A wind generator
has limited application for a cruiser IMO. You really need 15+ kts of wind to put out meaningful energy and how many anchorages
have that much wind.
Are solar panels
efficient? Well efficient means a lot of things. You can rig up an articulating mount that will keep the panels
perpendicular to the sun all day long. But a good blow will probably rip them off. Most solar panels
are permanently mounted near horizontal, sometimes on the dinghy davits
and sometimes on stainless bows over the bimini
Fixed mount panels are almost never pointed perpendicular to the sun, so it takes more panels than otherwise, but panels are getting pretty cheap
A typical cruiser who uses 80 amphours each day for refrigeration
, lights, radio
, computer recharging, etc, will need 200-300 watts of solar panels to keep up with that load. A simple solar system with two 140W, 17 V panels with a simple non-MPPT controller will cost about $800 excluding wiring
That is a pretty cheap
way to cover a cruiser's energy needs.