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How Boat Things Work: An Illustrated Guide Paperback – Illustrated, June 4, 2007
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From the Publisher
Charlie Wing is the author/illustrator of a number of top-selling home maintenance and remodeling books, as well as six other boating titles.
From the Back Cover
"Anyone who contemplates any onboard do-it-yourself work should have this book at his or her elbow."--Cruising World
"This book reduces a boat to its most rudimentary parts in simple drawings and clear explanations. Fascinating to read, it's a perfect teaching tool."--Ocean Navigator
Whether you're a new mariner or a lifetime veteran, How Boat Things Work is a resource you can't afford to be without. With intricate two-color cutaway drawings of eighty different systems and devices, as well as detailed explanations of how they're assembled, how they work, and how they can go wrong, this book covers every primary component of your boat's inner workings.
This guided tour "under the hood" of your sailboat or powerboat includes:
- Engines, transmissions, bearings, stuffing boxes, propellers
- Steering systems, autopilots, windvanes, compasses
- Rigging, splicing, line handling, block and tackle, sail controls
- Anchors and windlasses
- DC and AC electrical systems
- Pumps, toilets, seacocks, freshwater systems
Charlie Wing earned a Ph.D. in oceanography from MIT. Wing lived aboard a cruising sailboat for six years, during which he obtained his U.S. Coast Guard Captain's license. He is also the author of Get Your Captain's License, Boatowner's Illustrated Electrical Handbook, The One-Minute Guide to the Nautical Rules of the Road, and other boating titles.
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This is not really a reading-book, but is more of a reference. A discussion of membrane pumps is pretty darn dry, unless you suddenly need to know how to open the fool thing and fix it. Then, this book is just what you need. The author tells you he is discussing a certain model of pump or engine, but chances are yours is at least somewhat simular.
I found the discussion of waste-water plumbing to quite useful. As I eyeball boats, I now have a clearer idea of what I am looking at. This book is more suitable for a boat-owner than a boat-shopper like me, nevertheless I found it worth my time.
I cannot imagine not having a copy of this book on board.
This book has a purpose but only for identification, not for solving problems or servicing equipment. In no way, can anyone troubleshoot with this book.
Captain Wing--whose name is familiar to those of you nautically-minded as author of "Get Your Captain's License" and "The Boatowner's Illustrated Electrical Handbook"--reviews boat systems that you'd likely see aboard your 32'-class cruiser. Wing's no stranger to learning in extremis, either--indeed, as he makes clear, he began his journey as the systems aboard his own cruiser successively packed it in over the course of a season.
Section I deals with propulsion, and his overview of the various folding/feathering props should disabuse you of the notion that installing these aboard your boat would be a good idea. (That's not what he says, it's what I inferred. Seriously, the diagrams alone are frightening. Why would you hang your boat's propulsion upon something that has that many teeny pieces and moves about?) At any rate, it's a good overview of propulsion. He uses the Yanmar 2GM as his example, and includes some sage advice--such as installing a larger primary fuel filter.
Section 2 covers steering. I like wheels, but he doesn't cover tiller systems. He also explains servopendulum autopilots.
Section 3 covers standing rigging, swageless fittings and tuning your rig. It's a brief chapter that's at best a big-picture overview.
Section 4 is called "Line Handling", which is pretty ambitious--it includes basic deck skills like coiling down lines properly to making them off through knots, block and tackles and the set up of your running rigging. My nit to pick here is that Captain Wing doesn't review the fundamentals of reeving multi-part blocks. How many times has someone unreeved crucial blocks, such as at the mainsheet, and left you wondering how to get it reeved properly? His coverage of reeving to advantage and disadvantage is too short and too sparsely illustrated. This is a particularly salty skill and probably would have added fewer than 2 full pages to the text.
Section 5 covers ground tackle--this is what sailors usually call the frayed mess of crap that they've shoved forward into the fo'c's'le. Ground tackle often merits little attention let alone discussion, which is a mistake. Regular practice with it will save your skin. I'd have liked Captain Wing's discussion of various moorings (in particular the Bahamian) to have earned a little more coverage, though. After all, as I tell my students, there's no such thing as a book called "101 Funny Anchoring Stories".
Chapter 6 is the reason I bought this book. As the co-author of a book called "The 12-volt bible" you'd expect the Captain to spend some quality time on this subject. He does, and that's a good thing, since electrical systems are growing steadily larger and more complicated in small cruising boxes. I'd like to have seen an overview of basic tests that you would perform when tying up at dock--for example, how to use a multi-meter when checking for correct polarity.
Chapter 7 is "plumbing", which offers a good overview of general marine plumbing systems. It is not, however, by any means a troubleshooting and repair guide.
Captain Wing has done an excellent job of creating a high-level overview of major boat systems. It's an excellent companion for boat owners and those of you who bare-boat charter as a familiarization guide.
Top international reviews
that is nessary for boating and or understanding
of how things work well worth reading.