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Digital Logbook, App, PC or...?

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:50 am
by Drifter
Any recommendations for a logbook or PC or Android software for boating about?

Ideally would like a total package that covers navigation, boat maintenance, fishing spots...

Have found 'Log Book Suite', which seems overkill for my needs as a logbook, has nothing to do with fishing, just too fussy and detailed really. On the other hand found various things for Mac but I've only twice owned their products and hated both of them, so I'd rather not, even if the name does somewhat match the boat :P

This is almost ideal, but a really old-fashioned feel and zero for fishing or importing GPS tracks:

I do quite like it though.

I'm considering getting a cheap little laptop just for the boat, as a general brain to access. Thinking an Android tablet might be better? Seems there's a few phone apps that could be good but so many to look at and you can't trust Android reviews (both positive and negative).

Any other suggestions, favorites or ideas?

Re: Digital Logbook, App, PC or...?

Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2020 9:50 am
by Drifter
I'll take that as a no then :D

Re: Digital Logbook, App, PC or...?

Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2020 10:11 am
by Chinook
I'm an old fashioned ink and paper guy, so when I first got our boat I bought a small 3 ring binder Log book. I was never happy with the stock information entry pages in the book, so I made up a custom page which included things I was most interested in recording. Stuff like departure time, arrival time, stops along the way, place of departure, destination, amount of time motoring vs sailing, miles cruised for the day, miles cruised for the trip, daily high air temp, water temp, wind speed, expenses for fuel, moorage, etc., water taken on, and a place for notes. I typically fill the page in as soon as I anchor or tie up for the night. When I'm blogging a trip, I record for each day on the laptop, with my paper log book out and handy to provide me with specific info.

Regarding laptop, our last one was a nice heavy duty model, however, it bit the dust after about 5 years of general use, including on the boat. I've concluded that a regular, off the shelf Office Depot or internet purchase laptop is sufficient. Shouldn't need to worry about dropping it with decent care (don't leave it on top of the table when underway). One capability very important to me is ability to plug directly into 12 volt system for charging, without need for using an inverter. This results in energy savings for the boat's house battery.

Re: Digital Logbook, App, PC or...?

Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:33 pm
by Drifter
The idea of custom pages does appeal to me.

I may create my own and get a local printer to copy and bind to create my own version.

Perhaps my biggest problem is my handwriting is really terrible! I can barely read it myself. I'm a writer by trade and very much a keyboard guy.

I guess I could write by hand, then copy over to computer later.


Re: Digital Logbook, App, PC or...?

Posted: Sun Sep 20, 2020 6:23 am
by Russ
I don't know what apps are out there. I'm sure a simple notepad app would even work.

Amazon has Fire tablet on sale all the time. Can pick one up to leave on the boat. I bought a Fire 7 for $40 to use for a smart home app and is now basically a slideshow/home controller.

I'm with you, my handwriting is horrible. Wouldn't want to handwrite anything.

Re: Digital Logbook, App, PC or...?

Posted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 12:15 pm
by Be Free
Have you checked out the Logbook Konni plugin for OpenCPN? Both are free.

Re: Digital Logbook, App, PC or...?

Posted: Thu Sep 24, 2020 12:13 am
by Drifter
Be Free wrote:
Wed Sep 23, 2020 12:15 pm
Have you checked out the Logbook Konni plugin for OpenCPN? Both are free.
Thanks, I took a look...

Welp, eventually managed to get that working but a bizarre situation where there are just no charts for Borneo. Only some tiny little rectangle some distance away from me.

I've written to the chart publisher, as their site suggests they cover the whole South China Sea, but that ain't it.

Guess I'll have to stick to paper charts