Cowel vents

trickdhat

Member III
Blogs Author
A crazy thing happened today. I went down to the boat to test fit replacement cowel vents. Not only did the cowel vents use the same bolt pattern, the new hatches had zero leaks! I honestly can't remember ever going down to the boat and not finding an issue with recent work or having a new part directly fit without having to drill new holes and fill the old ones. Would have been even more satisfying if I had refinished the teak this summer, but you can't have it all.

 

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Kenneth K

Contributing Partner
Blogs Author
Hah, I'm doing the same project as we speak. I was shocked, too, when the holes on the new SS vents (also from Amazon) lined up exactly with the existing holes.

I removed most of the hardware from the teak trim to refinishing it (at least I was trying to, but the weather may have turned on me so I may be stuck till spring).

I was also surprised, when removing the stern cleats, how the nuts underneath were barely more than finger tight after sitting for years (they must have compressed the wood/fiberglass over the years and loosened).

The port cleat hardware is easy to access via the lazarrette, but the starboard cleat can only be easily accessed through the 4" hole for the vent. Might be worth checking/snugging them up while you're working in there.

Makes me concerned about my more-frequently-used bow cleats, which lack access unless I remove the anchor locker pan.
 
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trickdhat

Member III
Blogs Author
Thanks Ken, that's a good catch. I'm contemplating pulling the teak trim off and bringing it home to finish, but I don't know if it's worth it.
 

Kenneth K

Contributing Partner
Blogs Author
I'm contemplating pulling the teak trim off and bringing it home to finish, but I don't know if it's worth it.
Yeah, that was my original plan, too. After refinishing the handrails on place, with good results, I figured I'd just do the same here.

The trick to removing all the hardware is that it's all pretty accessible through the cowl vent holes.
 

toddster

Curator of Broken Parts
Blogs Author
I think I caught your excess bad luck, so things have evened out. I was down in the sail locker a couple of days ago, doing another job, and just looked at the plywood backing plate of the vent (to which the engine-room blower attaches) and it crumbed into dust.

Chalk up a new project for this week.
 

Shankara

Member I
We just had a little rain which gave me the opportunity to chase down some leaks. These old Cowel vents on my E25+ definitely let in water, more so when the weather angle is pointing at the opening.

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I’m planning to replace with a low profile cowel vent that has a deck plate to use in case of gnarly weather. I also need to replace the flexible ductwork below because it’s leaking above the bilge and flowing into the quarterberth.

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For someone with a setup like this, where there is no room on the cockpit combing for a dorade box to drain incoming water, is it best to just route ducting down into the bilge in the engine compartment?
 

toddster

Curator of Broken Parts
Blogs Author
Well… I’ve already fallen down the slippery slope of… “since I’m taking it apart anyway, why not make a custom dorade box that will fit inside the combing?” (And drain to a hose to a topsides through-hull, like I gather some larger newer Ericson’s have.) However, Vetus and Plastimo both make coaxial dorade vents that might fit the above-deck space. They cost a bit.
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
I see no value to ducting passive cowl vents. They take in very little water even offshore in a gale, and if so the cowls on the stern just run into the bilge anyhow.

I argue that deck plates for cowls are unnecessary and complicated. If I lived in an area with frequent horizontal rain I'd just make Sunbrella bags to slip over the cowls. And probably never bother, because ventilation is what they're for.

Just another way to look at it, of course.
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Over the years I have sometimes been a bit fractious over a drip from rain around the press-in base mounting on this type of vent. Solved it by placing some grease on the plastic base piece when pressing it in. Friction from the cast-in raised parts holds it in, anyhow. Wipe off any excess grease, and there's nothing to show around it. Silicone sealant works for this also, but then it's harder to twist and remove the vent.
 

Martin King

Sustaining Member
I argue that deck plates for cowls are unnecessary and complicated. If I lived in an area with frequent horizontal rain I'd just make Sunbrella bags to slip over the cowls. And probably never bother, because ventilation is what they're for.
Yes ventilation is what they are for however it's also an excellent way for rats to gain entry to your boat. I religiously replace the vents with deck plates after returning home. Rats are a big problem in my marina and can do an incredible amount of damage. Many of my dock neighbors have resorted to plastic pie plates and the like on their dock lines.
 

trickdhat

Member III
Blogs Author
Toddster: this Vetus “Dorade Box for Cowl” looks like the answer - https://www.vetus.com/en/ventilation/cowl-ventilators/dorade-box-for-cowl.html

It will eliminate the need to run water away from vents leaking into cabin with ducting. The duct work has always seemed out of place.

This type of Dorade box has a screen to keep critters out as well. Found bird feathers in my engine compartment.

Thanks all!
I looked at those and a few similar ones, but they all look like they are controlled from below. It's doable, but I wouldn't want to crawl in the aft lazarette everytime I wanted to close the vent. Is there a way to close them from above?
 
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