By: Bill Jennings
Boating in lumpy water or driving fast, you will notice that reading the gauges on your helm can be difficult. Yet those are the situations when you need them most. When we raced, we used ‘monster gauges’, but sometimes even these were not enough, so, we came up with an idea. We first made note of what the optimum reading was for each gauge and then rotated them in their mounts so that the indicator needle pointed straight up when the gauge reading was in the green. If a gauge needle moved off the centerline, we could easily identify a problem.
This solution may not work well for pleasure boats, but here is one that does. Buy a bottle of white-out. With the help of a friend, take your boat up to cruising speed and providing the engine is running properly, place a spot of white-out on the face of the gauge where the needle is reading. This system works well to identify oil pressure, voltage and temperature levels. It will also serve to indicate your boats optimum trim. Put one on the gas gauge as a reminder to fill up when fuel levels are low.
This system carries a bonus. When someone else drives your boat, you merely need to tell them that the gauge needles must align with the white-out line when running. This helps take the worry out of someone else driving your boat.