Alittle breeze, blowing across a bunk on a boat at night. A breeze on your face under a heat-absorbing windshield. Truth be told, any breeze at all makes things more tolerable on a boat when it’s hot, and modern 12-volt fans draw almost no current while bestowing the magic of cool. We had a mess in the aft stateroom of Chez Nous. There had once been a long-extinct dinosaur of a fan hanging from the overhead. My job now was to clean up the mess left by a previous
owner and install a modern replacement.
This is an easy task consisting of little more than finding the optimum position for
the fan before mounting it. The hardest part is running the cables so they remain out
of sight. I was lucky because these were already in position, but if
you’re doing a similar project on your boat, you may have to run
your cables back to the breaker panel, and this can often be the
longest part of the job to complete neatly.
First came the wiring. On an older boat, one checks and
replaces wires as a matter of course in almost
every job. Every installation provides
a new opportunity to improve,
replace, and update. The old fan
wire on my boat was suspect,
not to mention unsightly,
and the situation was made
worse by a tear in the
overhead left by the
previous owner. The
amperage capacity of
the existing wiring was
more than adequate
for the new low-amperage Caframo fan
we planned to install,
but that wasn’t the whole
story. I spent some time
checking not just the cables
to the fan but also other
cables lying close by, tracing
their sources and checking
voltage loss that would show
bad connections and/or bad
This Is Way Cool
Installing a new fan is a pretty easy project. In fact – it’s a breeze!
DO IT YOURSELF
By Tom Neale
1It’s important to check the wire runs and remove anything that isn’t up to
snuff. The task is easier with a headlamp,
and I use a digital multimeter to check for
continuity and voltage drop. I found that
the wire left behind from the previous fan
was good near its source but not so good
near the end; the circuit itself was protected
by properly sized circuit breakers.
2I removed the bad cable with wire cutters, then stripped back the ends of
the cable, taking care to use the connections as a stripping guide, and crimped in
replacement cables using butt-end connectors to join the new cables to the old.
I rate this
project as an easy to moderate task.
I used an assortment of
wire strippers and cutters, crimpers, a
flashlight and a headlamp, screwdrivers, and a digital multimeter.
Estimate $85 for the fan
and $20 for a partial sheet of high-density polyethylene.
YOU GOT THIS!
correct wire is
For help go to