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Old 06-05-2018, 06:11 AM   #1
menzies's Avatar
City: Jacksonville
Vessel Name: SONAS
Vessel Model: Grand Alaskan 53
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 7,235
Keeping A Log

Who keeps a "proper" boat log religiously?

Not talking maintenance log, but a trip log.

I used to, including starting point, miles traveled, ending point, fuel used, engine hours, and a summary of the trip.

Then I started to feel that it was becoming a chore, required to be completed at the end of each day, and I was not enjoying it, so I stopped.

Now I simply maintain a photo blog, updating it whenever I have a spare hour or two and often after multiple days on a trip.
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Old 06-05-2018, 06:42 AM   #2
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City: Norfolk, VA
Vessel Model: Bayliner 3870
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 308
I tried to keep one going with my sailboat. I stopped after a few entries

There are 3 log books on my current boat, 1 for each of the previous owners that I have records for...the first owner had about a years worth of entries for the first year, there is nothing for the remaining 10 or so years he owned the boat...second owner had about 6 entries for his first year...the owner I bought it from managed to buy a log book and write the boats name into it

...I'm not going to bother, to be honest.
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Old 06-05-2018, 07:06 AM   #3
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City: Ft Pierce
Vessel Name: Sold
Vessel Model: Was an Albin/PSN 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 27,424
I keep a spiral notebook at the helm.

99 percent is just underway and arrival places and times. When anchored, I included the position.

If foggy, I note times of lights and sound signals.

If anorher boat violates COLREGs or general safety to the point where it might become an issue latter, I make a few basic notes.

Its not fancy or at a professional level, but its probably more than what I need ti defend myself if things start going sideways. No weather unless pertinent, miles are just for fun and not necessary, no social stuff but I will add passenger names if underway the few times I have passengers.....

It only takes a few seconds to make the entries when they happen so its not really a chore for me and it could pay huge dividends for the effort.

I also keep a daily log of maintenance and fuel right on my nav computer. Its actually more of a chore than the binder but I fill it out as I motor along. Its isnt that big of a PIA and actually a pleasant distraction from those droning along moments.
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Old 06-05-2018, 07:17 AM   #4
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Vessel Name: DOS PECES
Vessel Model: BAYLINER 4788
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 6,084
I keep a boat log, or better stated a boat diary.

It is just a summary of where we go and what we do, and how many nights aboard. Nothing extensive or detailed, just a paragraph about each trip to the boat.

The log is a actual log book, and was started in 2001 when we bought first cabin cruiser. This logbook goes with me when I trade boats. I have a separate maintenance log book that stays with the boat.

It’s not a chore, at this point it’s part of the experience.
Kevin Sanders
Bayliner 4788 Dos Peces
Seward, Alaska - La Paz, Baja California Sur
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Old 06-05-2018, 08:22 AM   #5
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City: PNW
Vessel Name: M/T Nest
Vessel Model: 1984 Monk 36 #31
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 48
I keep a log. In fact it was passed on from the PO! Mostly summary of where, times and fuel usage. Good info.
Had to start a new maintenance log though. Would have been nice to have one of those from the PO!
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Old 06-05-2018, 08:23 AM   #6
City: Bayfield, WI
Vessel Name: Gopher Broke
Vessel Model: Silverton 410 Sport Bridge
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 892
Frac departure time, starting and ending engine hours, fuel purchased, sea conditions and temperature and wind speed. And then we add any significant observations, of which there are usually none. Oh, and of course starting point and destination. We do not keep a radio log at all.

Mostly I do it to track my fuel usage under various conditions. Because as we all know with gas engines I burn a lot of fuel. ;-)
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Old 06-05-2018, 08:33 AM   #7
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City: Seattle
Vessel Name: Sea Bear
Vessel Model: Kadey-Krogen 54
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 747
One thing to consider, if you ever want to get your capt license they will accept log entries as time at sea.
Kadey-Krogen 54
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Old 06-05-2018, 08:34 AM   #8
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City: Westerly, RI
Vessel Name: N/A
Vessel Model: 1999 Mainship 350 Trawler
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 4,000
I started one when we got our first 'cruising' boat. I stopped when I realize that I never referred to it. There is no point in recording data when the data isn't used. I stopped and don't miss it. Plus a logbook is a horrible data analysis tool. Any single days entry doesn't reveal much. It's hard to glean patterns and averages by looking at individual data points. Only in a DB, does this information really become queryable, and only when queries are run are the results easily analyzed.

I will play devil's advocate and ask. What do you plan on doing with the data?
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Old 06-05-2018, 09:54 AM   #9
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City: Kitimat, North Coast BC
Vessel Name: Badger
Vessel Model: 30' Sundowner Tug
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 5,946
I keep a basic one.

Who's on board.
Engine hours at start & end of day.
Notable animal encounters.
Fuel purchases.

