Even in these early stages of the building of our new home, a 24m XPM (eXtreme eXploration Passage Maker) there are stages where the progress is extremely visually apparent such as when all the aluminium or AL plates arrived, when the jig went up and when the deck plates were placed on the jig, there are also stretches where the changes are much less apparent but the progress remains the same.  This week the changes are very dramatic as the four watertight bulkheads or WTB were lifted up off the shop floor by a truly eXtreme crane and slotted into place on the deck plates.  The shape and size of Möbius’ hull continues to come into view with these basic outlines of the shape of the hull and I hope you’ll enjoy this updates on the progress made this week of May 14-18, 2018 here at Naval Yachts shipyard in the Antalya Free Zone

Speaking of the Antalya Free Zone, we receive quite a few inquiries asking about just what a “Free Zone” is and why we have chosen to build Möbius here.  I will do a whole post on this topic in a future post but this post on TRTWorld on how “Antalya Free Zone becomes building hub of luxury yachts” gives a good summary of some of the boats and shipyards here in the Free Zone.  I think you will find it well worth 3 minutes of your valuable time to watch. 

I’m also pleased to point out that the 50m/164ft luxury yacht you’ll see at the very beginning of the embedded video above and in this article, is one of the many yachts which “our” very own Dincer and Baris Dinc here at Naval/GreeNaval Yachts were part of the design and engineering team at Mayra Yachts for this amazing yacht.  If you’d like to see more about this 50m beauty, which is at the other end of the spectrum from our “no nonsense” lean & mean boat, Mayra Yachts have posted this video of its launching. 

One of the other big benefits of working within this Free Zone is that all the more than 60 different ship building companies can share everything from equipment to cranes to many of the very skilled trades people.  Most welders for example move from one job to the next once the hull they are working on is finished which typically takes 3-6 months and thus they are able to be fully employed al the time but not always for the same company.  Similarly with just a phone call you can have anything show up within minutes from a forklift to a 100m boat moving machine to the crane eXtremely long crane you’ll see below .  It’s an extremely smart and efficient model and no surprise that this is quickly becoming one of the world’s largest producers of yachts and ships.

And as I try to do with each of these weekly updates, you’ll find a video summary of the week compiling the shots I took during this past week.  With this week’s video I’ve left all the talking to the video and added in a bit of music overtop of the background sounds from the shop floor.  Let me know with your comments how you like this??

Hope you enjoy it all and please don’t be shy about posting any and all comments and questions you have as you join us on this grand adventure.

To help make sense of what you are seeing in the photos below as well as future posts of the skeletal framework of the boat coming together, let me provide a few drawings of what the completed framework will look like and the overall layout of the various compartments within the boat’s length.

06 Structure PerspectiveThis perspective or isometric drawing shows the complete skeltetal framework by removing the other plates of the hull, deck and superstructure of Möbius.  This is what you will see emerging over the next few weeks.  You can clearly see the transverse frames and longitudinal stringers I repeatedly refer to in these posts and you can also see the framework for the above deck superstructure which forms the Raised Pilot House with its 360 degrees of large glass windows.  We are calling the area in side our “SuperSalon” as it is our primary living space with aft galley/kitchen, mid dining area &lounge area and the main helm station at the very front.  You can also see how the roof of this Raised Pilot House will form the floor of flybridge which I like to call our SkyBridge because it will provide this very open view of the whole world around us and every one of the 360 degrees of the endless horizon surrounding us when doing what we love which is long passages with no land in sight.

07 Hull & Deck

This plan or top view of the hull at just above and just below deck level will fill in a few more details on how the framing works.

Take note also of the frame numbers running across the very top and bottom of this drawing as I refer to locations along the length of the boat by these frame numbers.  The frames are on 1 meter (3.3ft / 39 inch) centers so the frame numbers also tell you exactly how far away from the bow you are.

