SmartCraft

jbschmalz23jbschmalz23 Parkersburg, WVPosts: 211Member ✭✭✭
Visiting the idea of upgrading gauges again... my birthday is coming up and the wife really wants to get the gauges for me.. (didn't have to twist my arm, LOL) Just trying to figure out which route to go. I have been looking at the MercMonitor, which looks pretty nice and does a lot without a lot of expense, and also just the smartcraft sc1000 gauges and even the vesselview. My trim gauge and speedo isn't working right now. My thoughts were to maybe get the mercmonitor and new basic gauges for everything else. I have the multi gauge in the middle and speedo, tach and trim are the others. Seems I could put the mercmonitor in place of the tach, since it displays the RPMs. I don't want to have to cut new holes. Would like the chrome trim so that everything looks nice. If I go the VV route, I'm guessing I would need to do away with all the other gauges.. but not sure how to make a new dash piece like I see others have done on other posts. My challenge is figuring out what all I need. I know I will need the harness (not sure which length for my 280) and it looks like a junction box. Not sure what else.. Talked to Merc yesterday, VERY helpful.. they sent me some PDFs with some more info.. just trying to get a parts list together to see what I need, and how much of a chore it will be. Seems easy enough in thought...but figure it can be very challenging getting the harness from the engine to the dash.
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Comments

