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Ships operation- standard practice to make factual entries in deck log book

What is deck log book ?

The Deck Log Book is an important document and serves as necessary evidence in case of any Accidents and Casualties. It must contain Factual Entries with Time in each entry. It is essential that clear and accurate record of the activities of the ship are kept, as the Log book will form a main part of the collection of evidence in case of any incidents.Deck Log Book must be retained on board indefinitely.

Entries to be made in the Deck Log Book should cover, but not be limited to the following information:-

Standard Meteorological data which must be carefully assessed

Record of Navigational and Pilotage events during watch

Record of Vessel Position at regular intervals

Behavior of Vessel and Effect of Heavy seas

Change from Hand to Auto steering and vice versa including Trial of Hand Steering every watch

Verification of Compass error also including mention if unobtainable.

Record of Inspections, Trainings and Emergency drills (preferably in Red pen)

Information on Cargo work and other activities in port

Visits by various Officials and Authorities

Stemming of Bunkers, Freshwater, Stores, etc

Search for Stowaways, Contraband and SSP related items

All other information considered pertinent to the watch


Deck Log Books are documents of primary importance, forming as they do a record of the progress of a voyage, the details of loading and discharging cargo, and narrative of all events affecting the management and running of the vessel. It is the Masterís responsibility to ensure that the Log Book is maintained in a legible, factual and punctual manner.

In the event of official investigations, courts of enquiry, and in the settlement of disputes with Shippers, Receivers, Charterers and others, the production of the Deck Log Book is required, and the manner in which this important document has been kept has great bearing upon the favourable outcome of the case. The Master is to personally, scrutinise the Log Book, and with the Chief Officer, sign each dayís page to verify the entries therein.

In addition rough logs and cargo logs can also be used as evidence in case of disputes and they must be accurately compiled.




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Welcome Shipsbusiness.com! Our articles are based on various shipboard activities, safe operation, maintenance and onboard procedure. These procedures are only indicative, not exhaustive in nature and one must always be guided by practices of good seamanship. Based on user feedback we endeavored to summarize each article to serve the international shipping community