Go Back   Trawler Forum > Trawler Forum > General Discussion
Click Here to Login


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 11-20-2022, 12:11 PM   #1
Guru
 
Barking Sands's Avatar
 
City: NEW PORT RICHEY
Vessel Name: M/V Intrigue
Vessel Model: 1985 Tung Hwa Senator
Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 526
Feedback for remote fuel senders...what's wrong with this idea?

I have two custom 105 gallon tanks on either side of the Perkins. They are tucked up under the floor leaving only about 6 or 8 inches above the tank. The tanks appear to be well made and have provisions for sight tubes at the aft end of each tank with shut off valves for both upper and lower portions of sight tubes. Fairly straight forward. To install a typical sender would require a ton of work and fuel logistics (both a re 3/4 full)

What I am contemplating is fabricating a 3.5 inch cylindrical tank the same height as the main tanks (maybe 16 inches tall). The top of the cylindrical tank will have provisions to mount a fuel quantity sender. The cylindrical tank will also have a lower and upper boss to connect fittings to the lower and upper fittings on the main tank where the sight tubes currently hook up. Removing sight tubes and plumbing in the tank using appropriate standards and methods and materials. Gauge hook up is pretty straight forwards from there. I imagine the quantity of these two cylindrical tanks would be around a gallon give or take. Accuracy can be adjusted by raising or lowering the cylindrical tanks in relation to the main tanks. Maintenance to the system/senders would be greatly simplified. Quantity readings should be very stable since the fuel needs to flow through small hoses as levels rise/fall. No real sloshing in a 3.5 tube.

What's wrong with this picture? Why isn't this done more routinely? There must be something wrong with the plan that I am overlooking.

The only thing I can see is the additional failure points. But using quality materials and practices that really should be negligible.

Feed back is of course much appreciated.
Barking Sands is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2022, 12:26 PM   #2
Guru
 
Pete Meisinger's Avatar
 
City: Oconto, WI
Vessel Name: Best Alternative
Vessel Model: 36 Albin Aft Cabin
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 2,564
That sounds like a good plan. I personally hate sight tubes for fuel or water, you can never see through them after they are in place for a few years. If you have the room, your plan sounds good.

pete
Pete Meisinger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2022, 01:02 PM   #3
Guru
 
twistedtree's Avatar
 
City: Walkabout Creek
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 8,583
If I'm following, you would create a "float tank" that's like a sight gauge, but is opaque, and instead has some sort of float or other level sensor in it. And you are doing this because you don't have sufficient access to the tank to add a sensor?


If your are looking for easy, consider teeing a pressure sensor off the lower sight glass fitting. Then use a maretron pressure converter (FPM-100) and display to show calibrated fuel level. No tank fabrication of other plumbing required. The Maretron stuff, especially if you are creating a network for the first time, isn't cheap. But neither will be fabricating float tanks.
__________________
MVTanglewood.com
twistedtree is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2022, 01:19 PM   #4
Guru
 
Marco Flamingo's Avatar
 
City: Dewatto
Vessel Name: CHiTON
Vessel Model: Tung Hwa Clipper 30
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 902
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barking Sands View Post
What's wrong with this picture? Why isn't this done more routinely? There must be something wrong with the plan that I am overlooking.
1. It would cost the builder a few more dollars than just having sight tubes.
2. It violates KISS.
3. Since I am in the engine room every day while cruising, and I know that I burn about 1 gallon per hour, I really don't need a remote gauge. I burn about 1/8th inch per hour on my 17" sight glass. So an 8 hour day is a one inch drop. Switching tanks would be a one inch drop the next day on the other tank. A sender and a remote gauge probably wouldn't even register this minute change, but easy to follow using a movable marker on the sight tube.

My sight "glasses" (actually clear vinyl tubing) were really discolored when I purchased. Probably 40 year-old tubing. I couldn't just lift the engine hatch and get a reading. (I might have been able to if I had painted the background, i.e., the tank, white.)

