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Nurturing self-reliance

Boaters in the Northeast with a serious DIY streak should consider an informative seminar from a world-class expert on systems and diesel power plants.

"Troubleshooting Boat Systems & Diesel Engines" will be presented by PassageMaker magazine columnist and boatyard owner Steve Zimmerman. Zimmerman is leading the intensive, two-day class in early June at the International Cruising Boat Expo in Essex, Conn.

The diesel engine portion of the course is being conducted in partnership with Bell Power Systems of Essex, a distributor of John Deere engines.

The course will provide comprehensive instruction about maintaining a cruising vessel. Topics will include:

• Fiberglass boat construction and the implications for maintenance and repairs

• General maintenance, including hauling out, bottom painting, blister prevention, gelcoat care, coatings for wood and fiberglass and the proper use of sealants

• Equipment inspections, why components fail and how to identify developing problems

• Marine electrical systems, DC vs. AC, marine batteries, charging systems, inverters, electrical safety onboard and troubleshooting techniques

• Marine powertrain, from the transmission coupling to the end of the prop shaft, including packing glands, shaft materials, prop design and corrosion prevention

• Diesel engines, general principles, hands-on maintenance skills, troubleshooting techniques

The content will be geared toward those new to boating, cruisers transitioning from sail to power, die-hard sailors and otherwise experienced boaters who want to deepen their knowledge and skill sets. Those who attend will receive a certificate of completion during a “graduation party” on the evening of June 3.

The Cruising Boat Expo, a combination of seminars, a boat show and social events in the tradition of TrawlerFest,will be held June 2-7 at Brewer Essex Island Marina. The Troubleshooting seminar will be conducted over two days, June 2 and 3, starting at 8:30 a.m. on both days.

Zimmerman, an experienced cruiser, writes the Troubleshooter column for PassageMaker magazine. He owns four boatyards in Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina and is the builder of the Zimmerman line of power cruisers. Zimmerman Marine has been in business for more than 34 years.

PassageMaker and Soundings are owned by Active Interest Media and are part of its Marine Group. For information about the International Boat Cruising Expo, call (954) 703-4789 or email