We Have a Boatload of Aluminium!

We Have a Boatload of Aluminium!

Another milestone this week with the arrival of the main batch of aluminium or AL plate parts fresh off the CNC plasma cutter in Istanbul.  It actually arrived late Friday with just enough time in the day to unload it off the truck and then work started in earnest all this week to start separating all the individual parts out of the plates as you’ll see below.  I’m going to let the pictures do most of the talking, lucky you, and just add a few words along the way to help you understand what you are seeing. 

As is becoming my norm I’ve also compiled a video of clips I shot along the way this week and you’ll find that at the end if you prefer video.  I’m no videographer, at least not yet but it is good for showing you things and providing a quick overview and give you a better overall sense of the shop, the people and the boat. 

Here is the truck arriving last Friday (April 20, 2018) in front of the GreeNaval shipyard after clearing in through the main gate of the Free Zone.


Ist to Ant drive mapIt is about an 8 hour 700km drive from Istanbul to Antalya by the most direct route through the interior.

IMG_20180425_164454A peek inside of the six pallets of AL plate.

IMG_20180425_164444Plate thickness ranges from 5mm which is used mostly for the deck plates up to 25mm which you can see here on the bottom of this 2nd pallet.  The 25mm is used for things like the stem and keelson or keel bar which runs all the way from the top of the bow down and around the turn of the bow below the WL (Water Line) and back all the way to the very aft end of the boat at the swim step.  It is around 300mm / 12” high and can be thought of as the backbone of the hull if you like.

IMG_20180425_165259This will give you a bit of a sense of scale of the different thickness of AL we are using.  That’s 6mm plate a the top 10mm in the middle and 25 mm where my thumb is.
IMG_20180425_165032At first they sent over this little forklift but his forks didn’t go out wide enough to lift the 6m / 20ft long AL plates.

IMG_20180425_173630So they sent his bigger brother over and the pallets were soon offloaded and ready to go into the shipyard bay on Monday.

IMG_20180426_101831Only took a few minutes Monday morning to bring the pallets all inside.

IMG_20180426_115417Those 5mm plates you saw earlier on the truck were the largest single pieces as they are for the deck plates so these came off first and were laid in place on the jig.

The previous posts about building the jig and explaining how the hull will be built on it will now start making more sense to you I hope.

The large rectangular opening in the middle of the aft deck here is where the large hatch above the Engine Room ER will go and the opening closest to the camera here is for the plinth which provides the headroom as you step through the WT door on the swim step and then down a few steps into the Workshop and Engine Room.

Keep in mind that initially the hull will be built upside down so the transverse frames will be welded up next and stood up vertically on top of these deck plates at 1 meter intervals along the entire length of the boat.

IMG_20180426_120419That raised area in the middle section of the boat will become the floor (remember everything is upside down here) of the SuperSalon as we call it containing the bulk of our living space with Galley, dining salon, Lounge and main helm station.  The forward angled cut out is for the semi circular stairs down into the Master Cabin and the center rectangle is for the hatch into the basement area and then the very aft cut out is for the stairs down to Christine’s Office which will convert to a Guest Cabin and access to the Engine Room and Workshop.

IMG_20180426_120410The rectangular opening you see up near the bow is for the large hatch down into the large 3m / 10ft long forepeak area below decks which will contain things like the anchor chain bin, grey and black water tanks for the Master Cabin head, miscellaneous system components such as pumps and electrical and then lot of room for stowing lines, fenders, anchor supplies, inflatable kayak and various water toys for kids, grandkids and us grandparents too!

IMG_20180427_094855This will show you clearly how the individual parts remain in place within the whole plate for shipping as the flat pack pallets you saw earlier. 

The CNC cutter is instructed to skip a 1cm long bit along the cut lines to leave small tabs that keep the parts from coming out so the plates can remain whole and be stacked up on the pallets for shipping and trucking.

IMG_20180426_151117A nice benefit for the shippers but creates the new task you see here of now cutting off all those tabs with the plasma cutter to remove each individual piece.

IMG_20180427_095110Then each piece needs to be cleaned up with a flap wheel to remove the leftover parts of these tabs.

IMG_20180427_095116For increased efficiency you minimise the number of times each part is handled so while each piece is having the tabs cleaned up they also do things like putting a round over radius such as you see here on cut outs where conduits for runs of pipes and wires will run. 

One of the things that makes aluminium such a great material to work with is that you can use regular carbide bits such as these ones in the router, same as you would use for wood.

