Flo meters

Discussion in 'Sport Yachts/Yachts' started by Gibsri, Nov 11, 2019.

  1. Gibsri

    Gibsri New Member

    Aug 19, 2014
    I have a Sea Ray 440 express bridge. any comments about flo meters?
  2. JVM225

    JVM225 Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 8, 2008
    Farmingdale, NY
    2002 410 Sundancer, Monaco Edition.
    3126 Cats.
    I had them on my gas powered 300 Sundancer and loved them.
    I had Garmin electronics on that boat and it only involved adding sensors and connecting them to the network.
    I briefly looked in to putting them on my current boat, but it’s diesel powered and the cost would have been significantly more and was hard to justify.
  3. fwebster

    fwebster Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 6, 2006
    Middle Tennessee ; Panama City Beach, FL
    1996 450DA
    3116 Caterpillars
    Don't waste your money.........

    Caterpillar performance data is very accurate, and the information they publish on fuel burn is both accurate and dependable. Here is a chart from a data card Caterpillar published on 3116 and 3126 engines:

    Screen Shot 2019-11-12 at 8.08.27 AM.png

    The following discussion is based on 20+ years with 350 hp 3116's in a 450DA, which has the same hull as your 440EB. It really doesn't matter what hull or boat model the engines are in, the 3100 Series Caterpillar engines burn rate is markedly consistent. You will also find that how fast you turn the engines will fall in relatively narrow rpm ranges based upon planing speed and desired performance limited on the low end by soot build up in the oil at slow speeds and by rated max cruise rpms at the upper end, plus speeds you want to avoid to economize operation and limit noise. For example, once planing speed is reached, you will find that 2200-2300 rpm (18 to 20.4 GPH)- a comfortable, quiet and very economical speed; 2300-2400 rpm (20.4 to 22.6 GPH) makes you go faster but is limited by to maximum rated cruise speed.

    Idling along at below 1200 rpm and below for extended periods will cause sooting ........collects soot in the oil and crankcase, thus limiting lubricity of the lube oil while causing undesirable exhaust sooting which collects on the transom.

    Running at fast idle.....1350 to 1550 rpm is very economical but slow and does not cause soot in the lube oil.

    1550 rpm to 2200 rpm is slow and inefficient because the boat is well below planing speed so you push a lot of water as the boat tries to plane but can't which makes for very poor efficiency up to the time the hull planes.

    Every time I have checked the fuel burn on my engines, the Cat table has been right on the actual fuel used. Accurate enough that on a 10 hour trip, I can estimate the total fuel needed to top off the tanks to within about 10 gal. So, since you won't be running below 1350 rpm due to sooting, you will likely be running at a fast idle fast idle, 1350 to 1550 rpm, or at cruise speeds between 2200 and 2400 rpm, therefore, what information are you going to get from fuel flow meters that isn't available from the above table for free ? Then, there is the cost consideration of the installation which is expensive on a diesel boat because you have to install 4 fuel senders, one in each fuel line to the engines, and one in each fuel return line from the engines to the tank......figure the fuel flow meter installation will cost you about 15% of the value of the boat for hardware plus installation.
    dtfeld and Chris-380 like this.

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