Another very busy week here at Naval Yachts and the weekend even more so with visitors coming to check out our XPM78-01 Möbius in person from the Netherlands and Germany but more on that later. I’m sure that I am more eXcited than most of you can understand about the newest feature that Team Möbius started working on this week, the workbenches in the Workshop! But check out the photos below before you judge me and see what you think. And work also continued on other parts like the cleats and the insulation so let’s jump right in and get your caught up.
Picking up where we left off last week, Sezgin finished TIG welding the cross bars into the double vertical posts of these double cross bollard style cleats that will run along the outer edges of the Rub rails down the length of the boat.
Uğur quickly started to work on getting them installed into the robust Rub Rails. There are five of these double cross bar bollard style cleats on each side, one on the aft swim platform, one at the very aft end of the Rub Rails, one aft of midships and then these two you see here up near the bow. My hand will give you a better sense of size and proportion and you can refer to the drawing in last week’s update for exact dimensions. The vertical posts run all the way through the top and bottom surfaces of the 10mm plate the Rub Rails are bent from and then welded all around both top and bottom where they enter/exit the Rub Rail.
This shot will give you a sense for how well these cleats are supported with more below the surface than above.
While Uğur and Nihat were busy installing the cleats into the Rub Rails, Sezgin was keeping his TIG gun busy welding in all the stand off pipes for the hand rails running down each side of the Pilot House roof. This rendering helps to show the ample side decks running along the Pilot House windows with 1m high stanchions and lifelines on your outboard side and the 30mm pipe hand rails on the inboard side. These handrails will also make great lashing points for stowing things along the upper side decks flanking the sides of the SkyBridge for things like our inflatable double kayak and Grandkid toys when we are anchored.
Moving inside and down in the Guest Cabin and Christine’s Office Hilme and crew are busy working their way forward painstakingly installing all the EPDM insulation. It is very slow and exacting work to ensure that ALL aluminium surfaces are fully covered and there are no thermal bridges from outside to inside. The order of application is important too. 10mm thick EPDM is first glued to each of the vertical frames and then the horizontal longitudinal stringers. Once these are fully covered the 50mm thick EPDM is carefully fit into the larger cavities between these so that the edges of the thick 50mm blocks create a snug fit up against the thinner 10mm foam and everything is fully sealed.
Once they have finished the insulation in areas where wires, cable and pipes will run they can mount all these wire trays on the short vertical pieces of flatbar you can see which have been welded in between the stringer and covered with hard rubber. These perforated trays provide the perfect platform for quick and secure fastening all the pipes and wires with nylon zip ties. We are standing in the Guest Cabin here, looking at the Starboard side forward into the SuperSalon as the Galley cabinetry has not yet been installed in the space between them. Looking forward along the Port hull in the corridor between the Workshop and the aft Guest Cabin you can see how the 50mm EPDM wraps around the undersides of the side decks running alongside the SuperSalon up to the bottom of the windowsills.
And finally let’s get to the REALLY exciting part. Can you guess what Nihat and Uğur are working on here? How about if we look from the other end? Does it help if I show you that there are two of them? These are the workbenches for my Workshop! All 11 meters/38 ft of them! These will be mounted down the Port and Starboard hull sides and run the entire length of the Workshop/Engine Room. The cut outs are where the workbench wraps around the frames and the outer edges are raised to contain any spills when changing watermaker filters or when I’m working on messy mechanical parts. It is a bit difficult to show but this rendering looking forward into the Workshop through the aft Swim Platform door shows the basic layout. Workbenches on either side are in dark purple and you see that there will also be a matching shelf below the workbench surfaces. Some of these will be used for mounting equipment as shown on the right Starboard side here. Way back on the far right/Stbd side Meccano Man is busy fine tuning the Kabola diesel boiler with the Calorifier on the shelf below. The Alfa Laval fuel centrifuges sits atop the orange Day Tank on his left side and on his right in white is the watermaker up top and the AC Chiller down below. Some of the other workbench surfaces will provide homes for my Workshop equipment including things like my grinder, drill press, 3D printer, CNC router, air compressor etc. and still leave me plenty of room for working on projects.
