Though I continue to shake my head in disbelief, it does indeed appear (on Jan 2nd as I write this) that this tumultuous and challenging year that was 2020 is rapidly ending and 2021 just as rapidly beginning. Actually, it is now Jan 2nd as I am writing this so as usual, Wayne is way behind!
As with many of you I suspect, seeing the end of 2020 is somewhat welcome as we look to put most of the severely challenging aspects we experienced in 2020 behind us. However being the “terminal optimist” I am, my observation would be that the end of 2020 is all the more welcomed with exponentially increasing trend lines of positive progress that is happening around us as 2020 winds down. This progress is both in the most important and macro view of the truly awemazing progress that has been made with more and more effective vaccines and testing for Covid-19 as well as in my much more micro perspective of finishing and launching XPM78-01 Möbius. I think most of you might agree that ending the year with positive progress rapidly rising is certainly a welcome change from when it was all going the other direction,
One of the words I would personally chose to describe 2020 is “accelerant”. My brilliant and beautiful daughter Lia is a very successful chemist and one of the many things I learned through her is that, as Wikipedia words it
“Accelerants are substances that can bond, mix or disturb another substance and cause an increase in the speed of a natural, or artificial chemical process. Accelerants play a major role in chemistry—most chemical reactions can be hastened with an accelerant.
My point here being that I think that as we put 2020 in the rear view mirror and perhaps provides us with the 20/20 or better “vision” that hindsight most often does, we will see that 2020 was very much an accelerant for trends that were already happening prior to the beginning of 2020 and increased the speed and rate of change of these trends which were BOTH, positive and negative.While making sure to attention to and learn from those negative trends I chose to focus on the positive trends which have been equally or great accelerated by the events of 2020 and which I will try to further in 2021 and beyond.
Very selfishly, those trends include the accelerated rate at which Christine and I hope to finish the building of Möbius and start a whole new trend which we can also accelerate, that of returning to our life at sea as full time liveaboards as we pick up where we left of in “wandering, pondering and wondering the world one nautical smile at a time.” You can be the judge of how well we do at this if you chose to continue to follow our adventures here on the Möbius.World blog as we make the transition from building to cruising. Wish us luck, we’re going to need it!
OK, after yet another “brevity challenged” opening, let’s get to what you really came here for; this week’s Progress Update Show & Tell for the 3.5 day week of December 28-31, 2020. New Years is a VERY big deal here in Turkey and so everyone on Team Möbius and Naval Yachts was very anxious to finish up at 13:00 on Thursday and get the New Years festivities started. It all worked out very well on the calendar as well as this gave all of us a 3.5 day weekend to celebrate the end of 2020 and ring in 2021. As in many parts of the world there was no shortage of fireworks for Christine and I to enjoy from our 9th story apartment here in Antalya as we toasted this dual closing and opening of windows in our world. We hope that however and wherever you were for New Year’s Eve 2020 that you too were able to celebrate this annual transition and that 2021 will turn out to be one of if not the best year we have ever had.
Why is Wayne Floored?
Two very good reasons this last week of 2020 has me so floored and this is the first; Uğur and Nihat installed the grated floors in the Engine Room surrounding Mr. Gee! This is the same very cool composite floor grating that you’ve seen us installing for the floors in the Forepeak and the Workshop. eXtremely rigid, impervious to all chemicals, easy see-through to the bilge spaces below, easy to install and lift out when needed.
Very simple aluminium L-bar framing to support these floor grates which Nihat and Uğur have perfected now and weld up in a jiffy. This is the frame for the raised floor at the Aft end of the ER.
By raising the floor here about 200mm/8” above the two side level floors flanking Mr. Gee, we were able to make this all one level floor across the whole width of the ER.
In addition to the Safety factor when moving about in the ER during our hourly ER checks on passages and when I’m working in there, the grating also protects the hoses, solenoids, dipstick, etc. on the Nogva CPP Servo Gearbox and the two heat exchangers on either side of it.
Then we dropped the two side floors down to be about 50mm/2” above the tank tops so as to give me the maximum amount of space on either side of Mr. Gee when I’m servicing and working on him. This Port/Left side is the service side of the Gardner 6LXB where the majority of components are such as the fuel injection system, dipstick, on engine fuel & oil filters, throttle lever, etc. so it is wider and longer and relatively clear of other obstructions other than the sea water exit manifold that connects to the exiting Sea Chest in the top Left corner.
