Loving Life in Turkey

Loving Life in Turkey

When we were going through the process of choosing a boat builder, we knew that the location mattered a great deal to us. We didn’t know for sure how long it would take to build the boat, but we knew we would be measuring the time in years, not months, so it had to be someplace we would enjoy. That played a big part in why we chose Turkey. When we first announced we were moving here, lots of people ask us if we weren’t worried for our safety, or were concerned about the standard of living over here. So many people don’t know what a gem this country is. The archeological sites are extraordinary, the nature is stunning, and it’s a modern, well-developed and tolerant country. Even more so, lately, lots of folks have written asking if the political and economic situation is impacting us. I hope that by sharing in this post a little of what our day to day lives are like here, our friends, family, and followers will understand better why (aside from the great boatyard at Naval) we like it so much here.

In February 2018, we signed a year’s lease to rent a three bedroom, two bath,1900 sq. ft. fully furnished apartment, and after more than 6 months of living in the place, it has become home. We are on the 9th floor of a 12-story building, and there are only two apartments on each floor. The three buildings in our complex are arranged around the enormous swimming pool and a small playground you see in the photo above. There is 24-hour security on the gate supplied by three very kind gentlemen who smile indulgently at our attempts to greet them in Turkish. One of the three bedrooms is set-up as my office and out the corner window, I can see a small strip of the blue sea over the rooftops in one direction and the imposing granite mountains in the other. For this, if we count rent, maintenance fees and utilities, we are still under $500 a month.

Our apartment is located about six blocks from a long gorgeous beach that was nearly empty in the winter, but is now covered with tourists from elsewhere in Turkey, and primarily from Eastern Europe. It’s not unusual here to find restaurants with tourist menus in English and Russian. The Free Zone where Naval Yachts is located is a kilometer or two from the apartment, and for the last month or longer, Wayne has been riding his bike there every day.

I stay at the apartment where I get to work on my book business. I’m drafting a new novel and running advertising for the existing books. I take the dogs out, go shopping and visit the pool. And every day, I try to spend at least one hour studying Turkish. It’s a tough language, but I am determined. I’ve got apps on all my devices and I listen to vocabulary as I walk the dogs, cook and do dishes, and I practice with Duo Lingo, Babbel, Monday and Memrise. The language is unlike any I’ve learned before and Wayne teases me about my fascination with the grammar and structure of the language, but I will be able to speak by Christmas. Maybe.

Every Tuesday, there is a neighborhood market selling fresh fruits and vegetables, cheese, eggs, fish, olives, dried fruits and nuts, and various household goods. I take my little rolling trolly just like the other Turkish housewives and walk the few block to fill my shopping cart with all the healthy makings of our Mediterranean diet. The market spills out of the main structure and for two blocks on every side street, people are selling honey or homemade yogurt or bath towels and T-shirts out of the trunks of their cars. We eat what’s in season, so we were enjoying the winter squash and Brussel sprouts back in March, and now it is all about peaches, cherries, grapes, melons, and figs. There are so many different types of peppers, I can’t keep track, but surprisingly few of them are very hot. And tomatoes, a staple of Turkish cuisine, come in every size, color and shape.

I look forward to my Tuesday market days as the place is crowded and loud and wild, but loads of fun. The men are always shouting and joking, the Turkish ladies are squeezing the produce with a skeptical look, and the tourists are wandering around showing the whites of their eyes. The fish vendor is also the waiter at our neighborhood restaurant and the young man at one of the olive booths always practices his English with me. The prices you will see in the photos of the market are in Turkish Lira per kilo, and today the TL trades at about six to the USD. It’s hard to beat a kilo of fresh cherries for about 85 cents.

Because there is so much good inexpensive food here, we eat very little processed food. I have even taken to making my own granola cereal. I use oats, coconut oil, Turkish honey, and walnuts, hazel nuts, almonds, chia, dried cranberries and whatever else I can find at the market. Bake it in the oven to crisp it up and with sliced peaches on top, it’s yummy.

All over Antalya, there are loads of small neighborhood parks, and most of them have playgrounds for the kids and exercise equipment for the adults. With all the good Turkish food here, and no longer living a boating lifestyle, we found our waistlines growing. Back in May, we decided we had to do something about it. We don’t see too many people using the equipment, but for the last three months, we have been getting up at 6:00 a.m. and spending about 60 minutes working out. We take the dogs for their morning walk around the block and we stop at the park for our workout. I had been noticing so much loss of strength in the last few years, and I didn’t think I would ever get it back. Surprise! I’m feeling stronger and healthier than ever.

