Large yachts are no longer the sole domains of advanced engine-room ventilation systems.
By Diane M. Byrne — April 2004
While we all know that it’s crucial to have an abundance of fresh, dry air in the engine room to prevent overheating and corrosion, until recently owners of large yachts seemed to be the only ones benefiting from the advanced ventilation systems on the market. And in these days of higher-horsepower engines being put into smaller boats, you’d think that the technology would have trickled down by now.
Well, it has. Florida-based Delta “T” Systems, a leading manufacturer of axial fans, moisture eliminators, and electronic controls that manage airflow, is working with an increasing number of custom and production builders of boats 40 to 60 feet—even up to 80 feet. The goal is to maximize engine performance and longevity by maintaining consistent conditions in machinery spaces—and, of course, to provide you and/or your engineer with a better working environment.
According to Michael Murray, sales manager/engineer for Delta “T,” it was a logical step for the company to make. For years Delta “T” has been retrofitting systems into large yachts and working with megayacht yards as well as commercial and military facilities to customize applications for demanding operating conditions. Now the company is designing and manufacturing ventilation systems for the hard-charging sportfishermen of Hatteras, Viking, and Bertram, the go-fast boats of Donzi, and even the leisurely cruisers of Grand Banks, among others.
Given the high horsepower of today’s production boats, “air consumption is astronomical,” Murray says. If an owner’s not careful about monitoring the situation inside the machinery spaces, the engines can overheat; in the case of electronic engines, they’ll automatically derate, reducing horsepower output. Electronic engines or not, however, serious permanent damage can result.
This is where Delta “T” axial cooling fans come in. According to Murray, they run on D.C. power (compared to A.C. power on the larger boats and commercial craft) and can be manually controlled with a toggle switch or by a thermostat; either way, he says it’s a simple setup that still provides a higher airflow rate through what he terms “natural draft,” meaning the engines pull air in through the combustion process.
The company works with each yard to design and engineer the appropriate-size fans for their model lines, which can be as small as nine inches; regardless, each unit has a marine-grade aluminum housing, PVC fan blades, and a sealed motor.
Next page > Part 2: Anything we can do to make operation that much more efficient is best. > Page 1, 2, 3
This article originally appeared in the March 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.