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Old 19-04-2015, 14:20   #1
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Solar fan letting water into V-berth?

So I'm getting to know my new (to me) boat and found this small fan built into the deck above the V-berth. It was covered in a plastic bag, but now that I've removed it, I see what looks like a small solar powered fan. My question is how in the world do I keep water from getting into the boat this way when it rains? There's about a 2 inch gap between the top and the of the unit and the deck. Is this something I should get a sunbrella/canvas cover for and only remove when I'm on the boat and know it's not going to rain?

If you look closely at the first picture you can also see the plastic box piece on the right is cracked, but it doesn't seem to affect anything. Lastly, I'm not sure how well the outer edge is bedded into the boat. If I seal it with something, what's the best material to use?
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Old 19-04-2015, 15:17   #2
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Re: Solar fan letting water into V-berth?

My suggestions are to take it out and check that the deck coring material is not saturated by water. If it is correct that. Then replace the fan with a Dorade or mushroom vent.
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Old 19-04-2015, 19:02   #3
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Re: Solar fan letting water into V-berth?

I use two Nicro day/night solar vents. Rain has NEVER come in, even in high winds. However, you can close them if you need to. Not sure how well that works. Nicro recommends closing them if you expect to take green water over the vent. Since I've never had that happen, I've never closed them.

Unfortunately the Nicro vents fail often, for various reasons. I always get an extended warranty with them, and have had to use the warranty twice. I no longer expect to get more than a year service, and check quarterly to make sure the fans are still running.

Why do they fail? Once the wire snapped (wires are TINY). Another time the fan slipped on the spindle, so the motor was running but the fan was not.

So they aren't ideal, but the best solution I've been able to find.

Fair winds,
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Old 19-04-2015, 19:33   #4
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Re: Solar fan letting water into V-berth?

Are the Marinco any more reliable than the Nicro? If not I would personally go with a passive vent like a Dorade or Mushroom. Dorade can be turned to be either an intake or exhaust vent and closed when at sea.
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Old 19-04-2015, 19:37   #5
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Re: Solar fan letting water into V-berth?

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Are the Marinco any more reliable than the Nicro? If not I would personally go with a passive vent like a Dorade or Mushroom. Dorade can be turned to be either an intake or exhaust vent and closed when at sea.
I believe Nicro is made by Marinco, so no joy there!!

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Old 19-04-2015, 20:29   #6
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Re: Solar fan letting water into V-berth?

I say ditch the existing vent and look for core issues like has been suggested. Replace with modern vents or close the hole completely.

We have two Nicro vents. The only time they have let water in is when they were covered in water, like when we submerge the boat in several feet of water while plowing to windward. However, they are strategically placed so that in the event water enters, it goes onto the floor and then into the bilge, rather than onto a bunk or anything that could get damaged.
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Old 19-04-2015, 20:41   #7
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Re: Solar fan letting water into V-berth?

Thanks everyone! Any chance I could remove the existing yellowed plastic and place a new modern cover over the existing hole. Or at that point is it worth it to just get the whole thing replaced? Since someone took the trouble to put a hole in the boat, I'm more inclined to make use of it than cover it up completely.
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Old 19-04-2015, 20:52   #8
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Re: Solar fan letting water into V-berth?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nickfox45 View Post
So I'm getting to know my new (to me) boat and found this small fan built into the deck above the V-berth. It was covered in a plastic bag, but now that I've removed it, I see what looks like a small solar powered fan. My question is how in the world do I keep water from getting into the boat this way when it rains? There's about a 2 inch gap between the top and the of the unit and the deck. Is this something I should get a sunbrella/canvas cover for and only remove when I'm on the boat and know it's not going to rain?

If you look closely at the first picture you can also see the plastic box piece on the right is cracked, but it doesn't seem to affect anything. Lastly, I'm not sure how well the outer edge is bedded into the boat. If I seal it with something, what's the best material to use?
If I am seeing the pics correctly that looks like an older model nicro solar vent without the stainless cover and part of the plastic.
They worked quite well however the plastic tended to fail over time.
A new nicro can be fitted to the existing hole, not the most reliable but the best of the bunch.
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Old 19-04-2015, 20:57   #9
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Re: Solar fan letting water into V-berth?

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If I am seeing the pics correctly that looks like an older model nicro solar vent without the stainless cover and part of the plastic.
They worked quite well however the plastic tended to fail over time.
A new nicro can be fitted to the existing hole, not the most reliable but the best of the bunch.
You're right - I just zoomed way in on the top view photo and the plastic does say "Nicro Marine" across it.
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Old 20-04-2015, 09:46   #10
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Re: Solar fan letting water into V-berth?

your fan is missing the plastic or stainless cover. Nicro might be able to sell just that part only. never know. I find them quite reliable, although I replace the C rechargeable batteries once a year and have had to use sealant to reattach the cowl you are missing.

If you fix it you won't have rain on your parade.

rich
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Old 20-04-2015, 09:58   #11
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Re: Solar fan letting water into V-berth?

I had to replace the switch in my Nicro fan and I had to replace the battery (well, that would be expected).

I stopped using it because without a source for clean air to replace air exhausted by the fan, it was pulling air from the bilge and stinking up the boat.

For the OP, Replace it or put something else in the hole. And check for damage around the hole. Or if you're a cheapskate like some folks here, build a rain shelter over it. An inverted Rubbermaid container held a half inch off the deck should do it!
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Old 20-04-2015, 16:18   #12
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Re: Solar fan letting water into V-berth?

You are missing the SS cover.
I have one of those on my boat, circa 1995.
It spent a year in Mexico, and the only thing ever needed has been a new rechargeable cell.
No leaks ever, and it's working perfectly.
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Old 20-04-2015, 17:09   #13
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Re: Solar fan letting water into V-berth?

We have 3 day/night low profile solar fan vents. They never leak. E-Bay for about $60au.
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Old 20-04-2015, 18:35   #14
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Re: Solar fan letting water into V-berth?

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Originally Posted by senormechanico View Post
You are missing the SS cover.
I have one of those on my boat, circa 1995.
It spent a year in Mexico, and the only thing ever needed has been a new rechargeable cell.
No leaks ever, and it's working perfectly.
Senor, inquiring minds want to know -- is it a Nicro day/night? If not, what?

Thanks,
Jack
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Old 20-04-2015, 19:14   #15
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Re: Solar fan letting water into V-berth?

Yes a nicro day/night
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