For most of my life I have strived to “put myself in the way of Beauty” and as the work on Möbius starts to branch into multiple materials from the aluminium of the hull to the copper of the electrical wiring to the rosewood of the interior cabinetry I find myself in the envious position of being immersed in beauty thanks to all the skilled people working all these materials into what I often refer to as “collaborative works of art and engineering”. Beauty is a feeling that comes through all of our senses, not just sight and if you come along with me for this week’s progress update tour and I think you’ll agree.
I will start our tour with the latest aluminium work; finishing the Lids for our in-house designed and built hatches.
Last week saw the CNC cut 10mm / 3/8” thick plates being welded to their 8mm thick flat bar frames so this week Uğur and Nihat ground those welded surfaces flat and flush …. …. and then polished the outer edges to a beautiful lustre, and the stack of polished hatch lids grew higher. These polished edges were then protected with blue masking tape and Mehmet cleaned up the inside corners which will be filled and sealed later with a cove of epoxy. Then the corners of he bottom edges were machined with a 4mm radius to round over this edge and make it feel as beautiful as it looks. Last step will be the tricky one of welding the Hinge Arms to these Lids and we’ll show you that next week. Several of you asked to see the jig I mentioned last week that Uğur and Nihat fabricated and used to tack the Hinge Boxes to the deck and outer Hatch Frame such that the holes for the SS Hinge pins were precisely aligned with each other and this is it. The two tabs on the jig slight snugly into each hinge box and the SS hinge pins are slid in place.
Using this jig, Uğur presses each Hinge Box up tight against the underside of the deck and the outside of the Hatch Frame and slides the SS hinge pin through the jib and boxes. This holds them in perfect alignment as he then tacks them in place. Viewed from up on deck here is what the finished Hinge Box looks like as it waits to receive the Hinge Arms of the completed Lids in a few weeks.
Which will look like this when done. The lids will have 15mm tempered glass adhered to them and there are two 20mm ID drains in the bottom “gutters” of the outer Hatch Frame (red here) to quickly remove any water that makes it down between the Lid and Frame. Down in the Engine Room/Workshop one additional aluminium detail has been looked after with the tacking up of the hinges on the Engine Room door which completes the Engine Room Enclosure construction and can now be fully insulated and lined with Alucaboard as it waits for the installation of the sea chests and ultimately the massive Gardner 6LXB engine and Nogva CPP propulsion system. Speaking of Mr. G as we refer to our mighty Gardner engine, several of you have asked for an update on his status which will have to wait for a bit longer I’m afraid. All the other aspects of the build have been consuming all my time to date, but I can give you this sneak peek and confirm that I am now busy with completing the full restoration of Mr. G to better than new condition. Thanks for your patience and stay tuned for MUCH more in the coming weeks I promise. Sticking with metal but changing to copper as in wires and cables, Hilmi our electrical lead continues to string wires throughout the boat, the latest being these gray ones which indicate that they are AC power lines which in this shot are crossing the ceiling of the Workshop and heading for those white cable trays to take them forward…… ……. to these wire trays in the Basement.
The loop of black 50mm / 2 fuel hose on two of the Fuel Fill/Vents into one of the six fuel tanks is exciting to see as this means they are pressure testing the latest round of work on the tanks and fuel plumbing. Such as installing the lids on all the many access ports on each tank. Same is happening for all six water tanks. All these SS studs will either be ground down flush with the tops of the nuts or have acorn nuts threaded on their ends for safety where they will be walked on. All this metal work is truly beautiful to this beholder but the newest source of beauty is over in the cabinetry workshop here at Naval Yachts so let’s head over there to fully immerse ourselves in this week’s beauty bath.
I don’t think you need to be a cabinetmaker to appreciate the beauty of the swirling grain and colours of this Rosewood we are using for all the interior cabinetry. These are the first of MANY more panels to come out of the veneer press. The brown tape is used to hold each seam of veneer tightly together when they are being glued up. Each of the hundreds of pieces in this eXtremely large jig saw puzzle of cabinetry requires its own combination of veneer, solid rosewood and solid beech such as you can see in this piece that has just been glued up and is ready to have its edges trimmed and corners rounded prior to being machined for biscuits, dados, rabbets and other joints.