I bought a couple dollars of tubing at Home Depot. Disconnect the top, blow air into the tube to push the diesel back in the tank, turn off the valve, replace the tubing. That 10 minute job has been good for 3 years.

Personally, I wouldn't put in an electrical remote sender even if it were a 10 minute job and cost a couple dollars. My boating mantra is to avoid electrical gadgets whenever possible. So far, my vision is still more reliable than my electrical skill.
__________________
Marco Flamingo
Marco Flamingo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2022, 01:26 PM   #5
Guru
 
Airstream345's Avatar
 
City: Seattle, WA USA
Vessel Name: FORTITUDE
Vessel Model: Kadey Krogen 54-8
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 965
Quote:
Originally Posted by twistedtree View Post
If I'm following, you would create a "float tank" that's like a sight gauge, but is opaque, and instead has some sort of float or other level sensor in it. And you are doing this because you don't have sufficient access to the tank to add a sensor?


If your are looking for easy, consider teeing a pressure sensor off the lower sight glass fitting. Then use a maretron pressure converter (FPM-100) and display to show calibrated fuel level. No tank fabrication of other plumbing required. The Maretron stuff, especially if you are creating a network for the first time, isn't cheap. But neither will be fabricating float tanks.
I agree, this is the better approach. Since you have the bosses already installed you could also add a sight tube if you wanted a quick way to do a visual check when filling for example.
__________________
FORTITUDE
Blog: mvfortitude.com
Instagram: @mvfortitude
Airstream345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2022, 02:17 PM   #6
Guru
 
jleonard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,781
The old standard tank sender worked perfectly in my old Albin. There was no need for more accuracy or complication. I could look at the gage and predict within about 10% how much fuel I could take on.
__________________
Jay Leonard
Ex boats: 1983 40 Albin trunk cabin, 1978 Mainship 34 Model 1
New Port Richey, Fl
jleonard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2022, 02:30 PM   #7
Guru
 
Barking Sands's Avatar
 
City: NEW PORT RICHEY
Vessel Name: M/V Intrigue
Vessel Model: 1985 Tung Hwa Senator
Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 526
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Meisinger View Post
That sounds like a good plan. I personally hate sight tubes for fuel or water, you can never see through them after they are in place for a few years. If you have the room, your plan sounds good.

pete
Thanks Pete. Much appreciated.
Barking Sands is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2022, 02:33 PM   #8
Guru
 
Barking Sands's Avatar
 
City: NEW PORT RICHEY
Vessel Name: M/V Intrigue
Vessel Model: 1985 Tung Hwa Senator
Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 526
Quote:
Originally Posted by twistedtree View Post
If I'm following, you would create a "float tank" that's like a sight gauge, but is opaque, and instead has some sort of float or other level sensor in it. And you are doing this because you don't have sufficient access to the tank to add a sensor?


If your are looking for easy, consider teeing a pressure sensor off the lower sight glass fitting. Then use a maretron pressure converter (FPM-100) and display to show calibrated fuel level. No tank fabrication of other plumbing required. The Maretron stuff, especially if you are creating a network for the first time, isn't cheap. But neither will be fabricating float tanks.
The tank would be 5052 aluminum tube with end caps welded in. Then two bosses welded in the top and bottom sides. The top cap would have the opening made already for the sender to bolt right in.

The Maretron idea is a good one. I will have to look into that. Especially since I have an entire Garmin system going in soon and I will be adding a network. Ill have to check it out. Thanks a bunch.
Barking Sands is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2022, 02:36 PM   #9
Guru
 
Barking Sands's Avatar
 
City: NEW PORT RICHEY
Vessel Name: M/V Intrigue
Vessel Model: 1985 Tung Hwa Senator
Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 526
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marco Flamingo View Post
1. It would cost the builder a few more dollars than just having sight tubes.
2. It violates KISS.
3. Since I am in the engine room every day while cruising, and I know that I burn about 1 gallon per hour, I really don't need a remote gauge. I burn about 1/8th inch per hour on my 17" sight glass. So an 8 hour day is a one inch drop. Switching tanks would be a one inch drop the next day on the other tank. A sender and a remote gauge probably wouldn't even register this minute change, but easy to follow using a movable marker on the sight tube.

