After our wonderful time with friends John & Genna last week and our chance to get out on anchor again, it was back to boat work this week. Our annual contract at Setur Marinas includes a haul out and so we decided to take advantage of that to see how everything under the waterline has fared over the past year in the water. Spoiler alert; everything below the WL was in great shape and we were eXtremely happy with the silicone based foul release bottom paint we decided to use. Here are the details of this very busy past week.
First thing Monday morning we moved Möbius over to the Travel Lift bay here at Finike Marina. The slings dropped down into the water in front of the Bow as the Travel lift moved back. And up out of the water we came. Looking pretty good after 11 months in the water with almost no movement. The typical “sea grass” and green slime up around the Boot Stripe and a bit of growth on the bottom paint itself. Prop is also looking pretty clean with just a bit of growth around the base of the blades at the hub. This area would get the least amount of self cleaning turbulence when the prop is spinning so makes sense that we might see some growth here. We designed the Rub Rails with this situation in mind and the underside makes a strong solid pocket for the support poles to lock into. Some blocks under the keel bar running the length of the boat and the Travel Lift was good to go and we could get to work cleaning up the bottom and inspecting everything under the waterline This was a good indicator of how easy it was going to be to clean the bottom paint. Just the contact with the web straps on the Travel Lift was enough to completely brush off all the growth. Another good sign that a small patch of harder growth on the bottom of the Keel Bar came off in my fingers. Each of the zinc anodes also had a bit of harder growth on them but this too came off very easily with a lift of my fingernail or a plastic spreader. I got out a bucket of water and a sponge and after a few swipes with the sponge the growth came off and the silicone bottom paint was as clean and shiny as new. I just kept going with the sponge and this is what it looked like in less than 30 minutes. Christine tackled the prop and rudder with similar fast results. It was a very warm sunny day and the dirty water from sponging would evaporate quite quickly and leave this kind of residue behind but this was easy to rinse off with a spray nozzle on the water hose. Bow thruster tunnel and plastic blades also cleaned up very quickly which was another very pleasant result for us compared to any of our previous boats By the end of the day we had finished the Starboard side and would get back to the Port side in the morning. And that was it! Two days of work and we had a super clean and slick bottom and some VERY big smiles on our faces seeing how easy it was going to be to keep the bottom of Möbius’ hull clean, smooth and slippery.
For other boat owners who are interested in more details on this fabulous bottom paint we used you can read all the details and see how it was applied in THIS previous post from last year.
This type of bottom paint is referred to as “Foul Release” rather than Anti Foul and it is basically a coating of silicone that is sprayed over typical good quality epoxy primer and base coats using an airless sprayer. It is basically the same as what some of you might know as “Prop Speed” that is commonly used to keep propellers clean.
We chose International’s version called InterSleek 1100SR and as you can see this was one of the best choices we made. Having cleaned a LOT of hulls in our many years of sailing this silicone based foul release paint is the best we have ever seen by a very large margin. I simply don’t know or understand why this type of bottom paint is so unknown in the recreational boat market but it is very commonly used by military, cargo and super yachts so is not hard to find if you ask. Given our experience after about 14 months of use, we could not imagine using anything else in the future and can give this our highest recommendation to other boaters to consider. it has an estimated life of 5-7 years so we will continue to report on how this paint performs over the next few years but at this point we are unbelievably happy with our choice and how well it meets our low maintenance priority.
Two days later we were back in the water and back to our dock to finish up other remaining boat jobs so we can finally cut the dock lines and head out to sea.
Fixing the TreadMaster
One of those jobs was redoing the TreadMaster that covers all our decks. The epoxy that had been used to glue the TreadMaster to the aluminium deck surfaces had not stuck and most of the corners were starting to lift and become both a trip hazard and unsightly. Naval sent up a crew of guys who carefully separated each panel of TreadMaster from the deck, sanded the AL deck surfaces clean, primed it and put down a layer of Bostic primer and then used Bostik Simson MSR adhesive to reattach each panel. They got about 70% of the decks done and will be back again Monday morning to finish the rest and we will have nice solid non skid decks again.
