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Old 12-31-2013, 01:16 AM   #1
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Best Books on Maintenance

As a newbie that is about to complete the purchase of a 1989 Carver 4207, I 'm hoping someone can refer me to some of the better books available for maintaining any and all of the systems (plumbing, A/C, heating, electrical) as well as the diesel engines (Cat 3208's)
Thanks in advance for any assistance.
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Old 12-31-2013, 07:59 AM   #2
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I like this one and some of his other titles are very good also.

Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual: How to Maintain, Repair, and Improve Your Boat's Essential Systems: Nigel Calder: 9780071432382: Amazon.com: Books

HTH,
S
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Old 12-31-2013, 09:09 AM   #3
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I agree with the above. Nigel Calder's book is a classic and the first one you should read if you're new to boating.
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Old 12-31-2013, 09:21 AM   #4
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I have seen Calders book mentioned so many times on this forum that I ordered it last week.
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Old 12-31-2013, 11:27 AM   #5
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Even for experienced D.I.Y.ers like myself, I find Calder's book great for triggering memories of how something was previously fixed or installed.
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Old 12-31-2013, 11:39 AM   #6
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Until Nigel's book arrives you might want to take a look at
Boat Maintenance For non-idiots
and
Marine Survey 101
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Old 12-31-2013, 01:24 PM   #7
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I got the Kindle version of Calder's book and have it on my IPhone IPad, and multiple computers. It makes a nice handy way to access it anywhere anytime. I also have electronic versions of almost all my engine, electronics, and other systems stored on Google Drive, making them available virtually anywhere.

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Old 12-31-2013, 01:27 PM   #8
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I got the Kindle version of Calder's book and have it on my IPhone IPad, and multiple computers. It makes a nice handy way to access it anywhere anytime. I also have electronic versions of almost all my engine, electronics, and other systems stored on Google Drive, making them available virtually anywhere.

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Beautiful shot is your avatar. Where is that ?
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Old 12-31-2013, 01:45 PM   #9
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Beautiful shot is your avatar. Where is that ?
US Forest Service dock at El Capitan, Prince of Wales Island, Alaska. Most of my good photos are the result of compensating errors.

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Old 12-31-2013, 08:50 PM   #10
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As far as the 3208s go...get literature, video or DVD from Cat...I just threw away my 3208 video for basic maintenance when I had them in my sportfish.

Generic diesel stuff is fine.... but specific to your engines is far superior and it is probably out there for your Cats.
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Old 12-31-2013, 08:54 PM   #11
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3208 service manual and more importantly, the parts manual are available on line for free. Google is your friend.
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Old 12-31-2013, 08:55 PM   #12
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Is there a "best" book on older diesels? (or just get the air out of the fuel, change the oil, turn key and go) ;-)
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Old 12-31-2013, 09:08 PM   #13
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I got the Kindle version of Calder's book and have it on my IPhone IPad, and multiple computers. It makes a nice handy way to access it anywhere anytime. I also have electronic versions of almost all my engine, electronics, and other systems stored on Google Drive, making them available virtually anywhere.

Tom
That's a GREAT idea. Didn't even know about the Kindle app for my iPad. Coolness. THANKS!
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Old 12-31-2013, 11:43 PM   #14
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Talking to a guy now about securing an old engine for tinkering and learning. Probably deal will fall through because I am cheap a$$. But want to have a toy in the garage to take apart, practice and say clever things like "hmmm, what does THAT do?" About a 20% chance I go through with it because shipping costs will likely be through the roof.

Figure if it does work out, I can tinker without cutting into cruising time.
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Old 01-01-2014, 01:24 AM   #15
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Ben, if you are not too fussy about the specific make of diesel "shop art" you want, check the local school districts. Tons of them have been getting scrapped (at least in California YMMV) for several years now as air regs have mandated swapping them out for modern.

