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Old 01-08-2018, 06:36   #1
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Just passed ASA 101 - Logbook Questions

Hello all,

I just passed my ASA 101 exam, and Iím joining the schools sailing club for access to the small fleet of J/24ís to hone my skills in preparation for the next certification level.

I have this fancy new ASA logbook, and I assume I should be documenting my inland day sails, correct? Does lake sailing count for anything?

Also, do I need to put pen to paper in this little book, or can I keep a log on my phone, perhaps using an app designed for that express purpose?

I apologize if this has been asked before, I did a search on mobile and didnít see anything relevant.

Thanks!
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Old 03-08-2018, 11:07   #2
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Re: Just passed ASA 101 - Logbook Questions

I see you've been left hanging for a coupla days :-)

I myself would not be comfortable keeping legal and quasi-legal documents by electronic means. A Ship' Log Book, and a Seaman's Sea-time Book are legal documents that may be called as evidence in certain circumstances, one of these being when a seaman wishes to upgrade his certifications.


Here is link you will find useful:

License Requirements

Remember that for verification and attestation of entries made by a seaman in his log, the counter-signature of the (properly certified) master of his vessel is often required.

So best use the fancy new ASA logbook :-)


TP
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Old 03-08-2018, 12:15   #3
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Re: Just passed ASA 101 - Logbook Questions

I'll take the contrary position to TrentPieds just to give you some options in thought. He's right that IF you want to prove to someone that you can sail and have sea time, you MAY need an official logbook -- that's a big IF and MAY. I've been sailing a few decades (probably far less sea time than TrentPieds, to be honest), but no one has ever asked to see any paperwork when asking about my knowledge or experience. If I get on a new boat, people usually ask about experience if they don't know me. It's pretty obvious who is experienced and who's lying after an hour on the water, so no one ever asked to see a book.

If you want to get a captain's license later, it may be helpful, but for the lower-level licenses they'll take your word for your hours per year -- nothing too official. I have heard that some charter companies want to look at the book, but none I've done business with. Again, they just ask you to give them a little resume. I've got one of those nice new ASA books from a couple decades ago, and it looks just as new and blank as the day I got it, except for the stickers for the following classes. I've never missed a sail because it's blank.

The absolute most important thing you can do is sail on a small boat. Smaller is better in learning. Learn wind, rudder, and lines -- much more important than writing stuff.
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Old 03-08-2018, 12:31   #4
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Re: Just passed ASA 101 - Logbook Questions

Thanx John :-) The name of the game is to set the noobs thinking, and to get them to mould the "received wisdom" to their own personal circumstances and requirements. Your post helps to do that :-)

I'm long past the age when I might have to prove sea-time to anybody, so the Seaman's Book is of no consequence to me. However, the Ship's Log is a kettle of fish of a whole different colour, and GoldenFleece might like to know that inevitably many entries are narrative in addition to containing the standard abbreviated notations. I find that the old-tyme paper log is easier to contend with than anything electronic.

We had a discussion in the last coupla days on another thread about a near collision. HAD a collision taken place, a conscientiously kept paper log might have proved invaluable, and no doubt the insurance adjuster would have asked for one, since in such situations "quality of proof" becomes a major part of the arguments.

Cheers

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Old 03-08-2018, 12:40   #5
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Re: Just passed ASA 101 - Logbook Questions

Thanks for the responses! I was beginning to think everyone had forgotten about me!

I see both you points, it seems I should be less worried about logging the hours for the sake of tracking hours, but moreso to keep a running log of experiences etc, almost more of a journal style.

TrentePieds - you mentioned using ďstandard abbreviated notationsĒ - can you recommend a resource to learn those?

Thanks again!
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Old 03-08-2018, 13:38   #6
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Re: Just passed ASA 101 - Logbook Questions

i ditched the little ASA log book and bought a nice, large proper log book. They can fill up quickly and become very useful as maintenance logs as well. You may also find yourself using it as a sailing diary/guest book as well on interesting voyages. nice to go back and read some of the entries once in a while. Even with the nice oversized log book i bought there doesnt seem to be enough room to write down everything sometimes.
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Old 03-08-2018, 13:58   #7
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Re: Just passed ASA 101 - Logbook Questions

Quote: "can you recommend a resource "

Wish I could, but I learned that stuff back in King Arthur's time, and in a different language :-)!


Perhaps we can get into the gist of it by thinking about the barometer for a moment. A barometer gives you an instantaneous reading of the atmospheric air pressure at the place where you happen to be at the moment you take a reading. But that's a pretty useless piece of intermation if it is all on its own. What you are interested in is a series of readings taken over time in order to establish a trend. Just so with log entries. They enable you to discern trends and therefore to make sensible skippering decisions.

