best marine gauges

Best Marine Gauges: Our Top Picks For A Smooth Boat Sail

Introduction 

While sailing marine gauges are an integral part of a boating vessel. A sailor needs to monitor all the perimeters of a boat. Otherwise, things could take a turn for the worse. 

Without the proper gauge set, the sailor might face problems navigating the boat. You need to monitor the movements of the water as well as the fuel level of your boat. 

But without the best marine gauge set, you might fail to do so. A failure of any gauge can make you unsure of how the boat should be operated. So you will need to choose the one compatible with your boat. 

But there are so many options for gauge sets. Marine gauges primarily come in two settings- analog and digital. There are many companies devoted to providing marine gauges for a long time. It is very easy to get confused.

Therefore, we have analyzed almost 20 products on the market. And we have finally decided on five best marine gauge sets. They have a wide variety in their package and provide excellent services individually. 

So if you have a few minutes to spare, we might be able to guide you through this article. Who knows? You might find your right choice via our article.

Comparison Table

Product Overview 

Our top pick for this list is Sierra International Arctic 4 Gauge Set. This product contains 4 gauges for your boat. This one is our top pick for great quality service at a lower price.

SeaStar has an outstanding reputation in marine equipment. For 50 years, they have satisfied their customers with their outstanding high-quality engines and drive parts. Their product claims to meet today’s high horsepower engine demands while withstanding harsh marine situations.

Sierra 68387P Arctic Gauge set contains 4 outboard gauges. They are tachometer, speedometer, voltmeter & fuel gauges. They are the basic package for the best price in the market provided by SeaStar. 

The gauges are quite easy to install. They are more like plug-and-play equipment. So you won’t have to spend an enormous amount of time or any money to install them. 

The only backlash we faced was it didn’t include oil pressure and water temperature gauges. However, the price compensates for this gauge set. 

If you are not satisfied with this product’s features, you can proceed to our next pick.

Pros

  • Easy to install.
  • Polished exterior
  • Durable & flexible.

Cons

  • Don’t include oil pressure & water temperature gauges.

Product Overview 

Next in line, we present to you the Motor Meter Racing Evo series 6 gauge set. The easy-to-install and sensor features helped this product steal a place on our list.

This 6 gauge set includes a speedometer, tachometer, voltmeter, and fuel gauge. It also includes oil pressure and water temperature sensors.

The standard speedometer and tachometer have a 3-3/8″ dial and a 3-3/4″ opening. The volt, water temp, and oil gauges have a 2” dial and 2-1/16” opening.

The EVO gauge set is compatible with any 1-9 cylinder gas-powered engine. This set also requires a 12-volt negative ground system. The dials have 4 types of dimmer settings. And with blue, green, white, and red lights, it gets easier to navigate at night.

The gauges are made to be installed with ease. As a digital gauge set, it provides better accuracy. The latest LCD movement technology and flat clear acrylic lens make it durable and precise. 

In terms of drawbacks, the speedometer gauge is a bit noisy. This might feel a little problematic. Also the set is more expensive than the analog ones. So you might need to spend more on it. 

Other than that, it’s a great quality set. Still, if you are not interested feel free to check out our next pick

Pros

  • Brightness adjustment.
  • Digital LCD movement tech.
  • Durable acrylic lens.

Cons

  • Noisy speedometer gauge.

Product Overview 

Our third pick is Faria Beede Instruments KT9797 Inboard 6-Gauge Set. This has grabbed our attention with its durable aluminum body.

Faria has satisfied their customers with dedication for a long time. Their marine products are made with precision. And their gauges are particularly worth the money. 

Faria Beede KT9797 6-Gauge Set has perimeter-lighted white dials with bold black graphics. That makes the dials easy to monitor and navigate at night. Its white aluminum bezel body makes the gauges durable and flexible. 

The set includes a speedometer, tachometer, fuel level, and voltmeter. It also contains water temperature and oil pressure sensors. The tachometer has a range of 6000 RPM and the speedometer ranges to 55 MPH.

The water temperature sensor can register temperature ranging 100-250 degrees fahrenheit. So you can register the standard temperature with ease. The oil pressure is up to 80 PSI. Voltmeter’s range is 10 to 16 VDC which is more than the previous product.

This product is a great purchase but like every good thing, it has some drawbacks. It is pricier than other analog gauge sets. The wiring is also not a standard size. So you might adjust them a bit.

Pros

  • The overall body is durable.
  • The Acrylic lens is flat.
  • Easy to monitor.

Cons

  • Might need wiring adjustments.

Product Overview 

Next in our list, we have another great product from SeaStar. Sierra 68388P Arctic 6-Gauge Set is one of the best sets for its price. 

We already know the service of SeaStar company. Their marine solutions have almost never failed to content their customers. They have a variety of marine gauge sets. If your budget is very low, Sierra 68388P Arctic 6-Gauge set is your perfect option. 

