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Powerboater's Guide to Electrical Systems

Powerboater's Guide to Electrical Systems


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Powerboater's Guide to Electrical Systems, 2E

Ed Sherman

Understand, troubleshoot, repair, and upgrade your boat’s electrical systems

Frustrated by the high cost of basic electrical work but nervous about tackling such projects yourself? Get sound advice and guidance from author Ed Sherman, who wrote and teaches the American Boat & Yacht Council’s certification program for electrical technicians.

In Powerboater’s Guide to Electrical Systems, he combines basic theory with step-by-step directions for troubleshooting problems, making repairs, and installing new equipment.

Learn to

  • Draw up a wiring diagram for your boat
  • Locate and identify wiring and circuit components
  • Select and use a multimeter
  • Choose and maintain battery and marine ignition systems
  • Troubleshoot starting, charging, and instrument problems
  • Install DC and AC marine accessories, equipment, and electronics

“Ed Sherman's nationally recognized expertise in electrical systems in boats makes him a natural choice to train and certify marine electricians. . . . He believes, as I do, that doing it right the first time will surely enhance your boating experience.”--C. T. “Skip” Moyer III, Past President, American Boat & Yacht Council

Table of contents

Foreword to the Second Edition by Skip Burdon, President and CEO, American Boat & Yacht Council
Preface to the Second Edition

Chapter 1. Electrical Basics You Need to Know
What Is Electricity?
Electrical Circuits
Ohm's Law and What It Can Tell Us
Voltage Drop
Putting It All Together
Circuit Problems and How They Occur

Chapter 2. Working with Wiring Diagrams
The Trouble with Boats
Wiring Diagrams
Common Symbols
Component Identification
Wire Identification and the ABYC Color Code
Expanding the Basic Circuit
Locating Components
Drawing Your Own Wiring Diagram

Chapter 3. Selecting and Using a Multimeter
Selecting a Multimeter
Using Your Multimeter
Measuring Amperage
Measuring Resistance and Continuity

Chapter 4. Wire and Circuit Protection Standards and Repair Procedures
Order Out of Chaos
ABYC Standards and Recommendations
Basic Wiring
Wire Size
Wire Insulation
Fuses and Circuit Breakers
Ignition Protection
Testing Fuses and Circuit Breakers
Levels of Circuit Protection
Acceptable Locations for Fuses and Circuit Breakers
Wire Routing and Support
Connecting the Dots: Making Wiring and Connection Repairs

Chapter 5. Batteries and Battery Systems
How Batteries Work: The Basics
Basic Chemistry
Types of Lead-Acid Batteries
Which Battery Is Right for You?
Battery Safety
Battery Maintenance and Testing
Battery Installations
Testing Your Batteries

Chapter 6. Battery-Charging Systems
Alternator Basics
Engine-Driven Marine Alternators
Alternator Problems
Outboard-Engine Charging Systems
Shore-Power Battery Charging Systems and Installations
Solar Cells

Chapter 7. Maintaining Marine Ignition Systems
Ignition-System Components
Regulations Regarding Ignition Systems
Outboard and PWC Ignition Systems
Maintaining Ignition Systems
MerCruiser Thunderbolt IV and Thunderbolt V Systems
Beyond the Basics: Outboard and PWC Ignition Systems
Outboard and PWC Ignition Tests
Testing Your Stop Switch
Final Checks and Ignition Timing

Chapter 8. Tracing and Repairing Starter-Motor Circuits
Coast Guard Regulations for Starter Motors
Starter-Motor Problems and Solutions
Troubleshooting Starter-Motor Circuits
Outboard-Engine Starter Circuits
Testing the Neutral-Safety Switch
Engine Ignition Switch
Other Outboard-Engine Starter-Motor Problems

Chapter 9. Installing Your Own DC Accessories
Before You Begin
Installing a New Cabin Light
Installing a New Bilge Pump
Adding a New Compact-Disc Player

Chapter 10. Engine Instrumentation Problems and Solutions
Mechanical Gauges
Common Instrument Interpretation Problems
Abnormal Instrument Readings
General Instrument Troubleshooting
The Future

Chapter 11. Alternating Current and AC Equipment
What Is Alternating Current?
AC on Your Boat
AC Safety
Color Coding for AC Wiring
Comparisons between AC and DC Circuits
AC Overcurrent Protection
Basic AC Outlet Connections
Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters
Checking Voltage, Continuity, and Polarity on AC Circuits
Selecting a DC-to-AC Inverter
AC Generators
Galvanic Isolators

Chapter 12. Installing Marine Electronic Equipment
Electronic Gadgetry
Universal Installation Details
Power Supply
Installing a VHF Radio
How Much Can I Gain?
The Coaxial Question
Installing a Fish-Finder or Depth-Sounder
Installing a GPS Receiver
Installing Your Own Radar


About the Author:

Ed Sherman is one of the country’s best-known authorities on marine electrical systems. A senior writer at the American Boat & Yacht Council, he has played a key role in defining that organization’s national standards for electrical systems.

224 Pages


Electrical Testers
Plumbing Related
Construction Related
Welding Related

Electrical Menu 1 2
2014 NEC and Related
2011 NEC and Related

2008 NEC and Related
PLCs & Motor Controls
Electrical Exam Prep
Communications, LV, VDV, CATV
Electrical Theory
Electrical Calculations

Tools for Electricians
Electrical Supplies

Tools for

The ACD 14 FX is the professionals’ choice for both HVAC & Electrical applicationsAmprobe HD160C True RMS Heavy Duty Multimeter


0071485503 / 9780071485500

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