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Old 26-10-2009, 21:14   #61
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Aboard GAME PLAN, we have about 260 watts of solar power and like you, we wanted to add a wind turbine for when we're in the trades.

We selected the Marine AIR-X for several reasons. It's self contained for the most part. The new model is quiet and with the proper mount, transmits virtually no vibration below decks. It's performance compares favorably with it's competitors as does it's price.

Installation was straightforward and with no external regulator, the wiring was a breeze.

Others in here can advise you on other makes but we've had ours aboard for two years now with no complaints. It's been through two tropical storms, freezing temps, 100+F temps, etc with no problems to report.

I would suggest a spare set of blades. Not that we've ever needed ours but should there be a problem with just one of the blades, the turbine can't be operated.

The only other make that we considered seriously was the KISS. Good unit, owners swear by them but we opted for the AIR-X.

We used E-Marine in Ft. Lauderdale to trade with. Good folks and very helpful. They're on the web.
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Old 28-10-2009, 14:02   #62
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AirX and noise...no more

Bought my Air-X in 1997. The first installation on their tower tubing didn't fair well nor long. The output was fine to better than fine but the noise was loud to very loud. Whole hull resonated echo chamber style. As it happened a stern arch project was next up so we designed it minimize vibration an noise transfer. On the new boat the stern arch reduced it even more.

HOWEVER the real trick is polishing the blades OR buying the blade set from Portugal. Since I was ready for replacements I went that route. How good are they? So good I dismounted them when gone from the area and locked 'em up for safekeeping.

Those blades also drive the AirX at higher RPM in lower air speeds. Yet another advantage.

Cheers

Michael
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Old 28-10-2009, 14:25   #63
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Another vote for KISS

We love our KISS
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Old 28-10-2009, 14:43   #64
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Blades?

Which blades specifically? Do you know of the website?
I have heard that careful sanding of the blades can help as well. I got an air-x for free, so I will be trying it out soon. I have a mount that bolts to our arch - I may also use rubber vibration mounts, as will be a two plates of aluminum bolted together to attach the mount/generator to the arch.

Chris


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Originally Posted by Michael D View Post
Bought my Air-X in 1997. The first installation on their tower tubing didn't fair well nor long. The output was fine to better than fine but the noise was loud to very loud. Whole hull resonated echo chamber style. As it happened a stern arch project was next up so we designed it minimize vibration an noise transfer. On the new boat the stern arch reduced it even more.

HOWEVER the real trick is polishing the blades OR buying the blade set from Portugal. Since I was ready for replacements I went that route. How good are they? So good I dismounted them when gone from the area and locked 'em up for safekeeping.

Those blades also drive the AirX at higher RPM in lower air speeds. Yet another advantage.

Cheers

Michael
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Old 29-10-2009, 07:01   #65
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Which blades specifically? Do you know of the website?


Chris
Spreco Lda is the company that makes the quiet replacement blades.

Fair Winds,
Mike
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Old 29-10-2009, 08:28   #66
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When we purchased our Air-X, other cruisers on the dock commented that we should anchor well away from other boats if we wanted to remain in good graces. Being concerned about noise, I sanded and varnished the blades... and the Air-X was reasonably quiet. As we wanted a replacement set of blades on board, we opted to purchase the 'silent' blades indicated in the previous post. Installed them 2 days ago. Yep, they make a difference. Even quieter than my finely sanded/smooth blades. I didn't run numbers on amp output, but anecdotally, I believe they put out more power for a given wind speed. For us, the $$ were worth it.

Steve
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Old 29-10-2009, 08:44   #67
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Steve,

How much more are the new blades. It's interesting that to make the Air-X acceptable you have to either polish the blades or buy a new set of after market blades. Why doesn't Air-X ship their units with better blades?
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Old 29-10-2009, 09:13   #68
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sanding advice?

What grit sandpaper was used? Any other hints?

Thanks.
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Old 29-10-2009, 09:40   #69
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Rick- the 'silent' blades are quite a bit more expensive. In all, I believe we paid $328 US for them, including shipping and a $25 US Customs charge. One can purchase the 'stock' Air-X blades for about $120, plus shipping.

The 'silent' blades appear to be much better constructed, quite smooth, and a bit wider (they fit just fine).

Bash- we just used 220 grit sandpaper (that's what we had on board). Just sat in the cockpit and leisurely sanded each blade til they were pretty much smooth. There were still some pits from the manufacturing process, to I decided to put on a couple of coats of varnish to see if we could smooth them out even more. It worked. The stock blades were acceptable (to us) in regards to noise and output.

Our main reason for going to the 'silent' blades was two-fold: first we wanted to keep a spare set of blades on board, as our wind generator is quite important to us when cruising; and second... we had read on these posts about the virtues of the 'silent' blades. So we decided to give them a try. Expensive, but so far... no regrets.
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Old 29-10-2009, 10:11   #70
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Does seem silly they don't provide them that way until you figure MOST of their sales seem to be directed at the landlubber market. Are the Spreco's worth the money at $275.00US before changing to Euros? Well if you already have he Air-X yes. It's worth it. 'nuff said.

M.
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Old 29-10-2009, 10:14   #71
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I went for the new Airbreeze which had a fantastic write up by Nigel Calder. The control unit is great and it's pretty quiet too with the new blades. Rated up to 200A which seems more than adequate and starts up at about 8 - 10 kts. It's a lot lighter than the D400.
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Old 29-10-2009, 10:52   #72
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I love my Air Marine-X; however, I'm thinking of going over to the Southwest Air Marine-"Breeze", smaller unit but on average more output with lighter winds and most dependable manufacturer with history-the Southwest.
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Old 29-10-2009, 11:01   #73
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Hmmm... I Thought they were the same manufacturer!? I know I bought by Air X from Southwest...

But, I maybe going senile. It being such a long time ago!
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Old 30-10-2009, 04:59   #74
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I thought that was what I was saying.
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Old 30-10-2009, 06:36   #75
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Seeing as how the KISS and the 4 winds puts out twice as much power at 10 knots, where most of its life will spend... why not go for one of those. ?
Kiss will put out ~ 9am or over 100 watts at 12v vs the 40 watts or 3.3 amps...
Im sure its a well built unit, but for the price, the KISS still can't be beat.
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