STAYING COOL ABOARD
Great solutions for keeping the air flowing in and out of your boat this summer
MAKING LIFE AFLOAT EASIER BY CAROLYN SHEARLOCK
SIMPLE EXHAUST FAN
An exhaust fan is a wonderful thing in a galley or head,
but most are through-deck, not very efficient, and not
safe for offshore journeys. The Basic Port Fan is cheaper,
quieter, requires virtually no installation, and can be put
away in bad weather. It requires only about 6 amp-hours per day on low when running full-time, and it’s
rated for 70,000 hours – that’s almost eight years of continuous use. This fan moves about four times as
much air as a computer fan, and it can be positioned to pull in air from the outside or exhaust the interior.
At five inches square, several can be mounted around the boat for good cross-ventilation. Position the fan
using bungee cords or hook-and-eye fasteners, then run
the 6-foot cord to a cigarette lighter or 12-volt plug, or
hardwire it. There’s no hole in the boat to leak! Contact
the company for a permanently installed version, not
shown on its website.
$50 to $55 (a deluxe version is $65):
Carolyn Shearlock spends part of the year cruising in the
Florida Keys aboard her Gemini 105M cat, Barefoot Gal.
Her popular website, TheBoatGalley.com, contains more than
700 articles and practical tips for living aboard.
Don’t have a halyard for a
traditional wind scoop? The
Breeze Booster is a great
freestanding wind scoop for
any boat with a hatch and
no nearby halyard. These are
one-direction breeze catchers
that are so easy to reposition
that it can be done from inside
the boat. The same goes for
dousing them in a squall.
Breeze Boosters use fiberglass
rods and a tensioning cord, so
there’s nothing to permanently
install, and they close to the
size of a large umbrella for
storage. They come in three
sizes and six colors and can
be turned in any direction but
will be most effective when
the hatch isn’t partially block-
ing the wind. Breeze Boosters
can’t be used with existing
hatch screens, so the company
offers an optional screen that
fits over the whole scoop and
keeps out no-see-ums, mos-
quitoes, and swarming bees.
$61 TO $77:
For our onboard cooking collection of
great recipes, tips, and food stories,
visit this story online.
For those of us in rainy areas, Port Visors allow us
to keep ports open in all but the nastiest squalls.
Admittedly, in nice conditions they may block a little
airflow, so you have to balance how often they’ll
improve ventilation versus how often they’ll restrict
it. Port Visors are made of UV-resistant Lexan (it’s
practically unbreakable) and come in a variety of
shapes and sizes. There’s no metal to rust, and
because they attach fairly easily with adhesive, there
are no screw holes that have to be sealed. They’re
permanent, and they’re tough enough that lines
slide off them. Another advantage is that they have
a bronze tint that provides some shade – it’s sort of
like wearing sunglasses. They won’t block all splash-es, so you’ll still need to close your ports in most
conditions while the boat is underway.
$33 to $50: www.seaworthygoods.com