Waiting in La Gomera
14th to 24th November
(M is utterly wildly and obsessively exasperated with Rutland wind generator people. He reckons by writing about it, he might get it off his chest; so this is another post by M. I only hope he will get it off his chest a bit and he’ll calm down before he does something silly with a Rutland.)
Yes, with Anna back in England and more time alone, there’s more time to get Henrietta in shape for the next bit. (I’ve decided to continue single-handed for a while and have turned down offers from friendly hitch-hiking sailors – even a lovely Spanish girl who’d have taught me Spanish (we all have our dreams!))
The list of things to do is long but, with notable exception of Rutland wind generator, I’m getting there. Sails sorted, engine ready, wiring fixed, some polish and cleaning, cracked ribs feel better too…….There are lots of experienced sailors and their wisdom on hand, which is good. Around half are going to Cape Verde/Brazil/Caribbean, half straight to Caribbean (oh! and half staying hereabouts…which makes three halves of course). I don’t yet know what I’ll do.
Meanwhile, can I tell you why you shouldn’t ever have a Rutland wind generator on your boat? (Unless maybe you keep it on a canal or in calm coastal waters with wind not more than F8) It might bore you or be libelous but it might calm me down if I do write about it, so here goes..
..….to summarise: said unit was on Henrietta at purchase; power generation a tiny fraction of advert blurb (Rutland didn’t want to know!); negligible power if wind under F4/5; exploded at F9/10, pretty noisy in between; Rutland suggested badly installed (the professional installer gave them short shrift I suspect); suggested I should have realised something was going awry in storm and perhaps slow the blades by rotating the unit with boat hook to feather to wind (these people may have a fine sophisticated lab designed device, but zero appreciation of life at sea in a storm on small boat). Unit was less than two years old, hence covered by ‘warranty’. I.e. Theory: I post remains of thing from Portugal to Corby and Rutland fix it and send it back. Practice, I package, take to post office, record, arrange and pay posting by airmail, then wait over two weeks for fixed unit to be sent back to Tenerife (I’d both arrived and subsequently left Tenerife by then); later I sail back from La Gomera to Tenerife (San Miguel, conveniently near the airport, is not a pretty place) to collect it, pay various import and carriage costs,
sail back again to La Gomera (about 35 miles each way), open the box…WHAT? NO BLADES, NO CONE, NO BITS in the box to reinstall. Emailed Rutland…who offer ”sincere apologies” (bits had been forgotten…now, I await another package…Costs so far exceeding 200 euros for incomplete and non-fixed unit (i.e. total budget for a week living aboard). I’ve talked to many owners of Rutland 914is. Few are happy and at least one other will drop it overboard as soon as it goes wrong. There may be many happy owners out there, but in my view it’s an unsafe unsuitable generator for ocean sailing, and you’ll certainly get safer power from an earwig’s armpits.
I must tell you about Lewmar and the tale of the Delta anchor though. In total and joyous contrast to Rutland, when I told them and sent photos of my new 16kg anchor that had bent at a not-especially rough anchorage (16kg being confidently recommended as fine by chandlery in France), Lewmar promptly and without question sent a brand new 20kg anchor straight to Tenerife, where I collected it at no cost to me, about 10 days later.
So sailor folk, my future maintenance budget may go Lewmar’s way, but never another cent to Rutland/Marlec.
I could tell you a similar tale of Gil and Musto clothing, but you’ll have had enough by now. (In case you were wondering though: Gil the good egg and Musto the rotten apple).
Between boat chores and being sociable (and getting into a pickle over Rutland, and dilemmas over when to go, where to go and whether to go), I have enjoyed more wonder-filled walks on this lovely island of La Gomera. Buses are reliable, if infrequent, trails and paths are mostly well marked, the weather is mostly benign, choice of scenery great….Here are some pictures.. .