Log the engine

Most of us don’t bother to buy expensive tailor-made log books, preferring to rule our own columns in a simple hard-backed exercise book. ‘Time, Log, Course steered, COG (Course Over Ground by GPS), SOG (Speed Over Ground by GPS), Position, Weather and Remarks’ are generally enough for a private yacht, but an extra-thin box for ‘engine hours’ is a useful addition. Starting the numbers afresh each time you change the oil, etc, makes it great for maintaining regular service intervals. Note when you fill up too, then if you lose your fuel gauges, a quick multiplication by how many litres of diesel you normally burn per hour dishes up a fair estimate of how much is left.