No, they work just fine, and some are dual-purpose units, which can work as both wind gens and water gens... however, they're not really all that useful at anchor, which is when most people want the power...
If you're in an anchorage where there is enough current to operate a water gen...you've picked your anchorage very poorly. The use of a towed or shaft-based water generator will generally cost the boat about .5 to 1 knot, depending on the size of the boat and the setup of the water gen while underway.
The DuoGen units have gotten some very good reviews...
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.