Here at Coastal Climate Control, we talk to a lot of boat owners, at shows and in the course of daily business, and in general most of the people we talk to who have wind generators seem to be less than ecstatic about their performance.
We commonly hear gripes that what these device's specifications promise on paper seldom seem to materialize in real life application. And then the cost, complexity, and effort of installing wind generators apparently put a lot of people off, not to mention the unease of having sharp-edged blades whirling away within a daggers-throw of one's head!
Some wind generator owners report that their systems perform well on passage, when the boat is beating into the wind, although it is well known that gentlemen never go to windward ... but then when the destination is reached and the hook dropped in the sheltered anchorage of an island, the wind generator seems rarely to have the oomph needed to fully charge the battery, at a time when reliable charging is most needed.
So, have wind generators had their day?
Wind generators were the best alternative-energy option for cruisers, before the clever people at Solara and Solbian came along, giving boaters all sorts of options for high-power, marine-grade, solar power.
Whereas high quality marine solar products have come a long way quickly, wind generators don't seem to have progressed much at all in recent years, either in performance or sophistication.
If our customers had shown a strong interest in wind power, we would probably have dived in years ago, adding this to our product line. But we feel that to start offering wind generators now would distract from the huge advantages offered by our solar products, and would not be the best solution to our customer's demands.
We feel strongly that solar power is by far the better way for boat owners to reduce their dependence on fossil-fueled energy sources without compromising their lifestyle.