Captain's Log: ASA Log Book & Documented Sailing Time

Congratulations! You’ve earned your first ASA certification and your ASA Log Book! Or maybe you have completed the Basic Cruise and Learn with LTD Sailing and you are ready to book a charter and sail on your own! One of the most important things that a charter company will ask you for is your sailing resume (That AND your credit card number!)


“Okay, so, what is that?”

Basically, it’s proof that you know how to sail a boat on your own.

“Isn’t that what my ASA certifications are for?”

YES! That tells the charter company that you have met an internationally recognized standard of skills and knowledge set forth by the American Sailing Association (ASA).

“So, why do I need anything more?”

Charter companies are looking at your certification as well as your experience on the water. Often our students will charter a boat right after their course. In that case, the charter company can get approval from the instructor to verify that the student has the skills and confidence to sail on their own. Getting out on the water is the best way to gain and KEEP those skills.


“How do I keep track of all my time on the water?”

Your instructor will give you an Official Certification ASA Log Book. In the back, you will find a Sailing Log. This is a record of your sailing experience. You might call it a brag book or a sailing diary. It records the following things:

  • DATES – leave and arrive
  • TIME  – leave and arrive
  • LOCATION – origin, and destination
  • VESSEL NAME – type, size, LOA, tonnage
  • DAYS ON BOARD – the number of days on the boat
  • DISTANCE – logged
  • NIGHT – hours, watch
  • DETAILS OF VOYAGE – crew position, weather, special duties, incidents, etc.
  • CERTIFYING SIGNATURE – captain or owner signature

DO NOT wait to complete this information! If you think you can just fill it in after the trip, you will regret it! It will take more time to track down the boat, get the captain’s signature or remember what the wind was like that day if you don’t do it right away! Just slip your log book into your sail bag and make it habit of filling it out during the trip.


There’s an app for that! ASA offers an iPhone app for the ASA Log Book.

If you are planning on going on to get your USCG Captain’s License, you will need 360 documented days on the water and 90 must have been within the last three years. This also requires to complete a Small Vessel Sea Service Form. Again, print some of these out, put them in a water-proof folder and stow them in your sea bag.

You can also find the captain’s logs in your local marine supply store.

The most important thing is to get out on the water as much as you can and log your trips. You will not regret keeping track of your adventures and having them handy when you are ready to take the next step in throwing off the bowlines and living the dream on the water!


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