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The Twelve-Volt Bible for Boats Hardcover – September, 1985

4.1 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A gentle journey through the complexities of electrical circuitry... -- Small Boat Journal

"It's the best value and has stood the test of time." -- Offshore --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

A How-To Classic

The 12-Volt Bible for Boats is a complete introduction to the 12-volt electrical systems used on small boats to power everything from reading lights to bilge pumps. Written for boaters who are not skilled electricians, it clearly explains how 12-volt systems work and how to install, maintain, and troubleshoot them.

This second edition has been thoroughly updated to include the latest on marine batteries--including AGM and gel-cell batteries, multistage chargers, inverters, new wiring conventions, alternative energy sources, and modern test gear.

"A nuts-and-bolts primer for boatowners."--Cruising World

"Every boat with a 12-volt system needs this book on board."--Atlanta-Journal Constitution

"A gentle journey through the complexities of electrical circuitry."--Small Boat Journal

"This bible is as basic to boat electrical systems as the 10 commandments are to moral behaivor. It does not get any more fundamental than this."--Dockside NW --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Holiday House (September 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671552147
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671552145
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.8 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,311,644 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on January 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
Good book for the Beginner
The book was published in 1985, so a lot of the technology has changed and improved. It was a real basic book- this is a battery, this is a circuit. I was looking for help rewiring a small boat and this boat was of no major assistence.
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By A Customer on May 19, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is a book for those whose knowlege of 12 volt systems could be summed up as "well, I know there's a battery in there somewhere!" If you already know how to use a multimeter, this book probably isn't for you. Absolutely great for it's target audience, the rank newbie to boat electrical systems.
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I bought this book hoping to learn more about Boat batteries but it did not deliver... It does review the basics of electricity, batteries wiring etc and I found a lot of information to be very educative and interesting but the book overall did not answer the most important questions:

1. the 20h battery power was mentioned perhaps once or twice. This is the most important point when it comes to boat power... What does it mean is not enough.. I wanted to know how to calculate the consumption of the various elements.. can i keep the radar on while on battery and for how long? etc...etc...

2. How to charge a battery, how to pick an alternator. Again nothing.

3. What batteries to choose for a sailboat, depending on length equipment etc.. What is the difference between the house batteries, windlass battery and starter battery... All these points were missed.

So in other terms the title is misleading and the book is far from being a bible!!! It should be a 5$ book that you read in one day and discard.. this is not a reference..
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I bought this book about 6 months ago to learn how to wire my old 35 year boat properly. It deals a lot with theory, and how DC current works. Not a great deal with adding terminals, routing wires etc. It explains in good detail on what size wire to use for what application, such as lights or windless depending on power consumption. This is one of the books strong points. I was disappointed with the book, for what I was looking for. I find the Time Life Books much better for practical use. I haven't opened the book since I read throw it the first time and have donated it to a local leading library. I may review the book again for some of it's technical points, so it is worth having in your library if you plan to have more than one book on DC current
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Even if you've never worked with electricity, but now need to because you have a boat, "The 12-Volt Bible for Boats" is a great introduction that covers more than just the basics. The early part of the book covers all of the beginner introduction to batteries and electricity. It also explains the differences between 12-Volt car systems and boat systems. This book helps you determine what gauge wire you need for what current demand of your new piece of equipment and length of the wire run. The later chapters cover specifics of how to hook up particular equipment such as solar panels and wind generators. The final section covers test equipment you can build yourself. This book is definitely worth the price.
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This comprehensive review of boat batteries is quite useful beginning with the basics of electricity including Ohms Law etc. There is an entire chapter on charging batteries and the basic electricity behind lighting systems and circuits is carefully analyzed. Bear in mind that the writer and published are English so when he mentions a torch we in the west think of a flashlight. A few other little details like that are amusing but easily accommodated. I suppose my quibble is that I found the discussion on boat vs automotive batteries to be a little confusing when that topic should be discussed at greater length. There are 194 pages that contain many diagrams and photographs. I do recommend the book and especially appreciate it for covering the topic at a very elementary level yet adding to the complexity as you go along so that it may be of use to more advanced boating enthusiasts.
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Format: Paperback
This book is useless. It has no helpful information on how to wire up any 12 volt device. All this book does is explain the different parts of an electrical system and nothing else besides that. If your looking for a book that at least has wiring diagrams for 12 volt systems then I would suggest that look for a better book.
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Format: Paperback
This book should be left in the class room, unless you want to know the very basic's of a single engine boat's charging system. This book does not even go in to twin engine, boat's with 120 volt genset's,selector swithes for shore power to generator power, or anything more than a two battery system.If you need help rewiring your boat then I suggest you keep looking
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