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Old 03-02-2013
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Re: Tips on Watch Standing

Originally Posted by Brezzin View Post
Can you post up a copy of the log pages and/or format of the log that your comfortable with?

I've done a few passages as crew and have never really loved the log formats the skippers were using.
I use a hard-bound, ruled, page-numbered "Record" book that I get at Staples for a log. I usually get one with 100-150 pages which lasts for several years.

When coastal day sailing, I just make casual entries: "Departed X @ 0900. Weather Y, sailing or motoring, events of note, arrived Z at 1800, anchored in 20 ft at low tide on 100 ft rode." and the like. I'll use a page for multiple days. There's no set format. Some days will be a couple of lines, while others might run a page or more.

Offshore it's a bit more detailed. Usually I will dedicate one "two page" spread of the open log to each day. On the top above the lines I'll record the date and the number of days we've been at sea, and any other critical information that people should notice, like how much fuel we have remaining in various tanks. Then using a pen and ruler in the ruled part of the page I'll make rows and columns for the log entries. Across the top of the page there's a column for the following:

Position (Lat/Long)
Log (cum distance on GPS)
Steering for waypoint #
- range
- bearing
- wind direction/velocity
- cloud cover
- baro pressure
Seas (swell direction/height)
Sail Config. / Engine RPM
Remarks (lots of room for this entry)

At the bottom of the page I use rule off part of the page for space to note water / fuel consumption, changes in tanks used, maintenance tasks, and other relevant or, for that matter, irrelevant info. E.g., I once had a shipmate who was an Anglican priest and he used to write a brief "Homily" (a thought for the day of usually no more than 25-30 words) at the bottom of the page during his night watch. All subsequent watch standers were free to reply to his missives and it got pretty interesting at times.
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