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Old 11-08-2013, 01:39   #1
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Captain's Log

I am wondering what people do to maintain a log of repairs, modifications etc to their boats. I would like to start documenting all repairs and systems on my boat not just for myself but also for possible future owners.

I am thinking of a system that is not just useful for myself (or future owner) but also for other boat owners. For example, I am in the process of stripping down and repairing my autopilot linear drive. I would like to document that in one place so that the current owner of my boat can see a chronological history and supporting documentation of what was done on the boat but that could also be available to searching by other boat owners who may have the same problems. Is there a solution out there for this?

Paper systems for documentation are good but they are only available to the person with the paper copy and there is only one copy so it could be lost. I imagine it would be useful for a new owner to be able to access a history of repairs to their new boat. I know I would have liked that.

Any thoughts?

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Old 11-08-2013, 03:26   #2
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pirate Re: Captain's Log

Send it to the 'Cloud'...
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I exist to live my life in a way that will make me happy.

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Old 11-08-2013, 04:25   #3
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Re: Captain's Log

I have been refitting for over a year. Started out with a composition note book noting work done with comments and receipts. After a month or so I chucked it. Looklng at all the notes and Money spent Scared me. On the bright side my AX POINTS sure increased.
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Old 11-08-2013, 07:33   #4
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Re: Captain's Log

My blog has kind of become my de facto log of repairs and modifications on board:
I also have a notebook of graph paper where I sometimes sketch out ideas and plans then take a photo of the page. It's easy then to post it on the blog with the other photos:
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Old 11-08-2013, 07:40   #5
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I keep a meticulous record in Excel. I don't recommend it though - or at least never [sum] the expenditures column if you have any cardiac conditions.
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Old 11-08-2013, 09:20   #6
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I keep a note book (old fashioned paper and ink) in which I record every maintenance, repair, replacement or addition to systems on the boat. The good part is that I have a record of all the items done, when, who did the work. The bad is that it is only easy to search by date. I did not include the cost for each item so it's not so scary for me to look back on. Very low tech.
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Old 11-09-2013, 20:00   #7
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I keep a log on my IPhone on the Notes app. Very convenient and easy to review and update. It automatically syncs to my iPad as well.
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Old 11-09-2013, 20:13   #8
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Re: Captain's Log

Originally Posted by kthoennes View Post
I keep a meticulous record in Excel. I don't recommend it though - or at least never [sum] the expenditures column if you have any cardiac conditions.

That's what we do, too. I added it up a few years in, and realized that spread over a few years, it wasn't as much as I thought it would be. Also consider that the first two or three years will most likely be the highest as you get things the way YOU want them to be. I started out with chucking the thwen-12 year old horrible charger that was killing batteries with a Freedom 15 I/C and a Link 2000 (in 1998). I noticed that yearly costs rapidly spiraled DOWNWARD from there! I use the form for yearly taxes, too, so I see what it costs each year.

We have a separate Repair Log form in Excel that I write in manually with date, engine hours and remarks dfor the work done. When I finish a page, I scan them into a JPG file, print it out and leave them on the boat, keep the originals at home.

I also have another separate Excel file for all purchases.

I use the deck log book for keeping "stories" about cruises.

Almost nothing can't be scanned in to keep "electronic" as well as handwritten material.
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Old 11-09-2013, 20:21   #9
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Re: Captain's Log

I use the regular ship's log. In the margin before each repair or maintenance item (or new intallation) I draw a star. Always include the date and engine hours.

Example: <STAR> 11 September 2013. 430.13 Engine Hours. Installed new 25k Rocna and 300 meters HT chain. Changed impeller. Cleaned .357 magnum. Varnished cat.
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Old 11-09-2013, 20:29   #10
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Re: Captain's Log

You absolutely need an engine maintenance log, in my opinion, at the very least. This is the only way to know when you need to change fluids, filters, belts and impellers. This is especially true if you use the boat a lot, otherwise "once a season" may be good enough for you.

Each repair or replacement or even just topping up the oil is recorded in my very low tech spiral notebook along with date, place and - most important - engine hours.

I also keep a maintenance log (in the same notebook) for all repairs done on boat and by whom. It is the only way to keep it all straight and will be very useful when the sad day comes to let her take care of another owner.


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Old 22-02-2014, 21:19   #11
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Re: Captain's Log

We keep everything in Evernote. We also include pictures and other details such as pictures of receipts on large items. It allows me access to this info across my IPad. iPhone, PC since it is "in the cloud".
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Old 22-02-2014, 21:43   #12
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Re: Captain's Log

We have found the best and simplest way of keeping track of repairs upgrades and improvements has been the bank, they are good enough to send me an itemised statement each month called credit card.

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