The “skeleton” version of Team Möbius was leaner than ever this past week here at Naval Yachts as we are down to just two part time workers onboard Möbius this past week. However, along with Christine and myself and our Dynamic Duo of Nihat and Uğur we all put in a very full week and they made great progress in finishing all the “hotworks” of welding up the Tender.
So this will be another shortened version of these Weekly Progress Updates but I’m delighted to share all I have with you.
I will leave the largest progress on the Tender for the end this week and so let’s jump in first to what did get done this week on the Interior of Möbius thanks to the couple of days that our Sparky Hilmi and our Hardware guru Serkan were onboard.
I’ve received a lot of comments and questions (thanks!) about these bits of boat jewellery that masquerade as our eXtremely solid latches on all our cabinet doors and drawers and we like them more every time we see them and start to use them. For those who have not seen these latches before they are solid 316 SS and work simply with a light one finger lift like this. When you add up all the drawers and doors in both cabins, the Galley, the Corridor Office and the Salon we have a LOT so Serkan has been a busy boy getting these all done. It might sound as simple as “drill a hole and thread the latch body in place” but it is actually very eXacting and finicky work to get the holes in just the right location so the latch mechanism lines up. Adding to the challenge all the Rosewood doors and drawer fronts have already been finished and polished so drilling these holes without any splintering or pull outs takes some finesse. But Serkan is appropriately OCD when it comes to the quality of his work and hey now as almost all the latches installed but for a few in the Master Cabin. Such as these two drawers underneath Christine’s Office Desk. These ones in the Galley Drawers, Galley Garage doors,
I hope to be able to show you all the latches in the Master Cabin in next week’s Progress Update. Up at the Main Helm, Serkan and Hilmi worked together to mount the em-trak Class A AIS I mentioned last week.
It is the rectangular screen you see here in the upper Right corner of the Black leather ceiling overtop of the Main Helm.
Another example of those “how hard can this be?” jobs as there are a lot of different cables that Hilmi had to run from a lot of different locations on the boat with the AIS antennae being up on the Main Arch, the dedicated AIS GPS head up on the front Port side of the Pilot House, data cables going to the N2K system and +/- 24V cables to power the whole thing.
Serkan then needed to put the hole for all these cables in the Black leather covered removable ceiling panel overhead of the Main Helm and then attach the holding bracket that the em-trak AIS unit attaches to.
Positioned for clear viewing whether seated or standing at the Helm and the whole unit can also pivot and tilt so we can orient it to keep an eye on when eating at the Dinette Table or in the Galley.
Since we first started installing them, I have also received a lot of questions and comments about the Deck Hatches I designed and we built in house here at Naval Yachts. Boat owners, especially those of us doing long passages, typically have a love/hate kind of relationship with Deck hatches. Just Love all the light and fresh air they bring in BUT they almost all start leaking relatively early in their life.
Of course, Mr. Murphy ensures that when they do leak, that water will always land in the most annoying spots such as in your face as you sleep, soaking your bed or seats or dripping onto electronic gear. Ask me how I know??!!!! Therefor, one of our priorities when we were designing Möbius was to make sure that we had eXtremely Leak Proof Hatches! After many months of research and sketching, this is the design I came up with in my favorite 3D modeling program, Fusion 360. These two section views shows some of the key features to ensure these stay fully waterproof with large self draining gutters around the flush mounted 15mm glass lids and edge seals around the inner frames. I spent a LOT of time searching for the Goldilocks edge seals and finally found them at Trim-Lok in the USA which makes the seals for many automotive manufacturers and other industries. Trim-Lok has a great site that allows you to custom design your own seals with an interactive “Hatch Seal Product Builder” where you chose details such as thickness of the “edge” the seals will attach to which in our case is the 8mm thick upper vertical edge of the aluminium inner hatch frames. Then you chose which side, A, C or E you want the “bulb” part of the EPDM rubber seal to attach to and the width or “leg length” of the grippy rubber U-section you want. I designed these Inner Frame of the Hatches and then the Trim-Lok Hatch Seals such that as you close the Hatch Lid, the upper rubber bulb part of the seal is compressed to the Trim-Lok specifications for the just right and maximum sealing.
Once you have your seal all designed you just specify things like colour, type of rubber and how many linear feet you want and they ship it to you all coiled up in a box. It is always a treat when I can work directly with the manufacturer and it was a great experience working with Trim-Lok to design and build the Goldilocks Hatch Seals for Möbius.