My sight "glasses" (actually clear vinyl tubing) were really discolored when I purchased. Probably 40 year-old tubing. I couldn't just lift the engine hatch and get a reading. (I might have been able to if I had painted the background, i.e., the tank, white.)

I bought a couple dollars of tubing at Home Depot. Disconnect the top, blow air into the tube to push the diesel back in the tank, turn off the valve, replace the tubing. That 10 minute job has been good for 3 years.

Personally, I wouldn't put in an electrical remote sender even if it were a 10 minute job and cost a couple dollars. My boating mantra is to avoid electrical gadgets whenever possible. So far, my vision is still more reliable than my electrical skill.

I understand your POV completely. Getting down in my area to open both upper and lower and port and stbd valves is a bit of a PITA. But I do want to keep is somewhat simple. Having two gauges that can be left on at anchor or even in the slip to eyeball and of course while underway is appealing to me not only for monitoring general fuel burn but also to monitor for sudden loss of quantity to alert for some issue like a fuel leak.
Barking Sands is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2022, 02:38 PM   #10
Guru
 
Barking Sands's Avatar
 
City: NEW PORT RICHEY
Vessel Name: M/V Intrigue
Vessel Model: 1985 Tung Hwa Senator
Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 526
Quote:
Originally Posted by Airstream345 View Post
I agree, this is the better approach. Since you have the bosses already installed you could also add a sight tube if you wanted a quick way to do a visual check when filling for example.
I agree. I will have to look into the Maretron.

Anyone have experience with the accuracy of the Maretron?
Barking Sands is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2022, 02:44 PM   #11
Guru
 
Barking Sands's Avatar
 
City: NEW PORT RICHEY
Vessel Name: M/V Intrigue
Vessel Model: 1985 Tung Hwa Senator
Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 526
Quote:
Originally Posted by jleonard View Post
The old standard tank sender worked perfectly in my old Albin. There was no need for more accuracy or complication. I could look at the gage and predict within about 10% how much fuel I could take on.
If I make the stand alone tanks myself..the old standard gauges and senders are around $50 each x 2= around $100. The materials for the tanks would be less than $200 (aluminum is getting pricey). I am pretty sure achieving 10% will be easy given I can adjust the remote tanks higher or lower in relation to the main tank they measure. Obviously the LOW end is what's more important.

For those Pilots here...you would be surprised at the methods used and shortcoming to calibration of aircraft fuel quantity systems...lol. Those systems are not that accurate.
Barking Sands is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2022, 03:09 PM   #12
Guru
 
Simi 60's Avatar
 
City: Queensland
Vessel Model: Milkraft 60 converted timber prawn trawler
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 4,793
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Meisinger View Post
That sounds like a good plan. I personally hate sight tubes for fuel or water, you can never see through them after they are in place for a few years. .
You must be doing it wrong
Ours are at least 20 years old and still clear.

I would never go electric
KISS
__________________
Everything on a boat is broken, you just don't know it yet
Full time cruising is repairing boats in exotic locations
Simi 60 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2022, 03:11 PM   #13
Guru
 
Barking Sands's Avatar
 
City: NEW PORT RICHEY
Vessel Name: M/V Intrigue
Vessel Model: 1985 Tung Hwa Senator
Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 526
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simi 60 View Post
You must be doing it wrong
Ours are at least 20 years old and still clear.
Simi...is your diesel dyed bright red?
Barking Sands is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2022, 03:15 PM   #14
Guru
 
Barking Sands's Avatar
 
City: NEW PORT RICHEY
Vessel Name: M/V Intrigue
Vessel Model: 1985 Tung Hwa Senator
Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 526
Maretron system looks pricey. Alternatives aside, are there any oversights or excessively dangerous issues with the originally described plan?

