Modernizing Your Boat Dash

7th July 2022

Is 2022 the year you decide to modernize your boat dashboard? To bring it into the digital age, or simply to smarten it up a bit with new displays? It’s not the massive overhaul that you could be expecting – especially if you are planning to move from analog to digital gauges.

Although analog gauges are often cheaper than digital, they can be less reliable and more inaccurate as they get older. The older the analog gauges get, the more likely they are to mist up, as water gets into the display, or the needle stops moving in the way it should. Whilst, some gauges can be repaired, generally when it gets to this stage in their life span these analog gauges just aren’t as accurate as their digital counterparts.

You may be wondering how you can change to digital displays if you have a mechanical engine without an engine control unit (ECU).

The answer is the round R3 three-inch display unit, a part of the Universal Engine Monitor product range.

R3 – 3” Universal Engine Monitor Display

This digital display can act as a drop-in replacement for analog gauges and has six analog and four digital inputs meaning that virtually whatever engine setup you have currently using it will be compatible with this display unit. Analog and digital inputs enable you to connect all your core senders and sensors, such as parameters related to fuel level, rudder angle, trim, depth, speed and heading to be displayed on the three-inch display.

As part of the Engine Monitor solution the R3 display comes pre-installed with the Universal Engine Monitor application which provides the styling of a traditional round analog gauge but a fully round LCD-color display with touch screen – there are no actual buttons – it features tap and swipe technology. You can swipe between Home Screens, as well as press on menu options for selection.

Benefits of the R3 with UEM software

There are many benefits to the round R3 three-inch display units which include a fully sunlight readable display which is sealed to meet the IP67 standard (see our article on understanding IP codes) meaning water and dust will not penetrate into the gauge or the display.

The engine monitoring application also features a Gateway function that enables analog data to be read from sensors into the R3 to be broadcast back out from the display onto a NMEA 2000 network, transmitting engine data to onboard multi-function displays.

And, to top it off it will make your dashboard look modern, slick and more aesthetically pleasing with the styling of a traditional analog gauge, the accuracy of modern digital technology and customized software ensuring it suits your requirements perfectly.

From a technical point of view if you do have an electronic engine (compatible with SAE J1939, NMEA 2000) the R3 has CANbus inputs which enables engine data to be read from the ECU, so you can blend your analog sensors with digital engine data.

Installation of the R3 UEM is straightforward and won’t require an engineer, as it is essentially a plug-and-play device providing the hole on the dash can accommodate the casing. Everything can be configured from the setup menu. Ongoing maintenance is also not necessary, other than for cleaning the R3 display glass as required, using a soft, damp cloth. What could be easier?

For more information on the R3 option of the Universal Engine Monitor and how it can provide you with years of trouble-free operation head over to our product page.