Adding plywood to the mix, here we see all four woods coming together for this corner where a solid beech inner block is faced on two sides with Rosewood veneer, one side with 10mm 3/8” thick solid Rosewood and the fourth side glued to the vertical sheet of marine plywood.
If you are not familiar with the term “biscuit joint” is a very strong and fast way to glue two pieces of wood together with a small oval “biscuit” made of compressed wood that tightly fits into matching grooves cut into the two joining pieces. In our case these joints are mostly used to keep two parts precisely aligned and edges flush as they are glued up and the whole assembly is then held together with other joints and ultimately fastened super solid to the aluminium and wood inner frames of the boat. One of the great joys I learned first hand while sailing our previous all steel sailboat for over 12 years was discovering how QUIET metal boats are. Unlike other hull building materials, steel and aluminium hulls don’t flex and move when at sea so there is not the typical cacophony of squeaking wood joints that is typically prevalent in non metal hulled boats. When you add all the 50mm / 2” thick EPDM foam insulation we have installed you end up with an eXtremely quiet boat. Subtle differences to some perhaps but this lack of such intrusive noises is a huge part of the beauty I feel when at sea in such boats. Here is another example of how some of the wooden jig saw puzzle pieces are joined, this being a half lap joint where two dados or slots are cut half way through each adjoining sheet and then slid together. A bit hard to envision at this point, but Omur our Head Cabinetmaker is putting together the inner framework that supports the king sized bed in the Master. The vertical sheet to the rear is one half of the large headboard which extends up to the ceiling. Lots of details have changed since this rendering but it will help you visualise what you see Omur putting together above. A few more details of the cabinetry craftsmanship is seen in this example of how every exposed edge of plywood has this kind of T insert to give the edge that 10mm thick solid Rosewood …. rather than typically just being veneered over.
This is eXtremely eXpensive in terms of both labour and wood but two big reasons we have gone this route. First is to prevent having any exposed veneer edges which over years of use would end up coming away and splintering.
Second being that I am insistent of not having ANY sharp 90 degree corners on our boat! They must ALL be rounded over as you can see in this quick sample board we made up. The vertical corner has about 20mm radius and the outer edges you can see on top here are about 5mm radius. Needless attention to detail some might say but for me, the feel of smooth rounded wood edges is part of the “emotional design” I am striving for and is a very significant factor in the Safe-Comfortable-Efficient trifecta of primary characteristics these XPM boats.
Carrying my insistence, obsession if you insist, with having rounded edges, I’ve come up with what I’m calling a “quilted” look where two edges join each other, even if they are glued such as this one. Another bit of attention to detail if you look REALLY closely (click to enlarge) is how the Rosewood veneer has been applied AFTER the solid Rosewood T edging has been glued and trimmed flush with the underlying plywood. The MUCH easier way to apply solid wood edging to veneered plywood can be seen in this illustration where you first apply the veneer to the plywood, trim it to size and then glue on the solid wood edging last, then trim and sand the two flush.
Works well enough but you tend to see the glue line and even the smallest gap or splintering between the veneer and the solid wood edging. If you look back at the photo of the “quilted” joint above you will see that by overlapping the veneer on top of the solid wood edging and then shaping the rounded corner, the grain of the veneer flows smoothly into that of the solid wood edging.
Again a MUCH more labour intensive detail but Naval’s cabinetmakers and I wouldn’t have it any other way and when you see the results once the final finish has been applied I think you too will agree it was all worth it. Continuing with corner details you saw the prelude to this last week as the solid Rosewood was being glued to the Beech block underneath and now this has been machined with a 50mm / 2” radius. Ends capped with Rosewood veneer as a small part of this will be seen as you will see as this bed frame is assembled, the 50mm corner will fit into these two hollow cored sides to the dropped ceiling box above the bed, as per the rendering above. Just dry fit here but it shows how the two 50mm corner pieces fit with the three sides of this frame. All those adjoining edges will be rounded over to create that “quilted” look before they are glued up with biscuits.
