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Replacing Your Boat’s Electrical System

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CA Library Reference:
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Status:
17743
Westin, Mike
Paperback
978-1-4081-3293-7
Adlard Coles Nautical
2012
127
1st
C3
In Stock
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Review Date: 
09/08/2013

 

Mike Westin is a professional boating journalist, which is reflected in the clarity of the writing. He is also a very experienced sailor which shows in his depth of understanding of the subject.  This is not a text book but like many in this series it is intended to help people in a very practical way.

Although the lure of the book is the money saved by doing it yourself, this would also be a very useful book for anyone undertaking an upgrade to their electrical system even when they are paying somebody else to do it.

The layout is logical, clear and aided by good illustrations and is deliberately light on theory but there is enough to get by. The narrative helpfully follows his workings on his own boat’s electrical system, a Vancouver 28 built from a kit in 1977. The pictures of its original electrical system show the extent of the challenge he faced, though I suspect they are pictures many of us would recognise with some discomfort. Tellingly, some of his motivation for writing the book was his experience of finding it hard to get simple non-contradictory advice.

In summary the lessons learned are:

Know your limitations / Get help when you need it / Invest in good equipment / Buy only what you need.

There is more, good advice as the book takes us from equipment to cables, batteries, chargers, inverters etc. The only short-fall of the book was, in my opinion, a rather limited index but, that said, at only 127 pages you can find what you are looking for fairly quickly.

One of the attractions of the book is its narrative style. My favourite quote is “Instead of waxing and buffering the hull (I) spent that money on a good quality charger”. Who could disagree with that?

James Parnell

Adventures of a Reluctant Boating Wife

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17862
Rice, Angela
Paperback
978-1-4081-8204-8
Bloomsbury
2013
M27
In Stock
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Review Date: 
09/08/2013

A light-hearted and humorous account of how one woman learned to cope with life on the water. The author describes how she managed to convert her husband from sail to what she calls ‘the dark side’ ... for this, read motor boating. The publication is a compilation of short stories, sometimes without a clear focus, of the exploits and scrapes of a family on their boat. Chapters are rather short and each is stand-alone, being previously published as magazine articles. Some may love the many funny anecdotes, while others might consider this a collection of pointless ramblings.

Readers might make connections with the antics and communication difficulties encountered with ‘partner sailing’ and other events mentioned such as the first channel crossing, dinghy outings, engine failure and icy pontoons.

This book is written by a wife with a deep suspicion of anything that happens on the water. Behind each positive statement lurks a troubled moment, such as a diesel leak or rafting up against noisy neighbours.  Finally, the parting shot is a warning to all young girls, who may be hanging around a marina looking for fun, do not to be lured onto a boat by a handsome man.

This is a short book, less than one hundred pages, generously illustrated with cartoons on every page. It retails at £8.99, somewhat expensive for a thin paperback.

 

Sue & David Long

The Trade Wind Foodie

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17802
Heikell, Rod & Lu
Paperback
978-184623-502-3
Imray
2013
290
1st
D6
In Stock
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Review Date: 
11/07/2013

Whilst taking you from the Mediterranean on a whirlwind trip West-about around the world, dealing with food and provisioning as they go, Rod & Lu also incorporate a surprising amount of other interesting information into this book.

After an introductory chapter covering the practical side of galley life, from cooking equipment to initial provisioning, this well illustrated book is separated into 7 world areas. These areas have colour coded page edges for quick reference with the last section being 106 pages of recipes and various tips about foods.

The green/purple boxes within each chapter deal mainly with “Ashore in........” which cover provisioning and eating shore in that particular area. There are also pale green boxes which contain interesting information about foodie topics such as Pepper, Agar Agar, Les Roulottes (food trucks), night markets and much more.

Following a useful preamble, passing on guidelines and ideas, the recipe chapter contains more than 100 recipes all with the unique ‘Beaufort Force - Scale of Usefulness’, most having photos to accompany the text. Vegetarian meals are marked V, with further vegetarian options also suggested alongside other recipes.

Having successfully tried a few recipes at home, with their straightforward ingredients list and instructions, I would have no hesitation in trying the rest on board.

This is a useful, practical book which also makes for fascinating reading.

Sandy Duker

Imray Laurie Norie & Wilson Ltd; 1st ed; £17.95; 2013