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Old 30-11-2013, 23:47   #1
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Are Digital Logbooks Legal?

Hello all,

I was wondering if anyone knows if Digital Log books are legal, or if you have to keep a paper logbook?

There are some Apps now that record your track, weather, etc, automatically. Just add some comments, etc, and you're done.

Or just store things in a spreadsheet?

The advantages of this are many. It can be backed up to the cloud, easy to search, etc. I was wondering if this is a legal way of keeping a logbook through, if you were ever asked to present your log in court would a print out of a digital logbook cover you?

Regards,
Simon
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Old 30-11-2013, 23:53   #2
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Re: Are digital logbooks legal?

For pleasure boating there is no legal requirement to keep a log book. However they are a good idea and an electronic log is perfectly fine. I would keep backup copies though.
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Old 01-12-2013, 00:10   #3
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Re: Are digital logbooks legal?

Or it can show that you were asleep at the wheel. Or many of the other malfeasance.

Log books are important.

Be vidual, because they can also show that you were in charge, or in the right of way.

Nothing can keep you from contempt, If you are contemptible

Lloyd


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Originally Posted by simonpickard View Post
Hello all,

I was wondering if anyone knows if Digital Log books are legal, or if you have to keep a paper logbook?

There are some Apps now that record your track, weather, etc, automatically. Just add some comments, etc, and you're done.

Or just store things in a spreadsheet?

The advantages of this are many. It can be backed up to the cloud, easy to search, etc. I was wondering if this is a legal way of keeping a logbook through, if you were ever asked to present your log in court would a print out of a digital logbook cover you?

Regards,
Simon
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Old 13-12-2013, 02:44   #4
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Re: Are digital logbooks legal?

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Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
For pleasure boating there is no legal requirement to keep a log book. However they are a good idea and an electronic log is perfectly fine. I would keep backup copies though.
While that might be true for U.S. boats, not all countries are the same. While not usually enforced, private German vessels should have a logbook (https://www.elwis.de/Freizeitschifff...eetagebuecher/) and this is usually only an issue when something occurs which (German) law requires to be logged (incidents, accidents, MAYDAY and urgency calls received, etc.).

The ITU and GMDSS systems recommend radio logbooks, again more of a legal backup., and logging MAYDAYs and PANPANs heard can also be done in the ship's log (DSC-capable radios will permanently store these messages).
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Old 28-01-2014, 09:48   #5
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Re: Are Digital Logbooks Legal?

I'm looking at a few "digital logbooks on iTunes as I want to get one for my iPad mini (wi-fi only model) for which I'm also going to buy a bluetooth receiver to get the GPS. I've checked a lot of Mediterranean countries and rules generally apply for vessels that fit a merchant description (size/displacement), the main exception is France where authorities seem to like to see a log (if they board your ship!!). There are a few apps on iTunes like SailD and Logthebook which look ok and I just got an add for another one called wavetrax which also prints out logs and has a pretty cool back end for manual and gpx uploading of older logs. I don't want to waste time with the free apps as most are not really logbooks in the true sense. Will get one before the spring comes and play with it.
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Old 02-02-2014, 12:08   #6
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Re: Are Digital Logbooks Legal?

I was looking at a few "log book apps" for Android, but most seem super limited. I am looking to mimic a paper log. Also would like to be able to mix in some photos and GPS info.

Any suggestions for Windows 8? Can be "app" or actual software. Anyone have any experience with Ship's Log V4?
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Old 08-02-2014, 10:01   #7
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Re: Are Digital Logbooks Legal?

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Originally Posted by raymill2 View Post
I'm looking at a few "digital logbooks on iTunes ......
I have no Iphone or Ipad to try , maybe this one is worth a try for You:

2K Yachting: Nautical Software - The Digital Logbook for Mac, Windows and iPad
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Old 08-02-2014, 10:19   #8
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Re: Are Digital Logbooks Legal?

The Opencpn logbook plug in is great. I've just started using it properly and backup everything to a drop box. Though most of us probably keep some paper as well. UK customs never batted an eyelid at the Brazilian ring bound school book has been is the boats paper logbook for some time now.

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Old 08-02-2014, 15:19   #9
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Re: Are Digital Logbooks Legal?

The iPad log book app is great. Just had a play with it. However I still can't get a firm answer on if these are legal.

I'm going to to be cruising the Med this season so hoping between quite a few different countries. If I used this would I run into trouble or would this be fine?
As long as I backed up the data would this be enough?

I guess they offer a print option, so you could always print out the pages if needed?

Wondering also about insurance companies, would they accept this as a correct document if needed for a claim?
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