A few more details on weight saving for those still bearing with me, those three flat sides above may look like they are made of a single plank of solid Rosewood but they are in fact mostly hollow box frame sections that are very light and very stable. We deposit more weight saving dividends into our weight budget by using poplar cored marine plywood for all the cabinetry rather than Baltic birch marine plywood as it is considerably lighter, more dimensionally stable and has a flatter surface for veering.
Saving the best for last in this focus on cabinetry corners, here is a peek at how Omur and his crew are creating all solid wood large 100mm / 4” radius corners for all the vertical edges throughout the interior.
Veneer would have been SO much easier and cheaper but as you know from your home, these corners are high traffic areas that suffer a lot of wear and tear over the years and if these were done with veneer they would show this very visibly and with no real way to repair. Instead all corners and edges on Möbius are solid wood which will stand up to this wear and tear indefinitely and will be relatively easy to repair any damage back to like new for the very long life these XPM boats will surely have.
As you can make out here, three lengths of solid Rosewood have been cut with edged mitered at 30 degrees and biscuit glued together to form a 90 degree corner. Gluing the three boards has to be done in two steps as trying to clamp all 3 at the same time would not create perfect glue lines and then once all the glue is cured the outer surface is machined to the 100mm radius followed by copious amounts of elbow grease with a radiused sanding board.
Knowing what went into creating this corner will help you understand Omur’s hard earned look of exhausted pride as he holds up this first prototype of such corner construction that he and his team will now use for all the many other corners onboard XPM78-01 aka Möbius.
I may not be as exhausted but I am certainly just as proud and happy as Omur and his talented team of cabinetmakers are. And they are just getting warmed up so stay tuned for much more from all the talented people on Team Möbius as we continue to bring you these weekly progress updates.
Short but hopefully sweet video here is your video summary for this week. Will try to do more next week.
As always, thanks for following. Like, subscribe and most importantly add your comments, suggestions and questions in the “Join the Discussion” box below.
This week’s progress building our beloved MV (Motor Vessel) Möbius and XPM78-01 here at Naval Yachts reached another exciting milestone with the cutting of the first wood being used to build our interior cabinetry and furniture. We are VERY excited about this and as per the title we think “You Wood Too!” Not that the work on all things metal and mechanical aren’t exciting as they continue to progress very well too, but this most recent deep dive into designing and now starting to build the interior of our new home and boat has us particularly excited and wanting to share it with you so please join us as we dive into the latest progress in designing and building mv Möbius.
As you may recall if you read the previous post “Miss Mobius World Wood Pageant” we have chosen to use Rosewood for all our interior woodwork and so it was a very exciting day when the first truckload of solid and veneer arrived from the lumberyard near Istanbul. With different languages and species all this wood is from the Dalbergia family and goes by several names including Santos, Palisander, Pelesenk, African/Burmese Blackwood and (your choice) Madagascar/Brazilian/Indian/Honduran/Yucatan/Amazon/Burmese Rosewood. You may be interested to know that these woods are called Rosewood because they give off a rose like scent when being cut and worked so I will borrow from the bard’s astute observation that “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”, add my own “and be as beautiful” and from here on in I will simply refer to this as Rosewood.
The photo above was taken as the protective wrap was first pulled back to unveil the stacks of hundreds of flitches of Rosewood veneer quickly followed by the same reveal of these planks of our solid Rosewood. While we had spent a LOT of time searching for and choosing this wood it still took our breath away with the reality and beauty of this wildly varied colours and swirling grain patterns.
Christine and I were still in Florida being Gramma and Grampa so Dincer had flew up to Istanbul to personally select the specific batches of veneer and solid Rosewood for us and as usual he did a masterful job of choosing the just right Rosewood for us.
My dear friend Eileen Clegg once called me an “extremophile” which I took as a compliment, and with Möbius being the first of Naval’s XPM eXtreme eXpedition Passage Maker series of boats it seemed only fitting that we would have sought out a wood with such eXtreme ranges of colour and grain. The only thing more eXtreme than the beauty of Rosewood is its price but Christine and I may well spend the rest of our lives living aboard Möbius and want to be surrounded by beauty every one of those days so this was an easy decision to make given the infinite amount of joy it will provide for us and others who join us aboard.
