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Old 15-09-2015, 17:08   #16
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Re: Solar vents- safe for offshore?

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Originally Posted by OS2Dude View Post
On my former O'Day 23, a previous owner had put one in the front hatch. One day I came to the boat and the whole top cover was missing. The fan and controls were still in place, just the cowling was missing. Did not strike me as a break-in attempt, but who knows?
Someone needed a cover
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Old 15-09-2015, 17:24   #17
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Re: Solar vents- safe for offshore?

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Originally Posted by zboss View Post
A much better design would be a 12 volt with a fan inside the cabintop and a mushroom vest that can be closed well on the outside.
Vetus makes this exact design.
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Old 15-09-2015, 18:31   #18
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Re: Solar vents- safe for offshore?

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Ours are through bolted through the hatch using four bolts. This is the OEM design. While it is possible to chisel and smash the vent off the hatch and squeeze a hand through the 3" hole, it would be easier and quicker to simply pry or break the hatch off with a bar.

Mark
Hi, sorry to disillusion you but the nicro vent base is well secured with three through bolts, however the solar section including the fan is retained with three small philips head self tappers. Remove screws, lift off top section and reach through to hatch handles.
Having realized this I am now going to attempt a more secure attaching of the top on mine.
I hadn't considered this until I read it here, so thanks.
Cheers.
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Old 15-09-2015, 18:37   #19
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Re: Solar vents- safe for offshore?

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
We have solar vents (Nicro 3000, or something like that).
These are very cheaply made things that cost a lot of money. The solar part of them only lasts a year or so before malfunctioning - quitting entirely after a couple of years. We have had 4 of them bought over several years, so I don't think we just got bad ones.

Mark
Agree on all you posted. We found the rechargeable battery is an old NiCad, not Li. Its usually old before you buy it. In addition to old, its low tech and low capacity. You can buy replacements and probably make them perform as new.
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Old 15-09-2015, 18:40   #20
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Re: Solar vents- safe for offshore?

We installed the nicro 2 or 3000, there is no way to positively lock the vents closed. We are cruising and do get water through them. For the hurricane prep a few weeks ago when we thought we might get hit by Erika we had to remove the vent cover and duct tape the opening. Would never install these again. We will switch these out and go back to a dorade when we get back to the states. They are not heavy weather offshore worthy imo.
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Old 15-09-2015, 19:19   #21
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Re: Solar vents- safe for offshore?

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
What stress is being put on them? Ours only weigh a couple of ounces and see no loading. The hatch glass is 3/8" acrylic and the vents are mounted in a sandwich flange that takes the mount load.

Mark
For me it was a function of the size of the hatch the vent it's mounted on. I installed vents on a hatch big enough to squeeze through and when I accidentally stepped on that hatch, after cutting the big hole in the lens to mount the vent, it broke. It broke because the vent weakened the plastic lens. I slapped epoxy and fiberglass cloth on the inside of the plastic hatch, until I could replace it.

I had them in my forward hatches that access the forward crash compartments. The solar/fan in the vents might have lasted a year - then crapped out. I think they are JUNK and would never install them again, weakening the hatch lens. Mine are on deck, so they are going to get stepped on.
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Old 15-09-2015, 20:38   #22
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Re: Solar vents- safe for offshore?

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Vetus makes this exact design.
Urrps backup... The electric vetus don't look like you can close them.
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Old 16-09-2015, 01:20   #23
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Re: Solar vents- safe for offshore?

For Skylark to pass her PCA inspection and obtain a CE mark in Europe, I had to remove the solar vent that was a relic from when Skylark had an Atomic Four gasoline engine. I replaced it with a bronze deck plate.

I had to add butterfly vents over the openings from the Dorade boxes on the cabin overhead to retard any water ingress in case of a roll-over.

I had already removed the cockpit speakers and covered their 8" holes.

After these and a few other modifications, Skylark was awarded an RCD catagory "A".
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Old 16-09-2015, 07:40   #24
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Re: Solar vents- safe for offshore?