IMG_20180426_151413I have not yet had the time to go into the model and count up the total number of individual parts that make up the hull but ……

IMG_20180426_151424…….. the two small piles you see in these two photos are just a few of the parts from just one pallet of plate will give you some idea and there are LOTS more to come.

It will take several more days next week to finish separating each piece and cleaning them up and then each of the frames which are made up of 3 or 4 parts right now as they have to fit within the 6x2m plates, will be carefully welded and then stood up on top of that 5mm deck plate you saw earlier.

More on all that in the next update.

Now as promised, here is the quick sped up video summary of this week’s work.  I’ve sped up the playback to reduce the overall time and muted sections with me talking so you don’t have to listen to the Chipmunk version of Wayne.  Lucky you!  Hope you enjoy and thanks for joining us.  I’ll be back with more next week.


We Have a Boatload of Aluminium!


In hindsight we should have started blogging about this over two years ago when we made the decision to make the transition from sail to voyaging under power as we have so much to catch up on now.  Some would call this “going over to the dark side” though we have never thought of it that way, and to make matters worse/better soon thereafter we decided to design and build a new boat.  This would likely result in a consensus amongst most family and friends that we have truly lost our minds this time, but that’s also not the way we see it nor is it anything new for them or us.

I often call our project to design and built the Goldilocks, just right just for us boat as being “a collaborative work of art and engineering and so perhaps it is fitting this blog will reflect that as we share our grand adventure with all of you. Be warned therefore, that if you chose to follow along with us, and we very much hope you do, you will likely feel like you are watching a collaborative work of art & engineering coming together in front of you in real time because:

· some posts will be written by Christine and some by myself to provide our different perspectives and experiences

· some postings will go back in time to chronicle the design process that began aboard our previous home, a 52-foot steel sailboat s/v Learnativity, on our three-week passage from Majuro in the Marshall Islands down to Fiji at the end of April 2015.

· other postings will be closer to real time as they cover what is happening with the build process

· yet other postings will look ahead as we work through decisions needed for next stages of the build.

· and some postings won’t be time oriented at all as we outline and discuss our thinking on how best to do things or explain the why’s of what we are doing.

Most importantly though we would like to have YOU to join us as fellow collaborators on Project Goldilocks aka MV Möbius with your comments, suggestions and questions all along the way.

This posting is intended to provide you with the big picture overview of Project Goldilocks or PGL by outlining the high-level requirements we developed to guide us through the design phase of the project and now through the build process. These will progress from the very top level “mission statement” down through successive expanding layers providing more context of our use case and then the key attributes we want to have in our new boat.


All of this comes as a reflection and culmination of our collective experiences on other boats we’ve sailed and lived aboard during our many passages and adventures throughout the world.  Christine has been boating most of her life and as she recently commented to me “dangerously approaching 50 years of sailing now”.  I on the other hand didn’t start sailing and messing with boats till I was in my 50’s and I’m still not sure to this day just what prompted this as I had no previous marine orientation to my life nor any in my family.  However, curiosity and learning have most often been the drivers in my life so once I became curious I jumped in with both feet and have now been sailing full time for the past 11 years.  Christine has done everything from building two 54’ sailboats with her first husband Jim and subsequently sailing and chartering one of these for almost 15years including raising their son onboard for most of these.  My experiences have mostly been single handed sailing my 52’ steel cutter from Victoria BC down the west coasts of North, Central and South America and then meandering west for many years through the Pacific.  So, we have ended up with about the same number of nautical smiles under our respective “bottoms” and just over 100 thousand nm in total.  Our prior experiences have almost all been under sail and so part of what is calling our name to try voyaging under power was that it would provide us with a whole set of new challenges and adventures and adventures are what we live for.

Our intent when we started this process over three years ago was and is still, to distill our collective experiences and preferences into a set of clearly stated high level goals and objectives to guide us throughout the whole design and build process such that at any time we could stand back from the process and use these overarching statements to check that we were keeping our priorities straight and still on target.  It has served us very well throughout the design phase and will do even more as we now go through the build phase of executing all these design decisions.

We spent countless hours over those many first months and now years, thinking this through individually and discussing our goals between ourselves as well as other sailing friends.  We kept working at synthesizing and articulating what we wanted to achieve with the new boat, what our top-level priorities were and the key attributes and characteristics this boat would need to have to be just the right, just for us Goldilocks boat.

