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.
A VERY busy week here onboard the Good Ship Möbius as everyone on Team Möbius moves into the final stage of the build completing all the installations of equipment and beginning the commissioning of all these systems by their factory representatives and others. Due to a major reconstruction project of the harbour inside the Free Zone * which removed all the previous launching facilities, Naval needed to launch us quite a bit sooner than expected by transporting Möbius overland to the nearby Setur Marina. So in addition to the usual post launch commissioning of systems, we all continue to work our way through the Punch List of jobs needing to be completed in order to get Möbius into seaworthy condition to begin taking her out for sea trials. To say that we are all eXtremely busy would be the understatement of the year! But. for Christine and me, we are even more eXtremely eXcited to be back where we belong, home onboard a boat that floats.
* You can learn all about this huge and fascinating project by watching THIS VIDEO ANIMATION which does a great job of showing how the whole new harbour facility will work.
I hope you will accept my apologies in advance for another hurried weekly Möbius Update as I blast through as much of all the different jobs that we have all worked on this past week. So grab your favorite beverage and chair and join me for this week’s Show & Tell.
Let me start with a quick snapshot leading up to this adventure that began over 5 years ago.
After two years of intense collaborative design work with our AbFab Naval Architect Dennis at Artnautica Yacht Design, the building of XPM78-01 Möbius began at Naval Yachts on April 6, 2018. 1053 days of build time later, as most of you have likely seen in last week’s posting HERE, she finally left that temporary womb last Friday for a watery delivery into her permanent home with Mother Ocean last Saturday. As I write this blog post from the SkyBridge of our beloved Möbius, we have just finished our first week afloat tied up to the concrete dock wall inside the Antalya Free Zone Harbour.
And I am VERY happy, though not surprised, to report that ALL the sea water has remained where it belongs OUTSIDE of Möbius and our bilges only hold the remnants of construction dust and debris.
Looking all the world to me like two tugs that escaped from a children’s animation story, these two almost new tugs are our most immediate neighbors. Tied up less than a meter in front of Möbius’ Bow.
These two tugs have crew aboard 24/7 as they are responsible for bringing every cargo ship into and out of the commercial side of the Harbour such as this recent little visitor, the 180m 36k Ton Argo B, who left about 04:30 this morning after loading up with several thousand “Big Bags” of industrial dry goods. These two tugs are also the Fire Boats for the Harbour. And last night, they surprised and delighted us by bringing over a home made pizza just out of their oven! Can’t think of a better example of why we LOVE living with these awemazing people of Turkey. Tied up almost as closely to our Stern is this first of four Police boats which are being built by Ares Yachts here in the Free Zone for the government of Oman. These are a bit longer than us at about 26m but share many of the same basic attributes as our XPM-78 with all aluminum construction and built like the proverbial tank. We even have the same jet propulsion system though in our case just with our Tender and a single not these massive twin jet drives driven by two equally massive MAN diesel engines. One item that we do not share, YET! with these boats is that mount for a 50 cal machine gun. But rest assured that once I get my 3D printer setup one of my first projects will be to create a realistic enough looking plastic replica to produce a silhouette that will add to our “don’t mess with me!” look to any onlookers thinking of approaching us with mal intent! I took this shot of our neighborhood early this morning after the Argo B had left and the tugs were back in front of us. The weather has been truly spectacular for the past two weeks with daytime highs reaching 24C/77F and gloriously sunny clear blue skies with very little wind. Not a bad place to spend our first week afloat.
For safety of such a new and incomplete boat, Christine and I are sleeping aboard each night and then going back to our apartment for breakfast and dinner and then we will move aboard full time once all the sea trials are done.
One of the projects I did not have enough time to show you last week was the completion of our rather unique “Sidewinder” anchor roller assembly that Dennis and I came up with so let me show that to you now. I decided to make the two anchor rollers out of solid aluminium and didn’t take me long to design a 3D model of this in Autodesk Fusion 360 and create the 2D dimensioned drawings to machine them from. Aluminium is a dream to work with and the in house machine shop has a very good sized lathe that was easily able to machine the two anchor rollers out of a single blank of 200mm/8” OD aluminium round stock. I wanted to keep the anchor and the chain electrically isolated from the hull to reduce any corrosion problems and was able to do so with two details. One is this Black Delrin bushing which we press fit into each roller with a nice rolling fit for the 40mm/1.6” SS pin that each roller spins on. The second isolating detail was to machine these Teflon discs that get separate the sides of the rollers from the inside cheeks of the anchor roller assembly welded into the hull. Then a large SS end cap bolts on either end of the SS pin on the outside. Here is what that all looks like when assembled. For safety and quiet when pounding into big seas we very specifically designed the whole roller assembly to exactly match the shape of this 125kg/275lb Rocna anchor by obtaining a 3D model from Rocna to design with. The way our design works is that those flared out bottom edges you see in the photo above have been designed such that they exactly match up with the inside of the flukes of the Rocna when pulled aboard and thus the Rocna becomes one with the hull and will not budge no matter what Mother Nature throws at us. This creates not only a very tough and strong anchor mounting setup but also one that does not make any noise due to movement between the anchor and the roller assembly which is so common on many other boats we have run. So Nihat, Uğur and I spent quite a few hours with the anchor raised on a chain block that allowed us to get the position of the anchor just right and then layout the centers for each SS roller pin. Front pin and roller have been mounted here and we are laying out the location for the 2nd Aft roller. Uğur and I came up with this idea of building an extended 40mm carbide hole saw so that he could drill both cheeks in one go and keep the two holes for the SS roller pin on the same centerline. We lucked out finding the head of a 40mm carbide hole saw with its shank broken off and Uğur TIG welded a 200mm/8” long piece of 13mm/ 1/2” OD rod to it that we could chuck in my Milwaukee drill. Worked like a charm! With the rollers both installed we tested it all out with the 13mm / 1/2” chain and the Maxwell VWC4000 Windlass and did a bit of tweaking of the rollers final shape to capture the chain nicely so it stays aligned as the chain goes Out/In and doesn’t twist. Did not take us long to get to the Goldilocks Just Right point and “Rocky” was in his new home as solid as his name. Uğur and Nihat both gave it their thumbs up and so we knew it was good to go!
Another job and details I did not have time to post last week prior to the launch was the finishing of the silicone based International InterSleek 1100SR Foul Release bottom paint and the zinc anodes so let me go back and show you that.
Once the super slick, slippery and shiny silicone InterSleek was fully dry the last few underwater details could be attended to such as mounting the Red plastic prop on the Vetus 220kgf 300mm/12” Extended Run Time Bow Thruster. Which is capped off with its own Zinc to reduce any problems with corrosion due to the mix of dissimilar metals involved with its construction of Bronze, SS and AL. In keeping with our Darth Vader, lean & mean look, we decided to make the 100mm/4” Boot Stripe that makes the transition between the top of the Black InterSleek and the bare AL hull, be gloss Black as well and we are eXtremely happy with the result that emerged as the masking tape came off to reveal the final look. The final detail for the underwater portion of the hull was mounting the ten 125mm / 5” diameter Zinc anodes which keeps all the metal bits that are in contact with seawater all at the same potential voltage and eliminates the battery effect that would eat away at our precious Stainless Steel, AL and Bronze components. Being near the bottom of the Noble scale of metals, Zinc is what will erode instead and makes it easy to replace the zincs every few years when they get too worn away. We designed a very simple mounting system for the Zincs and Uğur had previously welded 80mm discs of 20mm / 3/4” thick AL to the hull with an M16 thread in the center for the SS M16 bolt that he is fastening this Zinc on the Rudder with. To ensure a good electrical connection for many years between the Zinc and the AL mounting disc, we coated those surfaces and the bolt with dielectric grease and then I followed along after Uğur and covered the SS bolt heads with some clear silicone to make it all the easier to remove and replace these zincs in a couple of years. I usually do this while the boat is in the water using my Hookah or Snuba system so these little details all help to make that job go quick and easy. With all these preparations of the below the waterline areas of the hull and everything removed from underneath, Möbius was ready for the arrival of “Big Bird” the yellow 72 wheel boat mover to arrive the next morning and carry her overland to the marina for launching.
TILLER ARM DETAILS:
Another few details that we needed to look after before Launch Day were for the all important steering system and the Tiller Arm in particular. Similar to the Bow Rollers, last year I had designed this typically over engineered Tiller Arm in Fusion 360 and had it CNC milled out of a single block of aluminum. Here is a shot from almost a year ago when we first mounted the finished Tiller Arm to the 127mm / 5” OD solid AL Rudder Post. And here is a more recent shot of what it looks like with the two double acting Kobelt hydraulic steering cylinders in place. Such a massive Tiller Arm being powered by equally as beefy twin hydraulic cylinders, produces a LOT of force and so there needs to be some eXtremely strong and solid Tiller Arm Stops built in to stop the Tiller Arm when it goes hard over to each side. Fusion 360 to the rescue yet again to help me quickly design these Stops which Uğur and Nihat quickly fabricated and were ready to mount. After carefully testing out the Just Right position for each stop, they were able to drill the four holes in the AL Rudder Shelf and bolt down one Stop in either side of the Tiller Arm body. The SS bolt and lock nut allow us to adjust the final Stop position of the Tiller Arm once we are in the water and have the steering all working. I like to practice and live well by what I call “Readiness for the UneXpected” and in the case of our steering system that meant having multiple layers of fault tolerance for the Steering System. This starts with twin independent Kobelt 7080 hydraulic steering cylinders sized so that either one can fully steer the boat in the most adverse sea conditions.
Then two independent Kobelt Accu-Steer HPU400 24V hydraulic Power Pack pumps, two independent Furuno 711C AutoPilots plus two independent Furuno Jog Levers. This gives us eight levels of fault tolerance to go through.
