Ugh. It’s summer and it’s hot. We’re at anchor or on a mooring, so A/C isn’t an option. We use wind scoops and a bunch of Caframo fans (we use the 2-speed cageless ones and have had good luck with them lasting; friends with other models report some problems).
But frankly, we could use more air when working in places where we don’t have — and don’t want to permanently mount — fans. On really hot, windless days, we could use even more fan power in the saloon. And in the cockpit.
Answer: the Endless Breeze 12-volt box fan (Amazon).
It’s a portable box fan with 12-inch blades and a cigarette-lighter plug. The fan has three speeds, with low using 1.2 amps and high 2.6; low usually provides plenty of breeze.
I bought a 12v and USB “power strip” and also a 12-foot 12v extension cord so that I can share an outlet between my laptop and the fan, as well as move the fan pretty much anywhere on the boat . . . in the cockpit (either for sitting there or working on the engine, particularly oil changes), in our aft cabins while sorting and organizing items in the storage areas there, and even in the sail locker when we were doing some fiberglassing.
Admittedly, when friends told us about these and I first looked at them, I was more than a little shocked at the price (close to $80). I did some investigating of alternatives. There are some 12v fans available for about half the price, I found, but all the ones I looked at were smaller and didn’t move nearly as much air for the power used.
I knew that a bunch of our friends had bought the Endless Breeze fan and been very happy, but I also saw a mix of “great” and “awful” reviews on Amazon. I also saw that it had a 2-year warranty.
I wondered if I was making a mistake, but I took a deep breath and bought it. I’m glad I did. We have not had any problems with ours and have had it over six months (and don’t specially store it or anything).
Yes, it does take some storage space (the “box” is about 13″ x 13″, with the feet and handle a little larger), but it’s pretty miserly on power used. And when working in places that aren’t otherwise ventilated, it’s a godsend.
- Endless Breeze 12-volt box fan
- 12-foot 12v cigarette lighter extension cord
- Car charger adapter – 3 cigarette lighter plugs and 2 USB plugs (Update: the one I bought is no longer available but this is similar.)
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