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Old 01-26-2011, 12:16 PM   #1
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Cruising notes

While we use our boat almost every weekend year round, our frequency of actually going out drops off during the winter due to a major increase in windy days (by which I mean 20 knots and over) which often coincide with weekends.* So my wife and I find ourselves sitting on the boat in the slip listeing to the wind screaming through all the masts and rigging around us and talking about previous trips (on our boats here and the narrowboats in the UK).* Those "remember when...." conversations we all have.

When we first bought our GB we got caught up in the euphoria of buying all sorts of "real boat" stuff, one item of which was a purpose-designed cruising log.* You put in the date, weather conditions, where you went, notes, that sort of thing.

I think we filled it in twice and then abandonned it.* I had also designed a simple engine/generator log sheet patterned after the aircraft log sheets used for the planes we fly to keep track of total hours, hours since engine and injector pump oil changes, filter changes, and so on.* I included a chunk of space for notes.* Since we fill this out at the end of every trip, we have been using the notes space to jot down interesting occurances or observations on the trip.* I don't believe we have every actually gone back and read any of these things once we've written them, however.

Today there are all sorts of new ways of noting and storing information-- laptops, iPads, smartphones, portable drives, etc.

So I'm curious how other boaters record their experiences on the water, or if they even think recording them is worthwhile.* I'm not talking about engine hours and maintenance and repair notes.* But the "Saw a pod of Orcas off Turn Point on our way back" notes.

Perhaps what others do will give us an idea of a way to record these events that's more user-friendly than simply noting them down in the engine log.

PS--- While I'm the "writer" in the family, my wife is actually far more dilligent about recording things like this than I am.* So she would most likely be the one using a smarter system than what we use now.

-- Edited by Marin on Wednesday 26th of January 2011 01:17:43 PM
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:25 PM   #2
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RE: Cruising notes

we are very low tech.* We have a*small (less than 8.5 x 11)*bound notebook with lined pages and we simply write down the date and notes.* We put everything in here including maintenance notes.* We've tried different logs and created excel spreadsheets, etc on previous boats and decided to go with simple this time around.* So far (almost five months) we are keeping up with it and we do go back through it and remind ourselves of what we've done and where we've been..*
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:29 PM   #3
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RE: Cruising notes

YES YES Marin. I used to do the "pulled anchor 0739, Rounded Rasta Point 1351 ect ect ect. Now Chris does it and the log becomes actually fun to read and remember. I but in and record "took on 45gals fuel at Texaco Ketchkan". Now that one can measure distance on the GPS old time distance records are less important but how many hours it takes to go long distances is still very important. Here in Alaska we don't need i-pods and cell phones ect but that chart plotter is the best thing that happened to boating since fiberglass.
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:41 PM   #4
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Cruising notes

The summer before last we cruised thru out the summer, starting in Seward, Alaska in May and ending our travels in late Sept down in Puget Sound. Our total distance traveled was just a little over 2500 nautical miles, many nights on the hook and a few bad experiencesas well as lots of good times. My wife kept a journal and I took a few pictures. Nearly a year after our trip which included crossing the Gulf of Alaska as well as the Inside Passage my first*Co-Captain took the time to gather all of her notes and attach pictures to her paragraphs. After a lot of effort she published and bound this all together into two beautiful Coffee Table Books. We have shared this with many of our friends and family. Much to our surprise, friends of friends have asked to looks at our books to share our adventures.
Rob and Anne Hays
"Lady Anne" Willard 40 PH
La Conner, Wa./Girdwood, Ak.