Rigging the Davit and Tender
Once back at the dock I got busy installing all the rigging for the Davit Arch that will allow us to launch and retrieve our Tender Mobli.
I’ve got a long and successful experience on previous boats with Garhauer rigging hardware so went with them again. These are the triple blocks that will lift Mobli Up/Down inside the Davit Arch. Like this. From the top triple block the Dyneema line goes through a turning block on the inside corner of the Arch. And then down to a manual Lewmar 40 winch. A Dyneema bridle connects to the bottom triple block and then extends down to ….. …… one of these welded in eyes in each corner of the hull. Makes it very easy to clip the bridle on/off the Tender. Same setup for the bridle at the Bow.
This rigging is what we will use to lift the Tender Up/Down inside the arch to raise it up off the Aft Deck and then down into the water on the side when launching. Retrieval is the reverse sequence. The second rigging is to allow the Arch to rotate off to the Port side so that the Tender moves off the Aft Deck and out to clear the sides so Mobli can be lowered down into the water. Here I have installed the bridal for this that you can see in the middle of the Arch. From the top of the Arch, the line runs over to a turning block on the Stbd side then … … back up to another turning block on the bridle, back down through one more turning block that takes the line over to the Lewmar 65 electric winch. Belaying the line out allows the Arch to rotate out and over the Port side. Like this except the Tender would be hanging from those two Up/Down lines you saw earlier. Next time we are out at anchor and have enough room beside us, we’ll do our first launch of Mobli and see who the whole system works. A work in progress I’m sure and as with many of our systems we will use it for some months to learn how it works and how we can improve it. We may want to modify this to be all electric perhaps or even consider going with a hydraulic crane but for now this simple manual setup should work well we hope. Baris and Dincer at Naval Yachts sent up this lovely surprise gift with the TreadMaster crew this week. Four lovely hand painted tiles of famous Turkish boats of the past and a beautiful hand made Turkish ”evil eye” to help keep us, Mobli and Möbius safe. Now we are trying to decide on the best place to showcase this much appreciated gift. Thanks Naval!
And that wraps up our busy week over here as the days get warmer and warmer and we already feel summer weather coming our way. Thanks for tuning in again this week, be sure to add your comments and questions in the “Join the Discussion” box below and hope you’ll be back again to join us for next week’s adventures.
Christine and I took some much needed time away from boat projects to spend time wtih some dear friends who flew in and stayed aboard Möbius with us. So as you might have noticed I did not manage to get a blog post up last week and hope you enjoyed that break as well! John and his wife Michelle and their four kids are full time live aboards on their Lagoon 500 sailing catamaran which they just crossed the Atlantic on and are now enjoying time in the Caribbean.
John is an eXtremely experienced sailor so having him aboard was a huge help for both Christine and I to have someone like this to bounce ideas off and join forces in our problem solving. Even better, John and I had a few days together by ourselves while Christine flew up to Istanbul to show his daughter Genna “Christine’s Istanbul” as she has become one of its best tour guides from all her previous times there.
When we all reunited on Möbius we set out for a few days and sailed up to a beautiful little anchorage off the village of Kekova and I’ll show you a bit more about that in a moment.
Truth be told, we did spend some time working on boat projects as we took full advantage of tapping into John’s extensive expertise and experience to get his thoughts on several of the projects we have underway as well as some ongoing problems we are trying to sort out. John and family are huge fans of catamarans, and justly so as a family of six most often with other guests aboard but John did admit to a wee bit of Engine Room and Workshop envy while he was here.
Otherwise, not too much in the way of the usual Show & Tell for me to share with you about boat work the past two weeks although I did manage to finish installing the hydraulic steering in our Tender Mobli and this coming week I hope to get back to work on him with installation of the fuel lines, exhaust system and other items needed to be able to start Mobli up and take him out for some sea trials.
