Alas, the milestone of moving under our own power has eluded us for another week but next week is looking very promising for Möbius’ first of many sea trials. We continue to experience a series of “installation issues” that have prevented our Kobelt hydraulic steering system and Kobelt Throttle/Pitch controls to work as they should and so without steering and propulsion we haven’t been going too far other than being towed. But the fuel economy has been fabulous!
As with last week, with less progress than usual and not much of it being very visual, I don’t have as much content as usual for this week’s Show & Tell Progress Update, but grab a comfy seat and something tasty to drink and let’s get started with what I can show you about the past week of March 22-28, 2021.
Nazar Boncuğu Keeps Us Safe!
Many of you may already be familiar with Nazar Boncuğu aka “Turkish Evil Eye” as they are the most popular tourist souvenir of all and these captivating cast glass blue eyes have found themselves being transported to homes and boats all over the world, including ours. As is the tradition, we have one right outside the front door of our apartment for the past 3+ years. When Christine and I first came to Turkey back in 2014 so Christine could do her meticulous research for her next book at the time which became Knight’s Cross, we saw these Turkish Eyes warding off evil spirts on the bows almost every fishing boat in the many harbours we visited so of course we had to have them on Möbius’ bow too!
While they can be found in shops almost everywhere, we wanted the Goldilocks Just Right version of Nazar Boncuğu and last week Christine spotted these two beauties in a specialty glass shop in Antalya and knew that these were it!
As you can see in this photo, right now our pair are basking in the sun atop one of our Ro$ewood Galley Garages where they do look resplendent with the light coming off the water, but they are destined to be securely adhered to the bow next week so do stay tuned for those shots.
Do I See Light at the End of this eXtremely Looooong and Winding Tunnel?
In many ways, this whole adventure began back in March 2015 when Christine and I were making the 3000nm passage from Majuro in the Marshall Islands, down to Suva in Fiji. We had spent almost a year in Majuro which we are very much looking forward to returning to on our previous 52ft steel sailboat Learnativity and we had an awemazing 3 week passage down to ….. . ………. Suva with stops along the way at the island nations of Kiribati and Tuvalu along the way. I had given Christine a copy of Robert Beebe’s “passagemaking bible” Voyaging Under Power and she was reading it on the passage down to Fiji and we would discuss it a lot as we sailed south. Over the course of that 2+ week passage, we both became more and more aware of just how different passagemaking under power would be compared to sailing which we both knew and loved so much.
By the time we got to Suva we had made the transition from thinking of switching from sail to power as a fun joke to being a real vision of our future. As do most adventures I think, certainly most of mine, they begin when you start following your curiosity and now, six years later, we can see that this was when the adventure of designing and building Project Goldilocks, as we called it at the time,
In those six years we have gone from a very big vision to an eXtremely big reality and the path along the way has been like most of our adventures, one that includes several storms and other challenges along the way but always worth it for the joys at the end as one adventure transitions into the next. We are not quite at the end of this latest adventure as the build continues, but we are now living more and more onboard and we grown increasingly eXcited about bringing this adventure to a close and beginning the next one back out on the ocean, eXperiencing the new storms and joys of what promises to be a very different type of voyaging under power for the first time.
Installation Issues Getting Resolved
The most recent set of “storms” for us has been a series of what I will simply refer to as “installation issues” which we have needed to resolve before we can begin to voyage under power for the first time on our first of what will be many, sea trials to shake as many gremlins out of the brand new Möbius and have as much of what is often referred to as “infant mortality” as possible before we finally leave Antalya in our wake. This less than appealing term “infant mortality” is actually quite accurate in the context of a newly built custom boat as it refers to the several cases we are sure to have where brand new equipment and a brand new boat, will have items that are DoA or have not been installed correctly and fail to work as they should. So far we have had very few new bits of kit that have been DoA on arrival but we have had a number of installation problems that have been keeping us from being able to go on our first voyage under power; our first sea trial!
This past week I have been working closely with our new electrician Ismail and along with some continuing eXemplary technical support from Lance, Keivan and Hicham at Kobelt Canada. I have been working with Lance to design our steering and control systems for about four years now all together, and I can’t say enough about all of them at Kobelt who have been up in the very early morning for them in Vancouver, late evening for me here in Antalya, in order that we can do some live video calls for a techie version of Show & Tell as we went through hydraulic setups, wiring and they could watch what the moving components were doing, hear the sounds when they mattered and really be as close to being here in person with me as is possible. As it turns out, all of the equipment from Kobelt arrived working as designed but the extensive list of items involved from hydraulic pumps, cylinders and valves to electronic controls and autopilot systems have been installed over the past 18 months and we are only now connecting all the parts together and there have been some issues along the way.
Three weeks ago the problem was that we weren’t getting pressure to the hydraulic steering cylinders, then two weeks ago we were having a long lag in time between when the Throttle or Pitch control levers were moved at one of the Helm Stations and when the lever on the Actuator box in the Engine Room moved and hence when the Throttle/Pitch cables and levers moved. This past week we have been having difficulty getting the CPP Pitch Angle Gauges at each helm to communicate the correct Pitch Angle as the Pitch Control Levers were moved Ahead/Astern. It goes as does most problem solving, you trace your way back to where you began, compare the schematics and guidelines from the manufacturers to the actual “as built” installation and you find the differences between those and fix them. Sounds simple, and it is, but it sure can take time and effort to follow these long and winding paths.
Perhaps it has been thanks to those two Turkish Evil Eyes being onboard that we have been on a solution per week schedule and the first two problems had been resolved in the previous two weeks, and I am delighted to report that as of last night (Saturday 27th March here) Ismail and I have the Pitch Angle gauges working and mounted back where they belong at each Helm Station! We have tested all this with here at the dock Mr. Gee thrumming away and our Nogva CPP churning the clear waters underneath making Möbius tug at her dock lines. Once all the other critical jobs have been finished such as finishing the deck hatches so they all close and seal properly, finishing and testing the fire hose and a still rather long punch list of other jobs, we will be *almost* good to go!
