Best 12 Volt Fans For Sailboats

Best 12 Volt Fans For Sailboats: A Complete Guide | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Daniel Wade

June 15, 2022

Installing a 12-volt marine fan on your sailboat is a great way to keep cool this summer while saving energy and battery power.

The best 12-volt fans for sailboats are the Compact 757 fan, the Bora 748 fan, the Tiny Tornado II, the Sirocco II fan, the Kona weatherproof fan, two Guest fans, the Taku hatch fan, the CO-Z fan, the Hurricane HGCT fan, the Seachoice fan, and the HELLA two-speed Turbo fan.

In this article, we'll cover 12 of the best fans for sailboats that work on marine power sources. These fans vary widely in size, air moving capacity, and energy use. They are all highly efficient and safe to use on boats.

We sourced product information directly from marine fan manufacturers for accuracy. We also drew off of our personal experience with marine fans, their installation, and real-world knowledge of air moving capacity in small spaces.


Table of contents

Best 12 Volt Fans

1. Compact 757 Marine Fan

Here's a modern and energy-efficient 12-volt marine fan with a unique set of features that makes it ideal for a small sailboat cabin. As you'll notice, the Compact 757 marine fan does not have the typical shroud around the blades.

This is because the 757 features a patented blade design called "FingerSafe" blades. These blades will not cause injury if you touch them, as the edges are designed to absorb impact with a soft and flexible material.

As a result, this fan can fit in a much more compact area. It's also more visually attractive for some. The Compact 757 sailboat fan has two fan speeds, and it draws very little power. These features reduce energy consumption and extend the life of the motor.

The head of the fan adjusts in all directions, and it's also easy to clean. The fan is quite easy to install with minimal tools. Another advantage of the Compact 757 is that it's remarkably quiet, and it wires directly into your 12v DC power system.


  • Mounts to wall
  • Direct-connect wiring
  • Two-speed motor
  • Multidirectional
  • No fan shroud
  • FingerSafe blades

2. Bora 748 3-Speed Marine Fan

CAFRAMO is a well-known producer of 12-volt marine fans. Their Bora 748 model is a 12-volt DC base-mounted fan with a long-life motor and high-efficiency blades.

It uses very little power and moves a large volume of air, which is great for cooling a cabin or an outdoor sitting area. The fan features 3-speed touch control coming, which is relatively unusual as most powerful fans only have two speeds.

The fan features a multidirectional swivel base, which has two-axis rotation. A large knob allows you to loosen the base and move it side to side, while a smaller knob allows you to move the fan up and down. The screw-down mounting system is good as it keeps the fans secure in rough water.

The stand features a guard which completely covers the front and back, though the openings in the front or somewhat larger. CAFRAMO advertises a 5000-hour lifespan for the motor, which offers years of reliable use out of this 12-volt marine fan.


  • 3-speed control
  • 5000-hour long-life motor
  • Screw-down base mounted
  • Fully guarded blades

3. Tiny Tornado II Electric Fan

Here's a unique and attractive marine fan with an unusual base and CAFRAMO's proprietary FingerSafe blades. The unshrouded Tiny Tornado II fan, which comes in bronze and black, is a modern-looking option that works great on large and small boats.

The fan moves 100 cubic feet of air per minute, which is quite a lot for a small, efficient design. It's battery-operated as well, which means it's portable. This fan is ideal for use on tables and counters inside of your boat, and it doesn't require any drilling or mounting.

The base utilizes a suction cup, which can mount to any smooth flat or vertical surface. You can mount it on the window and enjoy a cool blast of air while operating your boat while sitting down to eat. The fan operates on a single D battery, which is economical. The head tilts all the way to the front and back, which is unique and allows you to adjust the angle of the air.

The fan measures 7.5 inches tall and 4.5 inches wide. Overall, the Tiny Tornado II is a great option for use anywhere in your boat where wiring is not available or inconvenient. The fan will operate for 24 hours on a single D battery, and you can use it with rechargeable or disposable batteries.


  • Battery operated
  • Suction cup mount
  • 100-Cfm per hour air movement
  • Portable design

4. Sirocco II Multi-Position Cabin Fan

What if you want a high-quality marine fan that fits the look of a classic boat interior? CAFRAMO has the answer with the Sirocco II cabin fan. This 12-volt wall-mounted marine fan offers an old-fashioned design coupled with modern efficiency. It operates at either 12 or 24 volts, and it moves a large volume of air while using very little power.

The fan can move up to 140 cfm of air on high, 115 cfm medium, and 90 cfm on low. As a 3-speed fan, this model is more adaptable to different temperatures, and it can be wired directly into your climate control system. The fan measures 9 and 1/2 inches in width, 12 inches in height, and 3 and 1/2 inches in depth.

