On all of my previous vessels, I never had a vacuum gauge, nor at the time did I feel the need for one. On my current
vessel, the gauge came with the boat, and after having some issues with contaminated fuel, I saw how it might come in handy. I keep a pretty tuned in ear for any variations of RPM
that might indicate an engine (Fuel) problem. Like some of the previous posters I am also maniacal about not introducing contamination at the source, to limit the chances of killing my engine at the most inopportune time, which is when they always die. The gauge is mounted on the manifold that supplies both the gen set and the main, down stream of the dual filters, it does have the colored arcs and it is a good quick check when I am in the engine compartment. I built my own dual racor system that I can change filters on the fly, for about 20% of what the prefabbed systems run, but I already had both filter housings and all I had to hire out was the pipe bending and that was cheap
. Would I go out to try and install a gauge on an existing system? My answer would be "depends" on if I was familiar with the system and if I was fairly certain that the tankage was clean, if the answer is yes, then I probably wouldn't go to the trouble, because of my handling of the fuel before it goes into the tank. In my current
case, I became aware of contamination in the tanks
fairly soon after I bought the vessel, and have taken measures to clean up the fuel as I go, I installed a passive centrifuge between the tanks
and the filters, which gets drained religiously and that has eliminated the fuel filter plugging so far and eventually I will get all the crap out of my tanks and I will be a happier camper. I was going to post a photo
of my setup, but for some reason the program here won't let me browse my computer for photos to upload. If the run wasn't so long, I would favor a second gauge on my instrument panel.