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Old 10-10-2010, 18:22   #16
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There is a company that makes replacement blades for the AirX generators that are supposed to be silent. A google search should turn up the source. They supposedly work very well and are even quieter than the latest generation AirX blades.
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Old 10-10-2010, 18:35   #17
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Saw a cormorant get caught in wind shear on approach into our mooring area, and tried to duck a 913. Didn't make it, but the 913 did. Still working last time I saw it.
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Old 10-10-2010, 18:47   #18
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I haven't seen the new AirX blades but the skinny black ones are sooooo noisy. I wouldn't use one of those if it was free. The noise from one of them carries about 50 yards. The Rutland's noise carries about 10 yards.
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Old 10-10-2010, 18:54   #19
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I don't get this argument that for the price of a wind gen you can get more power out of a solar panel for your buck....for the price of an airbreeze wind gen @ less than US$800 you can only get about one 80-120W solar panel. When I ws in Fiji with 260W solar only and sitting on 60% battry charge, contemplting running the engine, I was envious of those with wind gens and full battery banks. I now have one and could not be happier. I find the noise of rigging banging and clanking the bug bare.
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Old 10-10-2010, 18:58   #20
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There is a company that makes replacement blades for the AirX generators that are supposed to be silent. A google search should turn up the source. They supposedly work very well and are even quieter than the latest generation AirX blades.
Do we have any folks here on CF who have actually used these blades? I for one would be interested is some unbiased feedback on them.

Other thing on my mind: Those who advocate having exclusively solar generation must live where the sun is always high in the sky and shining brightly. We're in the tropics now, and our 240 watts of fixed panels take care of our needs... mostly. But even here at latitude 16 something south, we've had an extremely wet season (for a dry season, that is!), and the bloody sun has been conspicuously absent for days at a time, making me happy to have my Air-X. Very soon we will start heading south to Tasmania, arriving at about 43 south. The summer days are pretty long down there (that's good) but the sun angle is much lower than in the tropics (that's bad). Tassie seldom lacks for wind, though, so once again we'll be glad to have an alternative to solar and as always, to running the engine to charge batteries.

Cheers,

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Trinity Inlet, CAirns, Qld, Oz
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Old 10-10-2010, 19:12   #21
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I haven't used the blades (no wind gen), but have been anchored next to a few boats with them. They are virtually silent. I'm happy to see the purple blades come into an anchorage. Like I posted earlier, units with these blades and the D400's are silent. KISS is pretty silent, and several others that don't produce much power (Rutland) are silent.

The Airbreeze is quieter than the AirX (as are most helicopters), but it is not silent. I would rank it one of the noisier units, but they can be lived with in windy conditions if one is anchored >100' away.

This opinion is not one formed from owning and defending any specific unit, but from being subjected for many years to many boats in many places with different units.

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Old 10-10-2010, 19:22   #22
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I don't get this argument that for the price of a wind gen you can get more power out of a solar panel for your buck....for the price of an airbreeze wind gen @ less than US$800 you can only get about one 80-120W solar panel. When I ws in Fiji with 260W solar only and sitting on 60% battry charge, contemplting running the engine, I was envious of those with wind gens and full battery banks. I now have one and could not be happier. I find the noise of rigging banging and clanking the bug bare.
We paid $330.00 for a 135 watt Kyocera. Seems solar panels are dropping in price.
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Old 10-10-2010, 19:52   #23
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Do we have any folks here on CF who have actually used these blades? I for one would be interested is some unbiased feedback on them.


so once again we'll be glad to have an alternative to solar and as always, to running the engine to charge batteries.

Cheers,

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Trinity Inlet, CAirns, Qld, Oz
There was thread a long time ago where some had actually used and reported on them. My search abilities are lacking though.

I think you have it right though.
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Old 10-10-2010, 20:14   #24
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We loved our old wind buggers, not for their generating capacity but for the wind alarm that they provided in the middle of the night. That said I do not understand the seeking of a noisless utopia. I hear noise wherever I go be it the waves crashing on the shore, the hum of a wind generator, the whoosh and hum of a genset exhaust, rain pounding the heck out of my deck so loud I cannot go back to sleep. These are all sounds of life,
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Old 10-10-2010, 20:47   #25
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Well, where I am I haven't seen the sun but for a few minutes at a time in the last two weeks, so if I were depending on solar, I would be out of luck. We do have a lot of wind though to make up for the lack of sunlight here in the North 50s. So, my neighbors and myself just have to put up with the noise, although I do not find it to be obnoxious at all. My advice is be gracious and live with it. Some people really don't have much of a choice.
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Old 10-10-2010, 20:47   #26
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On Gallivant we have an Ampair Pacific 300 great operation and quiet only noise is when it feather in >30knots or reg cuts it out in high wind. Combined with 2x60watt cig panel supplies our live aboard with out too much trouble.
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Old 10-10-2010, 21:33   #27
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Today my wife & I took a stroll around a couple of marinas, and by chance one boat had the new air breeze unit "weed whacking away" on a boat at the T head dock. In winds of 12 - 15 mph, we could easily hear it several hundred feet away. This is no exageration. With the old Air X units, I have measured with my GPS & nav program how far I had to move to get far enough away to sit in our cockpit. It was over 1/4 mile!

