Monday, August 20, 2012

Birthday Fans

I have written a number of posts about cooling fans, which go a long way to making life afloat cool and comfortable.  Over the past year, I have been continuously adding to and upgrading our collection of fans: we now have seven Hella fans and two Bora fans (more on those in a future post) in Sea Gem's interior, as well as the two insanely powerful (and loud) fans I recently installed in the engine room.

It should come as little surprise, then, that for my birthday I asked my parents for two more fans.  Although we now have plenty (nine) fans in Sea Gem's interior, we had none in the cockpit, which can get pretty hot when we are at dock on a calm day.  In addition, the cockpit had two unsightly and decaying plastic speaker covers, one on each side of the cockpit, that I have wanted to get rid of since we bought the boat:

Before
The speakers were replaced and moved to a different location long ago, so the speaker covers didn't actually cover speakers or anything else, but rather only looked bad and permitted water to leak into the boat during rainstorms.  I decided that a perfect solution to both problems (ugly, leaky, defunct speaker covers and lack of cockpit fans) was to replace the speaker covers with solid teak boards and mount a weatherproof fan to each board.

So, for my birthday, I asked for two weatherproof Kona fans and my father's assistance/tools to fabricate the teak boards.  The plan was simple: remove the old speaker covers and wooden frames, fabricate and varnish the new boards, and mount and wire the fans.  Like all boat projects, however, things got a little messy:

Highlights
I'll spare the details, but everything that could have went wrong did, and my simple birthday project turned into something of a nightmare.

Mid-Installation 
In the end, however, everything turned out great.  The cockpit looks much better with the new teak trim boards, and the fans work beautifully:

Finished

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