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Old 11-29-2019, 01:32 AM   #21
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I've been interested in adding fuel flow meters and electronic engine monitoring as well. Nothing bad about more data points in my opinion.
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Old 11-29-2019, 05:22 AM   #22
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The first thing I did after I bought my 42 Nordic Tug was to have the Maretron fuel flow sensors installed on the engine feed and return lines. I cruise in areas of significant tidal currents, and use the fuel burn readouts to help optimize fuel efficiency. Going with the tide, that data can fine tune just where the boat should be in the general mid-channel area. Going against the tide, the data is very useful in working the back-eddies close to shore.

Sure, I have that chart that shows fuel burn vs rpm, but real-time data is great, IMHO.

Full disclosure: the boat came with quite a lot of other Maretron instrumentation :-)
How many years before your fuel "savings" pay for the thousands of dollars worth of instrumentation and installation?

Serious question.
If I could see actual value I would think seriously about it.
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Old 11-29-2019, 06:09 AM   #23
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In doing the Great Loop last year I know that the my fuel consumption over about 6,500 miles was about 3.6 GPH, twin Lehman 120s in a 56,000 pound boat. We almost always ran at 1,650 RPM. What more would I need to know than that? Having more precise data would just be an expensive curiosity.
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Old 11-29-2019, 07:02 AM   #24
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That’s a good question to consider! I am not a full time cruiser, but I do use my boat a lot (300 to 500 hours) a year. If I were boating in an area with more consistent conditions (River) and much more moderate tidal currents, perhaps it would not pencil out so much.

My projected ownership for this boat is about 15 years, more depending on health.

I experience tidal effects on fuel burn efficiency of 50% (Loss) to +100%(Gain). Except for brief periods at 2000-2200 RPM for the good of the engine, I usually run at a moderate engine speed of 1250 to 1400 RPM on a single Cummins 6CTA8.3M engine. Cost of installation was about $1800; parts were about $1000. Diesel runs between $3.15 and $5 per gallon where I cruise in WA state, and BC up to Alaska.

For me, that works. Plus, I like real-time data!!
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Old 11-29-2019, 09:12 AM   #25
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IMHO, Pau, Walt, Spinner and others on the thread have chosen to spend their boat $ on having some additional and likely helpful boat data - fuel flow. Those with newer vessels get the fuel flow data already by virtue of the on engine electronics. Once you have fuel flow data, on a planing boat especially, one wonders what took so long?

The OP asked for some hints as to fuel flow meters that work. Maretron is good one especially if a Maretron backbone is installed or already in place. Since the owner has a Formula, which if the vessel I envision, fuel flow is a sensible pursuit. That data also would be a most helpful addional tool in assuring correct propping.
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Old 11-29-2019, 09:39 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spinner View Post
....

I cruise in areas of significant tidal currents, and use the fuel burn readouts to help optimize fuel efficiency. Going with the tide, that data can fine tune just where the boat should be in the general mid-channel area. Going against the tide, the data is very useful in working the back-eddies close to shore.

.....
I boat in the same areas as you. I watch the water surface to choose the fastest passage and glance at the GPS to confirm my observation. I'm thinking I must see the same benefits from playing the tidal currents as you, but I'd rather look out the window than watch the fuel flow meter.
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Old 11-29-2019, 09:50 AM   #27
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I boat in the same areas as you. I watch the water surface to choose the fastest passage and glance at the GPS to confirm my observation. I'm thinking I must see the same benefits from playing the tidal currents as you, but I'd rather look out the window than watch the fuel flow meter.
Hopefully you use the T&C tables too? Maybe even first and foremost?
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Old 11-29-2019, 09:58 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Airstream345 View Post
I've been interested in adding fuel flow meters and electronic engine monitoring as well. Nothing bad about more data points in my opinion.
Stephen, I recently installed a Chetco Seagauge G2 onboard- it takes the analog signals from the engines and converts it to NMEA 2k data. Itís a pretty involved install, but the owner/ programmer of Chetco walked me thru the project.

I now have engine data across the network.
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Old 11-29-2019, 11:21 AM   #29
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Quote:
..In doing the Great Loop last year I know that the my fuel consumption over about 6,500 miles was about 3.6 GPH, twin Lehman 120s in a 56,000 pound boat. We almost always ran at 1,650 RPM. What more would I need to know than that? Having more precise data would just be an expensive curiosity.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunchaser View Post
...That data also would be a most helpful addional tool in assuring correct propping.
I look at fuel monitoring systems more than just gph or fuel used. We have a FlowScan system and during the fuel tank replacement/engine room rebuild, one of the sensors was damaged so the system wasnít working. While breaking in the rebuild, we had a fuel leak in the return line at an injector and came real close to damaging the rebuilt engine. If the FlowScan had been working, it would have helped us find the problem sooner. The system has also given us an indication of how clean the bottom and or running gear is.
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Old 11-29-2019, 11:37 AM   #30
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For most trawlers, a fuel flow meter is just an expensive gadget. Just print out this data sheet and when you want to know fuel flow, look at your tach, note the rpm and check the prop curve (lower curve) on the bottom graph to read fuel flow. You will be within 10%.

