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Old 08-19-2020, 01:01 PM   #1
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Gas gauge & stick verification

I have gassers as I did years ago when I’d use an aluminum stick to insert in my fuel neck to verify or contradict what my helm gauge was telling me. The clear gas was very hard to read on the aluminum. Has anyone found a better material or way to verify gauges?

Tak
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Old 08-19-2020, 01:17 PM   #2
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Calibrate the gauges by noting the indicated level then fill the tank.

At that point you know what the indicated level means in gallons vs capacity. Do that for several indicated levels and you have calibrated the gauge.

Gauges may not be especially accurate but they are usually very repeatable.
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Old 08-19-2020, 01:20 PM   #3
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On my flats boat I use a wooden dowel with grooves routed into it at the 1/4 and 1/2 full levels. Works great, my gas gauge hasn’t worked in ten years. I don’t need it.

I wish I could do the same system on my big boat but I can’t easily get to the top of the tanks.
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Old 08-19-2020, 01:29 PM   #4
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Wood is better than aluminum. Easier to see the wet line that indicates level. A wipe with a rag, let it air dry for a few minutes and stick the next tank. I wish I could stick my tanks. Nothing to fail or give a false reading, it's just a stick.
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Originally Posted by Takoradi View Post
I have gassers as I did years ago when I’d use an aluminum stick to insert in my fuel neck to verify or contradict what my helm gauge was telling me. The clear gas was very hard to read on the aluminum. Has anyone found a better material or way to verify gauges?

Tak
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Originally Posted by Dougcole View Post
On my flats boat I use a wooden dowel with grooves routed into it at the 1/4 and 1/2 full levels. Works great, my gas gauge hasn’t worked in ten years. I don’t need it.

I wish I could do the same system on my big boat but I can’t easily get to the top of the tanks.
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Old 08-19-2020, 02:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Portage_Bay View Post
Wood is better than aluminum. Easier to see the wet line that indicates level. A wipe with a rag, let it air dry for a few minutes and stick the next tank. I wish I could stick my tanks. Nothing to fail or give a false reading, it's just a stick.


I considered wood but was concerned about having a gas soaked stick laying around. But OF COURSE it would evaporate and as long as it was raw wood, there’s nothing to contaminate fuel.

Thanks Everyone!

Tak
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Old 08-19-2020, 02:11 PM   #6
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I can't stick my tanks due to the angle of the fill hoses. So I adjust my interpretation of the gauges at every fillup. After looking at the gauges, I know how much fuel I think the tanks should take. Usually I'm pretty close, which confirms the gauges are still working as expected.
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Old 08-19-2020, 02:18 PM   #7
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Used wood sticks/dowels on assistance tow boats for both gas and diesel.

I painted my boats dowel flat black and gloss black....both had advantages so try both if you want. The black paint made the gas evaporate faster in the sun and didn't soak into the wood.
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Old 08-19-2020, 02:28 PM   #8
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1/4 inch dowel marked with a sharpie 1/4,1/2, 3/4, F.
Only used a few times as I found my gage very accurate.
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Old 08-19-2020, 02:32 PM   #9
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This is what you want. Not sure how to order just one though.

https://www.promotionchoice.com/prod...ardsticks.html

Maybe a trawler forum item?
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Old 08-19-2020, 03:55 PM   #10
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Another option is to use a gasoline gauging paste on your dipstick. It turns a bright pink when in contact with hydrocarbons.

https://www.fuelequipmentspecialists...gauging-paste/
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Old 08-19-2020, 05:16 PM   #11
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Some tanks are irregularly shaped, so the level on the stick (and sometimes the gauge) is not indicative of the true percentage of capacity. So then you have to find a way getting the tank empty, then mark the stick as you put known quantities of fuel back in.

Our friend's Gulfstar 44 has a cool folding stick from the factory that is calibrated accurately. The distance between certain amounts of gallons varies as a result, tank is molded into the centerline of the hull. Our old Hatteras had the same issue, with centerline tanks. Fortunately a PO (or perhaps it came from the factory that way) had calibrated on-tank gauges that were quite accurate. There were little hatches in the lower companionway that made reading them simple.
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Old 08-19-2020, 05:17 PM   #12
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Wood dowel works just fine. I got lucky and found out 1" is ten gal on each tank. Just marked the stick with sharpie at each inch. I used a square mahogany dowel, dark, about 1/2" wide.

Edit: Don't drop it in the tank. I did, but was able to fish it out.
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Old 08-19-2020, 07:35 PM   #13
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What has always worked for me is a log book. When fuelling, I check the hrs since the last fill: hrs x gph = room in the tanks. Then when getting close to 1/2 way to full, listen carefully. When getting close to the top the tone changes and you can stop without spilling any. repeat on second side. No worries about trying to calculate quantities in tetrahedral vessels.
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Old 08-19-2020, 07:54 PM   #14
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I second the gauge reading versus opening a fill fitting to a gasoline tank any more than absolutely necessary. And for a secondary method, ditch the aluminum rod idea in favor of a wooden dowel which is not going to give you a static discharge to the edge of the fill fitting.
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Old 08-19-2020, 08:13 PM   #15
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I like to be able to stick a tank. Unfortunately I couldn’t do that on Possum.
AusCan mentioned gauging paste. There is another very useful paste to apply to a tank stick, water finding paste. This lets you know if there is water in the tank.
https://www.fuelequipmentspecialists...finding-paste/
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Old 08-19-2020, 09:17 PM   #16
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Accurate, simple, inexpensive fuel tank fuel-level check-it device:

- Securely fasten a 3 to 4 oz. torpedo shaped fishing sinker onto the end of a 3/16" thick relatively dark fabric-line. Medium brown works well - make sure the line is multi strand fabric so it dampens and darkens when dipped into fuel tank's existing fuel level.

- Calculate how many gallons per inch of elevation exists in each of your fuel tanks.

- Have the fabric-line surely long enough so it has plenty length remaining once you feel the sinker hit bottom of the tank. I strongly recommend tying a loop at line end and having that over your hand onto your wrist before checking tank's fuel level. This is because you really do not want to let the sinker and line fall non retrievable into any tank

By gently/slowly lowering the sinker into tank you will "feel" and "hear" when its tip hits bottom. Simply pull it back up and measure the length of line that is wet with fuel. By already having figured the tanks gallons per elevation inch you can instantly multiply and know exactly how many gallons remain.

Storage of this fabric-line, torpedo sinker fuel level tester occupies but a couple of square/cubic inches. Or, it can hang on a wall!

Also, such as the starboard tank on our boat does have; if the fuel filler-tube has a kink in it that will not at all enable a straight stick to reach into the tank - the torpedo sinker on a line works great. If your tank's filler-tube has a severe kink, then spray the torpedo sinker with WD-40 just before dropping down the tube. That slipperiness enables the torpedo sinker to slide through. I know that works... it is required to pass into our starboard tank.

Happy "Fuel-Level" Daze!! - Art
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