So the beginning of a typical entry mgiht read: 23 July 0800 Departed Ladysmith Harbour bound for Boot Cove. 49ļ03.5'N 123ļ15'7'W ESE15, 1015. …….


This one I hoked up because I'm not in the boat at the moment :-) But you see a pattern there: Date nn/aaa given numeric, numeric, alpha, alpha, alpha. I hate the nn/nn format because there is no way of being sure what 06/08 might mean. Time given by 24-hour clock local time. Place of Departure, Place of Destination. Chart Coordinates at 0800. Wind direction and strength in knots at 0800. Barometer reading at 0800. This sequencing of the information should be identical for every entry.

Takes but a moment to write it, and now you dont have to rely on memory. If, in the entry for, say, 1200 your barometer reading has fallen to, say, 990, you swallow hard because the drop of 25 points in 3 hours tells you that something nasty is coming at you fast. A deep low is approaching with high winds expected. Maybe you need to reef. If at the same time the wind has gone from ESE to NE You know that the storm centre is going to pass to the south of you. The drastic drop in the barometer means that you'll be very close to it.

Again this was a hoked up example to to give you the basic principles. You can see that you can't keep all this stuff in your head. At least I can't. I need dunce notes, and you likely will too. That's is what the log is - dunce notes :-) having to hunt for prior entries by punching little buttons would drive me nuts. Using the standard format on paper I can scan five or six pages in the log book faster than you can bring up a past page on your iPhone :-) And while I do that, I can stay focused on what the ship needs rather than on what the iPhone demands.

I don't think you can really learn this stuff by reading books only - you gotta get out there and do it. Certainly, in my waters, there is no sense in trying to grasp the whole "body of knowledge" all at once. Just come at it bit by bit, and each time some aspect of "skippering" triggers you curiosity, study up on just that bit. In fifty year's time, it'll all begin to make sense ;-0)!

I'm always telling people, so I'll tell you too, that basic boat handling stuff - docking and all that - I can teach you in a week-end. I can't teach you to be a skipper. Ever. You gotta learn that by your lonesome, and it will take a lifetime. But we on this forum can help you with it if you hang around and ask specific questions :-)

All the best

TP
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Old 03-08-2018, 17:14   #8
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Re: Just passed ASA 101 - Logbook Questions

Okay, that makes sense. Thanks for taking the time to write that all out. That was very informative.

Right now Iím only on the water for a few hours at time, Iím learning on a lake just North of Dallas, but the goal is to become a real cruiser in 5-10 years. Logs right now might not have all that much use, but Iíd like to get into the habit regardless.

I took the clubís J/24 out today for my first solo sail, and the weather said we were going to have about 6 knots of wind, but by the time I got out on the lake, it was blowing about 12. I had my hands full managing the main and jib singlehanded. I should have just sailed with the main only, but I was able to make it work. I was glad I learned how to heave to so I could take a little break before heading back in. Lots to learn thatís for sure. Iíll definitely be asking plenty more specific questions.

Thanks again.
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Old 03-08-2018, 18:02   #9
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Re: Just passed ASA 101 - Logbook Questions

Since it's Friday pm and it's MyBeloved's turn to cook ;-):

The J24 is avery popular little boat for good reason. IMO the very best way learn to get a feel for boathandling under sail is by sailing racing dinghies. I built two International Enterprise 14 footers from plywood for my university sailing club many years ago and taught more than a hundred university students the basics using those, plus a boughten "frozen snot" (fibreglass) one. Subsequently I taught I don't know how many sailing school students the basics in a little boat called the Cal20. The Cal was really no more than a dinghy with a deck and a keel, IOW very much like a J24.

In the years between the design of the Enterprise and the J24 much happened in yacht (and dinghy) design, the most important of which was that the old boats used the mainsail for power and the jib for trimming the helm. New boats (J24 included) use the genny for power and the main for trim. That's a bit of a charicature, but the essence of charicature is that it exagerates the truth. So "old boats" and "new boats" take different approaches to handling them.

Another characteristic of the "new boats" is that they have little deadrise (they are "flat-bottomed") and broad in the waterline beam. That has the effect when sailing on the wind (wind forward of the beam) that if you carry too much sail, or stap the sails in too hard, they boats will "roll up" onto the turn of their bilges and pull their rudders out of the water with the obvious result that you lose control. The boat will then generally "gripe" (turn head to wind very abruptly) and sometimes even come over on the other tack where the whole rigamarole starts again. A little disconcerting for a novice :-) If you were wearing the full 130% genny in 12 knots, I can see why the boat would have been a bit of a handful:-)! The answer is to wear a smaller genny while you are learning.

