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Author Topic: MK1 owners: Problem with Day/Night solar fan over aft cabin  (Read 172 times)

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Noah

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When legacy equipment dies, finding a replacement can be a pain. My original Nicro/Marinco Day/Night solar vent/fan finally died. Not a battery issue, it’s the motor, which is in sealed case and not repairable. Unfortunately, the original design has been discontinued. I opted to buy the new “replacement” Marinco model for ($160 on Amazon) despite the so-so reviews. However, the Marinco replacement(s) did not fit my boat. They make two sizes. The (4 in.)  model will fit the hole in the coachroof but the solar panel “fan dome” is too large in diameter (9+ in.) to fit on to the coachroof and clear the handrail. So not useable. The smaller model (3 in.) fits the cabin-top space, but the hole in the deck was too large to support the mounting flange. Nothing is easy!
I solved the problem (for me anyway) by using the smaller (3in.) model and filling-in the hole in the coachroof with thickened epoxy, making it 1-inch smaller in diameter to accept the smaller flange mount. I used a 3 in. plastic paint bucket. waxed-it-up and taped into the hole as a mold to pack epoxy around. I removed bucket when dry—took some chiseling and sanding, but came out with a clean smaller hole to mount flange. Made a teakwood ring to finish the hole underside.
The new model vent is a complete redesign: bigger solar panel with a switch on the motor to vent either in or out, and they added a very weak LED light with a switch. The verdict is still out as whether this redesign makes it any better than the old one. It seems to blow less air and motor is still sealed and not repairable if breaks. Will see how long it lasts. Time marches on.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2020, 10:15:09 AM by Noah »
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1990 hull #1014, San Diego, CA,  Fin Keel,
Standard Rig

Jon W

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Re: MK1 owners: Problem with Day/Night solar fan over aft cabin
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2020, 11:40:09 AM »

Looks great. I’ve had good luck using mylar shipping tape as a release agent when using epoxy.
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Jon W.
s/v Della Jean
Hull #493, 1987 MK 1, M25XP, Manson Supreme 35
San Diego, Ca

glennd3

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Re: MK1 owners: Problem with Day/Night solar fan over aft cabin
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2020, 01:04:50 PM »

Noah you always do nice work. I need to replace mine too, it is noisy. My wife sleeps in that birth so it is not on top of the list as it does not bother her. 
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Glenn Davis
Knot Yet
1990 Catalina 34 Mk 1.5
Hull 1053
TR/WK
M25XP
Patapsco River
Chesapeake Bay Maryland

scgunner

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Re: MK1 owners: Problem with Day/Night solar fan over aft cabin
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2020, 07:58:21 AM »

Noah,

The problem I had with those solar vents was when I installed my first dodger(back in '88)they got almost no sun making them practically useless. So I removed them and capped the holes. I've found the best way to vent the aft cabin and head is to leave the doors open. Next I replaced the dorade vents with the solar vents. I always found the dorades to be a bit of a pain, they didn't seem to provide much ventilation and had a tendency to hang up the jib sheets. The new location for the solar vents provides a lower deck profile and they're in sunlight most of the time.
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Kevin Quistberg                                                 Top Gun 1987 Mk 1 Hull #273

mdidomenico

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Re: MK1 owners: Problem with Day/Night solar fan over aft cabin
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2020, 09:08:41 AM »

i purchased one of the redesigned ones a year ago and ran in the same problem where it hit the grab rail.  mine only lasted a year before the motor and connection between the fan blades and moter failed.  i tried to dissemble it, but they used glue in several places which destroyed it to some extent.  i might have still been within warranty for replacement, but because the dome is too large, i just wrote it off.  i have a clear becson port in there now.  i might see if i can get the holed filled in by a fiberglass guy at some point
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1989 Cat34 #856, original mxp-25a

Noah

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Re: MK1 owners: Problem with Day/Night solar fan over aft cabin
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2020, 10:41:05 AM »

Mdido- I am confused. How did you install the new designed “replacement” (that you say lasted a year before motor problems occurred) if the solar dome/housing wouldn’t clear the handrail?
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1990 hull #1014, San Diego, CA,  Fin Keel,
Standard Rig

mdidomenico

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Re: MK1 owners: Problem with Day/Night solar fan over aft cabin
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2020, 02:35:36 PM »

i removed the handrail.  my boat is under a full refit so handrail wasn't needed.
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1989 Cat34 #856, original mxp-25a
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