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ContinuousWave: Small Boat Electrical
Smartcraft Fuel Level Measurement
|Author||Topic: Smartcraft Fuel Level Measurement|
posted 07-10-2013 06:04 AM ET (US)
I have had a difficult time tracking the precise level of fuel in the fuel tank of a Boston Whaler 190 MONTAUK with 150-HP Verado engine using the Smartcraft gauges. It does not seem to measure precisely what is in the tank since it fluctuates a lot and it seems not to read the [fuel tank level] accurately. Any suggestions to improve or help interpret reading these? I have only had rigs with topside tanks so this is a new problem for me. (I do love the large capacity and internal tank on the 190 MONTAUK) Is this just a problem that is normal with internal tanks?
posted 07-10-2013 10:39 AM ET (US)
I only sort of like the SmartCraft gauges. Mine are difficult for my old eyes to read at the best of times. I believe to get accurate fuel tank level readings you must do something from the very first filling. There has to be a work around and I believe I read about one which involved removing the sending unit and proceeding from there. Search here. If you didn't get the SmartCraft manuals they can be downloaded for free from Veradoclub.com. I have not "zeroed" my fuel level so I am using the "Fuel Used" reading to keep up with my fuel level. It's necessary to reset the reading to zero with each fill.
Mercury sells an add-on device to allow SmartCraft to communicate with a chart plotter to display the engine parameters. I believe it is called "Vessel View" but that's less than certain.
Keeps us posted.
posted 07-10-2013 04:14 PM ET (US)
There are two general methods for measuring the fuel tank level: the direct method and the indirect method. Which one is being used in your situation? See
posted 07-10-2013 04:21 PM ET (US)
For information on connecting a proprietary Mercury Smartcraft network to the industry standard NMEA-2000 data network, see the following for some background:
Mercury Smartcraft to NMEA-2000 Gateway Software
Mercury Readies Smartcraft to NMEA-2000 Gateway
Mercury SmartCraft MercMonitor Featuring Mercury Gateway
Perhaps the most recent information on this topic can be found in:
Mercury SmartCraft to NMEA-2000 Gateway
posted 07-10-2013 04:49 PM ET (US)
I do not have Smartcraft, but even comparing the fuel level gauge on the helm to the fuel level gauge mounted directly on top of the fuel tank, I have observed a sizable difference in the level indicated.
Something approaching 20% on a 100 gallon tank can mean a 20 gallon discrepancy. Not very comforting!
posted 07-11-2013 10:24 PM ET (US)
If measurement of a quantity by two methods produces different answers, you can't be really sure of either of them.
posted 07-25-2013 06:52 AM ET (US)
Thanks for the responses.
I will be trying the fuel used method first using my Smart Craft gauges. That is a good suggestion.
Jefecinco, do you find that the fill level of the tank is general right when filling it completely? Generally, do you find the "fuel used" monitor to be accurate?
posted 07-25-2013 10:24 AM ET (US)
Yes, I find it to be accurate. When I refill the tank I know within a gallon how much the tank will accept. Since the data comes from the engine computer it very accurate.
posted 07-25-2013 11:17 AM ET (US)
"I will be trying the fuel used method first using my Smart Craft gauges."
I think you mean you plan to use the indirect fuel tank level measurement system, that is, you will deduce the fuel tank level by subracting from the prior tank level the accumulated volume of fuel computed from the fuel flow rate data of the engine itself. As Butch comments, this method is generally accurate, but only so long as you keep the accumulator informed of any additions to the fuel tank.
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