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Author Topic:   Navman 2100 vs 3100
DeeVee posted 07-17-2006 11:20 PM ET (US)   Profile for DeeVee   Send Email to DeeVee  
With fuel costs rising, I think that fuel flow information is worth the cost of the equipment used to obtain it. I would appreciate input from people who have either Navman 2100 or 3100 gauges installed. I am interested in the features that differentiate the 3100 from the 2100 to determine if the additional cost would be worth it to me, in my application.

Thank you,

Doug Vazquez
1989 Outrage 22
1992 Suzuki 200

jimh posted 07-18-2006 12:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The differences are explained in the NAVMAN literature. (Follow the hyperlinks I have provided to the manufacturer's website.) The fundamental difference in the 3100 is the ability to communicate with multiple flow sensors and to receive speed data which can be used to compute fuel consumption rates in terms of distance per unit of fuel volume. The 2100 only shows flow rates.
jimh posted 07-18-2006 12:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I also recommend getting a fuel flow indicator as a diagnostic tool. On my last boating trip my NAVMAN 3100 was instrumental (pun intentional) in revealing a problem in the engine. While the boat was able to get on plane and run at cruising speed without apparent difficulty, the NAVMAN 3100 showed that my fuel consumption in miles-per-gallon was higher than usual. The boat seemed to be running almost normally, and there was a good chance I might not have noticed the problem without the NAVMAN 3100 announcing it for me. I could have literally run the boat for four days and probably never noticed the decreased performance and the increased fuel consumption.

Having a fuel flow rate instrument allowed me to determine a problem was occurring. Being able to quickly confirm if the engine was acting up or not helped in the resolution of the problem. (The engine had an intermittent poor ground on one of the spark coils and would occasionally lose spark on one cylinder. Because it was a V6, this was not particularly noticeable unless you ran the engine to wide-open-throttle.) At lower speeds the engine ran quite smoothly and seemed almost totally normal, but it just drank more fuel than it should have.

DeeVee posted 07-18-2006 08:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for DeeVee  Send Email to DeeVee     

Thanks for the reply. I read through some earlier discussions last night after posting. It sounds like the 2100 can provide part of the raw data that can then be used to compute MPG, where as the 3100 automatically provides that information. That might or might not be worth the extra bucks, depending on the individual.

Thanks again,
Doug Vazquez

Peter posted 07-18-2006 12:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
The 3100 is worth the extra money. It provides much more than fuel flow including a trip log, hour meter, instant MPG readout, instant range computation.....
jimh posted 07-18-2006 02:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
...and a good digital voltmeter, too.
jimh posted 07-18-2006 09:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Not to spoil the NAVMAN party, but an excellent alternative to the NAVMAN 3100 or 2100 is the recently introduced LOWRANCE NMEA-2000 instrumentation system. You can build an excellent fuel flow monitoring system using the following:

LMF-200 --$90

The LMF-200 is a 2-inch NMEA 2000® Multifunction Gauge. Capable of showing data in Single Digital, Dual Digital, Single Analog, Trim Tab, Engine, Diagnostics, Engine Trim and Engine Synchronizer formats. Capacity for up to 16 pages in the queue. Page scrolling from 1 to 60 seconds. Dash Light Sense, Backlight, and Reverse Video control of itself and other gauges over the bus.


EP-10 Fuel Flow Sensor--$50

I believe you can buy these two devices in a package with all of the other accessories needed to build a simple NMEA-2000 instrumentation network for less than you can buy a NAVMAN 2100 or 3100. This would build the foundation for a NMEA-2000 instrumentation network in your boat.

I purchased by NAVMAN 3100 before any of these LOWRANCE devices were available. If I were designing the instrumentation on my small recreational boat today, I would probably go with the LOWRANCE NMEA-2000 solution for monitoring the fuel flow.

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