Those of you who are DIY’ers and Maker type people, and especially those who have lived on boats for any length of time will understand my excitement at having all this full headroom space and these vast expanses of workbench area but I know most of you will just be shaking your head. And just wait till I show you my cubic meter of tool chest drawers and other storage you can’t see in this render!
But wait! There’s more!
We also had some very special guests this weekend when Rob and his daughter Imke flew in from the Netherlands to visit and get up close and personal with XPM78-01 Möbius. Baris & Dincer joined us and we spent the rest of the day exploring every nook and cranny of Möbius with Rob and Imke. Rob looks after Artnautica Europe where two of the five LRC58’s have now been built at the Aluboot yard in Hindeloopen Netherlands. The other three were built by Dickey Boats in Napier New Zealand. The LRC58 is the elder sister of these kind of boats which our gifted designer/Naval Architect Dennis first designed with his company Artnautica and then built the first one for himself and his wife Raquel to be their full time home. Rob not only manages the European side of the Artnautica world he also had LRC58 #3 built for himself and his wife to spend more and more time exploring the world. They spent the summer sailing up to Sweden in between dashing back for the birth of not one but two of their newest Granddaughters. Click on that last link to see photos of the launch of mv Britt last July and you can also follow along through the whole build on this site.
You will also find photos of the building and launch of LRC58 #4 “Raw” at Dickey Boats in New Zealand and proceeded to sail off to her new home in Thailand which is outlined here and then follow along with the build of LRC58 #5 at Aluboot in the Netherlands and watch her get turned upright last month.
It is late Sunday night here now and we’ve had a whirlwind weekend enjoying time with Rob & Imke in glorious sunshine when we weren’t inside Naval shipyards and Möbius. Thanks for a fabulous time and the great discussions Rob & Imke, look forward to more soon.
Our next visitors arrived this afternoon from Munich to spend time exploring Möbius, Naval Yachts and Antalya with us and I’ll bring you updates on all that in next week’s posting.
Saving the best for last though, here is this week’s other Naval update on the progress that Yiğit and Mert, Dincer’s twin boys have been making. They have almost doubled their 2.2kg birthweight and are growing every day. Mum, Dad and brother Demir are also doing well so as you can see it is nothing but growth and progress here at Naval Yachts.
Hope your week and weekend was a fun as ours and thanks for joining us here. See you again next week.
Another fun week for Team Möbius as they kicked into their mass production mode manufacturing all the shiny new double cross bollard style cleats outside and continued gluing down miles of EPDM insulation on the inside. Let’s check it out.
You are looking at the production coming out of the cleat factory with most of the finished double cross bollard style cleats stacked up and waiting for final welding into the Rub Rails along both sides.
But let’s review what led up to this …………….
You will recall these four very different and slightly more eXtreme style and size of “Crane cleats” which were all welded in a few weeks ago and which are literally strong enough to lift the whole boat by crane, should the need arise.
These four Crane Cleats enables quick and easy lift and load of Möbius by crane onto any container or cargo ship but we will most likely use them when we need to be hauled out while in very remote and isolated parts of the world, our favorite, and there are no shore side facilities or marinas for hauling out.
We have run into this situation in the past in places such as the Marshall Islands, Vanuatu, Tonga and parts of Fiji and found that these areas all tend to have commercial shipping or shoreside building projects which have huge cranes which can easily lift our svelte 45 tonnes from the water to a cradle or pit we can create ashore.
These Crane cleats will also come in eXtremely handy in the not so unlikely event that we need to haul Möbius out for one of our extended trips to be with our Grandkids and other family and friends while we happen to be in a cyclone prone time and area. Another experience we have had several times in our boating past. Once the Crane or other lifting method hauls us out onto the hard, aka land, we can then use these same cleats to tie Möbius down to huge stakes we drive into the ground to help secure her in what could be winds in excess of 200 MPH. Ask us how we know?
Fortunately that scenario doesn’t present itself too often and even for our eXtremely over engineered XPM eXtreme eXploration Passage Maker, these Crane cleats were Papa Bear size and not the just right Goldilocks fit for the more common needs we’ll have for secure cleats when docking, fueling up, rafting alongside big commercial boats and the many other situations where we need to have super secure lines between Möbius and docks, piers, pilings, etc..
