Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: Fuel tank dipstick

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    seattle
    Posts
    6,804

    Default Fuel tank dipstick

    I like using a dipstick for my diesel tanks, don't trust no stinking guages. Had to get a new stick when I replaced the tanks as the old one wouldn't fit. Easy enough, got a 1/4" dowel at the lumber store. Except the wood of the dowel is so porous that the diesel wicks up it before I can pull it out of the tank and get a reading.

    So what's the best easiest to read dipstick? A different kind of wood or a different finish on this dowel? White paint? Black paint? Flat black paint? Wax? Oil?

    (And no who's got the best dipstick jokes. )

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Posts
    323

    Default Re: Fuel tank dipstick

    I put ridges in mine, at every 5 liters (just filled it 5 at a time one day, marking after each time), you could do the same with gallons of course, this gives the fuel a place to land on for the few seconds it take to pull it up.

    This is probably nothing new, it is like many oil dipsticks in cars in fact...

    Mine is pine, it wicks but not too fast...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Home Port Washington DC but now wandering around the US West Coast on our Schooner
    Posts
    1,166

    Default Re: Fuel tank dipstick

    Any finish you put on it is likely to be damaged by the fuel. Seems like most fuel tanks aren't that deep--can't you just cut yourself a square one out of a hardwood not as likely to soak up the fuel (e.g. hard maple?)...

    We have a tank tender which works fine (not a gage thing, it uses air pressure...works great no electricity, etc. We also have valved fittings for sight glasses but haven't put in the sight glasses just because they don't last) but on our previous boat we used one of those fold-up wood rulers. It was easy to stow away when not in use. I have no idea where you'd get one of those now, though.
    "If you are going to do something, do it now. Tomorrow is too late." -Pete GossWhat we're doing now--with the boat and then with other stuff and you can Follow us on Twitter

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Hyannis, MA, USA
    Posts
    34,055

    Default Re: Fuel tank dipstick

    My old ash stick works finast kind. The part that gets wet gets gradually darker with periodic oiling. No finish. Marks with magic marker or sharpie last for quite a while but kerfed lines are nicer.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    seattle
    Posts
    6,804

    Default Re: Fuel tank dipstick

    Yes, certainly easy enough to cut one. Just thought I would see if there was a concensus on what works best.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Fuel tank dipstick

    My original Chris craft dipstick is raw mahogany, with fractions and lines cut into it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Southampton Ont. Canada
    Posts
    5,701

    Default Re: Fuel tank dipstick

    Our current one is white cedar.
    The broken one is oak.
    With no finish,it's pretty easy to see the shine line,but I think that lighter coloured wood is easier yet.
    R
    "Now Ron,don't you do anything stupid!" - Grandma B.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    West Boothbay Harbor, Maine
    Posts
    22,168

    Default Re: Fuel tank dipstick

    Square ash stick, finished with a sharp scraper, marked in gallons, kerfed, no problem.
    "Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates." ~ Mark Twain


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Dooral Dooral, Eastern Oz
    Posts
    48,612

    Default Re: Fuel tank dipstick

    Mine is teak, with saw cuts every 20 litres. It doesn't wick at all.
    Carpe the living sh!t out of the Diem

    I'd rather look back at my life and say "I can't believe I did that" instead of being there saying "I wish I'd done that"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    12,590

    Default Re: Fuel tank dipstick

    My original Chris craft dipstick is raw mahogany, with fractions and lines cut into it.
    I think my original one is teak ... I may be wrong.
    Nothing else matters but how I raise my children ... and their opinion of me, as a father.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    6,039

    Default Re: Fuel tank dipstick

    Business plan: Make high quality teak dipsticks and sell them in the WoodenBoat store. Fancy knotted lanyard extra.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    seattle
    Posts
    6,804

    Default Re: Fuel tank dipstick

    Quote Originally Posted by Woxbox View Post
    Business plan: Make high quality teak dipsticks and sell them in the WoodenBoat store. Fancy knotted lanyard extra.
    Not bad. Of course they would have to be calibrated in inches or cm, not gallons or liters, but still could be nice. Then again, what wooden boat owner wouldn't make her/his own? And of course plastic boat owners all have plastic guages.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    2,612

    Default Re: Fuel tank dipstick

    .
    Serenity's tank was a cylinder on its side, strapped up under the foredeck. You had to be careful to make sure the dipstick touched 'bottom dead centre' when reading it. I made mine from merbau (I think -- a hardwood anyway) using sawcuts for the graduations. And because they couldn't be evenly spaced as the cross-section varied with depth, I did what Ian did, adding a pint at a time and then marking the dipstick accordingly.

    Mike
    Visit us to see how we help people complete classic boats authentically.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    seattle
    Posts
    6,804

    Default Re: Fuel tank dipstick

    A pint at a time? Seems like the math would be a whole lot easier. But, empirical is good.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    2,612

    Default Re: Fuel tank dipstick

    .
    Well, maybe it was a half-gallon at a time, can't remember now.

    Yes, Empirical Is Best (saves scarce brain-power.)

    Mike
    Visit us to see how we help people complete classic boats authentically.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Bellingham, Wa
    Posts
    2,356

    Default Re: Fuel tank dipstick

    Use a sight tube. simple brass compression 90 degree fittings threaded into the tank, the run clear fuel line between them. we do this on all of our Raspberry harvesters. when you clean out the tank every few years, simply replace the the cheap tube to ensure reliability. if your handy, which as a wooden boat owner you should be, you can pipe it to a location where it is easily visible. that is, given your tank is in a good location.
    Member of the Loyal, Mostly-Noble, Elite and Most Ancient order of the Laughing Polar Bear Cap Society.

    I ask out of Ignorance, not Criticism.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Northwestern Missouri
    Posts
    4,144

    Default Re: Fuel tank dipstick

    Quote Originally Posted by BBSebens View Post
    Use a sight tube. simple brass compression 90 degree fittings threaded into the tank, the run clear fuel line between them. we do this on all of our Raspberry harvesters. when you clean out the tank every few years, simply replace the the cheap tube to ensure reliability. if your handy, which as a wooden boat owner you should be, you can pipe it to a location where it is easily visible. that is, given your tank is in a good location.
    I were about to say something like that.. thanks
    save a nose, pick a banjo

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Location
    Baltimore Maryland
    Posts
    8,745

    Default Re: Fuel tank dipstick

    Quote Originally Posted by BBSebens View Post
    Use a sight tube. simple brass compression 90 degree fittings threaded into the tank, the run clear fuel line between them. we do this on all of our Raspberry harvesters. when you clean out the tank every few years, simply replace the the cheap tube to ensure reliability. if your handy, which as a wooden boat owner you should be, you can pipe it to a location where it is easily visible. that is, given your tank is in a good location.
    I wish...my tanks are outboard of the engines, maybe 3 inches clearance! My failure proof gauge is a pine dowel, notched every inch, 10 gallons per inch.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    seattle
    Posts
    6,804

    Default Re: Fuel tank dipstick

    Maybe I'm nuts, but sight tubes on a boat scare me. Too many extra failure points at the bottom of the tank.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •