Saillogger Frequently Asked Questions

Saillogger is a fully automated and maintenance-free marine log book and monitoring solution built by boaters for boaters. It was created in 2019 by a sailor who wanted to capture their memories while sailing from San Francisco to Mexico but knew they would not be diligent enough to capture every nook cranny along the California coast.

Saillogger automatically logs the details of your trips. These include track, speed, distance, wind speed, etc. Each trip is automatically detected and logged without requiring you take any action like starting or stopping a trip. It builds and maintains a digital memory for you and your boat.

At the end of each trip, a new log entry is automatically created, marking start and destination moorages. The time you spent at moorages will also be logged under Stays (e.g. Stayed 3 days in Eagle Harbor at anchor). You may need to manually categorize your stay as at anchor, mooring buoy or dock. If you choose to do so, that is the only manual thing to do, it is completely optional. And if you classify a stay, Saillogger will remember it the next time you visit the same moorage.

Saillogger aggregates information about your trips and provides you statistics including the number of trips, moorages you have been to, countries you have visited, longest passages, time you spent at anchor, mooring buoys etc. The easiest may be to log in using a demo account and see the features yourself.

Saillogger also creates an automatic timelapse for all of your trips, animating the movements of your boat on a map. See a timelapse example for a multi-week, 3000 mile cruise along the Inside Passage to Alaska.

A monitoring function allows you to see your boat's status while you are away from the boat and have a peace of mind. You can also configure e-mail and push notifications to your phone.

Your information stays private unless you explicitly decide to make it available publicly. If you choose to do so, your friends, family and others can access your statistics, log book entries, timelapse or monitoring information. You can configure each individually, for example you can make your timelapse public but keep everything else private if you wish.

There are multiple ways to use Saillogger but our recommended approach is to use a Victron Cerbo GX that is integrated with your boat network with a NMEA 2000 cable. Victron provides the perfect platform that can act as a central hub for monitoring and controlling various devices on your boat. Saillogger runs on this platform. About the price point, required hardware will cost you roughly $300 in the United States. You can purchase them on Amazon.com (see Cerbo-S GX and the cable) or through your preferred local marine server provider.

The next thing is you need is an Internet connection. Starlink on your boat, marina wifi when you get back to your slip or occasional hotspot connections to your phone are more than adequate. Saillogger can run without an Internet connection for months, possibly years.

Follow the instructions on Setting up Cerbo GX and Automated Trip Logging via Saillogger to setup Saillogger, create a free account and configure it on Cerbo GX.

That's it, then sit back, relax, and cruise around. Let Saillogger manage your log book and capture your memories for you while you are enjoying cocktails with your family and friends.

Advanced Users: There are additional ways to use Saillogger if you are an advanced, technically oriented user. Saillogger runs on an open platform called Signal K. If you already use Signal K on your boat, you can start using Saillogger by just downloading the plugin.

Customized Platform: If you want to follow a more geeky path and build your own platform with customizations, our recommended option is to use a Raspberry Pi with a PiCAN-M HAT and its purpose built case. PiCAN-M HAT is an awesome module for Raspberry Pi and can be used to power it from NMEA 2000 without requiring an additional power supply. Detailed instructions on running Signal K on a Raspberry Pi with PiCAN-M can be found on SeaBits.

Marine Vendors: If you are a marine vendor developing a monitoring device that supports Signal K, please contact us and we will be happy to list your product here.

Saillogger offers a free 30-day trial period. After the trial, the subscription costs USD 7.99 per month or the approximate equivalent in your local currency. During the trial, you do not need to enter any payment information. If you decide not to subscribe to a paid plan, you can still export your tracks at the end of the trial period.

Definitely. Saillogger pairs extremely well with Starlink and other satellite Internet solutions, providing a tracking solution that allows you to share your real-time location and weather conditions with your family and friends. This is particularly useful if you are switching to using Starlink on your boat, and your previous monitoring solution becomes irrelevant. Many of our users have chosen Saillogger after transitioning to Starlink.

As Bill and Karen on SV Harmonie have said: "When we switched our offshore communications to Starlink, we needed a new solution for our realtime web tracker. We evaluated several potential solutions, and Saillogger was the clear winner. It has all the features we wanted and more. The automated log has just been a great system for us."

In order to use Saillogger as a public tracker, you need to enable Public Profile in your settings page and toggle Monitoring to on. Then you can share the link provided to you with your friends and family. Saillogger is an intelligent system and will provide customized views when you are at anchor or underway automatically.

Pro Tip: Starlink provides high-precision GPS capabilities, making it a viable backup GPS source for your boat's NMEA network. Explore the Starlink plugin we've developed to enable this functionality. This plugin is optional and only necessary if you seek to perform more advanced tasks, such as utilizing Starlink as a backup GPS source. Tracking is a default option that doesn't require any advanced configuration or additional plugins.

Yes, Saillogger offers a seasonal pause option. When you leave your boat for an extended period of time, you can pause the subscription. All Saillogger functions will stop working during this period but your data will be retained. You can resume the subscription when you come back to your boat for the next season.