And if ALL of that should uneXpectedly fail, then we have this Kobelt manual hydraulic Steering Pump …………… ……….. that we can slide this Emergency Steering wheel onto and steer the boat the “old fashioned” way. And if ALL of that should somehow uneXpectedly fail we have THIS final layer of fault tolerance for our steering system; a completely independent and manual Emergency Tiller Arm. Can’t get too much more KISSS or Keep It Simple Smart & Safe than this; a 2m/6.5ft length of 80mm thick walled AL pipe that slides through the 20mm/ 3/4” thick plate we see Uğur bolting to the Tiller Arm body and then the pipe slides through a matching hole bored through the top of the Rudder Post. We attach a block and tackle setup on each side of the end of the Emergency Tiller which fasten to shackles mounted on stringers on the adjacent hull sides which allows us to move and lock the Rudder in any position we want.
Yes, I do know that it works and Yes, you can ask me how I know that!
Miscellaneous Work on Deck
Finishing up this blog post is between me and another very late dinner so I’m going to speed through a series of other jobs that got done this first week in the water. Turkish Turquoise Marble countertops got installed atop both Vent Boxes on the Aft Deck to create our Outdoor Galley. SS sink plumbed. And installed in the Starboard/Right side Vent Box. Plumbing connections all ready to connect to the sink; Red & Blue PEX lines with shut off valves for the Hot/Cold water to the sink faucet, Brass elbow for the sink’s drain and small Blue tube with the Black elbow to drain the water extracted by the Mist Eliminator grills in the Engine Room supply air duct. Orhan with his home made adaptor for his pneumatic caulking gun …….. ……. to get into some hard to reach spots around the Pilot House windows like these. Uğur prepping the nylon insert mounts for the Passarella on the Swim Platform and another on the Port side gate. Ever the ingenious one on Team ,Uğur came up with this brilliant DIY solution for mounting our Fire Hose in the HazMat Locker; an empty plastic spool of MIG welder wire!
Which will rotate on this pipe mounted on the side of the HazMat Locker. With the Black Fire Nozzle mounted alongside. Any wonder why I just love working with this guy who has been with us from the very first day of the build?!!! More Uğur Goodness, on Saturday no less, as we designed and built this simple setup for propping the front 3 Solar Panels mounted on this hinged frame up in the horizontal position when we are on anchor.
This horizontal position not only helps out with solar power production but you can see the demister grill across the far end of what now becomes a giant wind tunnel to capture all the fresh breezes blowing over our bow at anchor and funnel them down into the SuperSalon. Two SS pipes that are hinged to the bottom of the Solar Panel frame and will fit into these Black Delrin collars Uğur machined which were then glued down to the aluminium floor with a SS set screw to lock them in place.
When we are ready to convert to passage making mode and head out to sea, you simply lift the panels up a few inches and the two support rods slide aft as the panel is lowered down and locked into place.
Our Sparkie Hilmi always has a long list of electrical jobs that need his attention and this past week was certainly no exception. With almost 150 circuit breakers on XPM78-01 Möbius to safely look after all our 12 & 24 Volt DC circuits and our all our 120V & 240V AC circuits, it was quite the design challenge to figure out where and how to place all these.
We ended up with two primary circuit breaker panels; this one on the angled short wall on the Stbd/Right side of the Main Helm Station. And this larger one in the Corridor at the bottom of the stairs leading down from the SuperSalon to the Guest Cabin, Ships Office and Workshop/Engine Room. After months and months of preparation, Hilmi was finally able to bring it all together this past week by attaching these Black AL panel fronts with all the engraved labels onto the hinged access doors into each of these Circuit Breaker panels.
Next week the hinged glass doors are due to arrive which will finish off these critical component of the electrical system on Möbius.
The double paned 16mm thick glass window finally got installed in the Engine Room door this week which is a critical component to completely closing in the Engine Room in the case of a fire. And the gas lift cylinders have now all been installed on the Glass Deck Hatches which I designed and Naval built in house. Now just need to finish installing the rubber edge seals and the AL hatch handles and the deck is totally watertight!
I can’t possibly do justice to explain the amount of work that Christine has done this past week alone on getting all our navigation and electronics in both Helm Stations all setup and working.
Nor can I articulate how much I LOVE my Captain! What I can do though is to leave you with this shot from early this morning that does capture for me just how well we have succeeded in designing and building our new home with all of Team Möbius to meet the goal we set out over 5 years ago to blend in perfectly when in a commercial dock as apposed to a ‘yachty’ marina. And with that I am going to hit the “Publish” button on this latest Möbius Weekly Progress Update and look forward to bringing you more Show & Tell of this coming week’s progress that begins first thing tomorrow morning.
One year ago, Christine and I returned from a brief trip over to the UK for her Birthday (March 15th) just as the whole Corona 19 pandemic was ramping up and caught us squarely in the vortex. Given our ages, let’s just say rapidly approaching 70, every day since we have been playing a kind of Russian Roulette by going into the shipyard to work on Möbius and so we are eXtremely eXcited that tomorrow morning at 11am we are going to get our Covid 19 vaccine shots!
Of course, this doesn’t put an end to anything really but sure will help with our upcoming travel plans, for which we shall be eternally grateful to this country we have called home for almost four years now and that love a wee bit more every day. Thank you Turkey for allowing these two salt water turkies to enjoy your beautiful country and people!
Team Möbius continue to rack up the milestones and this week we hit the jackpot that inspired the riddle in the title of this post; What dance step rhymes with Cash (and LOTS of it!)
Does this photo taken on Thursday afternoon give you some clues?
Hint: Something is missing? How about this one?
Hint: Opening door? Still not sure?
Hint: What just appeared underneath? Bingo! “Big Bird” the 72 Wheel Yellow Boat Mover has arrived at Naval Yachts because ……………..
LAUNCH DAY HAS ARRIVED!!
Don’t worry if you have not yet solved the riddle as to what dance step rhymes with “Cash”, hang in there and all will be revealed and be clear by the end.
All the big shipyard doors are opened up full width and Big Bird slides under the all cleared out space (the “what’s missing?” hint above) below Möbius and the countdown to launch begins! Captain Christine is up on Deck doing last minute prep and clean up and the Owner’s Rep is standing around as usual, getting up close and personal with Big Bird. All the while Möbius is being her typical good natured and patient self as she awaits the her big moment to shine in the brilliant sunny day we were gifted with for the big launch. You may recall from previous moves over the years, Big Bird has a series of swiveling hydraulic lift pads along both sides So they are now being readied to lift our girl off her support stands and struts for one last time. Or so we thought at this stage of the “dance”, stay tuned for more on that. The silicone InterSleek 1100SR bottom paint is quite soft and new so they cut up squares of carpeting ….. and slid them in between the hull and the wood lift pads to prevent the rough wood faces of the hydraulic lift pads from damaging this fresh paint. With all the Lift Pads in position 20 hydraulic pistons easily lift Miss Möbius up off her perch and all the support stands underneath can finally be removed for good. The Captain does one final check and packs her bag with cameras and champagne and is ready for the long and winding walk to the temporary new launch site that is much further away as you are about to see. The BIG Day has finally arrived and Möbius takes her first step away from her home of the past 3 years at Naval Yachts and heads for her new home; Mother Ocean. You can almost hear the shipyard and all the other boats saying “Good Luck Miss Möbius, we’ll miss you!” as she makes the turn onto the road that leads over to the inner harbour inside the Antalya Free Zone. She graciously poses in front of the home she is about to leave as she heads out to make her own life at sea eXploring that Big Beautiful World of Water that awaits.
Oh, the places you will go Miss Möbius!!
Three of the pivotal people responsible for building Möbius join in the Big walk. And Möbius’ adopted parents join the parade as well. Rounding the first of several sharp corners is a piece of cake for Big Bird when you have 72 wheels that can all steer! This massive construction of the whole inner harbour of the Free Zone which has ripped out all the launching facilities and necessitated that we take an overland route to Setur Marina and launch all the boats from the Free Zone shipyards there for the next few months. In spite of this major disruption this major construction project of the whole Free Zone port is fascinating and you would probably enjoy watching THIS VIDEO ANIMATION which does a great job of showing how the whole new harbour facility works.
It would normally be quite a shock and surprise to see a ship floating by outside your office window but here in the Antalya Free Zone it is a common and almost everyday occurrence so no one gives it much mind. However, given the uniqueness of the XPM boats and Möbius’ gleaming aluminium silver sides, she definately turned a LOT of heads on her trip to the sea. Normally this is where the Free Zone ends and there is a very large and intimidating gate here topped with concertina wires and lots of security cams but we were given special permission and so they opened up the gate, took down lots of big power cables above and we rolled on through. We took this rare opportunity to do what you are supposed to do with all newly born creatures and introduce them to as many of the other inhabitants of the brave new world they have just arrived in.
Not a bad backdrop! One more 90 degree corner which was no problem for us but ………. ….. startled a few of the truck, car and bus drivers who suddenly found themselves sharing the road with a 24 meter / 78 foot long boat!
Not your average traffic jam! The long and winding road trip eventually led us to this road on the back side of the repair yard section of Setur Marina and the final 90 degree turn to the home stretch to the new launch site. Uğur, who has been with us the longest is particularly happy to see this big day finally arrive, took the opportunity to climb aboard and have his own scene right out of the movie Titanic perched up at the bow as he rode the final land based home stretch. We’ve arrived!
