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Old 01-01-2016, 10:54 AM   #21
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I have the same problem, sharp curves in the fill hose to the tank.

Here's what I use:



I did scuff it up a little with a wire brush to make the wet line more visible. Early on I lost the tip, fortunately NOT into to the tank, so I'd recommend just taking it off before using.

I've also used it to help fish some wires through the boat.
I thought of that myself a few minutes ago. I use to use these at work often and of course I have one for work around the house and around the boat.

I think I would just cut off enough to stick the tank, not carry the whole thing around.

It would be important to bend the tip back and secure it so it doesn't get stuck in or damage the rubber hose. You have to heat the metal to bend it without breaking it. Many of these come with a loop already at the end. Yours must have had an attachment of some sort or you wouldn't have lost it.
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Old 01-01-2016, 11:52 AM   #22
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In the picture, you can see the plastic tip that eventually came off. True, what's left behind is a metal edge, but I don't think it's sharp enough to hurt the hose. My concern would be having it come off inside the tank when it's pulled back out. But filing down the edge wouldn't be a bad thing.

I leave it on the spool. It's made of something like spring steel, and it's an unmanageable mess outside the spool. Once reeled back in, I can toss the whole thing in the junk drawer.

From deck fitting to bottom of the tank, I need a little over 4 feet. The tanks themselves are 28" high, so I filed 30 marks, one per inch up from the bottom.

The PO used a length of 12-3 Romex wire to stick the tanks. He had a piece of electrical tape at the bottom, one to mark the top of the tank and one in the middle. I tried it for a while but it was really hard to see the wet/dry line. But it worked for him so I offer it here as another simple solution. Easy to coil up and stow, easy to uncoil.
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Old 01-01-2016, 03:56 PM   #23
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If gravity will work well enough....these are or similar the tapes with a weight on it that the old USCG cutters used to use to measure their tanks onn some of the bigger cutters.

Some were metal and some fiberglass tape. Sometimes known as a surveyors tape. May be easier than the more rigid fish tape.
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Old 01-01-2016, 07:15 PM   #24
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Do you guys who use dip sticks to gauge your tanks know about water finding paste?
It comes in a tube like tooth paste, you smear some on the dip stick and if there is water in the tank it changes color. You can tell how deep the water is in the tank bottom.
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Old 01-01-2016, 07:54 PM   #25
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In the picture, you can see the plastic tip that eventually came off. True, what's left behind is a metal edge, but I don't think it's sharp enough to hurt the hose. My concern would be having it come off inside the tank when it's pulled back out. But filing down the edge wouldn't be a bad thing.

I leave it on the spool. It's made of something like spring steel, and it's an unmanageable mess outside the spool. Once reeled back in, I can toss the whole thing in the junk drawer..
It is spring steel, that's why you have to heat the end if you want to make a loop. Like I said, I used these and bigger ones frequently for over twenty years.

You can get fiberglass ones now (much safer for fishing around live circuits).

Four or five feet cut off wouldn't be a problem to store but if you're happy with the whole thing, that's fine. My boat is probably much smaller than yours.

Our large snakes were kept in check by coiling them through a short section of flexible metallic conduit and taping the ends.
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Old 01-01-2016, 07:55 PM   #26
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Do you guys who use dip sticks to gauge your tanks know about water finding paste?
It comes in a tube like tooth paste, you smear some on the dip stick and if there is water in the tank it changes color. You can tell how deep the water is in the tank bottom.
That sounds like a great idea.
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Old 01-01-2016, 08:25 PM   #27
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You fellows using various tapes to sound your tanks might want to put a grounding wire on them. All of the commercially made ones have grounding wires. I guess they could build up static electricity and make a spark. Probably not a significant issue on diesel tanks. This link will take you to a picture of a commercially made sounding tape.
http://www.bettymills.com/shop/produ...auging%20Tapes
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Old 01-01-2016, 11:14 PM   #28
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Do you guys who use dip sticks to gauge your tanks know about water finding paste?
It comes in a tube like tooth paste, you smear some on the dip stick and if there is water in the tank it changes color. You can tell how deep the water is in the tank bottom.
Ok, Parks... What's the paste's name? You sell it? H N Yr & Cheers!! Art
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Old 01-01-2016, 11:30 PM   #29
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Hi Art, The brand I sell is called Kolor Kut. I think there are several brands on the market. Try to find it locally. If I ship it to you, the shipping charges would be as much as the product. If you can't find it near you, I'll be glad to mail it to you.

