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Old 01-25-2012
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DIY ventilation

I want to put some powered ventilation in my hunter 25 to reduce that "boat" smell in the summer. There is very little wind in the marina itself during the summer, so passive ventilation won't really do the job. Now, I could buy two solar vents for $140 each, but that would eat into my new sails budget. So some sort of DIY solution is I think necessary.

I have been looking into some DC fans as a possible solution. Here's a link to a simple one http://www.amazon.com/O2-Cool-Portab...ef=pd_sim_hg_2.

Here's my idea. I install a cheap passive vent (maybe a mushroom vent) in the hatch over the v-berth. Then I make a bracket in my extra companionway board, the one with the mosquito screen. I take the fan out of the original case, and mount it on this bracket in such a way as to suck air out of the cabin. It would be installed in such a way that fingers won't get cut in the blades, maybe with some mosquito netting over the back of it. Then I build, essentially, a clam vent over the outside of the companionway board. This way air can be pushed out but rain won't come in. For sailing the regular hatch would be used, but when at the slip I could plug in the fan and leave it going after I leave for consistent ventilation.

Has this been done? Anyone foresee issues with this method?
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Old 01-25-2012
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If you have a solar panel and a battery, a computer fan in any vent will do the same job , for around $2 .
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Old 01-25-2012
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Peter, it might be easier to make a spare hatchboard, install some PVC and a computer fan in the middle of it, and let it exhaust out that way. I suspect a large computer fan would be tolerant of the raw voltage from a small solar panel ("12" may float to 20) and work well enough without any regulation/control between the two. A slightly larger panel and a 12-volt alarm/emergency lighting battery might be enough to run it 24x7 as well, still on a budget under $50 for the whole project.

If you have any transom vents on the boat, putting the fan under one of them may also work out as a totally invisible solution. if a little water gets to the fan...$5 is cheap enough to carry a spare and make it disposable.
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Old 01-25-2012
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Dorade Boxs are a great aid to keep the boat fresh and plenty of space to add a fan BUT keep out the water




All my hatch boards have SS louvered vents as well as some in the cockpit to down below and the allow a LOT of air movement
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Old 01-26-2012
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Get the boat out of the marina more often.

Seriously, I would second the unregulated computer fan on it's own solar panel. Maybe plug the system in at home for a few days just to make sure is doesn't burst into flames...
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Old 01-26-2012
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I just feel like a computer fan isn't really moving much air. But I could be wrong about that... I'll def check it out as it would be a pretty cost effective solution...
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Old 01-26-2012
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Forget the fans. They will not move enough air to make a difference here.

You need to fix the root cause of the smell.
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Old 01-26-2012
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Treilley's right--ventalation is for condensation and damp only

Quote:
Originally Posted by treilley View Post
Forget the fans. They will not move enough air to make a difference here.

You need to fix the root cause of the smell.
My last boat; dry bilges, portable head kept clean, no smell at all.

This boat, the first season... oh my. Dry bilges, but permieated hoses and a foul holding tank vent.

If a computer fan is NOT enough to fix a slight smell of damp, something needs fixing.

After a few fixes; just a little ventilation and no smell.
Sail Delmarva: The Easy Button
Sail Delmarva: Holding Tank Odors vs. Carbon Vent Filter

Wet bilges are also a common odor source. Sometimes I ge ta little water in one of my crash tanks, and I can tell before long....
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Last edited by pdqaltair; 01-26-2012 at 05:29 PM.
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Old 01-26-2012
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True , but when friends found their boats full of mold, they put forced ventilation in ,and had no further problems with mold. A computer fan for $2 will move just as much air as a $125 solar vent. Not many CFM's, but over 24 hours a day, for many days, it adds up considerably. That' a lot of minutes,at any CFM rate.
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Old 01-26-2012
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Just a thought -- I haven't actually done anything along these line on my boat yet....but, another thing to consider is getting the air moving within the boat. Exchanging air with the outside is definitely a must. However, to make ventilation really effective there needs to be some movement of the air that is already trapped inside the boat. This dawned on me the other day when I steam-cleaned the carpets in our guest cottage. I turned up the heat a little, turned on the exhaust fans in the bathroom and kitchenette, and then (as I usually do after I clean carpets at home) I set up a couple of small circulating fans to blow air directly on the damp carpets, and moved them around every couple of hours as the carpets dried. As always, the areas with lots of air circulation dried out MUCH faster than than areas without, and it dawned on me that this almost certainly also applies to the boat. A couple little computer fans (or something similar), strategically placed to get the air moving around the cabins, rather than in or out of the boat, would probably help to dry things out. Ventilation (exchanging air with the outside) would still be needed, as eventually the air becomes saturated. But increasing the movement within the boat would both help get flow into "dead spots" (corners and such) and help dry things out in general.
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