This is what those Trim-Lok seals look like in the real world aboard Möbius. Pretty self explanatory; the deck surface is on the far Left here and then you can see the deep Gutter formed by the Outer AL Frame and one of the two drain holes in the bottom. Christine and I spent some time last week doing a test fit installation of the Trim-Lok seals on this one hatch up in the ceiling of the “doghouse” overtop the entryway into the Workshop off of the Swim Platform. 3D modeling and custom Hatch Seal Builder tools are great but they are still all theoretical so we were anxious for this real world fitting. Fortunately the seals and the hatches worked even better than we had hoped. The “squish” was just right both for maximum sealing as well as the just right about of resistance as you lock or “dog” the hatch handles down.
Just to up the challenge, I added some other requirements for this design such a having their glass tops be flush with the AL decks so they are no edges laying in wait to bite your toes as you walk around on deck usually in bare feet. Perhaps even more importantly, no edges to snag lines and ropes.
However the #1 feature attracting me to Flush Hatches is that when you take on big waves breaking over the bow or sides, flush hatches have no edge for this deluge of water to press against the seals as it all runs straight overtop.
And If I’m going to have no protrusions of the Hatch Lids, then surely I had to also get rid of the Hinges right? So the renders above and on the Left show how I made the hinges disappear when the Hatches are closed. Recently I completed what I felt was the Goldilocks design for the latches and handles for these 10 Deck Hatches and had them all CNC milled from billets of solid aluminium I had on hand.
Hand sketching is my preferred method of thinking through a design and coming up with lots of alternative ways of meeting my design goals. These are two of my early sketches for the Hatch Handles and Latching system that I ended up with. Once I have the basic design details worked out in my sketches I then move over to Autodesk’s Fusion 360 ** to work out the precise details and end up with a fully developed 3D model that can then talk to the CNC milling machine to make them. ** Full Disclosure, I was privileged to work for Autodesk Inc. for over 25 years so I may be a wee bit biased but I continue to be amazed at what all they have been able to pack into Fusion 360 and yet keep it so amazingly easy and powerful to use.
I’ve removed the Handle here to show how the round Upper Boss is bolted to the 10mm thick CNC cut Hatch Lid which the 15mm Glass will soon be glued to. The Purple part below is the 20mm thick Latch Block or Plate where the “nose” of the Handle slides under to pull the Lid closed. I’ve made all the parts somewhat transparent in this quick render to give you a bit of X-Ray vision to see how all the various features such as the Handles, Lid and Hinges all work together. Click this or any blog image to enlarge it for a closer look. Here’s what one of those Hatch Handles looks like over in the real world. That Latch Block on the Right has two threaded holes on the back side where it is through bolted by two SS Hex-Head bolts going through the Inner Frame. First test fitting of a pair of Hatch Handles.
This is how the Handles are oriented in their Closed position. And this is where the Handles sit in the Open position. The smallest three of the ten Deck Hatches are 450mm / 18” square and their width is too small for the two Handles to fit when you move them to the Open position. My KISS solution was to make one of the Handles a mirror image of the other like this so their ends can overlap and yet still give you the full size handle to close. Worked out very well. As you can see from this design, getting those round Handle Bosses bolted to the Lids in the exact right position is quite critical to them working properly so after a bit of pondering here is the technique I came up with to mount all 20 Bosses.
First lay out the exact center of the Boss and Handles with some calipers and a center punch to position the point of the drill bit. Drill and Tap that hole and thread a length of an M8 – 1.0 threaded rod through it. Then thread the AL Boss onto the rod and tighten the rod to hold it in the correct alignment for drilling the four bolt holes. Getting those four holes all drilled in just the right spot was the critical part of this challenge and the fun trick I came up with was to use the CNC machined AL Bosses as their own drilling jigs. Once I had them tightened up with that center through bolt, I then made up a little “pipe” that had the outside diameter to fit snuggly inside the four holes in the Bosses and then used a drill bit that was the same size as the inside diameter of the SS pipe. A bit time consuming with 80 holes to drill and tap but t worked like a charm and I just repeated this process for all 20 Bosses. One of the 650mm square Hatches is underneath the circular staircase going up to the SkyBridge so it was a bit more challenging to get at but it too was soon all drilled.
With the holes drilled in just the right locations it was straightforward to tap each hole with M6 threads Put a bit of Loctite on each SS bolt and torque them down just right and they were soon all done. Next challenge is to get all 20 of these rectangular Latch Blocks bolted in precisely the right spot on the Inner Frames and I’m hoping to get to that next week so stay tuned.
At the opposite end of the progress spectrum, Uğur and Nihat put in a very full and very hot week working on the Tender to Möbius and I’ll do as I have been in previous posts and show you their progress with a rapid fire series of photos and a bi of text along the way.
With the “Mickey Mouse” opening in the 20mm thick Transom Plate all cut out we wanted to do another test fitting of the Castoldi 224DD jet drive and then mark the centers of all the holes around both the rectangular frame on the bottom and the Transom.