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Originally Posted by Uncle Bob View Post
Hi, sorry to disillusion you but the nicro vent base is well secured with three through bolts, however the solar section including the fan is retained with three small philips head self tappers. Remove screws, lift off top section and reach through to hatch handles.
Having realized this I am now going to attempt a more secure attaching of the top on mine.
I hadn't considered this until I read it here, so thanks.
Cheers.
Hmmm, maybe we don't have the same vents. I have had ours apart several times replacing the batteries and trying to keep them working.

On ours, when the four small philips screws are removed from the solar plate, the battery compartment is exposed and that and the fan blocks the hole. I suppose all of that can be further disassembled or destroyed to gain access, but it would be much easier for a thief to just pry the hatch open with a crow bar.

How many thieves come equipped with a size 0 phillips driver vs. a crowbar?

Mark
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Old 16-09-2015, 07:43   #25
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Re: Solar vents- safe for offshore?

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Originally Posted by Nicholson58 View Post
Agree on all you posted. We found the rechargeable battery is an old NiCad, not Li. Its usually old before you buy it. In addition to old, its low tech and low capacity. You can buy replacements and probably make them perform as new.
Yes, I have bought several replacement batteries (both NiCad and NMH), but this has never been the issue. The problem is that the solar charging system itself gives up the ghost, or the fan motor simply quits entirely.

They are very cheaply made and sold at exorbitant prices. Ours are now just passive vents.

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Old 16-09-2015, 17:31   #26
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Re: Solar vents- safe for offshore?

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Hmmm, maybe we don't have the same vents. I have had ours apart several times replacing the batteries and trying to keep them working.

On ours, when the four small philips screws are removed from the solar plate, the battery compartment is exposed and that and the fan blocks the hole. I suppose all of that can be further disassembled or destroyed to gain access, but it would be much easier for a thief to just pry the hatch open with a crow bar.

How many thieves come equipped with a size 0 phillips driver vs. a crowbar?

Mark
Mark, looks like I'm wrong, mine is a round vent, stainless clad etc and I am guessing yours is the square model which has four screws.
My three inch round model is rediculously east to remove the top an get a hand through to the hatch handles, something I definately need to remedy.
Cheers
Just noted your comments regarding the quality and price, can't agree more, extremely poor quality although they look good, and the price here in Aus is a f*****g obscene A$299.90.
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Old 16-09-2015, 19:01   #27
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Re: Solar vents- safe for offshore?

The solar panel doesn't fail. Batteries are easy to replace and the motor can be replaced as well. Google it for instructions.
No reason to buy the overpriced frame again.


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Old 16-09-2015, 20:02   #28
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Solar vents- safe for offshore?

At the end of the day they are much weaker that the 3/8" or better acrylic than the hatch is made of. Some leaking will not sink you, a breaking wave that crashes through the vent and the subsequently weakened forward hatch certainly can lead to such a calamity. If you plan on removing it and putting a storm shutter over it then that is fine. If you are just doing coastal cruising then that is fine too. The weakest link is what fails. You would not drill a four inch hole in you fore deck and then cover it with 1/8" (or less) plexi so you could get a good look at your tell tales, right?


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Old 16-09-2015, 20:38   #29
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Re: Solar vents- safe for offshore?

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The solar panel doesn't fail. Batteries are easy to replace and the motor can be replaced as well. Google it for instructions.
No reason to buy the overpriced frame again.
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We have had the solar panel fail on two completely, and the charging circuit fail on another two. Those components are not possible/practical to replace.

While it may be possible to jury rig another fan motor to replace the original, it is not drop-in easy and requires delicate soldering. There are no OEM parts available.

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Old 16-09-2015, 21:58   #30
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Re: Solar vents- safe for offshore?

When getting out of the way of serious weather, on a small boat fails and the s#%t hits the fan and the first ten feet of air above the sea is mostly sea, ventalation becomes secondary to keeping the sea where it belongs, outside.
Forward hatches are often too close to bedding and pillows, the last place I want to take a shower. Dangerous? If I can't sleep, everything becomes way more dangerous.
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