Boat logging for new captains. The most efficient boat log

Boat logging is a must! Did you buy your first boat recently? The pleasure of boating comes with the not so pleasurable chore of logging. We know it´s not the best part of owning a boat, but responsible boat logging is the difference between an amateur boat owner and a great captain. Learn the 101 of keeping a boat log.

Boat log. What is it?

Also known as a ship´s log, logbook or simply log, this important document is a detailed record of events related to boat management, operation, and navigation.

Why is boat logging important

There are several reasons why keeping an organized boat log is important. You can see the primary reasons in our blog post about legal aspects of boat logging. Hint: Make sure you’re logging right, so you don´t get in trouble with the coast guard.

In traditional navigation, estimated speed and relative distance readings, as well as weather conditions, were recorded in equal times to determine the distance traveled with respect to a given start position. If a storm hit and threw the boat off course, the detailed log could help mariners determine their current course.

Now that modern navigation offers all these digital tools and technological gadgets like radio, radar and GPS and sophisticated barometers, there’s still a need for logging, because other important data is included. Also, should radio, radar or the GPS fail; your logbook will help you navigate home safely.

Recreational boating + boat maintenance services

If you are not able to take your boat out every day, but rather on the weekends or occasionally like in the summer, or just on vacations; your log is even more important to you because it will allow you to keep track of important boat maintenance services you might forget are necessary, like changing your oil or checking the propeller.
These boat maintenance services are generally scheduled according to boat usage. So if your recreational boating is only occasional, keeping a log or trying out a boat log app like Boatrax, will help you remember to plan maintenance ahead of time.

Is your boat in optimal condition?

Calculate hours of use in order to control gas consumption.

Keep track of distance navigated to schedule your next oil changes.

What should you log?

As we stated above, your log registers three important aspects of boat activity.

  • Management. Do you have the supplies, equipment, and crew you need to reach your next anchor point?
  • Operation. Is the boat in optimal condition?
  • Navigation. How´s the tide? Is there a storm coming?

Answering these questions is important. The detailed recording will include all the information that will allow your next boating trip to be fun and safe!

No one wants to be stranded in the middle of the Caribbean with a damaged motor, insufficient fresh water or food supplies and absolutely no clue how many kilometers away from the coast they might be.

Logbook Design layout

Commercially published logbooks are available now. So you don’t have to make up the perfect log design. There are several options that include specific lists in order to assist log organization and make logging more enjoyable.

Unfortunately, these logbooks tend to be too formal. They promote meticulous recording of data that might be a little over the top if you are a recreational boater or leisurely sailor.
If you are only taking your boat out on the weekends, occasionally, on short trips, this might not be your best choice because these books include a large number of pages per trip. They are generally more suitable for long cruises.

If you are a business mogul during the week and captain at large just on Sunday, the best option we know of is a digital boat log app like Boatrax app. Record the important events that will allow efficient boat management and preventive boat maintenance to be scheduled on time.

Boatrax app

This practical, mobile boat log application allows quickly organized logging so your boat maintenance will always be in order, it will be easy to check stock of supplies and you will be the happiest captain when you are out on the bluest of waters and all you see around you is endless waves and open skies.

Happy boating!


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