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Old 05-02-2014, 04:47   #16
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I've been living aboard for over 20 years and have used a lot of different fans. The camframo was quieter and pushed more air. But both fans had a short life for me compared to the 02 cool fan. It's a 10 inch blade in a box so you can't mount it like other fans. But I haven't had a problem with this. It draws .6 amps and cost about 25 bucks. If it's really hot I'll have several of them running. But usually one in a hatch and one blowing on you is adequate. I also have one running 24 /7 with a furnace filter behind it to remove dust and its been running for over a year, maybe even two .
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Old 05-02-2014, 05:15   #17
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re: Best Cabin Fan?

I'll second the short life of the sirocco fans. We like the 3 speeds and they are quiet, but a year seems to be their life span for us. We have two in the forward cabin were we sleep and use them every night. We are on our third set, I installed the latest set in December 2012. One died October 2013, the second is all but gone -- it's cool enough now that we could survive without it for a bit. While we really like the sirocco fans we will not be buy any more, the cost versus life cycle just doesn't add up for us.

We have 3 Hellas in other parts of the boat. Even though they are noisier they are little work horses. The one in the salon is probably 4 years old and is just now starting to show signs of its eminent death.

The down side to both fans is that they are extremely hard to clean. We have two cats on board that add to the dust and dirt that is sucked in through the open hatches. It doesn't take too long before the fans start looking like the big oak trees in the south with all the Spanish moss hanging off of them, except our version goes sort of sideways.

Come April we will be looking for new fans to replace the dead ones, not sure what we will get.
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Old 05-02-2014, 05:36   #18
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re: Best Cabin Fan?

best cabin fan is the g/f , not always so quiet .....but relocatable
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Old 05-02-2014, 05:39   #19
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re: Best Cabin Fan?

Quote:
Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
I like the Caframo 747 and use them exclusively (they used to be inexpensive too before WM stocked them). You can find them for less in non-marine markets like RV. They are available w a couple of different mounting options. Rated at 270 CFM which is more than the spec for the Bora (748) at 225 CFM.

CAFRAMO Two-Speed Compact 12V DC Fan at West Marine
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Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
I replaced all the fans on my boat, which were aging rattling Guest two-speed oscillating fans with Caframo 757s. They have two advantages; the lack of a cage means they move more air, and you can buy replacement blades for them for cheap in case they wear out. You can stick your fingers in the open running blades and other than giving you a start, neither you not the fan gets hurt. They are compact, come in white and black, and have two speeds, and are relatively inexpensive. I switched to them based on the recommendation of a couple of folks who had been using them for years and swear by them.
I add my vote for the Caframo 747. We have three on board, one has had 5+ summers of faultless use. It pushes out lots of air, is compact, easy to clean, safe and reasonably quiet on the lower speed.

We purchased a Caframo Bora after hearing positive comments and were disappointed - air flow was not nearly as good. Would be interesting to hear if the Sirrocco is any better.

The suction pad on the Caframo 747 is hopeless though. To enable them to be easily moved around yet stable when the boat is rocking, I sewed a doubled layered donut from some scrap fabric and filled it with small pebbles, which fits over the suction pad.

It sits on non skid and is rock solid :
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Old 05-02-2014, 06:38   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmartMove View Post
I'll second the short life of the sirocco fans. We like the 3 speeds and they are quiet, but a year seems to be their life span for us. We have two in the forward cabin were we sleep and use them every night. We are on our third set, I installed the latest set in December 2012. One died October 2013, the second is all but gone -- it's cool enough now that we could survive without it for a bit. While we really like the sirocco fans we will not be buy any more, the cost versus life cycle just doesn't add up for us.

We have 3 Hellas in other parts of the boat. Even though they are noisier they are little work horses. The one in the salon is probably 4 years old and is just now starting to show signs of its eminent death.

The down side to both fans is that they are extremely hard to clean. We have two cats on board that add to the dust and dirt that is sucked in through the open hatches. It doesn't take too long before the fans start looking like the big oak trees in the south with all the Spanish moss hanging off of them, except our version goes sort of sideways.

Come April we will be looking for new fans to replace the dead ones, not sure what we will get.
I strongly recommend that you get a box type fan and put a furnace filter behind it. The kind I'm using looks like a bunch of threads glued together in a way that has lots of air space between them. I don't have any animals but lots of dust. And it works great barely slows down the air flow at all.
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Old 05-02-2014, 09:53   #21
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Re: Best Cabin Fan?