Note that you need to have a payment method on file in order to activate a seasonal pause. Your payment method will not be charged when the subscription is paused. When you resume the subscription, if it is due for a renewal, you will be immediately charged for that month. So it is important to resume the subscription only when you plan to use it.

Yes, of course. You can export your logs and stays as CSV files; and your tracks and moorages as GPX files.

Yes! When you enable your public profile, you will have the option to choose your boat pronoun (e.g. SV, MV, etc.) and your boat name. For example, your boat monitoring link could look like https://saillogger.com/mvrenaissance/monitor, and you can customize svrenaissance.

You do not need constant Internet connection from your boat for trip logging. Saillogger caches data locally. So if you connect to the Internet occasionally (every few weeks is more than enough) when you are at a marina or dock, that is sufficient.

We have users who use Saillogger from remote destinations, where there is no Internet. Their trips gets processed whenever they get to a place where they can connect to the Internet for a few hours. While we haven't tested explicitly, there is no reason for Saillogger to not work even if you don't connect to the Internet for a year. The bigger risk will be losing locally cached data due to a crash or hardware failure.

However, remote monitoring is near-realtime and you need an Internet connection to use it. Trip logging will continue to work even if you do not have an Internet connection but you will not be able to monitor your boat remotely.

Important Note: Seeing information on the monitoring page does not necessarily mean your monitoring device is able to send the required data for trip logging. These are different enough that while the monitoring page is working as expected, new trips may not be logged. This section explains probable causes and ways to troubleshoot.

First of all, ensure that you have waited long enough after your trip has completed. It will normally take about an hour after you complete a trip for a log to show up. During this time, your monitoring device needs to be up and connected to the Internet. If it is not, no worries, your log still will show up as soon as you bring your monitoring device up and it connects to the Internet the next time.

If you have waited enough, ensured your monitoring device is on and it is connected to the Internet several hours after completing a trip, you may need to investigate more. Your monitoring device is probably not sending position information to the cloud. There can be several reasons for this but before proceeding further, simply restart the Signal K server. If the problem is due to some crashed process, this should fix it.

If problem persists, the next likely reason is that you may have specified an incorrect GPS source in your plugin confirmation. To be sure, remove if there is anything there. It is for advanced use cases and only needed in rare scenarios, plugin should work without an explicitly specified GPS source. Remove the GPS source and restart Signal K server.

To verify, go to Signal K Dashboard and look for the status for Saillogger plugin. It will say something like "1 entry in the queue, last connection to the server was 17 minutes ago". There are few things to verify here:

  • Entries in the queue should be changing and be non-zero at least every 15 minutes.
  • Last connection to server is less than 30 minutes ago.
If either of these are not true, the plugin cannot collect enough information or connect to the Internet. Double check your plugin configuration and monitoring device's Internet connectivity, make sure you have the right Collector ID and that no GPS source is specified.

Another way to verify that the monitoring device is sending data to the cloud is via your boat page on Saillogger.com, which provides some useful information. Status field should give you a good idea on what might be happening. If it is not enough, click on the Collector ID on that page, you will see additional important details.

  • Collector ID: Collector ID assigned for you. You MUST enter this ID in the plugin configuration.
  • Last Contact: Last time your monitoring device connected to the cloud. This will give some idea if the it can connect to the Internet.
  • Unprocessed Records: Number of records that have been captured but not logged as a trip yet. This should be an increasing non-zero number if your monitoring device is reporting position information. When you start and finish a new trip, these records will be processed to identify the details of that trip. This value will keep increasing until you complete your next trip, can be hundreds or thousands of entries, it is normal. The problem is when this value stays at zero, it indicates a likely problem in your plugin configuration.

If none of these help, you need to go a bit deeper. Before you do that, re-verify everything above as the issue is most likedly covered there. If you are sure it is not, next step is to enable plugin debugging and checking Signal K server log for any anomolies reported by the plugin. If you have gone this far, you may try contacting as at [email protected], but we can only offer limited support on a best effort basis so your best option is to do as much self troubleshooting as possible. If you contact us, please provide very detailed information, including your debug logs.

Saillogger takes information from your boat network and only supports the readings that are available, specifically:

  • Position reports from GPS or AIS
  • Wind speed and direction from wind instruments
  • Water depth (depth below transducer) from depth sounder
  • Indoor, outdoor and water temperatures
  • Indoor and outdoor humidity
  • Barometric pressure
  • Battery voltage and state of charge
If these are not available, Saillogger will not display the corresponding section to provide a smoother user experience.

If you have these readings on your boat netwok but Saillogger does not pick them up, check the plugin settings on Signal K server. You can specify alternate data paths as the source.

To see a fully functioning monitoring page, please login with the demo account and view the monitoring page.

