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Old 27-11-2012, 19:35   #1
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Boquete, Panama
Boat: Beneteau First 36.7
Posts: 59
Solar vents

I have a Beneteau First 36.7 we've sailed from Canada to Panama. Being tropical, I need to install some good ventilation to prevent mildew etc.
I'm thinking of installing one or more solar vents and would appreciate some advice on:
-brand (e.g. Nicro vs Sunforce)
-number of vents (one to draw are in, and expect air outflow via the vents in companionway washboards; or two: one to draw air in, one to expel it)
-best place to install (deck vs hatch)
-how install?

Any other practical advice on keeping the air moving and fresh to minimize dampness and mold.

Pacific is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-11-2012, 19:59   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Boston Area
Boat: Beneteau 423
Posts: 310
Re: Solar vents

We installed our first 3" Nicro Day/Night Plus vent in a small hatch in the forward head. That way if water gets in, it will be minimal damage. We just prop the door opened when needed. We might put a vent in the door this winter.

The 3" and 4" vents have the same housing size. They have different hole sizes for the fan (3" and 4"). It was a tight fit to be sure we could still move the handle to open the hatch. We used a hole saw of the correct size. It is secured with machine screws and nylock nuts. We used silicon to seal. The instructions say that you can use an adhesive to secure and not use machine screws. We chose to do something less permanent in case we have to replace it - some posters here or other forum questioned the durability of the Nicro vents. You also have to be careful of the type of sealant. The wrong type will eat into either the housing or the hatch acrylic - I forget which. The instructions have the details.

We really wanted to put the bigger vent in our main hatch, which is over our V-berth bed, but weren't confident of how water tight it would be. So far so good, but we haven't had any big water over the deck since installing. We may add a second in another small hatch that is in the V Berth cabin that would result in fewer issues if it leaks.

If you chose this vent, watch out for the little o-rings used to seal the screws holding the cover over the solar panel in place. You'll know what I mean when you get to this step. The instructions warn you as well. They are little buggers to find if you don't see them pop out.

Somewhere there are recommendations for how often you should change the air in 24 hours. As I recall, when I did the calculation for our Beneteau 423, I think two 3" or 4" vents were about right. We have dorades as well so don't really need both 3" vents.

Good luck!
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Old 27-11-2012, 20:14   #3
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: daytona beach florida
Boat: csy 37
Posts: 2,855
Images: 1
Re: Solar vents

friend of mine had the nicro vent on his older beneteau 35. wasn't particularly happy with it as far as airflow - and this in sunny florida. eventually it self destructed so he replaced it with a small hatch which he thought was better because, when anchored out, it had a much stronger airflow.
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