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Do I paint or Replace the old Dorade Box Cowl Ventilators?

Original Question:

While on the boat today I notice how bad looking my cowlings are. I went To West Marine and several other chandleries in our area (Alameda, CA) and was not able to find a replacement. They are made by Vetus and the entire assembly is available in the West Marine catalog but all I need is the vent cowl. Anyone know a source for replacements?

Larry Calfee


I replaced mine last July by mail order through Vetus, which you can find online at or : VETUS DEN OUDEN, Inc P.O Box 8712 Baltimore, Maryland 21240-0712 Phone: US (410) 712-0740 Fax: (800) 398-3887 or (410) 712-0985. They were fast, polite and relatively cheap. The total bill with shipping to Hawaii was $83.25 for two. I have been disappointed in the new ones in that in less than a year both cowlings have UV damage with brown spots on the top of each cowling, they did not last nearly as long as the old ones. The alternative I understand is to paint the cowlings. I assume you would have cheaper shipping and not have as bad as much UV as Waikiki. I think the model type was WKT but there are several similar looking ones of differing sizes so be sure to confirm you are getting the right model for a C34 rather than guessing which it might be or relying on this email.

Mark Hazlett, Dot.Calm #763

Replacements for the cowl vent only portion is available from Vetus and carried in their catalog. Any chandlery selling Vetus products should be able to get them for you. The cowl vent (top vinyl part only) is Vetus part no. VE-18. Dealer cost is $32.00 each. I just ordered a pair. Cowl vent diameter is near 4", but dorade vent diameter into the boat is 3". This is for a 1989, but I believe Catalina used the same vent for quite a few years.

Jim Moe, Windseeker #976

We painted our cowl vents with the white paint made by Nicro (purchased at West Marine). After 2 years, there are no chips or discoloration.

Gary Wilson, Childsong #138

I painted mine. They looked great for a couple of years. I think I am going to replace them with solar vents.

David, #247

I replaced my cowl vents several years ago with the day/night solar ventilators. I have been very pleased with the change. They seem to keep the air moving through the cabin much better with one set up as an exhaust and the other an intake. The only downside I have found is that they do not keep water from getting into the cabin the way a dorade box does. If I am expecting severe weather I pull the vents out and put the caps that come with the ventilators in the hole to seal out any water that might splash on deck. The advantage of not having to worry about tripping over the dorade vents and trying to unscrew the thread-frozen seal on the confounded thing, sure outweigh the drawbacks. By the way, the size of the opening for the dorade vent and the solar ventilator were the same so I didn't have to cut a bigger hole.

Mitch Brown, Sea Vu Play #282, Long Beach, Ca

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