Almost, because there remains one last major and eXtremely critical system that needs to be finished before Möbius is seaworthy enough for her first sea trials; Navigation System. This involves getting the key elements of our whole Furuno Navigation system working and configured as this includes things like our Radar, AutoPilots, VHF radio, AIS (Automatic Information System) and all the related screens, computers and black boxes which controls all that navigation equipment. Good on that front is that Captain Christine has been leading her very own team of technicians which Naval has sub-contracted with to assist with getting the eXtremely multi-faceted navigation system of hardware and software all wired, inter-connected and configured.
For those interested in the details of our navigation system and to give the rest of you an idea of what all is involved, here is a quick overview of some of the individual bits of kit Christine and I have pulled together to build our Steering & Navigation system**
Viewed on any screen and remotely via Maretron N2K View
on boat networking… NMEA 2000 N2K dual backbone 2000 network throughout
Multiplexers for NMEA 0183 + RS432
Gateways via USB & IPG
Victron, and Maretron networks for monitoring
IP Cameras. Forward facing IP camera mounted on Skybridge roof
Aft Facing camera above swim step
Reolink Bullet IP camera engine room
Reolink Dome IP camera engine room
Video encoder. Axis Camera Encoder
WiFi Antenna. Microtik Groove 52 AC Wi-fi antenna
WiFi booster … WeBoost Drive Reach
Cellular antenna…….. Wilson Wide Band Omni-Directional Marine Antenna for cellular
ROUTER……. PepWave Max Transit Duo router
Network Access Storage. Synology NAS Disk Station w/ 2X 8 GB Seagate Barracuda drives
Well, you get the idea, there is a LOT of moving parts to this puzzle.
And as you can see here, some of those moving parts are often crowded around Captain Christine at the Main Helm in this case! Yunus on the far Right is the the manager of this connection and configuration team and Erdal with the toque in the middle is the lead technician and they have been a true treat to work with. Some of the “moving parts” are blinking lights such as this set on the back of just three of our network switches in one of three “Internet Alcoves” as Christine calls them. Strange though, we have “cut the cord” more than most people ashore and Isn’t it great that we are living in a wireless world! Zooming out a bit of that alcove to show you that it really is quite small but it does have even more hardware! Another very “wireless” alcove, this one behind the 50” monitor and home of Boat Computer #1 and the Synology NAS on the Left side of the Main Helm. Out on the Aft Deck looking up at the Main Arch and the Tender Davit on the Left, to show you yet another very “wireless” area along the Arch where all of our external navigation and communication equipment resides.
One eXciting milestone this week has been seeing that 6ft Open Array antenna spinning around for the first time on our Furuno FAR 1523 Radar! My favorite Geekette, aka Capn’ Christine aka my Beautiful Bride, is a wee bit shy but I was able to at least get her hand in this shot as she tilts the two 19” LiteMax screens at the Main Helm to show how she now has TimeZero running charts on the Left and an awemazing amount of detail of the seabed below us thanks to our Furuno BBDS “Black Box Bottom Discriminating Sounder” where we can watch individual fish swimming below Möbius’ hull and details of the composition of the sea bead down to about 75 feet below the “top of the bottom”. I will leave you with this shot of the view at your eye height when sitting in the Captain’s Chair here at the Main Helm. Now, if we can just get past that sea wall …………………..
Thanks for joining us again for another week in the adventure of Project Goldilocks. Please be sure to leave any and all comments and questions in the “Join the Discussion” box below and I hope you will join us again next week for what I hope will be the report of our first sea trials! Wish us luck! We will need it!
Not as much for this week’s Show & Tell as the Commissioning Phase is now underway which mostly involves setting up and testing all the many systems onboard which doesn’t yield much visual interest. It is not too much of a stretch to say that the systems on an eXtreme eXploration Passage Maker like XPM78-01 Möbius are similar to what a floating village would require. Given the eXtremely remote locations we favor we often have no support systems ashore or when on passage and so we need to be completely self sufficient with what we have onboard. For example we need to be able to do all of the following for an indefinite amount of time and be our own:
Power Plant to generate all our electrical power; 12 & 24V DC and 120 & 240V AC
Water Utility able to create and store all our own Domestic Fresh Water and Domestic Hot Water
Sewage Treatment Plant able to pipe and store all Black Water (sewage)
Grey Water Treatment Plant able to pipe and store (drainage from all showers & sinks)
Telecom Utility looking after all our own cellular, WiFi and satellite communications.
Weather Station maintaining up to date and highly accurate weather at all times is a BIG factor in keeping us safe, knowing where to be and more importantly where NOT to be at any given time and what anchorage is best for any given day’s weather.
Navigation System allowing us to know in great detail what is all around us both above and below the waterline in order to plot our routes safely.
Full Repair Shop. Christine and I are the only two people on board and so if something breaks or needs fixing or maintaining, as we often say “If these four hands don’t or can’t do it; it doesn’t get done. So we need both all the knowledge, skills and tools to fix every system and every piece of equipment onboard.
Equipment & Supply Store. We need to carry any and all parts and supplies that are needed to service and maintain all these systems and again, if it isn’t onboard, it doesn’t exist in our world.
I could go on for some time but you get the idea. The Commissioning Phase we are now in is all about getting all the components in all those systems up and running and getting them all adjusted so they work correctly and together. So while there isn’t as much to show and tell you about this week, there is a LOT of things going on in this critical phase. So without any further delay, come along for this week’s update for the week of March 15-20, 2021.
