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Old 05-01-2021, 01:29 PM   #21
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City: Clearwater, Florida USA
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I have have saddle tanks and electrical gauges. I also have a dipstick left by the prior owner and a $99 brass oil dampened (in)clinimeter I bought for decor from a seller in India on eBay. I now see them only on Alibaba:
-- https://m.alibaba.com/product/604000...linometer.html
-- https://m.alibaba.com/product/604000...pg_220x220.jpg

Any time the tanks become significantly unbalances, the inclinometer is actually the 1st tell (at least at the dock). It is surprisingly accurate and consistent. This has happened for example, when I've run the generator for days during storm-related power outages or set my valves wrong.

The dipstick, constructed by a PO from a piece of mahogany with gallon measures notched with a knife and labelled with a sharpie, reportedly during a fill up, has been unending useful. Twice relatively new gauges or senders have failed. The stick? Simple and 100% reliable.
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Old 05-02-2021, 12:31 AM   #22
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Vessel Model: Davis Defever 40
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Thanks to everyone on this trail. You greatly expanded my knowledge on this fuel system. I will be on the boat tomorrow and report back my findings with the valves.
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Old 05-02-2021, 08:51 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by gkesden View Post
.....and a $99 brass oil dampened (in)clinimeter ..........

Any time the tanks become significantly unbalances, the inclinometer is actually the 1st tell (at least at the dock). .
With Maretron fuel gauges you actually have a visual source of determining unbalance in your saddle tanks. (Other than standing on the dock and looking!) I added a tackle center that weighed about 400 lbs, causing a slight list to starboard. My Maretron fuel gauge pick up the list immediately.
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Old 05-02-2021, 09:17 AM   #24
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City: Clearwater, Florida USA
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Hey Codger2,

My KUS USA reed switch senders have a discrete step every 21mm, so they are very accurate and the gauges seem to be pretty good, too.

But that silly (in)cinometer? Literally infinite resolution.

Also, it is always on, uses no power, etc.

Of course...it is a combined measurement of people, water tanks, holding tank, fuel tanks, boat attitude, etc.
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Old 05-02-2021, 09:57 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Scottwb96 View Post
I added Maretron Tank Level sensors to mine... Easy install and the data is transmitted to my MFDs. I also have a site gauge (I have an "odd" configuration, my tanks are all tied together, so only one site gauge)... While I was adding the sensors I also added them for the fresh water tanks... Nice to know where I am at a glance for everything...

Hey Scott,


Can you tell me a bit more about your maretron sensors/gauges? Both mechanical senders on my two tanks have stopped working, I consider mechanical senders to be all but useless. I'm looking at the TLM100. Looks like I can pull out the old sender on the top of my tank, put the TLM100 with a focus tube in it's place and use NEMA2000 to monitor it on my Garmin MFD. Am I missing something here?


Thanks,


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Old 05-03-2021, 06:14 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Portage_Bay View Post
Yes, you open the valves to read the tank level. Then close the valves for safety. And yes, with valves closed the reading is inaccurate.
Without stating the obvious, the the amount the level drops when the valve is opened is the amount used since the last check. An easy way to determine usage per hour/nm etc.

Of course, if you have massive tanks and low daily burn this is easier said than done with any level of accuracy. A day's burn is a rounding error for me. 😁
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Old 05-03-2021, 06:23 AM   #27
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The dipstick, constructed by a PO from a piece of mahogany with gallon measures notched with a knife and labelled with a sharpie, reportedly during a fill up, has been unending useful. Twice relatively new gauges or senders have failed. The stick? Simple and 100% reliable.
This is a good idea. I struggle to read permanently mounted fuel dip sticks on stationary, land based tanks. I can only imagine trying to get any sort of accurate reading from one that has been sloshing around on the ocean.

Sight tubes are simple and accurate. A sliding cable tie or oring can be used to measure usage over numerous readings. The hoses do yellow overtime so just carry $10 worth of spare hose or change as required.
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Old 05-03-2021, 06:27 AM   #28
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Top valve is usually left open as it connects to a the headspace in the tank. Bottom valve, spring loaded normally closed. Press it to see the fuel level. If it does not change check the top valve is open and connected to the tank. If still nothing then probably something is blocked and needs a looksee. Good luck.
The valves are not there for the sight tube breaking, but primarily for an engine room fire. ABYC also frowns on spring closed (dead man) valves, since fire can remove the tension from a spring. If a fire started, your open valves would feed the fire fuel for hours...

About the top valve being open??? If your boat sinks, that could leak out fuel into the water, exposing you and your insuror to a bigger cleanup bill. It helps contain the spill by having two valves, one at the top, one at the bottom, kept closed except when reading the sight tube.
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Old 05-03-2021, 07:31 AM   #29
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Yeah, that Balmar reed switch is quite annoying. I considered going to the Wakespeed and getting rid of the Balmar regulators and Centerfielder but the regulators are adjusted to where they need to be and don't need to be touched again unless I change battery chemistry. That will not be a possibility for another four or five years. I will have sold the boat by then. Still, the Wakespeed is tempting.
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Originally Posted by Scottwb96 View Post
GaryPete,
the sensors are great. I also added the fuel flow sensors from Maretron as well. Good info, especially for longer trips and finding that optimum burn rate... All of which is DIY type stuff if you know your way around a tool box and basic 12v electrical...
I added the Wakespeed WS500 voltage regulator and finally got rid of the Balmar external regs... Way more control and EASY to program vs Balmar and that STUPID magnetic dot switch "thing" (I REALLY hated that thing!!!)

Next up is the SeaGauge G2 28 function sensor interface unit.... Converts all my old analog engine gauges/signalling to N2K readable info. Also puts the info on a MFD (or an Ipad)...
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Old 05-03-2021, 07:33 AM   #30
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I keep a two-foot carpenter's level on the lower helm. Close enough. Perfection is the enemy of good.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gkesden View Post
I have have saddle tanks and electrical gauges. I also have a dipstick left by the prior owner and a $99 brass oil dampened (in)clinimeter I bought for decor from a seller in India on eBay. I now see them only on Alibaba:
-- https://m.alibaba.com/product/604000...linometer.html
-- https://m.alibaba.com/product/604000...pg_220x220.jpg

Any time the tanks become significantly unbalances, the inclinometer is actually the 1st tell (at least at the dock). It is surprisingly accurate and consistent. This has happened for example, when I've run the generator for days during storm-related power outages or set my valves wrong.

The dipstick, constructed by a PO from a piece of mahogany with gallon measures notched with a knife and labelled with a sharpie, reportedly during a fill up, has been unending useful. Twice relatively new gauges or senders have failed. The stick? Simple and 100% reliable.
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Old 05-03-2021, 07:47 AM   #31
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I've got no dipsticks or sight gauges on my tanks, just the electric senders. They work well enough that my estimate of fuel required when we stop at a fuel dock is typically within 10 gallons of what we actually take on. And if a sender or gauge fails, it's not the end of the world, as I have 2 engines and 2 tanks, so barring some incredibly unusual amount of generator runtime (only draws from the port tank), the 2 tanks will always have close to the same amount of fuel in them.
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Old 05-04-2021, 02:26 AM   #32
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Update....I checked my valves on both sides, upper and lower. All 4 closed. I fueled a month ago adding 100 gallons divided equally in my two 250 gallon tanks. The fuel sight gauge level is about 20% from the bottom. I opened the top valve. Nothing. I then opened the bottom, nothing. Nothing changed! The levels stayed exactly where they were at. Having added 100 gallons I expected them to go up somewhat. What the heck? Someone mentioned they might be clogged. But both? I’m scratching my head....
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