Obviously when I fab the cans/tanks they will be pressure tested etc.
Barking Sands is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2022, 03:20 PM   #15
Guru
 
Portage_Bay's Avatar
 
City: Coupeville Wa.
Vessel Name: Pelorus
Vessel Model: Californian 42 LRC
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 1,922
If I understand your setup you could consider the Tank Tender system. An elbow on the bottom valve, a TEE on the top valve. Hose, pipe or sight glass tubing between the lower elbow and upper TEE. A plug drilled and tapped to accept the tank tender's fitting on the top of the TEE. Simple, no additional tank to build, fit and fail. Valves that already have been installed to shut off the not installed sight glasses could be used in the event of a leak.

Can be used for potable and black water tanks as well, all in one display panel.

http://tanktender.com/

Not as inexpensive as your proposed system but simplier and easier to install.

No affiliation with the company, just a happy customer. If you go that way buy direct from Tank Tender for outstanding support.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barking Sands View Post
provisions for sight tubes at the aft end of each tank with shut off valves for both upper and lower portions of sight tubes.
__________________
Some things are worth doing simply because they are worth doing.
Portage_Bay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2022, 03:28 PM   #16
Guru
 
mvweebles's Avatar
 
City: Saint Petersburg
Vessel Name: Weebles
Vessel Model: 1970 Willard 36 Trawler
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 5,090
I'm unclear if the OP simply wants remote monitoring, or if sight-tubes would be okay but has concerns over their construction. If the latter, there are some excellent quality sight-tubes for industrial applications. The tubes are usually either polycarbonate or uber-glass and will not yellow like Vinyl will. They are well-protected in billet-machined aluminum blocks, and are configured to enhance accurate viewing. I think I paid around $150/ea for mine about 5-years ago.

https://www.ldi-industries.com/LDI/R...ed-Circuit.htm

I'm sure its gotten better over the years, but I don't recall seeing many marine dashboard-mounted fuel-level displays that were trusted. Many were dead; many inaccurate, perhaps due to improper calibration in the first place. Regardless, tough to beat a sight gauge, though those too must be calbirated.

Peter
__________________
M/V Weebles
1970 Willard 36 Sedan Trawler
mvweebles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2022, 03:32 PM   #17
Guru
 
Simi 60's Avatar
 
City: Queensland
Vessel Model: Milkraft 60 converted timber prawn trawler
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 4,793
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barking Sands View Post
Simi...is your diesel dyed bright red?
Who would do such a thing?

Our diesel is a lovely golden colour
__________________
Everything on a boat is broken, you just don't know it yet
Full time cruising is repairing boats in exotic locations
Simi 60 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2022, 03:34 PM   #18
Guru
 
Barking Sands's Avatar
 
City: NEW PORT RICHEY
Vessel Name: M/V Intrigue
Vessel Model: 1985 Tung Hwa Senator
Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 526
Quote:
Originally Posted by mvweebles View Post
I'm unclear if the OP simply wants remote monitoring, or if sight-tubes would be okay but has concerns over their construction.
Peter
Remote monitoring is the reason. Sight tubes are working fine but its a pain to get down and open the 4 valves.
Barking Sands is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2022, 03:45 PM   #19
Guru
 
Barking Sands's Avatar
 
City: NEW PORT RICHEY
Vessel Name: M/V Intrigue
Vessel Model: 1985 Tung Hwa Senator
Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 526
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simi 60 View Post
Who would do such a thing?

Our diesel is a lovely golden colour
lucky you
Barking Sands is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2022, 04:04 PM   #20
Guru
 
mvweebles's Avatar
 
City: Saint Petersburg
Vessel Name: Weebles
Vessel Model: 1970 Willard 36 Trawler
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 5,090
Maybe a camera in the engine room? Could be as simple as a "Nanny Cam" viewed on your phone; or as robust as a purpose-built engine room camera viewed off your MFD.

Good luck -

Peter
__________________
M/V Weebles
1970 Willard 36 Sedan Trawler
mvweebles is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Trawler Port Captains
Port Captains are TF volunteers who can serve as local guides or assist with local arrangements and information. Search below to locate Port Captains near your destination. To learn more about this program read here: TF Port Captain Program





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:25 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012