Big Bird rolls to a stop right in front of …..,, …… Möbius’ very handsome date who has been patiently awaiting her arrival. Like walking the Bride down the isle, Big Bird carefully escorts Möbius down the path underneath the turquoise arches of this 200 Ton Travel Lift. There are four of these cabled lift points on each side of the Travel Lift which are now carefully lowered to the ground. Where the looped ends of the thick wide webbing that forms a sling that goes underneath Möbius belly, are pinned to the lift bars. To protect Möbius’ fresh silicone Foul Release bottom paint, the slings have all been covered with soft padding. And then each sling is threaded overtop of Big Bird’s side rails, under Möbius’ belly and connected up to the lift bar on the opposite side. Up go the lifting slings as the weight transfers from Big Bird’s lift pads and they can now all be removed. Transfer complete! Big Bird backs out and heads back to the barn while the Travel Lift carries Möbius …….. ……. the final few meters to the water’s edge. Sccreeeeeeeechhhhhh!!!!!! HOLD IT!!!
Not so fast there Miss Möbius, there are official vows and a ceremony needing to take place before you get your first taste of Mother Ocean’s tasty salt water! Travel Lift obliges and backs up just enough for Christine, Baris and myself to say a few words, announce that “We christen you Möbius” and break that champagne bottle over her hefty keel bar.
Note to those concerned, Christine had carefully wrapped the champagne bottle in silicone mesh so no glass shards were spilled.
The not recorded funny part is that this took two tries as the thick glass of the champagne bottle won the first smash on the keel bar and took this second try which you can see in THIS short video clip which I have also embedded below.
But here at last is Möbius first kiss with Mother Ocean.
Oooooops! Not so fast there Captain! Mr. Murphy has different plans for you today!
Immediately upon splashing into the water and while still in the slings, you spend a few minutes below checking all through hulls and other possible sources of leaks to make sure that everything is sealed and all the salt water is where it is supposed to be; OUTSIDE the boat! As we did so we found a small leak on the Rudder Shaft tube and so we made the call to haul her back out and set her back on land while we tracked down and fixed the leak. Hence the less than excited faces on all of us in the video below as came back out of the water and onto the hard for the night.
Poor Möbius! So close yet so far and yet another example of that paradox of trying to get to your destination by taking steps that are half the distance remaining which means that you get closer and closer but never fully arrive!
The Travel Lift set us back down in front of the launch pad and she was once again blocked up for the night. Later that evening I discovered the source of this leak which fortunately this turned out to be a set of 6 holes that had been drilled into the Rudder tube for injecting Sikaflex around the outer races when they were installing the Jefa Rudder roller bearings for the Rudder Shaft. This happened back in October 2019 while I was back in the US and Canada visiting family so I wasn’t aware of this procedure and the SS plugs had not been threaded into these holes so they were weeping upon entry into the water. A relatively quick and easy fix and I re-tapped/threaded these 6 holes to clean out the threads thoroughly, Uğur & Nihat ran into town to get six M12 x 10mm SS socket head bolts and I mixed up a batch of good ole’ JB Weld to fill the holes and coat the threads and torqued the 6 bolts up tight and we were done before 10pm.
!Next morning, Saturday 20 Feb, 2021 we arose to what was surely the perfect Launch Day with even more sunny and brilliantly Blue skies and NO wind And it was time to back the Travel Lift overtop of us and put those slings back underneath to lift us up and take us those final 10 meters to the water’s edge! Lowering back down so Möbius could have here second kiss with Moher Ocean. Once in we again checked throughout the boat for any sign of seawater inside such as around this Sea Chest in the Forepeak and my first glimpse of the sea below. Not a drop to be found onboard so a quick check of where the real waterline ended up at the stern and we were good to cast off and be gone. We gave the thumbs up to the Travel Lift operator and the slings were fully lowered and he backed away. Due to several complications Möbius did not have a working steering system and the oil for the Nogva CPP gearbox has still not arrived but all the arrangements for getting out of the Free Zone, taking down the power lines, Travel Lift apointment, etc. had been made long in advance so we launched anyway and that meant we had to be towed back to the harbour inside the Free Zone which is why this tug showed up and threw us this line. Fortunately we had thought of these kinds of scenarios well in advance and had designed this Samson post and nose cone for just this purpose and the tow rope was quickly set and we were off. The Free Zone harbour is literally around the corner that is on the Left side where that Blue & White tug is tied up so it was a very quick trip and with no wind it all worked out just perfectly. The large green boat in the center is inside the Free Zone which then becomes the container port on the Right with all the cranes. Rounding that corner on the Left with the Green boat now off on our Starboard side to the Right we can see the slot they have opened up for us to tie up in between the end of the Red tugboat on the Left and the Grey bow of the first of four Arabian Police boats you can see lined up along the same wall. Naval had arranged for a second second small tug to help maneuver the stern and push us into our slot sideways. Because as you can see, the open space was only about a meter longer than our 24 meter overall length so It was a pretty tight fit and they needed to push us in sideways to fit. With the help of some of the great guys on Bozcay IV and III, we got the first line ashore and it was all very quick and easy from there in these windless conditions. Now the second tug on our stern could push us sideways into the wall with just enough room to spare off the bow of the first Police boat. Viewed from up in the SkyBridge, this is Möbius’ first contact with a dock. Stern lines secured and we were soon all tied up for the first time! When Christine and I were first drawing up our design criteria and use cases, one of the things we wrote down was that we wanted to fit right into being docked in a working harbour and stick out like a sore thumb in a “yachty” marina.
