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Sunday, October 4, 2009

The state of play

So – where we are at. A hot humid Saturday morning in Lisbon and we will be here at least until Monday but more likely Tuesday. Fernando arrived in the throes of a seemingly terminal attack of the flu + bronchitis + you name it and we set up a ladder against the backstay and ran the Air X with a drill to simulate wind. No charge indicated by the Xantrex although the AirX LED said it was charging. No obvious reason except perhaps the new PCB incompatible somehow with something in the boat – the unit worked under test in the lab.


So – dismantle it all over again – tools resurrected from the bowels where they are screwed down under bunkboards for the ocean voyage that wasn't. Unit back to lab. Monday Public Holiday but Sonia and Fernando will work anyway to get us going. Service! That is, if poor Fernando survives that long – I told him to go home to bed.


The good news – yep, there is some! I wrote a polite note, quite a long one for me, to the Sales Manager Europe for Southwest Windpower (the manufacturers of the Air series) who lives in Flagstaff, Arizona (always wanted to go there!) and she came back almost immediately with the offer of a new one. The complication is that Telextronica only have the slightly less rugged newer model in stock – meant for these latitudes and not really the Southern Ocean. Anyway, I'm even more impressed with Southwest Windpower. Not only do they make superb gear, seems they also look after you if you can get in contact.


I think our best outcome from all this would be to get the old unit fixed and re-installed and to leave with a new one, even if a bit less grunty, in a box somewhere in Berri's nethers, just in case. The new model, called Air Breeze is rated to survive at 110 mph or about 70 kts. Marginal for the Southern Ocean but we can always tie it off.


But full marks to Telextronica and Southwest.

A burst of trivia to follow if I have enough left on this link