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Old 08-02-2013, 09:49   #1
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Wind Generators - Do All Serious Cruisers Have Them?

Hi all,

Don't know if this is the right forum for this question, but here it is. I am ordering a new arch for my CSY 44 and I'm wondering if I should have a bracket for wind generation installed. I know the pros and cons, and I am worried about taking arch space away from solar panels, as well as shading them with the wind genny.

So for those of you who are actually out there cruising, or who have cruised in the past, what is your opinion? Is a wind generator a must-have? Or too noisy and too much shading of the solar panels?

This is a serious inquiry, so I hope it doesn't touch off a war between those with and those without.

BTW, I will be cruising the Sea of Cortez in Mexico, and then the
South Pacific islands.

As always, thank you for you practical advice.

Cheers, Bill
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:52   #2
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Not a serious cruiser yet but we had one. Dont want another, noisey , need service every few years would rather havr solars
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:58   #3
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Re: Wind Generators - Do All Serious Cruisers Have Them?

Solar is our primary power source but once the sun goes down they are worthless. Wind will not generate as much power as our solar panels but it may blow through the night.

Why do you need to decide now? Adding a mount cannot be that hard. If it is only a couple more bucks to add, go for it, even if you never use it.
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Old 08-02-2013, 10:00   #4
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Re: Wind Generators - Do All Serious Cruisers Have Them?

We have a Solar Stik with a Kiss windgen on top. We also have two additional solar panels on our dinghy davits. We like our Kiss. It is quiet and generates good output in higher winds, but takes about 8 knots to get going. We like to get power when there isn't any sun, but if we had to choose, I would definitely go with solar since there are more sunny days than not.
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Old 08-02-2013, 10:03   #5
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Definitely not a must in my book. We have solar panels, and personally they are much more out of sight out of mind than a noisy wind generator would be. But lots of people have them.
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Old 08-02-2013, 10:04   #6
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Re: Wind Generators - Do All Serious Cruisers Have Them?

Put a pole for a wind generator on the arch. It can't hurt. If you do install a pole make sure it is on the port side of the arch. In our part of the world(Bahamas, Carib) you mostly face east when you anchor. Having the wind genny on the port side helps for shading. Or not shading really.

Oops, just checked where you're cruising. I don't know the winds there. Wherever they come from, which direction you mostly face, make sure the pole in on the side that shades the panels the least.
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Old 08-02-2013, 10:37   #7
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Re: Wind Generators - Do All Serious Cruisers Have Them?

I have the KISS wind gen & its quiet & powerful-never had any troble with it in 6 years puts out 20 amps/hour with 20 knots of wind-the troble its not enough because the wind is not always blowing- im puttting solar on and will have to mose the KISS so it does not shade the solar
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Old 08-02-2013, 10:44   #8
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pirate Re: Wind Generators - Do All Serious Cruisers Have Them?

Aerogen and panels on the arch... quiet and efficient...
Dunno how much they put out... did not care... everything worked...
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Old 08-02-2013, 12:00   #9
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Re: Wind Generators - Do All Serious Cruisers Have Them?

Google "Soggy Paws" It's the blog for a cruising couple on a CSY 44 walkthrough. They are currently on a circumnavigation of several years, and are currently in the south pacific. Surf their blog. It is very detailed, with the history of the CSY, as well as all the work and upgrades they have done to their boat. If you want to find out anything CSY that is the place to go. Best of luck.
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Old 08-02-2013, 12:11   #10
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Re: Wind Generators - Do All Serious Cruisers Have Them?

I find solar and wind complement each other nicely. I remember one cloudy breezy passage where the wind genny cranked out 20+ amps for days keeping us powered up when solar was negligable.
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Old 08-02-2013, 13:22   #11
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Re: Wind Generators - Do All Serious Cruisers Have Them?

We don't have a wind generator. But we do try to keep our cruising light-hearted.

The reason the guys with wind gens are so serious might be due to the noise keeping them awake all night.
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Old 08-02-2013, 13:27   #12
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Re: Wind Generators - Do All Serious Cruisers Have Them?

I don't know if I qualify as "serious" but we don't have a wind generator. The panels put out a lot, the engine goes on frequently enough (moving around every few days when transiting, switching anchorages, etc), and we have a Honda 2000 as backup beyond all that.

If someone handed me a d4000 or whatever I would install it, but to me it's just not worth the money. I had an AirX on a previous boat; couldn't pay me enough to install one again. The thing sucked in output, it broke, and whenever a neighbor shows up with one I can hear it from inside the boat. No thanks.
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Old 08-02-2013, 13:28   #13
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Re: Wind Generators - Do All Serious Cruisers Have Them?

I think the answer depends on your boat, and where/how you cruise. For our boat, it is hard to place sufficient solar, so we have both. In fact, I've just received our new SilentWind generator to replace our old Air-X (which came with the boat). Am looking forward to much quieter nights .
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Old 08-02-2013, 13:36   #14
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Re: Wind Generators - Do All Serious Cruisers Have Them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by forsailbyowner View Post
I find solar and wind complement each other nicely. I remember one cloudy breezy passage where the wind genny cranked out 20+ amps for days keeping us powered up when solar was negligable.
+1

On our last passage to Hawaii for instance, the solar did nothing for us for the first week, but the wind, forward of the beam, provided all of our electrical needs. For the second half of the passage the sun came out and the wind went further astern. The wind didn't do much for us but the solar provided all of our electrical needs. For that passage we burned two hours of diesel getting away from the coast and another 3 at the end of the trip getting in to Hilo. Other than that the wind/solar combo provided all of our electrical needs.

I agree with your concerns about shading, not much you can do about it since space is at such a premium. Place the wind gen as far as possible from the panels to limit shading, but that's about all you can do. We have them all on the same arch, with then wind gen on an arm that spaces it as far as we could get.
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Old 08-02-2013, 13:50   #15
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Re: Wind Generators - Do All Serious Cruisers Have Them?

Compare expected Ah/$ and solar thrashes wind. The exceptions are high latitude and v cloudy areas and if you run out of space for more solar panels.
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