So how well do you think we have met that criteria with these as our neighbors astern……… ….. and these two up front? Still lots to do as the real work begins but enough time for a quick snack and celebration with the two founders of our builder Naval Yachts; Baris on the far Left and his brother Dincer on the right.
The rest of the afternoon was equally as Goldilocks time as we enjoyed this stunningly sunny 17C/62F weather being entertained by our two new bow neighbors as they brought this little fella “Lucky Star” in to get loaded up.
Then it was just the Captain and I, and of course Ruby and Barney so it was at last time to celebrate with an unbroken bottle of champagne that we had at last made it to that ever elusive Launch Date!
Peanuts, a box cutter and champagne, what could be more Goldilocks; Just Right, Just for Us?!!! While we never doubted that we would make it we did often wonder just when this day would arrive but that has all made this milestone all the sweeter to experience. We still have LOTS of work to do to get our beloved Möbius fully finished and ship shape so we can head out for those infinite horizons and get back to eXploring this awemazing world of ours.
Oh, almost forgot! If you are still wondering about that riddle, it was the 2-step Splash Dance!
I’ll be back to cover all of that starting with next week’s Progress Update but for now we’ll be sleeping aboard to keep an eye on this new launched beauty and start learning all she has to teach us.
First and most importantly, let me send out a big Happy Valentine’s Day wish to all of you. I hope that you and those you love treat yourselves to an extra special Valentine’s Day Sunday. Christine and I have done our best to do the same though our Valentine Möbius seemed to get the majority of the TLC and attention as you’ll see below.
Before I begin this week’s Progress Update, a brief story (I promise!) that sums up our lives right now.
When I was about 8 years old, my never ending curiosity lead me to read about one of Zeno’s paradoxes that completely dumbfounded me and led to many sleepless nights trying to wrap my head around it. That paradox has been haunting me again as we get closer and closer to finishing and launching XPM78-01 Möbius so I thought you might enjoy the story. I suspect many of you know this particular paradox often referred to as Zeno’s Paradox of the Tortoise and Achilles and you too might have also found it undeniably true but equally hard to accept at first. My eight year old self read it as a simple question;
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! Think about it, you’ll see the paradox.
Ahhh, I see those smiles and nods of recognition and you already know why I feel like I am living that paradox every day! Step after step, progress being made as we inch closer and closer but it feels like we’ll never get there. We WILL of course and you can read all about various “solutions” or different takes on this paradox but it does nicely sum up how Christine and I are feeling at this point.
More to the point that YOU care about and why you are reading, let’s jump into this week’s Show & Tell of the many half steps that Team Möbius DID make this past week of Feb. 8-13, 2021 and did move us closer to the finish line. And my apologies in advance for likely rushing you through this week’s Show & Tell, but it has been a very long week and it is now late Sunday evening as I’m typing this up and my vivacious Valentine awaits as does our dinner so I hope you will pardon the rush job this week.
Silicone based Foul Release Bottom Paint
If you were not able to catch up to last week’s Progress Update post “The Captain & Mr. Gee get CRANKY!” it may help to go read that over before continuing as we picked up where we left off last week wtih the preparation for the application of the International InterSleek 1100SR Foul Release paint that will cover all the underwater aluminium surfaces and keep them clean and slick by not allowing any marine growth to stick.
By the end of last week, we left the bottom paint crew having finished applying all the coats of International Epoxy Primer to the freshly sanded bare AL hull surfaces and masking off the 100mm / 4” wide glossy Black Boot Strip that makes the transition between the top of the Black InterSleek and the bare aluminium hull sides above the WL. With the top and bottom edges of this Boot Stripe all taped off with Blue Painter’s Tape, they did a quick sand of the areas that would be sprayed with the glossy Black International Perfection polyurethane paint. It was just before 18:30 quitting time when they got to the quick and easy part of spraying on several coats of the Black Boot Stripe. It is getting lighter here as the days get longer but still needed the help of an LED work lamp to do the spraying. They let that dry for 24 hours and then masked it off for the big job coming next; applying the InterSleek 737 “Pink” primer coats and then the Black InterSleek final coats. For the application of the InterSleek primer and topcoats, Naval called in the Big Guns from neighboring industrial boat builder Damen as they have a whole team of people who do nothing but InterSleek on the bottoms of the many big ships that they build and launch each year. Given its thick consistency, InterSleek requires the use of airless spray equipment so they wheeled this bad boy over under Möbius and we brought out all the cans of InterSleek 737 Pink which is a three part A+B+C mix. Ilyas is the Manager of Damen’s InterSleek team and started mixing this 3 part mix of 737 primer. As per its name, an airless sprayer does not use compressed air to atomize liquid finishes out the end of a spray gun. Instead it uses hydraulic principles to push liquid paint directly from a big intake pipe set into the can of 737 Pink you see here and then out a spray gun nozzle at the other end. That big black round cylinder at the top of the airless sprayer seen here wrapped in protective plastic, is a giant rubber diaphragm that pumps up and down and pumps the liquid paint out the thing black hose you can see exiting the photo on the far Right edge by the blue pail. This is the actual spray gun at the other end of that black hose where the highly pressurized paint flows out the small nozzle on the upper Right and …….. …….. onto the hull like this.
