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Opinions on Nicro solar vent fans?

Jun 19, 2004
359
Morgan M28 O/I Ocean Gate, NJ
I dissected the motor on our Micro vent after it stopped working. It looks like the brushes are the problem. Made of very thin metal fingers - supposedly to keep friction to a minimum they just wear a hole in them.
I'm searching for a source of motors now & will let you all know when I find a suitable replacement.
 

Ted

Jan 26, 2005
1,111
C&C 110 Bay Shore, Long Island, NY
I dissected the motor on our Micro vent after it stopped working. It looks like the brushes are the problem. Made of very thin metal fingers - supposedly to keep friction to a minimum they just wear a hole in them.
I'm searching for a source of motors now & will let you all know when I find a suitable replacement.
Mine are still working but I like your approach. Definitely keep us posted.
 
Dec 19, 2006
5,570
Hunter 36 Punta Gorda
Mine just stopped working and have not had a chance to check and see maybe needs a new battery,but I am not sure I will spend $$$$$$ to replace and have had them for many years but they $$$$$ just always stopping working after a few years.
I modified one in my stern bedroom hatch that doesn't get any sun but added a computer fan and wired it to 12 volts and use it off and on,I do have 2 big solar panels and usually keep batteries well charged when away from boat,thinking about doing the same in front hatch.
Nick
 
Sep 25, 2008
1,051
CS 30 Toronto
The battery is NiCAD. It die in a few years due to memory effect. Replaced it with NiMH and it works fine now.
 
Jan 9, 2019
9
Compac 23 Alive Again Bokeelia
Not sure anyone is here but I am looking for information on my Nicro solar fan that doesnt work. It will spin easily by hand. There is a black rubber on off switch you push but no way to know when its on - if it works and its sunny I assume it will come on right away or very soon. There is mention of batteries here - I see no compartment for them. Are they back up or needed to run the fan? Photo included. I do see to check on Amazon and other sites which is helpful. There is a 3.5" hole in the deck for this and I hope something matches that ( dream on, right?)
 

Attachments

Jan 9, 2019
9
Compac 23 Alive Again Bokeelia
Might try a rebuild kit - but the only way it appears my unit would come apart is four small metallic tabs around the outer edge of the plasic top that bend out? - worried they might break or not bend back on the right way to seal it.
 
Mar 20, 2014
675
Hunter 31 Shoreacres, TX
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.
+1. I have two on my boat. They been there about five years and still going (saying that is of course the kiss of death for them) I have one set to suck air in and one set to blow air out.
 
Jun 19, 2004
359
Morgan M28 O/I Ocean Gate, NJ
I spoke to a Marinco rep this past summer about this unit; I was told the rebuild kit is no longer available.
To Chimera64180, the "guts" of the unit are accessed by removing the small screws around the perimeter of the solar cell, then carefully prying the solar off with a small screwdriver (there's a small groove in the clear plastic). If the battery is bad, GREAT! If the motor is dead, looks like you're out of luck.
The new units are completely different with 4 AA cells and a beefier motor.
Oh... the new unit does NOT fit in the same hole as the old one! :banghead:
 
Jan 24, 2018
10
Catalina 25 Lucky Duck Whiskeytown Lake
I spoke to a Marinco rep this past summer about this unit; I was told the rebuild kit is no longer available.
To Chimera64180, the "guts" of the unit are accessed by removing the small screws around the perimeter of the solar cell, then carefully prying the solar off with a small screwdriver (there's a small groove in the clear plastic). If the battery is bad, GREAT! If the motor is dead, looks like you're out of luck.
The new units are completely different with 4 AA cells and a beefier motor.
Oh... the new unit does NOT fit in the same hole as the old one! :banghead:
I'm on my third Nicro/Marinco vent and each one has lated less time than the previous one. The motor on this one died after about 6 months. Assuming they swap it for a new model, would the motor in the new model fit into the older one? I realize it will take some soldering, but if the motor's better...
 
Jan 20, 2005
765
Nauticat 321 pilothouse 32 Erie PA
our nicro ventilator in our 05 went dead after a year. it was unfixable . it was installed in the v berth hatch so removing it would be a mess. since we're usually on shorepower we rigged up an old fashioned 120 v portable fan on a timer to blow 2x a day for an hour.
 
Sep 11, 2015
109
Hunter 31 Marina del Rey
An alternative approach is to install a 12V computer fan in the dorade box. Simpler, quieter and not visible. You can also install one (with a plastic home depot flap cover in a side porthole where you could easily replace the Plexiglas one day.
 
Apr 22, 2011
549
Hunter 27 Pecan Grove, Oriental, NC
My Marinco/Nicro solar vent has the same problems as others have expressed. Fan will not turn in direct sunlight. These vents are designed to operate even with a dead battery when in the sun. My battery was fine and there is no rebuild options available. So I decided to dismantle it to get to the motor. The motor casing is secured to the plastic end cap with 4 crimp connections. With the cap off I found a lot of fine debris inside the housing. Also, the tiny wires that rub against the center rotor were bent and worn on one side and looked ok on the other. I cleaned it up, lubricated it, and put it back together. Has worked fine so far, but I expect to tank any day now. Here are some pics:
20190524_125103.jpg
20190524_124936.jpg
20190524_124954.jpg
 
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Likes: Rick D
Mar 8, 2019
10
Ericson 32-III Annapolis
I had two Marincos and one died, so the other probably was similar in wear and destined to die soon. For only $55 each replaced them with two cheapies which have been working just the same. In fact, the battery is the same greenie and the plastic motor housing with the switch looks identical so I'm guessing they come from the same factory. Biggest difference is the replacements don't have the sliding sleeve to shut them.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00I1D4S9C/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1