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How Boat Things Work: An Illustrated Guide Paperback – May 14, 2007

4.3 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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.

About the Author

Charlie Wing is the author/illustrator of a number of top-selling home maintenance and remodeling books, as well as six other boating titles.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: International Marine/Ragged Mountain Press; 1 edition (June 4, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071493441
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071493444
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.5 x 10.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,216 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By D. Honeywell on September 26, 2007
Format: Paperback
this is an excellent manual...if you are a sailboater. I am a power boater and this manual is about 75% sailboat oriented. I looked it over and gave it to a sailboat friend...he was thrilled with it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Finally, publishers are formatting correctly for the Kindle! This book is laden with acres of clear technical drawings of engines, toilets, water-makers and whatnot. In the Kindle version, the drawings all enlarge wonderfully. Further, the table of contents works.

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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got this book as a companion to the book titled Know Your Boat by David Kroenke. This book spends less time than Know Your Boat explaining the "whys" of various boat systems but truly excels at showing you the "hows" by way of exploded diagrams. If you need to take something apart (and successfully put it back together), this book shows you all of the parts and how they interact. The only thing that would make this book better is a spiral binding so that you can lay it open while working on something.
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As we have gone through the process of bare boat chartering certification, I have always gotten the majority of the education. My wife tried to learn enough to pass the tests, and keep me out of trouble.
But this book has opened her eyes! She now expects to be able to actually understand the different boat systems, and retain knowledge past the test. This is amazing because she is also a teacher herself.
Very well presented, with clear written descriptions, and many excellent illustrations. This is an excellent teaching tool.
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if you are a visual person like myself, this is the book for you. I found it very useful to have the different systems broken down on a basic level. This book isn't designed for advanced work but to have a solid sense of how all the systems work this is perfect.
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Great book to have around Just got aboard my sailboat and this helps to make systems more under stable for me. A non mechanical female. Thanks Charlie. Now I am starting to get it and get less "are you serious looks"
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The exploded images and simple explanations are just what I needed, being less than mechanically inclined but wanting to work on my 47' catamaran myself. Knowing what has gone wrong and why is invaluable to me. The author has a knack for writing clearly and getting to the point. Necessary precursor to Nigel Calder's bible, at least for the novice. Worth much more than the purchase price.
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A very good guide to see the inside of engines etc. to explain how they work. A good guide to see if you want to fix it yourself or call in a professional. Other books will be needed for more specific or detailed repairs, but a good guide to get to know who things work on your boat.
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