After considering several different cleat styles we have used over the years we decided to go what I believe is technically called a “double cross bollard cleat” which is a mouthful so I’ll just refer to them as cleats now. These are in keeping with our KISS approach to Keep It Simple & Safe and we have found them to best handle the largest range of types of lines, sizes and options.
So I fired up Fusion 360 and quickly created the 3D model of the just right sized cleat for Möbius you see above and and then the and 2D drawing on the left. Good thing I am no longer teaching draughting as I would not have given this drawing a very good grade drafting convention wise! However it got the job done and provided all the dimensions and details for our machinist to quickly crank out the three individual parts that make up these KISS cleats with their nicely rounded solid end caps. Which fit together and are quick tacked like this. We need 12 of these cleats all together so Uğur quickly created this jig to hold each of the two 60mm/ 2 3/8” vertical bollard posts and the 30mm / 1 3/16” cross bar in just the right position and cranked out all 12 of them in the flash of his MIG welding gun. and stack them up ready for Sezgin to take over with his own trusty little jig he made up to hold them while he laid down his beautiful TIG welds around each intersection of the cross bars to the bollard posts.
Check out this week’s video summary to see Sezgin in action! And soon this pile formed behind him. While Sezgin was busy at the bow Uğur, Nihat and Mehmet got to work on the last length of Rub Rail on the aft end of the Starboard side. The Rub Rail you see laying on top of the deck here was supposed to have gone in here last month but the company that did the bending of these 10mm plates somehow bent this one “backwards” or inside out and the new corrected one just arrived last week. It is now all fully welded in place to complete the full set of Rub Rails down each side and they can now get to work cutting the holes through for each of the 60mm pipe sockets that hold the stanchion and railing pipe
Down below the deck Sezgin has finished fully welding in all four of those massive Crane Cleats we saw above where they wrap around the tops of the 12mm frame plates, so they are now an integrated part of the hull and ready for action. Dropping down one level to the Workshop and Engine Room area we find Himi in the foreground who is actually our electrical technician and Faruk who is the head of Naval’s Insulation & Composites team busy in their own mass production factory as they cut miles of the 50mm EPDM foam insulation and glue it to all the interior aluminium surfaces. Himi is very motivated to get this all done so he can install all the wire trays he has cut and ready to go and then get started with installing even more miles of electrical wires and cables to carry all of Möbius’ electrons traveling at 12, 24, 120 and 240 volts as well as all the data dashing back and forth for all our instrumentation, navigation and communication. The photo above is looking aft along the Port/Left side and this one is looking forward along the Starboard/Right side of the hull. The Engine Room is on the far left and the 550L Day Tank will be going in at the far end against the WT Bulkhead with the Guest Cabin & Christine’s Office on the other side. And finally I will leave you with this zoomed out shot taken from up on mv Legacy, the ship sitting in front of Möbius. Christine and I spent the day, Saturday, in the yard aboard Möbius working out some of the interior cabinetry details and also took some time to go through Legacy to see all the progress on her major refit. This shot is taken while we were standing on the bow of Legacy looking down at our beloved Möbius and thought you would enjoy this perspective.
Of course we can’t leave you without your weekly fix of cuteness from the Dincer twins, Yiğit and Mert and their adoring big brother Demir so here you go!
Hope you enjoyed this week’s progress update and thanks so much for taking time out of your busy day to join us. Please add your most valued and appreciated comments, questions and suggestions in the “Join the Discussion” box below and I’ll do my best to get back to you ASAP.
And last but hopefully not least is a very quick video synopsis of this week’s progress building mv Möbius here at Naval Yachts.
Many of you will be familiar with Turkish Map Fold style books if not by name perhaps by having one of these as a map when traveling.
Team Möbius got our Arch on Möbius in place this week and the all the many functions we have been able to incorporate into the design of this arch it reminded me of the Turkish Map folded books and maps I’ve had and always been fascinated with. Seems only appropriate that our Turkish built boat would have a Turkish Fold style Arch and hence the title for this week’s update.
You may recall seeing this little animation in an update a few weeks ago and show is always better than tell so I’ll use it again to help you understand how our folding mast works. Burak kindly put this together for us as we were testing out different configurations and dimensions of this whole system.