As a former Automotive and Autobody teacher and antique car/motorcycle restorer, I have done my fair share of traditional spray painting but this airless spraying is more like using a very well controlled fire hose! Möbius is 24m / 78 feet long on each side and yet …. it took Ilyas less than 15 minutes to spray on two thick coats on all that area! And that included details such as the Rudder and prop shaft Skeg, and ….. …… the Bow Thruster Tunnel. The 737 Pink primer was allowed to set up for 24 hours and then it was time for ……. …….. the final 3 topcoats of the Black silicone based InterSleek 1100 SR which is also a 3 part mix. All mixed up and ready to be hydraulically pumped to that big spray gun in Ilyas’ hand. While Ilyas suited up his team mates were busy rolling the Black InterSleek 1100 on all the edges of things like the Rudder and CPP Prop Skeg. Depth and sonar transducers…… ….. and deep up inside all the 5 Sea Chest tubes. InterSleek 1100SR all mixed up and suction pipe set inside so it is all systems GO! Difficult to capture with the camera amongst all the fumes but that gun blasts out a cone of paint that is about 1m / 39” wide And so once again Ilyas had the first coats of Black InterSleek all sprayed on in under 15 minutes! It is a fascinating product which looks very wet even when it is fully dry 24 hours later and to the touch it feels “sticky” and it remains that way throughout its 5-8 year expected life. You know this feeling if you have ever handled soft silicone cooking mats or the like as that is just what is now covering all of Möbius’ bottom. Go ahead and try to stick to that you little marine munchkins! A second coat was applied the next day and once that had dried it was time to reposition all the support stands so that the area underneath them could also receive the full silicone InterSleek treatment. Uğur was masterful at this tricky task as he positioned a new steel stand to one side of the existing ones and then hammered in new wood wedges to take up the weight of the boat enough to remove the wedges on the other stand and take it out.
And you can see what I mean about this InterSleek stuff being slick! With the old wedges and stand out of the way we reveal these bare AL patches whose turn it is now to get the full epoxy primer and InterSleek treatment. These patches are carefully taped off with some special “super tape” that can manage to stick to silicone and then a roller can be used to apply the epoxy primer coats like this. And this. Once the epoxy primer coats were fully dry, the 737 Pink silicone primer was rolled on next.
BTW, you can see that special tape quite well here. Finally, the last 2 coats of Black InterSleek are rolled on and our bottom is done!
The Black discs you see like this one are 25mm / 1” thick AL mounting pads with a blind threaded hole where a circular Zinc anode will eventually be attached before launch. This is how the very aft end of the hull will look for its underwater portion.
Painting the Nogva CPP Propeller
We got mixed reviews and recommendations for using the same InterSleek 1100SR to keep the CPP propeller equally as clean and slick as the rest of the hull so we opted to go with a single purpose silicone paint propeller paint called “PellerClean” which the Japanese company SeaJet created. If you would like to know more about this product and how to apply it, Matt over on the “MJ Sailing” YouTube channel that he and Jessica maintain so well, has THIS full video on their application of PellerClean on their prop last year. If you are not already subscribed to Matt and Jessica’s MJ Sailing channel we can recommend it highly as it is one of our many favorites for great boat related content.
This propeller treatment wasn’t covered by our agreement with Naval Yachts so Christine and I looked after this application. Do I really need to answer the question about why I am so madly in love with my Valentine and perfect partner for my very imperfect self?!? The application of these very specialized silicone paint systems is very exacting so we followed them to the letter and prepped all the bronze with a 80 grit wheel to give the upcoming PellerClean Primer a good bit of “bite”. The 2 part yellow coloured PellerClean comes in premeasured cans which you simply stir together well for about 5 minutes and then brush on. It is very thick with a consistency similar to mayonnaise so it is a bit challenging to get all the brush marks out in the first coat. But with each of the successive 3 coats we were able to get it well evenly applied and then let dry for 24 hours. The clear topcoats go on next and curiously these are a single part product and after my experience with it I suspect it is pretty much pure silicone. Another late night at the yard for us so this is all shot in the dark with just the LED work lights which really skew the phot colors so it looks very greenish here whereas the real colour is closer to a bronzy yellow but the more important part is that this is goes on smooth and slick! I finished the 2nd coat of clear PellerClean yesterday and I’ll see what it looks like in the morning and decide whether to add a final 3rd coat.
