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Old 28-08-2018, 10:10   #16
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Re: Do you use a Captainís Log??

Most of you seem to have missed the main point of the log. Yes you can include narrative and diary entries to make it more interesting. But the main point is tofold, first to make a legal document of the voyage including any incidents and communications. In the event of a collision or claim for example this can be submitted to the courts as evidence. Secondly is to keep a record of the course. This enables you to calculate your position by dead reconing in the event that other systems fail. The details needed depends on position. Well offshore it may simply be noon position and course/course changes. In complex coastal passages it may be an hourly position/course changes. Part of the log record can be plotting the course on a paper chart.
If you wonder about the need for this in the days of electronics I would mention that in the event of an insurance claim you will find it helps your claim greatly. Also the main reason for losing you position on a chart plotter is battery failure. How many people run duplicate nav plotters with separate power supply?
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Old 28-08-2018, 10:14   #17
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Re: Do you use a Captainís Log??

We have used generic Weems and Plath, ďThe Shipís LogĒs, purchased at West Marine. In 2003 we suffered two lightning strikes within 80 days, that wiped out most of the electronics on board our ketch. Since we were a little ďshell shockedĒ, we began to record time, position, course, speed, as well as wind speed and direction, weather, seas and a ďcommentsĒ column. The latter had notes on anything of interest that occurred, including clearance numbers. In the back of the log book, I filled out a maintenance log with separate pages for engine, generator and other.

The original point of the log was backup for another lighting strike. In that event I could plot my last position on a paper chart and then project my current position based on speed, elapsed time and bearing.

In 9 years of sailing I used the logs to ďproveĒ how long my dog had been on board for a vet in French Polynesia, to prove I was in Curacao when I said I was, to a loan company (canít remember why the hell it was important to them Ė lot of fun though, reminding them that a shipís log is a legal document!) , to prove to the Homeland Security types that I hadnít been in Venezuela and to prove to the Puerto Rican authorities that I was a vessel-in-transit to avoid taxes on a liferaft replacement.

The log books also make a great souvenir of a series of passages.....
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Old 28-08-2018, 10:21   #18
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Re: Do you use a Captainís Log??

I use a manual log for trips with destination time motored, time sailed and basic wind conditions. I note motor hours and fuel taken on (my gas gauge does not work) and when I empty the holding tank.
I keep an electronic record of all work performed, Work that needs to be done, items purchased and needing to be purchased. The electronic record is easier to move things around to prioritize and move from the needs to be done to the finished side. Manual log is easier to do on the fly on the boat.
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Old 28-08-2018, 10:23   #19
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Re: Do you use a Captainís Log??

This is my third boat and I have always kept a logbook although starting them some period after I bought the boat which I regret the delay. It is a narrative combination of a maintenance log and significant events that have happened. I have gone back to the logs of past boats for my information or clarification for others. My first log was a hardbound book, now I just use a cheap school composition books but always one without any spiral or other metal due to rusting. I log every visit onto the boat, battery monitor readings, etc., what was done while there, names of anyone with me, engine hour readings if the engine was run, etc. When my boating days are done I will be able to relive past events and voyages based on these notations.

I have also kept and maintained a Boat Inventory on WORD of every single item on the boat for my information, insurance purposes, and eventual sale which I know will come some day. This Inventory lists the make, model, serial number of the item and any particular specification such as length/diameter (ropes), base diameter (winches), etc. that may be significant for obtaining a replacement. It is currently 23 pages long. The Inventory is divided in the following categories: Boat Specifications & Ratios, Sails, Standing Rigging, Running Rigging, Engine, Plumbing, Electrics/Electronics/Instruments, Machinery/Other Equipment, Safety/Other, Galley, Thruhulls & Venting (date/locations), Bottom Paint History, Laptop Software, Paper Charts/Guides, Amp Hour Consumption (by component), Winterization Checklist. I use this often.

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Old 28-08-2018, 10:33   #20
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Re: Do you use a Captainís Log??

Somebody gave me a Weems & Plath logbook when I bought the current boat, so I use that. I keep a written log, and a log in an Excel spreadsheet so I can quickly add up run times, days sailed, or etc in Excel. Much more detail recorded in the written log, though. I also keep a separate maintenance log. I have often referred back to the log to remember anchorages, marinas, or when I last put diesel in the tank.
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Old 28-08-2018, 10:38   #21
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Re: Do you use a Captainís Log??

We use two logs: sailing and mechanical. We have logged our last 20K miles and every maintenance item we have done to our boat. Both are important since they provide a record of your boats sailing and mechanical history. We use the black/white student notebooks. Good luck and safe sailing...Rognvald
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Old 28-08-2018, 11:31   #22
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Re: Do you use a Captainís Log??

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobD527 View Post
30yrs of power boating thousands of miles never kept a log
I buy a sailboat all of a sudden I am keeping track in a logbook every trip I go on
Ditto, same here. Over the years I made some power boat trips to the Bahamas and have no written record. Shame of me!

