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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

I have a Mirage 27' that I'll be living on for the summer. I'm looking to better the ventilation as there is currently nothing on board. I've been looking at the solar vents and I'm hoping someone else has experience with these and could help me.

First, For the size of my boat, would a 3" or 4" be recommend?

Second, should I set it up to blow air in, or suck it out? I'm hesitant to set it up to suck air out because I don't want it to draw air from the engine compartment.

I know that there is more that I could do. Ideally, I'd have two of these, one perhaps blowing in the vee birth hatch, and the other sucking out (in the main cabin). However, I'm going to do this one step at a time.

Alternatively I could have some passive vents with the solar blowing out, I suppose.

Anyway, just bouncing around some ideas and seeing what people have to say.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
no, I actually replaced the proper blower for that today because the previous one was sounding a little squeaky. This upgrade described here is just for moisture/cooling purposes.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The engine compartment is just a smelly place. If I'm sucking air out of the saloon, it has to come in somewhere. Some will come in from the companionway as it's not perfectly sealed, but I fear some would also come from the engine compartment as well.
 

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Hey all,

I have a Mirage 27' that I'll be living on for the summer. I'm looking to better the ventilation as there is currently nothing on board. I've been looking at the solar vents and I'm hoping someone else has experience with these and could help me.

First, For the size of my boat, would a 3" or 4" be recommend?

Second, should I set it up to blow air in, or suck it out? I'm hesitant to set it up to suck air out because I don't want it to draw air from the engine compartment.

I know that there is more that I could do. Ideally, I'd have two of these, one perhaps blowing in the vee birth hatch, and the other sucking out (in the main cabin). However, I'm going to do this one step at a time.

Alternatively I could have some passive vents with the solar blowing out, I suppose.

Anyway, just bouncing around some ideas and seeing what people have to say.

Hi, I have 3 on my 32 footer, 2 pushing air in and one sucking out. No smells or mould at all on the boat. When I bought the boat it had the three already fitted but they were old nicro that were falling apart so I thought, yeah replace like with like, WRONG, the later nicro really are in my experience absolute POS. Look for something that is fairly well constructed and if possible find creditable product reviews. Rant over. :grin
Anyway, to answer the question, yes they do work but you will need at least two. I have 3 inch size on mine.
 

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My boat has two 3” Nicro fans pulling air out of the head and galley, respectively. There are 2 more 4” Nicro fans pulling air out of the lazarette, which is connected to the quarter berths via screened ports. There is a proper electric fan to ventilate the engine compartment.

I’ve replaced the Nicro fans over the years, and the original NiCd batteries don’t last forever. Don’t know if the new one use better batteries. I have no complaint about the Nicros, unlike a previous poster. We’ve had the Nicros for 23 years.

I rely on the Nicros to keep air moving and minimize boat mold, odors,and help remove moisture when cooking, but they are not appropriate for cooling. For cooling you would need to use regular 12 V fans, such as Caframos
 

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Sorry to waste your time, I didn't think about engine odours being a problem. But I'm curious. Is this ventilation to cool in the summer or for removing condensation in the winter?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Its never a waste of time talking about boats :)

its moreso to cool in the summer. When I leave my boat for 6 hours or so its quite warm inside. I'm just looking to get a little bit of air circulation while I'm not there and the companionway is closed.
 

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We have two nico...one in the head pulling out....one in the cabin pulling in. Have replaced on 5years ago but have been very reliable. We have two dorados so ventilation is lot a problem, but we also have 4 Caframo fans worth their weight in gold as they move good volumes of air. They can be expensive but some of the sites have excellent sales on them if you pay attention.
 

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We have a Nicro solar ventilator on our after deck that exhausts air from the quarter berth. We don't notice any particular odors from it in the cockpit or on deck. They would seem to dissipate over the stern, out of olfactory range. Our engine is located in the main salon under the table, so any smells from hot belts, diesel fuel, and the general bilge mingle there. Fresh air comes from a small vent cowl forward over the anchor locker and any open or partially opened hatches. The setup we have seems to work well to keep the cabin generally cool and odor-free. Keeping the bilge clean helps reduce odor issues. Rigging a sun awning can also help to make things a lot cooler.
 

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Still just curious Trevor. Our boat is about the size of yours. Our weather is probably similar. When I open the boat it is sometimes a little warm. Open the front hatch and doorway and it takes a couple of minutes for the breeze to cool things off. Not enough breeze, use the cutting board or something similar to fan the heat out. On a very hot day I don't think a couple of little fans are going to do much. Have you actually experienced problems?
 

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Sorry to waste your time, I didn't think about engine odours being a problem. But I'm curious. Is this ventilation to cool in the summer or for removing condensation in the winter?
Not a waste of time at all :) these small solar fans do a superb job of moving air within the cabin to control condensation and odors. They are not really designed to provide cooling breezes. As I have indicated previously I have had to replace two of the nicro brand due to failure of the components, not the batteries and at A$300.00 a pop here in Aus not an inexpensive experience. Another poster has indicated his success with this brand and I congratulate him. :grin
 

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Whatever you do, don't buy a Nicro Solar minivent 1000 like this:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000NI3H2M/

Loud, the slightest shadow makes the fan stop (since it includes no internal battery), doesn't move a lot of air.

I guess you get what you pay for. I bought it because it was a direct replacement for the non-functioning one on my boat. I definitely should have spent more and got one of better quality. LIke one of the day/night kind with an internal battery.
 

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Here’s what I have done on two of my boats. I use 12v computer muffin fans connected to a solar panel. They come in all different sizes and CFMs. They will typically move much more air than the nicro style. I have a small 23 ft sailboat with one blowing out over the vberth and one circulating in the sail lockers. They draw very little amps and keep my boat fresh. Since they only work during the day, they do not draw in the moist evening air. Yes, you will have to do some diy wiring, etc but for the price and performance I am pleased.
 

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I also have friends for whom the Nicro vents have worked well. For me, they junked out in less than two years twice over. We have a 22 foot boat with the vent in the forepeak. It sucks in air and exits through the companionway. I took the guts out of the Nicro and replaced it with a $10 USB fan that pushes three or four times the air. I got a cheap USB solar panel that only runs in the daytime when the air is not moist. Found that to be much better at drying sails than the day/night ones. The whole assembly unscrews for a solid port to be inserted when racing. There is an opportunity for someone to make money. I'm not the only one who has problems with the outrageously expensive Nicros.
 

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If you have room, I would add dorade vents above the head. Works best if you are at anchor (always into the wind). The one over the head points aft, and the other one points forward. However, it would be lower profile, to use two mushroom vents. As others have said, if after ventilating the boat, you are still hot, use a fan that blows directly on you. In my sailing area, the water doesn't get too warm. After the engine cools off, the bilge is the coolest place on the boat. I would sleep down there if I could... just kidding.
 

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I have a Nicro style solar vent and can't say I am thrilled with it. As posted above it is loud, moves minimal air and only works when in fairly full sun. If an when I redo this I think I may go the computer fan route and run of the main batteries and solar. The 4 inch fans I have for head vent draw about 90ma at 12v. Two fans hooked in series draws less than 50ma and are almost silent but move much more air than the self contained solar unit.

Big drawback of self contained units is they are not always on when you want them. Having 2 computer fans on a DPDT switch it can be set up to run them in series for low power low noise or parallel if you want to move some air quickly.
 
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