Home Up Legal Union

Wind Generator
New Deck Water Tank Charging System Electrical System Plumbing Fuel System Wind Generator Mast Camera Sewing Galley LED Lighting LED Spreader Lights

 

When sitting at anchor or sailing, Annabelle uses a fair amount of 12 volt DC power.  In order to help augment the power provided from the batteries and to help charge the batteries without running an engine, I chose a wind generator.  I purchased mine off of eBay for about 1/2 of the listed price at West Marine.  It is an Air Marine 403.  This is a three bladed unit that can generate up to 400 watts.

I purchased the hardware to mount the unit on the stern deck - then one of my sons pointed out that the mizzen boom extended over the stern - duuh.   Not wanting to put more money that I already spent into the wind generator, I decided to mount the unit at the top of the mizzen mast.  To do this I constructed 2 aluminum brackets that attach to the mast by tapping the mast for 3/8" bolts.  These have a hole the size of the deck mounting pipe bored into them and support the unit firmly.  A piece of 1/8" rubber was placed between the brackets and the mast to reduce vibration transmitted from the wind generator.  A third bracket is at the top of the mast an is made of Starboard.  This bracket has an half circle for the pole and uses a hose clamp to secure the pole and bracket to the mast.  The wire from the wind generator comes down the inside of the mizzen mast and exits near the bottom of the mizzen mast.

The wind generator has a single switch that turns the unit on, or shorts it out.  Shorting the output of the wind generator is like putting an infinite load on the unit and keeps it from turning.  It does actually turn , but only very slowly, making no noise at all.

The AirMarine 403 contains it's own charging system.  There is a single adjustment to set the charge voltage - set according to you batteries.  A single red LED glows when the unit is producing electricity.  When the batteries are full, the unit slows itself down as if you had set the on/off switch to off.

The AirMarine 403 is a good unit.  I am disappointed in it's power production in light winds.  Below about 15 knots it only generates 2 amps.  By the time you hit 20 knots it is up to 8 amps.  Not really good enough for inshore cruising that I typically do, should be good on open water or in the Caribbean.  I hope to find out one day!  

Confession time - In September 2004, hurricane Isabel came through Oriental, NC where Annabelle is docked.  In my last trip to Oriental I had left the wind generator on, and so as the eye of the hurricane pasted through Oriental, the wind generator received gusts of about 120 mph.  A few people had stayed at the marina to watch over the boats stated that they watched and listened to my wind generator expecting it to fly apart!  It survived and performs as well as before.

              
Views of the 2 aluminum mounting brackets   

                          
Wires passing          Full view
 through mast


Please address general comments to web@dv-fansler.com

This page was last modified: 01/22/14
This Document is Copyright 1998-2014 by David V. Fansler  All rights reserved.
Legal Notice