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Old 29-03-2012, 15:34   #1
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What Log Book Do You Use

For many, many years the log book for my kayak was an old bound date book. Each day I would enter the correct date and then my thoughts and the conditions for all my multi-day trips to various places. Whenever "life" gets to me I still read it, and invariably it brings a smile.

Now that I have a boat that requires good log data for maintenance purposes (no hour meter) it would be handy to be able to enter engine hours and sail hours. Also recording how the boat handled under various sea conditions would be a useful learning tool.

What log book do long term cruisers and frequent weekend sailers use? Is there a preprinted form?

Thanks

Bill
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Old 29-03-2012, 15:48   #2
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Re: What Log Book Do You Use

I use one of these;

The International Marine Log Book - C. Dale Nouse - Google Books
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Old 29-03-2012, 16:16   #3
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Re: What Log Book Do You Use

I use a nicely bound hardcover blank book, found at most bookstores. I find all the typical logbooks too confining because I don't want the book telling me what to fill in. One day I might want to record engine hours, fuel filled up, etc. Another day it might just be what we did around town. Another day it might be wind, time, position, weather, etc. offshore. I find it much better to just have a blank lined page that I can use to fill in what is needed that day.
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Old 30-03-2012, 14:00   #4
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Re: What Log Book Do You Use

After using commercial logbooks, then a blank notebook, I designed my own logbook, to record what I feel I need (time, position, speed, course, wind, sea, sails, water depth, tides...) and what is required by the French regulations (crew, weather forecast, engine hours, remaining fuel...), leaving room for remarks/observations.

I print it recto/verso with a laser printer. It resists moisture surprisingly well. After experimenting for a few years, I feel I reached a good layout.

Alain
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Old 30-03-2012, 14:46   #5
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Re: What Log Book Do You Use

One of these "rite in the rain" ones with matching pen.

Amazon.com: Rite In The Rain - All-Weather Pocket Journal (4" x 6"): Office Products

You can get them wet, they write when wet, they fit in your pocket, you can leave them in the cockpit through a dew soaking night, etc. The smaller and easier it is to use the more you'll actually use it. My $0.02.
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Old 30-03-2012, 15:03   #6
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Re: What Log Book Do You Use

Like Hydra we tried a commercially available logbook, that was given to me as a present, but found it didn't cover everything we wanted. So we designed our own and had our own hardcover logbook using an application/service called Blurb.
We were able to customize it with pictures and layouts for sections on travel, maintenance, boat projects, watermaker usage, and all the equipment serial numbers and specifications of our boat.
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Old 30-03-2012, 17:36   #7
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Re: What Log Book Do You Use

@Olorin, that is more of a travel log than a boat's log book. Nothing wrong with that, but the log should be just that--the day to day running of the boat. That is all a court of law will want to see if you ever need present your log book for examination. The travel log would be a separate item for your own enjoyment and to show friends; provisions and equipment other than the boat itself and engine, would be in their own manifests.
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Old 30-03-2012, 19:51   #8
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Re: What Log Book Do You Use

I keep mine on a laptop using RosePoint and back it up on an external drive.
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Old 31-03-2012, 10:37   #9
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Re: What Log Book Do You Use

Since you're using a logbook get a proper one with 'bound' pages.
You never know when it might be needed as a legal document as evidence to prove you were never in such-a-such state for 'use' tax claims, etc., etc.

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Old 31-03-2012, 11:11   #10
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Re: What Log Book Do You Use

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You never know when it might be needed as a legal document as evidence to prove you were never in such-a-such state for 'use' tax claims, etc., etc.
People always bring up this idea that a logbook is a legal document. I am pretty sure that applies only to commercial vessels. Sure, I suppose it might serve as evidence in case of something happening, but has anyone any direct experience of this happening on a "pleasure" boat? There is no legal requirement to keep a logbook onboard a pleasure boat in the USA. Besides, I find it hard to imagine when it might come into play. You aren't likely to record the details of an accident while it is happening. Do you make a record every time you turn off or on your running lights or your anchor light? Whenever I have had to deal with state tax officials they want to see receipts from marinas or boatyards, and copies of your bill of sale or registration papers. I have never had them mention my logbook.
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Old 31-03-2012, 11:42   #11
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Re: What Log Book Do You Use

Like others, I looked at several published log books and decided to design my own. I wanted separate sections for useful boat information, log pages, engine use and general maintenance. We've been using since Jan and it appears to be working out well. I have noticed that I've duplicated the engine hours in the log and engine use sections, though and I may revise at some point.

Examples are on my blog: Tartan 3500 - Intuition: Log Book

It was easy to make - I used MS Excel with separate worksheets for pages and drew borders around cells.
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Old 31-03-2012, 11:49   #12
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Re: What Log Book Do You Use

We use bound ledgers from office supply stores. They are of good quality; they allow you to adapt the columns to your need; and they don't come with that ridiculous price tag that formal logbooks in marine supply stores have.
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Old 31-03-2012, 12:37   #13
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Re: What Log Book Do You Use

I vaguely remember an incident where a boat was accused of being someplace where a crime or incident was commited. The boater proved he wasn't there by virtue of his log book.

A properly entried logbook with numbered, bound pages surely could be used as evidence. Aviation pilots have log books as do truckers, licensed yacht captains, etc.
While pleasure boats aren't required by law to have them they provide historical information on the vessel whereabouts and conditions.

Can a court dismiss such evidence merely because it wasn't required?

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Old 31-03-2012, 12:46   #14
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Re: What Log Book Do You Use

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I vaguely remember an incident where a boat was accused of being someplace where a crime or incident was commited.
I'm sure it has happened, somewhere, sometime, but it sure isn't common. I can't recall hearing of a legal incident where the logbook of a "pleasure" boat was mentioned. I'm not saying it couldn't be used as evidence, but I strongly suspect you would need something stronger than that to prove you weren't someplace--like credit card receipts, or phone records, or eye witnesses, or something else stronger than your own handwritten words in a logbook. Besides, in the USA you are innocent until proven guilty--in this case the other party would have to prove you were there first.
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Old 31-03-2012, 12:49   #15
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Re: What Log Book Do You Use

Electronic documents ae just as admissible into evidence nowadays.
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