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Old 11-09-2016, 13:43   #1
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Best Gauges for Water? Fuel? Holding?

I have reached the point in my refit where it is time to address the water tank">fresh water tank gauges and fuel (diesel) tank gauges-- the boat had some at some point in the past but they are literally nothing but corrosion under glass at this point. I am looking for the best and simplest gauges that are reasonably accurate and very durable. To complicate this, the top of the fuel tank is readily accessible but the top of the water tanks ( 1 port and 1 starboard) has about 5 inches of clearance - they are located in the engine room below decks and there is very little clearance %inches between the top of the tank and the underneath side of the cabin floor. Any suggestions on brands/installations that i should think about. We carry 200 gallons of diesel in a single tank and have two -200gallon tanks of fresh water. also trying to determine if a holding tank guage is worthwhile. Boat is being refitted for cruising and i am a good mechanic/carpenter.
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Old 11-09-2016, 14:06   #2
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Re: Best Gauges for Water? Fuel? Holding?

These were TOP rated by Practical Sailor a couple of years ago: Scad Tank Monitors Senders go on the outside of any tank material except metal. "Solo" model is for a single tank, there's also a multi-tank version that can take up to 8 tanks.
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Old 11-09-2016, 14:21   #3
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Re: Best Gauges for Water? Fuel? Holding?

Lots of options available. Bubblers, sonar, radar. Search for tank gauging electronics. You can mount 2 or more in a tank and and get an accurate measure when heeled.

I use a wooden dowel on my boat but have dealt w/ many high end systems.
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Old 11-09-2016, 15:35   #4
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Re: Best Gauges for Water? Fuel? Holding?

We are completely satisfied with out Tank Tenders. One unit can monitor many tanks, both water and diesel. Only needs enough clearance to drill a 1/2 inch hole in the tank top, which could in any easily accessed space, such as an inspection plate. With 5-inches clearance, can do with a right-angle drill or attachment. Hart Systems - Home
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Old 11-09-2016, 23:04   #5
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Re: Best Gauges for Water? Fuel? Holding?

Madehn,

If you are only looking for gauges, take a look at what CruzPro offers. They work with most existing sending units, can be calibrated to match the tank [calibrate while filling] and can be added to a NMEA network if desired.

In case this is helpful.

Cheers! Bill
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Old 12-09-2016, 05:04   #6
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Re: Best Gauges for Water? Fuel? Holding?

I have installed WEMA gauges in all my tanks , these have been around for years . They work great , very simple .

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Old 12-09-2016, 05:25   #7
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Re: Best Gauges for Water? Fuel? Holding?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wrwakefield View Post
If you are only looking for gauges, take a look at what CruzPro offers. They work with most existing sending units, can be calibrated to match the tank [calibrate while filling] and can be added to a NMEA network if desired.
I recently fitted CruzPro digital fuel tank gauges. There are pros and cons. The biggest is about calibration with their better (of the two) gauges. If you can easily start with empty tanks -- really, no kidding, empty! -- the calibration process is only tedious and irritating to the guys at the fuel dock (because you're taking up space).

If you can't start with empty tanks, the works-arounds have not yet proved spectacularly successful when it comes to accuracy.

The second drawback on these gauges is that boat movement changes the position of the float sensor... so all readings while underway are incorrect... and all of the extra "mileage" calculations are also incorrect. Relative, but incorrect.

OTOH, if you have rectangular tanks, their lesser-expensive gauges are easy to calibrate... and only incorrect to the extent your rectangular tank differs from a perfect cube.


Quote:
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I have installed WEMA gauges in all my tanks , these have been around for years . They work great , very simple .
We have WEMA tank sensors, and WEMA gauges connected to the holding and freshwater tank sensors. Their earlier plastic sensors (installed originally on our boat in 2002) gave up the ghost fairly quickly. The new stainless replacements have worked very well. The holding tank sensor can be "clogged" with uric scale over time, but there are solutions for that... and actually removing and cleaning can be easy enough.

We too had little access to the top of the freshwater tanks; had to cut an access hole in the word work above (which was inside a cabinet, anyway).

The new fuel tank sensors are more similar to the freshwater sensors, and seem to work very well. OTOH, the float is subject to boat movement, so fuel calibration (as shown on the gauges, see above) is temporarily affected while underway.

-Chris
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Old 12-09-2016, 08:24   #8
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Re: Best Gauges for Water? Fuel? Holding?

I agree with Peg Hall on holding tank monitors. Am interested in remote monitoring of water and fuel tanks (wired connections are fine). Looking for inexpensive and easy installation. Fuel dipstick works fine but checking water is a pain.
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Old 12-09-2016, 08:44   #9
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Best Gauges for Water? Fuel? Holding?

The simplest most durable tank gauges are calibrated sticks.

With 5" of overhead, obviously they won't work with water tanks. There I would use external sight tubes with valves to the tank top and bottom. I assume the engine space is not lit when you aren't in it so algae growth in the tubes shouldn't be a problem.

For holding tank definitely use the sight tubes.


A house is but a boat so poorly built and so firmly run aground you would never try to refloat it.
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Old 12-09-2016, 08:46   #10
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Re: Best Gauges for Water? Fuel? Holding?

We like our Tank Tender.

http://www.thetanktender.com/

They have been - pretty much - the only thing on our boat that we installed that has not given us an ounce of trouble. Simple to install (took us a total of about 30 minutes to an hour for four tanks). Its mechanical so there is no electrical wires to run and nothing to replace when you get hit by an electrical strike.

It looks old fashioned but when we show our friends how it works they are amazed and almost always go out and buy one right away.
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Old 12-09-2016, 09:02   #11
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Re: Best Gauges for Water? Fuel? Holding?

I have WEMA sensors on my diesel and water tanks, reading out through a Blue Sea Systems DCM422 system monitor. The sensors are beautifully made, and exactly the length I need to reach the bottom of each tank (10.5" I think). The Blue Seas monitor has a couple of calibration methods for odd-shaped tanks, and my tanks are 100% odd-shaped. We ended up emptying the water tank, and then started to fill at a constant rate while starting to calibrate. 10 minutes later, we had a perfectly (we think) sensor. The only issue is, and it cannot be easily fixed, we have flat tanks and any angle of heel renders the gauges inaccurate.

What I don't know, and perhaps WEMA does not, is whether 5" give you enough room to slide the sensors in the angled hole at the top, and then "upright" them at the last moment. I think you'd have to know more dimensions than just the overhead clearance, like how far from the edge of the tank the hole lies. May not work.

I presume the WEMA sensors would work well in sewage as well.

Cheers,

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Old 12-09-2016, 09:08   #12
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Re: Best Gauges for Water? Fuel? Holding?

Two words on the subject...TANK TENDER!
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Old 12-09-2016, 09:09   #13
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Re: Best Gauges for Water? Fuel? Holding?

I've been using a Gobius 4 for the past 5 years. It measures outside the tanks so it can't clog. Very reliable. Swedish made, relatively easy to install. You can read about it in this magazine article: Fitting a New Holding Tank Sensor - Sail Magazine

I wish you well.
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Old 12-09-2016, 09:10   #14
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Re: Best Gauges for Water? Fuel? Holding?

This will work on all of your tanks, is only 1/2 inch high above your tank, hooks into your NMEA 2000 system, and readout's on any NMEA 2000 display:https://www.amazon.com/Maretron-TLM1.../dp/B0021TU9BS
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Old 12-09-2016, 09:10   #15
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Re: Best Gauges for Water? Fuel? Holding?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rocco lombardi View Post
Two words on the subject...TANK TENDER!

That was 7words. 😬


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