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Author Topic:   Tachometer for 13's???
paul_boatforum posted 08-01-2000 08:02 PM ET (US)   Profile for paul_boatforum   Send Email to paul_boatforum  
I have seen several posts where owners are talking about how their boat performs at various RPMs. (XX speed at XXX RPMs)

But did any of these 13' whalers come with tachs? The 1985 13' Sport I am looking into (w/30hp) doesn't have any gauges. I assume it depends on the engine as to whether one can be added and installed? Is this something worth adding?


jimh posted 08-02-2000 01:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
You can find an aftermarket tachometer for about $50-60. Usually the tachometer connects to ground, 12V, and a single lead from the alternator or battery charging circuit of the motor.

The motor must have some source of AC voltage that varies with engine RPM to drive the tachometer, and usually this is a lead from the alternator or ignition voltage generating winding of the engine's stator.

The tachometer allows for calibration to the particular engine by selection of a ratio (5:1, 4:1, 3:1) of the pulses to the RPM.

Having a tachometer is beneficial because you can see the engine speed and evaluate the performance of the engine/prop/boat combination.

It is also useful as a way to monitor engine performance. If engine RPM suddenly drops at wide-open-throttle (WOT), you will notice it on the tachometer. This may allow you to spot problems before they become severe.

Having a tachometer is important for selecting the correct prop.

The tachometer is also handy when you turn the boat over to guests. You can tell them,
"just set the the throttle for XXXX rpm."

Generations of boaters operated without one, but these days it seems archaic not to have one, even on a 13-foot boat with a 35 HP engine.

--Jim Hebert

paul_boatforum posted 08-02-2000 07:59 AM ET (US)     Profile for paul_boatforum  Send Email to paul_boatforum     

Thank you - Now I know where to start..I appreciate your detailed answer!


JB posted 08-03-2000 03:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for JB  Send Email to JB     
Teleflex has an excellent web site that may help you out...
paul_boatforum posted 08-03-2000 05:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for paul_boatforum  Send Email to paul_boatforum     

Thanks - they have some good info in thier tech support area.

Was Teleflex a mfg used on BW boats? If not, what MFG did they use on boats that were equiped with tachs,etc?


bigz posted 08-04-2000 05:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    

The little guys usually didn't come with a tach unless you requested one installed by your dealer then it would be generally the outboard manufacture's brand.

The bigger boats also would be equipped when rigged with the outboard manufactures brand.

Nothing wrong using a Teleflex --- they make pretty good instruments.


JB posted 08-04-2000 10:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for JB  Send Email to JB     
Another source =

I'm partial to teleflex though, and the gauges that are manufactured under the outboard's name seem to be about twice the cost...

rfranks posted 08-19-2000 11:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for rfranks  Send Email to rfranks     
Any advice on mounting? How do you keep it from water spray?
I've got an '84 13' with an '83 Evinrude 35.


lhg posted 08-19-2000 06:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
I recently bought a Mercury "Flagship" series gauge, domed face, and it is made by Teleflex. These are the series of gauges being installed in the new Whalers with factory rigging.

Teleflex markets the same gauge, with brilliant red lighting, as their "Pro Series". Highly recommended, and the new domed lense shape is the latest trend in gauges. I am switching to these for my boat.

Dr T posted 08-21-2001 11:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for Dr T  Send Email to Dr T     
To return to rfranks question, does anyone have a suggestion on the best spot to mount a tack on a Sport with a wooden console. Mine has a face plate where the light switch is located, but it would seem that the tack would be difficult to see there.

What have others done?

Tom W Clark posted 08-21-2001 11:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
Dr T,

I was faced with a similar problem on my 15'. I wanted to mount a speedometer, tachometer, water temperature and water pressure gauge, and I wanted to actually be able to see them!

My solution was to build small "dash panels" from varnished mahogany that were essentially angled boxes screwed to the top of the console.

The front and the back were rectangular and the cross section or side view was a right triangle with the right angle on top. Very easy to construct and looked like it came from the factory. It was a tight fit, but they all worked quite nicely without interfering with the steering.

On a Sport 13 console you could mount one of these to starboard of the helm with room for perhaps two instruments.

Dr T posted 08-21-2001 01:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dr T  Send Email to Dr T     
Thanks a lot.

Three questions:

Did you leave the back of the box open or closed?

What were your dimensions?

How did you route the wiring?

I had originally thought about mounting in the face plate, but it would definitely be hard to see, not to mention a tight fit.


Tom W Clark posted 08-21-2001 02:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
Dr T,

I didn't do a very good job of describing my set up. I'll try again:

The "box" is open only on the bottom, i.e. the console top is cut out where the "box" is located. Think of an old fashioned pup tent or the gable roof on a simple house with the ridge running laterally. The gauges are mounted in the face of the "roof" that faces the stern.

The wires are routed through the bottom into the console so no wires show. This wooden instrument holder was attached with screws driven from inside the console up through the console top into the wood of the instrument holder. Thus there were no fasteners showing either.

I recall that I had to take the hole saw that I used to "drill" the cut out for the gauges and run it into the holes and carve out a wee bit of the console top itself. In other words, the holes continued through the instrument holders into the wood of the console and allowed the whole thing to be very compact.

I don't recall the exact dimensions but they were was constructed of 3/4" thick mahogany with simple rabbetted joints. If you want a more detailed drawing I'd be happy to send you one, just send me your address.

MikeC posted 08-21-2001 03:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for MikeC  Send Email to MikeC     
If you want a really simple and small tach you should look into a Tiny Tach.You can get them from any motorcycle shop.They use them on those little tunnell hull race boats with the old Merc's on them.They have two wires on them,one wire is stiff and just wraps around a plug wire and one wire gets grouded to a bolt on the motor.They also have a built in hour meter and they are digital.I have one that I use for all my motors and its great for tuning and prop testing.
TampaTom posted 08-21-2001 04:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for TampaTom  Send Email to TampaTom     
For small boats with limited installation space, consider using intruments for PWC (jetski). They are smaller and waterproof.

Also look at the TinyTach.

jameso posted 08-23-2001 08:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for jameso  Send Email to jameso     
How durable i.e. waterproof is the Tiny Tach. I like the looks and simplicity of it but would it be safe to be left on the console for a couple of weeks/months in the rain?
L A posted 08-23-2001 04:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for L A  Send Email to L A     
Take a look at Overton's or Mercury Parts Express, Quicksilver has a Service Monitor with tach and hourmeter that sounds the same for about 55-60 bucks.
MikeC posted 08-23-2001 06:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for MikeC  Send Email to MikeC     
I am pretty sure they are waterproof.The one in Overtons is made by TinyTac also.These things are great for the money and are really easy to install.
Dr T posted 09-03-2001 01:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for Dr T  Send Email to Dr T     
As a followup, I ended up getting a Teleflex. I am still thinking about how to put Tom's suggestion into practice--but the top of the 13' console is very small and I have all winter to think about it.

In the meantime, I fabricated a new face plate for the console out of a piece of plastic that is about 3/8" thick (similar to Starboard).

I have the OMC Control box with the plug for tachometer wiring. I bought the OMC wiring harness (tach and harness from Cabela's), and--once the new faceplate was fabricated--it took about 15 minutes to wire in the tach, re-assemble, and test.

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