May 14, 2019

Favourite Books
two of my favourite books

Recently, I’ve been asked about my most used reference books and websites – so I thought I’d share my favourites. By no means is this a comprehensive list – and each of these books and website aren’t the authority or final word on the subject. They are simply my favourites and most often referenced. If you’re looking to build your library of useful texts and browser bookmarks, this is a good place to start!

Engines

All About Small Gas Engines – Jud Pervis 1963 Congress Catalogue Card No: 63-22385

A great primer on gasoline engines – 2 stroke and 4-stroke are thoroughly discussed with each component and system laid out clearly and systematically. Sadly, I don’t believe it’s still available on bookstore shelves, but may be found second hand.

Small Gas Engines – 10th Edition – Roth, Fisher, Gauthier – ISBN # 978-1-60525-547-7

A much more modern text covering all types of gasoline engines – lots of great photos and diagrams. It’s designed in textbook format, with an accompanying workbook.

Diesel

Diesel Technology: Fundamentals, Service, Repair – 4th Edition – Norman, Corinchock, Corinchock – ISBN – 13: 9781590707708

This is the text used in many College programs that involve diesel motive systems – it covers the function of a diesel engine – whether industrial, truck or marine. A very comprehensive guide to how diesel systems work.

Troubleshooting Marine Diesels – Peter Compton – ISBN: 0-07-012354-3 - www.boatdiesel.com

This book is a bit more reader-friendly, and written with the marine diesel in mind. A great book to have available for reference for typical maintenance and repair tasks.

Fibreglass

Sailboat Hull and Deck Repair – Don Casey – ISBN – 13: 978-0070133693

Casey does a great job breaking down the ‘how’ and ‘why’ into typical projects: Hull repair, deck repair, non-skid, as well as the basic elements of product types and purposes, and how to properly mix and apply. If you have a fiberglass repair job and need a reference book – this is the one to have.

Gougeon Brothers on Boat Construction: Wood and West System Materials – Meade Gougeon – ISBN– 13: 978-1878207500

With the advent of Epoxy, West System has always been on the forefront. This is the manual covering the use, repair and techniques needed to use West System products – but written in a way that covers the use of Epoxies in general. This was one of the first books I had on my shelf when looking at structural repairs – and it’s been well worth the investment. Many have called this the “Gougeon book’, the ‘Gudgen book’ or more modestly as ‘The bible’

Wooden boat repair

Boat Building – Howard Chapelle – ISBN – 0-393-03113-6

This is the classic ‘bible’ on wooden boat building and restoration. If you have a wooden boat, or are involved in any sort of repair on a wooden boat, this is the book to have on your shelf.

Electrical

Boatowner’s Mechanical and Electrical Manual – 4th Edition - Nigel Calder – ISBN: 0-07-143238-8

This is a comprehensive guide on mechanical and electrical systems, with many diagrams and photos, referencing ABYC (American Boat and Yacht Council) standards, and written in an easy-to-read format. I’d highly recommend keeping a copy aboard.

Service Manuals:

Mercruiser Manual

Mercruiser Manual Proceduresan example of a Mercury/Mercruiser service manual - cover and procedures with diagrams:

For any in-depth repair of a specific make or model of an engine, a service manual is indispensible. Most repair shops will have an extensive library of service manuals, and mechanics rely on them regularly to reference specifications, proper disassembly and re-assembly procedures, and specialty tools and methods. I always recommend that owners have a copy of their engine’s service manual on hand (or available via their local service shop).

There are two common ways for the boat owner to obtain a copy: a) by purchasing directly from the engine manufacturer (often via the manufacturer’s website) or b) via marine stores and service centres through the line published by Seloc (www.selocmarine.com). Many Seloc manuals are also now available through online retailers such as Amazon.

A note on service manuals: manuals are updated over time, and always reference an engine’s serial number. Outboard serial numbers are typically found on the transom bracket, and inboard serial numbers are generally found on the plastic cowling, or mounted on the engine block on a model/serial # plate. Before referencing a service manual, always make sure that the manual you are using corresponds to the serial number of the engine.

Websites:

Boats.net
a screenshot from boats.net - and of the sites I use most often.

Boats.net – I use this site daily. It offers free, easily accessible engine schematics and drawings. It can be searched by engine manufacturer, year, model, horse power and serial number. Parts lists can be referenced, and can be ordered directly online.

ABYC – www.abycinc.org - The American Boat and Yacht Council produces comprehensive standards for manufacturers and repair techs. These standards cover everything from the best practices for electrical installations to propane to fuel tank installation and repair. Not sure what the ‘right’ way to do something is? Or verifying that work has been done correctly? Standards can be accessed and referenced. The site also allows boat owners to check to see the businesses and technicians who are certified to complete work according to ABYC standards

Volvo Penta – www.volvopenta.com - This is the site for Volvo Penta dealers and owners. Parts and maintenance lists and well as an extensive database of diagrams and exploded views can be found here.

Westerbeke – www.westerbeke.com - This is the site for Westerbeke and Universal parts and service manuals.

Moyer Marine – www.moyermarine.com - This is the website for a company that has focused exclusively on parts, manuals and maintenance items for the Universal Atomic 4 engine. Many FAQ’s, Tips and Parts lists can be found here – it’s an invaluable resource for the many thousands of Atomic 4 owners looking to find good information, and access to parts and kits.

I hope as winter moves into Spring that this gets your blood pumping, and excited to begin planning for your spring projects. Enjoy!

Ask Andrew
Andrew McDonald is the owner of Lakeside Marine Services – a boat repair/maintenance firm based in Toronto. Andrew has worked in the marine industry for 12 years and is a graduate of the Georgian College ‘Mechanical Techniques - Marine Engine Mechanic’ program.

Questions or comments for Andrew? Email him directly via: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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