It should be noted that we are NOT striving for perfection when we talk about getting this boat “just right”.  Rather it is about finding the just right fit for us.  A boat that we love a bit more every time we swim up to her in an anchorage.  A boat we have unconditional confidence in when at sea and the poop hits the fan at O Dark Thirty as it so often does.  A boat that inspires and invites us to go when someplace new is calling our name and yet is so comfy at anchor we never want to leave.  You get the idea.  We are setting out to design and build the just right, just for us boat.

These design goals are shaped like a pyramid with the singular mission up at the top and then expanding out with the more detailed levels below.  At the very top we worked to articulate what might be called our “mission statement” though that sounds much too formal to us, which was our way of boiling everything down to the very essence of what we were setting out to achieve.  Then cascading from this, the more detailed and itemized essential characteristics and requirements we were setting for ourselves and for those we would be enlisting their skills and expertise to collaborate with us on the design and building of Möbius.  If you’ve ever tried to create such all-encompassing “mission statements” you know how difficult they are to do well as you try to condense it all down into as few as words as possible.


Perhaps it is best to start with a similar summative statement which captures the Why we live the adventurous life we do before we get to the What we are setting out to achieve.  The Why is even more difficult than the What to summarize but that which drives and unites us both is the pursuit of constant daily adventures strung together into the necklace of a lifetime spent living, learning and loving as we explore this awemazing world of ours together.  We do our best to live up to this every day whether we are traveling by land, sea or air and in ways both large and small every day.  In my previous blog when I was out single handing my first and only boat up to now s/v Learnativity, I came up with the byline of

“Wandering, Wondering and Pondering the world one nautical smile at a time”

and this still seems to sum it up well.

With that and distilling a mission statement for Project Goldilocks, we wanted to similarly summarize what we are setting out to accomplish and ended up with this:

To design and build an exceptional long range Passagemaker that is strong, safe, fast, fun and efficient, serving as our full time home along with the infrequent guests who join us on expeditions exploring the most remote locations of the world in exceptional safety and comfort.

As anyone who knows me will tell you I am “brevity challenged” to a severe degree but if I were to boil it all down even further we are setting out to design and build

“The just right boat for exploring extreme locations with equally extreme safety and comfort.”


Setting out to design and build our Goldilocks just right boat isn’t about seeking perfection, it is about seeking the best FIT for us and so for the next level down in this pyramid it was important for us to articulate how the boat needs to “fit” our lives and selves.  Not unlike designing a piece of clothing, a sweater let’s say, that you are going just love to wear because it is so comfy and makes you feel so good that you want to wear it all the time.  We want a boat that fits us similarly well and as such we need to know not only the specific physical measurements but also how, when, where this sweater will be worn, under what conditions and who is the person that will be wearing it?  In the case of our boat this is about describing our Use Case scenario that summarizes ourselves and how we will live in and use this boat.  In no particular order our life consists of doing the following:

LIVE to the POWER of 2:

It is just the two of us 99% of the time and we are not “camping”, this is our full time home. Our floating home will be optimized to be a “couple’s boat”, primarily for just the two of us and then very inviting and comfy to grandkids, friends’ family to come join us occasionally as well as having another couple or two we meet along the way over for a meal and sundowners.

CREATE: Christine’s Work Space

Christine revels in being a best-selling author with no interest in retiring and needs the just right space for writing her future thrillers and running her book business.  We will design her onboard office in such a way that it converts into a very comfy Guest Cabin and will have its own shower and head, but priority is to be that Goldilocks work environment that inspires and motivates her.  Minimizing distractions is a key factor here so keeping it extremely quiet and absent of any interruptions or distractions of views out picture windows, or dirty Mr. FixIt moving about, will be the priority.  Whenever she wants there are plenty of spaces up above for views, breezes and company.

CREATE: Wayne’s Make/Fix Space

Wayne’s work/play is more to do with making and fixing things.  This requires a well-equipped workshop with the tools and equipment enabling him to work with his hands making and fixing things.  Thus, Wayne’s Workshop will be required to accommodate the many tools, workbenches, equipment and machines for working in wood, metal and mechanics such as lathe, milling machine, welders CNC router, 3D printer, etc.


We love being at sea and answering the call of long distant destinations so long passages are the norm for us.  Creating a boat that inspires confidence to GO anytime whenever the sea or other locations call and to be snug and safe on long passages getting there is a primary requirement.  We were both single handed sailors for many years and have come to appreciate the high value of having a boat that can be single handed safely in all conditions if the need should arise.


