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Chris J W

Why do you rarely see a fuel guage?

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I suppose the title says it all - why do you rarely see fuel guages, and would it be a simplish task to have one retrofitted?

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I suppose, because the tanks are so big and go down so slowly, and it's no great hassle to dip a stick in it once in a while. My stick says I've enough for 2 weeks solid cruising and then some, but should fill up at the end of August.

 

I've seen kits for retrofitting at the swindlers, but passed by without studying them.

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I suppose the title says it all - why do you rarely see fuel guages, and would it be a simplish task to have one retrofitted?

 

 

Well they are a bit girly aren't they? REAL narrowboaters manage without ;-) I certainly find part of the delight of narrowboating is the frisson of worry that it's been MONTHS since we topped up with diesel and we could run out at any minute....

 

They fall into the same category as bow thrusters - REAL boaters don't need them or want them ;-) (Where's the fun in handling your boat in a stiff breeze if you have a bow thruster to sort it all out for you?)

Edited by mike bryant

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I had one fitted when the boat was built, because the tank is low in the boat and

not easy to "dip".

However, on boats where the tank is beneath the filler, it is not needed really as you

can use a home-made dipstick and it goes down very slowly.

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Well they are a bit girly aren't they? REAL narrowboaters manage without ;-) I certainly find part of the delight of narrowboating is the frisson of worry that it's been MONTHS since we topped up with diesel and we could run out at any minute....

 

They fall into the same category as bow thrusters - REAL boaters don't need them or want them ;-) (Where's the fun in handling your boat in a stiff breeze if you have a bow thruster to sort it all out for you?)

 

Well as a newbie boater with an awful lot to learn, I'd consider it a useful thing to have so I don't starting 'panicing'

 

(And as for bowtrusters? Hmmm - probably could have done with one at my first attempt at winding alone!)

 

I suppose I'll have to get a dipstick (the tank appears to be pretty full now) and mark off the level each time I stop so that I can get a 'feel' for the fall rate.

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You'll get used to it.

You can make your own dipstick from a graduated piece of wooden stick or similar.

I've never seen anything commercially available, although one boat did have a green plastic

"yardstick" with a leather lanyard. Never did find out where it came from though.

 

One word of warning, diesel isn't always easy to see on some surfaces, so experiment.

 

Also, wipe it before dipping as its a good way to introduce dirt into your tank - sorry thats

probably common sense.

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Well as a newbie boater with an awful lot to learn, I'd consider it a useful thing to have so I don't starting 'panicing'

 

(And as for bowtrusters? Hmmm - probably could have done with one at my first attempt at winding alone!)

 

I suppose I'll have to get a dipstick (the tank appears to be pretty full now) and mark off the level each time I stop so that I can get a 'feel' for the fall rate.

 

 

I'm just jealous coz I can't afford my own bow thruster really....

 

To give you a feel for the rate engines burn diesel, the 'rule of thumb' is a litre per hour.

 

This varies widely (my boat changes from about 0.6 to 1.3 litres per hour according to the current we are with, or against), but should give you the rough idea that a 100 litre tank should be good for at least 50 hours' crusing time before you even need to think about dipping to check...

 

I can't dip due to the fill-tube arrangement and the way I know my burn rate is by recording the engine hours reading on the tacho and the amount of fuel I add at each refill. Then with a bit of arithmetic you can work out your fuel consumption since your last top-up.

 

Cheers, Mike

Edited by mike bryant

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I very rarely sound my fuel tank, don't like the smell of sounding sticks & wipe rags. I can tell from the trim wether I'm short on fuel or fresh water.

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Well as a newbie boater with an awful lot to learn, I'd consider it a useful thing to have so I don't starting 'panicing'

 

(And as for bowtrusters? Hmmm - probably could have done with one at my first attempt at winding alone!)

 

I suppose I'll have to get a dipstick (the tank appears to be pretty full now) and mark off the level each time I stop so that I can get a 'feel' for the fall rate.

