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Old 06-05-2018, 11:31 AM   #1
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Mainship dip stick?

I have doubts about the accuracy of my new-to-me 1978 Mainship mk1 fuel gauges. My former Gulfstar had a dip stick in the main tank that worked like a charm. After pulling a side panel, it looks to me that the fuel fill hose has gentle enough curves to allow an articulated dip stick to sound the tank. Has anyone ever done this?
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Old 06-05-2018, 11:58 AM   #2
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We've only dipped the tank a few times when we were replacing a sender. With the sender off, we used that hole to verify tank levels before installing new. We'd be interested in hearing your success with this
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Old 06-05-2018, 12:18 PM   #3
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Why not just install a sight glass (site tube)? No need to dip. If you're already willing to crawl into the bilge to verify, this will make it a short trip with an accurate measurement.
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Old 06-05-2018, 12:58 PM   #4
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I have used a steel tape to dip the fuel tanks on a Mainship 34 classic. Worked fine.



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Old 06-05-2018, 01:10 PM   #5
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articulated dip stick = dried palm frond (sp)
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Old 06-05-2018, 01:34 PM   #6
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Gauges are not very accurate in part because of tank shape and position BUT they are usually very repeatable. They give the same reading at the same lever every time.


I suggest clibratting yours by reading the gauge at intervals as you fill the tank and recording how much fuel it takes to fill the tank. e.g. when the gauge reads 1/2 how many gallons does it take to fill it. It will always take the same amount to fill from that 1/2 way point.

You can to the same from very low level and since you know the listed capacity from the tank label you can calibrate the gauge. Mine was a simple dial gauge marked in 1/4ths. It is not hard to interpolate between marks to 1/8 estimates and convert to gallons.
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Old 06-06-2018, 08:55 AM   #7
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Try a 1/4 inch dowel.
The gauges in my ex old 34 Mainship were very accurate.
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Old 06-06-2018, 11:13 AM   #8
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I mentioned in the original post that I plan to dip the tank from the fill port on deck. There is very little clearance between the top of the tank and the salon deck, and it's really un-accessable from the ER. The PO put down a real nice hard wood floor in the salon. Unfortunately, he didn't have any access panels for the fuel quantity senders. I wonder, did the boat come with access panels from the factory? I'd hate to have to tear up the entire floor just to get to the senders. Hence, the dip stick solution.
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