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Sailboat Electrical Systems


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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 abandoned his career in banking in 1983 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. He is the author of the best-selling This Old Boat, and six other International Marine titles. He and his wife, Olga, are currently cruising and living aboard their boat. HOMETOWN: Miami, Florida

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