The Maximus Fan club
Maximus is fitted with gas central heating and a simple multifuel stove without a back boiler. The stove is fitted right at the front of the boat, which means that it tends to overheat the saloon but leave the rest of the boat a bit cool. Very hot air collects over the stove and stays there, so we need a way to distribute it round the boat.
Early experiments wafting a tea towel about showed that a small amount of air movement would distribute the heat quite effectively.
For the next stage I rigged up some small 12 volt fans scrounged from defunct computers to waft air back to the nether regions of the boat. To keep the noise down and to reduce the current consumption the fans are used in pairs wired in series. In this configuration they draw less than 1/4 of an amp so one can run them all night without worrying about flattening the batteries.
The first pair are mounted directly on top of the stove, on thin metal legs to prevent over heating the plastic fans. In order to collect more of the hot air I fitted a 10" x 6" baffle to the top of the fans which has increased the efficiency markedly.
This arrangement enables us to fit a saucepan underneath or a kettle beside, so we could still cook on the stove. The fans waft the aroma all down the boat so you can imagine the effect when we are preparing mulled wine.
This works well in the saloon and galley, but its effects are not felt much beyond the middle cabin so further measures were required.
A second set of fans was rigged up in the door way between the middle cabin and the galley. They were suspended by string from the magnetic door catches. This isolated any vibration from the hull and still enabled the doors to be closed when required. These fans pick up air from the galley and throw it further back down the boat.
Ideally we would have a further set mounted in the corridor past the bathroom but it is a bit crowded there and getting power to them isn't easy.
The ultimate solution would be to have a back boiler on the stove and feed radiators but that probably isn't possible on this boat. Our dream boat will have the stove nearer to the galley, too.