is important so let's start with a "Marty's note" about
When you look at a wind generator for your boat
there are many considerations and what you choose depends a lot
on what kind of sailing you do - and how far off shore you go
- because this determines exactly what you are looking for in
a wind generator. Here are a couple of accurate statistics for
Air compared to Ampair and Rutland for you to think about.
At the time of writing: Over the
last 10 years I have sold only around 15 individual blades for
Rutland and a single blade for an Aerogen 6 and none at all for
Ampair. All the rutland blades were sold to cruisers as spares,
the Aerogen blade was a replacement for a turbine that had an
altercation with an "object".
At the time of writing, Over the past 10 years, I have sold no
less than 950 sets of three blades for Air - that's 2850 individual
blades - that's more than 1 blade per working day. Most of these
have been sold to people who's blades had been broken or simply
failed without apparent reason.
Over the past 3 years there have been around 10 legitimate warranty
claims for Rutland and no warranty claims for Ampair.
Over that same period of time I have performed more than 150 warranties
on Air - that's one each week. That's around 12.5% of turbines
sold have come back for warranty service.
To be fair, there are some Air
out there that have been absolutely trouble free for years - but,
and it's a big but - there is a lack of consistency of quality
and I have had turbines back two or three times, especially when
they are in a windy location such as Tasmania. There are definately
less failures in the more temperate zones. Okay for the Barrier
Reef cruiser but not a lot of good for the more adventurous offshore
types - or people living in Tassie using Air for home power.
Another thing worthy of consideration
is the regulator. If something is going to go wrong with a mechanical
devise where electronics are involved, it will be the electronics
that fail almost every time. The regulator for both Ampair and
Rutland is external to the turbine. What this means is that if
you have the most vulnerable part of the set up go bung on you
- the electronics - you can fix or replace the reg but leave the
turbine up in the air and still giving power. Nice and simple.
With Air, the reg is built in, so if you have a problem with the
electronics, you have to take the whole shebang down. This is
a particularly accute pain in the rear end for people who have
mast head mounted their turbine as they need a cherry picker to
get it down, or land based people who have the turbine on a 50'
A snippet for owners of the lastest
Air Breeze wind generator with white blades, if it has been in
the air for more than 5 months, Check your blades, there is a
good chance they have been significantly degraded by the sun.
See pic further down the page Air Marine: This is a set of Air
Breeze blades from a turbine I installed on a yacht in Tasmania
last February. And this is only one example. With Rutland you
can buy a single replacement blade in the event of a problem,
whereas Air will sell as a "matched" set. I guess Rutland
have more confidence in their consistency of quality control.
Ampair blades come as a set but I've never had a request for them.
in the USA" it is claimed on the Air Breeze box. I reckon
it would be worth popping the question to the manufacturer as
to exactly what is "made" in the USA and what is made
elsewhere - and where.
For my money, being an offshore
cruiser myself, I would put reliability over style and "claimed"
output any day. The new boat I am building is named KISS, just
in case you don't know what that stands for, it is - Keep It Simple
Stupid. A good motto for the offshore cruiser and remote land
"There is hardly anything in the world that
someone cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper and
the people who consider price alone are this man's prey."
(John Ruskin [1819-1900]).