Many newer marine engines let you monitor fuel consumption electronically so you can optimize fuel efficiency. Yet many older motors don’t offer this. If you have an old-school motor, don’t despair. You can add fuel monitors with electromechanical flow sensors on most boats, thanks to aftermarket systems from companies such as Faria, FloScan, Garmin and Lowrance.
This project focuses on installing one of the most trusted units on the market — a FloScan Series 5500 CruiseMaster monitor. Models are available to read flow rates up to 100 gph. All have totalizers. This is a relatively simple install on a single-engine, gasoline-powered boat, but more-complex systems for multiple engines and/or diesels are also available.
Skill Level: 3/5
Time to Complete: 4 hours
Tools and Supplies
*FloScan Series 5500 CruiseMaster system ($299.99, defender.com)
*AWG 16 triplex wires ($1.01/foot, westmarine.com)
*31⁄16-inch hole saw
*Drill motor and bits
*Phillips screwdriver set
*Electrician’s snake (for pulling the triplex wire)
*Heat gun *Assorted stainless steel fasteners, wire supports and zip-ties
Quick Tip: To select the 5500 gauge with best maximum reading for your engine, use 10 percent of the horsepower. If you have 175 hp, for instance, you’ll burn about 17.5 gph at wide-open throttle, so get the 20 gph model.
Use this method for manually calculating fuel consumption.