Outboard tachometer?

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Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:35 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26D

Outboard tachometer?

Post by svscott » Mon Mar 25, 2019 7:06 am

I'm planning to change out my original propeller on my 1998 Nissan nsf5a outboard with Tohatsu's " elephant ear" high thrust prop for better marina handling. I've never had any sort of tach or anything to monitor rpm, aside from my ears. I've already bolted on a 6hp Tohatsu carburetor for the somewhat inexpensive performance increase.
Can anyone recommend a low cost solution to add a tachometer? Before I swap the props, I'd like to note boat speeds and performance at particular revs.

I have found Tohatsu offers a tachometer for about $100, but that seems overly high for what it is, and I hope to find a budget oriented alternative.

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Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2014 8:15 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26S

Re: Outboard tachometer?

Post by Stevenhigbee » Mon Mar 25, 2019 8:07 am

I have a little battery-powered digital unit that the sell for under $20 that wrap around a spark plug wire, and display tach and hours of operation. Easy search on Amazon or Ebay.

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Re: Outboard tachometer?

Post by Seapup » Wed Mar 27, 2019 7:13 am

I have had a few, they all seem to work fine, even the cheapest $12 digital tiny tach. I like them for the hour meter. Even though they are supposed to be waterproof mine were not and ruined by rain, hence buying a few 8)

I bought one with a temp probe/alarm last time. Has a little ring that goes under the spark plug and gives a digital temp readout. Thinking was to add a high temp alarm for if the ports start to get salt restricted.

If you plan to use it as a gauge be sure to get one that is sunlight viewable. I got one of the blue led ones and it is almost impossible to read in the sun, the basic LCD version shows up fine.


Be sure to post up the results of the RPM/Speed and impressions of the prop swap. They are pretty common little motors so would be helpful to other owners.

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