As we all continue to work our way through the commissioning of systems and getting XPM78-01 Möbius fully ship shape and sea worthy, it was another week of good progress but nothing too visually exciting for you I’m afraid. However, progress is being made and there were some significant accomplishments this week so come on along for this week’s Show & Tell.
Beautiful Blue Eyes
You may recall seeing these beautifully handcrafted glass “Blue Turkish “Evil Eyes” that Christine found in Antalya when I posted about them in THIS previous blog post last month. In Turkish, these are called nazar boncuğu and they are seen on almost every boat here in Turkey and many other countries. The”Evil Eye” moniker is a bit misleading as these are a GOOD thing with folklore having that they protect you from evil and bring good luck.
Hope I didn’t offend the Evil Eye for making it wear this patch while the adhesive dried overnight! I like twisting a straight line spectrum so that the two opposite ends meet so this seemed like the perfect spot to have these beautiful glass eyes cozy up to their opposite lean and mean XPM78-01 military font on the bow.
What do you think?
Stop the Bleeding!!
The major milestone/accomplishment this week for sure was getting the hydraulic steering cylinders re-machined, installed and finally working with NO leaks!
We are using Kobelt 7080 balanced cylinders that have a 3” ID with a 12” stroke cylinders and as you can see they are Beautiful Brutes. Dennis and I spent a good long time with the great engineers at Kobelt in Vancouver BC and this is the cylinder geometry that we came up with. There are two of these SS bleeder screws, one at each end which you use to bleed the air out of the system as you first fill it up or after working on the system. The threaded bleeder screw has a 4mm OD SS ball bearing underneath which when tightened easily seals of the 1000 PSI pressures that we can see in rough weather steering. However the body of these end caps is brass which is relatively soft compared to SS and so you have to tighten these the Goldilocks Just Right amount or else the SS ball deforms the brass seat which is what had happened to several of these bleeder screws when they were originally installed and hence they leaked.
Getting new end caps sent over from Vancouver would have taken too much time and money so I thought I’d try to re-machine the angled brass face at the bottom and see if I could renew the cylinder end caps this way. At the left and right ends of the bottom section drawing you can see how these bleeder screws (#11) work.
(click to enlarge any picture) Lance and Keivan who I worked with at Kobelt continued to be absolute super hero’s for me throughout the many years I’ve been working with them and were able to send me this dimensioned drawing of the bleeder screw and several other drawings for me to figure out how to re-machine the brass faces.
They also dug up that the included angle of the brass face is machined to be 1180 so I had all the info I needed to fabricate a little re-facing tool. Hard to show you but here is the little tool I came up with. It is the end of a broken 4.5mm titanium drill pit which I ground the end to a 1180 angled cone shape, a bit like a sharpening a wood pencil and then used a very thin cutting wheel chucked in my ever handy Dremel tool to cut these four groves which created the sharp “teeth” to cut the brass seats inside the end caps. The trick was to create a tool that was part cutter and part burnisher because the face of the seats need to be very flat and even all around for the SS ball to seal. I was pushing to get this all done as soon as possible so I didn’t get any photos of the process but I clamped the brass end caps in the blue vice you see in the background and then chucked my little tool bit in my drill press and carefully removed just enough brass to renew the seats yet not take off too much brass and weaken the seal.
I’ve dragged that drill press around the world with me for over 40 years and this is a good example why. And Yes! it is about to get mounted in my Workshop on Möbius for another world tour.
From there it was a relatively straight forward task of putting the cylinders back together again and remounting them to the AL tiller arm on the Rudder Post at one end and to the brass ball socket joint on the other outbound end.
Connect the hydraulic hoses, fire up the Accu-Steer HPU400 24V Hydraulic Power Units (pumps) and then bleed the whole system.steering pumps. Once I had all the air out I was eXtremely careful to tighten those bleeder screws to that Goldilocks torque and then test by running the pumps briefly up to their max 1000 PSI. …….. and ………
….. check out underneath those bleeder screws …..
