When it comes to digital innovations within the yachting sphere, there is, on occasion, a new product or technology which has the potential to be so useful and integral to the successful functioning of a yacht that it begs the question: Why hasn’t this been thought of before? eLogbook, a brand new digital log book from L.J Commercial Services, is one such product.
Launched by industry veteran Liz Jackson, who has over 20 years’ experience under her belt, earning her stripes as a chief stew and then purser before moving shoreside, eLogbook is the industry’s first-ever cloud-based platform which looks to revolutionise the digital log book market.
With the bespoke printed log books from L.J Commercial Services already found on board numerous notable superyachts, including the 72.5m Abeking & Rasmussen motor yacht Cloudbreak, the 156m Lurssen Dilbar, and the 90m Oceanco, DreAMBoat, eLogbook harnesses Liz’s extensive knowledge and strong relationships with key industry players as a digital solution tailored to the requirements of today’s onboard operations.
Delivering a personal service
Despite having already bagged some pretty impressive superyacht clients and with the business experiencing noteworthy growth, Liz’s team at L. J. Commercial Services remains the very definition of streamlined.
“Founded back in 2009, currently we are a team of four although we have plans to grow with the digital side. I still manage all the sales myself and all of the physical design elements too,” says Liz. “As for the rest of the team, we have a developer, an administrative assistant and two social media consultants based in Valencia, so we run a very small and efficient operation!”
Serving the shift to digital
Although it’s something of a cliché now to comment on the superyacht industry’s move to digital since the onset of the pandemic, the genie has well and truly left the bottle paving the way for eLogbook to enter the market.
“Clients were coming to us asking for a modern alternative to traditional paper log books,” Liz explains. “They wanted secure, compliant data, available anytime and anywhere with real-time visibility. Our digital log books significantly reduce recording time while improving accuracy and compliance for modern yacht management teams.”
Compliance is a major consideration and eLogbook is Lloyds Register certified and designed to MEPC.312(74) standard. “We have introduced the official log book of the Cayman Islands, which is also fully approved by the Marshall Islands as an electronic logbook provider,” Liz confirms. “eLogbook is also ISO9001 certified and compliant with IMO Jan 2021 Cyber Security Protocol.”
Time is everything
Although there are numerous benefits in using digital log books – the obvious one being that it’s a greener alternative to traditional paper log books – Liz is keen to highlight the convenience of a digital solution that is both intuitive and user-friendly.
As she explains: “Every person on a yacht who is inputting data seems to be time-poor, and we know this from experience, so we have come up with a solution to make their lives as easy as possible through our digital log book.”
Inevitably, the topic of the ‘B-word’ also rears its head. “Being outside the EU, thanks to Brexit, in combination with the complications associated with COVID-19 means that shipping anything, including a paper log book, is a complete nightmare. If I have to ship a log book to St Maartin, it’s going to take a week, but now we can set up a client digitally with exactly the same log book in under an hour.”
Log books tailored to each yacht
Over 16 different modules are available within eLogbook, including Bridge, Engine Room, GMDSS, Oil Record and Garbage, offering a full flag state audit trail and historical record checking across all areas.
And thanks to the personalised service offered by L.J Commercial Services, the team can customise each eLogbook to fit the precise needs of each vessel. “It is completely customisable,” says Liz. “The majority of yachts will request small changes but, for example, engine rooms can be really diverse due to their configuration, so it completely depends on how they are set up.
“Equally, bridge logs are all similar and log similar information, but those using it might have slight differences in how they want this information recorded, so no two log books are ever the same.”
Power in numbers: partnerships
Thanks to the company’s exceptional customer service and competitive pricing, eLogbook has already been making quiet waves within the industry. And thanks to their pedigree and track record, a number of key players - including several well-known yacht management companies - have already got on board, and the trend is sure to continue.
Of course, the proof is in the pudding, so Liz gives the final word to Chief Officer Henry Murray-Cox of motor yacht Lemon Tree (ex: Cloud 9):
“We decided to make the switch to digital log books to save time, this also meant not having a number of log books stacked up in the bridge and ECR. We now have one iPad for all log books. Since our initial call and Zoom call tutorial on how to use the logbooks, the process has been very smooth. Liz and Sarah are always contactable with any questions and very open to any changes we wanted to make on the log books.”
To discover more about the range of logbooks offered by L.J Commercial Services, including the eLogbook, visit the company’s website.