June 19, 2013 by Last Star blog
As the battle rages for the title in the NBA between the Heat and the Spurs we are also facing a battle of epic proportions. Like the one sided victories in the last 4 games (19, 36, 16, 10 points) we are losing to the “heat” in big chunks too. The temps here in Florida have been in the mid-90s daily, punctuated with a nice thunderstorm every afternoon that spikes the humidity both inside and outside the boat. The inside hitting 100% when we are forced to close all the hatches due to the torrential rain.
Last Star has great AC but that only works on shore power while at Marinas and the last overnight stay was for $113 to spend the night in my own bed. You pay less at a Hampton Inn and they give you the bed and a breakfast. Marina stays as a transient are a luxury and we can’t use them to beat the heat.
So instead I went to the Defender website and bought four fans. These are 12 volt small white plastic fans for the boat. Maybe you’ve driven around in third world countries and seen the taxi driver or truck driver with a two blade metal death fan on the dash pushing air around a bit and making the photos of his sons (never the daughters) sway a bit as he swelters in his taxi or death-truck? Well these fans are very much like that. Now I did some research and it seems that Hella and Carframo lead the market in the 12 volt marine fan. You see these fans are NOT like the fan in your house or the fan in the taxi cab. The big difference is the price. As they are for the Marine industry they are the “best”!! Marine grade! That can normally translate into horribly overpriced. That can mean a mark up of 300% normally. One fan with three speeds (the luxury model) was $78!
I bought another for about $60 and the two bargain fans for the salon were $30 dollars each. So with a bit of tax and shipping that’s +$200 for 12 volt fans.
Cole and I installed the fans for the sleeping berths first, it all went well. To be fair the fans do move a good amount of air, use very little energy (critical on a boat) and are quite in all speeds.
The two “bargain fans” in the salon are single speed, look fine and work well too. They are a bit noisy though. Of course the two cheaper fans are made in China–who knew!! During installation one of them gave a bit of a spark or “pop” noise but still worked fine!? That Chinese technology is the bomb.
At the end of the day the fans are a must, we couldn’t sleep without them in this heat. Oh and there is one more fan, the $14 dollar model from Wal-mart that I put in the Kitchen (oops Galley) last fall. It’s noisy like the cheaper models but works pretty well too.