……… dry! No leaks now!
* I think I heard Möbius release a soft sigh (and a few other people at Naval as well) to finally have her steering back in full working order again. And me too!
Stand Back! Free for All in the Free Zone!
While all this work was going on aboard Möbius, there was MUCH more action happening all around us every day because for the past few months there has been 400 million Euro construction project of the launching facilities at the Free Zone. Check THIS very well done time lapse VIDEO ANIMATION which does a great job of showing how the whole new harbour facility works. A very innovative idea with that cable raised platform!
The dramatically enlarged launching bays called for an equally enlarged TraveLift and so over the past 3 weeks, this tiny little 560 tonne TraveLift was being assembled right beside us and this week he sprang to life and has been an eXtremely busy boy!
With no launching facilities in the Free Zone harbour for the past 3-4 months there has been a huge backlog building up of new boats waiting to be launched and older ones waiting to be hauled out for their refits. This week those flood gates opened up and they have been launching and hauling out boats every day. Such as this classic trawler style Bering 80. This 36 meter “Phantom Phi” boat by Alia shipyard. This is a support vessel for a super yacht and these are often referred to as “Ghost” or “Phantom” boats as they are not to be seen by the superyacht they are supporting. This shot will add some perspective for you to see the relative size of the raised platform bay that they will be installing next. Check out the link to the animation above to see how this works and I think you too will be impressed. Out behind us is one of four 25m Turkish Coast Guard boats launched this week by Damen Yachts.
I have lost count now but I’d say well over 20 boats like these have launched this past week so there is never a dull moment here in the Antalya Free Zone.
And that’s the week that was April 12-17 here at Naval Yachts and aboard the Good Ship Möbius. Hope you enjoyed this brief update and I will try to have more for you in the next weekly update.
Please be sure to leave all questions and comments in the “Join the Discussion” box below and I hope you will be back for more next week.
If you want to get from Point A to Point B and each step you take is exactly 1/2 the distance between you and Point B, how many steps will it take you to get there?
An infinite number of steps and you will never get all the way there!
However, the most important thing is that forward progress was made again this week, including two very exciting even though it too ended up being one of those half way steps. But half steps are still steps forward so we’ll take every one we can. The commissioning phase continued this week as we power up and test all our many systems and start shaking all the gremlins, both large and small, out into the open so we can deal with them. As you might imagine this often feels like we are playing the marine version of Whack-A-Mole as we get rid of one gremlin and two more pop up. The major systems we are currently bringing up to speed include the Kabola diesel boiler, the Furuno navigation system, Maretron monitoring system, Domestic Hot Water DHW system and the CPP pitch control system, to name but a few. None of this testing and problem solving creates very visual or entertaining content so again this week you get a reprieve from my typically much longer blog post so do enjoy this calm before the next storm of activity begins and let’s jump right into the week that was April 5-9, 2021.
First Guest Cabin Guest!
The biggest and best First this week by far, was the arrival of our dearest friends who flew half way around the world to spend two weeks with us as the Captain of Team Whack-A-Mole. Now THAT is a friend!
Some of you will recognize this “guest” who is really much more family as we have been friends and fellow sailors for a very long time and Christine and I have the great honour of being the godparents to all four of the children in this awemazing family.
Can you guess who this masked man is? Correct! John very generously left the rest of his family and flew all the way from Courtney British Columbia to be with us and as you can see from Captain Christine’s huge grin, we are both eXtremely eXcited to have our very first long term guest be such a very dear friend. Christine is particularly happy to have John join her in playing Whack-a-Mole with all the electronics systems such as navigation, Radar, AIS, Maretron and more. John is easily one of THE brightest people I have ever met and when it comes to resolving problems with computer networks and software he is an absolute genius so his plethora of skills has been put to VERY good use this past week.