We have had the most previous experience in tropical settings and love this climate.  We often talk about our “20/20 Rule” of staying within 20 degrees of the equator.  We like heat and we can tolerate humidity up to a relatively high point and intend to explore explore new tropical areas as well as going back to some many that we have enjoyed previously.  However high latitude areas have been calling our name more and more, areas that are predominantly cold and would involve motoring through high winds, rough seas, freezing temperatures and ice invested waters.  We are equally drawn to slightly less extreme locations a bit closer to the equator but still cold to us such as going up the inside passage of Vancouver Island and Haida Gwaii islands in my native British Columbia, and Greenland, Iceland and Norway.  We want the new boat, and us, to thrive in all the above locations, climates and conditions.


Anytime we are not on a passage we are on anchor and often for extended times of weeks or months with no desire to be in marinas.  We put extremely high value on our privacy in this context and like to either be “the only boat in the bay” or otherwise off by ourselves.  This necessitates super comfy living spaces, independent self-sufficiency and SWAN ground tackle enabling us to anchor out in deeper waters and Sleep Well At Night.


Given our remote, deep and isolated anchorages and our love of exploring ashore we will need a tender that enables us to think nothing of heading to long distant shores without a worry for weather changes to get back, adventuring out for even overnight trips on the tender up rivers and inlets in to suit, and staying safe and dry throughout.


Our passion for remote locations puts a premium on being extremely self-sufficient and self-reliant.  We prefer small or no populations ashore, so we set our shore side expectations and dependencies as close to zero as possible.  We assume zero availability to shore transportation, shipping, shopping or services.  This prioritizes great food preservation, water and electrical independence, plentiful spare parts, ultra-reliable systems, lots of storage, repair capabilities and communications.


No uninvited guests! Our remoteness, both at anchor and underway sometimes puts us near potential danger from others who would like to “board and borrow” anything from items on the boat to the whole boat and ourselves. We therefore like to have deterrents built into the boat’s design such that we do not look like an inviting nor easy target for those who might be sizing us up.


There will be times when we want to leave the boat unattended for anything from extended multi day trips on the Tender to month or more trips back to see grandchildren and family when they can’t come to us.  So, we need a boat which we can easily and quickly (several hours) lock up and safely leave knowing she will be fine and require no assistance.  This includes leaving the boat at anchor as well as leaving her ashore on the hard or in the water.  A lean/mean military “don’t mess with me” look will help with this.


Moving down to the next broader level in this pyramid, we had some very specific attributes we knew we wanted the new boat to have.  These are all gleaned from our lessons learned from our extensive number of experiences and years living and sailing.  Retaining the theme of a “collaborative work of art and engineering” we think of these attributes like an artist’s set of colours or an engineer’s tools in that they are not the painting or design itself but rather what will be used to create the end result.

With all the nautical miles under our bottoms and nights at anchor around the world, we had a good sense of what we wanted, some very general and broad, others quite specific. However, we also wanted to start with a blank canvas and create a boat that was not defined by past notions and traditions, ours or others, but rather shaped by these key attributes.

It is challenging to come up with the best words and concepts to group or categorize things under and we no doubt stretch the traditional definitions of many of these here. There is also some overlap between several groups, but the following list is what we came up with in the end and still use today.


· Length; maximum LWL for hull efficiency & speed

· Days, high mileage per 24hr day, averaging 240-260 nm days in typical passage conditions

· Range, minimum 6000nm @ 10kts range in typical open ocean conditions

· Anchorage times, measured in weeks and months not days.

· Forepeak for storage only

· Engine room with workshop, all aft


· Beam with wave piercing style bow for maximum “silent and slippery” wave piercing and minimal wave/wake making.

· Green energy wise in all regards, propulsion, electrical, maintenance

· Remember the 99% Rule:  Designed for just the 2 of us 99% of the time


· Physical appearance being long and low in the water with low house and superstructure above decks.

· Air draft for as many options of canals, locks, lower bridges

· Maintenance Unpainted exterior, minimum stainless

· Costs to maintain and operate

· Dependencies ashore, maximize self sufficiency

· D/L ratio, low displacement to find the “Goldilocks” just right balance of having enough displacement for maximum sea kindliness and yet minimum mass to drive through the water

· Height, no double stacked living spaces

· Shoal draft less than 1.5m (5 feet) for exploring the shallows

· Fly bridge “lite” on roof of cabin with full upper helm station


· Visual appearance on the water, long, low, lean and mean.

