6 credits during the 3nd year of 8721 Pleasure Craft Engineering (L-9) LA SPEZIA
LA SPEZIA (Pleasure Craft Engineering)
2° Semester
Teaching materials


The most recent orientations in the design of nautical propulsion, generation and control systems see first the choice of solutions that guarantee reliability, power, reduced dimensions, silence and attention to the environment. With this in mind, it is inevitable to focus on electrical and electronic machines and devices which, in recent years, have increasingly responded to these requirements and have made it possible to raise the levels of comfort on board.



The course aims at providing students with the selection criteria and dimensioning of electrical installations and automation instrumentation and navigation of a pleasure craft


Attendance and active participation in the proposed training activities (lectures and exercises) and individual study will allow the student to acquire in-depth knowledge in the following areas:

Maritime classification societies and reference rules for electrical systems on board pleasure boats.

Electrical systems on board ships. Electrical systems for energy and information.

Classification of electrical machines. Design and construction aspects of the different electrical machines.

Electronic converters. Electrical panels, switches and protective devices.

Electric generators, power plants, generation on board from renewable sources.

Electrochemical generators and accumulators.

Lighting technology elements.

Telecommunication elements.

Control and automation elements.

Drafting of the electric power and energy budget, for the purpose of sizing the generation and storage plant, as well as for sizing the conductors and electrical panels of the on-board distribution system.


mathematics, physics (thermodynamics and electromagnetism), electrotechnics

Teaching methods

The course is carried out by the teacher through lectures alternated with classroom exercises with the support of the teacher.


Topics covered in the theoretical part

Operating principles of electrical machines, interaction between conductors and magnetic fields. Electrical systems on board ships. Electrical systems for energy and information. Thematic research: presentation of the topics for the research proposals on specific topics of the course in question, rules for the preparation of the papers and for the final evaluation.

Risk on board. Regulatory bodies and regulatory references for electrical systems on board pleasure boats.

Classification of electrical machines. Shore power supply: characteristics and correct connection procedures.

Induced forces and f.e.m. in conductors moving in the presence of magnetic fields. Pacinotti ring, dynamo and alternators. Relations between polar pairs, mechanical angles, electrical angles, speed and frequencies. Types of winding.

Types of on-board electrical systems: comparison between direct and alternating current systems, the concept of "power plant".

Electrical transformers: construction principle, reading of the plate data, IP protection degree. DC motors, universal motor: construction principle, insulation classes, reading of the characteristic curves and identification of the working point, starting and control circuits, applications.

Representation of electrical quantities over time and by means of phasors. Active and reactive power. Rotating magnetic fields. Star and delta connections. Induction motor and synchronous motor: characteristic curves, nameplate data, starting and control circuits, applications. Brushless motors. Comparative analysis of the different types of electric motors.

Line voltages and currents. Relations in star and triangle cases. Dynamo: construction principle, areas and limits of use. Alternator: construction principle, areas and limits of use. Generating set. Additional generators. Generator installation. Axis generator.

Electronic converters. Inverters in motor control. Distribution diagrams of electrical systems: simple and compound radial. Typical supply voltages for boating: classification of electrical systems. Examples. Electrical panels. Cables for the transmission of electrical signals and for the transport of electrical energy: degree of insulation, resistive characteristics and capacity. Switchgear: switches, buttons, switches. Color code for pushbuttons and indicator lights. Electric arc. Electromagnetic relays. Contactors. Overcurrent and leakage protection. Overcurrent thermal and electromagnetic relay. Fuses. The differential switch.

Characteristic of the motor and asynchronous generator, sliding. Renewables. Wind generator and driven propeller. Solar energy and radiation.

Solar radiation diagrams. Average annual energy in European countries. Average irradiation in Italy depending on the inclination of the panels. Photovoltaic solar panels: operating principle, types of cells, applications on board. Examples of calculation of the sizing of the plants. Advantages and disadvantages of photovoltaic panels. Practical considerations on installation on board.

Three-phase and single-phase asynchronous motors. Starting circuits. Electric power, torque and speed of rotation. Combinatorial and sequential logical networks. Logic variables, logic functions and logic circuits. Positive and negative logic. Synthesis of logical networks. Sensors, control logics, actuators.

Electrochemical generators and lead accumulators. Charging and discharging curves. Other types of accumulators: FeNi, NiCd, NiMH and lithium ion and lithium polymer batteries. Features and examples. Dry cells. Comparative analysis of the different types of accumulators.

