Not as much to post about the past two weeks as I have been out of commission after hurting my back badly when I tripped and fell last week and aggravated the four cracked discs I have had from a nasty motorcycle accident over 25 years ago. But the spasms are lessening each day since and just a matter of time before I’m back to just the usual back ache which is my normal state. No complaints from me though as we continue to enjoy taking our time to weave our way generally north through some of the hundreds of postcard like Bahamian islands.
When I left off in the last post we were in Red Cut Cay and after a few days there we continued up and anchored at Black Point then on to Allen’s Cay and then a very neat fully enclosed very tiny little bay on Royal Island as seen here on our chart plotter. This will give you a better perspective on how small the entrance was and if you click on the photo I have circled in RED the two short pieces of white PVC pipe that marked each side. Captain Christine guided us through as she put the entrance in our wake and …… …… I soon had the anchor down into the sandy bottom 2.5m/8ft below and we were soon enjoying our very own little anchorage with wine up in the SkyBridge. THIS is why we worked on the design so hard with Dennis to have the least draft possible; 1.3m/4.4 ft After Royal Island we made our way over to Lynyard Cay where we anchored for four days and had a chance to meet up with some sailing friends Mark & Shawnae who were anchored nearby on their latest boat s/v Big Sky Blue Waters (they hail from Montana). Difficult to show on maps as most of these spots are too small to show up but you can get a rough idea of our route and anchorages along the way. We are now anchored up near the north end of Great Abaco Island just off of Coopers Town. There is a storm front coming through this weekend with winds out of the West and South rather than the usual Easterlies so we’ll wait out here for that to pass and then make our way West as we get ready to jump off and cross over to West Palm Beach area in Florida in the next week or so.
That catches you up on our most recent travels and anchorages and now I thought that something a bit different might be of interest to many of you. Read on to see what you think and let me know your thoughts with comments in the “join the discussion” box at the end please.
Year in Review: Top Features We Like Most and Least on Möbius
Hard to believe but we started writing this Mobius.World blog back in March 2018 so we’ve just passed the five year mark for that and the primary motivation for creating and writing the 262 posts since then has been the hope that sharing our experiences here provides a good way for us to “pay it forward” for all the other people who went before us and shared their experiences from which we learned SO much. In keeping with that hope, as the calendar turns over to May (how did THAT happen so fast??) we have been actively cruising Möbius for one year now. Also on the hard to believe list is that our log book shows that we have just ticked over 7300 nautical miles (8400 miles/13,520 Kilometers) and most of that in just the last six months since leaving Turkey at the end of October. Last year we were in and out of a number of marinas so we have been through our share of Med mooring, docking, fueling up and the like. This year we’ve been on anchor every night for the past four months in quite a variety of conditions, bottoms and weather. We’ve done everything from short day trips, lots of overnight passages and some longer ones such as our trans Atlantic crossing of 14 days. With these cumulative experiences I thought now would be a good time to reflect on what we have learned over the past year about what is working out best for us as well as what has not worked so well and we would change or do differently to make Möbius even better. I will write this up as two blog posts grouping what’s worked best into one and then a second with what changes we would make to follow. In my experience I have found that first hand experience from others has proven to be the best and most useful for making my decisions and so I hope these twin posts will do likewise for some of you.
A few caveats before I go any further:
All of the points I’ll be covering are simply what has worked so well or not for us and our use cases with no suggestion that these would be best for other owners, boats and use cases.
There is no implied order or ranking of these items, simply a list.
Any mention of specific products is done for clarity only, these are not endorsements and we have no sponsors or affiliations with any of the products mentioned.
In the years of posts here on this blog, I have provided lots of detailed coverage, too much perhaps, of each of these items during the build so in this posting I will just be listing the reasons why each item is on the list. If you are interested in more details you can refer to these previous posts and I’ll provide links to some of these.
OK, with that out of the way, let’s jump right into our top favorite features on Möbius.
Starting up at the Bow, our whole anchoring system has proven to be eXtremely strong, reliable and easy to use and has perhaps contributes more than any other system to our SWAN factor that enable us to Sleep Well At Night in every anchorage in all conditions. The “SideWinder” mounting of the anchor off the Port side of the Bow which Dennis and I designed, has proven to be a great setup eliminating the anchor and roller assembly from sticking out over 1m at docks and keeps it very securely pressed against the hull in pounding seas with nary a sound or any movement. The primary components of our Anchoring System are
110Kg/242lb Rocna anchor
100m/330ft of Galvanized DS40 13mm chain
Maxwell windlass VWC4000 w/Maxwell controls at both helms and wired remote in forepeak
Lewmar Deluxe Heavy Duty Chain Stopper 13mm chain
Lewmar EVO 55 Self-Tailing Winch for kedging The chain all stows inside of a round aluminium chain bin inside the forepeak which has worked out eXtremely well as there is no “castling” of the chain as it is stowed. and any anchor mud and muck that gets in there is easily flushed out through the drain in the bottom that exits out the side of the hull just above the waterline.
