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Old 26-02-2021, 08:54   #1
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Logbook column headings?

What logbook column headings do you use?

We have a nice hardback book with just lines pages and wondering what headings to use.
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Old 26-02-2021, 12:24   #2
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Re: Logbook column headings?

I use:

Date/Time/Location/Engine Hours/Winds Speed & Direction/Swell Height & Direction/Cloud cover (% covered plus note for rain)/Barometric Pressure/Notes & Comments

I set my log up this way modelled after a traditional 3-masted barque that I worked on for a short time, shortly before buying my boat.

When I started cruising I was making 2 entries a day. I now make 1 entry daily. When I started cruising I was looking at the barometric pressure and its correlation to wind speed pretty often, trying to gain a little intuitive weather forecasting. I now look at log updates as a silly, unnecessary chore. The only thing I use it for now is to calculate my fuel consumption. I look at professional weather forecasts and still don't really trust my self-made forecast.

That said, it is really quite fun to look through the log to help remember some of the fun bits of my cruise. It's nice to remember where I anchored, what docks I used, where I ran for cover in bad weather, etc. Since I don't journal or take a lot of pictures, it's a great memento of the cruise. If I was doing it again, I'd emphasize the commentary a lot more, since that's the most lasting use I have for the logbook.

I've read some posts from people who think one of 2 things: A) the logbook is an invaluable tool when clearing customs in a new country because it proves how/when you arrived places. Or B) the logbook is a terrible idea because in the event of an accident/collison or something, a lawyer could look through it and find some improper action on your part that makes you culpable for the incident. I've never been in a position where either of these viewpoints mattered. When I've cleared customs, I've never had to show a logbook. I've never been in a collison, but I have made an insurance claim for damage after being hit by a microburst. Nobody asked for a log when making that claim either.
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Old 02-03-2021, 03:37   #3
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Re: Logbook column headings?

I have no columns, I just write what seems relevant. Departure time, wind/sea conditions, speed, position. I always wish later I kept better logs, but it's a chore when there's so many other things to do. Some folk keep a "rough log," just a note pad where they can jot things down as they happen without leaving the helm: time that a lighthouse was first sighted; course changes; wind changes; sail changes--then copy it out fair in the logbook later. I also often wish I wasn't too lazy to do this.
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Old 02-03-2021, 04:17   #4
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Re: Logbook column headings?

What do you want to use your log for? Include information that will help you now or in the future, but don't include stuff that has no utility to you.

I am somewhere between the first two posts. On the left edge I put date and time. Then comes deck log text, which includes lat/lon and other relevant navigational information. On the facing right page go engine hours followed by the engineering log entries, including squawks, oil and water, and the like. So, left side is deck log, right is engineering log. I would find Jeb's system too complex, with information I didn't need either to run the boat or refer to later. Totally free-form would make it difficult for me to find what I wanted later, and might cause me to forget to include something important.
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Old 02-03-2021, 04:40   #5
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Re: Logbook column headings?

Pretty much as Jeb:

One double page per day:

Header: Date.... From ... Towards....

8 columns on left side:

Time. Course. Posn*. Log. Wind. Sea. Vis. Bar.

RH page is Observations

Alter Course gets its own line. Under way, all fast, anchored get a line each, with a note on the RH side.

An obs. alt. gets its own line to record time and log for sun/run/sun with the obs.alt on the RH side.

A sighting of land gets its own line also, for time, and bearing on the right side. Along with sail changes, whales, ships, birds etc.

Good enough for HW Tilman; good enough for me.

I had many years of very sloppy logs; looking back to my earlier logs, which I kept carefully,I regret getting lazy and losing so many memories.

*and how obtained eg EP, GPS, etc.
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