Wednesday, March 14, 2012

ON BIANKA'S BOOKSHELF: Books of an electric sailor

I've seen a number of posts recently  on various sailing sites of people wanting to find books on gaining knowledge about all things electrical on board their boats. I have two books on board BIANKA that I consider worth having on board. One is Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual: How to Maintain, Repair, and Improve Your Boat's Essential Systems by Nigel Calder.
My dog eared and oil stained copy has been on board since I first purchased BIANKA back in 1995. Since I converted to electric propulsion there are now whole chapters concerning diesel engines and alternators I can now ignore. But, others especially those concerning electrical wiring and extensive coverage of batteries have come in very handy. For example I purchased a heavy duty crimper to make the crimps on the 2 AWG wire interconnects for the electric propulsion battery bank. Unfortunately, my crimper had markings only for metric sized wires. I opened Calders book and found a conversion chart that allowed me to set the crimper to the proper setting. It's information like that which can save the day when you are in some far away anchorage trying to make repairs.The Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual : How to Maintain, Repair, and Improve Your Boat's Essential Systems is also available for the Kindle.

The other book which I find useful is  Boatowner's Illustrated Electrical Handbook by Charlie Wing. It contains a lot of information about the various electrical systems one would find on board and the theory of how they work. There's DC and AC theory covered as well as things like bonding and corrosion issues. Wiring color codes and a number of charts and formulas as well. The Boatowner's Illustrated Electrical Handbook is also available as a Kindle e-book download. 

Both books are worthy of the space they take up on board. Both are very useful if you just want to understand about electrical systems and devices on board your boat, need to do some repairs or even rewire your boat. After converting to electric propulsion I find them even more valuable to have on board.

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