The color change is very dramatic. It goes from baby crap brown to vivid red when it hits water.
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Old 01-01-2016, 11:33 PM   #30
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Hi Art, The brand I sell is called Kolor Kut. I think there are several brands on the market. Try to find it locally. If I ship it to you, the shipping charges would be as much as the product. If you can't find it near you, I'll be glad to mail it to you.

The color change is very dramatic. It goes from baby crap brown to vivid red when it hits water.
TY, Parks!
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Old 01-02-2016, 07:45 AM   #31
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Parks....different paste for different fuels? Gas/Diesel? They used to be or have they made one that works for both?
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Old 01-02-2016, 09:37 AM   #32
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They do make several versions. The one I stock will work in most petroleum products, gasoline, diesel, kerosene etc. I don't know how well it will work in high alcohol content gasoline.
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Old 01-02-2016, 10:47 AM   #33
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I think that was the deal with the stuff we got when ethanol first came on strong...it was for ethanol gas only....may have worked in other stuff, but thats not what the label inferred.
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Old 01-02-2016, 11:24 AM   #34
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I've been using bamboo dipsticks that are kinda flexible to make it through some S-curves in my fill lines. I have them cut to a manageable length but they are still kinda long making them a pita to store so I may try a tape. I do use two different sticks for water and fuel, I would do the same for tapes.

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Old 01-02-2016, 05:17 PM   #35
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I fully realize that I am posting this opinion at my own peril but why would you want a system for determining your existing fuel level that requires you to go outside the boat? Sure, sight gauges are really nice and I have them but they require you to go (in most cases) into the ER. Mine are located through the lazarette hatch but still a pain to check when you are underway.

Tank Tenders are easy to install and can reside in almost any location that is above the tops of the fuel tanks. No electricity is required and they are powered by Mother Nature. (Barometric Pressure)

The outside dial reads inches of diesel while the inside dial reads inches of water. On my boat The Tank Tender agrees 100% with the markings on the sight gauges. (I only use the sight gauges to confirm that the Tank Tender is working properly. (ie: no leaks, breaks in the tubing, etc.)

Right below the Tank Tender is a label that indicates how many inches of fuel or water are in the tank & those readings are converted into gallons.

Super simple and no power is required.
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Old 01-02-2016, 05:52 PM   #36
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I think it's a matter of cost and complexity vs. need.


Besides, you cannot get a good reading while underway in most situations because the fuel is moving in the tanks.


If I take a dipstick measurement in the morning and have 40 gallons (combined), I can estimate 20 hours of running 7 knots. Of course I wouldn't try that, I would leave a certain amount in reserve and also know that there is a certain amount that's below the pickup tubes.


Having a better estimate of fuel onboard could cut down unnecessary fuels stops. I'm willing to pay $5 for a dipstick but not $500 for a sophisticated gauge.
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Old 01-02-2016, 06:38 PM   #37
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Hey, Ralph! It's your turn to Dip stick the fuel tanks!
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Old 01-02-2016, 08:28 PM   #38
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I certainly wouldn't want to "dip-stick" my tanks while underway. Takes attention away from operating the helm, and could allow water that might be flowing on the deck to enter the tanks. TankTender works well and only takes several seconds to check the status of a tank. Dip-sticking would take at least three minutes per tank, and with a painful crouch.
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Old 01-02-2016, 09:08 PM   #39
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If dip stick method is used: Check fuel level before getting underway. Then know approximate gph used by engine[s] at speeds. No need to check fuel level till next morning... that is, if your calculations were correct. lol
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