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We’ve spent the last three nights at anchor and the two boats closest to us, owned by a few of our friends, have wind generators on board. Although I know that many people find their noise to be disturbing, both Rebecca and I could only think about the valuable electrical energy that was being added into their boat’s battery banks. And we don’t have one. 🙁


  1. I have the same ambivalence. I want the power, but I don’t like the noise.

    What to do?


  2. I dig the Rutland 913. It may not be the cheapest one out there, but it is the quietest:

    If you want to try it out on the cheap, Southwest Windpower sells their remanufactured Air Breeze units for less than $400 with a one year warranty.

  3. Mike,

    Off of the current subject, but how is that new head working out for you? Fed any plants yet ?

    Whistler II
    PDQ 32 LRC #41

    • Hi Mark

      I had been waiting on posting about that until we got everything sorted out properly. It is now working well. It definitely took some tweaking to make it work with the available space. I’ll post on the blog about it all in the next few days.

  4. Mike…We are getting 150 of these things (except 200 feet high) in Nantucket Sound……..Brilliant Government to ruin out sound! I would just buy Rebecca a stationary bike and attach it to your battaries with a couple of jumper cables and have her ride a couple of hours a day to create electricity………Good way to keep her in shape too!

    • They are talking about putting a bunch of them in the water right near here.

      As for the bike thing, I have heard it mentioned before. If there was any way that it could realistically generate power then we would be all over that!

  5. We have two wind gennies – one v ancient one on the mizzen which is a pain once over F4 but will generate good power in the slightest zephyr. (it needs new blades at the moment – a job on the list!)

    More usefully for you we also have an aquair 100. This can be either towed (only worth doing on long passages) or can be hoisted in the rigging when you’re at an anchorage. Or you can permanently mount it on a pole. We got it for the dual use but it’s fantastically quiet – much quieter than the shrp-bladed ‘modern’ ones whihc always sound a bit kinky! As it’s on ropes and guys, it doesn’t vibrate the boat, even in 35 knots of wind and it has good power output (tho not as high as the kinky ones). It needs about 6 knots of wind to get going.

    With that and our solars we’ve been good the last two weeks at anchor despite overcast days, heavy rain and calms. When we leave here, we’ll need an additional 20mins to take it down.

    • Very interesting. I hadn’t heard of that model:

      Do you have any pics of it rigged on your boat?

      • We’ll post something in the next few days about it. Interesting what Beth and Evans say – and heaven knows they have the experience. But I think it depends on what other generating capacity you have – we don’t carry a fossil fuel generator beyond the second alternator on the engine but run the fridge, computers etc, so we like to get every bit of free power going.

        And we’re about to reinsulate our elderly fridge – that should help a lot.

  6. Don’t let turning blades fool you into thinking that this equates to battery charging. There are lots of variables including but not limited to:

    State of battery charge/acceptance rate/charge controller
    Type of battery
    Type of wind gen (Rutland = v. quiet, but little power, AirX = NOT quiet, but very good power potential)
    etc, etc

    Fair Winds,

  7. Helen A. Spalding

    I must admit that I have always planned to have both solar panels and a wind generator. I had considered the kind that can also be towed, so as to generate power while sailing in no sun, but have heard many stories about the fish biting them off the line. Now, if they had a hook____!! However, first, I have to find my cat. I KNOW she’s out there.

    • I have heard that the towed ones seldom get used. The power generated by towing comes at the price of reduced speed.

      Definitely wind AND solar together would be the ideal. The trick is to have the real estate to locate them and the money to afford them.

      • I have no expereince, but…

        It strikes me that if you are sailing there is wind. Also, both approaches would have about the same speed vs. watt trade-off, lacking contrary information. wind seems simpler.

        But I dislike the noise and the look…

        But if I lived aboard I have one. Watching batteries is a drag.

  8. Currently hanging out with Beth Leonard and Evans Starzinger. They both vote no on the wind genny. Too little juice for too much $$ and noise. Add another solar panel.

  9. Go solar! No noise, just add as many panels as you need to match your energy budget…

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