I also needed to check that the two hydraulic cylinders that mount through Mickey’s ears had the right amount of clearance so I climbed inside the Tender, cylinder in hand while the boys lowered the Castoldi into place above me. Perfect fit on the inside. And the outside at this critical 93 degree angled corner between the bottom of the hull and the Transom. Centers of all the holes laid out before removing the Castoldi, center punched each one and it was quick and easy to drill all the holes in this Frame and the Transom. Christine keeps remarking that she can’t get over how bit our “dinghy” is to which I reply, “Look Up!” Looks pretty small now don’t you think? With the Castoldi jet drive all fitted and holes all drilled and all the bottom welding finished, it was time to flip the hull back right side up again. And get to work putting in the rest of the CNC cut 6mm AL plate.
Engine Beds now all welded in and the inner walls of the hull getting tacked in place.
Time to assemble the Swim Platform which doesn’t take them too long. A quick test fit and Uğur welds it all up. This is going to be a great platform that will make snorkeling and Scuba diving SO much easier than from a RIB as well as making rear boarding very easy. However the primary purpose of the Swim Platform is to protect the Jet Drive bucket and nozzle from docks and rocks at the rear and it will do an eXcellent job of this too. Starboard side Console shaping up nicely as well. As is the platform of the seats behind. Test fitting the tacked up Lid over the Engine Bay. It will be hinged at that forward seam and lift up with the assistance of two gas spring lift cylinders like the rear hatch of an SUV. Nihat opens up the forward 100L fuel tank that will provide an access port for cleaning and servicing. Inner frame for the access port tacked in place.
Uğur was now able to get inside to finish welding this fuel tank from the inside to fully seal it off from the two side “tanks” which we will most likely use for additional dry storage rather than fuel.
Holes drilled and tapped, gasket made up and in place. Uğur the Ninja Welder soon had the dashboard all welded up and bolted the SS piano hinge in place. We used the same edge seals as for the Hatches you saw above around the circumference of the hinged dashboard to keep it all weathertight. Once I get to fitting out our Tender I’ll add some latches for this Dashboard, the Engine Lid and other access hatches throughout the Tender but that is much further down the priority list right now. Et Voila! The Center Console is pretty much all welded up. Ever the productive one, Uğur spent a bit of time in the machine shop and whipped up these two hinges that he will weld on next week to the Engine Lid.
So stay tuned for next week’s episode of “How the Tender Turns”
I spent quite a few hours with Mr. Gee this past week and while not too visible yet, got lots done in terms of the mounting some of the critical equipment he will be powering such as the two 250A @ 24V Electrodyne “Big Red” alternators one of which you can see here in the upper Left corner. That one will mount to a beefy bracket I designed this past week that will bolt to the flat horizontal pad you can see above it on Mr. Gee’s front Left corner. I also spent a few hours setting the camshaft timing and the valve clearances. This photo is showing the simple process of setting the clearance between the ends of the valve stems and the rocker arms using a 0.008” for the Exhaust valves and 0.004” for the Intakes. And in case you were wondering what the “Bling” in this week’s title was referring to, I spent a few minutes on the polishing wheel to see how well these little access port covers on the two cylinder heads would polish up. Still very crude as I need to spend much more time prepping those surfaces, but I think this will add a Goldilocks nice touch of class to Mr. Gee to great you as you enter the Engine Room! And that folks, is the week that was September 14-19, 2020 here in Antalya Turkey aboard the good ship Möbius.
Thank you SO much for joining me and even more thanks for posting your questions and comments in the “Join the Discussion” box below.
Another slow week aboard Möbius unfortunately with the combination of lack of staff to another boat ‘Caledonia” that launched on Friday and an unexpected 4 day week due to two workers testing positive to Corona 19. Those two men who had both been working together on Caledonia have been quarantined but and the rest of that team were all tested so we are hoping that we can get back to work tomorrow, Monday here.
However, Uğur and Nihat made great progress on the Tender and I got in some solid days working on Mr. Gee so I’ve got lots to show you and let’s jump right in to this week’s Show & Tell.
Serkan our Hardware specialist, has continued with the installation of all the many latches and gas lifts on the cabinetry doors and drawers in all three cabins. Below is a short little video that will do the best job of showing you how these work.
Now that we get to try these out we really like how our design has all worked out for these Galley Garages. As you can see in the video above, even when you have messy fingers while cooking, a simple flick of your finger allows the door to fully open and move out of the way so you can grab whatever you need inside. These gas filled lift cylinders snap into SS mounting balls which you screw to the inside of the cabinet and the door so while Serkan needed to spend a bit of time figuring out the exact placement of these mounts with the first door, it goes very quickly after that.
I thought the instructions on the plastic bags the cylinders come in would do the best to show you how this works.