The video makes it all look very simple, and it is remarkably simple but getting the geometry just right so everything fits and clears and the roof ends up in just the right spots when fully up and fully down was tricky and hats off to Dennis, Yiğit and Burak for getting this to all work out so well.
We have gone to this significant amount of work to design and create this folding Arch & SkyBridge roof in order to give us two very significant features or modes:
1. Canal Mode where by lowering our Air Draft, the distance from the Water Line to the top most part of the boat we will be able to cruise in areas such as the canals or small inland rivers and water ways which have low fixed bridges you have to be able to pass under. Our Air Draft with the Arch and roof folded down will be about 4.2m/13’ 6” compared to about 6.4m/21ft to the top of the raised Arch, and then the Paravane poles add about another 2m/6.5’ on top of that.
2. Hunkered Down Mode where we can dramatically reduce our windage, the side area, when we are in areas during cyclone and hurricane season. Christine and I have spent quite a bit of time in such areas both together and when we were single handing so we have first hand experience with the power and the danger which these severe weather patterns possess such as the 285 km/h winds we saw when Cyclone Winston hit us when we were hauled out on Learnativity in Fiji in 2016. By dropping our height and essentially eliminating our SkyBridge and putting plywood or Lexan storm coverings over all the Pilot House glass we stand a much better chance of surviving such forces of nature with the least amount of damage possible.
You saw some of the components of this arch being prepped last week as Sezgin and his TIG welder made quick work of welding all the many joints where the various diameter pipes all connected. Those have all now been lifted up onto the SkyBridge for assembly into the finished arch. Here is one side of the vertical legs of the Arch being stood in place. and tacked to the upper half of the big hinge plates on either side. Uğur and Nihat finished cleaning up the upper arch member with brass wire wheels…. ….. and set it atop the two vertical legs, got everything all squared up with the laser level and tacked in place. Stepping back on the Aft Deck you can see how the vertical pipe legs of the Arch continue below the hinge plates to transfer most of the loads down to the eXtremely strong hull framework and make this arch essentially part of the hull itself.
The vertical pieces under the Aft Deck roof are temporary braces to maintain its location prior to having its supports down to the Engine Room Vent boxes a bit later. Looking up from the ground will give you another perspective on the Arch in place as it awaits fitting the SkyBridge roof structure and testing out the whole folding mechanism. This view from the forward Port corner of the SkyBridge provides a good perspective of the size and scale of the Arch. The rectangular opening in the middle is where the comfy Captain’s chair will sit to create the upper Helm Station and the circular stairs you’ve seen in previous weeks is over to the left in this picture and leads down to the Aft Deck. Moving aft and standing just behind the Arch provides another view of the SkyBridge layout. The rectangular holes in the bottom of the Arch top plate creates room for me to work on the many items mounted up here such as Radars, AIS, GPS and many antennae. There ware slots in the pipe which you can see in the photo above where all the wiring will be very safely carried down inside the Arch tubes to the electrical panel that sits down below the deck where the Port Arch legs attach. With the Arch all tacked up we could carefully fold it down for the first time and tweak the alignment and fit to get everything just right. This is about how the Arch will sit when it is fully folded down with the SkyBridge roof fame attached. From a distance and slightly under water level it looks like this.
Next up we will lift the SkyBridge roof fame you saw being made a few weeks ago, lifted up and fasted to the Arch so we can test out the whole Turkish Map folding system. Never being ones to rest, Uğur and Nihat were also busy folding up the 6mm aluminium plates that will become the two large Engine Room vent boxes on the aft deck. This is the ER vent box on the Port side ….. …. and this is the Starboard side vent box.
The cut out area is where our BBQ will be mounted as these two vent boxes will serve double duty as our outdoor Galley with sink, cutting board and storage to join the BBQ. This rendered view will help put this all into perspective with the two ER Vent boxes in red. Mist eliminator vent grills will be on the inside surfaces to keep salt water and humidity out and inside each box is a set of baffles to direct air in and out of the ER and others to bring fresh air into the Guest Cabin and Christine’s Office. The other exciting development this week was the arrival of this truckload full of ……….
