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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Twice in three years I have been motoring along in my happy little world only to have the engine panel buzzer go off and ruin my attempt at an otherwise uneventful day. Each time it reliably happened when I was single handed and long into a couple day trip, but thankfully in fair weather and at a location where the pre-diagnosis precautionary shutdown gave me plenty of safety margin room from hazards while I lost steerage and scampered to raise the canvas in case the wind decided to make an appearance and help (as expected, it didn't).

Each occasion once I got things settled, when I looked at the B panel to see which idiot light was on... in the sun, with the perfect sun angle on the panel... with the tiny hard to read lettering and icons on the indicator windows... I had that "dammit which light means what?" few moments of lost time and frustration.

Given all the mnemoics we use in aviation, a dim light flickered in my head and it occurred to me: duh... from left to right (and the panel only uses the three on right of the six panels) they are Water temp, Oil pressure, and Electrical charge. Or as I refer to them, "W.O.E.", especially given if one of them illuminates with the buzzer to get your attention, while you are otherwise blissfully motoring along, you may be in for a little woe... or at least excitement.

Fortunately each case was rising water temp due to the strainer fouling from vegetation and crap and it was a quick fix and I was back on my way. But I detested those moments of uncertainty trying to read the idiot light, squinting and trying to read the thing.

Thought I'd pass that along for anyone who might benefit. I would be surprised if someone else hasn't also thought of this, and if so, credit to them.

Regards

Ben
 

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Interesting but why not install gauges?
I substantially prefer gauges, but retrofitting can be more than a simple swap. I believe senders can also need replacing in many circumstances, not to mention real estate for a bigger panel.

Reading the OP's post made me recall a bilge alarm going off while I'm in the middle of the entrance to Block Island's Great Salt Pond. Its a man made cut in the beach that is very narrow and long and it is commonly like a two way city street, with a dozen boats at a time. And here I'm listening to a sounding alarm and wondering if I'm going to take up residence at the bottom of the channel and shut the whole harbor down. !!!!! :oops:

My wife runs below and pulls up the floor boards and doesn't see any water anywhere. The alarm is still going off. Not convinced, she keeps looking. We get inside and drop the hook, hearts pounding. I find it was not the high water float switch, rather the electronic switch that is to detect when the bilge pump runs too long. IOW, it may be keeping up and water is not high, but you should know there is a constant ingress. Something was screwy in it's electronic brain, so I simply disconnected it. Heart rate came down about an hour later.............
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Aye, would be nice to have a clean install panel with gauges of systems of interest. But for a factory Pearson 28-2 I’ve invested in other care and mx. Maybe some day…. Meanwhile, operating limits are what they are. Gauge or idiot light - things are either working within limits or they aren‘t.
 

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"WOE"... That's excellent. I couldn't tell you which alarm was sounding without getting down on the deck and shading the panel to see. You've saved me the anguish of interpreting the little icons.
 

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I substantially prefer gauges, but retrofitting can be more than a simple swap. I believe senders can also need replacing in many circumstances, not to mention real estate for a bigger panel.

Reading the OP's post made me recall a bilge alarm going off while I'm in the middle of the entrance to Block Island's Great Salt Pond. Its a man made cut in the beach that is very narrow and long and it is commonly like a two way city street, with a dozen boats at a time. And here I'm listening to a sounding alarm and wondering if I'm going to take up residence at the bottom of the channel and shut the whole harbor down. !!!!! :oops:

My wife runs below and pulls up the floor boards and doesn't see any water anywhere. The alarm is still going off. Not convinced, she keeps looking. We get inside and drop the hook, hearts pounding. I find it was not the high water float switch, rather the electronic switch that is to detect when the bilge pump runs too long. IOW, it may be keeping up and water is not high, but you should know there is a constant ingress. Something was screwy in it's electronic brain, so I simply disconnected it. Heart rate came down about an hour later.............
Yes you probably do have to replace the sending units. I did do all that but it was because the original Yannar panel was completely broken. It was a little costly and I also had to rewire the whole mess. I made an aluminum panel using an old sign that I found. They are made of the best grade of aluminium. After fabricating the panel I painted it with the stuff they treat pickup beds with. That has stood up very well and looks good too. The tachometer was maybe the trickiest part ro get calibrated correctly. You could use the alarm buzzer for a high bilge water audible alarm. I used one of the old indication lights to come on any time the electrical bilge pump is running.
 

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An oil pressure gauge below decks will work wonders.
Use a wee T-piece so you will still have oil pressure communication to your oil pressure switch to sound the audible alarm.
 

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If I could only have one real gauge, I'd want coolant temp. You can avoid many bigger problems, by noticing a 5 or 10 degree rise in temp. Partially clogged seastrainers, impeller has lost a blade, heat exchanger is scaled, etc. I even found my engine room ventilation fan had stopped working underway.
 

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We have seven alarms on the boat and they all sound the same !

We need a standard for alarm sounds !
 
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