Wind Scoops

Wind scoops are wonderful, funneling even the tiniest breeze down below.  They were a big part of our ventilation strategy.  In hot weather, a good wind scoop is worth its weight in gold for keeping the galley cool.  Fans will move the air, but it’s a wind scoop that will funnel cool (or at least cooler) air down below.

The problem with most wind scoops though, is that they assume your boat stays in the same position relative to the wind.  But sailors know that the wind and current are almost never steady — things are always changing.  Even when you’re at a dock, the wind does not stay steady.

Consequently, with a traditional wind scoop, you’re constantly having to adjust the scoop so that it catches the air.

We found and used a wonderful “4-way wind scoop” (some companies refer to these as “omnidirectional”). This ingenious design has four chambers and the correct ones will open up and funnel air below as the boat turns relative to the wind.

Here’s a great video from Swiss-Tech showing how a 4-way wind scoop works:

I can only find three companies in the US that sell them (none in Canada). Cruising Solutions, a cruiser-owned company and one of TBG’s sponsors, is one of the three. We paid about $80 each for our 4-way wind scoops (from a company that has since gone out of business) and thought they were worth every penny — Cruising Solutions’ Breeze Bandits are just as high quality and less than $50! 

The two other places that sell them in the US (many places sell them in England, if you happen to be cruising Europe) both price them around — or over — $100:

I have not had any dealing with these last two retailers, and so can’t vouch for their service or policies.

Our experience in the Sea of Cortez, with lots of sun and UV damage but infrequent high winds, was that one wind scoop would usually last 9 months to a year — we always kept an extra on hand, just in case, as it was such a key part of our keeping cool.

I’ve always recommended a 4-way wind scoop, but finding these from Cruising Solutions at such a good price makes me really, really recommend them!  If you’re in a warm climate at all, you’re going to want one — or more!

(Note:  if your boat doesn’t have a convenient halyard — or any halyard — check out the freestanding Breeze Booster instead.)

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  • Mid-Life Cruising!
    Posted at 23 January 2012 Reply

    Thanks so much Carolyn for sharing this! I’ve had a wind scoop on my “gotta get soon” list and planned on spending about $80-$100. I think you just saved me some money!

  • Royce Johnson
    Posted at 23 May 2012 Reply

    Hi Carolyn, We love your site ever since we discovered it with a link to a galley safety article. We sail a catamaran so the motion issue is much less but most of the same challenges still apply. In our case, we have 6 deck hatches and there is no way that we could use halyard-hoisted windscoops. Our preferred solution is the Breeze Buster which is free standig and also relatively in expensive. We were put on to them by Jay and Tanya of Take 2. Thanks for al the great info, looking forward to more.

    Cerca Trova

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 23 May 2012 Reply

      Thanks for sharing! That would also be a good solution for power boats.

  • Annette
    Posted at 21 June 2012 Reply

    Hi Carolyn,
    I’ve just completed the field test of the wind scoop that my husband engineered and I made from 8oz nylon from Sailrite. Not too hard – some panels seamed together and casings for the PVC pipe frame to hold it open. We used snaps at the bottom to hold it to the hatch frame inside. The secret there is to put the snap tops on small strips of elastic so they give with the wind gusts. Works great! Don Casey also has a design with a baffle that would work better during rain. With a little sewing experience you can save some money making a nice wind scoop.
    Thanks for your helpful info,
    S/V Magnolia

  • tami
    Posted at 13 August 2012 Reply

    the “Big Book of Boat Canvas” by Karen Lipe has detailed instructions for a halyard-hoisted 4-way windscoop, in addition to lots of good advice on how to fabricate all sorts of canvas things. It’s my favorite book

  • Michelle Beatty on Facebook
    Posted at 03 February 2013 Reply

    love this..Must have

  • Leigh Ann Bishop Long
    Posted at 25 September 2013 Reply

    Need to look into this!

  • Jess Gregory
    Posted at 28 December 2013 Reply

    Thought you’d be interested in our Hatch Hoodie wind scoop + awning. It brings air in the forward hatch, but you can keep it up when it rains. So you don’t have to close the hatch and get hot! It is not four sided, but you can tilt it up, or to either side to channel air in even at the dock. Lots of shade too — to keep cool down below.


  • darlene
    Posted at 28 December 2013 Reply

    We have a 4 chamber Breeze Bandit. It was our best investment for anchoring out on hot summer nights.

  • Shari Salzhauer Berkowitz
    Posted at 29 December 2013 Reply

    I love mine! Still fiddling with the best interior attachments for it, but even when imperfectly mounted, it works great. As long as it does not start to rain in the night.

  • Darlene Burnett Price
    Posted at 21 August 2014 Reply

    I love our scoop.

  • Darren Burleson
    Posted at 21 August 2014 Reply

    I have this and it is awesome!

  • Jim Allen
    Posted at 21 August 2014 Reply

    Love my Breeze Bandit !!!

  • Deborah Marshall
    Posted at 22 August 2014 Reply

    We tried our Breeze Bandit wind scoop on a very hot day a couple of weeks ago, works extremely well, was able to harness the little available wind into a cool cabin breeze. Love it!

  • Chief Wizard
    Posted at 19 January 2015 Reply

    The next generation
    Catch a good nights sleep !!

  • Rupert
    Posted at 12 June 2015 Reply

    Just ordered one, thanks so much, saved me a ton of money.

  • Thomas Rheuble
    Posted at 02 May 2016 Reply

    What happens when it rains hard and your away from the boat?

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 03 May 2016 Reply

      Rain will get in, same as if you’d left the hatch open by itself . . .

  • Lisa
    Posted at 04 January 2017 Reply

    We plan to summer in the Sea of Cortez this year and have no idea where we could buy one of these here? Do you think we could get one made?

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 04 January 2017 Reply

      Katty in LaPaz made several for us over the years. She’s the woman who has the business making Lycra dive suits. Or ask someone who is going to the US to bring one back for you.

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 05 January 2017 Reply

      Also, ask on the cruiser’s net in La Paz — it’s been almost 10 years since I cruised there and some of the stores might carry them now.

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