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Old 17-09-2008, 18:26   #1
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12v outlets and fans

I don't really have a sense of what usage I will have in the field. How many fans to make a 30' boat livable (is that spelled right?) in the tropics? How many 12volt outlets should I sprinkle around the boat?
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Old 17-09-2008, 18:34   #2
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It never drops below 25C around here, even at night. We have 2 wallmart fans and they are a blessing -

Walmart.com: Pivoting Rechargeable 10" Smart Power Fan: Appliances

They are hardwired into the boat and have three way power - DC, AC and internal rechargeable. They aren't as efficient as other solutions but the tiny boat fans that I have seen don't move enough air.

Our fans have been on the boat for over a year and are holding up well.

One guy here uses PC CPU cooling fans over the bunks. I never sleep well on his boat.

I have 2 lighter outlets in the cabin and one in the cockpit. I hate lighter plugs but unfortunately they are pervasive.
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Old 17-09-2008, 18:40   #3
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I have 3 - 12 volt fans on our boat. The Hella fans have held up with this boat and the past boat. Both boats had fans that were installed more than 15 years. They cost a little more but they hold up a long time.

If it's your bunk you want your own. Wind scoops would be a first choice before fans but you'll probaly want both.
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Old 17-09-2008, 20:02   #4
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I think you just have to figure out where you will be spending most of your time...and put the 12VDC outlets there. Your berth and chart table are going to be two popular places.

How about the idea of hardwiring the fans so you do not have ugly 12 volt outlets everywhere? Put small 2-pole terminal blocks where they are hidden instead.
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Old 17-09-2008, 20:06   #5
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Shiva's 36' and has 3 Hella fans, one at the bulkhead between the nav desk and the port settee, one between the starboard settee and the galley and one above the head where we sleep. The first two are turned to direct the flow where the cooling is needed.

The one over the bunk makes sleeping very comfortable.

3 does it!.
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Old 17-09-2008, 22:02   #6
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we've got three fans - walmart fans (about $8 each) with long cords that plug into cigarette lighter outlets and can be moved around because they are equipped with spring loaded clamps. one is in the berth area and two are in the main cabin; they can be moved or swiveled to blow over the dinette, the galley, or the chart table. this is a 37 foot boat.

so far the fans have lasted us two years in a salt air environment and show no signs of deterioration. the boat itself is extremely airy with 7 portholes (including the all important forward facing port) and 6 (yes six!) large overhead hatches. the boat was designed for caribbean cruising.

we've anchored out in some pretty hot weather (high 90's) but still manage to get a nice ocean breeze through the cabin. air conditioning is NOT on my to do list...
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Old 18-09-2008, 02:50   #7
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Jack,

I had a similar size yacht in the tropics and found you can never have enough fans. But to make things easy I had one in the main cabin and one portable, this fan I could clip on to any bulkhead etc. This was the best ever for me, when I was working on the engine I clipped it nearby, when I was sleeping I clipped it onto the bulkhead so that the air flowed along the whole body.

In the tropics (during any wet season) you have to have the breeze pass directly over you for any chance at cooling, therefore have at least one clip on portable in your yacht.
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Old 18-09-2008, 10:09   #8
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We survived with no fans through a French Polynesia summer. We were always anchored out so the boat was oriented into the breeze. We had a windscoop that doubled as a foredeck awning and a full awning aft of the mast. We almost always had a nice breeze blowing through the boat. It was very livable even when temperatures got well into the 90s. Some late afternoon/early evenings got a bit sticky in that calm period when it shifts from ocean to land breezes. In those cases a fan in the galley and main cabin would have been nice but only for a short period of time. Nights were always cool enough for sleeping in the forepeak with the windscoop.

The key is hanging on the hook where you'll lie to the wind. Tied up in a Marina anywhere on the East Coast or Tropics in the summer is pure torture. You almost never align to the prevailing breezes and just swelter. Guess that's what air conditioners are for. Another important thing is an awning. Keeping the sun off the boat cuts solar gain to zero making living in or on the boat great. Next to the self-steering vane, a good awning would be my primary needs for cruising where it's warm.

As far as electrical outlets, you don't need many if the boat is set up properly with DC powered appliances, chargers, etc. In the best of all possible worlds, I'd have two aft on each side in the Galley/Chart table area, two amidships, one in the head, and one forward. I've managed to survive very well with just three outlets, two aft and one in the head, however. Almost never use the head outlet. At the marina, the aft ones get used for tools, computer, charging the cell phone etc. Probably could live with just an extension cord, though.

As you can tell I'm not a big user of juice, especially out cruising. Just don't need all those amp sucking appliances and toys.

Aloha
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Old 18-09-2008, 10:45   #9
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40' boat, 7 fans: one over each side of the aft berth, one over each side of the v-berth, one over the nav station, one over the galley, one in the head.

Fans are cheap. I may add another in the galley.
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Old 18-09-2008, 14:52   #10
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I just picked up some coaxial DC power plugs and installed several of those around our 30' Newport. We picked up several of the clip on DC oscillating fans at target and rewired them with the little coax plug connector. It makes for a much smaller plug and you can use it for multiple DC appliances.
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Old 18-09-2008, 16:20   #11
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I think fans are very important to mental health. Just a little air moving by on a still night is enough. I also have 3 Hella fans. They had been on the boat uninstalled for years until a very still night last year.

They are very frugal on the power and I installed one in the V berth, Salon, and Q berth, I simply wired them into the existing light circut. The light is nearly always in the perfact position over the bunk and the fan does well just next to it. (I am sure I will get some grief for this but....) I just do not like a 12v cig sockets all over the boat.
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Old 18-09-2008, 17:05   #12
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The Hella and Guest fans are very expensive and we have found them to be noisy and not last very long for the price if you use them a lot. But we have also found the Caframo open fans are quiet, half the price, and move twice the air using much less power.
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Old 18-09-2008, 19:32   #13
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Originally Posted by Chuck Baier View Post
The Hella and Guest fans are very expensive and we have found them to be noisy and not last very long for the price if you use them a lot.
Well I am a cheapskate in many things and when I started loking for fans I eyeballed the Hellas (5 inch or less?) and thought, "They have to be on drugs or something. These can't be worth this much."

I usually stew on stuff like this and eventually capitulate and buy them. However the admiral was demanding airflow so I got the Wallmart ones as an "interim." They blow tons of air and they are staying. If they crap out after a few years, I'll replace with the same.

I have been on a boat with fans like these and everyone who comes aboard comments on them (in a good way). Trust me - we know hot/humid in Singapore...
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