At my age now I realize it would be fun to look back through and remember those days with more detail than just the pictures we took.
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Old 28-08-2018, 12:15   #23
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Re: Do you use a Captainís Log??

After twenty-five years of cockpit voice recorders
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Old 28-08-2018, 12:24   #24
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Re: Do you use a Captainís Log??

I completely concur with the below and in addition pose this question to those who venture offshore: "If your GPS should die and you nave no regular log, do you always have a good memory of your latitude and longitude at any time?" If not, you are royally screwed! On my ship I log an entry every 8 bells and I can can still not quote my position from memory.

Quote:
Originally Posted by roland stockham View Post
Most of you seem to have missed the main point of the log. Yes you can include narrative and diary entries to make it more interesting. But the main point is tofold, first to make a legal document of the voyage including any incidents and communications. In the event of a collision or claim for example this can be submitted to the courts as evidence. Secondly is to keep a record of the course. This enables you to calculate your position by dead reconing in the event that other systems fail. The details needed depends on position. Well offshore it may simply be noon position and course/course changes. In complex coastal passages it may be an hourly position/course changes. Part of the log record can be plotting the course on a paper chart.
If you wonder about the need for this in the days of electronics I would mention that in the event of an insurance claim you will find it helps your claim greatly. Also the main reason for losing you position on a chart plotter is battery failure. How many people run duplicate nav plotters with separate power supply?
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Old 28-08-2018, 13:36   #25
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Re: Do you use a Captainís Log??

After thousands of hours of keeping pilot logs I cannot seem to get motivated to keep a ships log. It just seems like too much work on top of everything else sailing entails. Kind of silly too for just day trips. I do take lots of pictures and videos of every trip and also have a receipts book for maintenance review. I keep check lists of start-up and shut-down procedures, but that's it.
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Old 28-08-2018, 15:01   #26
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Re: Do you use a Captainís Log??

so many great suggestions for keeping logs.

As many here, we have a NAV LOG as part of our boat log.

And, we back up all of the electronic nav gizmos with paper charts, and coastal nav when making passages thru islands, or just a few hours out of sight of land. If on longer passages, we would note our pos, speed , heading, in the log.

One other reason for keeping the NAV log, in writing, is should something happen to the skipper, another person on board can read the lat /lon of our last entry, the the time, speed, and heading. That info can be relayed to other vessels , USCG, or other authorities .

Fortunately, I have Erica, who is totally capable of Navigating the vessel, including coastal piloting and navigation.

But, that at times was not the case when I was skippering charters. We also have a old hand held GPS . No where near the marvel of the chart plotter, full color, GPS / Nav electronics that are now available.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks to the original poster, and the other posters on CF who are imparting some excellent ideas as to keeping a log, and what info can be written down. Electronic wonders are nice, but can others on board even know what buttons to push to call up the needed position information.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Several stories about boat owners and skippers relying on all of the electronics that come with todays sailing vessels and motor vessels.
Below are just two.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This boat owner had a brand new Carver motor vessel. Very neat owner and wanted some lessons on how to handle a power boat. We worked a few different sessions, including unfamiliar near by ports of call . That was it, he did not schedule any more lessons. That was not good.

I told him that he needed a Coastal Nav and Piloting course since there was a lot more to know about those two very important subjects. We could work the class room aspect at his home, Three nights or one full weekend. Have him take my written test, and then a day of practice applying what he leaned out on the ocean.

Nope, he did not need that information, he had all of his electronics. He had no interest, and did not need any future instruction. Not good.

On his first trip to Catalina on his own with family and friends, he found Avalon using his electronic nav displays. That was good.

On the way back, he punched in the Lat and Lon of his docks in front of his huntington harbor home. He coupled it to the auto pilot for the trip home.

What is there to worry about ?. A lot. He also did not keep a watch, the vessel was making about 12 kts or so across the San Pedro Channel....about 25 nm. He was partying down below with friends. No one at the helm or on watch.

Say What ! No worries on his part, the GPS and auto pilot would take him right to the lat /lon position, deep the harbor and to his dock.

For what ever reason, he decided to take a look and see how close he was, since he had a ETA on his GPS. Time was coming up.

Looking out over the bow he is shocked to see, long, long Bolsa Chica Beach, breakers , sand and land about 1/4 mile dead ahead.

He turned off the auto pilot and turned toward the channel entrance to his harbor, about one mile distant after his 90 degree port hand turn.

I used to correct him often , as we would arrive at the Channel Entrance to his harbor. " Stop looking at your moving map, get your eyes out , and have situational awareness, and visuals of the rock jetty, the large moorings of the U.S. Navy Ships, and other traffic 360 degrees around him. "

Nope, he was going to go by his electronic nav system. He would not learn coastal piloting and paper charts. Refused.

