|Badly Damaged "Lifetag" Board|
It's just as well that I didn't beat myself up all night about missing that MOB switch as the source of the problems. Yes, it caused a waste of time, but at least we identified and neutralized a major problem that would have tripped me up sooner or later.
Regarding the Raymarine “Lifetag” MOB system, the unit that I've got has two limitations that working together present a major problem. First, its range is limited. We originally installed the base station inside the cabin near the mast trying to minimize the maximum distance that the signal would have to cover between our bracelets and the base station. It is the loss of signal from a bracelet that triggers off the MOB alarm. Unfortunately we found that anyone working at the bow would sooner or later set off the MOB alarm. Similarly, occasionally someone steering the boat would set it off. It was too disruptive to have sleepy crew regularly woken up with these false alarms.
I reluctantly moved the base station to the companionway instrument panel knowing that there was a second limitation: the base station was not in a waterproof case and was obviously not designed to be mounted above deck. Nevertheless the base station held up OK and the system worked very well – until the wet run to the Horn.
When I return to Australia I'll probably get another Lifetag system, without bracelets if possible because after all it could save a life. I will fit a protective plastic cover over it, sealed with Silicone.
It was a clear and sunny day so in the afternoon I decided to bring down the tail of the Rutland wind charger so that I could wire brush the loose paint and rust, sand paper it, then put on a coat of white high gloss metal primer that I had purchased a few days earlier. (The man at the paint shop insisted that the one paint served as primer and top coat.) I set myself up at the barbecue area next to the shower rooms and after 2 hours I had the first coat laid. The paint seemed to be very, very good. I'll try to lay down 2 more coats (8 hours between coats) tomorrow, if possible. I don't know if I'll ever get the Rutland working again, but I don't want to prejudice the outcome by allowing the tail to be destroyed by corrosion.
I plan to visit Carlos on Monday at 10 AM to settle the account for the repair work. Tomorrow I'll have a good look at the weather forecast with a view to departing for Brazil on maybe Wednesday.