This photo alone represents many hours of work and generated a LOT of grins onboard when John and Christine were able to get the TimeZero navigation software and the FLIR night vision camera up on both screens at the Main and Upper Helms.
As you can see it is daytime when this shot was taken but it is still fascinating to see how much the FLIR camera augments the reality that you are seeing up at the top looking out the front window at the Main Helm.
Here is a bit closer view for those interested and click to enlarge any photo to see more.
We will be maximizing John’s talents until he has to fly out at the end of this week on the 15th. Thanks SO much my friend, we literally could not have built this boat without you!
Rockin’ the Dock!
Christine and I have been sleeping aboard Möbius every night since she launched as a safety precaution just in case anything should go wrong with this newborn boat. And of course we have our two dock mates, these two Police boats which are about to head off to their new home in Oman, to help keep us safe as well. As you can see, Möbius and her two bow buddies are very close friends. We also have constant entertainment with the various “little” ships like this one that come and go on the other side of the harbour as they get loaded up with goods of all description and move on within two days or so. More ships all around us and each one quite unique and very fun to watch and learn.
Since launch we have been gradually moving out of our apartment here in Antalya and onto our new home aboard Möbius and we are now having all our meals onboard and now with John being our first Guest to sleep in the Guest Cabin. He gives the Guest Cabin two thumbs up and it has been a true treat for Christine and I to be answering all his questions and sharing our eXcitement of our new “baby” with him. As you can see in this and several of the other photos, the huge renovation of the Antalya Free Zone harbour continues all around us. And I do mean ALL around us!
Möbius can just be seen on the very far Right in this shot with the last of the major concrete pours about to go in for the huge superyacht haul out facility they are putting in here. And the Firsts that happened this week were not just onboard Möbius! We’ve been watching them build this tiny little 560 Tonne TraveLift for the past 2 months and this was her maiden voyage earlier today. We are now tied up this massive concrete dock that did not exist two weeks ago! Never a dull moment all day every day here as both construction and ship loading go on 24/7.
New eXtremely Solid Cleats!
You may recall that we had a very unusual wind situation when we were tied up next door at Setur Marina just after we launched which produced some very large swells coming directly into the harbour and marina causing all of us on the outer wall to surge back and forth for most of the day. All of the boats beside us suffered multiple snapped lines and ripped out cleats so we were fortunate enough to just have this one ripped off our our Swim Platform. Gives you an idea of the forces we were dealing with. The beauty of aluminium is that even these kinds of breakages are not very difficult to repair and we decided to “upgrade” our cleats from pipe to solid aluminium so we should be able to withstand such situations in the future. Uğur and Nihat machined the new solid AL parts and got to work inserting them into the existing pipes welded into the hull and then welded the new solid posts in place.
The new and improved cleats are done!
First Half Step Sea Trial
I gave you the best First we had this week right at the beginning with John’s arrival and saved the biggest First for the finale this week which is that we had our first Sea Trial on Tuesday!
Or first half at least. This was my first chance to bring Mr. Gee up to speed and load as we dialed in more and more pitch on the Nogva CPP prop.
We opened up the big hatch overtop of the Engine Room as the paint on Mr. Gee’s exhaust manifold burned in and produced some smoke.
Mr. Gee gave an eXcellent performance and soon had us slicing through the water at just under 10 knots barely breaking a sweat at about 1000 RPM and seemingly not much load.
However, a little bit later we had a sudden loss of oil pressure as it fell from its normal 40 PSI down to 20 so I shut him off to investigate. I wasn’t able to find any leaks or other evidence of the problem so we started back up and idled back to the dock. Hence my reference to this being a half step first sea trial.
I am now busy figuring out what caused the loss in oil pressure and will have more on that for your next week. We were super eXcited to have John be able to join us for our first Sea Trial and he was quite taken with the views and situational awareness that the 360 degrees of glass provides from the lower Main Helm in the SuperSalon. He shot this little video segment to show you .