………….. can you guess??? The busy little worker ants they are, Naval people appeared out of nowhere ….. …. and within minutes they had the full load moved from here …….. ……. to here.
Did you guess what all these bags are full of? Correct! It is all our EPDM foam insulation. Most of this is 50mm/2” thick which covers all the interior hull plates, underneath all the deck plates and in the interior walls ……. ….. with some 10mm / 3/8” for covering the aluminium stringers and frames so let’s show you how this all works. We experimented and consulted with the manufacturer of the EPDM foam and came up with a 3 stage process.
First the horizontal stringers are have lengths of 10mm EPDM fully wrapped around them and glued in place with a special contact cement. Second, more lengths of 10mm EPDM are cut, fitted and …… glued to the frames. With all the stringers and frames covered the 3rd step in the overall process is to cut, fit and glue the 50mm EPDM to the aluminium surfaces. Here is a small test area in the aft Port corner of the Workshop with all three steps completed between four frames and two strips on the ceiling. This is a very laborious process as there is a LOT of intricate fitting to the different shapes, sizes and openings that need to be carefully and completely covered. It is important that the adhesive covers every bit of the aluminium and foam so there are no air bubbles trapped underneath to ensure that no moisture can get in and that there are no thermal bridges created between the aluminium components and the interior spaces and cabinetry.
You will be seeing lots more of this process as it progresses over the coming week and I can explain more about why we are going to such pains to put in this type of insulation and why we believe insulation is one of the most significant factors in making these kinds of eXtreme Passage Makers so comfortable and so efficient in both eXtremely hot and cold areas in the world.
Saving the best bit of progress for last here is this week’s boatload of cuteness to let you know that the Dinc twins Mert and Yiğit also continue to grow and develop eXtremely well.
I hope you are enjoying seeing this all unfold as much as we are and that you will continue to follow along with the whole process of building our just right, just for us Goldilocks boat.
Crazy weather here in Antalya today with lots of thunder and lightning storms and now some hail. There was even a nasty tornado which blew in from offshore a ways north of us that did lots of damage apparently but nothing of the sort down here fortunately. However things continued to be hot and heavy at Naval Yachts as Team Möbius progresses through another week of building our new 24m XPM eXtreme eXploration Passage Maker aka mv Möbius. The new TIG welding gun that was the focus of attention in last week’s posting continued to be used nonstop as Sezgin enjoyed breaking it in and I think he also enjoyed the change from months and months of nonstop MIG welding during the build of the hull. Lots to show you so let’s get started……..
Quick test to see if you were paying attention in class last week and remember the name for these notched area you put on pipes that join perpendicular to another pipe?
I think this shot really helps to show you why these are called “birds mouth”. You can almost hear them chirping to be fed some tasty TIG welding rod! These ones are for the stand offs on the hand rails that wrap around both sides of the Pilot House roof. Safety is our top priority and these rails add an extra place to hold onto as you walk along the side decks. With the 1m tall stanchions and lifelines on the other side we can safely move fore and aft no matter how much Mother Nature might be trying to throw us off balance. Here is a shot looking forward along the Port side decks with the handrail pipe running long past the hinge for the lowerable Arch as everything is tacked in place. It will end with a 90 degree elbow about midway along the hinge plate to give plenty of room to get the hinge pin in and out. These handrails should be all finished up to show you next week but this will give you a good idea how they work. These upper side decks on the inside of these rails are easy to access when you are up in the SkyBridge so these rails also help ensure your feet don’t slip off the edges. All deck surfaces will be covered with non skid material as well to ensure very safe footing.
Along with some D rings that will go along that upper sloping surface these rails will also provide good spots for lashing things like our inflatable kayak down to this nice out of the way storage area. Sezgin and his mighty TIG gun finished up the three upper sections of the Arch that you saw being fabricated last week. So they now await their turn to be taken up on deck and tacked together and mounted on the hinge plates and we’ll show you all that as it happens. We also saw last week how they were welding in the SAE5 round threaded flange plates into all the fuel and water tanks and they are now making up parts such as these pickup tubes We run both the pickup and the return tubes right to the bottom of the deepest part at both ends of each tank. The ends match the angle of the hull plates where they intersect with the big keel plate to help ensure that they pickup every bit of fuel or water in the tank. Normally pickup tubes sit a bit above the bottom so that any debris remains on the bottom of the tanks but in our case we want to pick up any dirt or water that might make it into these tanks so it can be removed by the Alfa Laval centrifuge as it regularly polishes all our fuel.
