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Broad Reachin'
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How effective are solar/air vents at circulating air and preventing mildew/moisture in the cabin?

I'm considering installing one on my deck hatch. Given that my budget is limited, I'm leaning towards the Air Vent 500 from Nicro. However, this style vent requires winds on deck to draw air into the cabin. Any thoughts?
 

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Tartan 37
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They work well, but I think at least two are necessary for them to function effectively, one intake, one exhaust.

I have Nicro Day/Night vents, I have had issues with the batteries not lasting very long (6 months).




 

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I replace my passive vent with a Nicro solar unit over 10 years ago. Big improvement. Batteries (NiCad C size) seem to die after about 4 years.
 

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They Work

We had one on my father's 31 foot Irwin. It was installed about 15 years ago. No batteries, just ran when the sun hit it. The cabin was kept nice and fresh, even when it was closed up. No musty smell or stagnant air problems.

I am planning on installing one on my Ericson this summer.

Paul
 

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Broad Reachin'
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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the replies. Looks like it might be worth my money to install one or two.

T37Chef - Great deck pictures! I love the view of the curved rails! Looks like you've got plenty of ventilation with 4 dorade boxes/vents and two solar Nicro's.
 

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Telstar 28
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I have two of the Nicro solar powered vents—one intake, one exhaust. Installing them dropped the closed boat cabin temperature at least 10-15˚. The newer ones have a sliding part to close them off from water intrusion, but will still leak a bit if waves break over them on the deck.
 

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Hinterhoeller HR28
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Yes, the solar powered units are a bunch better than the passive vents. We have found that changing to NiMH batteries (instead of NiCd) improves their longevity quite a bit.
 

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In addition to the solar vent installed in the head (exhaust mode) I burn a hundred watt light bulb 24/7 in the salon. I've had zero issues with mold,odors or moisture.
 

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I have 2 on the coachroof. Both are intakes. They "overpressure" the cabin forcing air out the transom vents. Works well even though they are the really old units without batteries.
 

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head port fan

In addition to the solar vent installed in the head (exhaust mode) I burn a hundred watt light bulb 24/7 in the salon. I've had zero issues with mold,odors or moisture.
The hatch installation seems simple... but how/what solar powered product would be used for a small head port/hatch?
 

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I used a solar vent on my 30ft. Columbia, and dehumidifier from Worst Marine. After buying Imagine, and being gone for up to a year. The boat always smelled fresh when returning.....i2f
 

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Kevin:
The previous owner installed a 4" Nicro Day/night vent at shown in the pic. I have the exhaust blade in it. It comes with a screen if you need it and a deck cap if you remove it. The new models also have a neat feature that allows them to be closed off to stop wave water from entering.



I would not mount it in the forward hatch due to green water and also that hatch lays flat on the deck when open. Installing it in the cabin hatch may interfear with the hatch saying open as the vent might hit the mast when open. You will need to measure that.
The one 4" solar vent does a great job and i have no mold or mildew problems. Air is drawn from our stern vent cowls.
 

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Leap! The net will appear
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I have one too..love it! Green water wave breaks do cause a slight leak though.
 

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Aaron,
I removed the dorade vent from the box and replaced it with the solar vent, simple plug and play. If you decide to go this route Defender.com has some reasonable priced boxes. This would also help in keeping water from migrating below decks.


ibdavis,
That's intresting...in my pee brain I was thinking it might have cost around $20 a year. But then the alliterative would be the cost of cleaning supply's, rags, few hrs. labor a per. month ect...
 

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The PO of my boat went a little nuts and installed four passive vents into my 30 foot Scampi. Today I spent several hours trying to figure out ways to remove mold/mildew. The passive vents were filthy so I removed them and saw they have mold everywhere. I was going to clean them, but now I think replacing them is in order.

I have some questions, I hope its not too many...

These vents left behind 3.5 inch holes and screw holes within half an inch of that, all around, so I'm looking for a direct replacement. It seem that the standard 4 inch vent wants a 3.75 inch hole, so I'll measure again but i am not too optimistic.

As I look for these, I see they range in price from about $89 to about $250. Whats the difference between a cheap one and an expensive one?

Has anyone had a problem with people stepping on them and breaking them? Last season, it seemed like kids just step anywhere...

Also, how many do I really need? I see people recommend 2, one in and one out. Would 2 more help, or should I get passive vents for the other 2? Maybe I should get deck plates instead?

I saw that some can resist waves, but what about rain when no one is aboard to close it?

Where is the best place to put these? One each front and back? Or maybe one each left and right? My boat has two holes near the back of the cabin and two just aft of the vberth.

Thanks everyone!
 

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The PO of my boat went a little nuts and installed four passive vents into my 30 foot Scampi. Today I spent several hours trying to figure out ways to remove mold/mildew. The passive vents were filthy so I removed them and saw they have mold everywhere. I was going to clean them, but now I think replacing them is in order.
Just clean them up. It isn't that hard and it won't take that long versus putting in new ones.

I have some questions, I hope its not too many...

These vents left behind 3.5 inch holes and screw holes within half an inch of that, all around, so I'm looking for a direct replacement. It seem that the standard 4 inch vent wants a 3.75 inch hole, so I'll measure again but i am not too optimistic.
There are 3" and 4". If you just want to save some time buy the 3" versions. The 4" do move alot more air but you said the PO put in 4 on a 30' boat so you probably have enough air flow.

As I look for these, I see they range in price from about $89 to about $250. Whats the difference between a cheap one and an expensive one?
The cheap ones are not actual fans, just an opening that looks the same. They work on the Venturi principle and move air only when there is a breeze blowing. The more expensive they get, the more battery life. Mine are non-battery (only work when the sun is shining) and the expensive ones will last 24-30 hours on battery alone.

Stainless covers also make them more expensive but they might last a litte longer and look a little better IMO.

Has anyone had a problem with people stepping on them and breaking them? Last season, it seemed like kids just step anywhere...
Nope, they are pretty tough.

Also, how many do I really need? I see people recommend 2, one in and one out. Would 2 more help, or should I get passive vents for the other 2? Maybe I should get deck plates instead?
I would make 3 intakes and 1 exhaust. You probably have other passive vents on the boat to let the "bad" air out. You could fill the holes you don't want with deckplates. It gets personal. Is it a damp area; ie New England, Florida, Texas or is it a dry area like California or Colorado? It will make a difference in humidity.

I saw that some can resist waves, but what about rain when no one is aboard to close it?
Most have a shutoff that is activated from inside. Or you could put on the Nicro cowl vents with automatic shutoffs.

Where is the best place to put these? One each front and back? Or maybe one each left and right? My boat has two holes near the back of the cabin and two just aft of the vberth.

Thanks everyone!
That sound about right. Intake at the bow, exhaust aft. Aft is where all of your cooking smells will be.

Good luck! :)
 
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