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ltgoshen 04-13-2012 09:29 AM

Do you sailor's keep a log book?
Do you keep a log book on your sailboat? If so, who makes the best one? Has anybody used excel to make theirs?

Donna_F 04-13-2012 09:36 AM

Re: Do you sailor's keep a log book?
Geeze. Are you about to open a can of worms. This subject is about second to guns on board.

My answer is yes and a $1.99 composition book.

Here are two threads on the subject:

Cruiser2B 04-13-2012 09:38 AM

Re: Do you sailor's keep a log book?
We keep a log book, just use a journal type notebook from B&N. It was alot cheaper than ones at west marine. We record all maintenance item with part #s and and engine hours. Usually dont record anything but engine hours on daysails. when we go out longer than a day we keep gps plots too.

Silvio 04-13-2012 10:23 AM

Re: Do you sailor's keep a log book?
Yep, "one can-o-worms comin' up"

I use what is basically an field notebook (I'm a civil engineer so have plenty of them around) much like a small ledger book. I have sections for trip logs and notes, repairs and maintenance, fuel consumption calculations with engine hours, and an area for marking down items that crop up during a trip that I need to address once stationary.

Ajax_MD 04-13-2012 10:56 AM

Re: Do you sailor's keep a log book?

Originally Posted by DRFerron (Post 858156)
Geeze. Are you about to open a can of worms. This subject is about second to guns on board.

My answer is yes and a $1.99 composition book.

Here are two threads on the subject:

Third. Second most contentious is anchor-religion.


You're not in some nation's Navy, it's your pleasure boat. You can log as much or as little as you please. A written or typed log may help (or hurt) you in a maritime court case if you are involved in an altercation or collision with another vessel.

You may find it fun to record your travels and activities, or you may find it tedious.

A maintenance log at a minimum can be very helpful. Record the number of engine hours on each run to determine when maintenance is due. Oil changes, tune-ups, whatever.

Anything from manually made-up excel spreadsheets to lined, composition notebooks can be used. If you're really swanky, you can buy a log book from Weems & Plath with a brass plate you can inscribe the ship's name on.

Do as much or as little as you like. :)

SHNOOL 04-13-2012 11:05 AM

Re: Do you sailor's keep a log book?
I keep a detailed log of the day's activities... I try to include wind speeds, wind direction, temp, water temp, forecast before, and observed.

I also try to keep an account of the "sail" itself. I use Microsoft Word, and create a new document for each trip. The log file is getting full, but, I find I can go through and get an idea of how consistent forecasts are, and how I dealt with issues that arose by digging through them. As a "diary" its fun to go back and read what we did on such a day.

This is something my father did with his sails, and frankly some of the accounts were so hillarious, I swear he'd make a fortune out of publishing them.

Oh and Microsoft Word allows me to attach screen shots, and GPS map dumps from Navionics right into the doc. I can also attach pictures and invariably I print these to PDF file, and keep them to post to family friends that sail the day with me.

CarbonSink62 04-13-2012 11:29 AM

Re: Do you sailor's keep a log book?
I like to keep a log of the guns I have onboard. :rolleyes:

If I ever sailed my $10k blue water boat down the ICW without a motor, I'd certainly log that.


Sorry, couldn't resist! My views are represented in the threads linked above.

In a word: Yes.

A sample:

July 19, 2010
Forecast: sunny; 92°; winds W 8-10;
Went out with Zoe (the Wonder Pooch) to close the bow hatch that we left open Saturday night. We were onboard at 4:30; there was a very nice breeze, so I decided to sail a little. The wind was out of the west so it was an easy reach to pass through the Malacca Straits. Once I cleared the red marker on the eastern side, I turned around and headed back. We spent maybe an hour and a quarter sailing.
No issues; need to refill the gas can. We dumped it all into the tank of the tender on Saturday to make sure we could get back. Need batteries for the tender flashlight as well.
The WW ramp doesn’t look well suited to pulling out the sailboat next weekend.

johnnyquest37 04-13-2012 12:20 PM

Re: Do you sailor's keep a log book?
We keep a ship's log, a maintenance log, and we each keep personal logbooks. The ship's log notes locations, conditions, sail set, and whatever else the crew wants to put in it. The only "mandatory" entries are when we hear "Mayday" radio calls. I encourage crew/guests to make log entries and to sign the logbook at the end of a cruise. The maintenance log records oil changes, periodic checks, replacing items such as batteries, rigging, sails; and other maintenance and repair events performed. The personal logs for most of the crew are the ASA logbooks. I've outgrown mine and now use a small journal book to record miles, night hours, days at sea, destination, and crew position.

Our logbooks are just bound blank, lined pages. We are not obessive about the ship's log, but we record everything in the maintenance log and I am obsessive about my personal logbook.

capttb 04-13-2012 12:34 PM

Re: Do you sailor's keep a log book?
Nope, after keeping log books while working I had no desire or need to continue the practice in retirement.
You may fire when ready.

JoeDiver 04-13-2012 12:52 PM

Re: Do you sailor's keep a log book?
Yes. My ships log is a simple blank (lined) hard back book, measures about 4x6. I log general observations, like wind, temp, clouds and then conversational diary type comments about what I did, where I sailed, what I saw. Sometimes I don't make an entry at all, but that's not the norm.

I'm a weekend local lake sailor.....if I were an offshore cruiser, live aboard, making long passages....I'd certainly keep a more detailed log of many things, in order to provide not only a record, but trend analysis.

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