We also run the return tubes down to the bottom at the opposite end of the tank returning fuel does not create any foam and so the incoming fuel will stir up any debris that might somehow get in there and help the supply tubes vacuum it all up. Inside the tanks we have cut away parts of the baffles so that I have plenty of room through each inspection port for my hands and tools on annual inspections and I can access each baffled area. Making our way into the Basement under the SuperSalon the steps down to our Master Cabin have been finish welded and ensure that the Basement area is fully watertight. And along the hull sides in the Basement we see that they are finishing off the coffer dams around the framing for active stabiliser heads should they end up being installed. Once these flanges are welded in place they will be threaded for the plate lids to be bolted and sealed in place to make them fully watertight in the event of a breach. As we move around inside the boat we find more examples of Sezgin’s TIG handiwork …….
.. with the hand rails on the stairs up from the SuperSalon to the Aft Deck now all finished. And now we find him putting the finishing welds on the staircase steps ….. ….. and the base of the Port side handrail leading up to the SkyBridge. Moving on now to this week’s riddle photograph.
Any guesses what these little fellows are for?
Molars extracted from a giant aluminium dinosaur perhaps?
Or is Nihat prepping this for a dino dental implant? Nope, these are for the four Crane Cleats that are about to become integral parts of the hull and provide lifting points for slings to attach to in the event we might be in a location that has a large crane to lift the boat in/out of the water. These 50mm/2” thick behemoths extend down through these slots in the deck plates … …. with their slots straddling a 12mm frame member and fitting up against the inner hull plate surface. Sezgin soon follows with the magical TIG gun above and below decks and they’re done and ready to literally lift the boat.
One of the many eXamples of why the X in XPM stands for eXtreme!
Those of you familiar wtih boating might wonder about the need for these when marinas have have dedicated equipment such as Travel Lifts for taking boats in and out of the water. In many parts of the developed and more populated world when we need to haul the boat out of the water we do have access to such equipment. However we have been in more remote or less developed areas where marinas, shipyards and such dedicated lifting equipment just doesn’t exist but these areas usually do have commercial shipping and building so there are cranes being used to lift heavy cargo and with these Crane Cleats we are all good to go.
Progress was not limited to just boats apparently as I made progress along the chronological charts and completed my 66th circumnavigation of the sun. My Beautiful Bride was in cahoots with the rest of Naval Yachts and snuck into the yard singing “Let them eat cake!”. And so we did!
Thanks again for joining us on this adventure and here is a quick little video to help summarise some of the progress this week.
The new TIG welding gun we have been waiting for several months now finally arrived this week and so Sezgin has been having great fun breaking it in and diving into the backlog of welds that we wanted done with TIG rather than MIG. Read on to find out what that means and all the other many questions you’ve always wanted to answer about welding!
Most people would not be too familiar with these two different welding methods of TIG and MIG and I don’t intend to belabour it here but the basic differences are simple enough to understand and will help you understand why we chose to use both to match up best with a given set of needs. Additionally one of my hopes for this blog is that in addition to some general interest and the entertainment typically surrounding me, that there is also some good learning offered and this seems like a great teachable moment to capitalise upon. Having spent about 15 years as a teacher and instructor of industrial arts and “shop” classes in Canada and Europe, I guess there is always the “once a teacher, always a teacher” elements here. And of course we all know, I am severely “brevity challenged” and so I will try to keep in mind that other saying that “All teachers suffer from premature explanation” and keep this as short as I am capable of and all relative to the building of Möbius.
Addressing the acronyms first MIG stands for Metal Inert Gas and TIG stands for Tungsten Inert Gas. Oh Gee, now THAT is helpful Wayne!
This graphic shows both how similar these two types are, how these work and upon closer inspection (click to expand) shows the basic differences as well.