It features a swivel base with a locking system and a second swivel above that also moves up and down. It can also move side to side using a gimbaled swivel. This van has a shroud, but it also features CAFRAMO's patented FingerSafe blades. If you do manage to get your fingers caught in the fan, it won't cause any injury.

The gimbaled swivel mechanism is unique amongst marine fans, and it works quite well in sailboat cabins. The fan also features a timer that can be set at intervals of three hours, six hours, nine hours, or twelve hours. That means you can 'set it and forget it when you go to sleep or step off the boat. All metal parts on the fan are CE certified and corrosion-resistant, which makes it ideal for saltwater applications.


  • Corrosion-resistant
  • 140 cfm capacity on high
  • 12v DC or 24v DC operation
  • Features a timer
  • FingerSafe blades in a gimbaled shroud

5. Kona Weatherproof 12v Marine Fan

But what about an outside mounted fan? Many fans can't be exposed to an excessive amount of heat, water, or weather, but that's not the case with the Kona weatherproof marine fan. This 12-volt fan pictures three speeds with an energy-efficient motor. And with a two-year warranty, the Kona fan is ideal for anyone who needs a reliable electric fan on the inside or outside of the boat.

The fan measures 10 inches high, 7 inches wide, and 7 and 1/2 inches deep. It's considered large by marine fan standards, and it can move an astounding 230 cubic feet of air per minute. This fan, as you might expect, is also made by CAFRAMO. But unlike some other fans, it's designed to be completely weatherproof.

The housing is made of UV stabilized plastic, and all fasteners are corrosion-resistant stainless steel. Additionally, the watertight motor is made of extruded aluminum which does not corrode under normal circumstances. The fan is highly efficient, and it moves almost twice the volume of air as its competitors.

The Kona fan features a cigarette lighter style connector, and with a little bit of modification, it could be wired directly into your power system with a fuse. It has a protective shroud that wraps entirely around the fan blades, which ensures that you won't get your fingers caught if you get too close. The base is designed to be permanently affixed using screws or other bats nurse.


  • 230 cfm air moving capacity
  • 12v dc power
  • Weatherproof
  • UV and corrosion-proof materials

6. Guest Fixed-Mount Oscillating Marine Fan

Guest is another producer of 12-volt marine fans. They have a simple and reliable wall-mounted oscillating fan, which moves automatically. Like most oscillating fans, it features a tab on the back of the motor. When you pull it up, it prevents the fan from moving side to side.

The fan swivels horizontally automatically, and it also adjusts up and down with a nut and bolt. It's controlled by a simple toggle switch, making it ideal for sailboat cabins and sleeping quarters.

One advantage of this fan is that it folds of the way and up against its mounting bracket when not in use. The mount is designed for the base of the motor to lay flush against, which is a space-saving addition unique to this fan.

The blades are completely shrouded in a metal cage, which offers protection for your fingers and hair. The fan can be mounted vertically or horizontally using screws, and it's wired directly into your 12-volt system.

It only features one speed due to its small size and simple operation. Family this is highly reliable, and I deal in areas where you just need to move some air around.


  • Mounts to the wall using screws
  • Oscillating function
  • Single-speed toggle switch
  • Simple, reliable, and efficient operation
  • Highly compact overall size

7. Taku 12v Hatch Fan

Here's a fan you can install that isn't like any of the others we've mentioned on this list. The CAFRAMO Taku hatch fan is a unique and highly useful sailboat ventilating tool. It mounts inside of a hatch and moves fresh air into the boat or draws stale air out of the boat.

With a fan like this in the bow, you can leave the companionway hatch cracked and have a constant stream of fresh air drawn all the way through the boat. When in use, the fan is positioned flush with the hatch opening when the hatch is open. When not in use, the fan retreats into its bracket and swings completely out of the way.

In many cases, the fan fits entirely inside of the hatch out of the cabin. The fan comes with four motor speeds, which is the highest on this list so far. On low, the fan moves 140 cubic feet of air per minute. On medium, the fan moves 205 cubic feet of air. On high and 'Turbo mode,' the hatch fan moves 340 and 500 cubic feet of air per minute, respectively.

The fan uses 12 volts of DC power and features a 2-year warranty. It has push-button controls and 360-degree directional motion. Overall, the fan measures a bit above 13 inches in length, 13 inches in width, and a bit more than 2 inches in height.