Purposely a bit busier on the opposite Starboard/Right side where the dual sea water intake strainers and the sea water supply manifold live and connect to the Supply Sea Chest partially visible in the upper Right corner here behind the 127mm/5” ID exhaust hose as it exits the ER and runs under the Day Tank to exit out the side of the hull.
The red hose is now ready for Cihan to install on the side of Mr. Gee where it will transport the engine coolant (water + antifreeze) out of the ER and through a heat exchanger loop inside the Webasto IsoTherm Calorifier/water heater tank where it gives up some of its heat to our DHW Domestic Hot Water system and reduces the need for the Kabola KB45 diesel boiler to provide our DHW whenever Mr. Gee is running.
I am very happy with the way this has all turned out and how much it adds to our priorities of Safety, Comfort and Low Maintenance inside the ER. In the next week or so Uğur and Nihat will be fabricating and installing the Exhaust System supports which will add even more safety to working in here and I’m already excited about showing you that.
Master Cabin is Floored!
And what is the second reason I ended the year being so floored?
Oh wait! This is where Ramazan has put all the planks of LVT vinyl flooring for the past 2 days so that little ceramic heater in the upper right corner can bring the temperature of everything up 20+ degrees C / 68F where Ado, the manufacturer, recommends for installation.
These LVT planks are installed as a “floating floor” so no adhesive is used so that the vinyl can expand and contract a bit without causing any buckling or warping. As we will be taking Möbius through the full spectrum of temperatures from the poles of Antarctica and the Arctic down to the tropical heat on the Equator, we need to account for these kinds of conditions.
Each plank “click locks” to the next plank on both sides and ends so the installation is relatively easy but quite time consuming on a boat where there are almost no square corners or parallel lines and so all the planks at the ends and sides of each room must all be carefully and accurately custom cut and fit.
Here is a good example of that where Ramazan had to carefully cut the LVT flooring to fit just right around this area just inside the door on the full height wardrobe as you enter the Master Cabin.
Ramazan started by laying out the Centerline of the hull and using that to provide the lengthwise reference line for laying down all the LVT planks. Then he worked from there putting down the LVT planks parallel to this Centerline and cutting the edges to fit just right up against the Rosewood wall panels.
The blank plywood rectangle under the vacuum is one of the many places on the Master and Guest Cabin floors that need to be removable to allow you to get at the access ports to the water and fuel tanks below all the floors. This one in the Master Cabin is the largest of all because it spans the corners of four individual water tanks which we located here for that reason.
Hey! I would have sworn that there used to be a removable access panel here?!?
Ramazan is quite the flooring expert having apparently laid down a lot of this LVT flooring and you can see this on display here where he has been able to make the joint where the ends of the LVT blanks butt together with almost no gap at all.
On the rare occasions when we need to remove these sections of the floor to inspect or clean out a fuel or water tank, we simply use one of my favorite tools, an industrial suction cup like this which you’ve seen us using to install the big 26mm thick laminated glass panels round the Pilot House a few weeks ago.
We won’t get to installing these until a bit later but in anticipation of the inevitable questions about what happens to these removable floor panels in the unlikely event of a full roll over (lets hope!), we will be installing these SS floor anchors. I’ve used these floor anchors from PYI before on previous boats and they not only work eXtremely well, they are more bits of kit on my “boat jewelry” list for being so beautifully designed and built.
Flooring pretty much all done in the Master Cabin and here is a full length shot of the floor alongside the bed leading to the stairs up to the SuperSalon.
We are eXtremely pleased with how all the various colours, materials and textures have all come together. Not bad for two very inexperienced interior designers don’t you think?
And the indirect dimmable LED string lighting really helps to not only increase the Safety factor throughout but also really uses the Silver/White colour we chose for these LVT planks to maximum advantage in reflecting and diffusing that light across the floors and around the edges.
What better way to show you the flooring than by getting down on floor level? Best I could do to try and show you the texture of these LVT planks which works eXtremely well as a non-skid surface even with bare wet feet.