Once the anchor is set we attach a 25mm/1″ nylon snubber line using a loop of Dyneema with a slip knot that goes through one link on the chain. This takes seconds to attach or remove and the snubber from the chain and absorbs of any shock loads on the anchor chain and eliminates any chain noise into the boat. Letting the chain out until the snubber is taking all the tension the line comes up through the large round “nose cone” in the very front of the Bow and ties to the Samson post. Leading the snubber line through the center of the Bow reduces side to side swinging at anchor and the hyperbolic curve machined on the inside of the sold AL snubber cone prevents chaffing of the line which still shows no sign of chaffing after over 150 nights at anchor so far. The large degree of forward slope of the anchor deck also worked out great making it easy to hose down with all the debris draining out the nose cone back into the sea. All together this is a super dependable and easy to deploy/retrieve anchor system that sets first time every time and resets immediately on severe wind shifts. Depends on water depth of course but typically we have about 30m/100ft of 13mm anchor chain out which adds an additional 120kg/265lbs to the 110kg/242lbs of anchor on the bottom so we SWAN very well every night and is definitely one of our favorite systems!
Foul Release silicone bottom paint
Our last minute decision to go with silicone based “Foul Release” bottom paint instead of CopperCoat has turned out to be one of THE best decisions we made. This Foul Release type of bottom paint never ceases to amaze me with how it prevents almost anything from growing on it and what might be there after months of sitting still comes off completely with a simple wipe with a sponge or cloth to bring it back to like new. We used the International version called InterSleek 1100SR but several other manufacturers such as Hempel “Silic One” are also available. This paint has been in the water for over two years now and it still cleans up completely with just a sponge or cloth if we’ve been sitting at anchor for a long time and currently shows no sign of wear or age. It is supposed to be good for 5-7+ years and so far looks like it will achieve that easily which would be a HUGE benefit in terms of efficient hull speeds and no costly annual haul outs. I can’t say for sure but I think that having such clean and slippery silicone hull surface contributes to our overall hull efficiency, speed and great fuel burn rates. What’s not to like??!!
Open and Accessible system installation
All of the system components, wiring and plumbing were given dedicated locations with completely open access. This reduced the time for initial installation during the build but more importantly continues to put a smile on my face every time I need to do any work or maintenance on any of the systems as everything is easy to access and mounted at a just right height for working on. Here in the Basement for example you can see how all the components such as all the 14 MPPT controllers on the Left and the three 240V Victron Multiplus inverter/chargers on the Right, are all mounted such that when I’m kneeling or sitting in front of them they are at the just right height right in front of you to see and work on. Same story back in the Workshop area where all the major components on the Right such as the DC Distribution box, Kabola diesel boiler, watermaker and AirCon chiller system are mounted on top of the shelves to put them at just right height as well. At the far end, the front of the Day Tank has been used to mount all the fuel filters, Alfa Laval centrifuge and fuel transfer valve manifolds are out in the open and at perfect height when standing in front of them. Underneath that shelf the electrical wiring, external rectifiers and water distribution manifolds are also open and easy to access.
All of the plumbing is similarly open and easy to access such as this manifold with valves for all the cold water consumers in the Master Cabin.
One of our four primary principles for the design and build of Möbius was Low Maintenance and having all the components, wiring and plumbing open and so easily and comfortably accessed has been a big factor in achieving this goal throughout the whole boat.
As we did for all the major components, we took a “systems” approach to the propulsion system from front of the engine to the prop. coupled to a Nogva Controllable Pitch Propeller (CPP) is also way up at the top of our list of favorite features on Möbius.
Our choice of a Gardner 6LXB engine aka Mr. Gee, coupled to a Nogva Controllable Pitch Propeller (CPP) via a Nogva HC-168 2.95:1 reduction gearbox is also way up at the top of our list of favorite features on Möbius.
The combination of the slow revving engine and lack of any transmission shifting created a seamless and smooth propulsion system. This was our first experience with CPP and it did take some time to learn how to run a boat where you first set the throttle at the RPM you want and then don’t touch it and just use the Pitch lever to increase pitch through an infinite range from zero/neutral to maximum pitch for the load and speed you want. With no shifting involved to go from forward to reverse it is eerily quiet and smooth when docking and when underway we essentially run the boat based on the EGT or Exhaust Gas Temperature meter to get the just right pitch for any speed we want.