  • diggin2day1diggin2day1 Long Island, NYPosts: 1,210Member ✭✭✭✭
    I am in the process of adding a VesselView 4(it will be delivered tomorrow via FedEx!!). I have a 2002 FV270 and my motor barely made the cut for smartcraft capabilities. You will need a CAN extension harness (-879982t20 w/2 terminating resistors built-in)(blue data cable) and a J-Box **OR** -892452t01 Adapter (male to male cable adapter). I am replacing all my guages with the VesselView. My initial problem was that I have two analogue gauges(fuel and trim), but after speaking extensively with Mercury rep(Kim was his name) and giving him my engine serial number... I am going to be able to view both fuel and trim on the VV. I thought I would have to get a new digital fuel sender, but this is what he said I would need: 3-pin Fuel tank Harness- part# 84-864218. He said to look for large 10 pin harness from helm, follow to the T section where branches off(eng compartment)... There will be a "drop" off that harness- 3 pin plug/2 wires labeled "fuel level" (A-blk/pink tracer ..... B-light blue/blk tracer) unplug current sender and plug in new harness.  
    For the Digital trim- Off the transom(eng compartment) there is an orange/white (bullet plug)..... Analog (orange/light blue)... Unplug analog and plug in digital. 
    I know that all sounds a bit vague and sketchy right now, but as soon as I get into the engine bay and hook it up, I will post pictures and results. I was surprised to hear how simple it was and that I wasn't going to need a bunch of sensors and new trim tabs etc... 
  • jbschmalz23jbschmalz23 Parkersburg, WVPosts: 211Member ✭✭✭
    Yes! Definitely post pics and let me know how the wiring goes, in getting it from the engine to the dash? If you don't mind me asking, how much do you have in the whole setup? And are you going to take your old gauges out? I notice a lot of people remove their old gauges and make a nice mount right in the middle of the dash and fill in the old holes. Looks nice. 
  • Michael TMichael T Posts: 6,610Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    If I may add my 2 cents. Those "terminating resistors are needed to electrically close open terminals. When we expanded the NMEA 2000 data cable system on my 2013 EC 310 to add some extra equipment the tech did not order the terminating resistors - we had disagreed on the need. He was wrong. As soon as the resistors were added to open ports the system came to life. You guys are going to love the up-grade!
  • jbschmalz23jbschmalz23 Parkersburg, WVPosts: 211Member ✭✭✭
    MT, did you upgrade to the VV or the gauges? And did you do away with your other gauges? Was it pricey having someone do it? Debating on having gains one to put it in or venture it on my own. Lol. 
  • Michael TMichael T Posts: 6,610Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    @JB - I already had vessel view 7.... I just extended the data cable to give me a few more ports. For example, I added an auxiliary drift alarm for my GPS so it would sound an alarm down in the cabin at night if we drifted more than a set number of feet while at anchor. It was the only friggin' way I could sleep! LOL
  • jbschmalz23jbschmalz23 Parkersburg, WVPosts: 211Member ✭✭✭
    So lucky to have this forum for all the feedback. MT, I bet that's a beautiful boat. If we ever upgrade, it's definitely going to be a 310! Not too big but big enough. My 280 was a huge difference from my old 250. This forum has also been bad because I get a lot of ideas! Hahaha. I like the alarm idea.. Always afraid to drift off to sleep in the cabin and wake up 10 miles down the river, or wake up to a barge horn! Just hoping I can figure out which route to go and keep my dash looking nice. 
  • diggin2day1diggin2day1 Long Island, NYPosts: 1,210Member ✭✭✭✭
    jbschmalz23- Not sure how it is on the 280, but in my 270 getting the wire up to the helm was a piece-o-cake. I took the forward starboard speaker (next to captains chair) out to help pull/push wire up to helm. 
        I currently have a Mercury Gateway and NMEA2000 network installed. The gateway basically takes the Smartcraft information and puts it into the NMEA2000 network so it can be displayed on my Garmin 741xs Chartplotter. It really works fantastic and I'm able to see oil pressure, water temp, GPH(awesome!!!), engine hours, tachometer, etc... The only reason why I'm replacing the gateway with the VV4 is because I want the information in front of me AT ALL TIMES and not have to switch between screens on my Chartplotter. Some people question the use for all the electronics and removal of all the gauges.... My answer "because I love this sh*t!!!" I also wonder if I'm just wasting money/time putting all this effort into a 2002 FV270, but then I realize.... I'm happy when I'm working on her and I'm happy when I'm admiring the work I've done to her. I'm pretty new to the "boating scene"(only 3 years), but man I love it!!! 
  • Michael TMichael T Posts: 6,610Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    @D2D1 - AWESOME - great ANTHEM for boating! What you said - these are OUR rules!
  • jbschmalz23jbschmalz23 Parkersburg, WVPosts: 211Member ✭✭✭
    So tomorrow is my birthday, and the wife couldn't wait any longer to surprise me with my birthday present...She got me the vessel view 7.. I must say I think she did well. So now I guess my post is changing from the smart craft gauges to... How should I customize my dash for the vessel view? Looks like most people do away with their analog gauges totally, and put a new panel in with the vv. really excited for spring now!
  • diggin2day1diggin2day1 Long Island, NYPosts: 1,210Member ✭✭✭✭
    That's awesome.... Congrats!!! I can't wait to get my VV4 fired up. My dash panels are fiberglassed and ready to be painted/hydrographics/clear coated.... All the work came to a screeching halt with the cold weather and pending snow storm headed my way. Need it to get a little warmer and I'll get this baby hooked up!
  • Michael TMichael T Posts: 6,610Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    @jb23 Happy Birthday, great Admiral you have! Vessel View 7......awesome!
  • Cableguy GregCableguy Greg Pittsburgh, PAPosts: 3,935Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    That is awesome!!! I would be happy with a Smart Craft tach and the 4 in 1 gauge.
    2008 280 Express Cruiser, 6.2MPI, B3, Pittsburgh, PA "Blue Ayes"
    Go Steelers!!!
  • jbschmalz23jbschmalz23 Parkersburg, WVPosts: 211Member ✭✭✭
    Thanks guys, that's what I was thinking I would get. She snooped in my manuals and got the SNs for the engine and called merc. I was just hoping for maybe a merc monitor. Lol. Can't wait to figure out how I'm going to set it up in the boat. May call rinker and see if I can get a blank panel. We also found a site: www.tecnografic.com. I think they'll make a panel any way you like. Can't wait for the warm weather! 
  • Michael TMichael T Posts: 6,610Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    ........ you have to love a woman that "snoops"  in your tech manuals.....
  • jbschmalz23jbschmalz23 Parkersburg, WVPosts: 211Member ✭✭✭
    Hahaha that's for sure! I was impressed. She had been watching what I was looking at on the iPad. I explained to her that the vessel view was the best of the best on the gauges. She knew I would never go out and spend that money on myself. 
  • jbschmalz23jbschmalz23 Parkersburg, WVPosts: 211Member ✭✭✭
    When I talked to merc a few weeks ago when I was asking about the SC gauges, when I gave them my SN he said I should have the harness already at my helm that I shouldn't have to run the harness. Anyone have any experience on that? Would be really nice if its just a simple plug and play. But that's usually not my luck. 
  • Cableguy GregCableguy Greg Pittsburgh, PAPosts: 3,935Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    If you have the digital throttle, then I would say yes, you have the harness at the helm. If you don't, then I don't think that rinker ran it from the engine to the helm. If they didn't, access on the 280 isn't all that bad. Remove the speaker at the helm, the access panel under the seat, and the A/C cover in the aft cabin. That should be the easiest route to get from the engine room to the helm.
    2008 280 Express Cruiser, 6.2MPI, B3, Pittsburgh, PA "Blue Ayes"
    Go Steelers!!!
  • wm61356wm61356 Harrison Twp., MIPosts: 201Member ✭✭✭
    I am also interested in changing out my gauges to smart craft. The first thing I would like to change out are the Tachs. I've had them repaired twice and they still work erratically. I have digital throttles/shifts on my 2009 320 with 350 Mags. How can I determine if  the wiring I need is already at the helm? Sorry if I am hijacking this post. This is a topic I'd like to learn more about.
  • MarkBMarkB OntarioPosts: 3,290Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    If you have Faria gauges you will definitely need to run a wire from the helm to the engine to plug into the harness.

