Block Island Windfarm Sightseeing



Tour Options

Based on 15 passengers, additional passengers add $40/person to the prices below. All of our tours are available for private groups or individuals.  A list of singles and couples will be blended together to form a group.  Tours will begin a 2pm and return at their respective time unless otherwise specified.  We are flexible with the departure time to meet your needs.

Option 1

                        3 1/2 hours                                     Individuals $39/person                             Private Groups  $650

Option 2

                        4 1/2 hours                                     Individuals $45/person                             Private Groups $695

                        Includes perimeter tour of the west side of Block Island and the worlds greatest sunset at no additional charge!

Option 3

                        5 1/2 hours                                      Individuals $50/person                            Private Groups   $775

                        Includes 2 hour stay in Old Harbor, Block Island where you can have dinner and shop.


The following dates are available for tours.  If demand exceeds supply, more dates will be added to the schedule. 

May 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28, and 29th

June 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17 and 18th

July 6, 7, 9, 12, 21 and 23rd

August 1, 2, 3, 18, 19 and 20th

September 7, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, and 24th

October 6, 7, 8, and 9th



The charter boat SNAPPA was hired by Deepwater Wind in 2009.  We used an ROV  (Remote Operated Vehicle) to scan the ocean bottom in approximately 80 ft. of water.  There were 12 predetermined sites that had to be surveyed to insure that there were very few or no rock outcroppings in the areas.    The reason being that all of the steel foundations would be attached to the bottom by a pile driver sending a steel cylindrical tube through a “jacket system” some 200 ft. into the seabed.  After 9 years of applications, planning, permitting approvals, court challenges, financial struggles, and construction delays the project has finally reached completion.  The Block Island Wind Farm is the first offshore farm in the US.

The first phase of construction took place in the summer of 2015.  When the steel foundations fabrication process was completed in Louisiana, they were place aboard barges to be towed to RI.  The journey took three weeks.  During the next five months the foundations were fitted to the ocean floor.  Each was raised and lowered countless times on to barges and then transported to Davisville to be refitted by RI steel workers.  After each foundation was fine tuned to fit on the ocean floor, the first phase of the project was completed in November.

The second phase of construction started in June of 2016.  With the arrival of the power cable, towers, blades, generators, nacelles, and jack-up rigs, work began again.  Needing a stable platform to work on, 3 jack-up rigs were brought in from the Gulf of Mexico and Norway.  A jack-up rig is a barge or vessel that has telescopic legs that lift the hull to create a tall, stable work platform at sea.  The 433 ft. vessel from Norway named the Brave Tern owned by Fred Olsen Wind carrier with a gigantic crane was specifically built for a project such as this one.  The ship traveled 3600 miles to arrive in RI two weeks later.  Its lifting capacity is 800 tons and can reach higher than the Statue of Liberty.

Constructing each wind turbine took about 3 days.   This included maneuvering the Brave Tern in position by a GPS guided jet propulsion system.  Once in position, its legs were lowered and the ship was raised 100 ft. out of the water.  The 3 piece 290 ft. tower was the first section to be installed.  Next was the nacelle (cover over the generator) followed by the generator.  Finally each blade was connected to the generator with 128 nuts and bolts that are 3 ft. long.  Due to very little wind over a three week period the installation of all 5 turbines took about 18 days.

While this project was going on, the cable laying was taking place at the same time.  Thirty miles of power cable had to be connected with all 5 wind turbines.  The cable had to be brought into Block Island and also to the mainland in Narragansett, RI.  A specially designed sled was used to bury the cable six ft. into the ocean floor.   Approximately 15 technicians worked for two months connecting the wiring, circuits, and computers to the power grid.  

About The Wind Farm

The Block Island Wind Farm will have a total generating capacity of 30 megawatts, enough to power 17,000 homes.  The wind farm is expected to supply more than 90% of Block Island’s annual energy needs.  However, only 10% of the wind farm’s energy will be used on Block Island with the rest exported to the mainland power grid.  The turbines will start spinning and generate power at wind speeds of approximately 6.5 mph. and will continue to operate in winds up to 56 mph.

The turbines are designed to always face into the wind, and are able to rotate 360 degrees.  The turbines and their foundations have been designed to withstand the worst weather conditions at the site, a Category Four hurricane.  When the wind reaches 56 mph. the nacelles and blades will pivot away from the wind to minimize resistance.  The turbines have built-in climate control systems that will cool the turbines down in very hot temperatures and keep the turbines from accumulating ice and snow in very cold temperatures.  Each tower has its own internal elevator and a pressurized generator chamber to prevent salt air from damaging internal equipment. 


Where Everything Came From

  • The 7” power cable was made in South Korea in a deep water port to allow the cable to be spun at the factory in one continuous length into the hold of a freighter.  The 30 mile cable weighs 7 million lbs. 
  • The 20 ft. diameter turbine tower was built in Spain.
  • The composite blades were built in Denmark
  • The nacelles were built in France
  • The steel foundations were built in Louisiana and RI
  • The generators were built by GE in USA
  • Technicians throughout the project are from Norway, Great Britain, Denmark, France, Spain, and the US


Specifics Covered

On each wind turbine tour Captain Charlie will include commentary and a brief history of the North Lighthouse, South East Lighthouse, and a drive through of Old Harbor.  He will also discuss the entire wind farm project from start to finish.

Specific to include:

  • Distance at sea and between each turbine
  • Foundation height below and above the water surface
  • Foundation weight
  • Height of the 3 section  tower
  • Blade length, weight, and construction material
  • Total blade height when vertical above the water
  • Height of  the hub and generator above the water
  • Rotor and blade tip speeds
  • Voltage developed and cable by fishery vessel
  • Life expectancy
  • Estimated cost of the entire project



Snappa Charters

Captain Charlie Donilon
Wakefield, RI 02879

Boat Address: 33 State Street Narragansett, RI 02882

Boat/Cell (401) 487-9044

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