We cruise between 8.5-9 knots and after 7300 nautical miles our overall propulsion efficiency has us averaging about 1.85 L/NM @ 8.5kts which we are eXtremely pleased with.
The dedicated “propulsion room” is another of my most favorite design decisions as it similarly provides open and easy access to Mr. Gee and all his components, ….. as well as the Nogva gearbox, coupling and Tides Marine dripless prop shaft seal. I am able to stand, sit or kneel on the grated composite flooring on all sides and with a full meter of width all around and each grate can be easily lifted out of the way to provide access underneath if needed. Having a dedicated engine room with nothing but the engine inside keeps everything inside easy to see and work on, easy to keep well ventilated and all the other components typically found in engine rooms such as fuel filters, batteries and system components are kept OUT of this environments heat and vibration. More examples of how well the open and accessible systems design is one of our favorite features.
Layout (cabin locations, balance living vs functional, up/down)
The overall interior layout also makes it way to the top of our favorite aspects of live aboard Möbius. For us it has the Goldilocks balance between amount of living space vs functional systems space and our decision to have a very large forepeak up front and then an even larger engine room/workshop space in the rear has resulted in a great layout as well as keeping these spaces completely separate with their own dedicated access so you never need to go through a living space area to get to something in the forepeak or engine room or workshop. The vertical layout has also worked out eXtremely well for us with each cabin a few steps below the SuperSalon and the SkyBridge up above. One of the most useful features of our layout is having an enormous “Basement” area below the floor of the SuperSalon. We designed this to be 1.2m/ 4ft high such that you can easily move around by bending over and not hit your head on anything and then sit or kneel to access any of the equipment mounted on intermediate floor to ceiling walls or access any of the many storage bins and shelves in the Basement. The stairs leading down into the SuperSalon from the Aft Deck on the Left and then around to the stairs down into the Ships Office and Guest cabin on the Right provide excellent access between all these areas. Very difficult to photograph but hopefully this pano shot of the SuperSalon will help convey why we like this layout with the 360 degrees of glass so much.
We knew we wanted a Flybridge overtop of the main Salon or House so this was part of the design from the beginning but I don’t think either of us appreciated just how much we would enjoy this feature and how much time we would spend up here both when at anchor and underway. Part of what makes this space work so well is our decision to put the Upper Helm at the Aft end of the SkyBridge. As we’ve done in several areas of the boat we have created an initial prototype for the seating in this SkyBridge Lounge area by using patio furniture which we rearrange from time to time to figure out what will work best longer term. So far this L shaped layout has worked out best. There are great sight lines when sitting in the Helm chair just outside this photo on the far Left and yet still takes full advantage of the height for sight lines through the 360 degrees of windows that surround this entire space. The Bow and the side rub rails are all fully visible from the Helm chair. The roof overtop of the outdoor galley down on the Aft Deck does prevent a direct view of the transom but otherwise the sight lines Aft are great and we have a camera that displays a birds eye view of the transom on the Helm displays if needed when backing into a dock.
The Helm down in the SuperSalon duplicates the Upper SkyBridge Helm. But unless the weather is very cold or wet we much prefer to run the boat from the SkyBridge with its added height and even better visibility.
At anchor it also makes a great office space and a comfy bed for naps and off watch time as well. So the SkyBridge definitely makes it onto our top favorites list.
Hot Water & Heated Floors
Another example of the advantages of taking a Systems approach is our Domestic Hot Water system or DHW and probably fair to say that the heart of our DHW system that puts his solidly on our top favorites is our decision to install a Kabola diesel fired boiler. Located with all the other system components in the Workshop it is out of the way yet easily accessible. The 75L Kabola boiler is our primary source of DHW as it circulates through one of three heat exchanger circuits in our Calorifier that stores all our hot water as can be seen in this cutaway demo. The second heat exchanger circuit routes hot water from our Gardner engine and so whenever we are running the boat this provides all our hot water instead of the Kabola boiler. The third heat source is a 240V electrical heating element which we can use if the water based heat exchangers should ever fail.
However the one feature of our DHW that truly steals the show in cold weather is mostly invisible and that our Heated Floors. Underneath the vinyl flooring in all the living spaces there are circuits of plastic PEX tubing that circulates hot water and provides a creature comfort in colder climates that is difficult to adequately describe in words. A detailed description of the whole heated floor system can be found HERE in this previous blog post.
