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    Smart Craft Vessel View Mobile

    We just purchased a 2018 VR5 Bayliner with 4.5l 200 HP engine. Amazingly, the boat doesn't come with an hour meter. Ran across a Mercruiser device, Smart Craft Vessel View mobile while says it will connect to iPhone and provide engine data in real-time. Amazon reviews are generally good but thought it better to check here. Anyone have experience with this device on same or similar boat/engine?

    #2
    I have a bit of experience with using it. I got it because of continuing problems with my speedometer, my tach, and fuel gauge. I’ve found it to be very accurate and I get fuel consumed, fuel consumption rate, total hours, rpms, speed over ground (not relative to the water), fuel remaining, oil pressure, engine temp, etc. what you will be able to display may depend on your engine. Pretty easy to install if the harness for it is properly marked. There are several useful threads you can search for by more than one of us on installation, etc. the app could be better, but it’s usable. So, I’ve got a RAM type mount for my iPhone on the dash and that’s what I use instead of the gauges. It’s definitely worth the money.
    Bayliner 195 Bowrider 2013 4.3l 220hp MPI
    Alpha 1, Gen II
    2012 Toyota Highlander V6 4wd with tow package
    Albany, Ohio

    MMSI: 338234042

    Less than 250 days until retirement.


    Beware the men of measured merriment
    (Sinclair Lewis, Arrowsmith, paraphrased)

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      #3
      Mercruiser also make a similar device called the MercMonitor. It acts as a NMEA 2000 gateway and standalone display. It can display this data itself, plus can send the data to a NMEA 2000 information to a device like a chartplotter if you have one. Many chartplotters can display engine info natively on their screens.
      Terry
      1999 Bayliner 3388
      Twin Cummins 4BTA
      Fisherman, Cruiser, Boaticus-enthusiasticus-maximus
      Member Royal Victoria Yacht Club

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        #4
        Thank you very much for your responces and good information. Much appreciated!

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          #5
          The Vessel View module is one of the best investments I made in my new VR5 last year. I have found the GPS speedometer, RPM meter, fuel consumption rates to be invaluable when spending the day cruising. My only criticism is that the fuel level must be manually updated when the tank is filled. Using the vessel view, I was able to diagnose and correct an improperly installed tachometer, and fix the same myself with just a screwdriver. Like you, I was concerned about the lack of a run hour meter and was considering installing one, only to find the Vessel View Module reads the onboard computer- another cost savings. Installation was BREEZE following the included instructions.

          Brad

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            #6
            Thank you for taking time to offer a thoughtful response and share your experience. Sounds like an excellent accessory I will soon add.
            Steve

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              #7
              two seasons with my 2017 VR5 and VVM installed. Easy to install and the info provided is awesome... I had a thread but for some reason all the pics have been removed.

              https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...le-gctid817867

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                #8
                We purchased it this summer for our VR5 4.5L 200.

                Seems to work as advertised.
                It can be accessed from more than one phone, so I don't have to give up my phone if someone else is using the boat and wants access to the info.

                Kinda wish we would have purchased it sooner.

                And yes, it does provide access to the internal hourmeter.
                When away from the boat, it will still have some of the data (like engine hours) available from the last time it was connected to the engine.

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                  #9
                  The one informative critical review of VVM I've seen complained that it's not good if you do run-and-gun type fishing. That is, you move the boat to a spot, shut down and drift while you fish for a bit, then move to a different spot, shut down and drift, repeat. Their complaint was that the VVM unit shuts down every time you shut down the engine. And because it connects to your phone/tablet via Bluetooth, when you turn the engine on you have to wait for the BT pairing to complete before you can see engine data. I don't have VVM so I dunno how credible this is, but it sounds believable. The guy suggested a MercMonitor or VesselView Link instead if you plan to use it this way.

                  The other drawback I've been able to glean is that the data only goes one-way. You can read engine data with your phone/tablet. But the engine control functions are missing (smart tow, troll control). I'm not sure about Eco mode (runs your engine at best fuel efficiency RPM), as I didn't know it existed until after I did this research. The email I got from European Marine (see below) also says VVM doesn't report engine water pressure.

                  The MercMonitor has a similar drawback. You get troll control and smart tow on the MercMonitor. But not via your chartplotter getting data from the MercMonitor via NMEA 2000 gateway. The gateway is basically one-way (data moves from the MercMonitor to the NMEA 2000 network, not the other way). Probably doesn't matter for your boat, but it makes a difference if you have a flybridge boat with two helms.

