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Old 28-08-2018, 06:01   #1
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Do you use a Captainís Log??

If you do...what is it?

1. A purpose published marine ďLog bookĒ
2. A generic journal
3. A scratch pad with random notes
4. Something else

What kind of info do you log? Why?

Do you just log passages or daily stuff.

Im sure everyone has different thoughts about this stuff and Iím curious to here some of them.

Thanks in advance if you decide to share!!
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Old 28-08-2018, 06:07   #2
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Re: Do you use a Captainís Log??

Yes! i confess that short sails have become pretty curt these days and probably just give start and finish times in home waters, along with amount motored.

But we have logs dating back 30 years and occasionally do go back to them. They were also useful when proving sailing time for my wife's RYA Yacht Master qualification.

We have used a variety of purpose bought logs over the years. We now have created our own log book which my wife designed and used an instant printer to create using a spiral bound spine. It lies flat nicely on the chart table.
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Old 28-08-2018, 06:12   #3
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Re: Do you use a Captainís Log??

Opencpn logbook plugin, every time the boat moves. Works great.

Occasionally copy over overview to the paper log.
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Old 28-08-2018, 07:17   #4
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Re: Do you use a Captainís Log??

I use the Evergreen Pacific Log Book. While not quite perfect, it's flexible enough to allow me to use it the way I see fit. I have been using it for probably 15 years now. I usually get about 2 seasons out of one book, depending on how verbose I get.

I probably should do more "narrative" logs about weather and things we see and do. But I always record start and stop times, engine hours and miles. Fuel tank soundings and fuel added. Generator run times and battery readings before and after. All routine maintenance tasks performed. Anything that breaks. Guests and destinations.

I also keep a more complete log of ALL work done; repairs, improvements and maintenance, in a simple text file that I started when I bought the boat.
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Old 28-08-2018, 07:32   #5
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Re: Do you use a Captainís Log??

We always kept two logs that were bound generic ledgers or journals.

We filled eight "deck logs" over our years cruising that recorded our locations, weather, crew aboard and events. These deck logs include sketches of anchorages and the more recent ones included photos and accounts of adventures. These remained shelved in our home and cherished.

We also kept an "engine log" that may better be described as a maintenance log. These were matched to the different vessels we owned over the years and they were always passed to the new owners when the boats were sold. They contained all engine running times as well as all oil changes, valve adjustments, filters and routine maintenance. This book also included any projects and refits, as well as all the part numbers for mechanical accessories. Another important reference in our "engine log" was the type and lengths for all our standing rigging, running rigging and other lines.

Our deck logs were great fun and our engine logs were great support.
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Old 28-08-2018, 07:35   #6
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Re: Do you use a Captainís Log??

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
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Old 28-08-2018, 07:44   #7
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Re: Do you use a Captainís Log??

I use a generic log book for my deliveries. Each day starts a new page, most days run 2 pages. In the left margin is time, lat, lon and barometer; in the center are notes on the boat, crew and passage.

On my boat I have a log book used 2 ways. Front to back is trips and from the back cover going forward is maintenance done on the boat.
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Old 28-08-2018, 08:33   #8
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Re: Do you use a Captainís Log??

We tried a couple of approaches but ended up migrating to an Excel spreadsheet. Mostly just start and stop times, start and stop locations, and mileage. We've only done one overnight passage where we kept a notepad of shift start and stop times, times checking the engine room, and noting any other vessels spotted. We keep a separate spreadsheet of vessel maintenance and repairs.

If the next boat does not have updated electronics, we'll probably switch to OpenCPN and use the logbook plugin.
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Old 28-08-2018, 08:52   #9
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Re: Do you use a Captainís Log??

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnEasley View Post
We tried a couple of approaches but ended up migrating to an Excel spreadsheet. Mostly just start and stop times, start and stop locations, and mileage. We've only done one overnight passage where we kept a notepad of shift start and stop times, times checking the engine room, and noting any other vessels spotted. We keep a separate spreadsheet of vessel maintenance and repairs.

If the next boat does not have updated electronics, we'll probably switch to OpenCPN and use the logbook plugin.
Excel works great for us. Allows you to set it up for the info you are interested in and it's easy to modify later. You can easily do a search....Ours goes back to 2007.
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Old 28-08-2018, 09:29   #10
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Re: Do you use a Captainís Log??

We just got back from a 6 week cruise. I've always kept a log but it was pretty basic. Engine hours, systems checked, times, basic headings, etc. Since we crossed the US/Canadian border several times we did a lot of checking in and back and forthing.

Just yesterday, returning to the US I was talking to the Customs reporting line and when asked I had every date and clearance number she asked for. She mentioned that not only did it make her job easier, it added to our credibility so she didn't feel the need to pull us into a customs port for inspection.

