Boat Show University
Marine Electrical SystemsNigel Calder
Nigel Calder got into motorcycles and sailing dinghies as a teenager and has never been far from mechanical things and boats ever since. Before becoming a full-time sailing writer he worked on an automotive assembly line, in a foundry and machine shop, and on offshore oil production platforms. He and his wife, Terrie, built a couple of 70-foot canal boats (on which they lived in Oxford), and a 39-foot Ingrid cutter. They then sailed a Pacific Seacraft 40 for 5 years, following which they had a Malo 45 built in Sweden. This was replaced by the same boat but with experimental electrical and propulsion systems. It was used for extensive testing of hybrid propulsion systems which, in recent years morphed into a multi-year development of advanced generator technology now sold under the Integrel brand name. Nigel has been an active participant in the American Boat and Yacht Council’s (ABYC) electrical Project Technical Committee (PTC), which writes the standards for recreational boat electrical systems, for 30 years. Nigel and Terrie have sailed in the North Sea, the Atlantic as far north as the Faroe Islands and as far south as Portugal, the U.S. east coast, the Bahamas and extensively in the Caribbean, with Pippin (now aged 34) and Paul (33) augmenting the crew along the way. Nigel is best known for his Boatowner’s Mechanical and Electrical Manual, now in its 4th edition, and his Marine Diesel Engines, in its 3rd edition. In addition to hundreds of magazine articles, he has also authored a ‘Cruising Guide to the Northwest Caribbean’, ‘Cuba: A Cruising Guide’, ‘Nigel Calder’s Cruising Handbook’ and ‘How to Read a Nautical Chart’. He recently released a memoir of his family’s first long cruise titled ‘Shakedown Cruise’.