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Electrical Handbook

The illustrated guide to your boat's electrical system

by Charlie Wing

Whether you take to the sea under power or sail, whether you bounce around the bay in your runabout or cross oceans in your cruiser, you’ll find everything you need to maintain, repair, and upgrade your boat’s DC and AC electrical systems in this completely practical guide. Boatowner’s Illustrated Electrical Handbook is the user-friendly, roll-up-your-sleeves manual for onboard electrical projects, from fixing loose connections to rewiring your boat to ABYC standards.

Chapters include:
1. Basic DC Circuits: What Electricity Is • Ohm's Law • Using Ohm's Law • Loads • Sources • Practice Problems
2. DC Measurements: Analog Test Instruments • Digital Test Instruments • Digital vs. Analog Test Instruments • Homemade Testers • Troubleshooting
3. Batteries: What Is a Battery? • A Few Messy Details • Electrical Model of Batteries • Monitoring Battery Health • Discharge Characteristics • Charging Characteristics • Charging Recommendations • Estimating Your Daily Load • Choosing a Battery Type • Optimum Depth of Discharge • Sizing the Alternator • Series vs. Parallel • Battery Boxes • ABYC Standards for Batteries
4. Alternators: A Galley Alternator • A Rotary Current Machine • Rectification • Controlling the Alternator • Type-P and Type-N Alternators • Powering the Voltage Regulator • Regulator Bypass Controls • Link 2000-R Charge Controller • Charging Setups • Alternator Installation • Troubleshooting
5. Bonding: What Is Bonding? • Lightning Protection • Corrosion Protection • Stray-Current Protection • To Bond or Not to Bond • Sizing the Anode(s) • Testing Your Protection • Noncathodic Corrosion • The ABYC on Cathodic Protection
6. DC Standards and Practices: Wiring Diagrams • Marine Wire • ABYC DC Load Calculation • Allowable Conductor Amperage • Allowable Voltage Drop • Identification and Installation • Overcurrent Protection • Conductor Connections • Ignition Protection
7. AC Basics: Alternating Current • Power Factor • AC Safety • Grounding • Conductor Identification • Transformers • AC Measurements • Troubleshooting AC Circuits • Checking Polarity
8.Inverters and Generators: Why Have AC Power? • Figuring Your AC Budget • Inverters • Transfer Switching • Generators • Troubleshooting Generators
9. AC Standards and Practices: Shore Power • Generator and Inverter Sources • Main Panelboard • AC Load Calculations • Overcurrent Protection • Approved Wire and Cable • Ampacity Tables • Conductor Installation • The Green Wire • Approved Shore-Power Circuits
10. Conservation for Liveaboards: Cost per Kilowatt-Hour • Lighting Savings • Refrigeration Savings • Other Savings
11. Solar Power: Is Solar for You? • How Photovoltaics Work • Photovoltaic Panels • Interpreting Specifications • Panel Orientation • Estimating Output • Mechanical Installation • Electrical Installation • Rules for Solar Success
12.Wind Power: Is Wind Power for You? • Getting Power from the Wind • How Much Wind Is There? • Estimating Daily Output • Specifications • Electrical Installation • Mechanical Installation • Water Generators
13. Installing Electronics: Antennas • Antenna Cable & Connectors • Moisture Protection • VHF Radio • GPS and SSB • Radar • Receiver/Transmitter Installation • Harnessing Electrical Noise • Electrical Filters
14. Fun DIY Projects: Passive Circuit Components • Active Circuit Components • Projects
Appendices: Other Wiring Standards • English/Metric Conversions • Temperature Conversions • Power Conversions • Resistance of Copper Wire • Losses in Coaxial Cables • Wiring Color Codes • Useful Electrical Formulas • Identifying Resistors • Identifying Capacitors • Trigonometric Tables

“The Boatowner’s Illustrated Electrical Handbook is perfect for learning how your boat’s electrical system and much of its equipment works, and it will be an invaluable guide when adding equipment as well. This book needs to be in every boater’s library as a ready reference on how to make effective repairs and modifications that comply with ABYC standards.”—from the Foreword by Ed Sherman, Senior Instructor and Curriculum Designer, American Boat and Yacht Council

Hardcover. 280 pgs. Pub 2006.

Boatowner's Illustrated Electrical Handbook - 2nd Ed.
#BBE003 $34.95

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