· Displacement by saving weight where possible and spending where wise.

· Bright everywhere inside, 360-degree light & views in SuperSalon

· Open plan galley & salon


· Value

· Service intervals

· Equipment, engine, propulsion, systems

· Max fuel capacity for longest range and time between fills


· Matching her/our purpose and mission.

· The UN Yacht: unpainted aluminium, no stainless, no wood, no extras.

· Blend in at a local working port or commercial fishing harbor and not fit so well in marinas

· Strong Industrial/commercial quasi-military “vibe” partly by a design that is long, low, lean and mean” and partly through the use of very high functionality very low maintenance exterior items such as all unpainted aluminum hull and superstructure, beefy aluminum rub rails and booms and other functional “all business” meant to be used features reminiscent of modern pilot boats, tug boats and commercial fish boats than a “yacht”.

· Starkly contrasting the “lean & mean” exterior, the interior will have an extremely high craftsman level fit and finish of all cabinetry and interior surfaces


· Economic to build: Maximized use of 3D CAD modeling, CAM and CNC for all construction, exterior and interior materials (aluminum, wood, fabrics, etc.

· Economic to maintain; Careful selection of materials, equipment and installation to minimize maintenance and failures.

· Economic to operate: Maximum efficiency throughout.

· Minimize size of interior with maximum comfort for 2/4/6/8; Live 2, sleep 4, eat six, entertain 8

· 2 cabins, 2 heads

· Down Up Down design; Raised center house with 360 degrees of glass and cabins down below deck level on each end

· Maximum solar output


·  in all regards; hull, engine, propulsion, electrical as well efficiency in use.

· Maximum solar panel re‐charge ability, sufficient to eliminate need for genset

· Low rpm ultra-efficient and robust diesel main engine,

· No generator

· Battery based boat, maximum size 24v house bank, all loads 240v AC off battery/inverters


· On passage first and anchor second.

· Integral tanks below WL for maximum fuel and counterbalancing water.

· Self-righting; Maximum positive stability to “survive and thrive” a capsize.  All our past boats were sailboats which are inherently self-righting, and we were not willing to give this up with this transition to voyaging under power.

· Unappealing and menacing to others on the outside

· Inviting and alluring on the inside


· Like the Timex watch commercial “take a licking and keep on ticking” self-righting and able to have an inevitable grounding and keep going, no haul out required

· Strategically “over built and over engineered” in the just right places with high redundancy of all critical systems

· Thrive not just survive

· Watertight “crash” bow compartment at front of forepeak


· At sea first and foremost, in all weather conditions. Passive stabilization with active designed into hull but not installed at launch.

· At anchor, great ventilation in all conditions, flopper stoppers, great seating, lots of light, spacious outdoor areas

· “Thermos” hull; Cool in hot climates, warm in cold climates.

· QUIET: weather, mechanical systems, humans, insulation, vibration.


It has already been almost a 3-year process for just the design phase, but we could not be happier with the end result which is a result of finding a great designer, thank you Dennis and then disciplining ourselves to follow the guiding principles and attributes you’ve just read through above.  Ultimately our process evolved the design that is now the finalized model of Möbius with the following set of statistics.

  • clip_image001•LOA: 23.8m / 78.2’
  • •LWL 23.8 / 78.2’
  • •Max BEAM 5.13m / 16.8’
  • •DRAFT 1.3m / 4.2’
  • •DISPLACEMENT w/ half tanks 41,000 kg / 90,000 lbs
  • •CRUISING SPEED 10.5 kts
  • •MAX. SPEED 12 kts
  • •RANGE @10kts 7000+ nm
  • •FUEL CAPACITY 14,400 L / 3800 USG
  • •WATER CAPACITY 5300 L / 1400 USG

Some of these numbers are of course theoretical estimates at this time such as cruising speed, range, etc. and we won’t know the real numbers until we launch and have real data from initial sea trials and then ongoing use of the boat, but with the amount of detail we have in the 3D models and the amazing power of the algorithms that can be run on this model, these numbers should be quite close.


We Have a Boatload of Aluminium!

Hull Frame Prep April 16-20, 2018

A quick update of the work this week of April 16-20.  Most of the time has been spent sorting and cleaning up all the parts from the small first shipment we received which are made from  8mm AL plate while we await the arrival of all the the majority of the parts of various thicknesses.

