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New gauges for a 28

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  • New gauges for a 28

    Looking for input. I want to replace wires and gauges in my 28. I never operate from cabin always on top. Rain or shine. Lots of crab pots to navigate out of Westport cannot see well enough from cabin. I would prefer to just run new wires from the bridge to the engines. I would likely bypass cabin altogether. I am not willing to vacate cabin operation completely at this point. My gauges are haunted likely be replacing sending units I would imagine also. Looking for sources for good pricing on gauges, wire etc.
    I would also like any feedback pros or cons on doing this . You guys always have great advice. Thank You in advance.

  • #2
    Click image for larger version  Name:	dash_1259.JPG Views:	0 Size:	529.6 KB ID:	70234 The problem with the stock gauges is that both helm's gauges operate off one dual station sensor for water temp and oil pressure. If the sensor goes bad both helm guages for the respective function fail or read the same. I had this happen on one trip to Ucluelet, the water temp started to climb and leveled off at 220. Since both gauges said the same I assumed I had a water heating problem. Long story short I spent boat bucks trying to repair a heating problem that eventually was traced to a bad two station sensor. Next winter I replaced all the upper helm gauges and ran all new wire directly to the engine from the upper helm. I actually ran 14 #16 wires, 14 #14 wires and 9 #12 wires in a conduit from helm port locker along side port wingwall and down the bulkhead to cockpit floor. The reason I ran 14 wires was I could get 14 different colors for wires. Each wire size was terminated in port locker on a terminal strip using all heat shrink terminals. I reserved the #16's for all gauges, the #14's for switches and #12's for ignition circuits, starter circuits, 12v power and 4 electric fuel pumps. I eventually removed the whole lower helm and abandon all lower helm gauge wiring. My choice of gauges were Autometer Z series and they have held up well but I do shield them from rain with a piece of 1/4" plexiglass. The Z series is the only gauges I could find that had the normal gauges of water temp, oil pressure, & volts, but also the oil temp and trans temp. I still have spare wires of every size should something be added later.
    Last edited by Bill V; 02-16-2021, 10:14 AM.
    "Joint Venture" 1978 midcabin 28', twin 2017 Vortec roller cam "bullet proof" 383/6.3L full roller 350hp engines - You name it, I've either replaced it, restored it, rebuilt it, repainted it or repaired it. That's my job now that I'm retired.

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    • #3
      Bill I carry an IR gun for that exact purpose... nice to be able to idiot check a gauge quickly. My slip neighbors were convinced they were overheating because their heat exchanger cap kept leaking and the gauge would peg. Turns out it was just bad wiring and a worn out filler neck!

      Dewley I would check great lake skipper for leftovers from various OEMs, and then probably summit. Always useful to price check on amazon and look for open box stuff there too(with their return policy getting "used" stuff is usually zero risk). I usually get wire on amazon, ebay, or bestboatwire.com for bigger stuff. There's another site that looks just like bestboatwire that I'm forgetting too, depending on how much you order it can be cheaper with shipping via that one.

      Edit: If I was going all new gauges I'd consider going all digital via nmea 2000 conversion bridge so it all reads on an mfd like new boats have. It would allow you to delete the gauges in the cabin, but still have gauges if desired via wifi ipad screen duplication. Sounds complicated but tech is getting really user friendly...
      Last edited by theremikegoes; 02-16-2021, 08:06 AM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by theremikegoes View Post
        Bill I carry an IR gun for that exact purpose... nice to be able to idiot check a gauge quickly.
        This was back 2007 before I bought a Fluke IR gun. You are absolutely correct, wouldn't be without one now. I have used it to check oil temps and compare gauge to oil pan. Surprisingly accurate.
        "Joint Venture" 1978 midcabin 28', twin 2017 Vortec roller cam "bullet proof" 383/6.3L full roller 350hp engines - You name it, I've either replaced it, restored it, rebuilt it, repainted it or repaired it. That's my job now that I'm retired.

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        • #5
          That sounds familiar... I think we’ve hit the IR gun topic before, ha!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Dewley View Post
            I would need 37 different spools of wire to do this between covers and gauges. Since I live 41/2 hours from my boat I would like to source everything needed as far as wires, gauges and connectors. Although there is an Englunds marine just a few blocks away from my marina. I also assume I will need new sending units. Best guess Bill V,
            how many feet of each spool will be necessary of each spool?


            I needed all the runs at the time because I wasn't sure how many exactly so I over estimated substancially. In reality only one #16 wire for each guage from sending unit which come with new gauge. I knew at the time I wanted a trans temp and oil temp displays. I ran two #12 from port and starboard batteries for their respective guages and 12V+ to ignition switches as well. Volt meters are fed from ignition switches Since my engines use electric fuel pumps I used two #12 for the two pumps. I later added additional fuel tanks and added two additional fuel pumps for transfer use. In most cases I bought 25' lengths of wire. Only real exception was red #14 and #12, they were 100' rolls. I did pull a #10 black so that all grounds could be at the same potential. All grounds from gauges, lights and misc were taken to the ground buss that the #10 ran to. All electronic 12v+ were taken to a 6 circuit fuse panel fed by a #14 red from House bank batteries, I have 3 banks of batteries. The electronic 12v- came from the house bank #14 black. Best suggestion is to plan ahead.
            Last edited by Bill V; 02-16-2021, 12:31 PM.