To keep photographs organized I write the days date and destination in a notebook, then photograph the page...this way I know where the following photos were taken. If I take what I think will be an important photo enroute, I'll take a quick photo of the Navionics display or notes written in the notebook. Photos and notes can't be separated
"The most interesting path between two points is not a straight line" MurrayM
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Old 06-05-2018, 09:57 AM   #10
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City: Paris,TN
Vessel Name: Slo-Poke
Vessel Model: Jorgensen custom 44
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 3,749
I bought a log book with good intentions but only put in a few entries and quit.
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Old 06-05-2018, 10:00 AM   #11
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City: Saltspring Island
Vessel Name: Retreat
Vessel Model: C&L 44
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 5,583
Most of the above, at some time.
Presently, I still keep up a maintenance log. It states the date, hours on engines, what was done.
I tried keeping a computer log of places visited, including travel speeds, fuel burned, tides, currents, anchoring conditions, social items, etc, but when a computer crash wiped out all of the stored data I gave up the idea. Especially since my old school maitenance log survived the crash.
I suppose, as computers no longer crash, so I could start again....maybe think about that one for a while.
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Old 06-05-2018, 10:30 AM   #12
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City: Looking
Vessel Name: --
Vessel Model: Between boats
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 1,190
Started experimenting with one of the electronic versions with my last boat. It was pretty nice just pushing the "START" button on the app when we pulled away, and the pressing "STOP" when we arrived. I did nothing else, and the free app/cloud produces this:

BoatLogger - Drifter

You can check and uncheck trips/segments on the map. I am not (necessarily) advocating, it is just the one I played around with. There are lots of others out there. It does do what I wanted, however.

Fuel usage, hours, maintenance, etc. are typically paid add-ons - I just wanted to start with the mapping stuff.

Pretty neat to have for as easy as it is to just tap and app button once in a while.
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Old 06-05-2018, 10:32 AM   #13
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City: La Paz, BCS
Vessel Name: Ansedonia
Vessel Model: Californian/Carver 52CPMY
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 373
I keep one, and have for all my boats. As listed above, I keep track of start and stop times, engine hours, and distance covered for each day of travel. I also list wildlife spotted, fish caught (including lure color), passengers, and depth and rode out once anchored. I like to look back through the entries while underway. I can check where we were and what time of year it was, which helps to plan future outings. Naturally, it also has sections for maintenance and fuel.

It only takes a few minutes, and the record is good forever. As I leave the logbook onboard, I photo the pages on my Ipad, so I can refer to them when I'm away from the boat. I should mention that I am a bit of a data nerd.

Cheers, Bill
"There is simply nothing more worth while than messing around in boats."
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Old 06-05-2018, 10:35 AM   #14
City: Galveston, Texas
Vessel Model: 24" El Pescador
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 732
I kept a yellow pad in the pilothouse. Wrote "things"..when we left, where we went, what we saw, who was there. Good things, bad things and problems and remedies. Also contact info of those encountered we wanted to remember (helpful problem solvers)

Every few days I would try and transcribe it to a file on the computer where it was more easily searchable.
Ken Diestler
Galveston, Tx
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Old 06-05-2018, 10:36 AM   #15
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City: Gig Harbor
Vessel Name: Kinship
Vessel Model: North Pacific 43
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 9,045
I try to keep a log, or boat diary. I like to be able to look back at the trips we have taken, but I often forget to do it.

SPOT page
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Old 06-05-2018, 11:15 AM   #16
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City: Fort Lauderdale. Florida, USA
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 21,449
We keep a very detailed electronic log and before we had it, kept it manually. We also keep a journal or diary in that we keep records of what we did on each day. Sights we saw, restaurants, and activities. That we don't always do immediately and sometimes have to remember and go back and detail. Associated with that we also note things we didn't see or do but hope to next time we're there.
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Old 06-05-2018, 11:22 AM   #17
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City: Inside Passage Summer/Columbia River Winter
Vessel Name: Alaskan Sea-Duction
Vessel Model: 1988 M/Y Camargue YachtFisher
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 8,041
I keep a detailed log. The entries shows places we have been and what happens to you and the boat. Not required by any regulations I know of. The State of Washington demanded my logs trying to establish taxes.
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Old 06-05-2018, 11:43 AM   #18
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City: Concrete Washington State
Vessel Name: Willy
Vessel Model: Willard Nomad 30'
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 18,698
“Pulled anchor at 0800 bla bla bla ......

Got tired of that after a few years.
Over the years we’ve never looked up anything or used it in a similar way. And usually we got tied up or anchored then some time later we’d be questioning eachother as to what time it was that we’d arrived. My camera may be a better log.

My wife has done most of the logging while I’m at the helm. But my $.02 worth is not hard to find.

Speaking of other logs I’ve thought for some time a maint. log would really be worth doing but that hasn’t gone very far either.

I’ve come to the conclusion that logs are most useful when selling your boat. My boat is (in most all respects) in excellent condition but my lack of logs will not reflect that. Too late for me but many others here could benefit from upping their game in the log book.

North Western Washington State USA
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Old 06-05-2018, 11:52 AM   #19
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City: Miami River
Vessel Name: Gotcha
Vessel Model: Grand Banks. Heritage. 54
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 2,977
My first larger boat about 40 years ago I kept a very detailed log: mechanical, file, distance traveled, Fuel used, people met, Anchorage of Marina we stayed with notes. Now, since my memory is shot I still keep a mechanical log and Fuel log. The other stuff is more fun to try to remember, the stories get better, the seas rougher and the people more fun. LOL
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Old 06-05-2018, 12:00 PM   #20
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City: NW Washington State
Vessel Name: Kingfisher
Vessel Model: 37' converted gillnetter/crabber
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 442
On my sailboat I kept a very detailed log, including detailed weather notes, barometer, etc., running fixes, blah blah blah.

On Kingfisher I have a little book at the helm that gets the basics as most have described: where, when, how much.
Anson & Donna

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. ~The Dalai Lama
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