As you can read in that more detailed blog post, this is quite a simple system really but does take a bit to get your head around how it works as this is all part of the overall domestic hot water system so that all the water flowing through the floor PEX is coming from the Calorifier in the Basement circulating the same water as distributed to all the sinks and showers on the boat. No valves to adjust or turn on/off it all works by virtue of how this “Open Direct” plumbing design dictates.
Overtop of the PEX tubing and rigid foam, these industrial vinyl floor planks provide a fantastic floor in all weather conditions and are specifically made to work well with heated floors. Critical for our use on a boat, these vinyl floor planks have a simulated wood grain texture molded in which has proven to be completely skid proof even with wet feet and any spills clean up easily. After two years of rigorous use these floors show zero signs of wear or marks which helps keep them on our top favorites list.
There are three independent zones for the two cabins and the SuperSalon and each is controlled by one of these easy to set thermostats which maintain whatever temperature you want.
The manifolds and pumps are mounted down in the Basement up against the Aft bulkhead and yet another example of how easy this whole system is to access.
Battery & Solar Based Electrical System
Yet another systems approach on our top favorites list is our overall Electrical system. It is “battery based” in that all four voltages; 12V + 24V DC and 120V + 240V AC comes from our 1800Ah @ 24V House Battery bank. AC is created via the 5 Victron MultiPlus inverter/chargers and the DC is provided via three DC distribution boxes; Central Main in the Basement plus one in the Forepeak and one in the Workshop for the high amperage circuits there. Solar is our primary source for recharging the house batteries most of the time but when we are underway the two massive 250A x 24V Electrodyne alternators with WakeSpeed 500 regulators provide up to 9KW of power and we also have the option of connecting to shore power whenever we are in a marina. There are eight 320W solar panels that form the roof of our SkyBridge as seen in the photo above and then three more mounted on top of the cantilevered roof over the Outside Galley on the Aft Deck as seen here. And then three more mounted in a hinged frame in front of the SkyBridge. These 14 solar panels add up to just over 4kW of potential power and most days our battery monitors show an actual input of between 1kW during the winter months and up to over 2.5kWh of power during summer hours. Each solar panel has its own MPPT controller which are mounted in the Basement and feed into individual circuit breakers for further control as seen here. Having a dedicated MPPT for each panel reduces the impact of any shading on any panel and helps with the overall performance of our solar system. This screen shot from our Victron VRM display shows a summary for our solar output vs electrical consumption so far in 2023. And this summary of the past 2 days, April 28+29 2023 lets you see how it varies throughout a 24 hour day. We have not been in a marina or connected to shore power in the past four months and the combination of solar and alternator power is keeping our batteries 100% charged every day and so easily makes it onto our favorites list!
Handholds Everywhere for Everyone
Safety was another of the four design principles we had and one example that has proven to be a big favorite is the way we were able to ensure that there were super solid hand holds for EVERY person onboard from children to adults.
On the exterior the handholds are all 30mm diameter thick walled AL pipe such as these on the aft end of the house roof near the Aft Deck. These pipe handholds also make for eXcellent strong points for fastening things with Dyneme and other lines. Perhaps one of the most important spots for handholds is along the side decks when you are moving between the Fore and Aft Deck areas. On the left you can see the continuous length of AL pipe that runs along the entire edge of the house roof and then the three rows of Dyneema landlines that Christine rigged between each of the sturdy vertical AL stanchion pipes. The top lifeline is 1 meter above the deck so hits most adults about waist height which ensures that even if you were to be thrown against these you would be stopped and not flipped over top. Up at the Bow there is a very solid set of AL pipe railings that wrap all the way around and make this area extremely safe and fun spot to be for dolphin watching or just dangling your feet overboard and taking in the scenery at anchor or underway. At the far end of the Aft Deck there are solid AL pipe railings for the corner of the deck before the stairs going down to the Swim Step and then a solid AL pipe railing on the other side of the steps. In the Engine Room, Mr. Gee has a full set of AL pipe railings wrapped around him to ensure you can’t be tipped over onto him in rough seas and these have worked out very well to also provide good support as you are leaned over working on various parts. On the interior of the boat one of our favorite esthetic features of the gorgeous Rosewood cabinetry is the design we came up with to incorporate built in hand holds to the design that are located on all the cabinets in all the cabins and SuperSalon. This example is on the corner of the Galley cabinet across from where the fridges are located. These solid Rosewood edges wrap around the whole boat to form what we call our “Blue Horizon Line” and their key feature is that they have a deep groove that is at about waist height where your fingers naturally slip in to provide an eXtremely secure hand hold. We have had our grandchildren onboard several times now and these have worked out as designed to be at Goldilocks height and size for their fingers too.
