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Old 11-05-2007
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Improving Cabin Ventilation

Has anyone had good or bad experiences with Nicro Day/Night Plus solar-powered vents to improve cabin ventilation? They seem like a good way to maintain some airflow through the cabin during the days Iím not on the boat.

Iím thinking about installing one in the hatch above the V-berth and another in the main cabin hatch. Iím concerned about cutting holes in these hatches and having a less than watertight seal, but I really donít want to cut holes through the deck for them.
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Old 11-06-2007
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I installed one on my hatch for the same reason you are considering it - I didn't want to go through the deck. Being in the deep south, I put one in to keep the humidity levels equal and prevent condensation as much as possible, since I cleaned up a lot of mildew when I bought the boat.

I recommend getting a hole saw for the job - a Dremel did the trick for me but was a bit messy and time-consuming, and the result left a bit to be desired... and I just can't bring myself to spend $25 for a interior trim ring to cover up my craftmanship (or lack thereof). The instructions recommended a polyurethane adhesive - 3M 4200 worked well and the seal is watertight, but has been loosened by jib sheets getting snagged between the vent and the hatch, usually when first unfurled. I need to reseat the Nicro and rotate it so the sheets go up and over to be sure, or rig up some type of "cow catcher"... you'll see what I mean from the pictures:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/phallo1...7600202930627/

The fan is pretty quiet and so far has lived up to it's billing. It's been running over six months now and I've never arrived at the boat without it running full bore - morning or evening.

If you're putting in two, they recommend setting one for exhaust and one for intake.
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Last edited by phallo153; 11-06-2007 at 12:28 AM. Reason: Add link to pictures
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Old 11-06-2007
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phallo153, so how did the fan work for you ? No more mildew ?
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Old 11-06-2007
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I also installed one in the hatch above the V-berth and another in the main cabin. My hatch already had a 4 inch Manuel vent, so I just removed the screws and installed the solar vent. Same screw pattern. But my vents stopped working and I am returning them now. When they did work, the boat was much cooler, and had no musty smells.
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Old 11-06-2007
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They work. I replaced a passive unit and couldn't be happier. Make sure you charge the 9V before installation. Actually have another in the box that is available.
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Old 11-06-2007
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I have two of them installed on my boat. One is setup just aft of the mast and exhausts air from the boat, the other is right by the companionway, and acts to pull air into the boat. The cabin temperature has dropped considerably—at least 15–20˚cooler on a hot summer day.

They make them in two very different designs... one uses a plastic snap-in deck plate, the other uses a stainless steel screw-in deckplate to hold the ventilator, and comes with a bronze deck plate to close off the opening when the vent is removed. If you plan on sailing in heavy weather at all, you'd be wise to get the latter, not the former. BTW, I have the latter kind.

That said, the do keep the cabin relatively dry against spray, rain and other such...but wouldn't in the case of green water sweeping the deck.
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Old 11-06-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trantor12020 View Post
phallo153, so how did the fan work for you ? No more mildew ?
I haven't noticed any yet, but I've only been to the boat once in the past 5 weeks ... still laid up waiting for engine parts. Don't get me started.

SD, the Day/Night Plus that I have has a damper, simply pushing up on the white fan housing closes the vent completely. IIRC, the Plus is a recent model and isn't compatible with deck plates... another reason (for me anyway) not to go through the deck

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Old 11-07-2007
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We have three Nirco vents on our boat and I cant say enough good about them. they will however not completely elimanate mildew if you are on your boat for extended periods. all of ours pull air out of the boat. We also have two aimable dorade vents. The boat is usually the same temp as the outside air or cooler. definatly worth having.
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I've got a new Nicro Day/Night. Going to put it on the forward hatch. There is a rubber gasket on the mating surface between the vent and hatch. Should I use sealand there or not. Shouldn't the gasket be enough to seal ?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SDJohn View Post
Has anyone had good or bad experiences with Nicro Day/Night Plus solar-powered vents to improve cabin ventilation?
The PO of our boat replaced the passive ventilation that was forward of the mast, on the port side, that was over the head, with one of these. (Probably not a "Plus," tho.) He fabricated (or it came with?) a "plug" to replace it when under sail, so green water couldn't come in and foredeck crew wouldn't be stomping on it.

It doesn't really push all that much air. I doubt it does much, if anything, to cool the cabin on hot days. I can't imagine even two of them, in push-pull, even if each was rated at double the volume of ours, doing much to cool the cabin. But perhaps that fan is why the cabin never smells musty, even after having been buttoned-up for a week in humid weather? If so: It's definitely worth it just for that.

The battery in ours has pretty much had it. Terminals look corroded and if it's out of the light very long, it stops. (/me adds that one to his "winter to do" list.)

Jim
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