This photo shows how the cabinetmakers have unpacked the first four of that stack of wide strips of veneer known as flitches shown above into matching layers after cutting off any splits or damage at their ends.
Is this Beauty in the eXtreme or what??? As with most other facets of boat building Naval does all their cabinetmaking in house which includes doing all their plywood lamination so these Rosewood flitches will soon be matched up on either side of marine birch plywood and be pressed and heated in this large hydraulic laminating press to create the finished veneer panels. You will see this fabulous bit of kit in action in the upcoming weekly updates. As beautiful as the veneer is the solid Rosewood more than shared the spotlight as you can see here with these first four 25mm / 1” planks to emerge from their own stacks off the truck.
The very large staff of professional cabinetmakers, which I will be introducing to you over the coming weeks, seemed to be equally as excited and impressed by the opportunity to start transforming this Rosewood into furniture and cabinets for Möbius.
You Wood too right? Those first planks were soon coming out of the table saw and shaper as these T shaped strips which will next be glued to all exposed edges of the veneered panels. This solid Rosewood edging is at least a 10mm / 3/8” thick which enables further shaping and ensures that none of the veneer edges are exposed to any wear and tear over the years. Panels which will have all four sides exposed when finished on things like drawer fronts have these solid Rosewood T’s glued on all four edges with mitred corners such as the one on the far left here. All the outer corners of these T edges will be rounded over with a 3-5mm radius to make them very easy on your hands and very luxurious in their looks. Another technique for creating the large 50mm/2” Radius external corners and reducing the amount of Rosewood required on things like vertical cabinet edges, corners of the bed frame, etc. begins with gluing these triangular shaped lengths of solid Beech, the white wood here, to lengths of solid Rosewood. Why? might be a common question so I grabbed a piece of scrap wood with a 50mm Radius on the bottom side and made that horizontal pencil line to show how the Rosewood portion of the glued up piece on the bottom left will be machined with that large radius surface being all Rosewood and the inner triangle of Beech providing the a large surface area for the adjoining panels to be glued in place and be hidden in the joinery on the inside. Once the glue has cured the next day and operation is to machine these laminated lengths of Rosewood and Beech ……. …… into this shape and you can now hopefully see how this creates the two wide flats at 90 degrees to each other to form the large vertical corners on cabinets and corners and then have the full 25-30mm thickness of Rosewood to form the rounded outer corner.
I’ll be able to show you this in much more detail in the coming weeks as the cabinetry progressed so let’s leave the cabinetmakers alone for a bit and go back aboard Möbius to see how things are progressing there.
The “Sparkies” as our brilliant Kiwi (New Zealand) designer Dennis would call the team of electricians who are growing in number aboard Möbius, are now busy running literally nautical miles of wiring throughout the conduits and wire trays and have setup shop in the SuperSalon to do the cutting and labeling of all the individual runs of wire. If you look in the background of the picture above (click to enlarge any photo) or in this close up shot you can see some of the runs of flexible conduit going up the inside of the vertical SuperSalon window mullions which are soon filled up with the wires for devices up in the ceiling of the SuperSalon and the SkyBridge. Each length of wire is labeled with the temporary tubular yellow labels you see here. With hundreds, perhaps thousands of wire end connections to make, this labeling is key to making it faster and clearer for the Sparkies to know that the right wire is going to the right switch, light or circuit breaker. Before the final wiring of each connection is done each wire will be cut to the just right length and additional labels will be heat shrunk to each end of all wires for future reference whenever someone, aka ME! is doing any modifications or maintenance of any of the eXtensive electrical systems aboard Möbius.
Down in the Basement we see that the “Poopsmiths’ ** aka plumbers in Kiwi speak, have been busy starting to install the runs of Vetus Sanitary hose for all the Grey (shower & sink) Water and Black (toilets) Water tanks, pumps, drains, etc.
** Full list of such wonderful Kiwi slang words here for those of you interested in “dropping your gear’ and go “full tit” to be fully “home and hosed” when it comes to speaking like a native down under. I hope this doesn’t’ come across as rarking you up or pack a sad for too many of you and if so the next drink is my shout but this offer is only good at sparrow fart.