One important announcement before we begin.
We had an eXtremely eXciting start to this week when Captain Christine began her next circumnavigation of the Sun. I won’t give away the number of her new circumnavigation, let’s just say that the two digits add up to Lucky 13! We are sleeping on the boat now so I was able to have her wake up to this little surprise on Monday morning.
Möbius on the Move!
For a boat that is still experiencing a number of “installation issues” that are preventing Möbius from being able to move under her own power, we have sure been doing a lot of moving!
I’ve grabbed this shot from Google Earth to help show our different locations over the past few weeks.
Position #1 is where we have spent the most time on the End Dock Wall. #2 is where we were sandwiched between the Green and Red/White boats on the Side Dock Wall and #3 is where we are now on the outside wall of Setur Marina.
As you may recall from last week’s post our first move was to be towed off Position #1 on the end wall of the harbour over to #2 on the side wall between the big Green Monster and the Red/White power cat. This was our new view looking off our bow to the now empty end wall where we had been at position #1 for the past 2 weeks.
The reason for that move was because the little guy on the Right here was coming in to dock and get loaded up. As you can see there was barely enough dock space for our two little Red tugs, let alone us or any other boats. After loading that ship up he left and we were able to move back over to the end wall. One of the small harbour tugs came and hip tied himself to our Port side and quickly moved us back to the end wall again. That lasted until late afternoon on Thursday when we suddenly got the call that they needed to move us again because another long cargo ship was on its way in to dock on the end wall. If you look closely at the photo above (click to enlarge any photo), you will see that a new Coast Guard boat was now in our previous spot #2 between the Green and Red/White boats and so the only option was for them to move us over to Setur Marina which is only a few hundred meters away. With the help of the marina staff we Med Moored to this new dock #3 at the marina using two of the marina’s lines to our bow and then lines off both stern quarters to the dock. This is where I am typing this post right now and while our stay is temporary, Christine and I have been enjoying this first sight of Möbius tugging at her dock lines with Mother Ocean just off our bow and calling our name eXtremely loudly!
Ramazan and I were able to get several of the remaining cabinetry jobs done in the Super Salon this past week. He pulled out this back wall behind the 43” monitor on the far Right/Stbd side of the Main Helm and cut the slots for the return air to the Stbd Air Handler. It is a bit of a shame that this beautiful Ro$ewood panel will rarely be seen as it is hidden by the 43” monitor that is mounted here but it makes us smile every time we do. Simple and effective, these slots allow air to flow through them into the space behind where the Stbd side Air Handler lives and delivers either chilled air on AC or hot air in Heat mode to this side of the Salon. While Ramazan putting in those slots, I lent a hand to work on mounting the Dinette table which is a job I have been longing to do for months now.
This is the air assist pedestal and the XY slider setup from Zwaardvis that I have shown you below and now it was finally time to mount the table to it. This ingenious bit of hardware allows us to move the table 200mm/8” fore/aft and side to side enabling us to always have the Goldilocks Just Right position for the table. To reference the mounting I lowered the pedestal to put the table in “Bed” position and then moved the X and Y sliders underneath to allow movement in all 4 axis. I marked the slots on the feet of each slider with black pen as you can see here and I laid out two different positions; Passage Mode and Anchor Mode. To allow me to move between these two modes I installed these threaded metal inserts which gives me metal M6 threads to fasten the table to the XY slider. Fun Fact: I have had this set of threaded inserts for almost 40 years as I first used them when I was building bunk beds and other furniture before my 2 children were born!
I used a Forstner drill bit to carefully drill the flat bottom pilot holes and then you just install each metal insert with a hex socket to drive the external threads into the sides of the wooden holes. Et Voila! 16 metal inserts with M6 threads in them all ready to accept the SS M6 bolts I will use to mount the table to the XY Slider and Pedestal. You can see how this works now and I have also mounted the Black handle that unlocks the table and allows you to slide it wherever you want it to be. Here is the final result, this being in Anchor Mode dinning table position. From here you can move the table down and out in both directions to be in “Coffee Table” mode or all the way down into Bed mode or anywhere in between.
With so much more Commissioning work to be done I quickly covered it all in protective cardboard and painters tape for now. As you can imagine, we can’t wait to remove all of these protective coverings throughout our beloved Möbius and convert from the current construction zone mode to Beautiful Living mode!
Pole Dancing Anyone?
Nihat was back onboard for a bit this week and he installed what should be the last of the aluminium components on the SkyBridge which is this 40mm/1/5” AL pipe that does 2 important jobs; a wire chase to bring some of the cables for GPS and cameras mounted on the Roof down into the Upper Helm Station and ….. ……. a hand hold when standing and walking up in the open area of the SkyBridge.
This adds a 3rd pole onboard for the Captain to use in her Yoga Pole Dancing routines! And that’s a wrap for this week and I need to get back to trouble shooting some of the gremlins that have been creeping up with our steering, throttle and CPP Pitch angle controls.
Thanks for taking the time to join in the journey and hope you’ll be back for more again next week.
The weather here in Antalya has continued to be absolutely spectacular with a daytime high on Thursday of 22C/72F! We did have some strong winds for 2 days this past week but they only served to make the views even more awemazing as they made the air crystal clear and the views of our surrounding snow capped mountains and the Mediterranean just popped visually and keeps smiles on our faces all day long and then the night sky has been just as brilliant.
While it was another eXtremely busy 24/7 week for all of us on Team Möbius there isn’t as much for this week’s Show & Tell as much of our work has been troubleshooting and commissioning of systems which doesn’t get captured too well by a camera. We are also still working our way through a number of veXing system installation and commissioning issues including controls for our steering, throttle and CPP Pitch and so Möbius is not yet able to move under her own power and so the first of many sea trials is yet to happen but hopefully this coming week.
