Boat Electrics & Mechanics

Courses and Advice:

How to do it the RIGHT way

  • You're a boater or a sailor?
  • You want to understand what's going on inside your engine?
  • You want to fix and maintain your boat electrics like an expert?

We teach you how to be self reliant on the water and save money by fixing things yourself.

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Check out our online courses on electrical systems:

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Your Expert Teachers

Nigel, Jan & Michael

Michael Herrmann

Michael Herrmann

Dr. Jan C. Athenstädt

Nigel Calder

We are passionate about technical systems on boats since the 1970s (at least two of us) and we have a mission

We offer the internet's most profound knowledge on boat mechanics and electrics.

(Click here to learn more about our goals and values and here to get to know us.)

Stay tuned for the release of our online courses and guides to give you the practical skills to fix everything on your boat on your own!

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Check Out Our Latest Articles & Videos

Listen to Nigel as he talks about the amazing advancements in technology in recent years and how they will affect our lifestyle on board.

Advances in Batteries & Solar on Boats with Nigel Calder

Listen to Nigel Calder’s take on lithium-ion batteries on boats in a radio interview in Bob’s No Wake Zone.

Lithium Batteries on Boats – Radio Interview with Nigel Calder

Cranking cables on boats are the only conductors that are not required to have a fuse or circuit breaker, according to ISO and ABYC standards. Hear Nigel Calder’s view on this and why he would still recommend to put an (oversized) fuse in the cable to the starter motor of your diesel engine.

Should I Fuse my Cranking Circuit? Ask the Expert with Nigel Calder

Friends & Partners

In this section we recommend noteworthy online programs and resources.
These are not paid ads. We recommend them because we like what they do. 

Education Programs

Mahina Offshore Services

John Neal is one of the most experienced offshore sailors in the world. He offers consultation, online sail training and expedition voyages to remote places.

We think that his seminars and trainings are a good addition to what we are teaching in our courses.

John Neal also recorded a lesson on short handed sailing that we included as a bonus to our marine electrics programs.

Lin Pardey

Together with her husband Larry, Lin Pardey has influenced thousands of cruisers with their books on low-budget cruising. Jan was one of them. So if you see it this way, without Lin there would be no BoatHowTo.

Lin just released her new "Storytelling for Sailors" online course.

Skagit Valley College Marine Technology program

Mike Beemer runs the SVC Marine Technology Program, offering students great opportunities in the maritime trade. Mike also runs the SVC Skallywags YouTube channel about boat tech. If you are thinking about a career in marine technology, the SVC program would be a great start.

We work together with Mike on creating online learning content for both BoatHowTo as well as the Skagit Valley College.

Marine How To

Marine How To was founded by Rod Collins, an independent ABYC Certified Marine Electrical Systems Specialist. Rod offers free, in-depths articles and advice on boat systems. One of the most accurate sources of information on the internet that we know of.

Rod also runs a Facebook group on Boat Electrical Systems that offers a great platform for discussions.

Pacific Yacht Systems

Founded by Jeff Cote, Pacific Yacht Systems focuses on consulting and installations of electrical systems around the Pacific Northwest.

Jeff and his team have put together a very successful YouTube channel where they ask questions about systems installation.

Pacific Yacht Systems uses BoatHowTo courses as training material for their team.

Consulting & Supplies

Ocean Planet Energy

Founded by former Vendee Globe competitor Bruce Schwab, Ocean Planet Energy focuses on planning and installation of complex electrical installations on modern offshore boats. Nigel is also part of the OPE team. OPE uses our BoatHowTo courses as part of their training program for new staff.

If you need help planning a complex system, we highly recommend Bruce and his team. But we also suggest taking our courses first, as this will greatly speed up the planning process and facilitate communication.


Jan's online shop for electrical equipment on boats. If you need supplies for an update of your boat's electrical system (and live in Europe), you should check out Klabauter-Shop.

Jan and his team will help you with any questions and make sure you get quality components for a fair price.

Media Partners

Waterway Guide

Waterway Guide publishes a series of cruising guides, mobile apps and online resources for boaters.

We contribute to the Waterway Guide's Knowledge Center and their newsletter.

Professional Boatbuilder Magazine

Professional Boatbuilder is the leading publication for the American boatbuilding industry.

Nigel is a frequent author in Professional Boatbuilder Magazine. 

float Magazin

The German magazine "float" covers every aspect of living on or around the water.

Jan is the expert for boat systems for the German magazine "float"