  • Up to 500 cfm
  • Mounts in a hatch
  • Wires directly into 12v DC power
  • Four motor speeds
  • Folds away into bracket

8. CO-Z Marine Duct Fan

The CO-Z marine duct fan is a waterproof air mover designed to mount to a 4-inch duct. This fan can be used for keeping your air fresh when you're away, or it can mount directly into a marine HVAC system. It's a quiet 6-blade inline blower fan that operates on 12 volts at 75 Watts.

This fan moves up to 270 cubic feet of air per minute. It is waterproof, which makes it ideal for use as a bilge blower. The fan is made of UV and heat-resistant ABS plastic, and metal parts are corrosion resistant as well. It mounts to any surface using a bracket designed for two screws, bolts, or other fasteners.


  • Waterproof
  • Works with 4-inch air ducts
  • 270 CFM

9. Hurricane HGCT 12" Wall-Mount Marine Fan

So far, the Hurricane HGCT marine fan is the largest model we've featured yet. This 12-inch wall-mounted fan is a proper interior fan, as it moves a similar volume of air to what you're probably used to in your home. It can cool a large space inside of a sailboat or powerboat. The oscillation and fan speed can also be controlled using convenient drawstrings, which makes it ideal for mounting high in living spaces.

The fan is also available as an 18-inch model or a pedestal fan. It runs on 120 volts, but it will also run on 12 volts DC with a marine inverter. The Hurricane fan is oscillating, which means it moves side to side. It features a simple control dial with three adjustable motor speeds.

It oscillates 90 degrees in each direction and adjusts up and down on its pedestal using a screw. It wires directly into your power system and features durable metal fan support. The Hurricane fan measures 17.8 inches in length, 13 inches in width, and 22 inches in height. It is also ETL certified for quality.


  • Works on 12v DC with an inverter
  • Oscillates 90 degrees
  • Pull-cord oscillation and speed control
  • Wall mount or pedestal

10. Seachoice 71451 DC Oscillating Fan

The Seachoice oscillating fan is a great option for small boat cabins, cockpits, berthing spaces, and sitting areas. It features a fixed mount and moves a large volume of air for its compact size.

The Seachoice 71451 fan features a single speed controlled by a simple toggle switch, and an attractive white and blue housing and blade design. This model it's designed to wire directly into 12 volt DC power, and it draws an extremely low amount of energy to operate. It's rustproof but not entirely weatherproof, so it's best used inside your sailboat cabin.

Oscillation can be switched on and off using a tab on the motor. This small fan measures 9 and 1/2 inches high, 6 and 1/2 inches deep, and 7 inches in diameter. The 6-inch fan blades are shrouded in a metal cage, which protects your fingers from injury. This small and efficient fan works well on sailboats and powerboats.


  • Compact size
  • Simple and reliable design
  • Wires directly to power source
  • Mounts using screws
  • Durable ABS housing and blades
  • Rustproof

11. Guest 903-5 Marine Cabin Personal Fan

The Guest 903-5 marine cabin fan is perhaps the most unique compact fan on our list. This attractive symmetrical swivel fan measures 6 inches tall, 6 inches deep, and 6 inches wide. It swivels on a ball-style base and features a single on and off toggle switch.

It mounts to the wall and wires directly into your electrical power system. The base hides the screws, which gives it a sleek and clean appearance. While not the most powerful fan on the market, this small fan is ideal for cooling a small space such as a berthing area or ahead.

The Guest 903-5 personal cabin fan uses less power than some of the competition, and it fits in extremely small spaces. Overall, this affordable marine fan is a great addition to any space in your boat.


  • Compact size
  • Single-speed toggles switch
  • Wires directly into power source
  • Sleek design

12. HELLA 12v 2-Speed Turbo Fan

HELLA is an old and well-known producer of small marine lamps and fans, including this two-speed 'Turbo' model. This small gimbaled fan has a classic design and pitched blades that move a lot of air with very little power. In fact, the fan only uses 6.5 watts of 12-volt DC power.

The two-speed front-mounted switch is easy to use and tactile, making this fan a great option for mounting in sleeping areas. The design is safe and proven, as this model has been made for decades.

Though these fans are no longer made in Germany, quality seems to have followed the fan to its new factory. Interestingly, some 'new old stock' models that can be found on the market are still marked 'West Germany.' This small and efficient fan is an affordable and long-lasting option for use anywhere in your boat.


  • Two-speed operation
  • Low power consumption (6.5 watts)
  • Safe and proven design
Best 12 Volt Fans For Sailboats
Daniel Wade

Daniel Wade

I've personally had thousands of questions about sailing and sailboats over the years. As I learn and experience sailing, and the community, I share the answers that work and make sense to me, here on Life of Sailing.

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