Those of you who have been following this blog for awhile will recognise this and for the rest of you this is one of the hatches which I’ve designed and Naval is is now building in house. The little army of aluminium boxes on the right are the hinge boxes which provide the support for the SS hinge pins that slide through the 8mm / 5/16” holes in their sides.
Turning these boxes transparent in the 3D model of these hatches (click to enlarge) will show you better how they work. Everything but the Rosewood inner liner is all aluminium but I have coloured the Lid Blue and the Frame in Red he blue for added clarity and you can see how the Blue Hinge Arms which are welded to the Lid, extends into the Hinge Boxes under the deck and rotate on the white SS 8mm diameter hinge pins. I used one of my favorite CAD tools, Autodesk Fusion 360 to design these hatches and here is a little animation Fusion enables me to create which I hope will show you how the hatch works.
One of the most rewarding aspects of designing and building your own stuff is when your designs are transformed into reality and here is my most recent example. This is what the Hinge Arm you’ve seen above looks like as a component within the Fusion 360 model. And here I am holding that very same Hinge Arm after Uğur has cut it from a solid block of aluminium. We decided to create a few prototypes of these hatches to fully test out my design in the real world and here is one of the prototype assemblies of the Hinge Arm assembled within the Hinge Box on a temporary threaded hinge pin. Hinge Arms tacked to the Lid and Hinge Boxes tacked to the outer Frame. A quiet ”Open Sésame” and Voila! it works! The hatch opens fully to the 120 degree angle I wanted as the Hinge Arms come into contact with the inner edge of the cut-out in the outer Frame where the Hinge Boxes attach.
After a few tweaks with the prototype hatches to get these hinges working and positioned just right we were ready for the critical step of welding the Hinge Boxes to the actual Hatch Frames that have been welded into the decks on Möbius.
As you can see from the photos and models above, the two Hinge Pins have to have their centerlines precisely aligned in order for the Lid to open smoothly so Yiğit and I designed up a jig that Uğur and Nihat could use to hold each pair of Hinge Boxes in just the right position under the deck plates and up tight against the outer Frame surfaces and tack the Hinge Boxes in place. You can see the aluminium plate part of this positioning jig in Ugur’s right hand here and It worked just as we hoped. I forgot to take a picture of the jig itself so what you can’t see but can hopefully imagine is that there are two arms welded to the edge of that aluminium plate which exactly replicate the Hinge Arm positions and have matching pipes for the Hinge Pins to go through. So Uğur slides these two arms on the jig into the rectangular openings you saw above in the outer Hatch Frame and then holds each Hinge Box in his left hand and slides it over the arms of the jig and inserts an 8mm pin through the holes in the Hatch Box and the jig.
Takes longer for me to type this than it did for Uğur and Nihat to tack the Hinge Boxes in place and hope this all makes some sense to most of you?
While Uğur and Nihat were busy working up on deck, our awesome Master Welder Sezgin was busy down on the shop floor under Möbius finishing up the welding of the Hatch Lids. And the pile of finish welded Lids piled up quickly. In case you are wondering, he tacked two lids together to help hold each Hatch Lid assembly in alignment and prevent them from warping or moving as they were welded up. Then the tacks are ground off to separate each Lid and the Lids are cleaned up and prepped for the last bit of welding the Hinge Arms to the Lids which is perhaps the trickiest and most important step to ensuring that the Hatches open, shut and seal just right. Once the Lids have their Hinge Arms welded on they will be sent off to the glass supplier to cut and install the 15mm tempered glass to complete the Lids and I’ll cover that as it happens in the next few weeks.
And as Porky the Pig used to say “Th-th-th-th That’s All Folks!” At least for this week. Hope you are continuing to enjoy and possibly even get some value from these weekly progress updates and I look forward to your comments, questions and suggestions you leave in the “Join the Discussion” box below.
It was a 4 day work week for most people here in Turkey with May 1st being the big “Emek ve Dayanışma Günü” or “Labor & Solidarity Day” public holiday also known simply as “May Day”. Very similar to the holiday around this time in many other countries. With this also being our first week back after our great two week trip to Florida for some fabulous family and friends time and me sporting my semi annual haircut we thought it was a good opportunity to put together an updated and highly requested video walkthrough tour of Möbius to summarise all the progress since the last video tour. First a few photos of the progress this first week of May and then the video tour at the end. Let’s get started!