 

 

Wait till youve used some then get a bit of 12 mm dowl then dip the tank and mark it then put 5 gal in and re mark the stick then devide the distance between the marks by 5 that will give you a setting point for each gal then mark the whole stick in increments :cheers:

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when I worked as a mate on a big trip boat - twin diesels, 100ft, inshore coastal service - we had no fuel gauge either. It was 'dip with a stick' every 2 days.

 

yes, fuel gauges are definitely for girls and gin palaces.

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I can tell from the trim wether I'm short on fuel ...

Yeah, we do the same.

- It supprising how much a ton and a half of fuel off-center affect the trim.

- And if we want a more accurate reading, we just stick our 'ed thro coal'ole! :cheers:

 

 

 

Daniel

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just fill it up every time you pass a supplier , they are not that frequent anyway down my way and if i stop to use facilities anywhere its only right to purchase something from them .

i thought a full tank decreases the risk of condensation problems.

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Thanks for all the advice there, but I still find it odd. It just strikes me as such a simple, usefull, CHEAP, thing to install on Day One. As much as I apprecaite that the tanks don't empty that quickly. Hay Ho! Time to get a decent dipstick!

 

Though - I do like Dan's approach ... "We can see the floor of the coal 'ole - better get some more!" :cheers: - Maybe that's the answer - replace the steel tank with a safety-glass tank :help:

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To give you a feel for the rate engines burn diesel, the 'rule of thumb' is a litre per hour.

 

This varies widely (my boat changes from about 0.6 to 1.3 litres per hour according to the current we are with, or against), but should give you the rough idea that a 100 litre tank should be good for at least 50 hours' crusing time before you even need to think about dipping to check...

 

I can't dip due to the fill-tube arrangement and the way I know my burn rate is by recording the engine hours reading on the tacho and the amount of fuel I add at each refill. Then with a bit of arithmetic you can work out your fuel consumption since your last top-up.

 

Cheers, Mike

 

Consumption seems about right but when I dip my tank I work in inches. If there are lots of wet inches you have enough fuel. If the dipstick is fairly dry you might as well fill up - but there's no hurry. If you can't dampen the dipstick at all you've probably run out.

 

Oh well, as long as you haven't run out of Beer!...

 

 

But do fill up before winterising.

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I suppose the title says it all - why do you rarely see fuel guages, and would it be a simplish task to have one retrofitted?

Instead of dipping the diesel, lower your dowl until it touches the surface of the diesel and read off the scale you have marked.

Or, have a brass rod calibrated and welded into the filler cap, as we have on Epiphany. No dust introduced that way unless you lay it down in the dirt as you fill.

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Oh well, as long as you haven't run out of Beer!...

 

 

But do fill up before winterising.

 

Is that the fuel or the beer! :cheers:

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Yeah, we do the same.

- It supprising how much a ton and a half of fuel off-center affect the trim.

- And if we want a more accurate reading, we just stick our 'ed thro coal'ole! :help:

 

 

 

Daniel

 

I thought they stuck you 'ed first down the coal'ole, and then measured the inches of leg showing. No leg showing, better fill up with nutty slack, sorry best steam coal.

 

I am sure I have seen a picture of a rather grimey Daniel's 'ed sticking out of the coal'ole, brandishing the remaining piece of coal.

 

By the way, do they do pink coal? :cheers: Maybe that one has been cracked before.

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Instead of dipping the diesel, lower your dowl until it touches the surface of the diesel and read off the scale you have marked.

Errr....How does this work? I don't think I've ever had a fuel tank that I could see when a dipstick is just touching the fuel. If I did I could just look down the hole and judge how much is in there.

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If you lower the 'dip' stick slowly it will float and then it is quite easy to read the scale.

 

 

 

 

 

 

:help::cheers:

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Thanks for all the advice there, but I still find it odd. It just strikes me as such a simple, usefull, CHEAP, thing to install on Day One. As much as I apprecaite that the tanks don't empty that quickly. Hay Ho! Time to get a decent dipstick!

 

I looked at one from a company called MSC (I brought their watertank gauge) think the fuel tank one was £120 including sensor and the gauge.

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I looked at one from a company called MSC (I brought their watertank gauge) think the fuel tank one was £120 including sensor and the gauge.

That'll be 60 broomhandles then.

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