Since the existing system was patently not to ABYC guidelines, I wanted to make sure the new one was. Insurance companies want regular surveys of “classic” (i.e., old fiberglass) boats, with an emphasis on mechanical and electrical systems meeting ABYC standards. Unfortunately, compliance comes at a price. Unless you pony up $250 for ABYC membership, a copy of Standard E-11—AC and DC Systems on Boats—will set you back $195, but unless you’re installing your own AC shore-power system I see no reason to get the checkbook out. Skinflints will be pleased to know that much of the essential information can be found for free on the Blue Sea Systems Web site (www.bluesea.com). Nigel Calder’s Boatowner’s Mechanical and Electrical Handbook is much more detailed and is an essential companion for anyone who does his own electrical work. The Coast Guard has federal requirements on its Web site (uscgboating.org).