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            • #7
              Thank You Bill V!!!!

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              • #8
                I agree with theremikegoes and would go with digital gauges if I was starting all over and replacing everything. If you have a newer chartplotter you can use that for a display. In this scenario you just run one nmea backbone wire to the bridge from the engine room. In the engine room you can install an adapter for each engine to feed the data into the backbone. Other options would be to use a tablet in a waterproof case.

                If I remember correct you have Ford engines. Not sure if those have any nmea capability? If not, you can convert analog to digital from your ECM with one of these: https://fox-marine.com/index.php?rou...tegory&path=81

                For people with newer engines such as MerCruiser smart craft capable its even easier with something like this: https://www.mercruiserparts.com/8m0115080-vv-mobile-kit

                Since I'm getting new Mercs installed this winter I'll be going with the VesselView mobile kit to a tablet. My existing analog gauges work but are probably nearing the end of life. I'm going to get the wireless set up going while having the analog as backup.
                Last edited by kisutch; 02-18-2021, 11:03 AM.
                1986 Glasply 28' long cabin

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                • #9
                  A mechanic told me once that men place more irrational trust in gauges than just about anything else. Cracked me up. Anyway, I got two IR guns in my stocking for Christmas this year- one for the kitchen/grill and one for the boat.

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                  • #10
                    The good news is my electronics are Raymarine
                    I bought the axiom pro it has the multi function ability to display gauges. Pretty slick as far as connecting wirelessly to the radar unit. People on the boat can even download the Raymarine app on their phones and see what is on the screen. I link it to an I pad on the flybridge when I am running. The bad news is my new engines are 40 year old carbureted engines. Getting that info to a nmea 2000 format is what I am not grasping. The Raymarine support line has been helpful in the past. I guess I had better run it by them, perhaps it is something that I could do. That would be terrific.
                    Thank you for the advice.

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                    • #11
                      https://actisense.com/products/emu-1...0-engine-data/

                      that will get those old engines connected to the display
                      1980 2400 Cuddy I/O, 2017 Cummins 4BT coupled to a Volvo DP-SM with F9 Props, and a 2014 Mercury 15HP Pro-Kicker "LOOSE CHANGE"

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by noluck View Post
                        https://actisense.com/products/emu-1...0-engine-data/

                        that will get those old engines connected to the display
                        I think there's a handful of different models that do the same thing with various numbers of inputs. The neat thing about this method(if you're considering running new gauge harnesses) is that the nmea conversion box can live near the engine room so new wire runs would be easy. I think some of them can just piggy back the existing gauge wires as well. When I rebuilt my lower helm to be less intrusive I almost went this route, but my gauges all work fine and it was too many boat bucks on top of what I already had in play. Definitely on the "someday" list for me though.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by theremikegoes View Post

                          I think there's a handful of different models that do the same thing with various numbers of inputs. The neat thing about this method(if you're considering running new gauge harnesses) is that the nmea conversion box can live near the engine room so new wire runs would be easy. I think some of them can just piggy back the existing gauge wires as well. When I rebuilt my lower helm to be less intrusive I almost went this route, but my gauges all work fine and it was too many boat bucks on top of what I already had in play. Definitely on the "someday" list for me though.
                          yes you can piggy the original gauges or standalone
                          1980 2400 Cuddy I/O, 2017 Cummins 4BT coupled to a Volvo DP-SM with F9 Props, and a 2014 Mercury 15HP Pro-Kicker "LOOSE CHANGE"

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                          • #14
                            Let me see if I understand correctly. If you put your "gauges" on a network and then display them on an MFD are you able to add trans temp and oil temp? If you are looking at the gauges on an MFD how do you see "charts"?
                            "Joint Venture" 1978 midcabin 28', twin 2017 Vortec roller cam "bullet proof" 383/6.3L full roller 350hp engines - You name it, I've either replaced it, restored it, rebuilt it, repainted it or repaired it. That's my job now that I'm retired.

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                            • #15
                              Sure can... I actually added "air temp" nmea 2000 sensors zip tied to "to cooler" fitting of my transmissions, works great! Some day I'd like to add the full nmea conversion though.

                              At least on my lowrance carbon you can split screen with charts or display just the text overlaid in the corner of a chart. Or add another networked mfd (some cheaper/older models will work) and display it there. Eventually I'd like to have 2 mfd's-one for chart and one with split screen gauges and sonar.

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