The Silver coloured one I’m holding here is a Lift cylinder so it compresses when you close it and is what is used on the Galley Garage doors. The White one on the counter is a “drop” cylinder so it works in the opposite direction to slowly lower our fold down doors where you flip the latch open and then the gas cylinder slowly telescopes out to smoothly lower the door to its fully folded down position rather than free falling open.
Exciting for Christine and I to see that we are now at the stage where our OGM Navigation Lights are getting mounted.
Uğur and I came up with this simple design for the mounting bases that go on each side of the coaming around the SkyBridge for our Red/Green side nav lights. For those not familiar with COLREGS, the standards governing navigation lights for ships of all sizes, this graphic shows the nav light requirements for a power vessel a over 20m/65ft length. For the Port/Starboard Red/Green lights must have a Horizontal View Angle of 112.5 degrees and >70 degrees Vertical so they must be mounted at an angle of 33.75° from the centerline of the vessel. I’ve been using these OGM nav lights for 15 years with great success so sticking with what I know for Möbius. The body is CNC milled out of a solid block of aluminium and then the 2 nautical mile LED sets behind a glass lens and the whole light assembly is “potted” in epoxy so there is nothing to come loose or leak. KISS at its best!
Up on top of the Main Arch we have these 2 OGM lights, a Single White Steaming Light: Visible over a 225 degrees arc forward with the all around 360 degree White Anchor Light mounted above.
Yet to be installed at the end of the Aft Deck is one more OGM that is a Separate White stern light covering 135 degrees Aft. Just up front and off to the Port side of Red/Port light is this GPS head which is dedicated to providing the satellite based GPS data to …………. …………. our em-trak Class A AIS transceiver that is mounted overtop of the Main Helm. We like to have a lot of redundancy for our GPS data so this GPS head is one of five that we have all together onboard Möbius.
Given our speed and size we decided to upgrade the AIS Class B we have had on our previous boats to this Class A unit and the table below explains why.
With Class A we get bumped up to high priority over other boats with Class B, increased power and range broadcasting at 12.5W vs 2W
Dynamic information is transmitted every 2 to 10 seconds while underway and every 3 minutes while at anchor vs every 30-180 seconds on Class B.
Not cheap, but one of our five principles for Möbius is Safety, so when it comes to Safety at Sea we don’t compromise. Courtesy of Digital Yachts site here is a nice graphic (click to enlarge) and overview of AIS (Automatic Identification System).
AIS is the mariner’s most significant development in navigation safety since the introduction of radar. The system was originally developed as a collision avoidance tool to enable commercial vessels to ‘see’ each other more clearly in all conditions and improve the helmsman’s information about his surrounding environment. AIS does this by continuously transmitting a vessels identity, position, speed and course along with other relevant information to all other AIS equipped vessels within range. Combined with a shore station, this system also offers port authorities and maritime safety bodies the ability to manage maritime traffic and reduce the hazards of marine navigation. Due to the great safety benefits offered by AIS, this technology was made compulsory throughout the world in 2002 for all passenger ferries and vessels over 300 gross tonnes.
Nihat is one of our most efficient and hard working members of Team Möbius so while he was waiting for Uğur to lay down more of the finish welds on the Tender, he would move over a few feet to work on cleaning up the welds on the three part Davit Arch.
Here Nihat is working on the long horizontal cross member of the Davit Arch and the thick plate you can see on the far Left in that photo has a matching plate on top of the vertical legs of the Arch. My thinking with this design is that it makes it much easier for us to dismantle the whole Davit and store it on deck when we want to transform Möbius into her “hunkered down” configuration for canals or in hurricane/cyclone conditions when we would also lower the SkyBridge roof.
Prepping for Propulsion:
I was able to spend much of this four day week inside the Engine Room on Möbius getting Mr. Gee ready to have his best buddy our Nogva CPP Servo Gearbox mated to him. This is looking forward at Mr. Gee’s massive 100+Kg flywheel which now has the Nogva aluminium SAE14 frame bolted on.
Each of those rounded “teeth” around the inner circumference will fit precisely with the matching grooves on the hard rubber Flexible Coupling which is bolted to the input shaft of the Nogva Gearbox. Like this. Makes for an eXtremely solid yet eXtremely quiet flexible coupling of the 180 Draft Horsepower coming out of Mr. Gee to the Nogva and on to the CPP propeller. Turning around to get this shot of the SS Prop Shaft protruding out of the AL Prop Log Tube I needed to get the Prop Shaft perfectly centered in the Log Tube so I made up this little jig to do so. Just a short bit of AL tubing machined so it snugly fits into the space between the Prop Shaft and the Log Tube like this. The two halves of the Red Nogva flange you see in these photos will be bolted to the end of the Prop Shaft on the bottom Left here and then this flange must be very precisely aligned with the matching flange on the output of the CPP Gearbox. I’ll show you all that in a week or so.
