Sea Stories - August 2021

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What We're Watching 

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Onne’s New Goose Onne van der Wal, the world-famous marine photographer, is at it again. A few years ago, he completely refitted Snoek, his 1972 Pearson 36, which was featured in PBS’ special presentation Second Wind: The Snoek Refit with Onne van der Wal. Now, Van der Wal is working on an entirely different sort of project. He and his wife, Tenley, are refitting their 1986 Grand Banks 32, Snow Goose, with a mission to spend a significant amount of time cruising her. Van der Wal is documenting the process with pictures and videos, and Soundings has been following along with the process. You can watch van der Wal install a new hatch, apply Propspeed to Snow Goose’s wheel, replace lighting fixtures, electronics, corroded bits and pieces and more at soundingsonline.com. The videos are also available on van der Wal’s self-named Vimeo channel. 

Salty reads

Electrical systems on boats are becoming more complex with every new model that hits the water. Understanding these systems and being able to troubleshoot them can potentially save owners hours of time and a good amount of money. If you’re looking to up your volt and amp game, we suggest three titles.

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Power for Power

Though sailboats and powerboats have many similarities, when it comes to onboard electrical systems and their components there are some important distinctions that can be made. They are highlighted in Ed Sherman’s book Powerboater’s Guide to Electrical Systems. Sherman provides important lessons on the basics, including selecting and using a multimeter, picking the right size and type of batteries, troubleshooting engine starting, charging and instrumentation problems, and installing direct- and alternating-current accessories. The book also includes sections specific to the electrical systems you might find on a variety of powerboats. ($34, International Marine)

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Electrical Amen

The 12-Volt Bible for Boats is a long-published and popular title from marine industry electrical wizards Miner Brotherton and Ed Sherman. The book offers a complete introduction to 12-volt systems used onboard boats of all shapes and sizes that power everything from bilge pumps to windshield wipers. The book is aimed at boaters with little or no prior experience with electrical systems. The information is broken down into easy-to-digest chapters that cover theories of electricity, electric circuits, batteries, wiring, installing accessories and other things to know when living with 12 volts. Troubleshooting chapters show how to chase down pesky electrical troubles. ($30, Gardners Books)

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Master’s Program

Once you’ve learned and mastered the basics you may want to dive into another great title from Ed Sherman: Advanced Marine Electrics and Electronics Troubleshooting, which, as the title suggests, was written for boat owners who are interested in getting to the root of problems they might encounter with today’s complex electrical systems. Chapters are packed with charts and illustrations and discuss subjects including troubleshooting electrical systems and accessories/components; tracking down bonding, grounding, wiring, antenna and corrosion problems; diagnosing DC and AC issues, battery chargers and inverters and other advanced marine electric topics. ($27, Echo Point Books & Media) 

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