The initial portion of the Sea Trial went eXtremely well as we brought Möbius up to just under 10 knots by slowly increasing the pitch on the Nogva CPP prop and Mr. Gee was still loafing along at about 1000 RPM. Here is a very rough video shot from the Aft Deck when we were doing about 9.6 knots. My apologies for not having time to edit this into a better quality video but hope you will enjoy coming along for the ride none the less.
** For those wondering, there is a lot of noise during this test run as we have the big overhead Engine Room hatch open as well as the ER door into the Workshop and the WT door into the interior all open.
For those of you who might care, we were also eXtremely happy with the wake we were generating at 9.6 knots and really look forward to the next sea trial when we can bring Möbius up to full speed and find out just what that speed is and what the wake is like at WOT or Wide Open Throttle. Stay tuned for that in the coming weeks.
As you can tell, Christine and I are both eXtremely eXcited to reach this new milestone of our first Sea Trial even if it was cut short for now.
Hope you enjoyed this short but sweet Progress Update and please come join us again next week. And please add any and all comments and questions in the “Join the Discussion” box below.
Unbelievably, yet another month zips into the past and we’re now sailing into the second quarter of 2021. Yikes! And it was another eXtremely busy week aboard the Good Ship Möbius but alas, not so much that is very visible and so not a lot of content for this week’s Show & Tell Progress Update. However we also had some eXtremely eXciting milestones and firsts to share with you so let’s jump right into that.
The Beast Gets Some Bling!
Regular readers know that I quite like having the contrasting combination of Beauty and Beastly and Mr. Gee, our Gardner 6LXB engine is perhaps my favorite example of this combination. His “Beastly” characteristics include the fact that he weighs a svelte 1400 Kg/3086 Lb that he puts out some monster torque of 736Nm / 542 ft-lb @ 1000 RPM. His Beauty characteristics include his simplicity with a minimum of moving parts, no turbo, completely mechanical fuel injection, no glow plugs, zero electrical requirements to run and he is happy to be started with his hand crank. Being such a class act, at least in my eyes, I figured that he deserved a wee bit of eXtra class to add the finishing visual touch by carefully polishing a few of his many aluminium parts to a gleaming mirrorlike shine and I think he is quite happy.
What do you think? To get this all done quickly, I turned to our “Turkish Fixer” Alaaddin and he was his typical resourceful self in finding all the polishing wheels, polishing compound and a local polishing machine and as you can see his was quite rightly happy with the results. Thanks Alaaddin!
Möbius Mini Maiden Voyage
The eXtremely eXciting milestone event we had this past week was that Möbius took her very first “voyage” under her own power and steering! The caveats are that we only moved the boat a few hundred meters from the dock wall we had been Med moored to at Setur Marina around the corner and back into the Free Zone harbour where we tied up to the same end wall we had been at two weeks ago. No big deal you might be saying but you’d be missing the point! This was still her and our first trip under her own power so we are taking the Win!
You can check it all out in this short little video I’ve put together from one video I shot onboard and then two from ashore thanks to Dincer and Baris taking these on their smartphones. My apologies for not having the time to do a better job of creating this video with sound and more info so this is a silent movie but I hope you will still enjoy it and get a sense of how exciting this milestone was for Christine and me.
Seemingly fitting, this happened on Thursday which was April Fool’s Day and then on Friday we had to move to a different wall in the Free Zone harbour because a large cargo ship was coming in and needed the whole end wall, so we got to take a second even “minier” voyage from the end wall around the corner to the side wall which was an eXtremely long ways away of almost 150 meters! But still …………..
There is still some jobs that need to be completed before we can head out to sea and do a “full size” Maiden Voyage and sea trials but we hope that Naval will be able to get those done in the next few days so do stay tuned for more videos of our first “real” Sea Trial.
Thanks for joining me on this equally “mini” weekly Progress Update and please be sure to add your questions and comments in the “Join the Discussion” box below.