Record keeping is an important side of the life of a navigating officer as well as a marine engineer. There are different types of records which should be maintained. From the outlook of the ship’s engine room, the engineers required to keep a clear record of the machinery parameters, running hours & several other things. This has been done conventionally using paper daily log books, although with the expanding use of computers on ships, these daily log books might be totally replaced with the electronic log books, but at the present time these paper books are in popular use. Whatever be the media for recording, the importance is of noting the relevant information at a place for future reference & retrieval as & when needed.

Engine Room Logbook Official log book

1) Must be maintained on every ship, unless exempted it is available with engagement & discharge documents from the concerned flag state offices.

2) Must be filled in compliance with the IMO(official log book) regulations, as amended

3) Must be maintained in one book including all seaman onboard & remains in force from time of opening crew agreement till closure of crew agreement.

4) It must be delivered on closure to the concerned flag state

5) It must be produced by Master, if demanded by the superintendent or surveyor or port authorities

6) Each entry must be dated & the master commits an offence if an entry is not made, signed & witnessed in compliance with the regulations & the schedule.

Supplementary officials logs and records:

a) Officials log book(part II passenger ships only) it keeps recording of the openings & closing of watertight doors & connivance listed in the M.8. (closing of openings in hulls & in water tight bulk heads) regulations 1980

b) Radiotelegraph(W/T)  It covers routine tests of equipments in part 1 & part 2 records duty of radio officer & particulars of messages transmitted & received.

c) Radiotelephone (R/T) log It records details of the operators battery condition, battery charging, messages transmitted & received.

d) GMDSS Log Required under the regulation 17(1) of the M.S. (Radio Installations) regulations 1992, be maintained on all vessels & made available for inspection.

It records details of:-

1) Summary of communications relating to distress urgency & safety traffic

2) Important incidents connected with ratio service

3) The position of ship at least once in a day

e) Oil record Book:- Under regulation 10 of the M.S. regulations 1996, must be kept onboard all the tanker(above 150GT) & all non tankers (above 400GT) for machinery space operations (all ships);every oil tanker of 150 GT & above must also have an oil record book (part 2) for cargo & ballast operations.

f) Sewage Discharge Record Book

g) Garbage Record Book

Engine room log book is also an essential document in case of accident & this gives the clear picture of the engine room working condition & the situation existed in the engine room. Generally, this is filled in by the junior engineer of the ship. In deck log book all the entries regarding navigation & charts are mentioned. The official log book is only for the official entries made by only captain & chief engineer about the crew & their behaviour. In case of any discipline related problem is faced with any crew, it will be recorded in this log book.

Types of Entries

Main Engine

1. Timing of Watch (1200-1600; 1600-2000; 2000-0000)

2. Fuel lever settings (notches)

3. Speed setting of air

4. Engine load

5. Engine Revolution counter

6. Average rpm

7. Flow meter reading

8. Main Engine fuel consumption for 4 hours

9. Main Engine all units Exhaust temperature

10. Main Engine all units pcw and jcw temperature

11. Main Engine fuel oil inlet temperature

12. All coolers sea water inlet or outlet of air, lube oil, piston & jacket cooler temperature


1. Sea water pressure

2. Jacket cooling water pressure

3. Piston cooling water pressure

4. Lube oil pressure (bearing, crosshead, cam shaft)

5. Fuel oil pressure

6. Air bottle pressure (1 & 2)


1. Turbo charger rpm

2. Cooling water in & out temperature

3. Air cooler in & out temperature

4. Pressure drop across the turbocharger air cooler filter to judge the blockage

5. Air temperature in & out of the turbocharger

6. Exhaust gas temperature in & out

Other Temperatures/Levels

1. Heavy oil service and settling tank temperature

2. Thrust bearing temperature and pressure

3. Stern tube temperature and pressure

4. Sea water temperature

5. Engine room temperature

6. Main engine sump level

RAC Units (ER air conditioner)