BTW, the LED strip lights are just being test fit right now and will soon be installed into their grooves with some clear silicone to keep them fully hidden and well secured.
Fitting out Mr. Gee
Cihan was able to return for two days this past week and he is always a treat for me to work with and is super productive. Remember those red hoses that connect Mr. Gee’s hot water to the Calorifier you saw in the ER in the Flooring section above? Cihan now has them all connected and starting to insulate them to keep the heat in the water and out of the ER.
This is the front Stbd/Right side of Mr. Gee and we are tapping into his AL coolant manifold up on top of the cylinder head to return the coolant from the Calorifier.
We then tapped into what was a drain plug fitting in this lower coolant manifold where the water comes out of Mr. Gee’s side mounted centrifugal water pump.
Over on the opposite Port/Left front corner of Mr. Gee, Cihan now has the diesel fuel return line hose connected now.
With Cihan being so busy on other jobs at Naval I’ve been busy lending a hand by fabricating some of the mounts he needs to complete jobs such as mounting one of the big Electrodyne 24V 250A alternators on that same upper left corner of Mr. Gee you see in the photo above.
KISS right? Some 20mm/ 3/4” thick AL plate gives the neccessary strength and rigidity to support this hefty alternators that tip the scales at 33kg/73lbs each. Ask me how I know?!
Once I had the two plates all drilled for the four mounting studs on Mr. Gee and had worked out the precise location of the alternator so that its serpentine belt pulley would be aligned and on the same plane as the other three pulleys I could drill and tap this 40mm/1.6” thick mounting block.
After test fitting this on the Electrodyne alternator the mounting block needed a bit of trimming to fully clear the body of the alternator when bolted in place but nothing that my super handy Milwaukee angle grinder could make short work of.
Here is the final result with Big Red #1 now fully fitted onto Mr. Gee.
I’ve lost track of how many times I had to lift all 33kg of this beautiful red beast up and down to get these mounts all worked out but I’m thankful for the workout that helps me keep my girlish figure I guess!
Also pleased with the way this mount will work out position wise to give me good access for future maintenance and with being rock solid to carry on the Gardner tradition that Mr. Gee demands.
For those wondering, the six terminal studs on the sides of the junction boxes on each Electrodyne are where the AC current comes out of the two “Siamese twin” alternators inside each Electrodyne and then carry that 3 phase AC current over to the external Rectifiers mounted outside the ER over on the Stbd/Right side of the Workshop.
That AC current will be carried by those 12 Red cables, 6 from each Electrodyne, that you can see coiled up to the Right of the alternator and in some of the photos in the ER Flooring section above.
Next up for me is to work on getting all the cogged belt pulleys mounted and aligned but that will have to wait till next week.
I Can See CLEARLY NOW!
Saving the “Clearly” part of this week’s title for this last part of our Show & Tell this week as this is another one of those big milestone events in the build for Christine and me. It actually all started more than a month ago when this photo was taken. Do you see the clues as to what this is all about?
Does this closeup help you guess?
Correct! This was when the acrylic team from Hakan Glass was onboard back in November to build the hardboard templates for each of the 15 removable acrylic windows that will allow us to make the whole SkyBridge weatherproof!
Let me backup a bit and show you the design that I worked out with the guys at Hakan Glass. This test sample they made will help me show you how it all works.
Four basic components ……………………
1. The clear 8mm / 3/8” thick cast acrylic sheet that forms the tough windows. Cast acrylic is more heat and scratch resistant than common Plexiglass which is usually extruded. Acrylic has a tensile strength >10,000 lbs/sq inch and an impact resistance about 17 times greater than ordinary glass and under high impact, (cyclones anyone?) it won’t shatter and if it does break it fractures into large, dull-edged pieces.
Acrylic is also eXtremely clear, half the weight of glass and resistant to most chemicals.
Clear, Safe, weatherproof, not easily scratched.
Low Maintenance – Check
2. Aluminium anodized U-channel extrusions for the track frames that hold the acrylic sheets in place. Note that the U-channel on the Left has its upper side cut down to be half as high as the regular one on the Right as that is key to how this system works as I’ll explain in a minute.