Since we are going to be living here for a long time, we haven’t been in a rush to see all the sites, but in six months we have managed to get out and about a bit.

In March, for my birthday, Wayne took me to the top of Mount Olympus Teleferik(Tahtali mountain) via the cable car.

The temperature outside the car as we drove the seaside road past Kemer was in the 70’s. We drove up through a fragrant forest to the cable car base, and after a long ride in the cable car, we found ourselves in snow at 2365 meters height. The views were stunning and the whole cable car structure was a feat of engineering.

In late June, friends aboard an American cruising sailboat, Chuck and Patty on Soulmates came through Antalya on their cruise along Turkey’s southern coast. We shared some meals, and I spent one day showing them around a few of the local sites. We visited the best-preserved Roman theater of the ancient world at Aspendos where they still hold performances since Ataturk had the theater restored in the 1930’s.

We also stopped to see the ruins of the huge Hellenistic city at Perge built in the 2nd century BC with its baths and market and stadium. The volume of archeological sites within a day’s drive of our apartment is stunning. And they are continuing to find more. People have been living in this area for thousands of years through dozens of different cultures and civilizations.

Finally, we stopped off at the Duden falls park right here in the city of Antalya where a waterfall drops into the sea. We ate a late lunch at a restaurant along the river and watched the guys taking rafts up the river so folks could do a mini raft trip down this stream. It’s a good thing they have a good net at the end. You wouldn’t want your raft to go over these falls!

Recently, we also got the chance to go up on our local Antalya cable car with our friends, Baris and Dinçer Dinç, the brothers who are the owners and the brains behind Naval Yachts. Though the climb was not as high as Mount Olympos, the views of the city we have come to call home were stunning. From the marina, the port and the Free Zone in the foreground, to the miles-long Konyalti Beach along the shore, you can see why Antalya is a favorite for us as well as tourists.

We ate gözleme and talked of travel, family and politics. And we had the opportunity to talk about what the impact of the drop in value of the Turkish lira is having on the average Turkish citizen. They explained that in the marine business, almost all prices now are quoted in US dollars (such as our contract). They also said that as employers, they try to help their workers with bonuses to make up for the loss of buying power. And while we haven’t really seen prices change much at the market, the supermarkets, or even at the gas pump, inflation is coming. Right now, Antalya is brimming with foreign tourists, and people here are not perhaps feeling the impact yet, but when the customers have gone and the city returns to the sleepy town we saw last winter, things are going to get tough for some of these folks. Yet, not once in all my time here in Antalya has anyone ever made me feel unwelcome when they found out I was American. They have reason to. I know Turkey has had economic difficulties for some time now, it’s not new.  But there is no doubt that the severe drop in the lira one week ago was brought on by the war of words between the USA and Turkey. In spite of that, I have been treated with nothing but courtesy, kindness and respect.

And I often don’t get that back in the USA! Is it any wonder we are loving life in Turkey?

Loving Life in Turkey

Wonderous Week in Antalya

Last week Christine and I took advantage of our fabulous location here in Antalya Turkey to take a break from building our eXtreme eXpedition Passage Maker boat Möbius and go on some land based eXpeditions.

IMG_20180808_133850After a 5 minute drive from our home and Naval Yachts, we met Dincer and Baris, our two awemazing builder brothers, at the base of our local mountain and took the gondola ride up to the top.

IMG_20180808_133920Christine isn’t the biggest fan of heights but everyone else was all smiles.  Dincer on the left and Baris on the right.

IMG_20180808_134348About half way up here and you can see the whole Antalya Free Zone to the left of the cable right in the middle here.  Directly to the right on the other side of the cable is the breakwater and then the cable cuts through the Free Zone harbour.

We are on the far Western end of the city of Antalya so you can see the rest of this large city stretching out as far as you can see towards the top of the photo.

IMG_20180808_135712Off to the West on the other side is beautiful forested coastline on the D400 coastal highway that winds all the way from here to Istanbul if you kept going.  The marina you see here is very new and mostly for the local commercial fisherman and local boat owners.