-- Edited by Rob on Wednesday 26th of January 2011 01:42:13 PM
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:47 PM   #5
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RE: Cruising notes

Out of curiosity, is your first shot Lituya Bay?
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:01 PM   #6
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RE: Cruising notes

On Volunteer I had a engine/maintenance log that the p.O. had kept track of fuel and major changes to the boat back into the late 80's... every gallon of fuel that had been put into the boat since the 80's was logged into the book along with cost, gallons purchased, location, gallons remaining on board, engine hours etc. This log was the only way to tell how much fuel was actually on board as there was no other way to check her 1000 gallon + capacity. All fuel was filtered and pumped into a 100g day tank with sight gauge so you always knew where you were regarding the last 100g. Much to my surprise last summer on our Great Columbia River Cruise... I intentionally ran the boat empty and the log was within 20 gallons over a 20 year period!.
I also kept a log for the past number of years of everything done to the boat and it's associated cost. When we traded boats with the new owner this winter he was really impressed with all the records... I on the other hand got a box of manuals and a few receipts for major repairs done to his boat.... zip by comparison!.* He kept his boat in VERY good condition... to the point it still feels " new".
The week I took ownership I started to keep maintenance and use log for the new boat... if nothing else at time of sale you have a record to back up the work you did over the years.
On the flip side... the log with associated costs was always a eye opener and I really didn't like to go back and see just how much I actually spent on my boat habit!
HOLLYWOOD
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:19 PM   #7
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RE: Cruising notes

Like Jennifer, we use an 8.5x11 notebook.* My wife is great at taking notes of what we see and do including bird species, marine mammals, landmarks, etc.* We also take a gazillion photos while cruising.* I keep these photos with annotations from the notebook on our computer.* We created a folder called "Adventures" (with date and location of each adventure).* We make a simple scrapbook of our Adventures at the end of each year.* We are currently working on 2010.* I keep boat details (engine hours, fuel purchase/usage, maintenance, repairs, materials, etc.) in a separate log.
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:31 PM   #8
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RE: Cruising notes

I am still debating whether to do everything for the trawler on a spreadsheet on the laptop or in a paper journal. I am thinking doing it on paper may result in me writing stuff down at that moment vs. waiting til I boot up the computer and maybe get distracted.
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:32 PM   #9
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RE: Cruising notes

BTW Rob,
i LOVE the pirate picture!
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:53 PM   #10
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RE: Cruising notes

I don't really consider it part of my log but I also blog about the boat and our adventures.**I try and blog weekly about what we have done that week.* My family reads it and keeps up with our adventures that way.
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Old 01-26-2011, 03:56 PM   #11
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RE: Cruising notes

Hi Marin .You will no doubt remember me from Trawler & Trawlering.


I developed this filing system method for the corporation where i worked.
There were to many John Smiths to deal with so ! *all the Smiths got file location numbers.
This note is about developing a filing system.


The principal is similar the *convict 99 where they become a numbers.


You will need just two *record binders *for the hard copy and a computer and also an Aphabetical binder page separator .


I have over come the filing problem by adopting the prison system each file has a number. The hard copy is just incase the computer crashes. This method can also be used to identify where things are stored in a boat , each space / location is allocated a number.


Binder "A" is Alphabetical *hard copy...... duplicate this in your computer
Binder "B" *is Numerical * hard copy ........ * * * * " * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *"


Here is an example *using :- *Engine Manuel file # is *marked as *105 by felt pen.


The # 105 is a location number weather it be a file draw or a book shelf.
# 105 is the Address for your book.




Go to" A "Binder *turn to the "E" page look *down the list for Engine Manuel see 105
you will have located the permanent Address 105 of your Engine manuel.


Go to "B" Binder *turn to the page to #105 find " engine manuel "
Go down your numerical list *in binder "B" 0001 to 9999.


All you have to do is ask me for my 2009 Jan BELCo power bill it*is in file #240 or Nov 2008 Gas bill is in file # 238 .
i will have it in front of you in seconds *i *also know where to put the files back
Micro wave cook *book / boat *file # *241.


Sugar is in isle 4 *at Lindow's market.
convict 99 *cell block *9 door 9

My father told me " you spend more time looking for things than doing it".