1. Suction pressure and discharge pressure of refrigerent

2. Lube oil pressure

3. Lube oil suction and discharge pressure

4. Air inlet and outlet temperature

Compartment Temperatures

1. Meat room

2. Fish room

3. Vegetable room

4. Dairy room

5. Handling room

Fresh Water Generator

1. Jacket cooling water in & out temperature

2. Condensor sea water in & out temperature

3. Shell temperature

4. Vaccum pressure

5. Ejector pump pressure

6. Distillate pump pressure

7. Feed line pressure

8. Flow meter reading for fresh water

Auxilliary Machinery

1. Exhaust temperatures of all units

2. JCW temperatures of all units

3. Alternator forward & aft bearing temperatures

4. Scavenge air pressure & temperature

5. Air cooler in and out temperatures

6. Lube oil in & out temperatures

7. Sea water in and out temperatures

8. Turbo charger of auxiliary engine exhaust temperature

Tank Levels

1. Heavy oil service & settling tank readings

2. Diesel oil service & settling tank readings

3. Cylinder lube oil storage & Daily tank reading

4. Main engine(M/E) crank case lube oil storage tank reading

5. Auxiliary engine(A/E) crank case lube oil storage tank reading

6. Stern tube Gravity tank (high/low) tank readings

7. Stern tube aft and fwd seal tank level

Following entries must be filled in the engine room(E/R) Log Book:

  • Date & voyage where the ship is heading The position of the ship ( at sea, at port or at anchorage)
  • Readings & Parameters of Main Propulsion Engine Readings & Parameters of Auxiliary Engine (Generators)
  • Readings & Parameters of Other running Machineries
  • Main engine RPM & Load on the Engine Speed of the ship in knots
  • Daily Entry for all the lube oil ROB( Reserve onboard)
  • Daily entry for all grade of the Fuel Oil(F.O) Remaining onboard
  • Remaining onboard value of Sludge & Bilge
  • Running Hour Counter for important machinery
  • Running details of the Oil Pollution Prevention Equipment(Time and Position)
  • Record of any Major Breakdown & reason for the same
  • Record of accident in the engine room(Fire, Flooding etc)
  • Record of grounding, collision & other accidents
  • Record of Major overhauling of important machineries
  • Record of all Bunkering operation( Time, Place & quantity)
  • Record of all Sludge & garbage disposal operation
  • Remarks for additional work done in a watch
  • Remarks for Surveys & PSC inspection
  • Signature of the concerned watch keeper
  • Signature of Chief engineer to make sure all the entries are in position

Important Points To Consider While Filling Out the Engine Room Log Book

1. Allot Sufficient Time for Taking Parameters

2. Always Take Data During Steady State Conditions

3. Note Down and Highlight Important Events,

4. Note Down Correct Tank Levels & their Transfer Details

5. Keep the Log Book Clean and Neat

6. Use Only Pen

7. Only the Watch keeping Engineers Must Fill the engine room Log Book

Additional Point to Consider: – For the marine engines with an Engine International Air Pollution Prevention(EIAPP) Certificate that are subjected to the Engine Parameter Check Method as part of the periodical IAPP Surveys, all changes to an engine‘s NOx controlling components, including like for like replacements, are to be recorded in the Record Book of Engine Parameters. It is to note that a log book is not just for filling the records but also to be used as a reference to study previous data of the machinery parameters & to compare them with the current data, for understanding the condition of machinery systems & early observation of any major fault.

Cargo Record Book

It is required as per regulations. It is a conditions under chemical & gas carriers codes, as well as for ships carrying noxious liquid substances. Number of documents handed over by the chief engineer during sign off:

1. List of status of surveys or certificates, quarterly listing

2. Condition of class‘ (stated) if any

3. Handing over report

4. Fuel oil, diesel oil and lube oil soundings confirm actual figures

5. Voyage requirements for fuel. Lubes

6. Bunkers expected and consumption record

7. Oil record book

8. PMS‘ status of main, auxiliary & electrical machineries

9. Spares onboard

10. Stores onboard

11. Alarm checklist

12.Critical equipment checklist

13. Special and precision equipment onboard

14. Records of port state inspections-LSA/FFA

15. Cargo equipment maintenance records

16. Technical file: list of critical components or spares affecting NOx/SOx

17. Bunker delivery receipts

18. Special tools

19. List of manuals & drawings available on board

20.Training records All other documents relating to the particular type of ship