As I noted above, this weeks posting is largely about the Water Tight Bulkheads WTB being installed and if you look over these three drawings you will see that there are five of them alltogether at frames 1, 4, 9, 14 and 17.  The very first one at Frame #1 creates a permanently sealed “crash bulkhead” and then four distinct compartments aft of this; Master Cabin, SuperSalon, Christine’s Office & the Guest Cabin, Engine Room and Workshop.

08 Structure inboard

This side view will show you why this is called a Raised Pilot House as the floor is raised about 1.2 meters above the floor level in the forward and aft cabins.  We came to love raised Pilot House layouts on our previous boat Learnativity was of the same style but with “only” 270 degrees of glass around both sides and the front.  We liked it so much that one of our design criteria we established was to raise this (sorry) all the way to 360 degrees.  Learnativity also taught us how having no cabinetry above countertop level was truly a “feature not a bug” in how it added so much volume to the overall room and made it feel much more open and spacious, so you will  see this when we get to showing you the interior of the boat.

As you look over this side view you will notice several other key features such as how everything below the waterline is welded in fuel/water tanks, how the raised salon or pilot house give us the “down/up/down” layout same as Learnativity had and you can also see how the SkyBridge works and how awemazing it will be to be up there with such an unobstructed and elevated view of the entire world around us.

012 Interior GA inboard profile Rev C snipAnd this centerline section will show you the interior spaces.  In particular you can see how we have used the “empty ends” idea to give us both a long lean waterline for maximum hull efficiency and yet also be a Goldilocks just right for just the two of us inside.  If you click on this drawing you’ll be able to see how the living spaces only run from Frame #4 through 17 which means that out of the 24m of total length only 13m is used for living spaces which is about the same length we had inside our former 52 foot sailboat.  The front foredeck and aft workshop make up the remaining 10 meters on Möbius and this not only balances the boat much better at sea by keeping the weights closest to the center, it also helps to dramatically reduces both our weight and financial budgets as these “empty ends” are not built out.

Frames FwdAnd lastly for this week’s orientation tour, this set of drawings of some of the frames will give you a clear idea of how they are constructed and how the shape and size of the boat changes dramatically as you move forward and aft.  In the top right corner you can see that skinny crash bulkhead at Frame #1 compared to the spacious area for our Master Cabin located between Frames # 4-9 and then the SuperSalon and SkyBridge areas in Frames #11 & 12.

IMG_20180514_162126OK, now that you are better oriented let’s pick up where we left off last week with this shot looking aft from about the mid point of our Master Cabin at the bottom.  Remember to click “invert” button in your head as the hull is being built upside down right now so that raised area in the foreground is the underside of the floor of our SuperSalon aka the conveniently named Raised Pilot House.  The square opening in the middle is for a large hatch into the huge storage area underneath the whole SuperSalon floor and that angled cutout over to the right is where the stairs wind down into our Master Cabin.  One of the other things about a Raised Salon or Raised Pilot House design which I learned to really appreciate on Learnativity was that it created this fabulous space underneath the floor of the raised area.  On Learnativity this was a combination Engine Room ER with a stand up Workshop along the Port side but we wanted to move the Engine Room as far aft as possible and not connected to any living spaces.  So on Möbius this area under the SuperSalon will be a combination of a cavernous storage area for spare parts and supplies along with a great location for many of the system components such as inverters, chargers, pumps, circuit breakers, etc. I’ve made this area 1.2m / 4ft high so it is just right working height for me sitting down or kneeling very comfortably.  This makes installation and maintenance very easy and a joy to work on when you have the space to spread everything out and not have all the “nooks and crannies” which plague most boats.

At the top of the photo you can just see all the way to the very stern end of the aft deck and the large rectangular opening is for the hatch overtop of the Engine Room or ER.  The majority of the area under the aft deck though is for my Workshop which I’m already dreaming about working in.

IMG_20180514_130044Zooming in a bit you can see how the longitudinal stringers are being readied for laying on the deck surfaces.  This shot is looking at the transition from the floor of the SuperSalon and the cutout for the stairs down into our Mast Cabin. 


