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Old 22-05-2013, 17:59   #1
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The Summer Cabin Fan Thread

I ran a search but much of what was written was old. Summer is starting and there must be some fellow cabin fan shoppers out there.

Looking at the Caframo vs. the Hella fans, and reviews on WM, many say the Caframo fails in less than a year, while posters on this forum have said the Hella shoots sparks.

So, I would like to hear from our Mexican and various tropical cruisers on which fan works the best, and seldom breaks?
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Old 30-05-2013, 23:12   #2
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Re: The Summer Cabin Fan Thread

We have 5 fans. I like all of them, some are noisy but you can ovhl ( like use an ink pen spring to replace a brush spring that sprang ovbd from the Guest) The Hella Turbo 2 speed is my fav and our new Calframo Ultimate is OK. The display at some WM's is fun because you can run them all. I have not seen any sparks from anything.
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Old 31-05-2013, 01:58   #3
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Re: The Summer Cabin Fan Thread

Eight years in the tropics, 5 Caframo fans, probably replaced once over the years. Wouldn't have any other, low power use, efficient and quiet.
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Old 31-05-2013, 03:20   #4
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Re: The Summer Cabin Fan Thread

I did a lot of research into this, and have fitted Caframo throughout my boat. I was going to fit their 747 model, but despite their blurb defining their blades as finger safe, I decided that the slightly lower output from their other models was a better choice for when the grandkids visit.
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Old 31-05-2013, 09:00   #5
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Re: The Summer Cabin Fan Thread

We used the Hella Turbo 2-Speed fans in the BVIs on a charter. At least once a day someone would go to adjust the position and accidently stick their fingers in the open back. It didn't really hurt but it did wake you up if you did it in the middle of the night. Also, they would rattle a lot creating a lot of unwanted noise. So we would wedge paper towels into the frame to stop the rattling. Occasionally the paper towel would fall out in the middle of the night and wake you up.

We had one Hella Jet Single Speed Fan in our galley, above the sink. It broke after 9 years of use. Never saw the Hella shoot sparks. It broke because the previous owner likely never cleaned it and the buildup of dust etc. caused the plastic bushing on the fan blade to strip out and become rounded so it wouldn't grip the metal shaft for the motor.

In preparing out boat to cruise the ICW, Bahamas and Caribbean, I did a lot of research on fans to add to our boat. I ended up going with 3 Hella Jet Single Speed Fans, one to replace the one in the galley and two for the main birth.

I also went with the Caramo Sirocco 807 Fan as a whole cabin fan that I can adjust to vitually any position to generate a breeze below as needed. This fan is very strong and has a timer to help with energy consumption.

Good luck and fair winds,

Jesse
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Old 31-05-2013, 09:18   #6
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Re: The Summer Cabin Fan Thread

my o2cool is still awesome after 2 full seasons so far--summers in tropics kinda seasons....this is its 3rd year of performance.
i also have some cheap fans that wotrk on 120v systems.
i also have an a/c for use in marinas during furycame season here in the zone....

my o2cool was found by my brother in aridzona in a thrift store, so was prolly really pricey at 2.50 usd......decent value for a ventilador...
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Old 31-05-2013, 09:23   #7
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Re: The Summer Cabin Fan Thread

3 Hella turbos lasted 20+ years and only 2 have been replaced and are quiet (now). Considering the service life the cost is acceptable. Love having them.
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Old 31-05-2013, 09:57   #8
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Re: The Summer Cabin Fan Thread

I really like these 12 volt 'Endless Breeze' box fans for RV's. The larger blades allow them to move a lot more air than small fans, and much more quietly. When strung across a hatch, the airflow feels more like a windscoop on a ~5 knot day than an A/C vent in a car.

Here's a video of one inflating an ~8x15' sculpture on the 'low' setting (~1 amp), through moderately porous ripstop nylon fabric (not silicone coated).

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Old 31-05-2013, 10:34   #9
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Re: The Summer Cabin Fan Thread

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Originally Posted by msponer View Post
I really like these 12 volt 'Endless Breeze' box fans for RV's. The larger blades allow them to move a lot more air than small fans, and much more quietly. When strung across a hatch, the airflow feels more like a windscoop on a ~5 knot day than an A/C vent in a car.
In my experience this is the way to go. Spent a couple of years as a live aboard in the Caribbean (including all the long hot summers) and rigged a standard window fan to fit in a hatch (back before 12V fans were available so used a standard 110V window fan on a cheap inverter).

Set it to blow out so it sucked air in through every other hatch and vent on the boat. Very easy to open and close different vents to direct the air into different cabins or areas of the boat.

Not only did it move a lot more air than a bunch of small cabin fans it also pulled in cooler, outside air instead of just recirculating the hot, stale air in the cabin.

Have not yet tried the Fan-tastic Endless breeze but it gets really good reviews on Amazon and on the RV forums.

One other benefit. If a small rain shower pops up in the middle of the night the fan blowing up keeps the rain out of the cabin so you don't have to jump up to close the hatch and seal yourself into a sauna. Doesn't work in a downpour but in a light shower it will be perfectly dry.
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Old 31-05-2013, 16:08   #10
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Re: The Summer Cabin Fan Thread

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3 Hella turbos lasted 20+ years and only 2 have been replaced and are quiet (now). Considering the service life the cost is acceptable. Love having them.
The problem is, that the quality of the Hella fan today is nowhere near what these 20 year old fans might be. We have had Hella and they do not last very long. In a matter on months, every one we have had has started making lots of noise as the bearings fail. They will finally stop working altogether. On the other hand, we have used Caframo for a very, very long time. When we are cruising, they run 24/7 most of the time. In over 10 years I have had one fail. Caframo did make a bad batch a while back, but corrected it very quickly and replaced the bad units. We have 4 on the boat now, all 4 years old, running non stop, anchored off the ICW in Georgia and they are very quiet, draw less than 1/2 amp each and run day and night. That's our experience with both brands. Chuck
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Old 31-05-2013, 16:38   #11
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Re: The Summer Cabin Fan Thread

Calframo has a BoraPLUS fan that includes an LED light in the middle. This would replace my bad fan and light in the vberth. But, I've always been leery of "combination" machines that don't do either task well. Has anyone used these? WM has them on page 534 of the 2013 catalog.

Ciao,

David
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Old 31-05-2013, 17:25   #12
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Re: The Summer Cabin Fan Thread

We have 8 Hella turbo fans on our boat. After 7 years in the tropics only had to replace one that wore out. Several run 10 hrs a day. Had a couple switch problems that were easily fixed in minuts as the switch just pops out the front with a little pry. Love the fans!
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Old 31-05-2013, 17:34   #13
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Re: The Summer Cabin Fan Thread

Caframo 747 moves more air for the current draw that any fan I have used. Low setting draws 0.3A per my battery monitor and high draws 0.6A.

My Endless Breeze moves a lot of air but it is WAY noiser that the Caframo and uses a bit more power.
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Old 31-05-2013, 18:40   #14
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Re: The Summer Cabin Fan Thread

we bought three 12v fans in the auto department at walmart - $8 each. four years later we still have two of them.

just reminded me that summers coming so i better stop at a walmart and pick up another $8 fan....
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Old 31-05-2013, 18:47   #15
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Re: The Summer Cabin Fan Thread

See if the West Marine near you has all the fans they sell hooked up and on display. If they do, and your looking for a fan that blows a gale, the answer on what to buy is easy - the Caframo 747. No other fan comes close to moving as much air.
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