Book Review. Boatowner’s Mechanical & Electric Manual (4th)

Boatowner’s Mechanical & Electric Manual (4th)
by Nigel Calder
published by Bloomsbury

by Richard Crockett

Ever since the first edition was published in 1990, this book has been regarded by many as the bible every boat owner should have, together with Calder’s book on Marine Diesel Engines.

This 4th edition is a large tome running to a shade under 1000 pages – and is completely overhauled and updated, containing everything on how to maintain, repair and improve your boat’s essential systems.

If you have the 3rd edition it will be vastly out of date as that was published in 2005, so unless your boat has old equipment it is unlikely to be of much use now.

Because it is so comprehensive a tome it is difficult to review as there is simply so much good info in its pages to thoroughly examine every aspect. Suffice to say that if it’s on a boat and it has screws, wires or moving parts, it’s covered in this book!

There are 17 chapters of information, many troubleshooting charts and even more lists of tables. Added to this is a very comprehensive index at the end of the book which is easy to use and fine-tune your search.

As an example of the content, Chapter 16 is on Blocks, Winches, Windlasses, and Bow Thrusters. These 4 subjects are covered over 40 pages which are liberally illustrated with diagrams and photographs. 9 different pics, for example, illustrate in a step-by-step manner how to disassemble a winch for cleaning and maintenance.

My only criticism is that all photographs are in black and white rather than glorious full colour, although this does not really detract in any way as the pics are clear and of good quality.

When we last reviewed this book we referred to it as “The world’s best technical reference and troubleshooting book.” That is a statement we still stand by.

It is also a book EVERY boatowner should have on board as it will assist in savings on maintenance bills and keep the blood pressure regular!

Orders and enquiries at SAILING Books HERE

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