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Old 16-09-2012, 09:56   #1
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Tank guages - latest and greatest?

We're about to tackle the fuel and water tanks. At the moment the guage is a stick with notches on, and not very good ones at that.

The tanks are not conducive to visual glass rods, and the drop down floating arm type wouldn't have long enough arms to get low enough in the tanks.

Ideally we'd like to have something that is fairly accurate and can have guages easily visable in the saloon somewhere.

What are the good, bad and ugly experiences of other cruisers?
Thanks,
Vic
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Old 16-09-2012, 10:08   #2
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Re: Tank guages - latest and greatest?

The tank tender system is the most accurate, reliable and easy to install system.
It's expensive,but will measure multiple tanks at little extra cost.
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Old 16-09-2012, 10:13   #3
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Re: Tank guages - latest and greatest?

I like the dipstick for fuel... how often do you really run low on a sailboat? If your tanks are retangular, then the typical powerboat gauges are pretty reliable as far as functioning and cheap. They are often inaccurate due to V shaped tanks though. There are some light diode display units out there. Not sure what the sender is on them though... the sender is the key.... I'll be interested to see what people have out there that is new.....
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Old 16-09-2012, 10:52   #4
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Re: Tank guages - latest and greatest?

If you can see the top of the tank the mechanical guages is what I installed in all my tanks In some cases it required raising a cushion and a flashlight but I knew it was correct and on odd shaped tanks on filing 5-10 gallons at a time I noted gallons verses guage readings next to guage on the tank!
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Old 16-09-2012, 10:53   #5
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Re: Tank guages - latest and greatest?

I asked this question on the SSCA forum and got some good replies. Try a search. There are several types that have ultrasonic senders. If you have plastic water tanks i woujd NOT recommend the type where the sender attaches to the exterior of the tank. A friend went through two of them and never got them to work.
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Old 16-09-2012, 10:58   #6
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Re: Tank guages - latest and greatest?

Welcome to forum gordwedman.

Wow! joined in 2006 and your first post.
Now you have broken the drought I hope we hear a lot more.
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Old 16-09-2012, 11:35   #7
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Re: Tank guages - latest and greatest?

We like Hart Tank Tenders. I bought Xantrex and ended up going back to Hart. I could never get the Xantrex to function properly.
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Old 16-09-2012, 11:55   #8
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Re: Tank guages - latest and greatest?

Quote:
Originally Posted by VirtualVagabond View Post
We're about to tackle the fuel and water tanks. At the moment the guage is a stick with notches on, and not very good ones at that.

The tanks are not conducive to visual glass rods, and the drop down floating arm type wouldn't have long enough arms to get low enough in the tanks.

Ideally we'd like to have something that is fairly accurate and can have guages easily visable in the saloon somewhere.

What are the good, bad and ugly experiences of other cruisers?
Thanks,
Vic
Profile 8 Tank Display from New Providence Marine Systems.
New Providence Marine Tank Monitors & Tank Level Sensors

Solid State Sensors means no moving parts or things getting stuck. The Profile 8 Tank Display is good for up to 8 tanks of your choice. We have it on our boat and we are most satisfied with the product, support and performance.
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Old 16-09-2012, 12:28   #9
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Re: Tank guages - latest and greatest?

Tank Tenders ! They always work ! will do all your tanks, even your crap tank if needed! if they do break all ya ever need is some small hose ! no electricity needed, no sight glass to break and no smelly wooden stick covered with diesel to find a place for !The only thing is they are not New, they have been around for years !!! just my 2 cents
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Old 16-09-2012, 12:35   #10
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Re: Tank guages - latest and greatest?

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Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
The tank tender system is the most accurate, reliable and easy to install system.
It's expensive,but will measure multiple tanks at little extra cost.
+1. I've had a tank tender system on two boats now and is by far the most reliable and accurate I have used. Currently use for both fresh water and fuel.

Also as mentioned, a good old physical dip stick is hard to beat for fuel, but of course not always physically convenient to implement on a sail boat.

I have also seen on Caliber LRC's a slick, clear inception hatch where you can literally watch the tank tank being filled.
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Old 16-09-2012, 12:35   #11
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Re: Tank guages - latest and greatest?

Quote:
Originally Posted by VirtualVagabond View Post
We're about to tackle the fuel and water tanks. At the moment the guage is a stick with notches on, and not very good ones at that.

The tanks are not conducive to visual glass rods, and the drop down floating arm type wouldn't have long enough arms to get low enough in the tanks.

Ideally we'd like to have something that is fairly accurate and can have guages easily visable in the saloon somewhere.

What are the good, bad and ugly experiences of other cruisers?
Thanks,
Vic
the best tank guages are visual ones,all our tanks have a clear pvc tube teed into the outlet at the bottom of the tank

failing that dip sticks work much better if you have some chalk on them for an accurate reading,assuming they are calibareted properly.
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Old 16-09-2012, 13:38   #12
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Re: Tank guages - latest and greatest?

I have used the Hart Tank Tender for more than twenty years, and it has been both reliable and accurate. It is expensive to buy, and expensive to add tanks, but after that a real joy. Edit: Thinking about it, also a PITA when trying to fill a tank to near the top by watching the gauge; on the 4 tank model one hand holds down the appropriate button and the other operates the pressure plunger. On the 10-tank rotary tank it would only take one hand for the plunger. So it is necessary to alternate filling and measuring. Other technologies allow filling while watching the gauge.

I have used a polyethylene sight tube on my 10 gallon kerosene storage tank for as many years, and it has been flawless. And very inexpensive. The only drawback is that it really needs to be easily accessible to see.

With the new engine I am considering adding a capacitance-sensing tank sender, to connect to the engine's sender input. The day tank is an odd shape, so a linear sender would be very misleading. Some companies will program senders for tank shapes (e.g. CENTROID PRODUCTS - Computerized Tank Display - Electronic Senders - capacitive fuel gauges) and even add low and high alarms. Anyone have any experience with these?

Greg
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Old 16-09-2012, 14:25   #13
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For fresh water I use the Watercounter (http://www.watercounter.com/). It's simple, which I like. It just tells you how many gallons you've pumped. Once you know your number, it's easy to understand how much is left.

They have a more sophisticated version that also reads water put back in by water maker. It's pretty fool proof.
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Old 16-09-2012, 20:48   #14
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Re: Tank guages - latest and greatest?

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Originally Posted by gordwedman View Post
I asked this question on the SSCA forum and got some good replies. Try a search. There are several types that have ultrasonic senders. If you have plastic water tanks i woujd NOT recommend the type where the sender attaches to the exterior of the tank. A friend went through two of them and never got them to work.
The tanks are in fact polyethelene, often referred to as plastic. The fittings at the bottom where the fuel is drawn off were put in with some gloop that was suseptible to diesel, so they drip. I have to find what should have been used and re fasten them so the leaks stop. But that's another issue!
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Old 16-09-2012, 21:06   #15
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Re: Tank guages - latest and greatest?

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Profile 8 Tank Display from New Providence Marine Systems.
New Providence Marine Tank Monitors & Tank Level Sensors

Solid State Sensors means no moving parts or things getting stuck. The Profile 8 Tank Display is good for up to 8 tanks of your choice. We have it on our boat and we are most satisfied with the product, support and performance.
This is a new one to me and looks impressive.
From the website it appears they have specialised in water and waste/holding tanks.
Is this where you are using them or are you using them for fuel tanks too?

Vic
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