Nevertheless there is still lots of progress to share with you and so let’s just dive right and catch up on all the progress that happened this past week of 8-13 March, 2021.
More Lovely Days in the Neighborhood
We continue to be delighted and entertained by the new neighborhood we have been floating in on the end concrete wall of the harbour inside the Free Zone. However yesterday they towed us off the end wall and moved us over to one of the side walls of the harbour and put us right in front of this Green Monster “Aqua Helix”.
with a LOA of 24m and Beam of 5m we thought Möbius was long and skinny with a Length to Beam ratio of 4.8. But as you can see by this bow on shot, we don’t hold a candle to this little green fella which was built by the Damen boatyard beside us sporting a LOA of 73.4m and Beam of 11m which works out to a L/B ratio of 6.67. You can check out all the numbers and details on this FCS 7011 Crew Transfer vessel “Aqua Helix” HERE on this very well done overview from Damen Shipyards.
Captain Christine has made sure that we are comfortably clear of our very nearby new neighbor as we get an up close and personal chance to get to know this amazing boat.
* As per the brochure I linked to above, Aqua Helix is a Crew Transfer boat for wind and solar farms as well as oil drilling rigs and other situations where there are people living and working miles off shore and often in very nasty weather conditions year round.
A very different look from the sides and if you check out the brochure you will find lots of photos of the interior which is more reminiscent of an airplane or fancy ferry with seats that have built in TV access and fully recline while you zip your way at up to 40 knots out to your place of work out on the high seas. And on our opposite Starboard side we are even more friendly with this little Red & White catamaran, also built here in the Antalya Free Zone by Damen Shipyards. With her “twin axe bows”, mv Allegro is a bit different design than Aqua Helix but also a “Fast Crew Supplier” and all three of us share many similar overall attributes so it is great fun to be sandwiched between these two family relations. Earlier in the week, “Allegro” had docked right in front of us on the end wall but we both moved over to the other side of the harbour yesterday because there was a large cargo ship coming in that needed the entire end wall where we have been docked for the past 3 weeks. You can read all about Allegro HERE and when she is all finished she will head over to her new home in Germany.
Möbius is now rafted up and tied to Allegro for what we think will be the next few days but all subject to change without notice.
A you can see here looking over to our new neighborhood sandwiched between Allegro and Aqua Helix, It was a very short trip across the harbour and so our move was all done in short order. Continuing with the international theme of neighbors from different countries, we also had our first visitors aboard Möbius since she splashed when Wade and Diane drove up from Antalya for a day trip to come see us again now that we were in the water. Wade and Diane are fellow Canadians and cruisers who we met and visited on their boat sv Joana which is in the marina about 50nm east of us in Alanya. They sailed up the Red Sea last year and are spending the next year or more exploring the gorgeous coastlines of Turkey so we hope to be able to anchor with them in the next month or so. They drove up with another couple of cruisers, Erik and Pam who are also in the marina at Alanya beside Wade & Diane and we had a fun time taking them on a guided tour of Möbius and then out for a lovely lunch at a nearby restaurant right on the Med.
Möbius is Officially Flagged in the Bailiwick of Jersey!
Here is the photo I promised you last week with the Workshop door closed so you can see all of the newly mounted aluminium lettering of Möbius name and Port of Jersey. Even better, Uğur and Nihat kindly fabricated and mounted this removable AL flagpole!
They no sooner had it bolted in place when Captain Christine jumped at the chance to do the very first flag raising and signal that we are now officially part of REG or the Red Ensign Group and are very eXcited about voyaging proudly under this commonwealth flag. Here is a shot looking aft at our previous neighbors, these 23m Police boats heading over to Oman when they are all finished. While their mission is drastically different than ours, construction and systems wise we are all very much from the same family of boats.
As you can see, this photo was taken at the beginning of the week when we were back in our previous neighborhood on the end wall.
One very welcomed bit of progress this past week was seeing these White beauties come aboard and get installed.
Can you guess what these are? Probably not too hard a question for most of you who have been following for a long time, (or those who just read the sub title!) but yes, these are the wood liners for the three hatches in the Workshop such as this one which is way up high in the Doghouse over the entryway from the Swim Platform into the Workshop. I have been busier than a one armed wallpaper hangar as my Dad used to say so I will have to get you more photos when the finish these hatches next week but you can see how these wood liners slide snuggly up into the awaiting aluminium frames of the hatches welded into the deck. For those wondering, the odd shaped slots cut into the liners are to allow the tangs on the aluminium hatch handles to reach in to the aluminium blocks bolted to the inside of the frame sides. I will get better photos for you next week and show you how these hatches and latches I designed for Möbius actually work but you can get a good idea I think from this shot looking up at the two hatch handles up on the top end on this smaller 45cm x 45cm or 18 inch square hatch.
One of the big jobs upon launching a new boat is what is referred to as the “Commissioning” stage where of all the many systems that have been installed onboard are setup, adjusted, configured and tested. As you can see here in the midst of us commissioning our Kabola KB45 Ecoline “Combi” diesel boiler it isn’t always “pretty” as we track down all the bugs and gremlins which show up at this stage of starting up all these systems for the very first time. For the bigger systems such as the Kabola diesel boiler we bring in a factory authorized technician to do all the initial adjustments of commissioning and this is Ali Polat from Kalender Services adjusting the fuel pressure on the Kabola. Commissioning of some of the more complex systems require very special servicing equipment such as this gas analyzer that Ali connected to set the CO and CO2 levels in the exhaust to get them to their Goldilocks settings for perfect combustion and fuel economy.
