Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Wind or Water generator

Sv Garulfo

Hi Paul,

Our feedback on our Watt&Sea hydrogenerators (with 900W of solar):

1. Needs an appropriate mounting bracket for A54 and probably other amel sterns. Needs to be strong, other users have reported broken/bent brackets (see point 4 below).

2. On the 600W model with standard prop, we found the output to be roughly 0.xA@5kn- , 4A@6kn, 7.5A@7kn, 12A@8kn (24V). 
So needs to go fast to be efficient. There are bigger props for better output at lower speeds. 

3. The drag is probably more than advertised, we think a quarter of a knot. 

4. In the Atlantic crossing to tue Caribbean, Sargasso are omnipresent in the second part. Too much of a pain to clear them from the props every 15mins, so a bit useless there...

5. Needs a bit more electronics than standard, with a relay to short the hydrogen when not needed (say battery full, or motoring in a calm, or reducing the drag when going too slow or simply managing the various energy sources onboard) as it's a bit of a mission to raise it (think night, middle of the ocean, shorthanded crew, big swell, etc...).

6. Only useful when running (fast). Obvious, but we don't run that often for long periods. Our cutoff is propably 36hr+ passage. Otherwise the alternator produces enough during periods of motoring and we can recover the rest during the following sunny days with solar. Plus we use the generator full on at least once a week for 3hrs to keep it and the 220V consumers on their toes. 

7. The retaining pin is a bit of a joke. Stupid,  but it slides out halfway and bents or breaks after a while. Without it, the blocker on the lowering system is not enough to maintain the hydro down. The pin needs a simple retainer like at the end of the spinaker pole. 

In short we loved hydrogeneration in the first part of the Atlantic crossing where it produced more energy than we could consume. Won't be very useful until we leave the Caribbean. To be considered when making the investment. 

Hope that helps

Amel 54 #122
Saint Martin, FWI

On Sat, 7 Apr 2018 at 08:53, JEFFREY KRAUS jmkraus@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

A couple questions if you don't mind.
How did you mount the wind generator? What type is it? Have you heard of the d400, and any thoughts on it? How large, and where did you mount your solar panels?  9 years is a long time, and I have to assume that improvements have been made on the technology of both the wind and solar components. With that said, you seem to have a great combination that have got the job done with flying colors! That is amazing battery life, and speaks to an opitimal generating efficiency. Bravo!
Best Regards,

Jeff Spirit Amel 54 #14

On Sat, Apr 07, 2018 at 05:19 AM, simms simms@... [amelyachtowners] wrote:


Hi Paul. I'll repeat my thoughts from past posts. We have had for 9 years a super wind generator on top of the mizzen.  mast. There is no vibration and no noise. It cannot be heard. It has mechanially auto feathering blades and a stop switch which because of the auto feathering never needs to be used in strong winds. It never has to be used because of the sensibilities of night wstch crew or marins neighbours because you cant hear it.
I agree. Under 10 knots apparent wind the charge is slight. 15 knots good. 20 knots plus terrific. We only have 130 watts solar plus the 350 watt wind generator. I like having my bases covered. Sunny and windless ok. Windy and cloudy. Ok. Windy and sunny. Wow. Hiwever it was never my desire to be able to run all my high draw systems on these secondary chargers. I did not want to cross oceeans relying on diesel engines for my electrcity. Mid ocean storms can go for days with heavy cloud cover. Hence the wind gen. If i lost diesel generation i wanted to be able to keep my esential eletronics going. I could live without air con etc. As an aside. In my experience electric auto helms are not big current users. Radar is as are inverters. Auto helms should not be set too finely. A little bit of wandering does no harm and use a lot less juice.
Lastly I attribute the 8 years I got flooded lead acid batteries to the combination of wind generator and solar. I thrashed them at times but mostly that constant charge looked after them
AM 299
Ocean Pearl

Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

-------- Original message --------
From: "'Mark Erdos' mcerdos@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...>
Date: 7/04/18 01:38 (GMT+12:00)
Subject: RE: [Amel Yacht Owners] Wind or Water generator




We have an Air Breeze generator. It is okay, not great.


It is one of the quietest systems on the market but can still be a little annoying. One of the best features is it can be turned off and locked with an installed switch. This is also a big plus when at dock.


When on the hook, we turn it on at night. It will add enough charge to the batteries (15+ knts) that we do not have to start the genset in the morning. Solar usually picks up enough after 10am. We run all three refrigeration units, instruments (anchor alarm) and fans at night. During the day, it is off as we have ample solar. In the Caribbean, I can count on one hand the days where our solar set up has not been adequate to charge the batteries and offset our power needs due to cloudy conditions.


On overnight passages, it will be on at night unless the person on watch gets tired of hearing it. No matter what, we always seem to have to run the genset for about a hour at night when sailing due to instruments, radar and auto-pilot etc. The wind generator doesn’t produce enough to offset this usage, even in stronger winds.


Hope this helps confirm your hesitation on a wind generator.



With best regards,





Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff - SM2K - #275

Currently cruising - Guadeloupe


From: amelyachtowners@... [mailto:amelyachtowners@...]
Sent: Friday, April 6, 2018 6:32 AM
To: amelyachtowners@...
Subject: [Amel Yacht Owners] Wind or Water generator



We have 850 watt of solar power that covers our need when at anchor, even a partly cloudy day. But during passage at night we need to run the Genset something that take away some of the joy of sailing.

I have been thinking of installing a wind generator as we are going to spend a few seasons in the Caribbean where it is not uncommon with strong wind and cloud days. But hopefully we will also cross the Pacific and I assume more or less following wind and the wind generator will not contribute very much.

Does anyone of you out there have any experience with the Watt and Sea or the Swi-Tec hydro generators. Or any other brand? Pros and cons with hydro generators? For you who have both Hydro and Water generators what would be your first choice?


Paul on S/Y Kerpa SM#259


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