Case Study: Relentless FloScan—A Smart Upgrade for Older Recreational Vessels
There are thousands of well-maintained older recreational vessels on the water today that continue to provide their owners with years of fishing and cruising pleasure. The Relentless, a 1989 37’ Topaz Express Fisherman, is a prime example. Purchased two years ago, the boat was in serviceable condition, but in need of some mechanical work, updating and a whole lot of TLC. One of the most important upgrades along with new navigational electronics was a FloScan FloNet fuel computer that was purchased and installed by the new owner.
FloScan has over 30 years of experience designing and manufacturing fuel flow monitoring systems for marine, civil aviation and industrial generator use and offers owners of recreational vessels the most accurate and dependable systems for both gasoline and diesel engines on the water today. With over 750,000 installed to date their rugged and dependable fuel flow sensors can be combined with an array of gauge packages or the FloNet NEMA 2000 network hub that links fuel consumption data to a vessel’s compatible onboard electronics. This provides instantaneous and continuous fuel usage, the critical link in fine tuning engine RPM with hull dynamics and prevailing sea conditions to assure the vessel is being operated as economically as possible. Linked with modern GPS/chart plotters the FloScan fuel data can be transformed into a remarkable navigational tool. The fuel consumption data also serves as an early warning system for potential operational problems by immediately reflecting fuel consumption anomalies that can be associated with a damaged propeller, hull fouling, clogged injectors and other problems often before they can cause major mechanical failures and expensive repair bills.
A Short Vessel History:
The Relentless is a privately owned recreational fishing vessel purchased in 2011 by Tom Trageser of Brick, New Jersey. Tom is a business executive, avid saltwater fisherman, husband and father of three young daughters. One of his previous boats was a 24’ Topaz, which he owned while still living on the south shore of Long Island, New York.
The Topaz Yacht Company was the brainchild of Pat Patteson, also avid offshore fisherman and boater builder who was attracted to a style of vessel typically called a day-fisherman. These boats offered reasonable accommodations below, but most were not considered live-aboards. They were designed specifically for fishing with one to two day offshore capability. Patteson founded Topaz Yachts in Owing, Maryland, in 1974 and launched his first boat in time for the Annapolis Boat Show that same year. His initial offerings were 24’ and 28’ models, but in 1980 he introduced what was among the first modern express fishing boats with the debut of classic Topaz 36. At its peak, Topaz offered 8 models from 24 to 50 feet LOA. The 37 Express was one of the company’s most popular models. It remained in production until the company fell on hard times