Ali ran into some problems finishing this today (Sunday) and had to fly back to Istanbul this afternoon so he has left the gas analyzer with me and I will get online with the technicians at Kobelt HQ in the Netherlands and complete the commissioning of the Kabola.
This Kabola diesel boiler will be our primary source of all hot water applications onboard XPM78-01 Möbius providing the just right temperature water to not only our DHW or Domestic Hot Water for showers and sinks, but also heated water for our in-floor heating and the Heat side of our HVAC or Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning system where it will heat up the interior air by blowing it across little radiators inside the four heat exchanger fan coils in our three Cabins.
These new Ecoline Kabola boilers have reached the pinnacle of efficiency fuel economy and emissions wise but they are also built like tanks and as you know by now, that “Beauty and the Beast” combination always gets my attention and business. This shot of the insides of the boiler assembly itself will give you a bit of an example of this. The grey tube on the far Right is where the diesel injector lies and burns with a totally blue flame and then all the hot air circulates through all the pipes you see here with the heating fluid captured inside as part of the closed loop between the boiler and the Calorifier that holds all our hot water for DHW, in-floor heating and hot air heating. Another inner workings shot for you of the Left side of the Kabola where the waterworks all happen. The heating fluid circulation pump is the Silver/Black item in the far lower Right and the Copper and SS tubing route the fluid (water and antifreeze) though the two separate coils of heat exchangers inside the Kabola with the upper primary one providing the heat inside the Calorifier and the secondary lower one providing the hot water for the Webasto fan coils inside each Cabin for backup interior heat. In spite of all the other demands on my time I was able to carve out enough to get the Media or “sand” filter set up and filled. This is the very first filter that the sea water goes through on its way to the Delvin 200 liter/hr watermaker and these things are truly awemazing in terms of their filtration capabilities. Even as “just” a regular sand filter such as those used in most swimming pools these are incredible filters but I give this filter some superpowers by using Zeolite in place of regular silicone sand. If this is new to you and you’re interested in knowing more, here is the Zeolite product description that does a good job of describing the properties and capabilities of Zeolite;
What Is ZeoSand? ZeoSand is a high purity natural zeolite that has a unique three dimensional honeycomb structure. Natural zeolites were formed millions of years ago by alkaline salt water altering volcanic ash. ZeoSand is a new type zeolite that has a huge surface area and a natural ammonium ion trapping capacity. The same natural zeolite in ZeoSand is also used as a soil amendment and feed additive.
Why Does ZeoSand Give Superior Clarity? The sandpaper rough surface has 1 to 15 micron pore spaces that trap smaller particles than sand; thus, water clarity is improved. A cubic foot of ZeoSand has the surface area of 100 football fields – 100 times greater than sand. ZeoSand’s huge surface area holds more dirt than sand; therefore, the time between backwashes can be increased. How Does ZeoSand Control Chloramines? ZeoSand traps and holds ammonium ions through a molecular sieving or water softening action. Sand does not trap ammonium ions. Less ammonia means reduced eye-burning chloramines. Since chloramines are lower, chemical shock treatments are not needed as often. A twenty five pound bag of ZeoSand will trap about half a pound of ammonium ions. How Is ZeoSand Used? Typically, one 25 pound bag of ZeoSand replaces a 50 pound bag of sand. ZeoSand weighs 55 pounds per cubic foot compared to sand that weighs 100 pounds per cubic foot. To install, remove all of the sand from the filter, and repair any damaged parts. Fill the filter half way with water and slowly pour the ZeoSand into the filter. Backwash until the backwash water is clear; this will take several minutes. Turn the filter off for two minutes and let the ZeoSand settle. Backwash for an additional two minutes, and check to be sure the backwash water is clear. If the backwash water is clear, turn the multiport valve to filter and start the pump. How Long Does ZeoSand Last? Under normal conditions, ZeoSand will need to be replaced about as often as sand. After filter use, ZeoSand may be added to your garden or potted plants as a soil conditioner. ZeoSand may be discarded as a non hazardous waste
See what I mean?
As you can see in the photo above I first put in a layer of 1/2 – 3/4” crushed rock which covered these six Black intake bodies which sit on the very bottom of the Blue filter body which is where the filtered salt water goes up to the top of the filter into the 6-way valve, and then poured in about 20kg of Zeolite “sand” to fill up the rest of this blue filter body. Then I followed the instructions you see here to fully rinse and clean out the initial filling of Zeolite prior to using it to filter the sea water going into the Watermaker. Many of you will recognize this 6-way valve on top of the Blue Zeolite/sand filter and it makes it easy for me to change from filtering to back flushing the Zeolite every few months to remove all the little nasties that the Zeolite has removed and send them all back out to sea and make live eXtremely easy for the other two finer paper filters on our watermaker so that they last up to a year rather than just a few weeks.
Can you guess what these Black rubber beauties are for? Correct! These are the Fenders that wrap around the upper edge of our 6m AL Tender. Our Tender is as much of a “working boat” as is Möbius and as I’ve outlined in several previous posts our Tender will be part “tug boat” and be able to push/pull Möbius if ever neccessary or enable us to assist other boats that get themselves into difficult situations or need towing. Therefore we wanted to have an eXtremely strong and yet flexible fender system the same as proper tug boats have and that’s what you are seeing here. Indeed we ordered these from a Turkish company that specializes in manufacturing these rubber beauties for boats up to 200 meters as well as the fenders you see in commercial ports and docks. I ordered the larger ones in the photo above, which are about 200mm/8” tall to wrap around the whole top edge of the Tender and then these smaller ones you see here which are about 120mm/5” While the rubber is relatively hard, the hollow construction makes these 1.5 meter / 60” lengths quite flexible and so the technique that Uğur and I worked out was to start up at the bow and clamp the first length centered on the flat section of the bow and then bend it around the corners to run down both sides. On commercial tug boats they use the holes you see going through these rubber fenders to bolt the fenders to the hull. However, I have this obsession about not having ANY penetrations of my aluminium hulls and so instead, we used this Bostik industrial adhesive which the manufacturer recommended to glue the fenders directly to the AL hull. It worked like a charm!