Mr. Gee Gets Dressed:
Remember that big 24V starter motor you saw being rebuilt and painted the past few weeks? Well here is what it looks like when slid into place on Mr. Gee’s Aft Starboard side. More Gardner ingenuity to make removing the starter so easily, it slides straight aft like an artillery shell into a cannon and you can rotate it to any position and then cinch it up tight with the silver band clamp you see here. I’ve put the terminals on the bottom so the big cables will be well protected by the starter above and have a straight run out below. It also felt great to finally get to fit this Bronze Beauty aka the Engine Oil Cooler, put in place just above the starter and below the Exhaust & Intake manifolds.
Seawater will be pumped into the 90 degree Bronze/Copper pipe at the far end and then out the curved copper pipe in the bottom center here. Up at the Front Stbd/Right side of Mr. Gee is this centrifugal coolant/water pump that is driven by a gear off the timing chain inside the cast AL Crankcase on the Left. The Coolant/water is pumped out through the AL manifold on the Left here and into the two Burgundy Cast Iron Cylinder Blocks. Surrounded my more Beauty, this time in the form of one of our two “tiny” Red 250Amp @24V Electrodyne alternators. Time for me to start fitting these monsters to equally robust mounts I still need to finalise. For this one I’m going to reuse the same method the original Gardner engines did by using strap mounts same as you just saw on the Starter above, to solidly attach the alternator to those three curved you can see are cast into the Crankcase. Then two straps wrap up and around the alternator body and are cinched down with a threaded stud.
As you can see, I also need to finish assembling the big Red Electrodyne Junction Box for all those White wires coming out of the alternator body on the Right. The Junction Box is just sitting loose right now as I measure everything up prior to fitting this in place onto Mr. Gee’s side.
Flip my Tender!
Uğur picked up where we left off last week with some final checks on the critical positioning of the cast aluminium mounting frame which Castoldi supplies with their 244 Direct Drive Jet. That cast AL Mounting Frame is shown in Blue in this render and the Grey plate on the right is a partial view of the 20mm / 3/4” thick AL plate Transom with what I’m calling the “Mickey Mouse cut-out” to create the whole opening in the boat where the Castoldi will bolt to. This is what the whole Castoldi 224DD looks like with the Jet nozzle on the Left and if you look back and forth between this and the render above you will be able to see the mounting holes around the whole jet drive casting and how they will fit into the opening above. Cast aluminum is often a different mixture of the alloys than aluminium plate and can be challenging to weld so we wanted to sure there would be no problems welding this cast AL Frame into the Tender’s Hull plates. Those three cross members spanning the Frame above are temporary so Uğur did a test weld on this one and a small scrap of 6mm AL plate and then we all took turns trying to break the weld with long levers. Didn’t budge or crack so we are good to go. Always a bit of hesitation when it comes to cutting holes in the bottom of our perfectly good boat and especially one THIS BIG! But it was soon done and we’re ready to start installing the Frame.
But first, we decided to flip the hull 180 degrees to make working on the bottom so much easier so strap yourself in and I’ll do another rapid fire set of photos that many of you have said you’ve been enjoying to walk you through the whole flip. Handy having a Forklift is rather handy! One last check fit of the cast Frame into the opening in the Hull.
You can also see the outline of the Mickey Mouse cut out etched ty the waterjet cutter into the Transom. We debated whether to have this Mickey Mouse cut out by the CNC waterjet when all the plates were being cut but we decided it would be better to leave it until now when we could double and triple check its position and get the jet drive in the exact right location.
Aluminium is such a great material to work with and even at 20mm/ 3/4” thick, Uğur was able to make quick work of cutting out the majority with a jig saw while I kept the blade cooled with cutting oil spray. Ta-DA!
I think even Walt would be proud don’t you? Frame tacked in place now ensuring that one of the most critical aspects is that the front edge of the Frame on the far Left here and thus the body of the Castoldi that fits into the Flange, are flush with the bottom plate of the Tender. Seen from above it looks like this. Frame now fully welded into the Hull and Transom. Captain Christine arrives just in time for the start of the Big Flip! Airborne now. 180 degrees, Half way there….. 140 and counting ………. 180! We’re flipped. Nihat wastes no time jumping in with his angle grinder to start cutting the deep V grooves so Uğur can get full penetration with his MIG gun as he follows soon behind with the first full length welds. Like this. MIG welder up and Uğur gets down to business! Time for me to get busy as well as I need to remove a few bits and pieces from the fully assembled Castoldi still sitting inside its factory wooden box.
This is the forward leading edge of the Jet Drive where the water initially enters through the grates underneath the far Left of the cast AL body. I need to remove this electric driven hydraulic pump which powers the Jet’s Steering nozzle and Jet Drive Bucket.
