Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 11-02-2016, 10:10   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Lancaster Co., PA/North East, MD
Boat: Watkins 27
Posts: 107
Send a message via Yahoo to deltaten
Minimum Gauges Required

What does the "collective" believe the minimum # of gauges would be required for an "upgrade" over three idiot lights?
I have an older (circa 2002?) Beta 20 transplant that was apparently, hurredly installed at the Drunken Monkey Marina Exist panel only has shutdown button, key switch ( cheap a auto repl.), and. three idiot lights. Best available schematics don't evenshown this old panel.

I'd like to fashion a new add'l plate and fix a set of "real" gauges. Probably want/need oil pressure, engine temp and ???? I'd like to have a tach, too; but sadly, it'll take quite a bit of cash to add sender , change alternator to type and add tach. I can always add later as funds come in/up.

Volt meter? As I understand it; nearly useless 'cept for seeing that alt is producing *something*
Hobb's meter? Have a rectangular cheapie near the engine locker.. Also usually avail as part of tach; so......
Ammeter? Any of those little ones really good enough; or useless compared to a *real* smart meter as Mainesail suggests?
I *do* have a nice 2" depth-o-meter that could be added to the panel along with the others??
.What else?

I understand that going back that far in mfgr dates, asking for actual tee sizes is moot, so I'll simply remove senders and take to *somewhere* to size tees to add lines/wires..

TIA,
Paul
__________________

__________________
deltaten is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2016, 10:14   #2
Don't ask if you can't handle it
 
sailorboy1's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: On the boat somewhere
Boat: Hunter 410
Posts: 12,319
Re: minimum gauges req'd?

All I have is oil pressure and temperature. I have a tach that for the last 3 years sometime works and sometimes doesn't. I don't care much about the tach as I run the engine based on speed and sound. I do like having the engine hours for planning maintenance and calculating fuel use as a back-up to my fuel tank gauge.
__________________

__________________
jobless, houseless, clueless, living on a boat and cruising around somewhere
sailorboy1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2016, 10:17   #3
Registered User
 
Stu Jackson's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Cowichan Bay, BC (Maple Bay Marina)
Posts: 6,389
Re: minimum gauges req'd?

An ammeter in the cockpit, unless it is a remote shunt is the wrong idea since all the current has to flow through it, so you'd be running long heavy wires.

Remote Hobbs meter is fine, you don't need it at the helm at all.

Tach is very good at the helm to see that the alternator is working fine.

Voltmeter is nice to have, but good wiring is essential to make it useful, or else you'll see a big voltage drop from reality at the actual banks.

Temperature gauge, I think, is better than oil pressure. Water usually fails before oil does.

Just basing this on limited real estate.

Good luck.
__________________
Stu Jackson
Catalina 34 #224 (1986) C34IA Secretary
Cowichan Bay, BC, (Maple Bay Marina) SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)
Stu Jackson is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2016, 10:43   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Deltaville, VA
Boat: Moody M46 46
Posts: 263
Re: minimum gauges req'd?

You did not say anything about a depth gauge or knotmeter. These are often mounted on a bulkhead or the overhead to the companionway. If you do not have these, I'd start with them. If you have those gauges, then I'd go with a fuel, oil pressure and engine temperature gauges. Yes, you can guess fuel use from engine operating hours, and your idiot lights are probably oil pressure and temperature, but they come on at failure time. A gauge allows you to see the trend.
__________________
Moody46CC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2016, 10:51   #5
Senior Cruiser
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 19,365
Re: minimum gauges req'd?

As far as engine gauges I would rank:
#1 Temperature. Get used to where it normally operates and suspect if it's starts going beyond that.
#2 Oil pressure. As far as oil pressure goes, a alarm buzzer may be more useful than a gauge if you have to choose.

Assume you will have a tach and hourmeter.
as far as electrical; you need a good voltmeter, but not at the engine panel.
__________________
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard











Cheechako is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-02-2016, 05:31   #6
Registered User

Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 466
Re: Minimum Gauges Required

With gauges if you are not looking at them when a failure occurs how will you know? when the engine seizes ?? It is simple to wire an audible alarm to lights but with gauges it is more complex and then it would become the most likely failure point
__________________
sartorst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-02-2016, 05:44   #7
Registered User
 
Reefmagnet's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: puɐןsuǝǝnb 'ʎɐʞɔɐɯ
Boat: Nantucket Island 33
Posts: 2,737
Re: Minimum Gauges Required

IMO, basic gauges are hourmeter, water temp and tacho in that order of preference. Oil can be an idiot light & buzzer and even with gauges so should alt and temp. Rig up a good buzzer that can be heard at the helm with the engine at fast cruising speed. You dont absolutely need to monitor amps. A voltmeter is good, a smart gauge better. Automotive style ammeters not really that useful.

