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Sailboat Electrical Systems


Don't Be Baffled by Your Electrical System--Handle Repairs and Improvements with Ease

With clear illustrations and simple explanations, Don Casey shows you exactly how to install wiring . . . make good, safe connections . . . match your battery bank and alternator to your needs . . . troubleshoot problems quickly . . . avoid shore power problems . . . and more--all without a lot of technical jargon.

"Don Casey's book provides clear guidance on how to create and maintain a robust electrical system. Don's lucid explanations and numerous illustrations make what is normally mysterious and invisible--electricity--into something the reader is able to understand with confidence. An excellent addition to the sailor's seagoing library." --Chuck Hawley

Product Details

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Safety First Battery Acid; Containment; Spark; Explosive Gas; Fire; Corrosive Fumes; Fuse 2. Understanding the Basics Terminology Amp; Volt; Ohm; Watt Three-Part Harmony Ohm's Law; Power; Load Calculations; Desert Algebra Circuits Not Like Water; Boys Will Be Boys; Polarity; Open and Closed; Series; Parallel; Extra Credit AC/DC Magnetism and Current; Current; Polarity; Loads; Voltage; Power Factor; Safety Revisited 3. Battery The Basic Cell Fully Charged; Discharging; Fully Discharged; Charging; Gassing; Shedding; Plate Sulfation; Inefficiencies Batteries Internal Construction; Plate Thickness; Spongy Lead; Self Discharge; Starting or House? Battery Choices Automotive--Conventional Flooded; Maintenance-Free; Deep-Cycle; Gel Cell; Scales Don't Lie; Absorbed Glass Mat; Selection Chart Capacity Amp-Hours; Cycle Life; Weight and Amp-Hours; Cold-Cranking Amps; Marine-Cranking Amps; Reserve Minutes Sizing Batteries Load Calculation Redux; The Alternative to Bigger Batteries; House Bank; Starting Battery; Powering Inverters Installation Series; Golf-Cart Batteries; Parallel; Matching; Negative Ground; Temperature Maintenance Discharge; Recharging; Water; Clean and Dry; Terminal Corrosion; Voltage; SG and Voltage; Specific Gravity; Keep Records 4. Wire Wire Selection Construction; Size; 10% Drop; 24 Volts; Insulation Routing High and Dry Connections Crimp Connectors; Crimping; Soldering; Tinning the Soldering Iron; Heat-Shrink; Bare Wires; Wire Nuts Overload Protection Fuses; Circuit Breakers; Sizing; Installing; Supply Side; Equipment Protection Switches SPST; DT; DP; Battery Selector Neatness Counts Labeling; No More Than Four; Terminal Strips; Junction Boxes; Right Angles; Spiral Wrap; Panel Location Coax Size; Construction; Connections; Weatherproofing; Backstay Connection Copper Ribbon 5. Circuits Wiring Diagrams Symbols; More about Ground Circuitry Step by Step Closed Circuit; Open Circuit; Overload Protection; Series; Parallel; Real World Mapping Your Own Boat AC Caution; WYSIWYG; Circuit Diagrams; Master Diagram; Layout Schematic; Signal Wires 6. Troubleshooting Signs of Trouble Dimming; House of Cards; Sluggish Starting; Flickering; Blown Fuse; Ground Return; Heat; Odor; Heat Loss; Corrosion; Wet Wiring; Rat's Nest Test Light Make or Buy; Using a Test Light Digital Multimeter Digital vs. Analog; Auto Ranging; Polarity; Clamp-On Meters Meter Fundamentals Connecting Test Leads; Measuring Voltage; Measuring Current; Measuring Resistance (or Lack Thereof) Troubleshooting with a Meter Voltmeter Tests; Multimeter Connections; Zero Adjust; Checking Your Hydrometer; Extending Your Reach; Kirchoff's Law; Ohmmeter Tests; Masthead Lights; Changing Resistance; Ammeter Tests 7. Charging Systems Alternators Output; Pulley Ratio; Sizing; Ignition Protection; Expecting Too Much Regulators Standard Regulator; Fooling the Regulator; Manual Controller; Three-Step Regulator; Equalization--The Fourth Step; Charging Gel Batteries Alternator and Regulator Wiring Output; Internal Regulation; Attached Regulator; External Regulation; Polarity; Excitation; Surge Protection Alternator Maintenance Belts; Connections; Bearings and Brushes Troubleshooting Alternators and Regulators Alternator Output; Regulator Faults; Excitation; Bypassing a Faulty Regulator; Diodes Battery Switching The Standard Way; Direct Alternator Connection; Fuse; Isolating Diodes; A Better Way Solar Cells Choices; Output; Uses; Installation; Turning the Panel Off for Installation; Troubleshooting Wind Generators Choices; Output; Mounting; Connections; Troubleshooting; Water Generators 8. Alternating Current Warning AC Basics Frequency; Voltage; Power Factor; Three-Wire System; The Grounding Wire; Wire Type and Size At the Dock Plug Types; Polarity; Polarity Tester Shore-Power Connection Inlet Fitting; Power Cord; Supply Wire; Main Breaker; Neutral and Ground AC Circuits Single Circuit; Dual Circuit; Breakers; Switch Panel; Polarity Tester; Routing AC Wiring; Junction Boxes; Outlets; Ground Fault Interrupt The Green-Wire Controversy The Danger; Testing the GFCI; Grounding the Green Wire; Cutting the Green Wire; Unplug; Galvanic Isolator; Isolation Transformer Testing Polarity; Grounding Wire; Isolated Ground; Green-Wire Connection; Ground and Neutral Separation; Ground Fault; Stray Current; Leakage Inverters Types; Waveform; Sizing; Load Realities; Battery Capacity; Connections; Location; Transfer Switch; Neutral and Grounding; Connection Generators Transfer Switch; Frequency 9. Heaven and Earth Lightning Protection Lightning Rod; Static Dissipator; Cone of Protection; Wooden Masts; Ground; Freshwater Sailors Beware; Directing the Charge; Connections; Parallel Paths Bonding For Lightning Protection; For Corrosion Control; Isolating; Grounding; Testing for Isolation RF Ground Ribbon, Not Wire; Copper Screen; Stopping Direct Current Lightning and Electronics The Facts; Protective Measures Index

About the Author

Don Casey credits the around-the-world voyage of Robin Lee Graham, featured in National Geographic in the late 1960s, with opening his eyes to the world beyond the shoreline. After graduation from the University of Texas he moved to south Florida, where he began to spend virtually all his leisure time messing about in boats. In 1983 he abandoned a career in banking to devote more time to cruising and writing. His work combining these two passions soon began to appear in many popular sailing and boating magazines. In 1986 he co-authored Sensible Cruising: The Thoreau Approach, an immediate best-seller and the book responsible for pushing many would-be cruisers over the horizon. He is also author of This Old Boat, a universally praised guide that has led thousands of boatowners through the process of turning a rundown production boat into a first-class yacht, and of Sailboat Refinishing, Sailboat Hull & Deck Repair, Canvaswork & Sail Repair, and Inspecting the Aging Sailboat, all part of the International Marine Sailboat Library. He continues to evaluate old and new products and methods, often trying them on his own 30-year-old, much-modified, Allied Seawind. When not writing or off cruising, he can be found sailing on Florida's Biscayne Bay.

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