Last Updated: February 21, 2022
All scuba divers should keep a record of their dives. Because recording your air consumption, weighting, use of equipment and other information from your dives, will enable you to react to different diving conditions more efficiently in future.
Only if you log these events down will you remember them, so you can improve your skills and become a better diver.
That’s why using a dive logbook and filling it out correctly is essential.
This article lists everything you need to know about scuba diving logbooks. Whether you’re just starting out on your scuba adventure, or are a veteran of 100 dives, there is something here for everyone to learn.
What is a Dive Log Book?
A dive logbook is a place where you record all the information about your underwater dives. After you have taken part in many dives, it can also be a record of your diving history.
Your dive logbook is both a personal record and documentation that can contribute to your overall safety. If there is an accident on the dive, the logbook can reveal information that helps you understand what happened and why, and how best to prevent another one in the future.
A dive logbook comes in many shapes and sizes and you can record your dives however you want. Popular methods include writing it out in a printed book, typing it into a digital spreadsheet, and syncing it to a diving app.
Do You Need a Logbook For Scuba Diving?
Those of you who only dive for the fun of it do not need to keep a logbook, but it is strongly recommended you do. It will contain a record of any of the training and accreditation you might need, as well as your past thoughts and feelings that can help you improve your technique.
Many diving organizations require proof of your diving history and without a logbook, you might have to take a refresher course. This is not only unnecessarily costly, but also time-consuming.
Dive qualifications are important, but some dive operators also require a level of experience to participate in difficult dives. If you don’t have proof of the requirements, you might not be able to board the boat and participate in your dive. You might even miss out on a refund.
For professional divers, you might be required by your employer to keep a dive logbook.
What is a Dive Log Used For?
A dive log is used to record anything and everything about your dive. This includes:
- The date, time, and location of the dive
- What dive number it is
- The weather conditions
- The name/s of your dive buddy/ies
- Details about the swell, tides, and wind
- The boat from which the dive took place (if there is one)
- The start and end times of the dive
- Visibility underwater
- Breathing mixes used
- Breathing equipment used
- Depth reached, and average depth
- Start and end pressure
- Exposure protection
- Accumulated bottom time
- Tank type and size
- What weight you took down and whether it felt over, under, or ideal
- Water temperature
- Whether the water was fresh, salt, or a mix
- Conditions underwater
- Details of the dive, including what you saw and any new experiences
- Any lessons learned, safety issues, or dangers encountered
- Any injuries
- Whether it was a training dive
- An accredited stamp to confirm the dive
It is also a good idea to record your personal details (telephone number, address) and the names and contact details of the people or the diving organization.
How to Fill Out a Dive Logbook
Paper logbooks usually come in the form of a bound notebook with a printed template. You can fill it in by hand with either a pen or pencil.
If you are concerned about water damaging or smudging your entries, stick to pencil.
The log on your personal computer is easily filled out when you can do so.
If your electronic log uses a cloud function, you might have to wait until you have access to wifi.
Easily accessible from your smartphone, these types of dive logbooks are a convenient and fast way to keep your logbook safe. Not only are they safe in the cloud, but there’s no chance of them being destroyed by an errant splash of water.
And if you can sync them to your diving computer, the app does the work for you.
Dive Log Template
There are many templates for diving logbooks. Remember, it doesn’t matter what it looks like, only that it has room to record all the information you need.
Here is a simple template to give you an idea – dive log template download.
Is There a Dive Log App?
There are many live log app options for you. Here are some of the most popular for both iOS and Android devices:
- Dive Mate (Scuba Dive Log)
- iDeco Pro
- Dive Log
- DIVE Magazine
- Diving Dude
- Dive Number
What Qualifies as a Logged Dive?
A logged dive is any dive that is recorded in a written or electronic logbook, or by a dive computer.
However, not all ‘logged dives’ are counted by diving organizations. For example, some diving organizations and charters require that you are in the water for at least 20 minutes and go to a depth of at least 20 feet for it to count as a ‘logged dive’.
Now that you know all about dive logbooks, what they’re used for, and what they include, there’s nothing stopping you from going out and having a wonderful adventure under the sea.
My unbounded love for the oceans and everything it has to offer motivated me to pursue my passion and become a professional scuba diving instructor.
I keep reading, exploring, and learning more about scuba diving and the underwater world all the time, so I’m excited to share my knowledge with fellow scuba enthusiasts and hopefully contribute a little to your development as a diver. I want people to fall in love with the oceans with as much passion as I have. Read more about me here.