We would start by sanding and scrubbing both the AL and the rubber surface where the fenders will be glued and then wiped them both clean with Acetone and then Uğur applied a generous bead of the Bostik adhesive. We went through all the shops at Naval and rounded up over 100 clamps and used these to clamp the rubber fenders to the AL hull surfaces. That first length of rubber fender that wrapped around the bow was the most challenging and then it was on to the much easier job of gluing the other 1.5m lengths down both sides.
Rinse and repeat! The butt joints where two fenders meet up were easy to do as we just put on a good bead of adhesive and then one of us would push them together tightly while the other set up the clamps to the hull. We cut some 10mm / 3/8” thick rubber to match the shape of the ends of each fender where they ended at the aft end to seal them off. We had both sides done in about 3 hours and …… ……. moved on to the smaller fenders to wrap around the Aft dive platform overtop of the Castoldi jet drive. This only took two lengths of rubber and it was an easy shape with a large radius corner on each side so this went quickly. Looking a bit like a porcupine but the fenders were all glued on and we just needed to wait for a few days for the adhesive to fully cure before taking off all those clamps. As you can see it was worth the wait! Having spent over a year all together designing this beauty, I am eXtremely happy with the way it has turned out and think it will be the Goldilocks Tender for Möbius. The combination of the swim platform and the rubber fenders keep the Castoldi 224DD jet drive eXtremely well protected. She looks all the part and very much the slightly smaller partner for her mothership Möbius don’t you think?
But WAIT!! There’s MORE!!!!!!!
I decided to double down on the TLC for our Tender and so once the fenders were all done I moved on to the last two bits to fully finish this mini Möbius.
First up was designing and building a pair of chocks that will hold the Tender securely in place on the Aft Deck when the Tender is onboard Möbius when we are underway and where we stow the Tender every night. Alaaddin, who we call our “Turkish Fixer” because he fixes all our problems and he was able to find a local carpenter who would build these teak chocks for us which started with this lovely plank. He soon had that plank all planed and cut into the individual pieces that make up this pair of chocks. All glued up now. A few days later the suitably happy Alaaddin delivered the finished chocks to me at the shipyard. And just like Cinderella’s slipper, the fit was Goldilocks perfect! And the Tender was ready for her maiden voyage, on land as she emerged from Naval Yachts and headed out into the sunshine for the first time.
But WAIT!! There’s still MORE!!!!!!!
More TLC for the Tender To Möbius
I meant it when I said that I was going to double down on the TLC doses for our Tender and so the second item was designing and making a nice Sunbrella cover made to protect her from the UV and rain when she is waiting for us on the Aft Deck. Naval has a very talented and very FAST upholstery craftsman and so I turned to Sinan to help me design and build this lovely cover and two days later he called me to come check it out!
Sinan and I decided to add one little extra feature with two of these grommeted tabs that we can pull up with small strings going up to the Davit above that will prevent rain from pooling in the middle of the large horizontal areas of the Tender cover.
And as I believe Porky the Pig used to say; “Th …. th ……th …..that’s all folks”!
I am one pooped pirate after yet another 7 day work week and it is another late Sunday night over here and posting this blog post is between me and dinner so I’ll sign off for now. Thank you all for following along and joining us on this journey that is nearing an end one of these days!
As always, even though I am woefully tardy in responding to many of your comments, PLEASE do add your comments, questions and suggests in the Join the Discussion box below and I hope you will be back again next Sunday for the latest Progress Update on Project Goldilocks, aka XPM78-01 Möbius
Möbius completed her second week afloat and I’m delighted to report that we ARE still floating and not a drop of seawater inside thank you very much! Christine and I spend all day aboard working our way through the still growing punch list of jobs for us and Team Möbius from Naval Yachts to work on and we sleep aboard each night for safety’s sake as she is still so new and the probability of some surprise that could endanger the boat will be high for the first month or so until we get all the systems up and running and fully tested.
So our routine is to get up at our usual 06:30 or so, walk the dogs and drive back to our apartment to make breakfast, shower, etc. and then head back to the boat. We do the same at the end of the work day here, whenever that ends up being and drive back to the apartment for dinner and then back to the boat for the night. It is working out well as a good way for us to start to familiarize ourselves with the boat’s systems and be here to help out the rest of Team Möbius with all their tasks to complete the work remaining to fully finish this beautiful boat. We have a few more things that need to be done before Möbius is fully seaworthy and safe to take out on her first sea trial run and if things go well we hope to do that this coming week so do be sure to join us here again next week to find out if that happened and how the first test run went.
As with the previous blog posts over the past month or so, I will do my best to cover the large range of “little” jobs that have been done so this will be more of the “fly through” style Show & Tell, where I will let the photos do most of the talking and just add a few comments for context and understanding.
AND …………. there is a special Bonus Video hot off the press from Captain Christine which will fully explain the references in this week’s title so be sure to hang in to the end for that!
If you haven’t done so already, grab a tasty beverage and a comfy seat and let’s dive right into this week’s Update.
Sing it with me ….. Möbius is her Name-O…
Some of you might recall seeing Mobius’ name and her Port of Registration in the Bailiwick of Jersey in black letters several months ago, but those were just temporary stick-on vinyl letters that were required to complete the registration paperwork in Jersey. This week the CNC cut aluminium letters finally showed up and Orhan and Ali quickly had them adhered to the Aft Transom wall for Captain Christine’s approval.