Donald & Mavis
Mainship 400
Andromeda
Bermuda
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Old 01-26-2011, 05:44 PM   #12
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RE: Cruising notes

Don:
Being lazy and impractical myself, your system would never work for me, although I readily appreciate its potential merit in keeping otherwise troublesome minds occupied.
I like to log noteworthy events with a digital camera.* I did receive as a gift from the former owners of my trawler (or perhaps it was revenge?), a lovely Captains Log.
On rare occasion, I have even made an entry.* Perhaps I should consider adding an Administrative Assistant to my crew.



If you're not the lead dog, the view never changes.
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Old 01-26-2011, 05:51 PM   #13
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RE: Cruising notes

Welcome aboard Donald and Mavis!
"A place for everything and everything in it's place" is how I am able to find anything. But sometimes I forget where the "place" is. Your system solves that .
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Old 01-26-2011, 06:06 PM   #14
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RE: Cruising notes

Bill .
We have a megga filing system here at the house, with 6 filing draws, i am so organized to the point of being un - organized
I explained my system to the ceo of a yanmar dealership he got 50,000 parths to look after.

We have a massive inventory for all the Motorcycle stuff here and there.
got to do it
we have 16 engines to look after which includes 3 lawn mowers 5 motor cycles two outboards.
i got to know when to do oil changes and what sparks to buy and how much air goes in the tires.

Mavis knows how to use our system and she does the filing.

if you don't include the women in boating you are a Gonner. Thats Brit for Plumb out of luck.

Donald.

You are not lost if you don't know where you are.
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Old 01-26-2011, 06:14 PM   #15
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RE: Cruising notes

You are the greatest.

Thank you & *PBS thanks you
Did you completely understand my presentation ?


it was not easy to put pen to paper .


Try this *party trick * give instruction to a person on how to put on a jacket *have him do it.
that person has to pretend that he has never seen a jacket ever before in his life.



Donald 75 and counting.
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Old 01-26-2011, 06:21 PM   #16
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RE: Cruising notes

FORKLIFFT.Gratitude and appreciation is that sentiment *which is given whem a thank you some how fall a little short
You *Heart felt welcome to Mavis and *i is greatly appreciates.


All of you *are *great people living in a great land, live the dream
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:11 PM   #17
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RE: Cruising notes

I keep notes in a regular one year diary, the kind with each page dated for one day. I keep it at the helm and make notes during the day, I enter starting location, wind direction, and speed, temperature, time of departure. sea conditions, and any other interesting details or names of people we see along the way along the way. At the end of the day the arrival time, miles run and days end location. Any phone numbers or data I'll need the next day are entered the night before. Maintenance and fuel data are noted in the diary and in a separate, dedicated log.
It was the custom to keep a trip diary for those who traveled in export sales at the company where I worked, I have them for each year going back to 1969.
Steve W.
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Old 01-27-2011, 03:34 AM   #18
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RE: Cruising notes

I keep a ships log which has the trip details, departure, way points and fuel loaded and fuel used each leg, main eng and generator.
Also normal log details such as lat and long time engine temps and press etc.
I also have a maint lok on an Xcel spreadsheet.
As my computer is my plotter it is all handy on the dash so not a problem for keeping up to date.

Just gotta remember to back it up all the time so i don't loose it.

Benn
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Old 01-27-2011, 06:30 AM   #19
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RE: Cruising notes

I keep a rough log , no smooth.

Mostly to log engine hours or other PM.
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Old 01-27-2011, 08:30 AM   #20
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RE: Cruising notes

We keep a basic facts log (dates, times, locations, miles traveled, fuel used, repairs and maintenance, guests on and off, etc) in a hand-written log book with simple ruled pages.* Since this is always handy, not much gets missed, but it is a bit scribbly.*

I do take all the equipment failures/repairs/upgrades and maintenance stuff and record them more readably in a spreadsheet.

For more interesting descriptive stuff, I fire up the laptop and type away, usually each evening.* Since I started doing this we're better able to recall our adventures months or years later, and correlate them with the many pictures.
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