Being anodized AL these U-channel extrusions are easy to keep clean and never oxidise.
Simple, Secure & Quiet
Simple to use, Clear, Long lasting & Weathertight.
Remember how we cut off half of the height of one side of the lower U-channel? That’s what you are seeing here. With half the height of the inside wall of the bottom U-channel, you can push the acrylic sheet all the way up into the full sized upper U-channel which allows you to now push the bottom edge of the acrylic panel into the U-channel and then push it down and presto, you’re done!
My inspiration for this design comes from something most of you would likely know from putting bug screens in and out of the outside windows in your home. You know the ones where you remove them by pushing the frame of the bug screen up into the top U-channel in the window frame and then pull the bottom out of the lower U-channel which it now clears.
There is always great elegance to me in simplicity.
Aha! Simple, just press a length of these silicone shower door strips onto each edge and their internal magnets snap the gap shut.
Last step, with each acrylic panel installed just press the Black EPDM rubber edge molding firmly into the small space between the inside edge of the AL U-channel to lock the acrylic tightly in place.
You’ve can now clearly see those beautiful views all around you from this premium vantage point high above the water while all the wind and rain stay outside and you are completely dry and comfy inside.
Wait …………………. What’s that you say? You are now in the tropics and it is hot and humid? You want those high up beautiful views more than ever but you also want some good breezes and fresh air?
Ahhh, remember out little friend from the previous section on how we lift out the removable floor panels? Yup, that same little fella works even better to grab onto those sleek smooth acrylic panels and quick lift up and out comes the panel to be stowed away while all those fresh tropical breezes flow through and keep you cool and smiling.
Well, you get the idea.
OK, now let me quickly flash through what the process looked as the talented boys from Hakan Glass cooked up this recipe of 4 simple ingredients I had put together:
Start by cutting some of these 3m/10’ lengths of anodized AL U-channel in a table saw to take off 1/2 the height of the one edge for the bottom and some of the side frames.
Glue the U-channel pieces to the tops and bottoms of the AL framed openings of the SkyBridge and its roof using clear industrial epoxy adhesive.
Once all the lengths of U-channel have been affixed, tape off the joints where the U-Chanel joins with the frames of the SkyBridge on the inside and outside ….
……. then apply a small cove of black Sikaflex 296 to completely seal these joints and add a nice visual accent to these edges.
Cut and fit hardboard to create templates for each removable acrylic window panel.
Cut and fit the two magnetic edge seals where two acrylic window panels meet to make sure that the size of the templates are just right when they are pushed Up/Down into place and the two aft corner panels are also pushed sideways into their vertical U-channels.
Rinse and Repeat for all 15 window panels surrounding the SkyBridge and then take the templates back to the Hakan workshop to cut them all to size.
Two weeks later, make Wayne’s day by bringing all 15 acrylic window panels to him on Möbius.
Clean up all the edges of the acrylic panels and start fitting each numbered panel to its awaiting U-channel frames.
Finish off the Black Sikaflex sealant and remove all the Blue painters tape.
Let Wayne double check that the EPDM seals squeeze each acrylic window panel to his just right Goldilocks fit to help them seal and be rattle proof.
Note the 10 year guarantee!
Clean up the Sikaflex seals on the inside and clean off all the aluminium with solvent.
Let Mr. Fussy get his kicks by checking out how slickly and strongly these magnetic strips old the vertical edge joints together and get tighter as the wind pushes against them.
Sides and Aft end panels all in place now with their magnetic seals and Black edge trim.
Finish putting in the Black EPDM strips on the three front facing windows.
Stand back and take a tour around the boat to admire this outstanding job!
Crystal clear view out the Aft facing windows from the outside and …..
…… the inside.
And all clear from the Upper Helm Captain!
And looks eXtremely sharp from the outside too!
Well done Hakan Glass! Gold stars to you all with our thanks for such clearly outstanding work!
And that’s a wrap for the week, the month and the year that was 2020!
Happy New Year to one and all and we can’t wait to bring you the final episodes as all of us on Team Möbius renew our efforts to finish off Project Goldilocks and put this awemazing boat, and her Owners where they belong; IN THE WATER!!!
See you again next week as we get 2021 off to a rapid start!