IMG_20180808_134817Turning to look North you are treated with views like this of the mountains which surround us.

IMG_20180808_154734We enjoyed a leisurely lunch with Dincer and Baris at a little Gözleme making restaurant

Gondola trip w Dincs 1All this about 5 minutes drive from our apartment and from the Naval yard so you can see more reasons why we made this choice to locate here and build Möbius with Naval Yachts and Dincer and Baris.  After this lovely luncheon outing it was back down the gondola and back to work for all of us!

IMG_20180811_135352The summer weather has been beautiful and quite hot with more and more humidity creeping in this month, so Christine had cold mountain streams calling her name and on Saturday morning we drove about 60 km east and bit north to Köprülü Kanyon. 

IMG_9233The roads were great and we were there in about 90 minutes after leaving the apartment.

IMG_9209The air temp was a bit cooler as we wound our way along the riverside and soon found what Christine was longing for, cool mountain streams.

IMG_9196This canyon is the most popular for river rafting so we knew were were getting closer when we started seeing more and more of this.

IMG_20180811_134539If you click to enlarge this shot and look a bit more closely you will see all the rafts full of people about to head down the river.

DEUI6646Soon after we came to this very skinny old bridge and knew we were getting close.  It was definately a one car only width but has been there for centuries by the looks of it and we had no problems getting across.

Hard to tell from this distance but the river current is very fast so it takes on this slightly muddy green colour in the main parts with all the sediment it is carrying down from its mountain origins.

IMG_9222Once across the bridge and down the road on the other side of the river, we knew we had arrived when we came to this beautiful swimming hole.

IMG_9228We hadn’t reserved a place to stay yet so we kept driving down the road following the river as Christine’s research said that there were supposed to be several places with little cabins to rent that were also offering full “pension” or meal services.

Sure enough we found this little spot and they had a room for us so this was home for the night.

Don’t think we can get too much more on the river than this do you?

This is where we had our dinner that night and breakfast the next morning. 

Total bill for room, dinner and breakfast?  300TLY or about US$50  This is actually relatively high but given the area and that it is high season now, it was a bargain and we were delighted with our stay.

IMG_9223Our room had a lovely little balcony overlooking the river that was just what the doctor ordered after the warm drive up.

IMG_9214But pretty soon that swimming hole was calling our names so we changed into our swimsuits, left Ruby and Barney on the balcony with their food and water and we walked to the swimming hole which was about a kilometer or so back up the river.

IMG_20180811_162121Turning 90 degrees to the right looking across the river you can see how narrow the river is here as you are looking at the road on the other side just behind that picnic shed.

IMG_9212As we walked along the river to get here there were families all along the banks and at several camping spots along the way.  Lots of BBQ’s grilling up some tasty smelling meats and lots of laughter.

IMG_9205So when we got to our swimming hole we found more of the same with lots of people of all ages and origins enjoying this idyllic pool of mountain fresh water.  Best we could tell some of the people were from Antalya and up here like us to cool off and enjoy this very different mountain river environment, others, mostly from Russia and former Soviet block countries, had come in on tour busses for the weekend of river rafting and swimming,

This was yet another example for us of why we so enjoy living in Turkey.  As we relaxed and took it all in there was everything from wee babies to people even older than us and every age in between and most seemed to be groups of families and friends.  There were about as many men as women and you could see every sort of bathing attire possible from the skimpiest of string bikinis to other ladies fully covered in bright beautiful and colourful outfits.  Everyone was laughing and playing together wonderfully oblivious to any such differences.  We were all there to enjoy this beautiful setting and cool off in this pristine water.

IMG_20180811_162335Christine was a bit hesitant but we soon both dove right into one of the deeper spots, about 1.5m/4 feet deep and BOY was it ever refreshing!  Or as Christine would have worded it; VERY VERY cccccccccccccold! 

IMG_9207The water It was literally numbingly cold and that soon helped to make it quite wonderfully refreshing and invigorating.

It didn’t take long to warm up again though once we were out of the water so we jumped back in several times over the few hours we were there enjoying this newest bit of Turkish delight we had found.

IMG_9229We strolled back to our cabin to rescue the poor little abandoned puppies, enjoyed some reading time out on the balcony and then headed back to the river side for dinner.

