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Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual: How to Maintain, Repair, and Improve Your Boat's Essential Systems Hardcover – June 21, 2005


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Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual: How to Maintain, Repair, and Improve Your Boat's Essential Systems + Marine Diesel Engines: Maintenance, Troubleshooting, and Repair + Boatowner's Illustrated Electrical Handbook
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 832 pages
  • Publisher: International Marine/Ragged Mountain Press; 3 edition (June 21, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071432388
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071432382
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.7 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,242 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'A reference library book that'll solve or at least set you on the right track to solving almost any boat related problem' Boat Mart 'A serious builder or owner, or a marine proffesional, will find it invaluable" Sailing Magazine (March 2010) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

The boatowner's foremost troubleshooting guide, now better than ever

If it's on a boat and it has screws, wires, or moving parts, it's covered in Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual. When you leave the dock with this book aboard, you have at your fingertips the best and most comprehensive advice on:

  • Battery technologies
  • 12- and 24-volt DC systems
  • Corrosion, bonding, and lightning protection
  • Generators, inverters, and battery chargers
  • Electric motors and electric lights
  • Marine electronics, antennas, and RFI
  • Diesel engines
  • Transmissions, shaft brakes, and propellers
  • Refrigeration and air-conditioning
  • Tanks, plumbing, and through-hulls
  • Pumps and watermakers
  • Steering, autopilots, and wind vanes
  • Stoves and heaters
  • Winches, windlasses, and bow thrusters
  • Spars, rigging, and roller reefing

"If you had to choose a single book to help you assess and maintain your boat gear, this would be it."—Practical Sailor

"A truly remarkable bible. . . . This book is the best of its kind."—WoodenBoat

"A major achievement. . . . It would be hard to imagine anything going wrong on a boat that couldn't be figured out with this book."—Sailing World

"The world's best technical reference and troubleshooting book."—Sailing Inland and Offshore

"This manual will be of lasting interest to anyone who wants to know how their boat works, what has gone wrong when it doesn't, and how it could be fixed."—Classic Boat

"Without becoming too complex, the book covers almost every imaginable mechanical or electrical matter in the marine environment."—Work Boat World

"Calder lives what he writes, . . . [and] what he offers . . . is practical solutions to problems associated with increasingly complex marine systems. . . . [A] bargain for anyone in the construction and repair side of the boat business."—Professional Boatbuilder

Nigel Calder is widely acknowledged as the world's foremost writer on boat systems maintenance. A diesel mechanic for more than 25 years, he has also been a boatbuilder, cabinetmaker, and machinist. Calder is the author of How to Read a Nautical Chart, Nigel Calder's Cruising Handbook, Refrigeration for Pleasureboats, and Marine Diesel Engines. He is a frequent contributor to boating magazines in the United States and Britain.


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Customer Reviews

All in all a good book very well written.
Michael A. Bogdan
It will save you time, money and make your boat a safer place to be if you can read and understand it all... It will take time as there are many pages.
Boat owner Kinlochbervie
If you own a boat, power or sail, that has any electrical, mechanical or plumbing system onboard, then you need this book.
Charles M. Johnson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By John Matlock on September 9, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book nominally covers everything there is to do on a boat of an electrical or mechanical nature including diesel engines. But the vast majority of the book is on electrical equipment. After all, most of the things on the boat sooner or later wind up being part of the electrical system.

Many boats have two electrical systems in parallel. There's the basic DC system, usually 12 volt, sometimes 24. Then there's an entirely separate circuit for 115 volt AC power used when the boat is docked at appropriate places. This book covers it all. The first chapters are on the battery itself and the circuitry around the boat. Then it gets into battery chargers, inverters, wind and water generators, solar cells, everything you ever wanted to know. There are chapters on corrosion, lightning protection, radios and antennas and on and on. About half the book is on purely electrical devices.

The remaining half has chapters on engines, toilets, air conditioning and so on, but this also includes a lot of electrical devices such as autopilots, bow thrusters, and so on that may require electrical power.

Basically this is the bible on how to fix things on the boat. You'll save a fortune on repair bills, and even more if you're halfway across the ocean.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By J. Swift on July 23, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm not talking about yachting type books. I have owned and operated commercial fishing boats in Alaska, for over 30 years. And this book demystifies bonding, grounding, AC boat wiring, lightning protection, a whole chapter just on batteries, and that's just the electrical part of the book. If your unsure about some aspect of your boat's electrical system or machinery, and are walking the docks trying to find out something about them, GET THIS BOOK. Some of that BS one hears on the dock can sink you.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Great Sage Inc. on December 31, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is the best of its kind and should come with every boat. I am a licensed master captain with decades of experience running and repairing boats. I also run an offshore fishing and diving charter boat (ORION - Out to Sea Adventures - Port Aransas, TX). Unfortunately, if it can break on a boat I have had to fix it. I also rebuilt several boats from the hull up. There are other good books out there and some may go into more detail on certain topics but if you do not own and read this book first you are doing yourself a disservice. I also am a consultant to many vessel owners and have sent this book to them as a reference. It has saved many of them thousands of dollars. Even if you are not doing the work yourself this book can really help you understand what you are talking about when you hire someone and inspect their work.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Greg E. Covey on February 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great book. I love the extensive coverage of electrical systems, as it seems so many boaters have problems with electrical. I was a little surprised that the engine section only covers diesel engines. No big deal, as most of the other stuff applies to gas too (impellers, transmission, etc), but I wanted to know a little about a head overhaul and there's not much there for the gas engine owner.
Still, I'd highly recommend this book to any boat owner who also has the gumption to do the work themselves.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By D. Stephen Buck on August 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover
good on basics except fails to help those of us looking for information on older, or actually any, gasoline engines. And that is not mentioned in any of the advertisements or other information. I should return it.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Elliot Beaman on November 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book has virtually every bit of information you will ever need to keep your boats mechanical and electrical systems intact. It also explains in easy to understand language how and why boats deteriorate and how to prevent it. Having this book aboard has already saved me thousands of dollars in repair bills by either showing me how to fix things myself or how to prevent problems to start with. Anyone that owns a boat should have a copy of this book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Joseph W. Mc Carthy on March 20, 2006
Format: Hardcover
covers many important areas where problems usually arise. easily understood explanations and instructions to find and resolve problems. great resource to keep on the boat.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Hitoshi Noguchi on January 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I don't know how useful another 5-star review can be for a book already getting mostly the same, but this is the best book on the topic. I bought the first edition years ago and I am ready to buy a new edition. It just keeps getting better. The best part of the book is that you do not need to be a boat fanatic to read it. You can be the sort of sailor who hires a repairman for most jobs and you will still find the book usefull. At the very least, you will understand what is being done to your boat and why. And having a conversation that doesn't miss the mark when you are talking to the dockhand is what gets the job done right.
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