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Saturday, January 05, 2013

Move along the boat please, your needed at the rear

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 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.


Nev Wells said...


Makes a lot of sense and they look good. The hot air sits at ceiling height so it must be easier to get the other end warm this route.

My money is on a full size cooker....


Dave,Beryl Bradshaw said...

I want!!! the eco Fan does move air but it is still very hot at roof level so that heat needs to be used Dave will look foe some fans I think

Anonymous said...

Hi Les, Joe wants to know what powers the fans you have it batteries?


Les Biggs said...

it works for us and that is what counts. All that hot air needed spreading around. When switched on the air through the fans was very warm.

Les Biggs said...

Hi Dave/Beryl
Nothing wrong having both types of fan. The eco is good for most folk but each to their own. But personally I would never buy another expensive Eco.

Les Biggs said...

Hi Sally
They had car cigar` socket plugs on so are 12volt. I cut off the plugs and wired them into the boat`s wiring via a switch.
Hope the weather`s not to bad in Pullman.

Anonymous said...

I think they look quite funky with blue Led lights!! Carol BV

Andy Biggs said...

Blimey 7 years...... where has that time gone lol, good luck to you anyway you deserve it


Ps sorry first read tonight in several months i'll try and look in more often.....

Les Biggs said...

Hi Carol
Next time you stop by we can switch them on and have a disco!

Les Biggs said...

Hi Son
Yep 7 years is a lot of water under the bridge literally.
Health and happiness to you.

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs