It was a busy week for both Christine and me but nothing too blogworthy so this week’s Möbius update will be short for a change.
I just returned to Möbius last night after spending most of the week in England. This was my first trip for 2022 and a nice change of pace for me. It has proven to take a LOT of time, energy and $$ to get parts shipped from England to us here in Turkey so I decided it was best to go pick up the new parts I needed for Mr. Gee in person from Gardner Marine Diesel and bring them back with me. To be honest, I will take just about any reason to make a trip to GMD and see Michael, James and David there so it was an easy decision. To make it even more compelling, Pegasus Airlines has very cheap flights twice a week between Antalya and London so my entire trip would cost less than the customs duties to ship the parts to me and would take at least a month, sometimes two to get here. The icing on the cake for me was the chance to get in a visit with a very good friend Robin and his wonderful wife Jayne. Robin and I first met when we were both fairly new to Autodesk back in about 1990 and have continue to grow our friendship over all those years. My thanks to Robin and Jayne for opening their home and hearts in welcoming me to stay with them and we had a delightful three days hanging out and catching up.
My outbound flight was very early in the morning so we decided to rent a car and spend the night in a fun little hotel not far from the airport and enjoyed a nice “date night” out at a great little family restaurant right across from the hotel. Christine was then able to do some shopping for groceries and other items that are much more available at the larger stores and malls in Antalya and then drive back to our small town of Finike so it all worked out very well..
We also took advantage of being back in Antalya to stop by the Free Zone and Naval Yachts to see the progress on the several new builds they have underway. XPM78-02 mv Vanguard is now looking very much like a boat now that the superstructure for the Pilot House is in place. The other build is for the larger XPM85-01 which is in the early stages of the ‘hotworks’ and after a long wait due to supply chain and other issues, all the aluminium plates and parts have been delivered. These boats are built upside down in this first stage until all the hull plating is welded in place and then the hull is flipped right way up. The upside down deck plates are first put together in the steel framework bolted to the floor and then frames and bulkheads are tacked in place. Meanwhile, over on Vanguard, Uğur and Nihat, who did most of the AL work on Möbius are now busy welding the hundreds of Al pieces in place. You can see some of the cut and rolled plates for the keels setting on the floor to the Left. XPM78-02 is based on the same design as Möbius but will have twin JD engines as you can see from the dual prop tunnels in these two photos. The aft deck will be slightly larger and the Owners have decided to build some of the furniture into the boat such as this L-shaped dining area. Large window behind it, WT door into the SuperSalon in the middle and stairs up to the SkyBridge on the Right.
Here is the view from inside the SuperSalon looking back out onto the Aft Deck.
Going up those stairs the SkyBridge is starting to take shape and more built in furniture with an other L-shaped settee at the Aft end. Peering down from the very Aft end of the FlyBridge and roof overtop of the Aft Deck you can see the same arrangement as on Möbius with the doghouse for walking into the Engine Room on the Left and matching winding stairs on both sides. Looking up and aft lets you see another view of the upside down XPM85. Back down to Deck level on Vanguard, you can see another owner driven change with the addition of these bulwarks running most of the length of the side decks.
Bulwarks run all the way up to and around the Anchor Deck and bow. Up at the Bow the “sidewinder” anchor setup is the same as we designed for Möbius along with the Samson Post in the center and nose cone in the very front. This setup has proven to work out eXtremely well on Möbius so has been replicated here on hull #2. You can see how Dennis has nicely designed the Bow and anchoring arrangements to now include the wrap around bulwarks.
Lest we should forget the Mighty Möbius, I will leave you with THIS LINK to a series of photos that Captain Christine put together while I was off in Gardner Land in the UK this past week. Christine went through some of our archives of thousands of photos over the past 6 months or so and put the ones she liked into this album. So if you’ve been Jonesing to see less of the Engine Room and all the detailed technical shots that I post and more of the interior and exterior of Möbius, click the link above and enjoy your tour through this collection. Thanks for taking time to join us here again this week and hope you’ll be back again next Sunday for the latest weekly update on what’s been going on in Möbius.World.
Special thanks to all of you who have been contributing your questions and comments in the “Join the Discussion” box below and please keep them coming!
Another week zipped by and it is starting to feel a bit like Spring is on its way over here. Taxing seems to be the common theme this past week as I’ve been busy preparing our income taxes for 2022, Christine took on more and more challenging daily walks that taxed some new muscles and we both continue to work on projects and problems with various onboard systems which has been taxing our patience and perseverance. Not much to show and share visually so this will be a short weekly update for a change so enjoy the break while it lasts folks!
Spring on its way?
There is no Turkish equivalent that we know of for Groundhog Day and not sure that is a loss, but based on our sunny and warmer weather of late we are getting hints that Spring may arrive early this year here in southern Turkey.
Mother Nature seems to be sending out that message quite clearly and on one of her daily walks this week Christine found these bees busy with their Spring chores already.
That beautiful flowering tree was one of several treats Christine came across on one of her daily walks. Hard to see as it was a bit overcast, but if peer out over the red tile rooftop you can make out the waters of the Med that we are floating on. The photo above was taken at about the Blue dot here on Christine’s phone and Möbius is in the marina at the White dot on the far Right.
Looks like a nice simple walk right? That is until you look at the elevation or altitude and see that this walk is all pretty much straight UP and the bee tree was already 862 feet/262m above our sea level on Möbius. Not the best photo but this shot from the water looking up from nearby Finike Marina will give you a better idea of why this walk was a bit “taxing” for Captain Christine. This shot from our deck helps to fill in the way the land behind us goes pretty much straight up. On the way down, you can stop at the new mosque and get a much better view of the marina and Möbius below. More signs of Spring as more and more flowers start to blossom all around us as well and Christine’s daily walks allow her to see the progress day to day. Saturday is market day here in Finike so Christine did her weekly trek over there to stock us up with more fresh produce and groceries.
for Instance ….
One system that we have not been able to KISS or Keep It Simple, is the “network of networks” which allow all our electronics to be interconnected with each other. This diagram that Christine created shows this quite graphically and this is only the ethernet and NMEA2000 or N2K networks. This is a screen shot of the Maretron N2K Builder app which she used to design just the Maretron monitoring portion of the N2K network on Möbius. Maretron is what we use on Möbius for all the monitoring of all the systems onboard and their N2K View software allows us to then create any number of screens like this one as you build your own virtual gauges and lights to show whatever information you want. This screen is courtesy of James & Jennifer on mv Dirona and if you go to their blog with this link they do an eXcellent job of explaining how this all works. This is a huge asset for anyone running a passage maker as you can build any number of screens so each one is just right, just for you. As you’ll see in the bottom Right corner of Dirona’s screens, these two are for when Underway and then you could have screens for when you are at anchor or away from the boat, etc. The actual installation of these networks is relatively simple but the devil in the details shows up as you start to configure the system and keep everyone on the network playing nice with each other. Software such as N2K Analyzer here, helps you see each individual device and what they are sending out, receiving, etc. I won’t get into the technical details here but to help explain what has been “taxing” Christine this week is dealing with “instancing” on the N2K network. Each N2K device has to have a unique identifier known as an “instance” and for things like Maretron monitoring black boxes with multiple channels, each channel has its own instance and then each of the “sentences” which are created to carry the specific information such as tank level, oil pressure, room temperature, etc. etc. also has their own unique instance. Simple enough, everything has its own unique ID or instance number so the system knows who’s who on the network. The challenge comes as you start to bring each device into the network or do updates or add new equipment and as each manufacturer provides their own default instance numbers. Not quite so simple when you have ALL those sentences, devices and channels all talking back and forth simultaneously!
As you might imagine this often results in conflicting instances and until they are resolved the devices or gauges or alarms don’t work. As you can see on this screen where Red = conflict, not everyone is playing nicely together in Christine’s world this week which has been taxing her patience and perseverance.
We continue to file our income tax in the USA and that deadline for tax year 2021 is coming up on April 15th so this week I got started on the rather laborious task of filing our taxes for last year. So most of the screens I’ve been looking at this week look a little similar to Christine’s above as I go through filling in all the forms with the IRS. As with the network stuff Christine is working on, software certainly helps make this less arduous than it was in the past when you had to do it all on paper forms by hand, but it is still rather complex when you add in all the “tax instances” for being self employed running a self employed business as Christine does for all the books she writes and you have things like retirement accounts, investments and where she is a US citizen and I’m an “alien” (in more ways than one!) from Canada.
Progress continues on getting Mr. Gee all sorted out as well and this past week I’ve been organizing a trip up to London where I will spend some time at Gardner Marine and see some dear friends in the London area who I’ve not been able to see the past 2+ years with all the travel restrictions.
I will leave you with this lovely shot Christine grabbed last week from our forepeak during a brief squall that blew through. Moments like this help us keep everything in perspective even in taxing times. Sorry things are not more visual or interesting for you this past week but please do check back in for the next weekly update from Möbius .World
Regrettably the Good News/Bad New duopoly continues with Mr. Gee and is leaving all of us “hanging”. Good news is that he started up just like his typical self, first touch of the start button. Bad news is that the oil pressure was not up to what it should be and given that he is essentially all brand new parts wise I knew it best to shut him down right away and spend more time figuring out what’s still ailing him. More Good News in that I’ve been able to check off a few more items on the ever present To Do list but Bad News is that for all of us who are anxiously awaiting to see and hear Mr. Gee spring back to life, he is going to keep us hanging a bit longer.
Workshop of Many Colours
Starting off on a bit more positive note, one of the To Do list items I was able to check off this week was my testing of some improvements to the Workshop. A few months ago Christine came across these fun interlocking foam squares that they were almost giving away at Turkey’s version of Home Depot so she picked up three boxes of them for me to try out. The floor in the Workshop is made from some sheets of a fabulous composite grid that is typically used in chemical plants and the like and it worked out eXtremely well for creating the floors in the Workshop, Engine Room and Forepeak. Under the grid flooring there are a LOT of equipment such as pumps, plumbing, and wiring, all of which I need to keep a regular eye on to spot any leaks or problems early before they turn into big problems. Any other flooring would have kept everything hidden whereas the open grid let’s me see right through all the time so that very much goes in the Good News column. However the down side of the grid is that it is so rigid and sharp edged that it is tough on your feet when standing on for long periods and even worse ANYTHING you drop goes right through into the space below and I need to play an all new version of “Go Fish”!
Oh, and of course all the bits of day to day “droppings” from working in the Workshop all go down there too so I need to take up the flooring and clean it all out every few months. BTW, if you don’t already have one of these flexible “grabber” tools, I HIGHLY recommend you go get one ASAP. Trust me you’ll thank me. I have several of these, some are the very simple basic type that are good for getting through really tiny openings but this is my eXtreme version that has both a magnet and an LED light on the end with the four gripper jaws which comes in VERY handy on many occasions.
I’m experimenting with a simple system that I can cover the grid with that is still very easy to remove when needed but when in place is “good news” for my feet and reducing the amount of “fishing” I need to do with all the bits and bobs I drop each day. In addition to these coloured tiles I’m also testing out a single piece of similar dark Grey foam that I’ve rolled out in the walkway from my WorkBench alongside the Engine Room so I’ll be able to see if the longer length or the jig saw tiles work out better. Next month or so of daily use will help me evaluate the pros and cons of each type and see which is the Goldilocks just right choice for the whole Workshop or if I need to keep searching. As in life it is so often the little thanks that please me the most and while I’m embarrassed by how long this has been on my To Do list, I FINALLY bolted my big cast iron vice to this center workbench using three 1/2” SS bolts like the one circled in Red. Rock solid now and something I use pretty much every day and can’t imagine being without.
As bonus, I’ve got one of my metal storage drawer stacks conveniently located right underneath and so I just pull out the top drawer and put a piece of plywood on top to catch the dust from cutting and filing things in the vice. The aforementioned floor coverings will now catch such dust too but this little dust shelf catches most before it hits the floor and makes cleanup with my shop vac even easier.
Meanwhile, back in the ER…….
Mr. Gee Keeps Us All Hanging!
At the end of last week I had run out of time and left you all hanging at this point with Mr. Gee fully back on his “feet” bolted to the Engine Beds and just needing a few more connections with exhaust and cooling before he was ready to start up.
To make sure all the new oil had fully filled up all the pipes and passages in the lubrication oil system I hand cranked him for several minutes with the compression levers all on and the fuel shut off. Just before I ran out of steam I was able to see the needle on the oil pressure gauge start to rise letting me know that oil was now flowing everywhere it should be. So on Monday morning it was Start Time!
Good news is that as usual he started up the very first touch of his all new Start Button.
Not so good news is that I could immediately see that the oil pressure was lower than it should be so I shut him down right away.
Don’t have a photo of that moment but here is the gauge on the Left side of the oil filter.
FYI, it is reading zero here as the engine isn’t running. In the photo above and here you can see the Pressure Relief Valve on the Right side and the slotted adjustment screw. This is used to adjust the oil pressure when running to be 35 PSI @ 1000 RPM which is easily done by loosening that lock nut and turning the adjuster screw Up/Down.
Turning it clockwise/down increases the oil pressure so I turned it down several turns and restarted Mr. Gee.
Good news, oil pressure was up to 25 PSI and further turning of the adjuster brought it up to 35 PSI.
Bad news is that this required several more turns of the adjuster which is WAY too much from what should be needed so I shut him down again.
I spent the next few hours going over EVERY possible thing that could be causing this lower oil pressure, did more testing and slept on it overnight but there was just no option but to get Mr. Gee back up off his feet and back to hangin’ in his Engine Room.
Out came the chain blocks and Dyneema lines, off came the exhaust, engine mount bolts, sea water hoses and alternator cables. What I needed to do was get the oil pan off so I could fully check out the lube oil pipework and oil pump inside and to do that I would need to lift Mr. Gee up in the air about a meter or so as you’ve seen me do in the past. Hopefully I do NOT need to remove the crankshaft this time so I could leave Mr. Gee and Ms. Nogva all hooked up and lift them up as a single unit which would be MUCH less time and effort.
This requires decoupling the prop shaft flanges from the Nogva and unthreading the Pitch Control Rod that you can see here sliding into the center of the Prop Shaft. Red jack is underneath to support the Prop Shaft at the right height and keep it all on center. With all that disconnected it only takes minutes for me to lift Mr. Gee as much as needed using the chain blocks up above. Weighing in at about 2000 kg/4400 Lbs, I want to be eXtremely sure that he is well supported and can’t fall down on me so I set the bottom of the Nogva down onto a steel tube spanning the Engine beds with a block of wood underneath. Harder to see but at the front I run a double set of Dyneema lines from a second overhead steel beam and down around the front engine mounts on either side. Before removing the lube oil pipework’s, I wanted to pressure test them to see what that might tell me so I built this little adaptor using a bit of aluminium flat bar and the valve cut from the tube of a bicycle tire. This copper pipe that delivers the pressurized oil from the oil pump to the pipework inside the Oil Sump. This allowed me to bolt my adaptor in its place with the tire valve easy to access. Making it easy to connect my bicycle pump and pressurize the pipework system inside.
Good news is that it worked like a charm.
Bad news is that the results didn’t tell me much with the Oil Sump still in place so time to take it off. Once the Oil Pan/Sump is off I was able to test the pipework’s again but the results were still inconclusive so I removed the whole pipework’s from the crankshaft Bridges. Here is the whole pipework assembly minus one of the cast iron pipe connector fittings at the far upper end.
Good news is that I *think* I found the problem and have been discussing with my team of experts at Gardner and elsewhere.
Bad news is that I’m going to replace all this pipework assembly with ones from another 6LXB at Gardner Marine. Not a problem but it usually takes at least a month, often more to get parts shipped from England to me here, and now with all the shipping and supply slowdowns it takes even longer. So I think there is a flight to England in my not to distant future!
For now this is where I am going to have to leave all of us hanging, while I continue the pursuit of this latest chapter in the seemingly endless Oil Pressure Killer mystery.
Stay tuned for more in the coming weeks. To end on a happier note, one of the other To Do list items I attended to this past week was mounting the new luggage rack system onto our intrepid bicycle.
Christine found this very well built all aluminium rack online and was able to get it delivered in just a few days via Amazon Turkey. She also found these two even more impressive pannier bags which are fully waterproof and made to clip On/Off the bike rack. Christine looks after all our grocery and other shopping at the weekly local fruit and veggie market which is a few miles down the road from the marina and so this setup will make her life MUCH easier.
A happy Captain makes me eXtremely happy so all’s well here in Finike Marina and aboard the Good Ship Möbius. Thanks for joining us again this week and please do keep contributing all the great questions and comments you have on these weekly Update postings by typing them into the “Join the Discussion” box below.
I’ll be back with the next chapter for you next week.
As has been the norm for most updates and perhaps life in general I guess, this will be a mix of good news and bad for all you faithful followers (thanks to you all!) In the good news column this week’s update will be mercifully short compared to some of the novel length ones I have been writing of late but the related not so good news is that this update will be disappoint all of you who have been anxiously awaiting to see and hear Mr. Gee roar back to his third new lease on life.
The finiteness of time is always the challenge it seems, and especially so on a boat it seems where there are so many things on the To Do list and so little time to get all of them done. I’m pretty sure most of you have your own version of this dilemma, which is actually a good thing in itself in that who would ever want to have NOTHING left on their To Do list?!?!? Not me at least.
So this past week has been filled with a litany of To Do list items which too precedent over those in Mr. Gee’s Engine Room (ER) though I certainly did not ignore him completely.
Getting Mr. Gee Ready for Life #3
If you have been following along, here is what things looked like in the ER when I left you in the last Update. Mr. Gee was back “in bed” with his four “feet” now resting firmly on the wide 25mm thick AL Engine Beds that run down each side of the Engine Bay. Now came all the “little things” that have to be reconnected, adjusted and tested before he is ready to start.
As many of you can relate to, the “little things” in life can often take most of the time and are of the highest importance and that is very much the case here. For example, before I can fasten the Mr. Gee’s four feet to the Engine Beds, I need to precisely align these two flanges. The bright Red one on the Right is attached to the end of the Nogva Prop Shaft and the darker Burgundy on it mates to is the Output flange coming out of the Nogva servo gear box on the far Left. These two flanges must be perfectly aligned axially, meaning both side to side and top to bottom with no more than 5/100th or 0.05mm/0.002” which for reference is about the thickness of a human hair. To do this, I need to remove the eight hardened bolts which hold the two flanges together, keep the two flanges up against each other and then measure the gap all around where the flanges meet to make sure there is ideally no gap or at least no more than 0.05mm. This is done using a feeler gauge you see in my hand here which is a thin piece of steel that is of an exact thickness. It was close but a bit too big on the Right side (3 O’clock) so I then go up to the front of Mr. Gee and pry his feet over to the Right just a wee bit and go recheck the size of the gap. If there is a gap top to bottom then you have to use the nuts on the motor mounts to tilt the engine/gearbox assembly to remove the gap. As you might imagine, it takes quite a few trips back and forth to get the two flanges completely flush with each other and once done I could replace the 8 hardened bolts and tighten them down in stages to their final toque of 160 NM/120 FtLbs, which is VERY tight. With Mr. Gee & Miss Nogva now perfectly in position, I could install the two hardened bolts in each of his four “feet” and torque these down to the very grunt worthy 225 NM/166 FtLbs.
Note, this is a photo from last year before I had drilled the holes in the Engine Beds so this time I just needed to reinsert the bolts into the existing holes. Here is an overview shot from my Fusion 360 screen which is what I used to design all the mounts. Each side has two feet/mounts for Mr. Gee and one for the Nogva. With Mr. Gee now in his final resting spot I could reattach the wet exhaust system. Wet refers to the fact that sea water is injected into the exhaust gas which removes both noise and heat from the exhaust and allows the use of much easier to handle rubber exhaust hose to take the exhaust gasses out of the boat.
The Blue/Red is special silicone hose where the stainless Mixing Elbow bends downward and mixes the sea water with the exhaust. The smaller SS pipe you can see pointing up here, is where the hose bringing the sea water attaches. Here is a peek inside the mixing elbow where you can see all the holes around the outer SS circumference where the water sprays evenly into the exhaust gasses. Now I could hoist the whole exhaust pipe assembly into place sliding the Blue silicone hose overtop of the angled input pipe on the large cylindrical Silencer/Separator in the top Separator of the ER.
Once in place I could also reattach the four SS supports which connect the exhaust system to the front and rear roll bars around Mr. Gee. This has worked out eXtremely well by keeping the exhaust system very tightly in place with no transfer of noise of vibration into the hull it never touches.
3” SS pipe attaches to the exhaust manifold on the Aft Starboard/Right end of Mr. Gee and then carries the hot exhaust gasses up and over to the SS mixing elbow and into the Silencer/Separator. The Black rubber exhaust hose curving down from the Silencer on the Right carries the now cooled and quiet gasses out of the ER and across to the AL exhaust pipe in the hull.
The sea water drains out of the bottom of the White separator and into the vertical Sea Chest where it exits out of the boat back into the ocean.
It has proven to be an eXcellent exhaust system; simple, efficient and quiet. I’ve used a Silencer/Separator combo unit rather than a more traditional “Lift Muffler” as this design has almost no power robbing back pressure and no “sploosh sploosh” as water from lift mufflers create when exhaust and water both exit out the side of the boat.
Time at last to install the new oil filter and fill it up with clean new oil. The rest of Mr. Gee’s 28 Liters/ 7.4 USG of engine oil I add by pouring into the two cylinder heads to thoroughly douse all the valves in clean new oil which then drains down to fill up the oil sump/pan. Lots more “little jobs’ such as reconnecting the six large Red cables to each of the two 500 amp Electrodyne alternators you can see on the top and bottom Left side here.
The list of connections is much longer of course and valve clearances need to be set, fuel pump and injectors primed, etc. but each one takes Mr. Gee one step closer to first start up. Unfortunately I ran out of time this week at this point so I will need to leave you hanging here and pick up again next week.
Engine Control Box
I do my best to “discipline” myself when doing boat jobs to always try to improve on whatever system I’m working on such that it is better than before I started. Such was the case in completing this latest rebuild of Mr. Gee where I wanted to build and install a much better and safer Engine Control Box.
Here is what I came up with. Quite simple but a bit time consuming to build. I started with a standard IP65 (waterproof) Grey plastic junction box and cut openings for an Engine Hour meter (top), Red STOP button, power “ignition” switch Left, Green START button Right and digital Tachometer on bottom. The junction box provided a cool, dry protected spot to make all the connections for these controls so I used these handy junction blocks to make secure connections between all the wires. Then I mounted the whole box up high just outside the ER door.
I’ve done my best to reserve the Engine Room to have ONLY the engine inside it; no other equipment, no batteries, no fuel tanks, etc. An ER is a great place for the engine but the hotter temperatures and vibration is not so kind to things like batteries, equipment, etc.
Here is a better shot of the Control Box in the upper center as you look forward down the Port/Left side of the Workshop to the WT door at the far end which separates the Workshop & ER from the interior of the boat.
By mounting this control box outside the ER followed the same thinking and added a safety element in that I could quickly shut down the engine in the unlikely event of seeing a fire inside and not needing to open the ER door. For orientation on how the ER and the new Control Box is mounted, here is the opposite view looking Aft from that WT Door toward the WT door leading out onto the Swim Platform at the far Left end. The whole Control Box setup and other wiring is still very much a work in progress as you can see with this perspective from inside the ER looking out through the door on the Left. In the upper center of this photo you can see how the wires from the Control Box have been led through a hole in the White AlucoBond walls lining the ER.
Off to the right I’ve mounted a new BlueSea junction box which provides me with 12 individually fused connections for each circuit. Next week I will be working on making all the connections for circuits such as the Start/Stop solenoids, Sea Water flow alarm, hot water circulation pump from engine to calorifier, engine sensors for pressures and temperatures and connections for the field wires from the alternators to the WakeSpeed 500 remote rectifiers and regulators.
I’ve had great success using these BS junction boxes on previous boats and they do a great job of making secure, neat easily accessed connections and fuses. There were a LOT of other To Do list items commandeering my time this past week but I’ll spare you from all those gory details and leave off here to be continued next week for those of you brave enough to return for more!
My sincere thanks to those who made it to the end of yet another “brief” update from your cub reporter aboard the Good Ship Möbius. I value all the comments and questions you leave in the “Join the Discussion” box below eXtremely highly so thanks in advance for all those contributions and I hope you will join me here again for continuing adventures as Christine and I work at getting Möbius and ourselves fully sea worthy and ready to throw off the dock lines and head back out to eXplore the world by sea.