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 Solar Vent Placement
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Monomachos
Deckhand

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USA
21 Posts

Initially Posted - 12/18/2018 :  10:11:16  Show Profile
Hello all,

1) Any advice on where to place solar-powered vent(s)? Want to be very sure of a good location before cutting into deck of course.

2) Which of the 3-4" solar vents do you recommend? From CD?

Thank, all.

S/V Erebus
1990 C-25 SR/WK

James Loxley Compton
C-25 SR/WK #5999 Erebus
Orange Beach, AL

bigelowp
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
1687 Posts

Response Posted - 12/18/2018 :  10:32:54  Show Profile
Our older, non solar Nicro vent is located over the head, which seems to be a pretty good location both for ventilation and ease of deck maneuvering.

Peter Bigelow
C-25 TR/FK #2092 Limerick
Rowayton, Ct
Port Captain: Rowayton/Norwalk/Darien CT
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Lee Panza
Captain

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USA
464 Posts

Response Posted - 12/18/2018 :  11:04:46  Show Profile  Visit Lee Panza's Homepage


To the first question, I placed my Nicro vent over the head Like Peter did. In that location it draws air through the saloon from the leaky companionway crib boards and the sliding hatch, and through the head area. It is a little bit of a nuisance when I'm working at the mast, but I have been able to avoid stepping on it or tripping over it (most of the time, anyway). There aren't many other good locations on the cabintop. I thought about putting it on the foredeck, to draw through the v-berth as well as the rest of the interior, but the foredeck gets a lot more water splashing over it and I don't think the unit would provide enough protection against water coming through a hole up there. The Nicro unit can be closed from the interior, but it would be a nuisance to close every time I sail in bouncy water and then have to remember to reopen it afterward. I haven't noticed any leakage at the location over the head.

As to the second question, the Nicro units are very popular but overpriced, mainly from lack of competition. They are also very unpopular with many people who have them (read the wealth of opinions on various online message boards). The manufacturer sells a rebuild kit, including a replacement motor as well as unnecessary parts like the two fans (one draws air in and the other expels air) and the plastic insect screen. They also sell (separately) replacement batteries. However, if you do some online searching you will find descriptions of how some people have come up with less expensive alternates for repairing or replacing their Nicro units. If you keep a battery charger connected when you're in your berth, or if you have a large enough permanent solar charging system, the non-solar Nicro unit might be a better choice.


The trouble with a destination - any destination, really - is that it interrupts The Journey.

Lee Panza
SR/SK #2134
San Francisco Bay
(Brisbane, CA)
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OLarryR
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
3337 Posts

Response Posted - 12/19/2018 :  05:22:27  Show Profile  Visit OLarryR's Homepage
I like the Nicro vent but the motor in it usually goes after about 2 years. I do run mine constantly, all year round, since my boat remains in the finger slip. They sell a replacement motor kit but it is semi-expensive and a new Nicro is a lot to shell out every 2 years or so.
What works for me is to catch the Nicro Solar vent when it goes on sale at West Marine and then buy the 3 year warranty which West Marine offers for electrical, etc marine equipment. The cost of the 3 year warranty believe was around $13 or so if you catch the Nicro on sale. (The warranty is based on the purchase price of whatever you are buying.) Having the 3 year warranty, there is probably a 75% chance that the vent will fail during the 3 year period, especially if you run the vent all year round. Then they give you a new Nicro as a replacement for free. However, if you do not run the Nicro all year-round, then it is likely the vent may last longer than 3 years and you would then lose out on getting the free replacement.

I had a vent hole in cabin, near the cabin/head bulkhead but it had a cover on it. I suspect the PO at one time had a Nicro Vent but then replaced it with a cover. I purchased a Nicro Vent and installed it in the existing deck hole and it fit perferctly.


Larry
'89 Robin's Nest#5820, Potomac River/Quantico, Va
http://catalina25.homestead.com/olarryr.html

Edited by - OLarryR on 12/19/2018 05:24:36
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Stinkpotter
Master Marine Consultant

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Djibouti
8924 Posts

Response Posted - 12/19/2018 :  17:27:26  Show Profile
A popular place for a solar vent is in the forward hatch, which (1) keeps it out from under-foot, and (2) avoids cutting a large hole in the boat. If you decide on some other type of ventilation, you can probably replace the hatch more easily than close the hole in the inside and outside of the cored deck or cabin-top. A downside is it does make a little noise that could be annoying in the V-berth. But from there, you'll hear one in the head, too.

