes at crews expense

Logs are marked on front cover (Felt Pen) with ships name, documentation number, and start/end date. Entries are not updated as frequently while laying alongside or at anchor, but as required for unusual or memorable events.

Lots of fun to go back and read the old log books. Reminder of everything you forgot (good and bad)
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Old 30-07-2014, 08:28   #11
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Re: Logbooks

We carry a few log books.

On passages, in the ships log, the on-watch crew records position, heading and speed, and conditions every hour. I tell them it is in case the electronics get fried by lightning, but I think it helps keep them focused and gives them something to do.

I record all significant maintenance, engine/genset hours and refueling in a different log. This helps me track when the next oil change is due or whether fuel consumption is matching expectations. I also record the beginning and end of all passages -- an insurance broker suggested I do that in case I ever want to switch insurance companies.

Regarding communications, I believe that it is a requirement to log all DSC distress calls on HF. Fortunately, the SSB does that for me. If it didn't, I believe there is a requirement to keep that log.
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Old 30-07-2014, 08:45   #12
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Re: Logbooks

I have to say that one of the most valuable things that can go in the log, as has already been mentioned, is a regular notation of position, course, and speed, especially when out of sight of land. A few years ago when we got hit by lightning and lost all electrical power as well as catching fire, I was very glad that we had been making hourly recordings of this data.

The rest is nice, but non-essential. IMHO. Pete
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Old 30-07-2014, 08:56   #13
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Re: Logbooks

Thanks for all the replies, though another dream of unlimited boatbucks (by way of me flogging custom made logbooks perfect for cruisers) goes for a burton.

So how are entries made? Should there be pre-ruled columns for certain info, or a ruled line under each entry? Maybe I should start experimenting with a virtual boat until I get a real one. Anyone game enough to post a pic of their logbook entries? (please redact any sensitive info, such as any Captain/Crew interactions the Admiral mightn't approve/know of)...
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