The Admiral and I are firm proponents of electronic media. We both have Kindles and iPads and can use both of them for reading. The ability to have literally thousands of books at our disposal without the equivalent space/weight of hard copies is a pretty amazing perk of modern technology. That being said, there are a few things that I do not necessarily want to have to try and read on a Kindle or iPad. Number one on the “must have in hardcopy” list: Reference Manuals.
Modern boats are an extremely complex mix of complex systems. To be fully independent, Starry Horizons will have to wear many hats: power plant (solar and generator), water plant (watermaker), transportation (sails, engines, navigation gear), not to mention her vital function as our home (electricity, head, galley etc). Part of the attraction of a circumnavigation for me is the fact that we’re going to be reliant on our skills to fix those systems on our boat. There won’t be anyone there to help us if the head stops working in the middle of the Atlantic.
That’s where the Boatowner’s Mechanical and Electrical Manual comes in. I have come a long way in understanding and fixing problems on our current boat, but Starry Horizons will be a very different ball game. Multiple people have recommended this book to me as a great guide to understanding the additional systems on a boat and as a way to help troubleshoot when something goes wrong (as it inevitably will). Even though the book is quite large, I have no doubt it will be well worth it’s status as the first book in our on boat “library”.
First on my agenda has been reading about electrical systems, specifically around batteries and solar panels as those are two areas where I feel I have the most to learn. My hope is that a better understanding of those systems will come in quite handy when it’s time to discuss with our dealer all the options we’ll need to make Starry Horizons truly ready to take us around the world. It may still be 11 months away until she’s in the water, but there’s no time like the present to get started learning!