Make sure you have readings for your battery available in SignalK. To confirm this, go to the admin page of your Signal K server and choose Data Browser. Choose self as context and entry batteries in the search field. You should see several readings like electrical.batteries.XXXX.voltage, electrical.batteries.XXXX.capacity.stateOfCharge.

Enter the value you see in XXXX to your Saillogger plugin, in Main Battery key for monitoring field. For example, if you see electrical.batteries.1234.voltage in the browser, you should only enter 1234 in the plugin configuration.

On the monitoring page, wind direction is displayed with an arrow within the wind panel. It aligns to the direction that the wind is flowing through. For example, if the arrow is pointing south, it means the wind is a northerly.

Wind direction for monitoring is sourced from environment.wind.directionTrue key in Signal K. This will likely not be available in your NMEA 2000 network by default but it can be easily calculated by the derived-data plugin.

Notes attached to TrackPoints do show up in Timelapse allowing you to create stories for your travels. See an example here.

In order to add a note, open a existing log and click on one of the TrackPoints (boat icons in the map), a popup will appear allowing you to add a note. Save it and when go to Timelapse, you will see that note as your boat passes through the TrackPoint.

Important Note: Specifying a GPS source is an advanced option and should be avoided unless absolutely necessary. It can become useful when you have an erratic GPS source on the network that you want to ignore.

If your logs have random tracking points that are tens, hundreds or even thousands of miles from the overall track, that normally means there is a GPS source that occasionally sends position reports that are wrong and Saillogger captures them. This can easily mess up your logs and can cause zig zagged tracks. In such a scenario, you can limit the GPS source to a single reliable GPS source. Doing so can be tricky and a misconfiguration can cause your trips not to be logged at all, so caution is required.

If you are convinced you need to specify a GPS source, follow these steps:

  • Go to your plugin configuration on Signal K.
  • Enable debugging and temporarily enter a random text to GPS source. Don't worry, we will change this later on.
  • Go to server log and you should see messages like the following: signalk-saillogger Skipping position from GPS resource PiCAN-M.130. You will see multiple lines similar to this, each coming from a different GPS source.
  • Pick the GPS source you want to key on, for example, let's say in the above example the GPS source you would like to use is PiCAN-M.130. You want to pick your most reliable GPS source that is always available. Do not pick sources that may not be available at all times.
  • Go back to your plugin configuration and enter that as the GPS source exactly. Make sure it is copy pasted exactly, if there is a typo, Saillogger will ignore all position reports.
  • Save the plugin configuration and go back to Server Logs. You should see position reports coming from sources other than your specified source are ignored/skipped. If your specified source is showing up in the logs, it means there was something wrong in the configuration.
  • Disable plugin logging and follow the steps outlined in question 8 above to ensure your monitoring device keeps sending additional records.
Do not rely on monitoring page to test your specified GPS source, it is only used for trip logging.

You likely have a GPS source on your network that is unreliable. Make sure you have consistent readings from your GPS and ensure you have a GPS antenna that has an unobstructed view of the sky.

If the problem still persists, consider limiting GPS readings to a single reliable source, which is explained in question 13.

Using your settings page, you can enable your profile to be public. Once you enable it, you will see an option to publish your observations as a weather station on Windy.com.

If you enable your public profile but see this option disabled, there may be a few reasons:

  • Make sure you are using the latest plugin version. This support is available in plugin versions 2.3.0 and newer.
  • You must configure monitoring data source for wind direction as environment.wind.directionTrue on your monitoring device. This is necessary because reporting apparent wind directions to Windy will be very confusing for those who are processing it!
  • Data for environment.wind.directionTrue will likely be unavailable in your NMEA network, which is expected. You can use the awesome derived-data plugin to easily calculate it.
  • You need to have outdoor temperature coming through environment.outside.temperature. This is required as Windy doesn't accept observations that don't include temperature readings.
The more marine weather observations we have, the better forecasts we will collectively have! Thank you for your turning boat into a live weather station!

If you have the trips logged, and see position on your boats page but not the monitoring page, most likely reason is mismatched time (or timezone) between your monitoring device and the NMEA network.

Please make sure your chartplotter and monitoring device times are accurate and synced. You may need to restart your monitoring device and chartplotter after adjusting the time.

If your GPS occassionally puts out erroneous readings resulting in zigzagged tracks, you can delete these points from your logs. To do this, go to the log in question and click on the trackpoint you want to delete. A popup will appear with a delete button. Click on it and choose the delete option, the trackpoint will be deleted.

Here is a quick demo showing how to do it:

In order to embed your tracker, enable public profile in your settings page. Once you enable it, you will be given a URL that you can use to embed your tracker to your own pages.

Once you have it, you can embed it in your own pages, with a simple iframe. Here is an example:

<iframe src="https://saillogger.com/mvelysian/monitor" width="100%" height="600" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe>
It will look like this:

Depending on your preference, there are a few ways to engage with us:

  • You can visit our community discussion boards where we announce new features and provide tips on Saillogger. You can request new features, up and downvote other feature requests, and ask your questions here!
  • You can email us at [email protected].