In MIG welding, when the welder pushes the button on the MIG “gun” three things happen;
the aluminium wire rod is power fed from a large spool inside the welding machine or spool gun and starts exiting out the tip of the welding gun.
the wire is “charged” by connecting to the electrical power set on the welding machine which is what creates the arc that provides the heat to melt the aluminium.
3. the inert gas, typically a mix of mostly Argon for aluminium, begins to flow out the end of the gun surrounding the wire. This inert gas is neccessary to keep out any oxygen from the air and allow the molten aluminium to stay a clean liquid till it solidifies. The work piece, aluminium plates or pipes in our case complete the circuit back to the welder by a ground cable so an intense small arc forms between the wire and the work piece which simultaneously melts the aluminium wire and the aluminium plate forming a puddle of momentarily molten aluminium which quickly cools back to solid which forms the welding bead as the welder carefully moves the tip of the gun along the area to be welded.
The welding principles remain the same for TIG welding with an aluminium rod and work piece being melted by an intense electrical arc surrounded by an envelope of inert gas to prevent the molten metal from oxidizing. But notice how different the end of the TIG gun is.
With TIG the aluminium wire is now a short straight rod which the welder holds, upper right in this picture ………… …. and carefully feeds into the molten puddle created by the arc formed between the sharp point of a stationary tungsten electrode you see protruding out of the TIG gun being in the two photos above and held at about the angles shown above.
Both MIG and TID create similarly strong welds so what’s the big deal? Mostly speed of welding, ease of access and space available for the welding gun tip, operator skills and looks.
MIG welding is the best when you have long runs of continuous welds to lay down and hence you have been seeing Sezgin our master welder using a MIG gun to lay down literally miles and miles of welds to join all the plates and pieces that make up our hull. With the welding wire being power fed you can weld non stop for a long as you want. TIG is the best choice when you have smaller more intricate welds such as welding up the tube frames for bicycles and motorcycles with joints such as these examples from when Sezgin was dialing in the new TIG gun.
The box of aluminium TIG welding rods is in the upper right here with another one of the test welds underneath. With most of the long continuous welding of the hull being completed we now have some more intricate shapes to weld up as we move into fabricating aluminium pipe like the railings you saw last week and the large folding arch you see Uğur starting to fabricate here. Zooming in will give you a good Before” shot of that box frame on the arch which Sezgin and his TIG gun soon transformed into this “After” shot. Even if you don’t know anything about welding I think you can appreciate the beauty of the beads of weld TIG produces in the hands of a talented welder. This beauty is much more than skin deep as these welds are extremely even and fully penetrated. Given our low maintenance “no paint” rule having welds that look this good with no additional work required to smooth them out is a huge plus.
Wondering what this TIG welded box frame on the arch is for?
I will let this fun little animated rendering which Burak kindly put together for us answer that best.
I will get into more of the details in following blog posts here as this fold down arch and SkyBridge roof is assembled but we are very eXcited about this very special feature which Dennis worked with us on so diligently and which Team Möbius are now hard at work transforming from the 3D model into real aluminium. With the arch being able to fold down to what we refer to as “Canal Mode” we cut our Air Draft or overall height from the waterline to the top of the arch frame (not including Radar, antennae, etc.) from about 6.4m/21ft down to about 4.5m/15 ft which opens up a huge range of canals and other places in the world with low bridges or other height restrictions.
Additionally and perhaps even more importantly, we can really hunker Möbius down to a very low profile when we are have her in the water or out on the hard on land in a high hurricane/cyclone area as we have been many times in our previous boats. In these situations we have experienced winds in excess of 200 km/h / 125MPH which were strong enough in one case when we had our previous boat up on the hard doing a major refit in Fiji, to collapse the stands and blow us over on our side. Yes we were inside at the time Hurricane Winston peaked right over us that story is for another time. Being able to so substantially lower the surface area we present to such severe winds will help ensure we don’t experience a “ride” like that again! We will also have plywood storm shutters we can bolt in place around the full set of glass windows surrounding the SuperSalon which should enable us to deal with some of the most damaging aspects of hurricanes and cyclones; flying debris.
Meanwhile up at the bow awaiting their date with Sezgin and the new TIG gun, these railings are now all tacked together and fitted into their pipe sockets in the edge of the Rub Rails. Yet to be added are dolphin watching seats on both sides. I received several questions about this “socket” system we are using to solidly support our stanchion posts and railings so here are some more detailed shots of how this works.
