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DIY ManualsDIY Manuals >> Service & Repair >> Outboard & Inboard >> Boat Maintenance >> The 12-Volt Bible for Boats - 2nd Edition
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The 12-Volt Bible for Boats - 2nd Edition

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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.

About the Authors

Miner Brotherton is a longtime boater and professor (retired) of physical sciences and marine electronics who excels at rendering technical boating topics in lay terms. Ed Sherman is the asssistant director of education at the American Boat and Yacht Council, the country's preeminent standard-making boating body. He is the author of Outboard Engines and Powerboaters Guide to Electrical Systems.


Acknowledgments | Introduction to the Second Edition, by Ed Sherman | Introduction to the First Edition.

A Few Words of Caution | The Atom and Its Electrons: The Atom; Electrons; Molecules and Bonding; Ions and Electrons | Terms Defined: Coulombs Law; Charge; Current; Voltage, Potential Difference, and EMF; Energy; Power; Amp-Hours; Resistance | Electricity Is Not Water, But... | Ohms Law | IR Drops and I2R Heat.

Chapter 2. ELECTRIC CIRCUITS: Parts of the System
Circuit Components | Series Circuits | Parallel Circuits.

Chapter 3. THE BATTERY: Heart of the System
Primary and Secondary Cells | Purpose and Function of the Storage Battery | What Happens When Discharging | What Happens When Charging | Electrolyte and Hydrometers | Preventing Freezing; Using a Hydrometer; Determining Specific Gravity on Sealed Batteries | Load Testing Batteries | Storage Battery Construction | Differentiating among Batteries | Anatomy of a Battery; Six-Volt Batteries; Newer Battery Types | Battery Banks | Selecting a Battery | Battery Maintenance and Tools.

Chapter 4. THE WIRING: Electrical Veins and Arteries
Proper Size: Resistivity; Wire Length; Thickness | Insulation | Identification Codes | Terminals | Installation | A Lesson in Soldering.

Chapter 5. THE CONTROLS: Brains of the System
The Control Panel: Where to Put It?; Replacement Alternatives | Switches | Master Switch | Fuses | Circuit Breakers | Relays | Panel Meters.

Chapter 6. TRANSDUCERS: Things That Do the Work
What Do You Need? | Lights: Navigation Lights; Interior Lights; Exterior Lights | Motors: Motor Maintenance; Starter Motors; Refrigerator Motors; Bilge Pumps | Electronics: Installation; Power Consumption; Interference.

Multiple Battery Isolators | Alternators and Generators | The Regulator: Making Adjustments; Checking Charging Voltage; Regulator Settings; Recharge Rates | AC Shore Power and Solid-State Chargers: Proper AC Converter/Chargers; Danger: Shock and Galvanic Corrosion; Maintaining Proper Polarity | Solar Cells | Wind Chargers | Water Chargers | DC-to-AC Inverters.

Troubleshooting Principles | Troubleshooting Instrument: The Multifunction Meter: Reading Ohms; Reading DC Volts; Reading AC Volts; Reading DC Amps | Troubleshooting Instrument: Test Lights: A Continuity Tester; Make Your Own; Buying or Making Test Lights | Locating Faults: Light Won't Work; Moisture-Related Problems; Engine Won't Start; Bilge Pump Problem; Blinking Masthead Light | Noodling Out a Solution: Make a Picture; Follow a System; Tickling the Field; Simple Problems with Varying Degrees of Complexity | Leaks and Their Detection.

Your Boats Electrical Toolbox | Spare Parts and Junk.

Contact Information | Installation Records | Index.

  • Publisher: International Marine
  • Author: Miner Brotherton, Ed Sherman
  • Pages: 208
  • Binding: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-07-139233-4
  • The 12-Volt Bible for Boats - 2nd Edition