I see your balking at as tacho. You don't need to change alternator as you can add a magnetic pickup to the crank or a pulley on the motor instead and choose the tacho to suit. You can also go cheap and use an Ebay sourced handheld contact or non contact tacho for occasional checks (which you can also use on other stuff like outboards).
__________________
Reefmagnet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-02-2016, 09:01   #8
Registered User
 
wrwakefield's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Wrangell Island, Alaska
Boat: Nauticat 43
Posts: 862
Re: Minimum Gauges Required

Delta10,

You have received some good, qualified feedback regarding which gauges you might consider.

I wanted to mention a source of really well thought out gauges with lots of smarts and options built in: CruzPro.com

Best wishes with your project.

Cheers!

Bill
__________________
SV Denali Rose

Short on opinions; focused on research, facts & experience [yours and ours...]
wrwakefield is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-02-2016, 09:56   #9
Registered User
 
Terra Nova's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Marina del Rey, California
Boat: Freya 39 cutter- Terra Nova
Posts: 3,651
Re: Minimum Gauges Required

At engine panel (the minimum number of gauges is zero):

Oil pressure
Water temp
Tach
Volts
Start/stop
Alarm silence
Idiot lights

Murphy Switchgauges contain adjustable alarm contacts.
__________________
1st rule of yachting: When a collision is unavoidable, aim for something cheap.
"whatever spare parts you bring, you'll never need"--goboatingnow
"Id rather drown than have computers take over my life."--d design
Terra Nova is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-02-2016, 19:04   #10
Registered User
 
Boatyarddog's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Olympia, wa.
Boat: Mariner Ketch 32- 1979- hull 202
Posts: 632
Re: Minimum Gauges Required

Oil, and temp with alarms LOUD enough to get your attention, tachs help, to keep in the safe zones.


Sent from SV Cloud Duster
__________________
Boatyarddog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-02-2016, 20:10   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 307
Re: Minimum Gauges Required

I have a Beta as well and the only thing I don't like about it is the rather poor electrical package. English automotive electrical at its "best".

1.oil pressure is good to have if you are going to look at it. It will not really tell you much other than a possible slight trend in reduction indicating a failure. A pressure switch / idiot light is fine as long as you regularly verify it works.

2. Temperature is a must as it will tell you realistic trends of various symptoms, too cold bad thermostat too hot, bad thermostat or many other things etc, also when things are not good it will let you monitor while limping in somewhere

3. Tach, if you want your engine to run satisfactory for any extended period of time this is a must, "by ear" is not going to give you good fuel economy or let you know where you are in safe operational limits. It will also trend bottom and prop fouling

4. vacuum / pressure gauge for secoundary fuel filtration. Pretty straight forward, knowing your filters are plugging before the engine stops has its benifits

5. vacuum / pressure gauge for raw water post strainer / same as above should coincide with a rise in jacket water and tell you exactly whats wrong before the engine stops

6. Voltage, if it is isolated start battery voltage is nice but could be redundant if on a panel already

7. Hr meter for scheduled services
__________________
Cruisingscotts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-02-2016, 02:56   #12
Certifiable Refitter/Senior Wannbe
 
Wotname's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: South of 43 S, Australia
Boat: Van DeStat Super Dogger 31'
Posts: 7,331
Re: Minimum Gauges Required

Minimum gauges…

IMO the absolute minimum should be Engine water temperature, mixing elbow temperature and voltmeter (either digital or expanded scale analogue).

This assuming there is an low oil pressure audile / visual alert.

Anything more falls into the "nice to have" category - like the Hobbs, tacho, oil pressure, amps etc. All good to have but not the minimum required .

FWIW, I recently added engine water temp and exhaust water temp (mixing elbow) gauge to my 2GM20 and it extremely easy to do!

I used this two in one digital unit (TM4) which also contains user defined temperature alarm points with a audile alert. It also had provision for a low oil pressure input. While this one is Aussie based, no doubt similar things exist in North America.