As will become my practice I think, there is a video summary of the week at the end of this post as well.

PGL sketch 67Most of the 8mm parts are for the skeletal framework which you can see quite clearly in this quick rendering we’ve shown you in previous posts. 

Hull structure details AnnotatedTo help keep terms straight you can clearly see the difference between the transverse FRAMES and the longitudinal STRINGERS and these are the parts that have been worked on this week.  Cleanup involves some light grinding to remove any roughness along the edges cut by the plasma CNC cutter to they are safer to handle and ready to weld. 

PGL sketch 12

In this phantom or X-ray view you can see how the shape and size of the frames changes very rapidly up in the bow area as it widens from a point with zero width at the stem bar plate which is the very front edge slicing through waves and water and then widens out which each successive frame as you move aft. 

It is a useful reference that each frame is spaced one meter apart so you can use this to get a sense of scale.  The frames are also numbered from bow to stern so that first one you see here furthest to the right of the illustration is about 1m back from the stem bar edge and each successive frame is 1m aft of that.  I will be referring to frames by their # so you will know were that is located in the boat.

AluminumWe started with this pile of parts I am getting to know here, still on the pallet they where shipped on.

Hull plate cutting 8Each part has its unique name/number etched into it during the CNC cutting so there is no confusion and there are also other alignment marks, labels and instructions where needed to assist in the assembly.

This made it a relatively fast process to sort though them all and stack them in groups.

IMG_20180418_175736IMG_20180418_175746This pile on the left will form the window frames which wrap around the entire pilot house or SuperSalon as we are calling it to provide 360 views even when we are inside. 

On the right here is a pile of the rectangular tank access cover plates.  For both safety and capacity almost all the volume inside the hull below the waterline is tankage.  Approximately 14,000 liters or 3700 US gallons of fuel and about 5300 L / 1400 USG of water.

IMG_20180418_150445By the end of the week the team had lightly cleaned up areas for welding as you can see in this stack of pieces that will form the bottom portion of several frames.  These are stacked upside down right now so the point at upper middle of each of these will sit along the very bottom centerline or keel of the boat.  That large slot you see at this point is where these frames will allow the 25mm thick keel bar to pass through and be welded. 

Extending out from this large center line slot you can see the smaller slots where the stringers will interlock in place with their corresponding slots.

This shot also shows quite clearly how the shape of the bottom of the hull varies along the boat’s length.  The foremost frame in this picture is frame #3 which stands in stark contrast to Frame #12 closest to the wall.


Keep in mind that the parts in the picture above are just the bottom side of the frame and they will soon have their side and top parts welded in place to become a true frame. 

Frame #2 pictures here is narrow enough that it can be cut whole within the width of the AL plates so it will serve as a good example of the basic form of completed frame.

Frames FwdThis is an old set of drawings so there have been some changes since but this set of frames 1 through 12 will give you a good sense of how each frame varies. 

As promised here is a video compilation I have quickly put together of 3 videos I took during this past week.  The audio is a bit rough in the middle as there was a lot of grinding going on but I hope this will give you a better feel for the work that has been happening this week. 

This is a long weekend here for National Sovereignty and Children’s Day here in Turkey so we have a shortened work week this coming week.  However we also expect the big batch of almost all the rest of the aluminium parts to arrive by truck from Istanbul which will make for another exciting week.

Hope these posts are helpful and PLEASE let us know with your comments what about these posts and videos works well for you and what does not.  And add any suggestions on how the blog could be improved to be of more value and enjoyment. 

We Have a Boatload of Aluminium!

Serendipity leads us to Naval Yachts


In July 2016, we launched LEARNATIVITY, our 52-foot steel cutter back into the water after nearly a year on the hard in Fiji. The boat was looking better than ever after a new paint job, and while we loved cruising in our sailboat, we had also been working for more than a year on the plans for our new power passagemaker. As the design had progressed enough, we’d decided it was time to look for a yard to build her in.

Wayne and I knew from the beginning that we would prefer to build our new boat overseas. While we were really looking forward to getting back to cruising as soon as possible, we also were aware that the journey is as important as the destination to us. I know from experience that building a boat always takes longer than you think. We wanted to enjoy living in the place we chose to build, and since we love travel so much, we expected it probably would not be in the US or Canada. Since we would be living there for years, we hoped to find a place where we could learn a new language and culture. Also, we were hoping to find a place with highly skilled workers, but also with labor rates we could more likely afford.

