Equipment:Fast Response Craft Keep Close Eye on Fuel

Friday, January 10, 2003
As the USCG builds its burgeoning fleet of fast patrol boats as an integral plank in the Homeland Security platform, it is ensuring that these vital boats don't run out of gas. Built by Safe Boats International — which has delivered 30 of these defender class boats with 100 more on order — and powered by a pair of 225-hp Honda four-stroke outboards, these 25-ft. boats carry just 125 gallons of gas and depend on FloScan fuel monitoring equipment to help bring them home. With a top speed of 40+ knots, the boats, at wide-open throttle, will burn fuel fairly quickly.

The FloScan instrument monitors both the remaining fuel supply and the burn rate in terms of gallon per hour, allowing the skipper to regulate speed accordingly. FloScan Instrument Co. of Seattle is supplying its TwinScan instruments for the boat, a model that displays gallons-per-hour for port and starboard engines with aircraft-style, illuminated opposing pointers, plus a lighted digital display of total fuel consumed.

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