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Old 01-01-2010, 09:44   #1
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Cowl / Dorade vs Nicro Solar-Powered Vent

Endeavours put in a ton of ventilation on their boats, with 4 large opening hatches, and 16 opening port lights, makes for a lot of ventilation... unfortunately, that doesn't work well at sea, or when the boat is tied up to the marina and you can't leave them open. Then the ventilation drops to zero....

I love the look of stainless steel cowl vents with white or red powder coated interiors, on a nicely varnished or even white fiberglass dorade. Makes the boat look great IMO, although they do get in the way with lines I would think, but then pipe can be installed to counter this...

So I just price out how much it would cost to install 6 4" or 5" dorades vs nicro solar vents. OUCH!!

6 4" vents with dorades (vetus) $3697 plus installing them
6 5" vents with dorades Vetus $4734+

I have 2 of the nicro vents, haven't installed them yet.. they are the 4" models, moves over 1000cfh of air, and can be closed off. Of course they are electrical, solar powered, so can go bad after a time... I planned on installing them in the heads.

So what amount of air does the cowl vents really move. I would figure you would lose some thru the dorade boxes thru the water drainage holes...

6 4" Nicro vents $900.

One thing is.. they don't look no where near as good as a well maintained cowl. But at a difference of 2800 usd... Even if you had to change them out every 5 years.. or so. Might be a better option.
Not looking to do this anytime soon, got other projects. But I wondered.

So if anyone has owned 2 different boats, with the different systems, or the same boat and changed them out, and can comment on the value of one vrs the other. I would appreciate it.

Happy new year.

Bob
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Old 01-01-2010, 10:52   #2
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Bob--

Having had both Cowel Vents with Dorade Boxes and Nicro Vents (both solar and static) it was my experience that neither did a particularly good job of providing ventillation below underway in a sea too rough to permit the hatches to be opened. The cowel vents need be arranged so that half face into the prevailing wind for intake; and, half face away for extraction. With enough of them (at lease 6 on a 42' boat) they'll move a fair amount of air in a strong winds--at least so that the hot air that collects under the decks is exhausted. The Nicro Vents need be arranged in a similar fashion. Solar vents can be used to force air into the boat while the static vents can be used as extractors. The older model Nicro vents allowed one to move the vents around from mounting hole to mounting hole so that one could arrange them for optimal performance depending upon the point of sail. I don't believe that is the case with the newer versions although one can exchenge the impellors for either intake or discharge. From an appearance standpoint, the Cowel Vents are certainly more "Yachtie" looking but they also certaily require more maintenance to stay looking good. Given the foregoing, I'd go with the Nicro Vents regardless of the cost advantage.

FWIW...

Good Luck and Happy New Year.
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Old 01-01-2010, 23:24   #3
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I've felt the air coming in from one of those solar vents, and it felt pretty weak to me...hardly worth the price to my thinking. A computer fan moves more air that the solar version do.
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:56   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
Bob--

Having had both Cowel Vents with Dorade Boxes and Nicro Vents (both solar and static) it was my experience that neither did a particularly good job of providing ventillation below underway in a sea too rough to permit the hatches to be opened. The cowel vents need be arranged so that half face into the prevailing wind for intake; and, half face away for extraction. With enough of them (at lease 6 on a 42' boat) they'll move a fair amount of air in a strong winds--at least so that the hot air that collects under the decks is exhausted. The Nicro Vents need be arranged in a similar fashion. Solar vents can be used to force air into the boat while the static vents can be used as extractors. The older model Nicro vents allowed one to move the vents around from mounting hole to mounting hole so that one could arrange them for optimal performance depending upon the point of sail. I don't believe that is the case with the newer versions although one can exchenge the impellors for either intake or discharge. From an appearance standpoint, the Cowel Vents are certainly more "Yachtie" looking but they also certaily require more maintenance to stay looking good. Given the foregoing, I'd go with the Nicro Vents regardless of the cost advantage.

FWIW...

Good Luck and Happy New Year.
Yeah what I was thinking. Neither do a particularity great job of venting the boat unless there are a ton of them.. and that is impossible on my size boat. The cost factor is one plus the space it takes on deck.
But then if you put awning up, they solars don't work... ah but then I can open the hatch!

They may not move much air, but then some is better than none. Its one of the problems with production boats imo.... that they are set up more dock or anchorage more than voyaging. Ventilation below is super important at sea. and so is keeping green water out of the boat!

Bob
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:32   #5
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The best hatches I ever saw were those on a 1963 Rhodes Reliant we had back in the early '70's. They had hinges on both the forward and aft sides and the direction the hatch opened could be changed by pulling and relocating the hinge pins. They did not have springs to hold them open but a rod with a finger nut at the mid-point which would support them opened from either end. When underway we would put the pins on the forward side of the hatches so that they opened facing aft. We also had wedge shaped covers made--kind of like individual dodgers. These could be snapped over the opened hatches to shield the sides so that spray would not be directed below. They were pretty effective unless one took a wave over the bow, which was pretty rare considering the bow overhang we had. For what ever reason it seems like modern yachts all have the hatches opening forward which may be good at anchor but not under way. Fortunately, our current yacht has hatches in the salon that open sideways so that we can always have at least one to leeward opened. You might look into adding a couple of these if you have the space.

FWIW...
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Old 05-01-2010, 07:47   #6
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Actually we have atkins and hoyle hatches that can open either way. So yeah, with a spray hood over each hatch, it could be done, and for a lot less money... !!
All of them are front opening at this time, but it would be easy to fix it I think. I am going to rebed the hatches soon, will have to try that.
Thanks !
Bob
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Old 09-01-2010, 19:31   #7
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Has anyone seen these? They mail order out of Malta for $60. each + shipping. The cheapest option by far, if they work.

www.air-onlyventilators.com
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