Ever since we had traveled to Turkey in 2014 to do research for a book I was writing, we had had our eyes on Turkey. We loved the people, the culture and the food, so it would be a great place to live. We’d read about this area in Antalya called the Free Zone in an article in Power & Motoryacht Magazine. We knew they had skilled workers for building in wood and fiberglass, but we weren’t certain about aluminum. But we didn’t want to narrow our search too much at that point, so we researched aluminum boat building all over the world. Eventually, we came up with a list of builders.

Our yacht designer, Dennis Harjamaa of Artnautica, put together an estimation package for us that he sent to the boatbuilders on our list. In the end, our list included builders in New Zealand, Holland, Tunisia, Turkey, and later, in Louisiana, USA. We are also cold weather wimps, and while we looked at several builders in the Pacific Northwest, both in the USA and BC (where Wayne is from), we knew they could build us a fabulous boat up there, but the cost of living was high and we were hoping to find a place with a warmer climate.

Wayne decided to travel to meet with some of these boat builders and meet them face to face. In our estimate package,  we had defined four stages of the build, and we were asking builders to bid on any or all of the four stages. Stage 1 is the hot works: all the aluminum hull, tanks, decks, and superstructure. Stage 2 is power away. Stage 3 is all boat systems installed with rough interior. Stage 4 is turn-key finished boat. For this trip, Wayne had scheduled meetings with two builders in Turkey, one in Antalya, one in Izmir, and another in Bizerte, Tunisia.

While Wayne was off meeting with the builders in Tunisia first, I was in Nadi, Fiji aboard LEARNATIVITY at Vuda Point Marina. We had a young Fijian man working for us to complete the last bits and pieces of our refit. He was installing the new insulation in the engine room and painting the bilges. In addition, I was writing a new book, which is my real day job and helps to keep us in provisions. As I Skyped each day with Wayne and got more and more excited about our new build, I decided to post on the Trawler Forum website about Switching from Sail Cruising to Power Passagemaker. I was asking if anyone had information about building aluminum boats in Turkey.

Those of us who read these posts on this forum know that it is an international group. There is a vast amount of knowledge among the group, and I was a bit tentative when I posted. I was hoping mostly about making a connection with another cruiser who knew of boats that were being built in Turkey. It never occurred to me that builders would be reading my post.

The difference in the time zones between Fiji and Turkey is huge, and Wayne and I could only Skype in early morning or late evening. I remember checking my email at the same time Wayne was in Antalya, and there was an email from a builder I’d never heard of who was also in the Free Zone: Naval Yachts.


Hello Christine,

I saw your ideas about your plans to build an aluminum boat in Antalya in a forum. We are aluminum boat builders in Antalya Free Trade Zone, center of boat building industry, and also we give engineering and design services as well. We are currently building our aluminum hybrid motoryacht: GreeNaval 45. I don’t know what is your status now about building a boat but please feel free to ask your questions. Your contribution is very well appreciated as a sailor with enthusiasm.

please find us : www.navalyachts.com and www. greenaval.com

Best regards,
Baris Dinc


Talk about serendipity! Wayne was in Antalya at that very moment. He had finished his two days of meetings with the other builder, and at that time he was asleep. His Sunday morning would soon be dawning, and he was expecting to leave in the morning to start the drive up to Izmir. I forwarded the email to him and somewhat doubtful that they could make a connection on such short notice – and on a Sunday, to boot.

When Wayne awoke the next morning, he saw the email and wrote back to Baris:


“My wife Christine just forwarded this Email from you and as luck would have it I am in Antalya right now and very close to the Free Zone.  However I am about to leave and drive up the coast to Izmir to meet with some other boat builders up there.  I am almost out the door and going to leave Antalya in a few minutes however I would certainly like to take advantage of being here to meet with you personally if you happen to be around this morning?”


Amazingly, Baris checked his email a few minutes later and answered. He arranged for Wayne to go to their yard that morning, and they showed Wayne around their sheds and the different projects they had underway.

Naval Yard

They next time we Skyped, Wayne was bubbling over with enthusiasm for both of the yards in Antalya. We felt so fortunate that he had been able to connect on such short notice with Baris and Dincer, the partner brothers who own and run Naval Yachts.

