We’re Looking For An Official Ruling On Fuel Sticks!

Fuel Stick Three sided

Terrys three sided Fuel Stick

To continue OCD week, today we talk about Chris Craft Fuel Sticks. Now, if you are a Boat Buzz regular, this topic has been covered. But many photos are missing, so there isn’t a lot of reference material. Fellow Woody Boater Terry Limehouse had made a very cool three sided stick out of mahogany. He used to work at a marina back in the day and these were the sticks he used. But we’ve seen some that are just flat, and are looking for a Chris – Craft factory match.


Photo from Chad Durren on the Boat Buzz!

So does anyone have an original stick photo to share. We do realize that they all measure differently for different tanks. Do they all have the Hull number stamped into them? So today, we are leaving up to the peanut gallery for help!

27 replies
  1. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    The three sided stick has markings in different places on the three sides. Is it fair to assume that those markings are for different boats with different sized tanks?

    On the stick I am using I have marked Full. Half is half is half no matter how you look at it, and I can guess the rest from there I guess.

  2. Tuobanur
    Tuobanur says:

    One of the reasons for the three sided stick is that it shows gallons, if all the marks were on one side it would be a bit cluttered and difficult to read. The other reason is I thought it looked cool. 🙂

  3. Rick
    Rick says:

    Mine is just a dowel. I started with an empty tank at the start of a season and cut notches as I added fuel.

  4. Greg Wallace
    Greg Wallace says:

    Basic formula for marking stick for use on a cylindrical tank.

    30% of diameter = 1/4 volume

    50% of diameter = 1/2 volume (duh)

    70% of diameter = 3/4 volume

    • Mike K
      Mike K says:

      what about full?

      on another note, as we were ferrying on the runway in st maarten yesterday, a private jet had the tail number M FINE
      i swear to GOD! i didnt get my phone out in time to snap a shot!

      matt, your group is pretty high end, whirlly birds, private jets, fancy boats!


      • Geek
        Geek says:

        Per google aircraft tail prefix “M” is Isle of Man.
        Didn’t say length of fuel stick for a private jet.

  5. Gary
    Gary says:

    When I was a kid one of my fathers airplanes had the fuel tank in front of the windshield and a fuel cap with a bent wire rising up. That was the fuel gauge!
    A Boeing 247 has an air pump on the panel that you push once to get the fuel tank level. The air pressure in the line going to the bottom of the fuel tank is indicated on the fuel gauge by quarter, half and full. As you can guess it is good for only a few moments.
    Best of all is my ’37 Gar Wood which has an actual fuel gauge!

  6. Randy
    Randy says:

    Don’t have any pictures (never though in my wildest imagination a need for one), but my parents bought a new 30′ C-C Constellation cruiser in 1964 and it came with a fuel tank measuring stick. We checked the tank level often when cruising. It was about 3/4″ square and marked in 1/4-tank increments.
    Our family enjoyed that boat until the late ’80’s.

  7. Tom Gruenauer
    Tom Gruenauer says:

    There was an article in ether the Rudder or Brass Bell on this topic. Great photos and everything. I don’t have access right now to my back issues.

  8. Brian Flaherty
    Brian Flaherty says:

    Our 1969 Cavalier Ski Boat came with a 1/2″ diameter Mahogany dowel with marks on one end for 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, and full… The other end just has 1/2, and full… Although if I actually fill the tank anywhere near the full mark I get fuel pouring out of the vent on the transom (which I attribute to ours being hull number 16 and they may not have figured out the perfect for the vent yet). I don’t know if it the original Chris Craft stick but it is nearly identical to my father’s stick in his ’54 Racing Rubabout..

    • Brian Flaherty
      Brian Flaherty says:

      BTW, the white rigger’s tape is not original, a slightly intoxicated deck hand snapped the stick during an emergency unpacking of the gunwale storage. Rather than trying to make a new stick we “mended” the original…

  9. Captain Nemo
    Captain Nemo says:

    Original to a 28′ Chris Sedan with Flybridge, it’s 3/4″ square about 4′ long. Marked 1/4-1/2-/3/4-full. It’s made of oak. The previous owner said someone offered him $200.oo for it. I told him he should have taken it.
    I made another from a chart showing the gallon increments.

  10. Ron Tracy
    Ron Tracy says:

    I remanufactured my fuel stick out of 3/8 square mahogany with router rounded corners. I found a couple neoprene o-rings that fit snug and I mark the fuel level with the upper one before a cruise and the lower other after returning. That way I have a good reference as to the fuel burn rate per hour.

  11. Dave Moore
    Dave Moore says:


    • David Northrup
      David Northrup says:

      Hi Matt,
      I have a 1960 CAA45 0016 out of 56. I like to know where can i get a new fuel stick for her. what information do i need for it. She has gas tanks.

  12. Matt
    Matt says:

    So I suppose the question here is? Is the one in Chads photo with the info stamped in it right? Clearly Dave’s ones are right? Are both right? We need a ruling on this?

  13. Chad
    Chad says:

    Mine has to be right, right? Just look at the photo. It’s clearly an original because… because it just looks original! Plus, I sent a sliver of the stick to a lab to have it carbon-dated. Not only were they able to give me an accurate date of production, but they were able to sample some DNA found on the sliver. It was a perfect match to one of the employees at the Cadillac plant at the time.

    And C’mon! Dave didn’t even take a picture of his sticks next to a tape measure. And he types in ALL CAPS. Who does that? Why is he YELLING!?

    60% of the time I am 100% right.

    • Alex
      Alex says:

      Nice try Chad. Except that was obviously a satellite photo of L.A. traffic. Or was it an Area 51 attack? I forget which.

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