Input Flange where the jack shaft from the 110 HP Yanmar HTE will connect via a flexible coupling and jack shaft. Propulsion direction Forward/Reverse/Sideways is accomplished by moving the big Bucket overtop of the jet’s nozzle which is done by moving the rod in this hydraulic cylinder on the Stbd/Right side. That cylinder above connects to the Bucket like this. I’m very impressed by the design and build of this Castoldi Jet Drive and it only takes me minutes to remove all these parts and have the Jet Drive stripped down and ready to be installed in the hull. A well tuned MIG welder sounds like a very big buzzing honeybee and all the while I’ve been prepping the Castoldi, Uğur has had his MIG gun buzzing merrily away …. as he lays down all those first long lengths of full welds and then goes over them all again with the second final bead. Et Voila!
The bottom of the hull and the Castoldi Frame are all welded in place. We double check that the Frame is still properly aligned and that the heat from all the welding has not warped anything but all is well.
Time to cut out those temporary supports in the Cast AL Frame. And Mickey is now ready to receive his Italian Bride! Who has now also been flipped over 180 and ready to be lifted out of her box and into the Tender. Forklift makes it all very easy and able to lower it slowly in place. And unfortunately I have to leave you and the Castoldi hanging at this point as I was too busy helping Nihat get the Castoldi lowered in place and do all the measuring and checking of the fit to be able to take any more photos. Sorry!!
But I’ll be back to pick up with all this next week so I’ll leave you with this mini cliff hanger for now and hope that you’ll forgive me and join me again next week.
Thanks for joining the adventure and be sure to leave all your questions and comments in the “Join the Discussion” box below.
Similar story this week as the past few; excellent results and exciting progress on Möbius wherever Naval craftsmen have worked, just not as many of them working as are needed to finish and launch Möbius as quickly as possible when they are assigned to work on other projects in the shipyard. But forward progress towards the eventual Launch Date made none the less.
As I gathered all my photos from the past week together there seemed to be a theme of light than shone through many of them in different ways and hence this week’s title. So let me go shine some light on all of these and jump right into this week’s Show & Tell and show you some of those eXcellent results and eXciting progress from this first week of September 2020.
Lots of Light shining through in the interior such as this is one of very many LED light fixtures which are inserted into the removable ceiling panels in all the living spaces. These are made by the big Italian lighting company BCM and we are using their BCM Charlotte 80 LED lights for most living areas.
These are the newest generation LED lights which are significantly more efficient so their wasted heat is very small and the large heat sinks you may be familiar seeing on such LED fixtures are no longer required so these lights are much smaller and cooler, both literally and figuratively.
Typical Italian craftsmanship and quality, they are easily set into the holes cut into the ceiling panels by folding the two spring loaded arms out of the way and then orienting the outer polished SS frame however you wish.
All our lights are LED so our overall energy consumption and heat generation is kept to an absolute minimum and all lights are on dimmer switches so we can easily have the Goldilocks Just Right lighting in every location and situation.
Lights over larger living spaces such as these overtop of the Lounge on the Left and the Dinette on the Right are a Warm White, about 2700 – 3000K.
Whereas task lighting situations such as these in the Galley are a cooler Neutral White of 4000-6000k. We also have some up here in the SuperSalon that can be switched to a coloured Red/Blue light when we are on night passages and want to maintain our night vision. Serkan, our interior hardware installer, continues to make his way throughout the interior installing all the positive locking latches and gas struts the many cabinet drawers and doors. I’ve shown these to you before but I’m still madly in love with what are to me jewellery like SS lifting latches for all our drawers and cabinet doors.
Single finger lift like this to unlatch and then they are spring loaded so they automatically self latch when the Blum soft close feature of each drawer slide gently pulls the drawer closed. Hakan ordered this range of telescoping gas spring struts so we could try them out and chose the ones that were just right for our Garage Doors and fold down cupboard fronts. In the case of these Galley Garage doors, when you lift the latch the gas springs automatically raise the doors to their fully open position and hold them there while you get at whatever you need inside. Whereas for cupboard doors such as these lower two in my Corridor Office where the space behind is too shallow for a pull out drawer, the gas struts gently lower the door down when you unlatch them. In the case of “regular” drawers such as these below Christine’s Office desk, no struts are needed because when you unlatch them the drawers slide out effortlessly on their Blum SS roller bearing drawer slides and then close automatically with the soft close feature when you give the drawer a gentle push to close. The removable Teak floors inside the Heads and Showers have moved on to their next stage of completion with the Black joining compound now all sanded down to a flush surface and are now ready for their fiberglass bottoms to be applied.