Like our previous product, this package also includes a tachometer, speedometer, fuel level, and voltmeter. It also includes water temperature and oil pressure gauge. All of them possess standard sizes.

The dials have perfect lighting and don’t disturb night vision. The depth of these gauges is 3/4”. The sending units are interchangeable for these analog gauges. So it can be used with a variety of boating vessels. 

The gauge set doesn’t include a harness. Therefore you might need a wiring harness to install them. These are not quite plug-and-play types. Other than that, it’s an excellent deal.

Pros

  • Perfect lighting.
  • Comes in a universal size.
  • Budget-friendly product.

Cons

  • Needs a wiring harness.

Product Overview 

And last but not least, we have Sierra International 65485P Sahara 6-Gauge. This product is one of the finest sets from SeaStar.

You may notice that the majority of our choices were from SeaStar. Because Seastar has been carrying a reputation in the marine instruments market. They have been serving their customers for almost 60 years without any major hiccups. 

This gauge set is almost identical to our previous product. This includes a mechanical speedometer. Also, it has fuel, tachometer, voltmeter, water temperature, and oil pressure gauge. 

The gauges have a universal size. Therefore you can use it for almost all kinds of boats. They have a plug-and-play feature. So you won’t face installation problems

This product has a few downsides. The lighting in the dials is not so adjustable. Also, the gauge set is more expensive than the products we have presented.

Pros

  • Avail in universal sizes.
  • The item is very easy to install.
  • Comes with a trim piece.

Cons

  • Expensive than others.
  • Dimmer light.

 

Buying Guide

While sailing your dearest boat you want it to be protected. For that, you need to monitor the water level, tide, or any danger that might be coming towards you. A compatible gauge set is the only thing that can help you protect your boat.

But in the vast market of marine gauges, it’s pretty difficult to get the best one. You need to keep some factors in mind for choosing the best one for your boat. Without these basic features in mind, you might get a bad set. And it may leave you with bigger damage.

Analog Vs Digital

In the marine gauge market you’ll see two kinds of marine gauge sets- analog and digital. Both of them are individually great but most of the customers prefer the digital one. Both types come with their own benefits and limits. 

The analog gauges have been used for centuries. They have traditionally been used in older boats and marine vessels. Typically if you have an old boat, not able to handle the newer technology, analog is your best bet. 

But the way our lifestyle is progressing, marine technology is also stepping hands in hands. So newer boats are more suitable with newer technology. Digital marine gauges have better LED dials. They contain digital reading so you might also store the perimeters.

The Motor Meter Racing Evo 6 Gauge set is digital. This product is highly recommended if you prefer a digital set. If you want to stick to analog then any of the other products mentioned will be a fit for you.

Types of Gauges

There are many types of gauges in a boat. Every gauge has its own function. But you might not need all the gauges as it might clatter your dashboard.

An ammeter gauge typically is used to measure electrical flow in amps. Whereas a voltmeter gauge is used to measure electrical pressure in volts. Most boats use voltmeters as monitoring pressure is more important.

There are also trim gauges to pitch or size prop correctly. The tachometer helps monitor the water speed at rpm. The fuel gauge monitors fuel amount to keep you alert of fuel needs. Oil pressure and water temperature gauges help sensor the water state.

Durability

Durability is a crucial factor in buying any product. Especially for the safety of your boat, you must need a durable and flexible gauge set. Gauges are made of different materials. 

The lenses on the dial are made of either glass or plastic. The plastic ones can melt at high temperatures. The glass ones are durable and flexible. In terms of durability Faria Beede Gauge set is highly recommended.

While buying your gauge you need to keep these factors in mind. You will surely find the perfect gauge for your boat.

FAQs

Question: Is a tachometer necessary for the boat?

Answer: A tachometer is what you use to measure the working speed of an engine. It is also used to pitch and size your prop accurately. The boat must tach out near maximum engine RPMs. That will make your engine last longer and you can operate it easily. SO, a tachometer is necessary for the board.

Question: Can you use a marine gauge in a car?

Answer: Even though marine gauges are not designed for cars, there are no restrictions. Depending on the voltage you can work them as car gauges. They are pretty rugged and also are water-resistant. So they can also be used in an open car.

Question: What can cause a fuel gauge to stop working?

Answer: The most common reason for fuel gauge failure is inaccurate fuel tank reading. This is caused by a sending system that reads the fuel tank level and sends the reading to the gauge. Fuel gauge failure can also be caused by blown fuses or corroded wiring.  

In Conclusion

In the end, it is clear that finding the best marine gauge is extremely difficult. Choosing one bad marine gauge can lead to fatality. It can create permanent damage. Needless to say, compatible gauges are necessary. To find your best match you need to understand gauges and how it suits your boat.

We have tried our best to compile the necessary information needed about gauges. We have also given a thorough guide to our recommended products. 

Hopefully, we can make an impact on your choice and help you towards better sailing. Thanks for reading. Have a great day!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to Top