However I may not make too much progress on that as we are going to be hauling Möbius out tomorrow morning as a haul out is included in our annual contract here at Setur Marina and so we thought it would be smart to take advantage of the opportunity to fully inspect everything below the waterline, see how well the InterSleek foul release bottom paint has been working after a year in the water and see how the anodes/zincs are doing. Having a slick and slippery bottom and prop will help us get a great start as we finally head back out to sea and out of the Med.
A to Z; the Zen of being at Anchor
The last time we had been on anchor with Möbius was this past June when our two Granddaughters (and their parents) spent the month with us here in Turkey so it was ear to ear grins as we fired up Mr. Gee and headed out to spend a few days with John and Genna aboard and explore a new anchorage just up the coast from us here in Finike.
This is the view as we head out of Finike Marina and some of the mountains that surround us. Genna was hard at work on deck as we left. Meanwhile, John was too busy practicing his rendition of the scene in the movie Titanic but we all have our parts to play right? We have been using out swim ladder with a plank of wood lashed to it for our passerelle to get on/off Möbius while tied up at the marina so we just folded it up for the trip and we were off!
This is our wake at about 7.5 knots with Mr. Gee turning about 1300 RPM. Captain Christine did all the piloting while I kept a close eye on Mr. Gee and all the systems as we continue to put on more nautical smiles and hours. Here she has up up to about 8 knots with Mr. Gee turning about 1300 RPM and burning just a bit less than 19 L/hr or 5 USG/hr which works out to be about 2.4 L/nm or 0.63 USG/nm which we are quite happy with as we slowly break in Mr. Gee and perhaps more so ourselves on this eXtremely new and unique boat for us to sailors. This was the view off our stern as the Captain moved us up to about 8.8 knots @ 1440 RPM consuming about 20.4 L/hr 5.4 USG/hr so about 2.3 L/nm 0.61 USG/nm. Mr. Gee is currently set for 100% or Continuous duty cycle at 150 HP @ 1650 RPM so he still has some room left to go and we will keep moving up to this as we put on more miles and collect all this kind of data to see where the sweet spot is.
For now though, we think this wake at almost 9 knots is pretty sweet! Sweeter still was this view passing the castle above the village of Kekova. as we headed for this lovely little anchorage. Only one other boat was there and we anchored a good ways back from him for some mutual privacy. Always time for one more project right? Just before we put the anchor down John and I installed the new Mantus SS swivel between the anchor chain and our 110Kg/242lb Rocna anchor. We had tried it without the swivel but I had overdesigned the AL anchor rollers a bit and machined a groove in them that kept the chain very snug but would not allow it to rotate at all which made bringing the anchor aboard a bit difficult at times. I’ve been very impressed with how well Mantus makes these swivels and have complete confidence in it and will SWAN, Sleep Well at Night with this no problem.
One more boat job checked off the list! And how much better a spot to sleep can you find than this?! Never content with just one Captain’s hat, Christine decided this was also the perfect opportunity for her to get some more air miles on our drone. Which allowed her to get shots like this. Almost surrealist as it almost looks like it is too good to be real and must be a rendering.
Click to enlarge this or any other photo to see at full resolution. But this was as real as it gets with John, Christine and me enjoying this sunny day in complete silence other than the bells on the goats scrambling on the rocks ashore. And lucky you, Christine has just quickly put together this video montage of some of her drone video and some from John’s camera as he enjoyed exploring more of Möbius.
Hope you enjoyed this more scenic blog post this week and that you will join us again next week when we will report on what we found when we hauled Möbius out after her first 14 months in the water after the initial launch. And please do add any comments or questions in the ‘”Join the Discussion” box below.
With most of the major Mothership Möbius jobs looked after, this week I diverted my attention to our other new boat Mobli. This is our 5m aluminium tender that we designed to match the subset of use cases we have for Möbius.
We have named the Tender “Mobli” as a slight play on Kipling’s character Mowgli.
Basic specs are:
LOA 5.0m / 16.4ft
Beam 2.0m / 6.5ft
Draft 288mm / 13.8 inch
Weight: 1088 Kg / 2390 Lbs
Engine: 110HP Yanmar 4JH4-HTE
Propulsion: Castoldi 224 Direct Drive Jet
Our design intent was not for a typical RIB dinghy to just ferry us ashore in an anchorage and much more so a full on Tender that we designed using the same four SCEM principles we used for Möbius; Safety, Comfort, Efficiency and Maintainability. This will be our mini eXplorer boat to take us to places we can’t or don’t want to take Möbius to such as up small inlets and rivers, into super shallow bays and enable us to take multi day eXcursions in safety and comfortably dry in most any weather. Should also make for a fun boat when we have grandkids and others that might want to go water skiing or wakeboarding.
Mobli will also be our backup plan if we should ever run into catastrophic problems with Möbius being either unable to move or worst yet, sinking or on fire. As such Mobli will be both our lifeboat should we ever need to abandon ship and also be our emergency “get home” solution by being a little mini tugboat capable of pushing or pulling Möbius at a reasonable speed in reasonable sea conditions.
Hence the 110HP inboard, which also met our single fuel boat design criteria by eliminating gasoline for an outboard engine. I chose the 4JH4-THE model as it is all mechanical injection so no electronics, ECU and such to worry about getting parts for.
After seeing so many jet drives being used the pilot boats being built for Coast Guards, military and police use, we went with a jet drive for added safety, shallow water ability and high mobility in any direction. Having industrial quality rubber fenders or rub rails wrapped around all sides gave us all the better abilities to be a mini tugboat and be that much safer and cleaner when we make contact with docks or other boats.
Best of all perhaps was that this combination has been put together as a matched set in a joint venture between Yanmar and Castoldi so it came as a very complete kit with literally every part I needed to connect and install in Mobli.
Connecting Yanmar to Castoldi jet drive
Picking up where I had left off last year, I started by working on coupling the Yanmar to the Castoldi via the CentaFlex coupling which you see I have bolted to the flywheel of the Yanmar on the Right. This is a flexible coupling which helps reduce any vibration in the drivetrain and offers some dampening. This is the CV or Constant Velocity Cardan shaft that connects the output of the Yanmar to the input shaft of the Castoldi jet drive. The bolts are special hardened ones that I had brought back with me from McMaster Carr when we were in the US last year. These bolts are armor coated socket head and were the Goldilocks choice for bolting the ends of the Cardan shaft to the CentaFlex coupling and the input flange on the Castoldi. I had previously and precisely aligned the engine to the jet drive so I could now torque the bolts down and the propulsion system was now fully connected.
Next I tackled the installation of the sound insulation for the engine room/bay by covering the inside surfaces with this type of multi layered acoustic insulation.
I had previously purchased two large sheets of this foam and you can see the four layers here in this sample. There is also a peel and stick layer of adhesive under the white covering you see on the far Right so this side goes against the aluminium surfaces inside the ER of Mobli. When I have all the insulation glued in place I will then cover it with thick foil backed cloth for added protection and easy cleaning. It was a rather finicky job measuring the sizes and angles for the spaces between the fames inside the ER and then cutting the foam pieces to fit just right. Best tool for cutting the foam was my cordless Milwaukee circulation saw and while it was a bit messy it worked eXtremely well at cutting this very fussy and rather fragile foam. Here is how the foam fits between each frame on the side walls of the ER. I am going to hold off gluing the foam to the ER until I have the whole Tender finished and running to prevent any damage and then I will glue in the foil topped cloth which wraps around all the edges as well and provides a very protective and easily cleaned surface, the same as you have seen inside Möbius.
The Castoldi/Yanmar combo kit came with a full steering package as well which starts with this manual hydraulic pump that the steering wheel turns. First I needed to fabricate the aluminium frames that I have now bolted to the back of this pump which I then bolted to the frame of the cockpit pedestal. Jet drive boats don’t have a rudder and instead you steer by rotating the nozzle of the jet from side to side so two hydraulic hoses will attach here and go back to the Castoldi jet drive to connect the steering wheel to the nozzle. The angled top of the steering station is hinged to provide easy access to the insides and here I have drilled the hole for shaft of the hydraulic pump. Bolt those two AL brackets to the vertical panel below the steering station, slide on the steering wheel and presto! Mobli has his steering station! Also included in the Castoldi/Yanmar kit was this beautiful and well engineered throttle and bucket control lever. A bit of work with my jig saw and I had the custom opening cut into the 6mm / 1/4” AL plate that the tender is mostly made from. Tap four 6mm holes for the SS attachment bolts and the throttle/bucket controller is ready to go. In operation the lever works like a regular throttle lever; forward to increase RPM, all the way back to idle. For a jet drive boat there is also the two way electrical switch which controls the position of the bucket on the jet. This illustration (click to enlarge) from the eXtremely thorough Castoldi installation manual does a good job of explaining how the bucket move up and down to either allow the jet of water coming out to thrust the boat forward and when the bucket is moved down it redirects the jet of water to thrust the boat in reverse. Neutral or no thrust is achieved by having the bucket half way down so that the water is directed straight down. On the right side top views show how the steering works by moving the nozzle from one side to the other so the thrust of the jet is now out the sides. Steering, throttle and bucket controls now all installed.
The Castoldi/Yanmar kit came with six different wire harnesses and most of these had high quality marine waterproof connectors on their ends but in other cases where the wire lengths would vary too much from one boat to the next, they were just cut wire ends that need to be connected to fuse and connection panels. Fortunately both Yanmar and Castoldi provided me with full wiring schematics and after a few hours I was able to sort out what each wire connected to and get them all labelled for installation. Four of the wiring harnesses go back into the ER to connect to the Yanmar or the Castoldi wire connectors and this shorter harness is the one that attaches to the bucket controller.
Throttle Morse Push/Pull Cable
The throttle lever is all mechanical and uses a standard Morse Push/Pull cable that most of you would be familiar with and was the next focus of my attention. These cables need a good radius to bend through so I needed to use my hole saw to cut a 60mm/2.4” hole for the cable to pass through the Al side wall at the bottom of the inside of the steering station. I cleaned up the edges and then pressed a length of the rubber U channel we’ve used throughout the boat to provide a very good non chafe surface for the cable to rest on. After a bit of “fishing” to get the 5m long cable down through this cut out and the hole and then back through each frame along the bottom center of the hull I could attach cable to the throttle controller. One more hole and one more fishing expedition to get the two cable ends through to the cables on the throttle/bucket controller.
Yanmar & Castoldi Control Panels
The Yanmar came with the upgraded control panel that has tachometer, engine oil pressure and water temp gauges as well as an LCD screen for more information such as engine hours and a set of buttons for power, start, stop and glow plugs.
The Castoldi has a bucket position gauge, Neutral bucket switch and backup Fwd/Rev switch so all these needed to be installed next. A bit more work with my trusty jig saw and some hand files and taps and the dashboard was suitably cut up. A bit more fishing to pull the wire harnesses up through and start connecting them to their switches and gauges. There is still some more wiring and connecting to do but everything fits. This is how the cockpit looks so far. Time today for one last bit of kit, the VHF radio. This is where I’ve left off today and will pick up from tomorrow and cover for you in next week’s blog. Thanks for joining me on the adventure again this week. Hope it was of some interest and if not add your comments in the “Join the Discussion” box below and let me know what else you’d be interested in me covering in an upcoming blog.