Hilmi our one and only “Sparkie” or Electrician continues to make steady progress with all things electrical onboard Möbius which covers a LOT of different aspects from lights you see above to cabling, connections, circuit breakers, switches, controls and other electrical devices ……………
………. such as this UDST 800 Ultrasonic Depth/Temperature/Speed transducer in the Bow. As you may recall seeing last week this transducer is installed inside an otherwise unused integral tank in the hull so that in the unlikely event that we somehow managed to scrape the whole transducer off the maximum amount of water we could take on would be small and self contained within this WT compartment. Hilmi has now installed the N2K cable from the transducer up out of the WT compartment through this cable gland which keeps the tank fully watertight. Up in one of the highest spots on Möbius, Hilmi has all these MC-4 connectors installed in SkyBridge roof for each of the eight 320kW solar panels that form the roof as well as the other six solar panels fore and aft of this. In addition to a fully sealed twist lock connector, we use this model that contains a 15A fuse inside which can be easily replaced with a simple twist. All the wiring in the SkyBridge roof is now installed in these two cable trays that run down each side of the center rectangular AL extrusion that forms the ridge of the roof and then travels down the inside of the Main Arch tubes to make their way down to their connections to the 14 Victron 100/20 SmartSolar MPPT controllers in the Basement. One last bit of electrical detail for those interested are these Swiss made Belimo 24V vent air damper activators. These connect to a set of louvers inside the Vent Box and Open/Close them as required. They are normally closed until they are activated as part of the start up sequence for Mr. Gee, our main engine, and allow fresh air in through the Port side Vent Box and extract it back out through the Starboard side Vent. The dampers are also part of the Automated Fire Extinguishing System which would immediately close off all these vents and shut down Mr. Gee so that the aerosol Fire Extinguishing gas stays trapped inside the Engine Room with no air able to enter or leave and the fire can be quickly extinguished. This heat activated sensor adds an additional level of Safety if the FFE does not work by closing the louvers anytime it senses a temperature higher than 72C/160F. There is also a manual crank that you can use to close/open the louvers at any time in case of an electrical failure.
Fire is probably the scariest thing aboard a boat so we take it VERY seriously and take no shortcuts to ensure that we are alerted as early as possible to any rise in temperature, any smoke or gas or heat and can take action immediately as needed.
AFT SOLAR PANEL BANK:
Light of a different kind or at least purpose was also the focus this week as Uğur and Nihat, along with our student intern “Omer” from Istanbul Tech University, took time away from building the Tender to Möbius to build the racks and mount the three 320kW solar panels that mount on the cantilevered roof above the Aft Deck Galley.
We have 14 solar panels in total which are in Purple in this quick render. 3 on the angled & hinged frame overtop of the Pilot House, 8 which form the roof over the SkyBridge and 3 on the Aft Roof.
Total Solar Wp (peak watts) is about 4.5kWp and each panel is wired to its own Victron 100/20 MPPT controllers in the Basement. As always we did our best to KISS or Keep It Safe & Simple, the design of these racks to mount the three Solar Panels. Four lengths of 30mm / 1” aluminium L-bar with mitred corners. It took Nihat minutes to cut, fit and weld these frames and then he and Omer tested them with the actual solar panels to make sure it all fit just right. With the solar panels removed the three frames were easy to lift up onto the roof where they were tacked together with the center panel offset Aft to match the angled end of the roof and reduce shading from the Main Arch and Paravane A-Frames in front. To make it easy to attach and remove the solar panels, these short lengths of 50mm/2” L-bar were welded to the roof and matched up with same size L-bar brackets around the edges of the Frames which can then be easily through bolted to the brackets on the roof. This enables the solar panels to be through bolted to each Frame and L-bar bracket when they are standing up and their underside is easily accessed. Then the assembled Panel + Frame assembly can be bolted to the roof brackets.
As you saw earlier, the + and – cables hard wired to each Solar Panel have a standard MC-4 twist lock connectors. I had purchased the matching MC-4 connectors wtih built in 15A fuses and the crimping tools for these which Hilmi is using here to make quick work of installing these MC-4 connectors on each cable that will carry the output from each Solar Panel down to the Basement where they connect to their dedicated Victron 100/20 SmartSolar MPPT controllers. Hilmi worked hand in hand with the Framing team to have them mount this cable tray to safely carry the six cables from the Solar Panels over to the cable penetration they welded into the roof. Where the cables are then fed over through the penetration into the interior of the Pilot House where they get routed down into the bank of 14 MPPT controllers in the Basement in an uninterrupted run. All three Solar Panels now bolted securely into their frames, wires routed on their underside and ready to be carefully laid down onto the awaiting brackets on the roof. Like this!
All the other 11 Solar Panels have been fully mounted and connected to their MPPT controllers so these three now complete the Solar Panel installation and all 14 MPPT controllers have their indicator lights blinking away.
Well done Team!