We have 5 Hella Turbo fans and have never had any problems. We've used them for years and they run constantly during our summers on board.
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Old 05-02-2014, 10:03   #22
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Re: Best Cabin Fan?

Thanks so much for the info. I was hesitant about the "uncaged" ones having stuck fingers in the back of our old hella. It didn't cut off my fingers but it was more than a startled sensation! But I'm liking the price and size of the smaller ones.

Cheers,
Alison
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Old 05-02-2014, 12:27   #23
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Re: Best Cabin Fan?

Endless breeze for me. I bought a. Swivel solar panel mount at wm on sale and it mounter great to the endless breeze.

Sent from my SPH-L710 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 05-02-2014, 12:36   #24
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Re: Best Cabin Fan?

Third on the short life of Scirocco fans. Theyre great for the quiet and articulation, but they are very subject to corrosion from moist air. My 2nd one has died now.
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Old 05-02-2014, 13:28   #25
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Re: Best Cabin Fan?

The fans sold to the marine market tend to have a very short life. Years ago I got fed up with replacing fans and did a little research: the Hella Turbo has a service life of 5000 hours and the Jet has 1500 hours. That may sound like a lot, but it isn't if the fan runs full time. I have a bulkhead diesel heater and use a fan to keep the hot air circulating down into the saloon. According to the spec the Jet should last 2 months and the Turbo pushing 7 months (call it a winter season). Given the ridiculous prices this is a very bad bargain. I have switched to using 120mm square electronics fans (12VDC) with guards front and back - available cheap at your local computer store or online. I buy the ones with a variable speed controller - on high they push out a lot of air with noise and on low they provide a quiet breeze. I have one at the head of each berth as well as on the bulkhead. In the tropics I blast on high when climbing into the berth, turn it to low as I get tired, then if I get chilly in the middle of the night I turn it off. The typical MTBF for one of these fans is 40,000 hours - I don't need to replace very often. It does requires a little creativity for mounting - I am currently experimenting with a brass lamp gooseneck.

Greg
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Old 05-02-2014, 13:45   #26
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Re: Best Cabin Fan?

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Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
The Fan-Tastic Endless Breeze. 12" unit that looks like a mini window fan. Mount it in a hatch or the companionway blowing out and it will suck a nice breeze in through the ports, dorados, vents, etc. Much better than any small fan that just stirs up the hot stale air in the cabin.
Good idea. I think you're right about moving hot air out and cooler air in, specially in the evening. I'll look at this one. Thx.
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Old 05-02-2014, 13:59   #27
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Re: Best Cabin Fan?

From Practical Sailor (Oct 2010):

Onboard Amenities: Endurance test of 12-volt Fans Wraps Up
After 4,320 hours of testing, only five cabin fans still stand.

Back in April of 2008, Practical Sailorrounded up 11 fans from seven manufacturers. From Caframo, we tested the Camano, Bora, Kona, Sirocco, and Ultimate. Also in the lineup was the Fan-Tastic Vent’s Endless Breeze, Hella’s Turbo Fan, HotWire’s Port Fan, MarinePro’s Tornado Fan, and oscillating fans from SeaBowld and West Marine. All were specifically marketed for marine application. Prices ranged from $27 to $100.



The timer switch on the Sirocco fan required daily activation, reducing its total operating time.

By the end of the initial blowfest, testers came up with five Recommended fans and one Budget Buy. The testers’ favorite, at that point, were Hella’s Turbo Fan, a familiar, efficient design that generated a moderate breeze with very little noise, the heavy-duty Kona (held back only by its price and metallic grill face); the sophisticated Sirocco (featuring four different timer settings); and the Port Fan, a quiet compact unit designed to fit in an opening portlight. The oversized Fan-Tastic Vent, essentially a small box fan, was suggested for dockside use, but did not make our recommended list because of its higher power requirements.

When PS revisited fans in August 2009, Caframo had brought two new fans to the market: a quieter and more efficient 748 Bora fan with a new blade design and a weatherproof version of the Kona. The quieter, more efficient Bora moved up into the Recommended group, but the new Kona, which had just been introduced, was still untested. The Budget Buy, a $27 oscillating fan from SeaBowld was no longer available, opening the door for Caframo’s $40 Ultimate fan to earn the Budget Buy title.



Sirocco

In this update, we report on the new Kona, along with the other remaining contenders, all of which have been running continuously for six months, or 4,320 hours.

