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
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.