These letters are made out of 10mm thick aluminium and we will paint their outer surface Black for better visibility a bit later. But it was another one of those little things that makes her feel more and more like a “real boat” as we slowly get used to the idea that “Did we actually DO this?!!!”
* For the sharp eyed curious types, the little item above the E in Jersey is the bracket for for the door latch on the WT door behind Christine.
And the vertical gravestone looking item with the donut hole in it is a fair lead for bringing lines aboard from shore or other ships and up to the big Lewmar power winch on the Aft deck.
Orhan (Left) and Ali arranged the letters on the Aft Deck so we could decide on final spacing before the mounted them. Each letter of the boat’s name must be a minimum of 150mm/ 6” high to meet the Registration requirements of Jersey and most other countries and these are 180mm high. Wood strip to line up the bottoms of each letter and some painter’s tape to keep them in place overnight while the Grey Sikaflex cured. Jersey lettering is required to be at least 100mm / 4” high and ours are 120 / 4.75” so they all easily meet the size requirements and still seem to be in good proportions with the size of the Transom and Swim Platform. Ooops! Can’t forget the umlaut as that is the proper spelling of the Möbius strip which is a big part of the whole story behind why we chose this name.
For anyone not familiar with them a Möbius strip is a surface with only one side was discovered by the German mathematician Augus Ferdinand Möbius and hence the spelling. If you have not previously played with Strip or it has been awhile, then do yourself a favor and try making one for yourself (quick How-To HERE) and playing with this seemingly impossible surface as you cut it in half and other fun experiments.
** The sharp eyed amongst you might have also noticed when my left hand appears in some of the photos here, that the the wedding rings I designed and had cast from 3D printed wax models I made are also a Möbius Strip. But that’s a whole post in itself so I’ll leave that for later.
And here is the end result.
Sorry I didn’t get a better shot after removing the painter’s tape from the two umlauts but I’ll try for one next week with a shot of the whole Aft end of Möbius.
*** For the curious, the winch handle on the Left is used to open the two dogs that keep the AL door into our HazMat locker very tight and fully watertight.
Hinged Front Solar Panel Rack
Uğur finished installing these two hinged support posts that keep the front three 345W solar panels propped up when we are at anchor and want these panels to be horizontal or parallel to the waterline for best solar performance.
The other key reason for propping up these 3 Solar Panels on this hinged rack is to create the giant wind tunnel which captures even the slightest breezes coming over out bow when at anchor and funnels it through the large Black vertical mist eliminator grill you can see at the far end. After having most of the salty humidity removed by the Mist Eliminator grills this fresh air then fills a large plenum box above the ceiling in the center of the SuperSalon and is controlled via 5 diffusers in the ceiling panel which provides eXtremely good fresh air flow throughout the SuperSalon. In the raised position, the hinged posts fit into one of these Delrin sockets and are secured by the SS bolt. The tops of the posts are captured in this bracket with another SS Allen head bolt providing the hinge pin. When we want to get ready to head back out to see, or in high winds, we just lift the panel up a few inches and the ball ends of the posts can slide aft as they fold down with the hinged rack. Another one of the “Big little jobs” that got going this week was making the last 3 wooden liners that wrap around the inside AL surfaces of the 10 glass covered hatches on Möbius. Seven of these wood liners have been done for many months now as they are all made out of Ro$ewood and were done when the rest of the Rosewood interior was being made. These last three on the Aft Deck which bring lots of light and fresh air into my Workshop will be appropriately made from laminated marine wood and then painted White. Here you can see how these wood frames are a snug fit inside the 10mm thick AL frames of the hatches. Once each liner had been fully test fitted they were taken back to the Naval shipyard to finish them which included the two small cut-outs you can see in this photo for where the latches for the hatch handles will go. The top edge of these wooden liners need help create the groove and support surface for the edge seals that ring each hatch and make them completely watertight no matter what Mother Nature and Mother Ocean throw at us, so they were cut and fitted as part of the hatch installation. Trim-Lok is a very cool company that discovered after LOTS of research for the Goldilocks hatch seals. Trim-Lok was great to work with via their excellent web site which allows you to design your own edge seals using their “Hatch Seal Product Builder” site so last year I had designed these edge seals as part of my overall design of the hatches themselves. You can see how these edge seals have two connected parts to them, the U shaped rubber channel pointing to the Right here is lined with aluminium U-shaped “staples” which allow the edge to stay flexible as it wraps around the tight corner radius at each corner of the Hatch Frame and still grips the 10mm AL edge. The upper part on the Left here is the “bulb”, a hollow tube of EPDM rubber that provides the “squish” and the actual seal against the underside of the hatch lid and keeps all the water outside where it belongs. This is one of the Rosewood liners that goes into the Guest Shower, if you will please pardon the mess of construction debris, you can see how the top edge of the wood liners form both the inner groove where the edge seal fits over the AL frame and how the flat top surfaces of both the AL frame and the wood liner provide a very solid surface for the bottom of the EPDM bulb to be sandwiched and squished tight when the top of the bulb is pushed down by the closed hatch lid. Here is a closer shot during one of the test fittings so you can see how these seals work.
This attention to such details and my decision to design my own hatches is all part of my overall obsession about keeping all the water on the OUTSIDE of the boat! Our past experiences and that of most other sailors, has taught us that hatches are one of the prime culprits and most annoying of leaks on a boat so we set out to build some Goldilocks Just Right hatches that establish a strong fully watertight seal when closed and will stay that way for at least the next 10 years. *** Check back in with me here in 2031 for an update on how well these worked. For now though we are delighted with how well our hatches have turned out and in the coming week or so I will be able to show you the final step; mounting the custom designed hatch handles and latches.