He was very wrong about how to navigate anything. He thought by putting the lat / lon of his house and private slip out front , in the GPS , the GPS and auto pilot would take him into the harbor entrance, make the right hand turn down the channel and then take his vessel right up to his slip.

Yep, out of Avalon Harbor, across the 25 miles of the San Pedro Channel, to the Huntington Harbor channel entrance, once inside the boat would all of the turns to go up the channel, and take him home,

He could not even read, nor had a paper chart, no plotting tools, and totally relied on his new vessels electronic system to navigate him anywhere.

We had moved over to Kauai, and I was back in huntinton harbor on a visit, when I ran into him at the local athletic club and he told him this tale.
============================================

Good you you all for knowing coastal nav, and how to navigate, and noting your position on the chart, and in the log. Use all of the available information.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Another was, MAYDAY call on Channel 16. Motor vessel coming back from catalina, and engine failure. mid channel. He wanted the coasties to come out of long beach, and tow him in.

Coasties asked his pos. He answered, " I do not know , my GPS is not working. " Well, he did not know how to chart a course and estimate a simple DR. Time, speed , distance and direction.

The coasties told him to call Sea Tow, a private towing company, and to break out his credit card. They also asked him what time he had left Avalon, what heading he was holding, and his speed . He really did not know most of that information.

Point being, I like the ideas of using coastal nav as a back up for the electronics and the nav info noted in the log. Even non sailing crew can read and relay that info to the appropriate authority or other vessels, or the skipper can figure out his position should the electronics go tango uniform.

Yep, logs are a good plan.

Thank you all.....good stuff. Good post.

Gotta git, the admiral has ordered me to take out the trash and get the mail.
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Old 28-08-2018, 16:20   #27
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Re: Do you use a Captainís Log??

I use a blog site with 4 sections:

Racing
Cruising
Maintenance
Boat Specs

Halo Log Book
halo-log-book.g2consulting.co.nz

I also include photos as well as screenshots and gpx files from OpenCPN in my trip reports. I use the free Google Sites but one could easily use other free blogging platforms such as Wordpress, Blogger, etc.
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Old 28-08-2018, 16:21   #28
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Re: Do you use a Captainís Log??

Yes x2. Automatic Electronic App version (sailors log app) and pen and paper version hourly on passage in case of equipment failure.
Long & Lat, COG, SOG, wind direction and wind speed, weather and sea state. And notes such as when there is a course change, or weather change, or turned on or off motor, and anything if interest or concern.
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Old 28-08-2018, 23:52   #29
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Re: Do you use a Captainís Log??

Go with hand written hard cover, page numbered accounting book. The ones I use are called minute books.

I pretty well only daily record departure and arrival points and anchorages with comments about anything non routine but scrupulously record in detail any incidents involving other boats.

With litigious folks and officialdom abounding these days it does not hurt to take the odd precaution.
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Old 29-08-2018, 00:40   #30
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Re: Do you use a Captainís Log??

I was thinking about it and had a look at pre-printed log books in France. They include way too much information I am not willing to evaluate on a regular base, like magnetic course, current drift, wind drift, deviations, COG, SOG, positions and the like.

I have made then my own log book, it is always a two page entry,

left side is fold into half, on the left is all text notes, like maintenance, battery state, water maker run times, noteworthy events, money spent on marinas etc.

The second half is divided in tho rows, one for port and one for starbord, on the very first page there is a legend of all checks I should do before starting, like water tank reading, fuel tank levels, spare jerry cans diesel, dinghi fuel, propane, oil checks per engine and saildrive, coolant levels, intake filter condition / cleaning, battery voltages and SOC, engine hours, genny hours, watermaker hours, provisioning, drinking water, safety equipment, documents, fire extinguisher...

I just enter the numbers and check the boxes to not forget to look at something important.

The right side contains a header with the date, mileage log on start, crew names, start and destination followed by 2 tables, one big for navigation, contains only time, cog, sog, gps position, M/S and a free text in MS i enter either motoring, sailing motorsailing or anchoring, in the free text Sail config (M with reefs, jib, code0, what engine is running, rpm, who is on watch etc)

The second table is very basic, just time, Wind (TWS + TWD), sea state, visibility and clouds, temp+pressure. Entries are made eventually when something changes or when I feel it is time for an update.

Usually I need one 2-pager per day. On longer passages I squeeze 2 days or more if there is not much to report.

we have some papercharts we dont use, pilot books of the area, 2 independent chart plotter, a navigation tablet with Navionics charts and 2 smart phones, that are able to tell the exact GPS position at any time. I do not feel the urge to use the mgnetic compass for navigation and log at lest as long there is no failure of one electronic system. On power outage our smart devices will provide at least 24h redundancy before we really would run in trouble and have to do manual calculations, in the Med easy to reach shore during this time some how. We have also a laptop on board with a GPS mouse and open cpn, so we could even go further.
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