WHAT WE TESTED

The protocol for the six-month test was the same used for the initial evaluation. While attached to a mounting board and plugged into a 12-volt power source, the fan was run at its available speeds and tested for sound and wind output and current draw. The sound was tested at 3 feet (directly in front of each fan) and at 1 foot (from the side, pointed at the motor housing), using a Radio Shack digital sound-level decibel meter attached to a camera tripod. It was set for the "A" weighing level, which eliminates low frequencies below 500 Hertz.

The air output, or wind speed, was tested in feet per second using a Kestrel 1000 pocket weather meter attached to a camera tripod and set 3 feet in front of the fans. Testers were well aware that simply measuring wind speed coming off a fan is a relative indicator of forced air movement, and the reading can be different from the total volume of air or CFM (cubic feet per minute) that manufacturers use to rate their fans. Current was measured at 12.3 volts with an Actron digital multimeter with accuracy /- 1.2 percent.



Port Fan - Ultimate Fan - Hella Turbo

What We Found

The new Kona impressed testers with its robust, spray-proof motor housing, quiet operation, and solid output. The metal grill on the original has been replaced with a plastic one, but the mount itself is powder-coated aluminum, which can be susceptible to coating failure in a marine environment.

One of the typical failure points on 12-volt fans is the on-off switch, and since beginning this test, we’ve had two switch failures. The on/off/speed switches on one of our original Bora fans and the on/off/variable speed switch on one of our original Kona fans both failed after less than 200 hours of operation. Although the electronic switch on the current Bora model looks unchanged, testers noted that Caframo has changed the Kona’s variable rotary switch to a three-position rotary switch. The Ultimate, Hella, and Port Fans all use simple mechanical contact switches, while the Sirocco uses an electronic timer switch. Because the switch on the Sirocco allowed only continuous operation for a maximum of eight hours (convenient if you’re the kind who forgets to turn the lights off), it has been operating for just less than 1,000 hours, far less than the others.



At this stage in the test, we’re beginning to see some fatigue in the motors and bearings. Although output remains undiminished in all of our survivors, two of the most efficient fans, the Bora and the Hella, temporarily rumble when they are switched off and started up again. Our only complete failure was the Ultimate fan, which started rattling after 2,860 hours and died two days later.

Conclusion

For a conventional cabin fan, the choice comes down to the Hella (our Best Choice in 2000) or the new Bora. Caframo has clearly made an effort to give Hella a run for its money in terms of efficiency and noise. Like the Hella, its Bora is guaranteed for 5,000 hours, but our experience with the electronic switches raises some concern. The most significant difference between the two is the lack of a back cover on the Hella, which improves wind flow and makes the fan easier to clean, but also leaves it vulnerable to fingers and other objects that could harm the motor. If it’s quiet you want, the little Port Fan isn’t a wind machine but it is almost silent, and we don’t expect it to fail any time soon. The Sirocco has an elegant shape and a powerful two-blade design (the same found in the Ultimate), but we’d only opt for this if we were intent on having a timer switch.

While the powerful Ultimate might seem a bargain, its unprotected blades are vulnerable, and when you factor in its shorter lifespan, the dollar savings, if any, is insignificant.
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Old 05-02-2014, 14:15   #28
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Re: Best Cabin Fan?

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Originally Posted by Pirate999 View Post
Good idea. I think you're right about moving hot air out and cooler air in, specially in the evening. I'll look at this one. Thx.
I set up my boat for DC Efficiency... you should be aware of the HUGE Power Draw of this fan...

From an Amazon Review:

"...What you don't know is its power draw and that's a big deal to those of us living inside battery constraints. I have measured it and I'll share:

low: 15 Watts or 1.25 amps @ 12 VDC
medium: 27 Watts or 2.25 amps
high: 35 Watts or close to 3 amps"

Hella Turbos, Caframo 747 & 757, etc only use .5 amps or less

That fan would break me!
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Old 05-02-2014, 14:27   #29
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Re: Best Cabin Fan?

Our Sirocco required a spray of Deoxit contact cleaner to the switch after a year. This required pulling it apart, but it has been flawless since.

If I ever do another summer in Guatemala, I will buy one of the Endless Breeze box fans to pull the hot air out at night...then all would be perfect.
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Old 05-02-2014, 14:30   #30
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Re: Best Cabin Fan?

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Our Sirocco required a spray of Deoxit contact cleaner to the switch after a year. This required pulling it apart, but it has been flawless since.

If I ever do another summer in Guatemala, I will buy one of the Endless Breeze box fans to pull the hot air out at night...then all would be perfect.
better be hooked up to AC in the Marina!
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