    Boat Name: King Kong

    "Boat + Water = Fun"

  • jbschmalz23jbschmalz23 Parkersburg, WVPosts: 211Member ✭✭✭
    Not hijacking at all! I love this forum because once others chime in I learn a lot more. I'm learning a lot about the smart craft technology. I'm just hoping I can get it all set up how i picture it in my head. It never is tht easy. The guy at merc said I should already have the harness at the helm even without DTS, but I find that hard to believe. I would think if it was already there they would have splurged for the better gauges from the start. Thanks for the info on the access Greg. That was my biggest concern of how to get the harness from engine to helm!
  • jme097jme097 Algonac, MIPosts: 1,223Member ✭✭✭
    jb let me know how the install goes. I got the same exact boat (year and everything). I was thinking about exploring this route as well!
    Boat Name: Knot A Worry
    2007 280 Rinker Express 6.2L B3
  • rasburyrasbury Sanford, FLPosts: 5,312Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    wow, as a low tech guy I'm a little shocked I'm that far behind the curve...I suppose especially in the bigger boats/twin motors perhaps keeping up with gauge reading is an issue....my tach does not work but I can feel the motor and hear it just fine, my speedo does not work but I have my Garmin which is much more accurate any way and it has an alert I can program for sleeping at night if I drift- just a little amazed to spend the kind of money your talking about and what you get out of it....just not as much of a gadget guy as I thought!
  • MarkBMarkB OntarioPosts: 3,290Member ✭✭✭✭✭

    Ras, there is use for the smart craft.

    1) You can set engine RPMs from 500 - 800 rpm. I use that for fishing, much more sensitive speed control than with the throttle stick. Also, when I go into my marina, I can push rpms right down to 500 and slow down! Without it, the engine runs around 600 - 650 RPM.

    2) I get fuel consumption. So dividing speed by consumption, I get mileage. I know the sweet spot to run my boat at during long hauls.

    3) I get fuel consumption!  Not a mistake duplication. With this I know when it's time to refill the tank. I hate relying on the fuel sending unit. Especially when it's bouncing around. Knowing exactly how many gallons I've used, I know when it's time, and I know how much it's going to take to fill the tank.

    4) Get much better diagnostics, like water pressure, and error codes get displayed.

    I think it was one of my best investments on my boat.

    Boat Name: King Kong

    "Boat + Water = Fun"

  • Michael TMichael T Posts: 6,610Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    Ras vessel view is amazing.  Whether it is worth a retrofit depends,  imo,  on the value of the  boat,  how much it will be used and how long it will be kept before trade/resale. 
  • rasburyrasbury Sanford, FLPosts: 5,312Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    How much we talking? What kind of neighborhood we walkin?
  • MarkBMarkB OntarioPosts: 3,290Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    $1000 Canadian installed by someone else. If you do it probably $650.

    Boat Name: King Kong

    "Boat + Water = Fun"

  • Cableguy GregCableguy Greg Pittsburgh, PAPosts: 3,935Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    I was thinking about the mercmonitor gauge to replace my tach. It will give me the RPM, hours and more. For the type of boating that I do on the river, VesselView might be a little much for me. I would just like to know more about what is going on with the engine.
    2008 280 Express Cruiser, 6.2MPI, B3, Pittsburgh, PA "Blue Ayes"
    Go Steelers!!!
  • jme097jme097 Algonac, MIPosts: 1,223Member ✭✭✭
    definitely worth it in my opinion. Just kinda pricey but highly worth it
    Boat Name: Knot A Worry
    2007 280 Rinker Express 6.2L B3
  • StodgeStodge Lake St. ClairPosts: 2,478Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2016
    You may need to get a tech to assist on the install.  At least in my case, both motors thought they were the starboard motor.  I had to have my port motor changed to think it was port side.  Basically the tech plugged a laptop into the ECM using a special plug and software and 5 minutes later it was all done.  Before that my VV was confused.

    @MarkB, I've heard that if you feed GPS/speedo to your VV it can figure out the MPG.  I was going to do that for mine, but my GPS has only 1 NMEA0183 port which is in use by my VHF for AIS.  My VV is Gen 1 and can only accept NMEA0183.  I have considered getting a standalone GPS/speedo puck but I can do the math for free.

    2002 FV 342 on Lake St. Clair - Past Commodore SHC - Vessel Examiner USCGAUX

  • Dream_InnDream_Inn Annapolis, MDPosts: 5,316Member, Moderator mod
    I've always had luck finding a used one on Ebay and installing it myself.  I think I spent $300 on my current VV.  To me, the last thing Mark mentioned, is probably the most important.  Anytime you have an alarm, it pops up and in plain English tells you what it is.  It pays for itself after one alarm.  Having water pressure, how can you beat that.  You know exactly when your impeller is getting weak.  Real-time fuel consumption.  Again, that will pay for itself as well.  Many other things too!!

    Dream 'Inn III -- 2008 400 Express

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