SeaKnots

I do not rely upon the indicated level as shown on the fuel gauge, but keep a solid record of all fuel used. (averaging 0.7 GPH over time-no generator). However, I would like for the unit to roughly indicate some state of fill other than perpetually full. I have not attempted to sort out this issue yet, but thought I would ask the all knowing list for experience first.

This forum has really become a source of help and sharing.

Sam

LONGHAWK

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This is a true story : like all the rest, the fule gauge on my 43 shows no meaningful level of fuel. And I also keep track of the engine hours and calculate the approximate amount of diesel in the tank. I accepted this fact and now fine with it. However, after I bought the boat and asked Beneteau to take care of the fault 2 years ago, the service people arrived and replaced the fuel gauge (I was not there). When I checked the gauge the following week, there was no change. Fine. That summer we sailed, motored etc and the last day of our vacation, we moored at a beautiful bay in Turkey near Fethiye. The next morning I started the boat and head towards my base marina. When I reached 2000-2200 rpm the engine suddenly stopped. A few more tries and the engine would start but after exceeding 1300 rpm or so it would stop. The was not much wind or current but still we were not far from the rocks. Before I resorted to some alternative action like trying to see if there was any serious blockage in filters, air being trapped etc or dropping the anchor to secure my position, I tried to start the engine and instead of trying to raise the rpm, I kept the engine running at idle and geared forward. It worked and we got back to the marina eventually. When I got the mechanic to look at the engine he could not find the fault initially. Then together we worked back from each filter back to almost the fuel tank. Long story short, we found a blue plastic ball-like thing inside the fuel hose! I think it was an accidental drop of the liquid gasket that the service people used to seal the fuel gauge. Pretty amazing huh? So if I run the engine in low rpm it does not move much but if I rev the engine up it moves and blocks the diesel to enter the first filter. That was it messing with my fuel tank. No one can touch it from now on :-). Thought I should share it.
Hi I have a two cabin and it was not difficult to replace sender unit with the revised factory part with bent arm. Although you need to remove everything from port lazarette remove a few screws from the dividing wall, lift floors and timber beam. (But it would not be possible if a generator is in this location).

I intent to install a programmable NMEA2000 Tank level converter (Maretron or Lowrance) to convert existing sender output to NMEA2000/SeatalkNG and then program it for tank shape. Hopefully I will then be able to accurately display fuel level and fuel remaining on all Raymarine Seatalk2 or SeatalkNG instruments via a SeatalkNG backbone.

Regarding the water tanks in my model, there are 5 screws/probes through the side wall of water tanks at quarter levels, hence gauge only reads in quarters, no sender as such.
David

Hello,

In the end of the summer season I intend to replace the original (bent arm) 180 ohm fuel sender with one like this  http://www.wemausa.com/tank_sensors/tank_level_sensors.htm . The replacement is just to unscrew the old sender and screw the new one; Because of the shape of the tank, the reading will indicate full until the tank is about 3/4. However, from this level I expect the reading to be "linear" and I can tolerate this as I find more important a clear reading when the fuel is near the end (well before that of coarse).

Regarding the water tanks, I have sanded the screws that David refers to, and I nearly resolved the problems. However, in one of the tanks, one of the screws needs to be replaced because it shows no connection to the adapter. That is my problem as I neeed to remove the tank to get access to the wall where the screw sits. This is not easy as there is a piece of wood that does not allows me to free the tank.

Best Regards, Luis

 

Hello,

It was almost 6 years that I participated in the discussions about water and fuel level indicators in this forum. Only this winter I had a go on it. In particular I made the following:

a) installed 10-180 ohms sensors in the 2 water tanks

b) replaced the 2 senders (those which connect by 3 wires to the VDO panel) with my own designed sender.

c) on the back of the VDO I activated one extra water level indicator (2 were in use but 4 are available)

d) run a 3 wire cable from the back of the VDO panel (port side) to the waste tank (startside)

e) add 4 non-contact water level sensors on the external surface of the waste tank and connect them to my sender (it works with different type of inputs)

f) and I get the level of the waste tank on the VDO display as "fresh water tank number 4" (I could not change these words)

I have some PCBs available for the senders (arduino based) and I plan to make the software freely available. I start my sailing season next week (Italy and Greece) and may be only in September I will describe in full detail what I have done. At this moment I only have some photos in my website:

http://www.vela-navega.com/index.php/tank-monitors

I will be happy to discuss this with interested people. Just send me a PM or use this forum (or my forum).

Best Regards, Luis

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