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Author Topic:   SmartCraft: Instrument Options
rtyszka posted 10-09-2006 02:33 PM ET (US)   Profile for rtyszka   Send Email to rtyszka  
I have an Outrage 18 that will have a 2001 Optimax 135 bolted on. I had original Johnson guages, Morse shifter, etc. If I were to do this right with the re-power, which [SmartCraft] components would I use? I see the new Whalers have the full [SmartCraft] package. Really, all you need is a [tachometer] and a speedometer, but the 135 is in the class with much larger boats and some cool options like depth, oil tank, the SC5000 computer. This thing looks like it does everything.

I would love to hear what you have what works and what you wish you had or wish you didn't get. And has anyone done a self-install of a different manufacturer? Any tips appreciated.

Rich in CT

jimh posted 10-09-2006 05:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Mercury showed a new top of the line SmartCraft instrument at Miami in February, 2006. It was called the Vessel View. Unfortunately, I have not seen any additional information about this. It would be an option to consider, if the price was reasonable. The Mercury website has information on SmartCraft.

http://www.mercurymarine.com/smartcraft

It has zero information about Vessel View, so the unit may not be available yet.

Be sure to read the SmartCraft FAQ:

http://mercruiser.com/smartcraft_faqs

I personally like the combination digital-analog gauges which I think are made by VDO for Mercury. (VDO also makes similar gauges for other outboard brands.) However, the digital readout is often hard to see in sunlight.

SmartCraft is only available for Mercury motors, and there are no other vendors making SmartCraft gauges. However, you can get SmartCraft readout on some NAVMAN instruments. I think this may be too much data crowded onto a single display, however, and I'd get separate instruments for the engine readout.

jimh posted 10-09-2006 05:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Oops--I forgot that FARIA is making some SmartCraft stuff, but I think it is a bit pricey and intended more for the fancy Go-Fast boat cockpits, which often feature bright colors for all the gauge bezels and color coordination with the hull. That sort of thing is more or less out of place on a classic Whaler.
sosmerc posted 10-19-2006 09:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for sosmerc  Send Email to sosmerc     
Be darn sure to confirm that your engine is a 2001....that's the first year Optimax engines were digital/Smartcraft compatible engines. Year 2000 engines required an analog/digital conversion kit in order to use SmartCraft guages.
You are not REQUIRED to use any Smartcraft guages...or you can easily use a multitude of guages and external sensors.
I like the System Monitor that fits into a 3 3/8 hole. Then I just fill in any other available holes with "link" guages in the priority of functions you prefer to look at full time...such as engine temp and water pressure, speed, rpm, trim setting.....whatever. The beauty of Smartcraft is the ease with which additional guages can be added....it's plug and play. It's even easier with the 2006 and newer product....the Smartcraft harness is built into the main wiring harness...so you do not need to run a seperate harness just for Smartcraft.

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