It was months before all the bids were in, and we continued to work with Dennis on all the thousands of small design details that go into making a boat. In October, we left Fiji and sailed to New Zealand where we met with Dennis and had a meeting with the New Zealand builder. Eventually, we narrowed it down to the two builders in Antalya, and one year after the first visit, Wayne flew back and met some more.

In the end, on March 15th of this year, my birthday, we signed a contract with Baris and Dincer Dinc of Naval Yachts, the builder we chose due to serendipity and the help of the Trawler Forum.

Fair winds!


We Have a Boatload of Aluminium!

Let Them Eat Cake!

A doubly big day here for Team Möbius; the very first welding of the first two pieces of AL plate that will soon be joined by hundreds of others to create the complete hull happened AND this Möbius.World blog went live today.  Such a big day that it also called for a commemorative cake for the whole team.Möbius

Blog home pageYou’re reading this so you have obviously know that the new Möbius blog is at https://mobius.world/  If you would like to receive an Email notification whenever a new blog post goes up simply click on the SUBSCRIBE button on the top right of the home page.  You will receive a confirmation Email a few minutes later and once you’ve responded to that you are all set up to automatically receive an Email notifying you of each new posting.  New posting will also send an update post to FaceBook and Twitter for those who prefer following along that way.  And we will also have a YouTube channel for all the videos we create and will let you know about that address as soon as it is live.  The blog, like this reporter is very much a work in progress so we ask your indulgence as we work to bring this up to speed and write better articles for you.

Hope you enjoy it, warts and all, and please let others know you think would get value and fun from joining us on this grand adventure.

As exciting as it is for us to finally have the web site and blog up and running, the even bigger milestone today was that the very first two actual AL pieces of the hull itself were welded together.  Might strike you as confusing as you’ve been seeing lots of welding going on in the past two weeks if you’ve been following the previous FB posts of if you’ve been catching up by reading the other blog posts already available here on the blog, however that was welding of the jig that had to be built first to provide the base or foundation upon which the hull itself can be built.  So the big deal, to use anyway, about today’s weld is that this is the first weld of the first two pieces of the REAL Möbius.

With a building drumroll in the background, here is the prep work leading up to that first spark of the MIG welder:

IMG_20180416_154355If you’ve been paying close attention to the previous postings you’ll recognise this as the spot where the first two pallets of AL parts came in last week.  The one in the foreground has been emptied as that was where all the AL parts for the JIG which is now just about finished. 

The pallet in the back here holds some of the actual 8mm AL plate parts of the hull itself and so we needed to sort through this a bit to find the two pieces that had bravely stepped forward for the honour of being the first to be welded.

We were looking for 2 of the pieces that would be part of the transverse Frame #16 which is situated about midway through what will be Christine’s Office and convert into a very lovely Guest Cabin complete with its own Head (boat speak for toilet) and shower.  Didn’t take too long to find them and in the process we started to process of sorting them into respective groups for easier access when it is their turn to join the hull construction.

IMG_20180416_155738You can make out the curve of the hull at Frame #16 in the rear piece and the one in the foreground makes the curve up the sides of the hull to about deck level.  The holes you see will be used for wiring and/or plumbing runs and also help to reduce weight.  And you can see more clearly now some of the specialise slots that I’ve been referring to in previous posts where the longitudinal stringers will lock into place.  The addition cut outs you see in each slot provide access for welding the stringers in continuous beads.

What’s going on in the picture is the preparation of the two edges that will be welded by grinding a 45 degree bevel to create a nice V groove when the 2 pieces are joined and allow full penetration of the weld through the 8mm plate.


A sacrificial length of AL angle is tack welded to the underside for clamping the joint of plates completely flush. 


It will be ground off later.

And here is a sped up video clip of what it all looked like in action.

But WAIT!  Who is that foreign welder guy that snuck in there at the end to do the first weld??? 

Dincer, we need to pull that guy’s welder certificate and check him out.

What can you do for an encore to that?  Eat cake!!

IMG_20180416_160931In his typically thoughtful fashion Dincer and his team at Naval Yachts had made arrangements to celebrate this very big milestone marking by setting up festive tables outside the shipyard and invited the whole team.

IMG_20180416_161006To help eat THIS phenomenal cake made up very special for this occasion.


These are the two guys I work with most closely every day here; Dincer the co founder and owner of Naval Yachts (along with his brother Baris who was away traveling on business) and Burak our lead CAD guy.

Cake Cut D WYou are both one of a kind Dincer and one of MY kind of guys!

As I’m learning how to say;

çok teşekkür ederim