The Superwind 350 was Practical Sailors top pick of the five wind-generators we reviewed in the July 2007 issue and it was named to PSs 2007 Gear of the Year list. Since that test, the Superwinds manufacturer has made some improvements in the units design and function, including the new carbon-fiber Silent Power Blades.
While the three-bladed wind-gen proved to be exceptionally quiet, its price is still pretty steep, in our opinion. Installing a Superwind 350 will run you about $2,800-$3,000. Thats nearly double the cost of some of the other micro wind turbines on the market.
Practical Sailor talked to Superwinds Mark Dettmer at the Miami Strictly Sail boat show about the wind-gens upgrades and the benefit vs. cost question.
After our interview with Mark, we heard from show-goer Fritz Breckner, a long-time PS subscriber, cruiser, and owner of a Superwind 350. Fritz told us that his experiences with the Superwind reflect our 2007 test results. It has performed well and quietly, he said, for the five years hes had it onboard his 45-foot catamaran, Fritz.
We plan to take a look at the updated Superwind 350 in a future issue of Practical Sailor.