Looking forward a bit later in the day at what will become the ceiling of the Master Cabin again, the stringers have been laid out and tack welded in place.

IMG_20180514_130931I have been mentioning how the CNC cut parts have been created in an interlocking puzzle piece style and here you can see one example of this with that small rectangular hole in this bulkhead plate forming the slot for the matching sized tab on that stringer or stiffener you see protruding out below.  With a tab/slot at each end and others along the way of long runs this makes for much faster assembly as it eliminates most needs for precise measuring and layout and ensures that each piece pretty much has to be in just the right spot. 

Once everything is lined up the welders can weld the slot shut so everything remains watertight and once ground off you’ll never know this is there.


One last bit of detail while we are in zoom mode here, this notch along the edge of one of the bulkheads is for the spot where the hull plates change thickness.  Starting at deck level and extending straight down for about 1 meter the hull the plates are 6mm / 1/4” thick and then increase to 10mm / 3/8” down to above the WL WaterLine then increase to 12mm / 1/2” where the hull gently curves under and joins up to the 25mm / 1” keel bar.  At the bow this 25mm keel bar protrudes out in front to form a big solid “bumper” for hitting things and then has a 15mm / 5/8” “ice breaker” section of the hull for back to Frame #4 for the first 4m / 13’ of the hull at the bow.  This is WAY over thicknesses the structural engineer and certification authorities require but for Christine and I this is a big SWAN factor for us that lets us Sleep Well At Night and have that mandatory confidence you learn you MUST have before putting to sea.

Underwater Hull shotThis underwater shot looking up at the hull shows these plate thicknesses very nicely with each colour being a different thickness; 6mm = Red 10mm = Purple 12mm = Green 15mm = Cyan

You observant ones will also see how we have tucked the prop up into a bit of a prop tunnel and Dennis has done a masterful job with this and whittled our draft below the WL down to a very svelte 1.3m / 4.2 ft which lets us safely slide into shallow atolls where most other boats, sail or power, would not be able to go.  For reference Learnativity had a draft of 2m / 6.6 ft which was very good but getting this down to just over 4ft opens up all the more remote spots for us to go and allow us to have our favorite situation; The only boat in the bay!

IMG_20180514_162258Moving on to the WT Bulkheads finally, let’s to see some of these being built.  Here you can see one just getting started as Enver in the foreground confers with Dincer (kneeling) and Ugur.  The vertical stiffeners have been welded into the T formation and are ready for locating and welding onto the bulkhead plate. 

Over to the far left side you can see  another bulhead that has already been prepped and is now ready for lifting onto the deck plates in the jig.

IMG_20180515_112338Stepping back a bit you can now see two other bulkheads being built.  The horizontal bar stock you see is tacked on to keep the plate flat while it is being worked on and lifted into place.  These will be removed once the framework is all assembled.

IMG_20180515_112352Here is WT Bulkhead at Frame #4 pretty much ready to be lifted in place.

IMG_20180515_112814Some of the many stringers tacked up and waiting to be welded.

IMG_20180515_112550Similar to how these frame tops are being welded up.

We will see more examples later in this posting but you’ll note how the welds are not continuous but rather laid down in shorter lengths with an equal length gap between them.  On the other side this same alternation takes place with the welds there being where the gaps are here and vice versa.  This is to reduce the movement of the AL due to the heat of weldingand keep them nice and straight.

IMG_20180515_182056Back to stiffeners on Bulkheads showing how they aer tacked in place to begin with and once in place will be welded fully.


With all the longitudinal stringers in place the transverse frame tops we’ve been seeing in previous posts are now ready to be lowered in place with their slots sliding over each stringer…..

IMG_20180516_122938Like this.

IMG_20180516_123041Using the same technique we’ve seen previously these U shaped bridges are tacked to the deck plate and then the tapered wedge is hammered into place to force the edges of the frames and stringers to be tight against the correctly curved deck plates and then tacked in place.  The bridges are then removed and the spots where they were welded are ground smooth and flat.  As you can imagine there is going to be a LOT of bridges used throughout the hull building process so you’ll be seeing many more examples of this simple and effective way of keeping all the parts registered tightly and accurately together during assembly.

