Common systems on a boat

This introductory 2-day class is designed for recreational boaters and professional mariners who are looking to better understand the way common systems work on board vessels. Over two days, we take a holistic look at the systems that are found on most boats with particular focus on how they work, what keeps them running, and common mis-steps to avoid. We delve further into each system by providing both lecture and  hands-on experience with actual systems that are common to most boats.  

Upon completion of this course, the student will have a better understanding of the overall framework of systems on board boats and common problems that might arise. The class focuses on enhancing the students’ development of the language of systems and components of those systems, allowing them to be conversant with technicians working on their boat, as well as supply companies that sell parts.

One of the most important parts of the course is how to prevent system failure by utilizing good seamanship principles of boat pre-use, during use, and proper storage checklist procedures.

The course is not designed to turn boat owners into marine technicians, but rather to develop the confidence to both undertake repair of their own boats and to speak to industry professionals.

Topics Include:

Basic Electrical Concepts and Troubleshooting

  • “Normal” electrical vessel status expectations

  • Read a meter to conduct basic testing on electrical systems

  • Basic wiring connections for repairs

Plumbing Systems

  • The language and materials of plumbing

  • Pumps and liquid movement

  • Basic head and hose repairs


  • Fundamentals of metal choice

  • Recognizing corrosion problems

Crisis Aversion - Vessel checklist development and Maintenance Expectations