Also schools/colleges with diesel tech programs upgrade "trainer engines" at the end of the academic year periodically and sell off old ones for whatever they can get to put back into their programs. Many of those go with test stands of sorts too. Happy hunting.
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Old 01-02-2014, 11:11 AM   #16
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Talking to a guy now about securing an old engine for tinkering and learning. Probably deal will fall through because I am cheap a$$. But want to have a toy in the garage to take apart, practice and say clever things like "hmmm, what does THAT do?" About a 20% chance I go through with it because shipping costs will likely be through the roof.

Figure if it does work out, I can tinker without cutting into cruising time.
I would be careful about this. I mean, I am not a professional, but diesel engines the age of ours are pretty simple and 95% of them share the same parts as their gasoline brothers. At least in name and function. For me, the only great mystery of my Perkins is the mechanical injector pump, and from what I have learned so far, the innerds of that require some highly specialized tools and should be left to professionals anyway. meh---

TBH, I only see this as a waste of your resources that could be focused onto your actual boat and not a broken down lump in the garage. A good book about diesels would/could serve much of the same purpose and answer many of your questions. That said, I suppose that if you eventually wanted to use it as a replacement motor, perhaps there could be some merit in that. However, your boat's engine has a LONG time to go before it's demise and rebuilding a big diesel to replacement new would take a lot of tools I doubt you have (nor do I). Much of Sand Castle's needs are in the supporting systems. Keeping the engine running, IMHO, takes about the least effort of everything aboard.
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Old 01-02-2014, 12:28 PM   #17
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Our yacht club has place where professional boat mechanics can dispose of boat machinery that has been replaced. It is cheaper for a "check writer" to pay for a new unit than pay to have it rebuilt. I enjoy picking up these various units and taking them apart to see how they work and scavenging for parts. It's amazing how many pieces of equipment are scrapped for one lousy o-ring.
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Old 01-02-2014, 01:49 PM   #18
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TBH, I only see this as a waste of your resources that could be focused onto your actual boat and not a broken down lump in the garage. A good book about diesels would/could serve much of the same purpose and answer many of your questions. That said, I suppose that if you eventually wanted to use it as a replacement motor, perhaps there could be some merit in that. However, your boat's engine has a LONG time to go before it's demise and rebuilding a big diesel to replacement new would take a lot of tools I doubt you have (nor do I). Much of Sand Castle's needs are in the supporting systems. Keeping the engine running, IMHO, takes about the least effort of everything aboard.
Spoken like a true tinkerer. Well Tom, in detail, and you know me well...
  1. My issue is less the learning than the building of solid confidence. The value for me is the confidence that comes with understanding. You've seen me shrink at mechanical tasks because I never did it before. So there's the value proposition for me, different from your perspective because you are confident in those areas.
  2. Windows, sanitation, fresh water rebuilds are on high my list. Must repaint, patch, carpet and sell a house first before I can start boat tinkering again. Electrical in the mix for the boat, but father down. Need to paint my decks too.
  3. Once done with engine fooling around. I can donate to Cape Fear Community College. They have classes on marine diesel and systems which I may take as well. Of course, I could save on the engine by taking the classes maybe.
I want a hunk of metal I can not be afraid to mess up. Figure out the needed torque to unscrew a manifold bolt and so on without screwing up my own boat's propulsion.

One day, I might have 2000 hours of tinkering confidence, but not yet today.
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Old 01-02-2014, 01:51 PM   #19
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Is there a "best" book on older diesels? (or just get the air out of the fuel, change the oil, turn key and go) ;-)
I picked up a Nigel Caulder book in that Oriental consignment shop. Don't know if it's "best" but pretty thorough in terms of illustrations and step-wise instruction.
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Old 01-02-2014, 03:02 PM   #20
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I want a hunk of metal I can not be afraid to mess up.
The problem is that you can't start it up in your garage and see if you did it properly. What good does tinkering with something without being able to gauge your results? Sounds to me like you could take it apart and look at neat stuff, but books have pictures (or in your case... pop-ups ) that can show you what you need to know IF (and that's a HUGE "if") you ever need to dig into your motor that deep. If there is ever a need for me to pull the heads? I am calling a pro.

(/party-pooper)
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