IMG_20180516_140321And then THIS guy showed up!  Click on this picture to enlarge (works on all pictures) and take a minute to take in just how much reach this crane has. 

I know I can be wont to exaggerate from time to time but seriously folks, just like Möbius herself this truly earns the eXtreme label don’t you think??  To help you with that, the truck portion of this crane is all outside the building and the building is over 30 meters / 100 ft long and that hydraulically telescoping arm can reach all the way to the far end of the building!  Check out the video at the end to see this mechanical marvel in action.

Here you are seeing the third bulkhead, Frame #9 being lifted into place.  This is the bulkhead between our Master Cabin and the SuperSalon.

That is a very simple self locking “grabber” on the end of the webbing from the crane which clamps onto the AL plate and lifts the bulkhead up. 

IMG_20180516_140239Here is a shot of the first WT bulkhead at Frame #4 with a diagonal brace temporarily tacked in place to hold it up.

Hard to see here but as you’ve just seen on the aft deck, the slots along the top (bottom here) edge of this bulkhead slide over the stringers so everything is keyed together in just the right spot.

IMG_20180516_140334Bulkhead at #9 being carefully positioned over its corresponding stringer slots before being tacked in place.

IMG_20180516_140933Continuing the process and now looking forward from the stern this is Bulkhead #14 being lowered in place.

IMG_20180516_143345Easy to see how this interlocking technique works.  Fast, easy and not much room for error.

IMG_20180516_144418Standing up at the bow and looking aft you can see most of the bulkheads now.  The very front #1 bulkhead can easily be lifted into place by hand later and that eXtreme crane was gone as quickly as he had arrived.  Gott love being in the Free Zone with such ready access to everything you need to build boats!

IMG_20180517_163532And now some of the final welding can be done in a few places.  This is what will be the ceiling of the Workshop under the aft deck and you can see that alternating pattern of welds we saw earlier in this post.

IMG_20180517_183315This shot shows how the welds are staggered on opposite sides of the stringers.

IMG_20180517_183454Here is where we are at as of Friday afternoon.  That vertical plate on the right is the inner wall of our hazzardous materials locker that is accessed from the swim step and completely sealed off from the interior for storing fuel, oil, propane, etc.

With the bulkheads are all in place now Team Möbius are busy welding the newly assembled parts in place and continuing to prep the next round of pieces in this hugey jig saw puzzle.

IMG_20180517_131403Such as this lower frame member and

IMG_20180517_163900… these ones. 

In the foreground is the bottom member of Frame # 21 clearly showing the shape of the prop tunnel at its highest point.

IMG_20180518_171330Meanwhile, more and more parts are piling up as they come off the prep table.  These are some of the many baffles on the inside of the many fuel and water tanks which become integral parts of the hull.  With exception of a small bilge area under the aft of the engine and CPP servo gearbox in the Engine Room, everything below the waterline on Möbius is tankage.  This adds a significant safety factor for us as any penetration of the hull below the WL would only enter a tank and not the interior of the boat itself.  Almost no boat is ever truly “unsinkable” but with 12-15mm of AL hull plate below the waterline we are confident that such an event should be eXtremely unlikely.

And that catches you up to date on the building of the mighty Möbius.  I think you can see more and more reasons why have chosen the Antalya Free Zone for Project Goldilocks and we could not be more grateful to the incredible team of skilled craftsmen that Dincer and Baris have assembled at GreeNaval Yachts.  Thanks everyone, see you Monday morning.

Here as threatened promised is your summary video of this week’s progress with a sped up version of clips I shot during the week.  I’ve left it to the videos to do all the “talking” rather than my narration and added a fun music background along with the background noise from the shop floor.  Let me know in your comments if this worked well for you or not and what you’d prefer. 

And as always, anxious to get any and all comments, questions and suggestions so don’t hesitate to add these in the comment section below.