The Yacht Log Book

We have a written log, in addition to this web site. We went with the Yacht Log designed by Kenneth Mahler and published by Mystic Seaport Museum. A hard-bound book establishes that no pages have been added or removed. This book has columns for the kind of information that we want to keep and the title is very close to the domain name of our site.

We have anyone coming on board sign the guests page in the log. We adopted the policy Mahler suggests:

Experience dictates a simple rule regarding who should sign the guest page: if they are aboard for more than fifteen minutes, guests should be asked to sign the log, and they need do so only once a season. This excuses the brief visitor and avoids multiple signatures of the frequent visitor.

The bottom of each log page lists who was actually aboard that day. We have also adopted the policy that the first entry of each log entry lists the dates since the last entry in the log and appears similar to this:

At Dock. Wednesday 8/27 through Saturday 8/30 no activity.
We then proceed into the current day's activity. This means that every day is accounted for in the log. When the log page is recorded the captain signs the page at the bottom. As Chapman's Piloting says
This authenticated record may be needed in connection with an insurance claim, a law suit, or other investigation. If a boat owner can state under oath that it is his practice to keep a daily log and then present a signed entry for the day in question, he has gone a long way toward legally establishing the situation as seen by him. Be sure that you never make erasures in a log—if you need to correct an item, rule out the old material without making it illegible, and then write in the correct entry if there is space, or make reference to where it will be found elsewhere in the log. Initial the correction and add the date if it is made on a later day.

If you have any suggestions for maintaining a log, please add them to the comments below.