What is Engine Room Log Book? How to fill Engine Log Book Effectively?

Ship is a large buoyant water craft on which hundreds of activities are done daily. All these activities are recorded physically as well as electronically for various purposes. These records of activities are maintained in a book (register) as per the rules which is famously known as Log Book. Log book is nothing but a record book in which records of various activities are kept and these records are categorized according to the department of operation i.e. Deck department and Engine department.

There are many log book for different purposes like Official log book, Radio telegraph log book, GMDSS log book, Deck log book, Engine log book etc. But here our focus is limited to Engine log book and its entries.

Engine Log Book or (Engine Room Log Book) is a record book of engine room activities. It contains running status of machinery, all important parameters, maintenance works, status of oils, ship and weather condition etc. Engine log book is maintained in two ways: physical engine log book and electronic e-log book.

Why We need Engine log book ?

It’s a lawful and valuable record book of engine room. All records are helpful for troubleshooting and preventive maintenance. It is also an important part of an insurance claim. It is checked for the following purposes:

  • To determine conditions of ME and Auxiliary machinery performances. 
  • To know ROB of fuel oil and lube oil. 
  • To know running hours of main and auxiliary machinery. 
  • To check records concerning with SOLAS and MARPOL requirements also.

What we have to fill in Engine Log Book?

Engine log book contains 32 pages for daily entries, details of engine crew and important notes on various entries. Parameters are noted in every watch i.e. 4 hourly basis.Normally watch routines are like 1200-1600, 1600-2000, 2000-2400, 0000-0400, 0400-0800 and 0800-1200. There are two pages for each daily entries. There is a provision for making carbon copy also for company reference. Following details must be on each page of engine log book:

  • Name of the vessel (for example: MV Kiran)
  • Position of the vessel (At sea or At port or At anchorage)
  • Date (Noon to noon) i.e. date of present day to next day
  • Voyage No. or Voyage route (for example: Colombo to Vizag)

First page entry: In this page mainly parameters of different plants are mentioned.

1. Main Engine Plant: Revolution counter, rpm, Exhaust temperature of all units, Jacket temperatures of all units, Piston cooling water temperature of all units (if water cooled piston), Turbocharger rpm, Turbocharger fwd and aft temperature, Spring air pressure, Sump level, L.O pressure (Main bearing, Thrust bearing, Crosshead, Turbocharger), Charge air cooler inlet/outlet temperature etc. are noted correctly. During preheat or manoeuvering, Main Engine columns are left blank.

2. Auxiliary Engine Plant: Hours run, KW, Amps, rpm, volts, Exhaust temperature of all units, Jacket temperature of all units, sump level, flow meter, L.O pressure etc. are noted properly. If more than one AE is running then we have to mention parameters of all running Auxiliary Engines.

3. Boiler Plant: Flow meter, Steam pressure, Hours run, Chemical added, Fuel pressure etc. are written. Notice about Oil fired boiler and Exhaust gas boiler.

4. Fresh Water Generator (FWG): Hours run, Feed pressure, Ejector pump pressure, Distillate pump pressure, Vaccum, Salinity, Flow meter, Water made etc. are written clearly.

5. Air conditioning system: Suction pressure and Discharge pressure of refrigerant gas, Oil pressure, Air inlet/outlet temperature etc. are noted properly.

6. Reefer (Provision) system: Suction and Discharge pressure of refrigerant, Oil pressure, Compartment temperatures (Veg. room, Meat room, Fish room, Diary), condenser temperature etc. are noted in respective columns.

7. Pump status: We have to mention, which pumps are running i.e. either main pump (No. 1 pump) or standby pump (No. 2 pump) is running. For example: Jacket pump No. 1 is running, Steering gear pump No. 2 is running etc.

8. Lube Oil (L.O) Cooler: Sea water temperature, Inlet/Outlet temperature of oil etc. are noted.

9. Others: Engine room temperature, Control room temperature, Sea water temperature, Fuel viscosity, Compressed air pressure, Control air pressure, Running hours of Compressor/Purifier/Ballast pump/L.O pump/Jacket pump etc. are also written.

Second page entry: In this page mainly ROB, weather, vessel condition and works are mentioned.

  • Watchkeeping Officers signature: All watchkeeping officers have to mention remarks of their watch and sign in the log book as a proof of proper watch.
  • ROB (Remaining Onboard): Chief engineer specifies the consumption and ROB quantity of L.O, F.O, spare parts etc. on daily basis.
  • Ship’s Condition: Chief engineer mentions the average rpm, distance to go, engine speed, ship speed, hours underway, hours full speed, distance covered by engine, slip, weather, stoppage etc. everyday. If vessel is at sea or at anchorage then these columns are left blank.
  • Oil Consumption (Fuel oil/Lube oil): Chief engineer specifies the daily consumption of oil and demands bunker according to ROB.
  • Work done or Maintenance work details: There are columns for mentioning the daily work done or maintenance work for different plants like Main Engine/Auxiliary Engine/Miscellaneous.
  • Signature of Second Engineer and Chief Engineer: Finally chief engineer verify and sign the log book.

Why Log Book has 32 pages, while maximum days in a month are 31 only?

When ship crosses international date line, date changes in the same day. We have to write log book for both date in two different pages. That’s why there are provision of 32 pages in the log book.


  • It’s duty of engineers to keep engine log book clean. I would suggest to put a binding cover on it.
  • Do not use pencil instead of ball pen for writing parameters. Always keep in mind, it’s official engine log book and can be used anytime.
  • Do not over write. Use whitener for whitening wrong data, re-write and make a sign.
  • Watchkeeping officers are liable to fill this engine log book. But generally, junior engineer or motorman or oiler maintains it.
  • Don’t haste during taking of parameters and always avoid fluctuating data. Try to take local readings for accuracy.

1 Comment

  1. Peter de Buesays:

    Hi, thanks for the article.
    There seems no statutory requirement for engine room log books or for engine room journals. At least not specific. Very generic requirements can be found in ISM 7, but I do not find more specific requirements in for example SOLAS. References to use an engine room log book however can be found quit often in maritime legislation. Do you know of any place within the realm of maritime legislation where the use and requirement for engine room log books is more specified?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *