While it is possible to purchase a boat log book, the majority of sailors prefer to create their own DIY log book. This is because the boat log books available in the market generally do not suit the sailors’ needs.
If you are new to sailing, you may not know how to create a simple DIY log book. By showing you the steps you need to follow when creating your own boat log book, we hope to help you avoid spending money on a logbook that may not solve all your issues.
Why Do I Need a Boat Log Book?
If this is the first time you are wearing a sailing jacket, you may not know why a logbook is necessary. Originally, logbooks were used for navigation. Nowadays, they have a wide range of uses. After wearing their sailing hats, sailors record the following data at regular intervals:
- Current speed and heading.
- Ship’s position.
- Bearing toward the destination.
- The current weather conditions, including wave heights and barometric pressure.
- Notes about the sailboat, including the needed maintenance and repairs.
- Notes about the crew and other human factors.
- The direction of the wind and the strength.
- Descriptions of the visited places, people you meet, and even other sailboats you come across while navigating the waters.
Nowadays, with the availability of marine GPS chartplotters and numerous mobile applications, recording the sailboat position for navigation purposes is no longer necessary. What sailors record is generally depended on personal preference.
The logbook information, however, can be useful. For example, when revisiting a harbor you had visited previously, you can check your recorded information to determine the best place to anchor your sailboat. If your GPS fails, which could happen when you least expect it, the logbook can help you with the navigation. On top of helping with boating safety, a DIY log book can be a fun way to record all the experiences you have once you wear your sailing gloves.
The Steps You Need to Follow When Creating Your DIY Log Book
Step 1: Design Your Pages
As you have probably guessed, the first step will involve designing the pages you will have on your boat log book. If you are just getting started with sailing, you may not know what to include in the log book. In such a scenario, studying the standard logbooks should give you an idea.
If you plan on embarking on a long journey after rigging your sailboat, you may want to include a space to keep track of the drinking water available in the tanks, engine hours, the state of the marine batteries, fuel, etc.
If you sail trips are generally short, you may only need to include spaces for recording position, estimated speed, course (be sure to include whether it is true or magnetic), weather conditions, time, date, the names of the crew and guests, and barometric reading.
To design your DIY log book pages, you will not need complicated software. The word processor on your computer should offer you ideal results.
Step 2: Choose Your Paper
You should invest in a heavy paper that does not tear easily. Ideally, look for a paper featuring water resistance. If you can get a waterproof paper, this can help you create a great boat log book.
While you may assume that you will take all the necessary precautions to ensure that the logbook does not come into contact with water, you never know when you will be sailing in a storm. Storms are capable of sending water right into your sailboat.
Step 3: Create Some Test-Prints
When designing your boat log book, you could end up making mistakes. To avoid messing your whole log book, it is important that you test print a number of papers. Once you are happy with the results you obtain, you can go ahead and print the whole DIY log book.
While it is possible to have your log photocopied on your selected waterproof paper, you will get much better results by printing the log yourself using a laser printer. Again, be sure to test to make sure that the toner will not get smeared on the page when it gets damp (this will happen once you put on your sailing shorts and pants).
Step 4: Create a Binding
When selecting a spiral binding for your boat log book, you need to remember that it will spend the majority of its life on waters. Therefore, you should select a non-rusting binding material. When compared to metal, plastic works much better.
You can choose approximately 100 pages per log book. This is approximately half an inch. It is possible to do spiral binding up to 1 inch in the majority of office supply stores. When you head to the stores, you should have the opportunity to select your binding material from the numerous materials available.
When binding the DIY log book, do not forget to include a title page. The title page should feature your contact data, the time period covered by the log, and basic boat data. Some of the basic boat data you may decide to include on the title page includes the registration numbers and documentation.
Are Electronic Boat Log Books Available?
It is possible to get an electronic boat log book. These have several benefits over the DIY log book. The benefits include helping you control who sees your information, easy information sharing, automatic data backups, and more accuracy.
This, however, does not mean that you should not have a DIY log book on your sailboat simply because you have an electronic logbook. Electronics could break or run out of battery. If this happens, you can always turn to the DIY log book.
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Using a boat log book has a wide range of benefits. For example, on any return trip, your log book can make things much easier for you.
Purchasing a log book does not always work for everyone. If you figure out that a purchased log book may not offer what you are looking for, you can follow the steps outlined above to create your own DIY log book.
More Sail Reviews:
- Sailing Anchors
- Sailing Jacket
- Sailing Shorts
- Sailing Bags
- Marine Battery
- What To Look For When Buying A Used Boat
- How To Whip A Rope
- Tack And Jibe
- Sailing Rules Of The Road
- Safe Sailing
- Log Book for Recreational Navigators, Diy-wood-boat.com