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Opinions on Nicro solar vent fans?

Mar 14, 2011
14
S2 9.2A Deltaville, VA
To improve ventilation in my 9.2, I've been thinking of installing a Nicro day/night solar vent in the lens of the forward hatch. I had one on my last boat and it really helped with eliminating the musty smell many boats have. I actually bought one of these during WM's recent sale, but I almost didn't get it because I read the product reviews. Apparently Nicro redesigned this product in the last few years and, if the reviewers are correct, the new design is substantially inferior to the older one. Seems to work OK when new but doesn't last very long. Before cutting the requisite hole in my new boat I thought I'd see if any of you guys had any personal experience with this product, or if you know of a good alternative. Most of the alternate products appear to be pretty cheap Chinese knock-offs (which apparently the Nicro vent is now, as well). Any thoughts?

David
 
May 11, 2014
55
MacGregor 26S Evans
I installed one of the Nicro day/night solar vents in my forward hatch last October with the idea it would help with mold and mildew during the cooler winter months. It lasted a week. Sorely disappointed.
 
Nov 26, 2012
1,068
Hunter 34 Berkeley
The rumors are true. It is cheaply made. Mine has lasted about a year now with one battery replacement. Still going but I do not expect it to last very long.
 
Mar 14, 2011
14
S2 9.2A Deltaville, VA
OK, then. Thanks to you both. Looks like I need to look for another option.

David
 
Feb 2, 2006
401
Hunter Legend 35 Kingston
Have one of the stainless version on my centre hatch. Been there for about 5-6 years, maybe more. Never replaced batteries, still going strong. The fan blade sometimes moves on the shaft and makes a "ticking" sounds. Easy to tweak. The bottom, inside "grill/grate" has one broken tab, but it still stays put.

Chris
 
Nov 26, 2012
1,068
Hunter 34 Berkeley
Here's the problem: there are no other options. I have looked hard for an alternative and I have not found one. My solution was to cut the hole in the forward hatch not the deck. That way, if I ever want to close it up I can just replace the plexiglass on the hatch. So, far, however, the fan is doing its job.
 
Jul 7, 2004
5,834
Hunter 30T Cheney, KS
There's the Nicro Air Vent 500 if you'd rather go the wind driven route. Needs a good breeze though.
 
Jun 14, 2008
6,736
Hunter Legend 40.5 Long Beach, Shoreline Marina, CA
I have had one in a forward hatch for at least two decades on several boats. They work and well. Never had an issue with leakage in a seaway. Newer ones have a closing sleeve. I can certainly smell a difference with one working and not. I get about five years out of them. I'd endorse getting one.
 
Oct 26, 2010
750
Hunter 40.5 Beaufort, SC
I have had one in a forward hatch for at least two decades on several boats. They work and well. Never had an issue with leakage in a seaway. Newer ones have a closing sleeve. I can certainly smell a difference with one working and not. I get about five years out of them. I'd endorse getting one.
Rick, are you referring to the solar vents or the wind driven vent?
 
Sep 4, 2007
688
Hunter 34 Elbow, Saskatchwen, Can.
My question would be are the newer ones made off shore now? Were the older ones made somewhere else? Seems to me newer is not always better. I had one on the 31 it was there when I bought it and it's still going strong as far as I know. I've been thinking that I would put one in the 34. To many other things to spent boat bucks on right now though.
 
Jun 14, 2008
6,736
Hunter Legend 40.5 Long Beach, Shoreline Marina, CA
Rick, are you referring to the solar vents or the wind driven vent?
Powered vents for the two plus decades. I had non-powered ones before solar became available (and affordable). They worked too but at a fraction of the air that the solar day/night moves.
 
Oct 26, 2010
750
Hunter 40.5 Beaufort, SC
Powered vents for the two plus decades. I had non-powered ones before solar became available (and affordable). They worked too but at a fraction of the air that the solar day/night moves.
Thanks for the info. What brand/model do you use.
 

Maine Sail

Moderator
Feb 6, 1998
11,016
Canadian Sailcraft 36T Casco Bay, ME
As near as I can tell the old ones lasted quite a while the new ones seem to last about 12 months up North when you run them in the winter. This winter I turned mine off and for the first season in 4 years I have not needed to replace it come spring.. I suspect the grease in the motor bushings becomes to viscous in the cold and the motor stalls & burns out. Tech support of course denies this can happen but I still have a working vent after turning it off for the winter. Coincidence???
 

Maine Sail

Moderator
Feb 6, 1998
11,016
Canadian Sailcraft 36T Casco Bay, ME
As near as I can tell the old ones lasted quite a while, I have some out there exceeding 12-15 years, the new ones, last five years or so, seem to last about 12 months up North when you run them in the winter. This winter I turned mine off and for the first season in 4 years I have not needed to replace it come spring.. I suspect the grease in the motor bushings becomes to viscous in the cold and the motor stalls & burns out. Tech support of course denies this can happen but I still have a working vent after turning it off for the winter. Coincidence???
 
Jan 22, 2008
7,032
Beneteau 323 Annapolis MD
+1 to Maine Sail. I had one of the older (pre-Marinco?) ones that lasted for years. I received a gift of the new one (with the switch). The newbie died in a few years- dead motor. Since I was out of state, I bought and tested another new one before I came back home, and it did not work. Back to the store, the next one worked. Well, that one died in a couple years, so bought two new ones. Installed them this spring, and right off one of them would not move even in direct sunlight. I could spin the fan and it would start. "One of these days" I'll swap the batteries on the two new ones and see if that is the cause. If either of the new ones die, I'll just take the fans out and let them work by wind. If there was a decent option, I would go with it. .
 
Mar 20, 2004
1,532
Hunter 356 and 216 Portland, ME
+2 on Maine Sail. Had 2 of the "old" ones for over a decade, the new replacements only lasted about a year. the second replacements, off for the winter, are still running. My pain reduction is to buy them at the WM 1/2 price sale and take their extended warantee
 
Mar 14, 2011
14
S2 9.2A Deltaville, VA
Has anyone tried the day/night solar vents sold by EG Technics, available on eBay? It's an Australian company, but I don't know where their product is actually made; could be another Chinese job. Comes with a 5 yr limited warranty, but shipping a replacement unit to/from Australia could add up fast. Just wondering.
David
 
Mar 14, 2011
14
S2 9.2A Deltaville, VA
Bob,
If I'm not mistaken the Vetus vents are all passive vents. I was looking for one with a motor-driven fan as they move much more air. Maybe passive is the way to go though; certainly simpler and less failure-prone.

David