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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on September 9, 2005
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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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on July 23, 2006
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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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 2008
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
on February 13, 2008
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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2006
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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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on August 7, 2007
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2007
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 5, 2006
Even if you already own the second edition of Nigel Calder's "Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual" you should invest in the third edition. The explanations are clear (even to a layman), thorough, authoritative, and independent as usual. But for instance, since the second edition, Calder no longer recommends the Sea Frost engine-driven refrigeration, and now endorses frigoboat with their keel cooler (as does Steve Dashew). His reasons for changing are clearly stated. Technology is changing too fast to make serious (expensive) decisions without the latest information from Calder. Nonsuch 33, Annapolis, MD
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 27, 2008
This is the second Nigel Calder book I own, and I am even more impressed. I am an ASA-certified instructor qualified to teach through bareboat chartering and coastal navigation. I have sailed on all sorts of boats, have owned a cruising style boat for six years, have heard boat owners and students complain about various problems, have read dozens of books, and through all of this have experienced so many mysteries related to corrosion, electrical problems, equipment problems, and issues with various boat systems. For the first time, I feel I have a single reference manual specific to boat systems that not only provides clear troubleshooting steps but goes beyond troubleshooting to clearly explain the mechanical and physical principles that demystify why things go wrong and how the troubelshooting steps systematically work through problems. The explanations are understandable, the instructions and safety tips are effective, and the diagrams and photos are valuable. It has already helped me deal with a grounding problem that was causing our main cirvruit breaker to trip!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The third edition of Nigel Calders' seminal work has improved even more proving that this is still THE book for the expert or novice. Nigel's easy style is akin to have a quiet conversation with an expert. The text is clear and concise and the photos and illustrations ensure that the reader will gain a thorough grasp of the subject material.

If you own a boat, power or sail, that has any electrical, mechanical or plumbing system onboard, then you need this book.
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