Almost 7 years ago when I first started living aboard I had read of the many boaters who used an Eco-Fan. This device sits on top of the solid fuel stove and is powered via heat from the stove top feeding a built in Thermoelectric unit that generates power to the blades. I believe mine lasted about 5 years before giving up although to be fair it had fallen to the floor a few times after my early days of bad steering into locks.
Even from new I was not convinced of it`s ability to move hot air down the boat. With the Eco-fan sitting on the stove the bedroom in the stern was always the coldest place in the winter. We have no tall bulkheads to stop the heat until the corridor past the bathroom into the bedroom over half way down the boat.
The stove on Nb Valerie is 27" off the floor so the fan has more of a chance to push the heat over the chairs and dinette...you would think.
So following the demise of my Eco-fan some 18 months ago I rigged up a square computer fan in a wood frame. It worked fine and the difference in the bedroom temperature was very noticeable. The problem was I was not happy with the look of the unit and took it down. Since then I have been half heartedly looking for a solution.
While in the U.S. I purchased two 4" fans that were intended to clip on a car air vent. Now all that was needed was a means of mounting them from the ceiling.
Woodcraft unlimited is a company owned by friends Larry and Lael Turnbow on whose ranch we stayed while in Idaho. Larry makes custom cabinets, handcrafted woodworking, domestic or commercial, and the work is beautiful. After showing Larry the fans and telling him roughly what was needed within a half an hour he produced two very nice frames as in the pictures. These are beech and I have given them 4 coats of clear lacquer.
As you might have noticed the fans have Blue Led`s that look quite nice but totally un-necessary.
The heat through the fans is tremendous and just a few minutes is enough to push the heat down the boat in, and this is my opinion, a much more efficient way than the Eco-fan. Problem with the Eco-fan is it does not affect the heat that rises and sits at ceiling height.
Anyway like boat toilets boaters will have different opinions but I have replaced something that in my opinion was not up to the job.
I am at the moment in the process of replacing something else on the boat, NO not my lovely bride Jaq, but a future blog will reveal all.