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Author Topic:   18' Dauntless Fuel Gauge problem
SantaMonicaWhaler posted 06-12-2004 07:01 PM ET (US)   Profile for SantaMonicaWhaler   Send Email to SantaMonicaWhaler  
I have a 1999 18' Dauntless with a stuck/broken fuel gauge. I realized this after the gauge continued to hover around the full line even after many hours of use. It was confirmed yesterday when I managed to put 21 gallons of gas in the tank, even though it claimed to be near full.
Two questions. First, has anyone else encountered this problem and do I need to replace the gauge or is there a simple fix.
Second, any suggestions on how to measure the fuel level without the gauge, i.e., is the fuel tank visible through any manuevering around the bilge area, etc. (so far no luck on this one)?
Thanks for any suggestions,
Lars Simonsen posted 06-14-2004 09:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for Lars Simonsen  Send Email to Lars Simonsen     
I have the exact same problem on my '98 Dauntless 18. So far, my solution has been to always fill the tank up before going out. I suspect the sending unit is crapped out. There's some aftermarket unit that people on this site have recommended (it consists of a donut shaped float that rides up and down on a tube, as opposed to the toilet float type sending unit). One day I might actually get around to fixing it . . .


SantaMonicaWhaler posted 06-16-2004 05:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for SantaMonicaWhaler  Send Email to SantaMonicaWhaler     
Thanks Lars. If I take the plunge on the after-market device, I will let you know how it works out. Otherwise, I will try and keep tabs on my hours on the water.
Chuck Tribolet posted 06-16-2004 07:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
I've got a friend (Phil Sammet, the senior Monterey commercial
dive boat captain) who says "a gas guage on a boat tells you
how much gas you might have".

Love those Pate's with the window.


Lars Simonsen posted 06-16-2004 11:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for Lars Simonsen  Send Email to Lars Simonsen     
My old Montauk had a Pate tank with the "sight glass"; I long for the days of such simplicity. Of course, the sight glass was stained halfway up, so the first time I took the boat out, I kept running it and running it, and never saw the gas level drop. I thought "this thing really sips gas!" About the third time I looked down to check the level, the motor cut off, and the tank was bone dry.

I never trusted the gauge on my Dauntless even when it did work. Chuck is right; all the gas guage tells you is how much gas you might have. That's why I haven't bothered to fix mine yet.

Mark426 posted 06-17-2004 06:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for Mark426  Send Email to Mark426     
ALL the float type senders I have had in my boats were inaccurate and basically unusable. Why even have a gauge if its not accurate or bounces around like a drunk sailor, would you put up with this in your car?

I finally tried a capacitance type sender in my boat, this is what is used in aircraft fuel tanks and what a difference! I have had one installed in my boat for over a year now and it works perfectly. The fuel gauge doesn’t bounce around as the fuel sloshes in the tank and it is VERY accurate, within a gallon. There are no moving parts, nothing to wear out or need adjustment. The only down side is, it requires a power lead to the sender itself, requiring that you fish a small 18ga. wire to the sender if you don’t already have one there already. I can’t understand why boat manufactures don’t install this from the start, I guess it’s the cost. I highly recommend one and this is from a guy that feels that most stuff I find for my boat is low quality junk. I found mine at Livorsi Marine for around $60, several other high end dealers sell the same thing.

Good luck,

P.S.. Nantucket on order, expect delivery in about 10 days and I will add this sender to my boat from day one!

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