Protection of accumulator batteries. Calculation of the capacity of an accumulator. The efficiency and energy efficiency.

Lighting technology elements. Light and its spectrum. Light sources. Photometric quantities: light intensity, luminous flux, illuminance, efficiency of a light source. Color temperature. Optical properties of materials. Photometric measuring instruments. Types of lamps and their characteristics. Incandescent and halogen lamps. Fluorescent lamps, electrical triggering schemes and discharge maintenance. Mercury and sodium vapor lamps. LED lamps. ISO tables for lighting environments depending on the intended use. Arrangement of navigation lights. Optical fibers: theory and principles of construction and operation.

Fieldbus, characteristics of the main fieldbuses used in the industrial and maritime sector, with particular reference to Profibus / Profinet. Introduction to the theory of communication on point-to-point or shared channels, real-time control problems. Some examples of devices interfaced to Profibus / Profinet.

Electrical energy budget and battery sizing. Electrical power budget, sizing of the generators. Electrical power budget with indication of the priority and relevance of each load. Containment of the power request by guaranteeing on board services. Example of electric power budget for pleasure boat with diesel-electric propulsion.

Topics covered during the exercises

Design of simple analog and digital circuits commonly used in on-board systems: linear and switching power supplies, A / D and D / A converters. Preliminary design of an electrical distribution system on board, with sizing of conductors and protections.

Drafting of an electrical power and energy budget for a typical boat, with subsequent design of the generation and storage system on board.


Lecture notes and teaching materials made available by the teacher on the course website and screened in class

G. Carrera:  Dispense del corso di Impianti di bordo 2 ,  2008;

M.Giuffrida: Impianti elettrici e propulsione elettrica sulle navi,  2011;

Flaccavento: Elettrotecnica ed elettronica a bordo, 2014.


Ricevimento: The teacher receives the students by appointment established via e-mail, both at the Didactic Center of La Spezia and at the Genoa office, DITEN Department, located in via Opera Pia 11, fourth floor

Exam Board





Teaching methods

The course is carried out by the teacher through lectures alternated with classroom exercises with the support of the teacher.


Lessons take place during the second semester on Tuesday morning, from 9.00 to 13.00.

Additional recovery lessons are provided in case of recurring holidays on Tuesday or due to the absence of the teacher.


Exam description

The exam is divided into two parts:

a written test, to which an assessment of up to 20/30 (twenty out of thirty) can be attributed; the written test is considered passed for access to the oral test, achieving a mark greater than or equal to 8/30 (eight thirtieths); students who do not achieve this minimum mark, or believe they want to improve it, will be able to participate in the written test of the next date scheduled in the exam calendar;
an oral test, to which an assessment of up to 11/30 (eleven out of thirty) can be attributed;
the sum of the marks of the two tests will constitute the final exam evaluation (31/30 represents 30 with honors).

How to register for the written test

For classroom booking problems and printing of written texts, it is compulsory to register using the online mode (from the University's student services portal), UNDERGUSTED AT LEAST 3 DAYS BEFORE the day of the test.

Candidates must present themselves at the written document with checkered protocol sheets, pens, pencils, eraser and calculator. It is allowed to use notes or texts and PDAs or mobile phones are not allowed.

Assessment methods

The written test will concern the compilation or completion of a facsimile of electrical balance in power and / or energy, having the operating characteristics of some electrical users and the use profiles of the boat available.

Once the electrical balance has been completed, the candidate may be asked to size the on-board generation unit, any accumulator batteries and chargers.

Always based on the electrical balance, the candidate may be asked to hypothesize a possible simplified configuration of the electrical panels of the on-board distribution system, with the related distribution of loads, sizing of cables and conductors, as well as calculation of switches and protections.

Concept design and block diagram design for some of the main electrical and electronic devices covered in class.

The oral exam will consist of questions on topics of the program held in class during the year

Exam schedule

Date Time Location Type Notes
08/06/2021 09:30 LA SPEZIA Scritto + Orale
22/06/2021 09:30 LA SPEZIA Scritto + Orale
06/07/2021 09:30 LA SPEZIA Scritto + Orale
07/09/2021 09:30 LA SPEZIA Orale
07/09/2021 09:30 LA SPEZIA Scritto