IMG_20180811_134539The evening air was delightfully cool with the river babbling in the background so we had a very restful sleep followed by a delicious breakfast here on the river again and then enjoyed the drive back down this side of the river and back to our apartment in Antalya.  Gold star goes to my Beautiful Bride for finding this new bit of paradise for us to enjoy.

Not a bad few days, up the gondola for lunch one day and then up this river the next.  More examples of why we are so delighted to be here and enjoying this whole experience so thoroughly.

Loving Life in Turkey

Flippin’ Fantastik!!

Wow!  What a week this August 13-17 was here at Naval Yachts with the building of the hull for Möbius.  Let’s just say for now that we are so excited that we are flipping with joy and let the photos and the videos below to show you why.

IMG_20180813_153940Picking up where we left off last week, Team Möbius continued to work at getting the last pieces of hull plate into position, tacked and then fully welded together.  This shot looking aft on what will be the Starboard (right) side of the hull when she is right way up shows how two adjoining plates are held in place with their outer surfaces perfectly flush.  The short vertical bridge plates or Strong Backs span both sides of the joint to be welded and the longitudinal flat bars hold the edges of the previously welded plate on the bottom.

IMG_20180814_123348Zooming in for a closer you will notice this aluminum foil tape running the length of the joint between the two plates to be welded.  This is an advanced technique used to provide the just right gaseous and heat environment for the molten aluminium during welding and result in a completely flat and flush weld surface on this outer side.

IMG_20180814_123439Looking closer you can see that the tape is holding a set of ceramic tiles with a slight groove running down the centerline.  The welding is done from the opposite side and allows the welder to get full penetration with the first weld pass as this ceramic backing maintains the just right setup for the molten aluminium to flow through the gap and maintains the Argon gas environment from the MIG weld gun throughout. 

IMG_20180814_123555Moving aft to take some better shots of the fin like skeg which provides the support for the prop shaft log tube and slices the water cleanly on either side and up through the prop tunnel to provide the best possible flow of water to the propeller. 

IMG_20180814_123903The two thin vertical bars you see here were left in place by the CNC cutter to ensure that both sides of this 25mm thick keel plate stays perfectly aligned during the build and then they will be cut away to allow the prop shaft tube to slide through the round supports and be fully welded in place. 

The CPP Controllable Pitch prop shaft comes from the factory as a complete single assembly with its own outer tube to fully encase the prop shaft and hold the bearings and seals all in place.  To install, this prop shaft log assembly will slide inside the aluminium tube that is welded in place here and the gap between these two tubes will be pumped full of an epoxy like material that will then permanently bond the two tubes together.  This allows us to get a perfect alignment of the prop shaft relative to the hull and creates a massively strong and vibration reducing prop shaft support.

IMG_20180814_163720As the team all pitched in and worked their welding magic to finish welding up all the hull plates this load of square steel tubing showed up on Wednesday.  I thought we were building an aluminium boat so I wonder what that could be for?

IMG_20180815_105633Enver and Umit seemed to know and started cutting and welding these steel tubes like this.

IMG_20180815_154520Meanwhile the rest of the team had been busy cleaning up the area underneath the hull and removing sections of the jig that was bolted to the concrete floor and upon which the hull had been built. 

Hmmmmmm, I think I’ve got an idea what they are up to.  Do you??

IMG_20180815_134505Those steel stands were then slid in under the deck plates of the hull.

IMG_20180815_182234More and more of the jig was removed as the stands took on the role of supporting the hull and pretty soon the jig was all gone.

DJI_20180816_100220Hmmmmm, I don’t recall seeing these brackets in the 3D model?  But I think they might provide more clues as to what is about to happen. 

DJI_20180816_100446Then this little diesel powered blue oversized skateboard wandered into the shop,

DJI_20180816_100436and the hydraulic cylinders on each wheel easily raised the hull so they could slide wood blocks between the hull and the stands to get the boat up high enough ……

IMG_20180816_102012… for the blue machine to drive all the way in underneath.

IMG_20180816_104754There was then a flurry of activity as the weight of the hull was transferred from the stands to the blue boat mover.

I think you might know where this is all headed next?

DJI_20180816_112032That’s right, it is moving time for Möbius as she heads outside to get her first bit of direct sunlight.

DJI_20180816_112252Out she comes, meter by meter

DJI_20180816_114643The bow seems to be a bit shy and not quite ready for the sun and public viewing given how naked she is right now.