TENDER BUILD CONTINUES
Picking up where we left off last week, Uğur and Nihat make more swift progress on building the Tender to Möbius this week. You seem to be enjoying the rapid fire series of photos as this Tender takes shape so I’ll do the same this week and run through a chronological series of photos so you can watch the Tender come to life.
Here is where the Tender was on Monday morning. Hull plates all tacked in place along with some internal framing and the start of the offset center console. Seats which double as fuel tanks wrap around the Bow on the Right and upper angled section of the Console in the Left foreground. Floor framing and hull plates below. Console on the Right, seat behind and “Engine Room” as Uğur likes to jokingly call it at the aft end. Uğur, checking out the visibility when seated at the Console. He gave it his thumbs up. Raised Bow pulpit shaping up. We wanted to have a wide flat area on the bow to make it easy to board with the bow pressed against a dock of the transom of Möbius.
See the Tender render above to see the whole upper perimeter will have a dense tough foam Fender about 250mm/ 10” wide attached which makes the flat at the Bow even wider and good for being a mini tugboat to push other boats or be the auxiliary power for Möbius in an emergency.
20mm/ 3/4” thick Transom plate tacked in place now.
Note the etched lines with the “Mickey Mouse” ears which will be CNC cut out later. In addition to this cut out in the transom, the cast aluminium frame in Blue here is supplied by Castoldi and will be welded into the bottom of the hull plates to create the opening where the Castoldi 224DD jet drive will slide in and be bolted in place. You can see how the cast AL body of the Castoldi 224DD on the Right will fit into the frame in the bottom of the hull and how the thick vertical plate in the middle will through bolt to the Transom plate. Partially wrapped in bubble wrap from the factory, this is what that cast AL frame looks like.
The three cross bars are temporary braces to keep the frame fully aligned while it is welded into the hull and then these will be cut out and the Castoldi jet drive slid in place and through bolted to this frame. 20mm / .75” thick engine bed plates tacked up. Pulling the two upper hull plates into position to create the Bow. Upper Hull side plates being led Aft and tacked in place. Flat bar tacked below to set the curve of this joint. Scrap bits of AL tacked across the hull plate joint to keep it flush while tacking both in place. Working in Tandem, Nihat presses the two plates into alignment as Uğur moves along with his MIG gun tacking the two plates together. All tacked up and ready to be fully welded once some of the internal frames are set in place. Bow all tacked up. Nihat cleans up the welds before the Bow is welded closed with the top plate. Stepping back to see that the Tender is shaping up nicely. Tack – Tack –Tack.
Bow is ready for welding. Tack – Tack –Tack.
Sides and bulwark tops are all in place. Integral floor framing added in next. Starting to look like a boat! Uğur spends the better part of a whole day laying down the final welds of all those tacked up plates. Like this. And this. Working on his Ninja Warrior Welder look, Uğur cleans up one of the Engine Beds he has welded up and is ready to be welded into the Hull. Like this. Inside of Hull plates finish welded as is the lower strake and the frames for the floors and the sides of the Engine Bay. Floor plates in the Bow seating area lay down quickly along with those leading along the walkway on the Port/Left side of the Tender. Inner side plates now ready to be installed and the Console seat box is tacked up. Captain Christine is called over for a test fit when she is piloting the Tender while seated at the Console. And standing.
The Captain is happy with both so the work can proceed! Console and seat is emerging.
OK, quitting time on Friday so we will pick up from here in next week’s Progress Update.
Hope you enjoyed this rapid fire Tender Build sequence.
STARTING Mr. GEE – TWICE!
No not quite ready for his first real start up, but I did get time this week to finish rebuilding his 24V electric starter motor.
This is a new set of clutch plates which lock the starter gear to the motor shaft as it slides forward to engage with the big ring gear on the flywheel and spin Mr. Gee to start. This is the working end of the starter; the bronze starter gear that engages with the ring gear on the flywheel. A quick visit with the sandblaster and two coats of epoxy primer have the starter ready for its final paint job. In shiny Black. However the start of the starter show IMHO are these bits and bobs which have also been blasted, primed and finish coated with Black epoxy and will soon be assembled into the Hand Cranking starter for Mr. Gee.
Hand Crank lever is in the middle here. This chain drive gear uses the lever at the top to engage with a slotted drive gear on the crankshaft such that when you turn the hand crank handle the crankshaft spins. With the compression release holding all six intake valves open you can get the giant flywheel up to speed, flip the compression release levers off and Womp – WOmp – WOMP, Mr. Gee comes to life! And I can’t wait to show all ye with so little faith, just how this works in the video I will shoot for the first start-up with both the electric and the hand crank start.
So don’t touch that dial! Stay tuned here for the next episode of “As Mr. Gee Turns”
Thanks for joining us and see you again next week.