STEERING our Course to Freedom
We left off last week with the beginning of the installation of the emergency manual steering wheel in the Main Helm and we finished that this week. We regard this as an “emergency” or backup steering system as we have several layers of fault tolerance designed into our primary Kobelt steering system with dual redundant double acting hydraulic steering cylinders and dual redundant Accu-Steer HPU 400 24 volt hydraulic steering pumps.
A the very bottom here, you can see how the SS adaptor we machined bolts to the Vetus steering wheel and then slides over the SS shaft coming out of the Bronze Kobelt 7012 manual hydraulic steering pump above.
The majority of the time this wheel will be taken off and stored somewhere nearby the Helm by simply loosening those two SS machine screws that clamp the wheel adaptor to the pump shaft. The elbow coming out of the top of the pump goes over to a 1 liter AL header tank we fabricated here and is mounted inside the triangular upper storage area on the Stbd/Right side of the Main Helm and keeps a steady “head” of hydraulic oil to feed this pump. When you turn the steering wheel the pump forces hydraulic oil out one of the two valves on the rear of the pump where you see the two red handled ball valves here, and those hoses go all the way back to the cylinders attached through the Tiler Arm to the Rudder Shaft and the boat turns. Way back in the Workshop we have been setting up and commissioning the two Accu-Steer HPU400 pumps, also owned by Kobelt, and this is a shot looking straight down at the Blue anodized AL manifold housing of the Stbd side HPU400. These are 2Speed pumps so the two silver cylinders in the middle here are where you adjust the High/Low Speeds but this is rarely needs any adjustment.
We have custom designed this whole steering system with Lance Lidstone and Keivan Ashouei and they have continued to provide us with outstanding support and assistance throughout the installation and now the setting up and commissioning of our whole steering system.
FYI, at maximum conditions these pumps are set to put out 1000 PSI of hydraulic pressure that gives us much more than we need under even the most severe scenarios. Just the way we like it and have designed all the systems onboard Möbius.
Keivan has been especially helpful via WhatsApp video calls at very early Am times for him and late PM for me. when we had a few problems with the initial settings on some of the control valves which one of the installers on this end had changed from the factory pre-set positions without me knowing but it was an easy fix once we identified it.
We also had a bit of a setback when one of our more “burly” installers got a bit too aggressive when tightening down the SS bleeder screws, one of which you can see at the top of this cylinder. These bleeder screws push a small SS check ball down against a seat machined as a chamfer in the brass end caps and if you don’t follow the Kobelt Installation Instructions (harrumph, harrumph!) and overtighten the bleeders more than the maximum 5 ft.lbs torque, they score a groove into the SS check ball as you can on this one.
Difficult to photograph but if you look closely and click to enlarge this photo (works on all photos in all blog Post s BTW) you will be able to see the groove cut into this SS check ball by the SS bleeder screw.
But as luck would have it and with the help of our “Turkish Fixer” Alaaddin, we were able to find a ball bearing that had the exact same 3.8mm diameter steel balls in it and by cutting this bearing open was able to end up with 7 brand new SS check balls!
To make matters much worse though, this excess force and force the SS ball into the soft brass seat damaging it as well. Easy to tell when this happens as the bleeder screw now leaks! Even more difficult to photograph this but if you enlarge and look closely at the bottom of this threaded port for the bleeder screw, you will see how you can badly deformed the brass seat is here. The solution I came up with was to remove the brass end caps as you see me doing here and then try to make a little tool that would cut a new seat in the brass and put it back to the original 118 degree angled chamfer. I was too busy making this custom tool bit and machining the new seat to take any photos but the good news is that it all seemed to work well and I was able to machine new seats on all four end caps.
Tune in next week to find out if this all really does work when we reassemble all the cylinders and put all 1000 PSI into them and see if we have any leaks.
Wish us luck! One of the other BIG little jobs that Ramazan checked off this past week was the installation of our 10 different fire extinguishers that are spread throughout the whole boat. We have doubled up on these as well with the one of the Right here being the traditional style most of you would be familiar with. Then we have doubled up with these rather new and totally awemazing fire extinguishers from Maus in Sweden. If you have not heard of these before please do check out the link above to the UK Maus site which has some very compelling video sequences showing how and how well these puppies work!
OK, I’ve saved THE BEST for last this week and hope you too will find it worth the wait. This is of course the reference to this week’s title and have you already guessed what this is all about?
NO! It is not in reference to the fact that Captain Christine says I bear a certain resemblance to Gene Wilder in this infamous scene from the fun movie Young Frankenstein.
Will this clue help you guess?
Hint; you are looking at the two high amp 24V cables going into Mr. Gee’s starter. How about this clue?
Yes, that is Mr. Gee’s engine coolant water temperature gauge.
Hint: check out the temperature even if it is a bit blurry. Obvious right??!!!!!
Ahhhh, heck, why don’t you just watch the fun even by playing the short little video clip below that Christine just finished putting together as that will be MUCH better than my belaboured and boring explanation.
Click PLAY below and enjoy!
That’s right! He’s ALIVE!!!!!!!
After a gestation period of almost 5 years and a LOT of work along the way to fully restore this 1971 Gardner 6LXB marine engine to his original if not better than factory new condition, Mr. Gee has been “reborn” and his newest “Birth Day” is now March 6th, 2021.
It all went down just as you see in the video above. After topping Mr. Gee up with fresh water, oil, diesel fuel, saltwater cooling heat exchangers and priming his fuel injection system, he lit up on first crank, first time! I’m not even going to start telling you more as I won’t be able to stop myself from going on and on and on, even more than I usually do if that is within the realm of believability. Instead I’ll just let you enjoy the video as I go join my Beautiful Bride and Captain Christine as we enjoy this MAJOR Milestone for us and we toast Mr. Gee’s Birth Day and wish that he will start up first time every time during his next lifetime and ours.