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Measuring Fuel Level 16 ft Dolphin Super skiff

5803 Views 5 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  lemaymiami
My 1990 Dolphin Super skiff has an aluminum 15 or 18 gallon tank but Bo fuel gauge. What's the best way to measure and monitor fuel levels to prevent getting stranded? 70 Hp 2 stoke yamaha.
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Since I've had bad luck with fuel guages (failing, or inaccurate...) I much prefer a dipstick if the installation will allow it. If you'll look up under the front hatch of many Hells bay skiffs you'll see just that in the form of a 1/2" dowel mounted on spring holders. In my case I've always used a teak stick that's about 3/4" wide by 1/4" thick as my starting point -then sand it down smooth to start...

Here's how to make a very accurate dipstick (and use a gps to get a very precise read on your consumption....). Drain or empty your existing fuel tank to start fresh then make your dipstick (I like it to stick out of the tank at least six inches when it touches bottom). Drill a hole in one end of the stick if you want to mount your fuel key or deckplate key.... Now it's off to your local gas station. Pump in five or six gallons to start (if you're going to be mixing oil the six gallon mark is helpful -otherwise five gallons....) then dip the tank and using a small triangular file make a starting mark on the stick. Add another five or six gallons then make a second mark (my old Maverick has a thirty gallon tank so you can imagine what it looks like). Once you've topped off your tank you now have the beginnings of a properly marked dipstick - finish it up in your shop by cutting a shallow groove with that same file (and if you're smart you'll make a second stick and store it away somewhere...).

Now for the really useful part of this exercise. Starting with a full tank, set your gps trip log to zero (most will need their owners manual to figure this out -but once you do you'll want this every day....). Now set out and make a point of running at 75% of throttle that trip for your best fuel economy (roughly 4000 rpms on most small motors). At the end of the day check your trip log, remember the number then re-set it back to zero. Your last step is to top off your tank before putting the boat away. In just two or three trips you'll know exactly how much you burn in ideal conditions. In my case, if I've run 60 miles in a day at 4000 rpm I'll need exactly 12 gallons of fuel to top off. Amount burned divided into distance run = exactly five miles per gallon.... and that's what my 90horse E-Tec burns day after day. With a simple glance at my trip log I can tell exactly what I've burned. That sort of knowledge is very helpfull on long or extended trips - and you'll never need a fuel guage once you've done this routine. Remember, though, you'll always burn more fuel if you're at 90% of throttle than you will at 75%....

Hope this helps and wish I'd learned to do this years and years ago when I was first fooling around in boats...
 
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