Daily Sailing Log
If you’re just out day sailing you might keep a “Daily Sailing Log” jotting down some basic information; where you went, who was aboard and any special events that might have occurred, like seeing whales or dolphins… maintaining a daily logbook can be a rewarding exercise that can provide a valuable record of events and a diary for reminiscing!
When on an extended cruise with a specific destination, you may want to record more details using the “Cruising Log” documenting weather, fuel usage, engine hours, as well as have a fairly detailed record of the course and distances run. This information becomes very useful to look back upon when sailing the same area in the future. Jotting down the basic information every hour or two, like course, heading, distance run, barometric pressure, latitude and longitude position, and weather conditions only takes a minute and valuable for future reference.
The main use of the “Cruising Log” is to record information concerning the vessels navigation. Even if you are convinced of the reliability of GPS (Global Positioning System) navigation you still need a ships log to record navigational data and if, heavens forbid, your GPS should fail, the information in a written log can enable you to calculate a position and arrive safely at your destination.