DJI_20180816_135231Then these two yellow guys showed up.  They seem to be the more burly and heavy duty cousins of the preying mantis like cranes that you’ve seen before used to lift the heavy hull plates up onto the framework.

And I think you know what is about to happen next and know what those four big brackets we saw welded to the sides of the hull are for right?

IMG_9262-ANIMATION[4]Yup, you guessed it, it is Day # 133 since the build began and it is FLIP DAY!!

Check out the video at the end of the whole sequence.


They start with both cranes on the same side, one with cables going to Port side brackets and one to Starboard side.
DJI_20180816_140832Then they lift the hull up off the boat mover and then one pulls up while the other lowers down and the hull is soon hanging in space held up by just the one crane closest to the building.

DJI_20180816_141231Then the other crane drives around to the other side and lifts up the lower hanging side ….

DJI_20180816_141752… so the hull is now level and right way up for the first time. 

IMG_20180816_144050Lowered carefully back onto the blue boat mover and …

IMG_20180816_145358…. she noses her way back inside, very happy to be right way up at last.

IMG_20180816_171237Stands go back in and the hull is lowered onto the center keel bar, wood wedges are driven into place and the boat mover slides back out.

DJI_20180817_105925Three angled support struts are welded in place on each side,

DJI_20180817_105830and a ladder provides a temporary stairway to heaven, the right side up inside of Möbius!

IMG_20180816_171828Next week I’ll take you on a whole tour of the boat up on deck and inside each compartment but I can’t resist the chance to share a few shots for now.

I’m standing on the aft Stbd corner of the aft deck to give you a sense of the overall deck length and layout.  The big opening in the center is for lowering the engine and transmission into the engine room below and the tender will stow on the Port (left) side of this hatch and you can get a sense of the size of this aft deck area.

IMG_20180816_171845Moving forward, the small cut-out on the far left of this short wall is the bottom of what will be the WT door providing entry down four steps into the SuperSalon compartment which contains the Galley, Dining nook, main helm station, lounge area and stairways front and aft down to the Master and Guest Cabins..

Just imagine standing in this area looking out through the 360 degrees of glass windows that wrap around this entire opening and you will see why we call is the Super Salon.

IMG_20180816_172155Walking forward to the front deck you can see the SuperSalon from a different perspective. The Galley will be on the upper left or aft most corner and extend over to the doorway.  Moving around counter clockwise the L shaped dining area extends forward from the Galley along the Stbd side windows (left side in this photo), stairs down to the Master Cabin will be in the lower left corner, main helm station front and center between the two I beams you can see here, our lounge area forward Port side and then stairs down and aft to Christine’s Office, the Guest Cabin and the Engine Room and Workshop.

IMG_20180816_172007Turning to look to the bow you can see the nicely recessed anchor deck and how it slops forward to drain out that large aluminium nose tube you’ve seen in previous posts.

I’ll do my best to give you a more complete video walk through tour next week but for now you’ll find some video time lapse summaries of this VERY big week below.

IMG_20180817_103654Oh, and lest you think all the action at Naval Yachts was happening here, the new shipyard building also had a very big week with the erection of the steel framework for the two large ship bays.  If the schedules work out Möbius will have the whole hull completed just in time to move a few blocks over to this fabulous new home a few months from now.

Videos as promised below and I think you’ll really enjoy seeing the whole flipping process in action.

Loving Life in Turkey

Ship Shaping Up

Another busy and productive week here at Naval Yachts with continued great progress on building the hull of our eXpedition Passage Maker XPM70-1 also known as mv Möbius.  Plus Christine and I went on two eXpeditions of our own this week and I’ll put that up in a separate post.  Work this week concentrated on putting the bottom row of hull plates, which in its upside down state right now means the plates at the very top,  These are all 12mm / 1/2” and 15mm / 5/8” thick plates so they take a bit more effort to wrestle into position and tack in place as you’ll see.  With this final set of plates now in position the beautiful slender and slippery shape of Miss Möbius is now clearly visible and Christine and I spent some time standing up on the scaffolding running down both sides to take in her sexy curves and imagine even more vividly how fabulous it is going to be to have this hull under us and slicing so efficiently through the seas of the world.  Oh the places we will go!!

You can also now see the aft prop tunnel and skeg keel taking shape as their framing is now mostly complete.  The tunnel and skeg surfaces will be plated in next week most likely but lets stop with the typing and get on with the pictures so Möbius can show off her curves to you.