The 10mm thick Hatch Lid plates, just out of the CNC machine, were next up for the in-house fabrication of all the deck hatches so the prep work began on welding the inner frames to the Lid plates. If you have not yet read about these hatches I designed in previous posts, here is a quick rendering of the complete hatch assembly. The Lid is in Blue with 15mm / 5/8” thick tempered safety glass adhered on top that sits flush with the deck surface. The hinges are hidden below the decks to make for an even cleaner appearance with no obstructions on the deck. Here is a stack of 4 of the Lid plates with the edges chamfered at 45 degrees where the flat bar of the inner frame will be welded and then all the edges which will be on the inside of the hatch lids all radiused. The 15mm glass will be adhered to the opposite side.
Nihat and Uğur prepping the next pair of Lid plates. The four large radius corners are carefully formed in the 8mm / 3/8” thick flat bar that creates the inner frame of the Lids is fitted to be perfectly flush with the outer edges of the Lid plate, clamped and tacked in place. The ends are trimmed to the just right length and welded. And in no time all ten hatch lids are stacked up awaiting Sezgin to finish weld them all around. In the coming weeks these will be cleaned up and prepped for attaching the hidden hinge arms to the Lids and fitting them to the hinge boxes welded under the decks so stay tuned for more as the hatches progress. Having pretty much finished gluing all the miles of EPDM insulation to all the interior aluminum surfaces, the seemingly tireless Mummy has now shifted to applying all the thick cloth backed AL foil to the lower sides of the hull Inside the Workshop. This is the same cloth backed foil covered all the walls and ceilings in the Basement with that you’ve seen in previous posts which produced a fabulous way of covering the EPDM in areas where it will be left exposed to protect it from wear, help reflect light and be easily cleaned and maintained. In the Workshop we are using the same foil to cover the EPDM that extends from the top of the long workbenches down to where the EPDM stops at the floor/bilge areas. This is the opposite “wing” of the Starboard side of the Workshop which runs down the side of the Engine Room enclosure walls you see here on the left. The white Wire trays are all mounted up high on the hull on both sides and will soon be filled with wires, hoses and cables for all the electrical and plumbing runs. The 500L Day Tank will be mounted at the far end up against the WT Bulkhead where the Guest Cabin begins.
Progress also continues in the Dinç family where Dinçer, the co-founder of Naval Yachts, and his wife Nesli are kept eXtremely busy raising their new three boys, twins Mert and Yiğit and 3 year brother Demir, who as you can see is loving being their big brother.
But enough with the static photos and text and on with the promised video walk through tour.
With such an incredibly diverse collection of followers there will be too much detail or it is going too slowly for some of you so I will put in visual breaks as we move from one area to the next with renderings of each area of the boat to help you visualise how these areas will look when completed. I hope this will make it easier for you to jump around within these longer videos if it any area is getting into too much detail.
We will start with a tour of the interior spaces beginning with the forward Master Cabin and work our way back all the way to the Workshop/Engine Room area and then show you around up on the deck and down on the shop floor in a second video.
WALKING TOUR of INTERIOR SPACES as of May 4, 2019:
This video is much longer than usual at about 27 minutes so grab a good beverage and a comfy chair before you hit Play. With SUCH a wide audience here there may be way too much detail in some places for some of you so remember the great thing about video is that you always have the Fast Forward key!
WALKING TOUR of EXTERIOR & DECK as of May 4, 2019:
Second video, about 26 minutes total, is a Walkthrough of the exterior spaces from the Aft Deck to the SkyBridge to the Forepeak and a last look at the Bow Thruster tube and new Hatch lids that are the most recent additions.
Please let me know how well these videos are working for you, suggestions for changes, additions or any other ways to make this all more interesting and valuable. I’d love to honour the many requests for more videos and more on the Mobius.World YouTube channel but I have to prioritize my time and attention to the build which fills about ten hours of my day six days a week so I’m challenged to have the time to do all the video editing on top of this but will do my best to provide more video as the build progresses.