5 posts / 0 new
Last post
KevinLenard's picture
KevinLenard
Last seen: 17 hours 51 min ago
Joined: 1/28/15
Posts: 110
Non-functional Fuel Guage Fix

Our fuel guage has never worked properly, despite having taken the float out and fiddled with it, then sealed with gas resistent gasket cement and resealed the opening cover.   I had the panel off to replace light bulbs and found that the center nut was very loose on the fuel guage -- Yay!  Must have been the problem!  Nope.  Still only working between 1/4 tank and 3/4 tank.  So I took the float out again.  Turns out that there is only a lmited area pointing to about three quarters forward towards the bow that is clear of fittings inside the tank and the screw to hold the float flat on the surface of the diesel was both binding backwards against the plastic fitting and was not level AND was likely hitting one of the fittings inside.  I carefully reinserted, feeling for obstructions, resealed and BINGO!  No further issues. 

Kevin Lenard
"Firefly"
'91 C-36 Tall Rig, Fin Keel, Hull #1120, Universal M-35 original (not "A" or "B")
CBYC, Scarborough, Ontario, Canada

--

Kevin Lenard
"Firefly"
'91 C-36 Tall Rig, Fin Keel, Hull #1120, Universal M-35 original (not "A" or "B")
CBYC, Scarborough, Ontario, Canada

Catboat Willy's picture
Catboat Willy
Last seen: 2 days 18 hours ago
Joined: 12/22/14
Posts: 232

Kevin;
 We too had some problems with our fuel guage and replaced it. What was a real help was installing an Hobbs Hour Meter and keeping track of our fuel burn using time the engine is running - rather than trusting the quanity of fuel as shown on a regular fuel guage. We log our start time and log our end time and figure about .56 of a gallon per hour on the M-30 @ 2500 RPM.  Remember that not all the fuel in your tank is usable.
Bill
 

--
Bill Dolan 1990 Catalina C-36 MKI - Hull #1041  'Williwaw'
Std. Rig, Walk Through, Wing Keel
M35, Oberdorfer Conversion,
Home Waters; Port Charlotte, FL
'You are never out of work if you own a boat'

 
KevinLenard's picture
KevinLenard
Last seen: 17 hours 51 min ago
Joined: 1/28/15
Posts: 110

Thanks, Bill.  Thankfully I've now run the tank dry a couple of times without incident, other than having to bleeed air out at the engine (first time the gauge was 100% non-functional, second time I wanted to see if the semi-functional gauge was accurate at near-empty).  Seems like the Racor filter and the diesel conditioner I use has saved us from foulling.  I did inspect the bottom of the tank when I first removed the gauge and it APPEARED totally clean...

--

Kevin Lenard
"Firefly"
'91 C-36 Tall Rig, Fin Keel, Hull #1120, Universal M-35 original (not "A" or "B")
CBYC, Scarborough, Ontario, Canada

alfricke's picture
alfricke
Last seen: 1 day 15 hours ago
Joined: 4/14/09
Posts: 38

Speaking as an elder who has owned multiple vessels, I never trust a fuel guage on a boat. Car, yes, boat, no. I second the idea that the hour meter is the surest way to know. I think the issue depends a bunch on how the boat is used. Assuming we all keep the tank as full as possible to keep out condensation, then if we are day or long weekend sailors, we'll never run out. To my way of thinking, the amount of fuel in the tank is only an issue on longer open water or coastal passages. GPH (in my case .57 at 2500 rpm) X Hrs = Number of Gallons used. Full tank (in my case 25 Gallons) minus Gallons used tells me the number of gallons left. Gallons left X 6.5 kts tells me the nm I can go before running out. 

 

--
Al Fricke
S/V Jubilee
Catalina 36' MkII  #1867
KevinLenard's picture
KevinLenard
Last seen: 17 hours 51 min ago
Joined: 1/28/15
Posts: 110

Good advice, Al, and a great system for monitoring your fuel.  Call me OCD, but non-functional stuff on the boat drives me nuts.  I like to know I can rely on the instrumentation even though I usually keep her topped up, plus I have an extra 5 gallon jerry can in the lazarette just in case. K.

--

Kevin Lenard
"Firefly"
'91 C-36 Tall Rig, Fin Keel, Hull #1120, Universal M-35 original (not "A" or "B")
CBYC, Scarborough, Ontario, Canada

Log in or register to post comments