IMG_20180806_132920The bow is now fully plated from top to bottom on both sides.

IMG_20180806_132931All the slots have been fill welded to the underlying stringers, the nose cone is fully welded in and all that remains is for the curved transition plate to come back from the plate benders and be welded into the open triangle you see here.

PGL sketch 35Here is a quick screen grab of the model to show you what this curved transition bow plate will look like when we’re done.


IMG_20180807_182434Working our way aft on the Starboard (right) side we pick up where we left off last week as the bottom/top row of plates are pulled in tight against the underlying framework

DJI_20180808_111124and tacked in place.

IMG_20180809_104136You can see how the 10mm x 100mm flat bars are tacked along the entire edge of the plate just below where the new plate butts up against it to ensure that the plate stays perfectly flat as the seam is welded up.

IMG_20180810_120736Here is a a nice angle looking towards the bow with the Starboard side bottom plating now all tacked in place.

IMG_20180810_120744Standing in the same spot on the scaffolding and turning 180 to look aft, this shot will give you a better idea of the finished hull shape and you can see the framework for the fin like skeg up on top.

Prop Tunnel SkegThis screen shot of the model shows how the green skeg holds and protects the blue prop shaft tube and how the hull makes the transition to the scooped out tunnel for the propeller and rudder.

IMG_20180810_121208Here you can see how the 25mm keel bar which runs the entire length of the hull, extends in this area to form the backbone of the skeg and the vertical 25mm frames show the carefully engineered foil shape of the skeg is formed.  This will soon be plated over with 15mm thick plates that have been wheeled to these complex curved shapes and will be slot welded to the vertical frames you see here.

IMG_20180806_133326Looking from the aft Port corner and with Uğur and Mehmet providing some scale you can see where the prop tube will welded into the middle of the skeg framework.  To keep everything perfectly aligned during the build you will notice how there are several vertical fingers spanning the space where the blue prop tube in the rendering sits.  These were purposely not cut by the CNC machine and will be cut out when the hull is finished and the prop tube is slid in place and welded.

IMG_20180806_155717Looking forward and straight down the center keel bar shows the curve of the prop tunnel

IMG_20180807_095921Looking forward along the Starboard side of the skeg framework you can see the remaining bottom plates stretching out in front patiently awaiting their turn to be fitted and tacked in place.

DJI_20180810_103952Zooming out a bit, this shot shows how the tunnel exits right at the very rear edge of the hull at the end of the swim platform.

Section on WLOne extremely important aspect of an eXtremely efficient through the water hull design is the shape of the hull on the waterline.  This is difficult to gauge when you are looking at the whole hull in these pictures so I made this quick section drawing to contrast the shape of the hull at the outer edge of the deck rub rails in blue and the profile in yellow on the WL.


Makes it very clear just how long and skinny, high Length to Beam ratio (78.2/13.7 = 5.7) Möbius will be and why I use words like slender, skinny and slippery to describe this kind of hull shape.  You can also see why we refer to this as “a sailor’s motorboat”.  eXtreme to be sure, all by design and all in be best of ways to match our equally eXtreme use case and personal preferences and provide us with the just right for us Goldilocks boat.

Your fast framed video summary of the week is below and thanks again for taking the time to join us on this adventure.  Please be sure to add your comments, questions and suggestions in the “Join the Discussion” section at the bottom here.  See you next week.

Loving Life in Turkey

BowTy and the Beast?

IMG_20180803_104833Progress on Möbius’ hull for this week of July 30 through August 3rd of 2018 was very visible as the final row of hull plates were set in place so let’s jump right in.

IMG_20180730_110323Beginning of the week saw the Port side hull plates being fully fitted and tacked in place.

IMG_20180730_170211This shot from about mid ships on what will be the Port (left) side of the hull looking aft lets you see the final shape of the aft section now emerging.

IMG_20180730_170216As is the looking forward section up to the bow.

IMG_20180730_170524Up on the scaffolding and looking forward towards the bow you can see the slippery smooth shape of this critical section of the hull that will be under the waterline.

IMG_20180730_170535And turning around here is the shape going aft towards the prop tunnel and skeg which is that fin shaped extension where the prop shaft goes through.  The propeller sits immediately behind this foil shaped skeg the shape of which you can start to make out from those curved thick vertical plates you see here.  This will all be sheathed in aluminium plate in the coming weeks.

