Originally Posted by Southern Star
Since all models are similar in appearance, I think we have to be careful to distinguish the Airmarine 303, 403, AirX and Air Breeze models; furthermore, we have to consider the condition of the blades ( and whether they have been 'honed' with sandpaper, or replaced with the decidedly quiter after-market blades). Certainly Airmarine has made claims that their new blades reduce noise; furthermore, the link at the start of this thread claims greatly reduced noise from either an AirX or Air Breeze that has been installed with the aftermarket blades.
I wonder if those who are complaining generically about the noise of all Airmarine products are able to confirm that they are newer models with well-maintained blades; or better still, that they were equipped with the aftermarket blades that seem to dramatically reduce the ambient noise?
I spent many years anchored amoung these different units. (And trying to get as far away as possible). The orrigional "Air Marine" was first, then the "Air-X" was supposed to be quieter. I could tell no difference at all between them!
I attended a SSCA meeting once, and anchored to the far outskirts of the fleet to avoid the Air-x units ALL around. Then another Air-X anchored near me, and I moved. I noted my GPS
distance, and had to move over 1/4 of a mile! Then another one anchored close by, and I moved again, (pulling up the hook hand over hand each time). I was now over 2 miles from the dinghy
dock, in an area where you can't legally get your dinghy
on plane. I haven't attended another SSCA meeting since. These people are supposed have a motto of "Leave a clean wake"... The ones around me wern't!
All over the Eastern Caribbean
I would have "just moved" from the Air-Xs more often than I did, but there was often no room. This meant that our largest and only cool, comfortable, spot on the boat, "the central cockpit", was off limits. We would suffer through the heat down below.
The folks we ocasionally buddy boated with that had a KISS generator
, were never a problem. Their generator's gentil whirr could only be heard for 50' or so, and I never anchor
that close. These folks also hated the Air-X units!
There are many VERY quiet, but compairatively low output brands: AmpAir, LMV, Rutland
, AeroGen, and a few new ones that I have not yet researched. They should be considered as well...
Since being back stateside, the Air Breeze came out. It is indeed quieter than the Air-x in volume, but not in it's irritating nature. We recently had one left on in our marina, and I approached it, then walked away paceing off the steps, untill I was not particularly aware of it. It was over 300'! BTW... my wife says I am loosing my hearing, so some would hear it for a greater distance.
I prefer to anchor
this far away when I can, but it is often just not possible. As it is, it forces everyone in a 600' circle around your boat, (who is above decks), to listen to it. In my book, this is just not considerate behavior.
In popular anchorages
, one must frequently anchor as close as 75' from the next boat. This should be a maximum distance that one creates noise, IF they give a damn about the guy next to them. The Air Breeze doesn't even come close!
I have seen the aftermarket "purple" blades, but never heard them. I hope that they do in fact get the noise level down to the < 75' range. At a glance, I am skeptical, because the long, thin, tapering blades look similar, and it is the reason that this brand of wind generator
stands alone for volume and irritating noise. They avoided the whole issues of over RPM
, over heat, perfect balanced blades, etc... by designing blades that are partially or mostly "stalled out" when the wind picks up. This is what makes this level and kind of noise, and why none of the others do. It's the shape of the blades! The engineering hurdle that they avoided by going this route
, made the unit simple, a bit less expensive, much more of a profit maker, AND the most antisocial piece of marine gear
in about 20 years. IMO.
I just want to warn those thinking of buying
them before it's too late, and suggest another brand. For those who have them already, if you could just be aware that they drive a lot of us up the wall, and only use them at sea... Or anchor beyond the "noise zone" of the particular model/blades that you have. For the Air-X it's 1/4 mile, and for the Air Breeze, it's 300'... I don't know about the "purple blades"?