The primary parts of this KISS and eXtremely robust support system consists of 60mm thick walled aluminium pipe which extends down about 250mm/10” through and welded top and bottom of the 10mm/ 0.4” thick Rub Rails.
These black sleeves which are custom machined here by our Naval machinists from blanks of solid Delrin which is a type of eXtremely tough plastic with very high tensile strength and equally low creep and moisture absorption …………. are a snug press fit into the 60mm ID pipes and then the 40mm OD aluminium pipes used to build the stanchion posts and the railings are a snug sliding fit to the ID of the Delrin sleeves. This firmly holds the posts with no wiggling but ensures they can be easily taken apart in the future thanks to eliminating any metal to metal contact To keep everything in place a stainless bolt and nylock nut will be inserted into a hole drilled through the whole assembly just above the weld here.
This system for all our stanchions and railings are examples of how we ensure safety remains our top priority in designing and building these XPM type boats. While there are aspects of our design and some of the devices we carry onboard to deal with POB or Person Over Board situations our primary focus is on preventing anyone from going overboard in the first place.
I also received some questions about the “sidewinder” design we have for our anchor roller assembly and how that is all supported to deal with the strong forces this area will experience when punching through high seas and situations which can bury the bow at times. The welding is all complete now and you can see how these vertical 12mm/ 1/2” thick aluminium “cheeks” create the deep U channel to guide the shank of our 125kg Rocna/Manson anchor on and off the boat. The aft cheek is additionally supported by the thick flatbar which is edge welded from the tip back into the Rub Rails. Looking straight down you can see how the front cheek is tied back into the hull and Rub Rails by another 12mm plate. Looking back from the bow you can see how this triangular gusset does its part in making this anchor roller assembly an integral part of the hull and bow. Sezgin has since done the final welding of this and I’ll get a shot of that for you later.
The small cross bar at the bottom here is left over from when they were tacking this assembly together to maintain the spacing between the cheeks and can now be removed.
Below the cross bar you can see how the ends flare out and why I call these “cheeks”. Their angle matches that of the inside surface of the anchor so it will pull up nice and tight when we are on passages. Looking elsewhere we see more examples of Sezgin handiwork and more of the final welding, MIG in this case, of things like these tubes going through WT frames where runs of wire and plumbing need to pass through.
The black strips on those vertical pieces of flat bar are rubber insulators where the wire trays will be attached as soon as the EPDM insulation goes in. The stairs down from the Aft Deck into the SuperSalon are now all finish welded and ready for interior finishing. As are their sister steps going down the next level into the corridor leading to the Engine Room/Workshop and Christine’s Office/Guest Cabin. Off to the Port/Left side of these stairs provides a good view of the “gutters” that run down both sides of our hull where the tank tops make the turn down to become margin plates and be perpendicular to the hull for maximum strength.
With almost the entire volume below the WL being integral tanks this is about the only “bilge” area we have which suits us just fine. I carry wet/dry vacuums onboard in each WT compartment and these will come in handy to keep these gutters clean of mostly dirt and any water that might get spilled.
Last detail for you this week is this example of where Uğur, Nihat, Yiğit and I have been going through all the access ports and plasma cutting these additional openings in the baffles. These ensure that in the future I can get into each baffled area for inspections and repairs. Not something we expect to need very often but now is the time to be thinking ahead and building in all these features to make this as easy to maintain as any boat can ever be.
Let me finish up this post with the most important update which is that the newborn Dinç twins (pronounced “Dinch”) Yiğit and Mert are doing great as is their Mom and big brother Demir.
However as this final shot shows I’m not sure Dad, aka Dinçer is fairing quite as well? Or perhaps it is just that the new couches in his office in the new Naval Yachts shipyard are just particularly comfy? That is your update for this week of January 14-18 as 2019 is already zooming by.
Thanks as always for joining us on this adventure building our Goldilocks “just right, just for us” new boat and home. We really appreciate you taking the time to read and follow. And we encourage you to send in your questions, suggestions and comments in the “Join the Discussion” box below.