I imagine the reaction would be the same if you were boarded by Coast Guard or any other agency. I hadn't thought of this before, but lesson learned - my logs will be a lot more detailed now. Just a thought.
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Old 28-08-2018, 09:33   #11
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Re: Do you use a Captainís Log??

I just use a great big hardcover book. Most sailing is done locally but planning on a biggish trip next year so I'm also keen to hear what others do. I record date, number of hours from start to stop, weather and wind, crew names, engine hours and anything that comes to mind. Probably a bit informal for the purist "Great sail around Seal Island, saw 2 whales and a few penguins, broad reaching at 8kts"... that kind of thing. Whenever I do maintenance I write MAINTENANCE in big letters, and record what was done - so flicking through the log book I can see what was done when - and note pretty much anything to do with the boat: new sails, overhaul winch, top up fuel, check batteries, change oil and so on. But thinking of doing with Excel and putting the pages in a file so I'll have them electronically and printed.
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Old 28-08-2018, 09:36   #12
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Re: Do you use a Captainís Log??

I don't, but if I did it would be hard to resist starting all entries with "Captains Log, star date 431...."
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Old 28-08-2018, 10:23   #13
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Re: Do you use a Captainís Log??

I have used the program Ships Log 4.0 Great program has a lot more than I use. I have used it on the last 4 boats I have owned. All trips are logged with passengers aboard, things of note that happened and who we rafted with has dinner with etcetera. We often let the guests write it. Yes it has all the hours ,maintenance, fuel logs. But the best part are three logs of the great times we have had and friends made. As I am currently selling one of the boats the prospective buyers glance at the maintenance logs but they READ the cruising log. It is what is selling the boat
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Old 28-08-2018, 10:41   #14
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Re: Do you use a Captainís Log??

I donít carry a computer on board, so I keep a manual log. I've made a log template in Word. I print out lots of blanks and put them in an A4 Folder. Much cheaper than buying a purpose-made log book.

My landscape template has columns for time, course steered, wind speed, sea state, position and remarks Ė all on the same line with some space at the bottom of the page for general remarks about the dayís trip. It also has start point and destination at the top.

This year I have been very bad about keeping a log for weekend trips, but I am just back from a 2 week trip from Poole to the Isles of Scilly and back and for that I kept a daily log and would note my position and other relevant details approximately every hour. I would also enter on the log when we turned the engine on and off and other notable features, like a major course change, reefing or seeing Dolphins.

It seems to work and gives me a record of the dayís events. I probably need to keep more precise details on the engine hours.
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Old 28-08-2018, 10:46   #15
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Re: Do you use a Captainís Log??

Great ideas.

Have not used one for quite a while, and need to pick up a nice bound log book and get to recording our sailing vacations again.

I also like to enter Navigation information, headings thru passes or into anchorages, reefs, shallows, moorings available, type of mooring and pick up procedure and recommended method, double bridles , or bow and stern mooring, cost, who to pay, etc. Same for anchorages with no moorings, recommended method, and location in harbor.

Also add in things to do, that we found might interest others who are thinking of sailing the same area, fave bars and restauants, and specialties, music, etc. Beaches, hikes, places of interest, provisioning, etc.

Also, a solid note place for neat people we have met, and the name of their boats, and their contact information.

Also, weather forecast, as well as our own observations, wind, seas, currents, etc.

Departure time, hobbs meter reading, sail plan, headings , speed, and positions, and tacking out at sea , new headings, etc., fixes on chart, ETA.s and arrival times at destination.

Places to take on water to fill the fresh water tanks, free with mooring payment, or charge, and fuel available , if required. We do not motor much, but would note battery charging time, and motoring into the anchorage to have some idea of fuel used.

I like to use the boats log book , once we return home to help the ol memory in order to send out emails of our sailing fun and adventures to the friends, or sailing trip reports to various forums.

Might help out others who plan to sail those particular areas, or to get people excited about a first trip to a new to them cruising ground.

I also like the idea of an accurate and up to date maintenance log, and any squawks , or problems noted, large or small, and repairs performed.

Great times later on, relaxing and reading back through the passages, and ports of of call, and minor or major adventures. And the fun and people that we shared good times with.

I think, like flying, we would keep a separate maint / engine / systems log not only easy for us, and easy reference, but for mechs, or electrician pros when it is something that we cannot handle on our own.

Yep, agree, like the idea of a log book. My old log book became filled up and I just got lazy and would use a spiral note book. Works, but no class.

Will look into some of the recommended types of logs mentioned here in this post.

Thank you all.

Denny and Erica
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