Books by Nigel & Michael

BoatHowTo's co-founders Nigel and Michael have written various books on boat electrics and mechanics. We highly recommend them as additional resources to our courses and articles. 

Technical Books by Nigel Calder (in English)

The maintenance bible for boatowners is fully updated and better than ever!

If it’s on a boat and it has screws, wires, or moving parts, it’s covered in Boatowner’s Mechanical and Electrical Manual. When you leave the dock with this indispensable resource aboard, you have at your fingertips the best and most comprehensive advice on:

  • Battery technologies, including recent developments in lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries and fuel cells
  • 12- and 24-volt DC systems
  • Electric and hybrid propulsion
  • How to radically improve the energy efficiency of most boats
  • Corrosion, bonding, and lightning protection
  • Generators, inverters, battery chargers , wind and water generators, and solar power
  • Electric motors and electric lights
  • Marine electronics, including networking systems, antennas, and RFI
  • Diesel engines
  • Transmissions, shaft brakes, and propellers
  • Refrigeration and air-conditioning
  • Tanks, plumbing, and through-hulls
  • Pumps and watermakers
  • Steering, autopilots, and wind vanes
  • Stoves and heaters
  • Winches, windlasses, and bow thrusters
  • Spars, rigging, and roller reefing

Keep your diesel engine going with help from a master mechanic

Marine Diesel Engines has been the bible for do-it-yourself boatowners for more than 15 years. Now updated with information on fuel injection systems, electronic engine controls, and other new diesel technologies, Nigel Calder's bestseller has everything you need to keep your diesel engine running cleanly and efficiently. Marine Diesel Engines explains how to:

  • Diagnose and repair engine problems
  • Perform routine and annual maintenance
  • Extend the life and improve the efficiency of your engine 

Technical Books by Michael Herrmann (in German)

Technik unter Deck

The most extensive book about boat systems in German! 

This book could be considered the German equivalent to Nigel's Boatowners Manual, minus the electrical part (which is covered in a separate book).

Elektrik auf Yachten

The complete guide to electrical systems on boats.

This reference book in German is not only used by many boaters but can also be found on the bookshelf of pretty much every boatbuilder and surveyor in Germany.

Autark durch Energie aus Sonne und Wind

An extensive guide to renewable energy sources on boats.

Marinisierung

Extensive expert information about the necessary steps to transform a car engine into a boat diesel.

Elektrik auf Yachten

Theory and practice on how to protect your boat from lightning strikes.

Other Books by Nigel Calder (in English)

Authoritative, practical, and hands-on information on reading and relying on electronic and paper nautical charts


The classic How to Read a Nautical Chart explains every aspect of electronic and paper nautical charts: how a chart is assembled, how to gauge the accuracy of chart data, how to read charts created by other governments, how to use information such as scale, projection technique and datum that every chart contains; how not to get fooled or run aground by overzooming. Nigel Calder teaches you how to squeeze every ounce of information out of a nautical chart (on your GPS, chartplotter, or nav station) and understand the limits of accuracy for all charts, paper and electronic, raster and vector.

Long before he was one of America's leading yachting writers, Nigel Calder was a novice cruiser with ambitions grander than his experience. Nigel and his partner Terrie were young and foolish, with a home-built boat that was new and untested, one child already and another on the way - but they were determined to complete an adventurous 18-month voyage from New Orleans to Venezuela and back.

It was the voyage that made Calder the yachtsman he is today, a marvellous romp through the West Indies, seeing an unspoilt Caribbean, while learning hard-won lessons from direct experience - troubleshooting engines, kedging off shoals and reefs, and most importantly navigating Nada, a yacht that quickly became very much part of the burgeoning Calder family too.

An adventure story and a colourful travelogue in one, Shakedown Cruise is a must-read for all who are curious about what it takes to become a cruising sailor or create an adventurous life, as well as those who are just looking to sail along with Nigel and his family.

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