I admit that the definition of "an irritating noise" is subjective, but many perhaps most of us go cruising to sit in our cockpit, in bucolic anchorages, and enjoy the view & sounds of nature.. Birds, the lapping of the water, etc. People screaming, really loud music, barking dogs, jet skis, and AirMarine/AirX/AirBreeze wind generators are "noise" that ruins the experience for them. These behaviors are antisocial... Common courtesy dictates that we give as much room as possible to others when we enter an anchorage, there is no need to be intentionally offensive to so many people, just to drive them away.

I have heard, but never been offended by any of the other brands. The LMV, AeroGen, AmpAir, Rutland, etc, are silent to neighboring boats. (a mizzen mast is the best location) The larger & louder Four Winds, or even the old Wind Buggers, definetly could be heard, but the low frequency helicopter sound was not like the high frequency WISHHHHCHACHACHA---WISHHHCHACHACHA Of The Air X brothers. It's like the sound of chalk squeeking on a blackboard to many of us. There are much better wind generator choices out there! The KISS generator for example, beats the Air Breeze in every department, and it's soft fan noise is much more tolerable. Otherwise... Solar last longer, is a more reliable sorce of power, & its quiet!

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Old 10-10-2010, 22:13   #28
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People screaming, really loud music, barking dogs, jet skis, and AirMarine/AirX/AirBreeze wind generators are "noise" that ruins the experience for them. These behaviors are antisocial... Common courtesy dictates that we give as much room as possible to others when we enter an anchorage, there is no need to be intentionally offensive to so many people, just to drive them away.
wow. antisocial. "intentionally offensive."

gasp.

I suppose that if I were a fair-weather sailor, or one of those people who only sail during the summer months, or someone who only sails in the lower latitudes, I'd find the "common courtesy" argument outlined above to be persuasive enough to convince me to revert to an all-solar charging system. Alas, I tend to enjoy the crazy part of sailing where we make night-time passages, and anchor out during the winter months even when it's foggy and/or rainy.

Here's a firm offer: find me a solar panel that charges at night, or even within a fog bank, and I'll gladly trade in my wind generator. Until that point, comparing the noise of an Air Breeze to jet skis, barking dogs, loud music, or people screaming is a bit over the top. This is what I meant by "hyperbole."

If you can hear it, and I honestly doubt you can, common sense dictates you consider it to be the sound of a diesel generator not running. And that's a pleasant sort of noise.
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Old 10-10-2010, 22:20   #29
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In looking back at the above post, I see that some folks were disappointed in the performance of their solar panels in predominantly cloudy places. If this was the case, they were not sized correctly to the boat. You need at LEAST twice the (REAL) solar power, in Amp Hours generated on a perfect day, of your normal daily usage. Then you will still get charged up, even on totally overcast days. If conserving energy on your boat is not practical for you, and you can't find room for enough solar panels, then you could supplement with a small "quiet" brand of wind generator (or quieter blades). As long as it doesn't shade the panel! Remember, when comparing prices, triple the cost of the wind generator before you compare it to Solar... Because you will probably be replacing the wind generator several times during the lifespan of a solar panel.

For us, anchored out at TTSA In Trinidad... Yes, It was cloudy but windy. We still got by with our solar. Here (NC) in the protected anchorages of our rivers & sounds, or most lee anchorages in island hopping (like the Bahamas, the western Caribbean, or even up the Rio Dulce), wind generators will not help much.

If money really is the issue... Conservation is by far the best bang for the buck, along with solar! (measured over a 20 year period of cruising & liveaboard, not just one very overcast but windy, miserably bouncy, anchorage)
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Old 10-10-2010, 23:08   #30
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Bash,
When I used the words "intentional" it was in reference to those who were presumably joking, about intentionally getting the most obnoxious brand of wind generator in order to drive other people further away. It was a coment about that coment.
I don't think that the folks that get the "Southwest Wind Power" units do it to anoy others. I think it is because they are sold at West Marine, and most people don't know about the quieter, or more powerful, alternatives, (like the KISS). I've had wind generators on my boats since the early 80s, untill I realized the solar advantage. They both have their place.

We were anchored out a week ago during the recent East coast flood rain event at Cape Lookout. We got all of our required amps then too.

I do have solar panels that work at night and in the fog! For over 2,000 nights on the hook in fact. Sometimes for as much as 4 or 5 days of continuous rain. It is done the way I have outlined. We can run for about 4 or 5 days and nights off of our batteries alone, without cycling our 340 AH Trojans past 50%. This is if we had 0 energy going in. Being that worst case rain & overcast days will still give us about 50% of our usual solar power, we would have to have over two weeks of this before cranking the engine. In a white out fog, we might get actually 85% of max. from our panels. They love white out low vis conditions, as long as it's "brite".

I don't care if anyone switches from wind to solar, I was just trying to help, if someone is in a decision making stage. Solar will not work on every boat due to space & design constraints. (you need a lot for it to work) If they need or decide on a wind unit, there are several much better alternatives than the Southwest wind power units. (like the ones I've mentioned) It's not an opinion.

I have shared the anchorage with friends with an AirX before, and it was no problem, because they only ran it at night when we were down below. Otherwise, one cheep & easy thing that sounds like a viable alternative for folks that already have these units, and want to be considerate to the perhaps 80% of people who hate the noise... Is give those quieter blades a try. I know nothing about them, but I suspect that they will do the job.
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