                  VesselView Link (not Mobile) is kinda like a NMEA 2000 gateway (it replaces the old SmartCraft gateway which had the same limitation as above). Except it allows a compatible chartplotter to send data back to the engine. So a compatible chartplotter with VesselView Link has all the functionality that a MercMonitor has. Its drawback is that you can only access this data and functionality via your chartplotter. Whereas the MercMonitor is a separate console item which will function even if your chartplotter dies.

                  I suggest you contact parts@europeanmarine.org asking them about their VesselView and MercMonitor offerings. Include your engine serial number and make/year/model. Mention that you're a member of Bass Boat Central (http://www.bbcboards.net - make a free account) and they will give you a discount on pricing. They will send you a *very* informative email outlining all the different options and what features they do/don't have. Their discounted price on VVM was $238 when I asked a month ago, and they will give you a *ton* of support on installation and setup. I learned more from their one email than I'd been able to figure out from weeks of scouring the web. You can also get support from the Mercury 4-stroke forum on bbcboards.net. The moderator of that forum is the VP or President or European Marine and very knowledgeable.
                  1994 2556, 350 MAG MPI Horizon, Bravo 2

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Solandri View Post
                    The one informative critical review of VVM I've seen complained that it's not good if you do run-and-gun type fishing. That is, you move the boat to a spot, shut down and drift while you fish for a bit, then move to a different spot, shut down and drift, repeat. Their complaint was that the VVM unit shuts down every time you shut down the engine. And because it connects to your phone/tablet via Bluetooth, when you turn the engine on you have to wait for the BT pairing to complete before you can see engine data. I don't have VVM so I dunno how credible this is, but it sounds believable. The guy suggested a MercMonitor or VesselView Link instead if you plan to use it this way.

                    The other drawback I've been able to glean is that the data only goes one-way. You can read engine data with your phone/tablet. But the engine control functions are missing (smart tow, troll control). I'm not sure about Eco mode (runs your engine at best fuel efficiency RPM), as I didn't know it existed until after I did this research. The email I got from European Marine (see below) also says VVM doesn't report engine water pressure.

                    The MercMonitor has a similar drawback. You get troll control and smart tow on the MercMonitor. But not via your chartplotter getting data from the MercMonitor via NMEA 2000 gateway. The gateway is basically one-way (data moves from the MercMonitor to the NMEA 2000 network, not the other way). Probably doesn't matter for your boat, but it makes a difference if you have a flybridge boat with two helms.

                    VesselView Link (not Mobile) is kinda like a NMEA 2000 gateway (it replaces the old SmartCraft gateway which had the same limitation as above). Except it allows a compatible chartplotter to send data back to the engine. So a compatible chartplotter with VesselView Link has all the functionality that a MercMonitor has. Its drawback is that you can only access this data and functionality via your chartplotter. Whereas the MercMonitor is a separate console item which will function even if your chartplotter dies.

                    I suggest you contact parts@europeanmarine.org asking them about their VesselView and MercMonitor offerings. Include your engine serial number and make/year/model. Mention that you're a member of Bass Boat Central (http://www.bbcboards.net - make a free account) and they will give you a discount on pricing. They will send you a *very* informative email outlining all the different options and what features they do/don't have. Their discounted price on VVM was $238 when I asked a month ago, and they will give you a *ton* of support on installation and setup. I learned more from their one email than I'd been able to figure out from weeks of scouring the web. You can also get support from the Mercury 4-stroke forum on bbcboards.net. The moderator of that forum is the VP or President or European Marine and very knowledgeable.
                    You are correct...though I guess i don't consider those "drawbacks" because it was clear (at least to me) that it was not intended to be part of a control system; it is just a set of gauges and other info that connect through your phone. I do some "run and gun" fishing....and I am usually chasing fish or birds short distances and don't worry about the gauges (though I often leave the engine running). If I do want the gauges after a shutdown, I turn VVM on....it takes about 3 seconds of my attention and maybe 8 seconds in total. It is most helpful when starting out for an outing; I can check how much fuel I used since my last fillup (though I usually fill up upon returning), I make sure that oil pressure and temps are good, and away i go.......

                    i have trolling control on my digital yamaha F300. It's nice but IMO not critical....I can control the digital and mechanical controls pretty finely......

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