It was not cheap but a clean propeller and bottom makes SUCH a difference in terms of boat speed and amount of power it takes to propel the boat through the water. This was very evident to us on our previous 52 foot sailboat and so now with our XPM power boat, these super slick easy to keep clean surfaces will make a huge difference in our fuel economy and increase our speed through the water. Stay tuned for those data points once we launch and start logging real world measurements.
More “Big Little Jobs” this past week:
Apologies in advance again for blasting through this but thought you would enjoy seeing some of the “little jobs” that add up to Big things which got done this past week.
Our Super Sewer Sinan, whipped up this “skirt” that wraps around the round Anchor Chain Bin and seals the top to the Hawse Pipe where the Chain comes In/Out and keeps all the muck and mud from the anchor chain, inside the Chain Bin where it is easily rinsed out through the drain in the bottom. I had originally thought about having Sinan put in a clear plastic window so we could see inside the Chain Bin to see how the chain was moving In/Out but instead we went with this KISSS Velcro slit which you can open up anytime and peer inside. Sinan attached the Skirt to the outside of the top of the Chain Bin with snap fasteners so it is also quick and easy to do the Full Monty and take the whole skirt off (but you can keep your hat on!) The cylindrical tops of these Tiller Rudder Stops were back from the machine shop with their M16 threads for the SS bolt and locking nut that provide adjustment so Uğur was able to finish welding these up and we will show you them being mounted next week. Ramazan was busy much of this past week up in the Master Cabin and here is is fitting the FastMount fasteners for the access panel below the seat in the Master Shower. This provides full access for all the plumbing and water manifolds hidden away inside the base of the Shower Seat. Which the Captain is particularly looking forward to and testing out here. Just outside the Shower, Ramazan has now installed the mirrors on this cabinet above the Vanity Sink at the very forward end of the Master Cabin. As well as these mirrors on the doors of the cabinets above the sink inside the Master Head/Bathroom. Overhead dropped ceiling above our bed is reflected in the mirror here so you may need to look twice to figure out that this is the full length mirror that Ramazan is mounting to the inside of the Shower/Head door now laying on top of the bed. From the outside looking in I find Ramzan up at the Main Helm taping off the Rosewood Window Sills as he installs all 21 of the HVAC air vents on all the SuperSalon windows. We were able to track down these very well made rotating adjustable air diffusers that are made for use in many different makes of cars and trucks and are the Goldilocks solution for bringing the hot or cold air from our AC/Heating system into the SuperSalon. Same as the ones you would be familiar with in your car, these rotate and can be closed shut as in the photo above or tilted open at different angles. This will give us full adjustment to the air coming in to direct it into the room or up onto the windows for some defroster like function. The largest front and center window in front of the Main Helm gets 3 of these vents. And all the other windows have 2 diffusers. Captain Christine has jumped feet first into the deep end of the electronics systems on Möbius and had a very busy week working with things like our PepWave cellular/WiFi router which I will cover in another post focussed on all of our electronics. We had just enough of this gorgeous Turkish Turquoise marble from our inside Galley to use in our Outdoor Galley countertops as well and that all got mounted this past week. We didn’t have quite enough to do all the countertops in single slabs but we are SO in love with this marble that we created the tops out of several pieces. The system I came up with started with 6mm AL plates that are through bolted to the Vent Boxes underneath and then the marble is permanently adhered to these AL plates with industrial SikaFlex.
This allows me to remove the whole countertop for future access by unbolting these AL plates and provided a super solid backing for all the marble pieces. First slab with the cut-out for the SS sink all glued in and ready for the 2nd piece. To be set into the SikaFlex much like how you would lay ceramic tiles. This will give you a sense of how our Outside Galley is shaping up and next week the marble team will be in to finish sealing and polishing the tops and edges. I can smell the salmon cooking on the BBQ already!
Möbius Goes to the Dogs!
Saving a bit of the best for the last, our two dogs, 14 year old Ruby the Wonderdog in Black and 9 year old Barney The Yorkshire Terror were onboard for the first time with Captain Christine so they could check out what will soon be their new floating home too.
Like us, they have both spent most of their lives as boat dogs and so are awaiting the move onto their new boat/home as anxiously as we are. Barney is a rather “excitable boy” who can sometimes get a wee bit too excited at the edges of our boats so the bottom Dyneema lifeline that Christine now has all finished is at a custom “Barney height” so he got to measure up to that. And down in the Master Cabin we have what we refer to as The Barney Bed, where Mr. Actionallnightlong, will be able to sleep and practice is nightly training for the Olympics all by himself! And THAT folks is going to have to be a wrap for tonight as I am Wayyyyyyyyy past my time limit and bedtime and dinner still awaits.
Thanks SO much for taking the time to join us here again this week and just because it is taking me much longer than I would like to answer them, PLEASE keep adding your questions and comments in the “Join the Discussion” box below.
See you here again next week as we take yet another of our infinite half steps forward.