Novices have a tendency to strap down too hard. Next time you are out, try keeping your sheets eased to the point where the luff of both sails JUST begins to backwind. then harden them again just a smidge. You'll find that the boat will stay on her feet better, and that you won't lose any speed. You've already discovered that if she begins to heel too much, just turn to weather a bit and or ease sheets. Trying for a dead straight track through the water won't do you any good. Good steersmen "zig-zag" through the water in order to accommodate/take advantage of the ever present constant variations in windspeed and direction.

The J24 is a racer. Racers are different from cruisers, but they are terrific to learn on because if you ar good at handling a racer, handling a cruiser is a piece a cake!

A la prochaine

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Old 03-08-2018, 18:31   #10
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Re: Just passed ASA 101 - Logbook Questions

I'm too lazy to keep a logbook, (in my field service days I hardly ever wrote a field report -"the the transmitter's on, the klystrons are happily pumping 100KW up to our antenna, there's no smoke coming out the top, and the housewives are happily watching Days of Our Lives, What more could you want")

If you ever want to bareboat charter, one would probably come in quite handy.
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Old 03-08-2018, 23:11   #11
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Re: Just passed ASA 101 - Logbook Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGoldenFleece View Post
. Logs right now might not have all that much use, but Iíd like to get into the habit regardless.
.
One option in addition to any ships log is to create a spreadsheet in Google drive or drop box and just add one line every time you go out on the water, something like date, boat, from where to where, and miles. Maybe a few words about how the day was. Then in years to come it's simple to look back and remember all that fun plus easy to see how many miles you did. Only takes a few seconds to enter on a smartphone.
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Old 13-08-2018, 09:14   #12
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Re: Just passed ASA 101 - Logbook Questions

Glad to see you are interested in tracking your sea time! If you continue to pursue sailing, it will come in handy later, no matter how you track it.

Let me know if you are interested in earning any more ASA certifications - Grenada and the Grenadines are a great place to learn!

Beam winds,
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Old 05-10-2018, 13:28   #13
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Re: Just passed ASA 101 - Logbook Questions

I've been lurking too long.

@TheGoldenFleece thanks for starting this conversation. As a Phoenix-based wannabe just under a month out from his own ASA 101, this thread really delivered a lot of concentrated info.

The comments in this thread are very interesting to me, as I come from the [ automotive stage ] rally racing community, where the race cars are required to pass technical safety inspections before each race, with scrutineer comments to be recorded in their paper logbooks. No logbook? No race.

I really liked TrientePieds (is that, like, "30 feet" meant to rhyme with "centipede"?) comments on how to consistently document trips for easy reference in the moment. I think I might also make a point of duplicating things to a digital format afterward for data crunching at some point—but sadly feel it could be some time before I have enough experience to justify such a project.

Even so, this thread is one of my favorites. Thanks everyone.
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Old 05-10-2018, 14:18   #14
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Re: Just passed ASA 101 - Logbook Questions

Well, here's how another old fart deals with the log. I use a hard bound standard accounting book... just lines, no columns, sorta like what we used to take notes back in uni, but hard bound. I use the "right hand" page for daily entries and the facing "left hand" page for maintenance notes and other isolated bits. Also there I note the boat name and people name for folks we have met, possibly contact data and anything else that comes to mind.

On the right hand page I make a daily entry (unless I forget) whether at sea or not. We live aboard full time, BTW, so this is kinda like a diary. If sailing, I note the location and any useful bits about wx or currents encountered or nav hazards or whatever. No official format, just what seems essential to me. So this part is more like a personal log than an official document, but contains much the same data.

When at sea, I keep a deck log. This is filled out at a minimum of the end of each watch by the watchstander. Often it will be more frequently updated, especially noting course changes or big speed changes, each with a time and lat/lon... the things one needs for DR.

Ann and I have been cruising for over 30 years now, and this habit is pretty well ingrained in us... but I have never once been asked to show it to any official.

In addition, we like to keep track of folks we have met. Years ago I set up a simple data base into which we enter boat name, people name, date and location, boat type and if they are hams, their call signs. This DB has been really useful. I've got a good memory for boats, but not for folks' names. When I see a vaguely familiar boat, I search for the name and up it pops, even from 30 years back . When I can greet them by name they are pleased and often flattered, and that pleases me as well! Retrieving that sort of data from written logs is a lot harder.

So, I'm not a fan of formal logging, nor have I found lack of it to be an issue. I reckon each sailor needs to set up a system that satisfies his unique needs, and then modify it when those needs change. As amateurs, we don't have legal requirements and while a formal ships log can be a legal document, ours (as unlicensed operators of private vessels) probably are not. At least, I've never heard of a cruiser's log being held up as such... perhaps I need to get out more, but that's my experience!

Jim
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Old 05-10-2018, 14:33   #15
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Re: Just passed ASA 101 - Logbook Questions

Thank you, Jim.

That's a great idea. I like the simplicity of it. And using tech to track names over the years? That's brilliant. Exactly what technology does best.

Appreciate the insights.
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