IMG_20180731_143446Moving aft you can see that Team Möbius has prepped all the edges of these 12mm/1/2” and 15mm/5/8” thick hull plates for the Starboard side and have them all stacked up and ready to be lifted up atop the upside down hull.

IMG_20180731_143505These piles of plates sitting behind Möbius have been getting smaller and smaller each week and by the time we get to the end of this week there won’t be too many left on the ground.

DJI_20180731_165604Must be time to call in the eXtremely long reaching crane again.

DJI_20180731_174858The quick clamp is locked in place on each plate and up they go.

DJI_20180731_174846Uğur and Umit are up on top of the hull to help set each plate in place.

The middle bottom area of the hull is the widest and the plates become long thin triangles where they fill in the area between the third upper row of plates you see here and the central keel bar so they set these plates up at the very top to await their turn to be fitted later in the process.  Watch the video at the end to see this all in action.

IMG_20180801_104828Looking towards the bow you can see how the wider set of 3rd row plates are set in place resting on the large flat bars which have been welded along the whole length of the upper edge of the 2nd row plates to keep them perfectly aligned as the 3rd row plates butt up against them.

IMG_20180801_104812Looking aft you can see that the whole 3rd row of plates are now set in place with their overlapping edges being aptly similar to fish scales to my eyes.  Bar clamps are for safety to ensure that the loose plates can slip off the flat bars.

DJI_20180731_175509With all those Starboard hull plates lifted in place this is all that is left of the piles of aluminium we started wtih a few months ago.

Nihat and Uğur start work on the 6m/20’ long bow plate by welding on this temporary tab to help them slide it forward into position up against the Stem Bar using a chain tackle and pry bars.

IMG_20180802_100528This closer look at the aft edge of that first 15mm/5/8” thick bow plate and the underlying WT bulkhead frame and stringers will give you a sense of the eXtreme strength of the underwater bow section. 

If you look closely (click to enlarge) under my thumb you can see how the stringer has a step in it to accommodate the 12mm thick plate which will slide in here next.

IMG_20180802_100542Doesn’t take them long to have this first bow plate all tacked in position.

IMG_20180801_181029With the bow plate done they move aft to repeat the process and slide the next plate back into position.

IMG_20180802_100402Which goes very quickly and you can now see the smooth shape of the forward section of the hull.  This is a very critical section of the hull as it makes the transition from the initial piercing of the water with the axe like shape of the Stem Bar and then widens out gradually as the beam of the hull widens.  It is quite a tricky transition as we want the knife like slicing into the water and waves and at the same time we want to have good flotation or upward lift in large seas to prevent the bow from digging in.  Some of this comes from careful design of these shapes and transitions and some comes from keeping this bow area as light as possible.

You may recall that the first meter of the bow is a fully air and water tight “collision” compartment and the next 3 meters are the relatively empty forepeak storage area so all these features combine to provide the just right combination of wave piercing and bow lift when needed.

IMG_20180802_100750Standing up where the 25mm thick Stem Bar makes its transition into the Keel Bar and looking almost straight down the Keel Bar you can see how this cutting edge of the bow is both knifelike sharp and yet ice splitting strong.

IMG_20180803_114311Sezgin soon went to work on welding the bow plate fully to the underlying framework.

IMG_20180803_114327In no time flat he soon has all those slots you’ve seen in previous postings all filled up with weld now.  These will be ground down flush with the surrounding hull plate and disappear once we do the final finishing of all the exterior aluminium with rotary sanders and 3M abrasive pads to create a uniform finish to the beautiful raw aluminium.

 IMG_20180803_161342Now that the hull plates are all in place at the bow, Sezgin and now do the final welding where the hull plates transition into the Stem and Keel Bar.

IMG_20180803_182137Producing our version of the BowTy and the Beast.  Sorry, must be the Argon gas fumes from all the welding?

I captured much more of the process of living all the hull plates in place with video so be sure to watch the time lapse video compilation below of this week’s progress.

But wait, there’s more!!

IMG_20180801_103816There was also good progress on the new Naval Yachts shipyard a few blocks over this week as the steel structure of the large ship working area started to go up.


The roof trusses are due to go in next week so I will keep you posted as construction continues over there.