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ContinuousWave: Small Boat Electrical
Fuel Flow Instruments
|Author||Topic: Fuel Flow Instruments|
posted 08-12-2007 09:51 PM ET (US)
I had a Navman 3100 on my 22 Revenge and was very happy with it but it was rather large for a 18 Outrage console. Now that Navman/Northstar is gone, what would be a good fuel flow meter to consider for my 18 Outrage?
posted 08-12-2007 10:49 PM ET (US)
The Navman 3100 Fuel instrument was a great device. I am astounded that this device is no longer available. I can't find any trace of it on the Northstar website. Navman's products have been folded into the Northstar brand, but the 3100 Fuel instrument looks like it has become a casualty of corporate buy outs, sell-offs, and brand mergers.
An alternative fuel flow instrument is the LOWRANCE NMEA-2000 multi-function instrument, the LMF-400 or the smaller LMF-200 display, combined with a NMEA-2000 fuel flow sender unit, such as the EP-10 or EP-60R, to create a stand-alone LowranceNET NMEA-2000 network. If you have a NMEA-2000 compatible GPS you can connect it to the network, too. Or you can get a NMEA-2000 GPS unit such as the LGC-2000 from Lowrance to provide speed data. This will duplicate most of the features of the Navman 3100. The total cost will likely be lower.
Lowrance packages the LMF-400 with fuel senders and the accessories needed to create the simple LowranceNET network. Here is a link to one retailer's offering:
The manual for the LMF-400 gives details:
If you don't want a fuel flow gauge that can compute fuel economy, Northstar is still making the smaller and simpler Fuel 210 gauge. See:
posted 08-13-2007 02:06 PM ET (US)
Here is one place you can buy it: http://www.boatingdirect.net/browseproducts/ Northstar-F310-Fuel-Management-System.html .
Northstar calls it the fuel 310.
posted 08-13-2007 02:16 PM ET (US)
BTW, I just had a fuel 3100 that I bought a year ago that the display started dropping LCD segments. I called Navman customer support, sent in in, and they sent me back a new unit in about a week. Customer service is still excellent.
posted 08-13-2007 09:05 PM ET (US)
i realize that there is still a NAVMAN website available, but is there still a NAVMAN company making and selling their excellent products?
The poor folks at NAVMAN were bought up by Brunswick while Brunswick was in a buying spree, then sold off by Brunswick when Brunswick was in "let's get back to our core business" mode. The new owners, NAVICO, already have quite a few very prominent marine instrument and electronic brands, and it seems they have chosen a course of dropping the least familiar and newest of their marine brand names, "Navman", in favor of their much older, much more established, and more familiar marine electronic brands.
Just to review, NAVICO brands include:
posted 08-15-2007 12:18 PM ET (US)
I had a chat last night with the owner of our local marine store on this very issue. There is indeed still a Navman company selling Navman products, however, the direction they are going is that the products will be sold in the US under the Northstar brand, and that Navman will transition to being an overseas brand where that name already has good acceptance in the marketplace. He indicated that there is already cross-pollination among the various NAVICO brands in that the former Navman radios, which he described as excellent, are being sold under the Lowrance brand this year.
One good thing that he expects to come from the consolidation of these various brands under the NAVICO umbrella is that their NEMA 2000 integration will be rock solid by next summer, and that you really will be able to mix and match brands on your network.
posted 08-15-2007 07:11 PM ET (US)
$259.00 is a lot less than what I paid for the first one I bought. Maybe I will buy one just to have it.
posted 08-17-2007 01:26 AM ET (US)
RJG-why do you prefer the 310 to the 210? I read both descriptions, but I'm more interesed in how you use it in the context of how you use your boat. etc. Thanks.
posted 08-17-2007 10:49 AM ET (US)
If all you want is a reading of fuel flow data, the 210 will do it just fine. The most important addition to the 310 is that it will take speed data from a GPS and compute and display fuel efficieny in terms of Miles-per-gallon. It also handles dual engine setups better. In general, more bells and whistles.
posted 08-17-2007 05:47 PM ET (US)
Thank you-that makes sence. I hitched a ride on a tow boat once and the skipper was monitoring fuel efficiency, and I did not know how it was being done. In the literature I did not see the 'sending unit' for the 210. I'm guessing is is a module that adds to the fuel line and has a wire... where do you mount this on an Outrage 18'? Sorry if I'm hijacking...
posted 08-17-2007 10:50 PM ET (US)
You mount the sender vertically exactly like the insructions say, and after the fuel filter. Whether you do this inside the engine cowling, or somewhere else along the path of your fuel line is generally up to the installer's preference.
Mounting the sender vertically is important so that any bubbles which may come into the sender unit pass out of the unit rather than hindering the turbine flow metering wheel. Mounting it after the filter keeps foreign material out of the precision flow meter. The flow meter itself is roughly 1.75" in diameter and maybe 2.5" long including the hose barbs on both ends and an arrow pointing toward the outlet end of the unit.
posted 08-18-2007 12:15 AM ET (US)
Under the cowling... never thoughtof that. Thanks... now I know what to put on the Xmas list : )
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