Here are the Cummins 6BTA 370 curves.


David
But "gadgets" are a big reason some of us boat at all.
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Old 11-29-2019, 11:47 AM   #31
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On a previous boat my Flosacn fuel flow gauge very possibly saved my boat from a engine room fire.

I was cruising along and glanced at my fuel flow gauge, just like I scan all the gauges.

One engine read really high, like 25GPH or thereabouts which was almost double what the other engine was reading.

Opening the engine room hatch I found fuel spraying everywhere. I had a cracked return fuel line from one of the injectors on my 330HP cummins engine.

If not for the fuel flow sensor I could have very easily had a engine room fire, with possible loss of life.
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Old 11-29-2019, 12:20 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by sunchaser View Post
IMHO, Pau, Walt, Spinner and others on the thread have chosen to spend their boat $ on having some additional and likely helpful boat data - fuel flow. Those with newer vessels get the fuel flow data already by virtue of the on engine electronics. Once you have fuel flow data, on a planing boat especially, one wonders what took so long?

The OP asked for some hints as to fuel flow meters that work. Maretron is good one especially if a Maretron backbone is installed or already in place.
I started to respond to those that label a Fuel Management System as a "gadget" & then I read Sunchaser's post. if you have never had one, seen one in action or can't afford one, to label it a "gadget" is foolhardy at best. Not only do they tell you what your burn is, total fuel remaining, distance to go until empty, time remaining on existing throttle and sea state, they can also indicate a fuel leak by showing unusually high gph! (It happened to me years ago at the Coronado Islands when I warned the hired skipper that we had a fuel leak on the port engine. (My boat.) He scoffed at the suggestion but went below to check and found a fuel line spraying fuel all over the ER. Fuel Management Systems are not "gadgets" but rather they are another tool that contributes to your "situational awareness."

Please note that in the photo below, (if you blow it up) I am on plane at 15 knots and the total (both engines) burn is 30gph. That's the price I pay for a planing 42 foot boat & I not only expected it, I enjoy it! BTW, It does not match the published engine data for my engines but it does match the sight gauge marks and the gallons taken on at the pump!

https://www.maretron.com/products/ffm100.php
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Old 11-29-2019, 02:34 PM   #33
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I started to respond to those that label a Fuel Management System as a "gadget" & then I read Sunchaser's post. if you have never had one, seen one in action or can't afford one, to label it a "gadget" is foolhardy at best. Not only do they tell you what your burn is, total fuel remaining, distance to go until empty, time remaining on existing throttle and sea state, they can also indicate a fuel leak by showing unusually high gph! (It happened to me years ago at the Coronado Islands when I warned the hired skipper that we had a fuel leak on the port engine. (My boat.) He scoffed at the suggestion but went below to check and found a fuel line spraying fuel all over the ER. Fuel Management Systems are not "gadgets" but rather they are another tool that contributes to your "situational awareness."

Please note that in the photo below, (if you blow it up) I am on plane at 15 knots and the total (both engines) burn is 30gph. That's the price I pay for a planing 42 foot boat & I not only expected it, I enjoy it! BTW, It does not match the published engine data for my engines but it does match the sight gauge marks and the gallons taken on at the pump!

https://www.maretron.com/products/ffm100.php
WOW!

Please see my post above yours.

Thats is TWO of us on this little forum that have possibly averted a life safety situation because of our fuel flow meters.
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Old 11-29-2019, 06:31 PM   #34
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Stephen, I recently installed a Chetco Seagauge G2 onboard- it takes the analog signals from the engines and converts it to NMEA 2k data. Itís a pretty involved install, but the owner/ programmer of Chetco walked me thru the project.

I now have engine data across the network.
I also put engine data on the N2K network. I use a Noland RS-11, but there are a number of options. This data is invaluable.

I'd love to have fuel flow information, too, but with two diesels, the cost would be at least $2,000. There are too many other things I could spend that on to ever justify the cost.

I had a fuel leak once too. My routine, hourly engine room checks caught that in time. And they're free.
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Old 11-29-2019, 07:17 PM   #35
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Ill be installing boost and EGT gauges to monitor my engines along with coolant pressure.
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