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic/Stonington CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, ex-OUPV,
Now on Eastern 27 $+!nkp*+ Sarge

Edited by - Stinkpotter on 12/19/2018 17:28:58
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Monomachos
Deckhand

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USA
21 Posts

Response Posted - 12/20/2018 :  18:49:02  Show Profile
Thanks so much for the help. I'll probably end up putting it over the head but like the forward hatch idea as well. And I'll likely get that protection plan for it also. Much obliged to all.

Stay safe,

JLC

James Loxley Compton
C-25 SR/WK #5999 Erebus
Orange Beach, AL
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bigelowp
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
1687 Posts

Response Posted - 12/21/2018 :  20:36:46  Show Profile
Also consider the older non-solar version: works 95% of time (as long as their is a breeze) and no warranty concerns!

Peter Bigelow
C-25 TR/FK #2092 Limerick
Rowayton, Ct
Port Captain: Rowayton/Norwalk/Darien CT
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Stinkpotter
Master Marine Consultant

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Djibouti
8924 Posts

Response Posted - 12/21/2018 :  21:49:08  Show Profile
The singular point of the solar-charged battery vent is to continue forced ventillation overnight as outside air cools and drops its moisture, while inside air starts to do the same but, left inside, drops it in the form of condensation in the cabin. Passive vents tend to fade out at night unless you have a consistent overnight breeze. One option is to wire something to your electrical system—another is to use a Nicro (solar+battery). Both have disadvantages—battery depletion vs dubious reliability. Pick your poison.

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic/Stonington CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, ex-OUPV,
Now on Eastern 27 $+!nkp*+ Sarge

Edited by - Stinkpotter on 12/21/2018 21:56:55
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Voyager
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
5109 Posts

Response Posted - 12/23/2018 :  03:31:42  Show Profile
One minor downside of mounting a solar vent or passive vent on the forward hatch is that the old jib sheet will occasionally hang up on it when tacking.

Bruce Ross
Passage ~ SR-FK ~ C25 #5032

Port Captain — Milford, CT
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Akenumber
Navigator

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USA
247 Posts

Response Posted - 01/09/2019 :  19:48:13  Show Profile
Also mounting on the forward hatch, might not shed water properly at that angle. I don't like going to a wet bed.

Ken
San Diego
84 C25 SR/FK 4116
The KRAKEN

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Stinkpotter
Master Marine Consultant

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Djibouti
8924 Posts

Response Posted - 01/09/2019 :  21:36:56  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by Voyager

One minor downside of mounting a solar vent or passive vent on the forward hatch is that the old jib sheet will occasionally hang up on it when tacking.


Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic/Stonington CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, ex-OUPV,
Now on Eastern 27 $+!nkp*+ Sarge
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Voyager
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
5109 Posts

Response Posted - 01/10/2019 :  07:30:00  Show Profile
?? - Just to explain my experience with that solar vent and the jib sheet ...
If I am tacking to windward and I come about I’ll release the old jib sheet (now windward) before hardening the new sheet.

Sometimes as the jib comes across, the sheet will hang up on the forward section of the vent and that will prevent me hauling the new sheet all the way in.

If I knew then what I know now - I probably would have not purchased the vent or found a different location for it.

Perhaps next time someone is parting out a C25 I’ll request their unmodified forward hatch as a replacement.

Bruce Ross
Passage ~ SR-FK ~ C25 #5032

Port Captain — Milford, CT

Edited by - Voyager on 01/10/2019 07:34:41
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sethp001
Mainsheet C-25 Tech Editor

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812 Posts

Response Posted - 01/14/2019 :  15:13:20  Show Profile
I was unhappy with my Nicro vent because it died after two years, soon after the warranty expired. Then wo years passed and it started working again. Go figure...

Likely a small point of concern, consider if you will install a forward head door between the v-berth and the head. I am working on that now. My vent is unfortunately placed precisely where the door will close. In retrospect, I would have preferred the vent to have been placed a few inches aft so that it would be fully inside the head with the door closed. On the positive side, it's farther forward and so does not interfere with mast work.



Seth
"Outlier" 1987 Catalina 25 SR/SK/Traditional Interior #5541
"Zoo" 1977 Morgan Out Island 30
"Nomad" 1980 Prindle 16
"Lost" 1988 Catalina Capri 14.2 (sold - yay!)
"Marine Tex 1" Unknown Origin POS 8' Fiberglass Dinghy
https://whichsailboat.com/2014/07/27/catalina-25-review/
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