ENGINE WATCHDOG Audible Engine Overheating Alarm, Gauge & Sensor
__________________
All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangereous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. T.E. Lawrence
Wotname is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-02-2016, 07:49   #13
Senior Cruiser
 
Sailmonkey's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Houston
Boat: '76 Allied Seawind II, 32'
Posts: 5,781
Re: Minimum Gauges Required

We've got an alarm for oil and water as well as gauges.

The temperature is the only one I pay attention to. And it requires a trip down the companionway. The instrument cluster is mounted inside the boat. But the buzzer is loud enough to give immediate warning if the temp spikes.


Sent from my iPhone using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________
Sailmonkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-02-2016, 03:37   #14
Registered User
 
Snowpetrel's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Hobart
Boat: Alloy Peterson 40
Posts: 3,071
Re: Minimum Gauges Required

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wotname View Post
Minimum gauges…

IMO the absolute minimum should be Engine water temperature, mixing elbow temperature and voltmeter (either digital or expanded scale analogue).

This assuming there is an low oil pressure audile / visual alert.

Anything more falls into the "nice to have" category - like the Hobbs, tacho, oil pressure, amps etc. All good to have but not the minimum required .

FWIW, I recently added engine water temp and exhaust water temp (mixing elbow) gauge to my 2GM20 and it extremely easy to do!

I used this two in one digital unit (TM4) which also contains user defined temperature alarm points with a audile alert. It also had provision for a low oil pressure input. While this one is Aussie based, no doubt similar things exist in North America.

ENGINE WATCHDOG Audible Engine Overheating Alarm, Gauge & Sensor
Hi Wottie, so you got the TM 4. I am really happy with mine as well, big upgrade from idiot lights alone and having three separate temp alarms on the engine is really very reassuring. Plus having the loud alarms and user set alarm points. Mine are set a few degrees above max running temp, so trigger very easily. In fact the exhaust alarm triggers about 20 seconds after I shut down the engine due to no cooling water flow.

I guess time will tell how robust it is in the marine environment, but so far so good.

For me this plus idiot lights is pretty good. I can monitor charging through the main voltmeter on my solar reg.

I am happy without a tach, but I need to pick up a handheld unit to calibrate my ear.

I also really like my handheld infrared temperature gun. It's better than a whole bunch of gauges in my opinion.

While not a an engine room gauge as such a high bilge level alarm is a pretty important bit of kit, that sadly is not all that common on yachts.
__________________
My Ramblings
Snowpetrel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-02-2016, 12:10   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Hailey, ID
Boat: Gulf 32 & Nimble 20
Posts: 348
Re: Minimum Gauges Required

I'm in similar situation, I have a good basic gauge setup but it's all down in my cabin, want some things I can see from the cockpit.

Going to build a board that swings into the companionway, for the engine (also doing depth and speed) I plan on having water temp gauge and oil pressure gauge, plus warning lights & buzzers for both. I like to be able to monitor my gauges to see trends for both pressure and temp, but I also want the buzzers for if I'm not paying attention. The addition of the warning lights is so I can tell which one is at fault (one of my issues with having one loud alarm for everything is the alarm goes off and you don't know if you're sinking, overheating, or just dumped all your oil into the bilge!).

Since this boat is new to me I want a tach for now, even though I imagine I'll get used to going by sound... a nice cheaper way to go seem to be the tinytach, gives you tachometer and hour meter (my Universal/Westerbeke didn't come with hour meter, how weird):

Diesel Tiny-Tach | Design Technology, Inc., Home of Tiny-Tach

No personal experience with these yet but they seem to be reviewed well.

I'm not sure if I have two senderports for water temperature (not at the boat), if I don't I plan on using existing port for my gauge and then something like this for the idiot alarm sender:

Custom Water Sender Attachment
(Obviously I will use better clamps, and make sure it's plumbed inside the thermostat loop so I can tell if my thermostat sticks closed). If you do one of these make sure you know if you need grounding screw.

-- Bass
__________________

__________________
basssears is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

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


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Minimum Experience Required scgilligan Liveaboard's Forum 9 05-11-2013 08:54
Minimum number of knots to know Talbot General Sailing Forum 40 25-09-2008 04:02
Racor 500 MINIMUM flow Whimsical Engines and Propulsion Systems 6 24-06-2008 02:49
Chartering a boat with minimum experience Floyd94 General Sailing Forum 16 03-06-2008 20:57
Minimum Nav station equipment suggetions anglooff Marine Electronics 14 09-08-2007 20:06



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:34.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.