Seminars with Nigel Calder

A Deep Dive into Boat Electrical Systems

Seminar Dates


April 17th & 18th, 2024

October 29th & 30th, 2024

at the Hyatt Place Portland- Old Port, Maine

Topics Covered

  • Key design criteria for DC & AC Systems
  • Maintaining battery health
  • New transformative technologies
  • sizing & installing circuits for ABYC compliance
  • Critical safety issues with AC systems
  • Common installation errors
  • Hands-on terminal crimping practice

Nuts & Bolts


$700 individuals; $1,200 couples discounted to $600 for individuals, $1,000 for couples if purchased one month in advance (before September 28th for October seminar)  Participation is limited. The April seminar filled up more than a month before the seminar so plan ahead! 

Ticket includes:

Two-day seminar with refreshments and box lunch each day (please let us know if you have special dietary needs; we will do our best to accommodate these but cannot guarantee this).

Access to a Hyatt group room rate of $149 + taxes, with breakfast included; the group rate is good for three days prior to, and after, the seminar and must be booked 30 days in advance.

PLEASE NOTE: Free cancellation up to September 29th, 50% refund up to October 22nd, no refund after October 22nd.


  • In the event of any emergency or situation beyond OPE’s control that makes it impossible for OPE to conduct this seminar, OPE’s liability is limited to a full refund of the ticket price.
  • In the event of any emergency or situation beyond Nigel’s control that makes it impossible for Nigel to conduct this seminar, OPE will use its best endeavors to supply content of a comparable value; if participants wish to withdraw, OPE will issue a 50% refund
  • Participants are responsible for making their own hotel reservations; the group rate option expires September 29th; thereafter reservations will be based on availability at the Hyatt’s prevailing rates.

Why attend a seminar and what to expect?

A Deep Dive into Boat Electrical Systems with Nigel Calder

Electrical systems are the leading cause of problems on boats that have more than a rudimentary electrical system. Most of these problems are preventable; they arise from a failure to abide by core design and installation principles. 

To take a deep dive into both design and installation issues, OceanPlanet Energy (OPE), in collaboration with Professional Boatbuilder magazine, Ocean Navigator magazine, and is sponsoring an intense two-day seminar developed and presented by tech guru Nigel Calder, author of the best-selling Boatowner’s Mechanical and Electrical Manual.

The seminar is grounded in the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) standards for safe installations. But this is not an ABYC class because, as Nigel points out, “you can have a safe installation that nevertheless functions poorly”. We go beyond the standards to explain how to optimize performance.

Topics include key design criteria for both DC and AC systems; how to keep batteries in a healthy state; newer technologies that are transforming the performance of electrical systems; sizing and installing electric circuits in compliance with ABYC standards; critical safety issues related to AC systems; corrosion; and grounding systems. We highlight commonly seen electrical installation errors, including on new boats, and how to rectify them. We include hands-on terminal crimping practice because poorly made terminals are the bane of many an otherwise decent electrical installation. 

Nigel has built a demonstration board that contains the core pieces of equipment referenced in the presentation, and which illustrates design choices. OPE brings related equipment. We simulate electrical faults on the demonstration board and explore multimeter troubleshooting techniques. 

We cover a lot of ground! This seminar is designed to be accessible to the inexperienced, but this does not mean it will be easy, even for those with prior experience, including some professionals. Class sizes are limited to maximize interaction with the participants.

There is no way anyone can absorb this volume of information in two days. At a minimum, we want participants to leave with the ability to check a boat for common installation mistakes, to understand and be able to do basic wiring and electrical installations, and to be able to safely conduct simple multimeter troubleshooting procedures that will enable most electrical problems to be identified.

We send everyone home with a ‘to do’ list of critical checks for any boat, and a deck of almost 600 slides for future reference. The objective is to raise the confidence levels of boatowners, and to provide professionals with a perspective that goes beyond ABYC standards to optimized functionality. 

OPE is holding the seminars in the Spring and Fall, just outside of the main tourist season, in the newly renovated Hyatt Place hotel in downtown Portland, Maine. The Hyatt is situated in the center of the vibrant old district, surrounded by historic buildings, with excellent restaurants and numerous places of interest within walking distance. The hotel has a free shuttle service to and from the easy-to-transit Portland regional airport. There is an excellent buffet-style breakfast that is included in the seminar’s discounted room rate. OPE provides lunch, and refreshments throughout the day. Seminar participants are on their own for dinner.

This is a unique opportunity to spend time with Nigel, participate in a strictly limited and intense marine electrical education opportunity, and enjoy Portland, Maine, a popular destination city.

For information contact OceanPlanet Energy:

Ready to design your system?