Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fuel Flow Meter

With our trip coming up I wanted to install a fuel flow meter so I could not only use it to estimate fuel usage(mpg), but also as a more accurate way to monitor total gallons used. I decided to go with the Floscan 9000 because of a high quality construction and it also uses an NMEA 0183 communication sytem which is the same system my gps unit uses so the two units can properly communicate. The Floscan uses a sensor installed in the fuel line to measure the flow of fuel, then caculates mpg based on the information output by the gps unit.

I had trouble finding a good spot to mount the unit where I would have good visability. I decided the spot on the dash currently occupied by the trim tab switches would give the correct viewing angle,and would not distract my attention away from the helm while underway. I never cared for where the trim tabs switched are mounted since you have to reach over the throttle controls and spotlight control to adjust them. The logical position for them would be right in front of the throttle control so while controlling the throttle, the switches are at your fingertips, the only problem is that space is occupied by the spotlight control. Finally what I ended up doing is putting the trim tab switches were the spot light control was, mounting the spotlight control on the lower dash, and installing the Floscan in the spot once occupied by the switches.

I have been using this set up for a couple of months now and I absolutely love it! I don't even have to take my hands off the throttle control to adjust the tabs, which is really convenient in rough seas. I'm finding that I now pay more attention to this gauge than any other gauge I have! It's easy to trim a boat out by feel, but you can perfect it while monitoring a fuel flow monitor and runs at it's most efficient rpm and trim angle. I'm hoping this is one modification that will pay for itself in fuel savings.