Possibly saving the best for last, something that brings us joy every day is the choice of interior materials we made.
The Rosewood we chose for all the cabinetry really steals the show and this shot of the Galley cabinets will give you some idea. We were very fortunate that Naval Yachts happened to have their very best cabinetmakers throughout the entire build and they were a joy to work together with to produce details such as how all the grain is bookmatched such that it literally flows from one piece to the next. This was made possible because after months of searching we were able to purchase an entire flitch of Brazilian Rosewood that had been flat cut from the same log. As each slice comes off they stack these in order and therefore the grain of each slice follows the next. The other key was finding a matching stack of solid Rosewood that would be used to build the frames and every edge of every panel. NO veneer edging allowed! Unlike more typical construction, all plywood edges had these T shaped pieces of solid Rosewood glued in place and then the veneer was applied AFTER so that it overlapped the solid wood edging. What this does is ensure that there are no glue joints exposed and they become invisible as they gradually transition from veneer to solid. When these panels would be used for a corner of a cabinet, a thick piece of solid Rosewood was glued glued on and then this solid edge was rounded over in a shaper to create a large radius corner The Rosewood was more than 11X the cost of any other hardwood so to help stretch the prized solid pieces it was sometimes possible to glue on a piece of cheaper hardwood like this and then round the Rosewood for the corner. For the very large radius corners, strips of solid Rosewood were edge glued up and then radiused like this. Or like this. When combined with the Turquoise Turkish marble and the inset Blue Horizon line strips, the end result was well worth the extra time and expense to build. We carried the same combination of materials throughout both cabins, Salon and Galley and I hope these few photos help you see why this puts a smile on our faces every day. There is a LOT more that we like about our dear Möbius and she has definitely lived up to being “Project Goldilocks” by being just right, just for us but the above items hit upon most of our top favorite features and I hope this review was worthwhile. Of course there is always the other end of the spectrum and so in the next blog post I will follow up by reviewing things that have not worked out as well or are things we want to change so do stay tuned for that.
As you may recall from reading THIS previous post, we had a very successful passage across the Atlantic from Las Palmas Gran Canarias and arrived in St. Anne on the South end of the French island of Martinique in the early morning hours of January 15th. After 14 days at sea it was an abrupt but enjoyable transition to life on anchor and we spent the next two weeks in the huge anchorage beside the small village of St. Anne. There were literally hundreds of other boats taking advantage of this unusually large shallow sandy bottom anchorage area which makes for ideal anchorage in about 6 meters/18 ft of water. This sundown photo from shore only shows about a quarter of the anchorage so difficult to capture in one shot.
Martinique and Guadalupe to the North are what are referred to as “overseas departments” of France meaning they are technically considered a part of France which provides them with many benefits compared to the other Caribbean islands. Martinique has a land area of 1,128 km2 (436 sq mi) and a population of about 370k with a great variety of terrain from near desert to high mountains. Philip had a rental car and so we spent several days driving around the island to get a better feel for its diversity. First settled by the French, Dominica became a British colony in 1805, though a much neglected one that led to their independence in 1978.
If you look at the bottom of the map above you can see that the bay we are in just off of St. Anne continues a long ways NE and you find several hundred more boats anchored in the neighboring bay off of the larger town of Le Marin where there are also several large marinas and charter boat facilities. So we didn’t exactly have this all to ourselves but the island treasures more than made up for it. We took the Tender all the way up this bay to check out the facilities in Le Marin and Philip kindly drove us there several times so we could stock up on what we needed from the large chandleries, grocery and hardware stores in this much larger town. We had changed course part way across the Atlantic to land in Martinique rather than our original destination further south on the island of Grenada when we found out that our long time sailing friend from Switzerland was going to be in Martinique enjoying his latest passion of kite foiling. It had been over two years since we were last with Philip so one of the many gifts of the past two weeks has been time with him. Here we are tasting some of the local artisan rum at a distillery we toured. The history of many of the Caribbean islands is mixed with the creation of rum as sugar cane was such a major crop on most islands. This particular distillery is trying to capture the variety of different sugar cane using the traditional manual processes and made for a very fun tour. This is all located on the grounds of an old historical site that provided a dramatic setting for the distillery with all its now well restored old buildings.
On one of our many outings with Philip we went over to the area where he kite foils and timed it to be on a Sunday afternoon when there is a weekly jazz festival which made for a very chill afternoon. Being so close, we took several walks along the southern end of Martinique which had its own diversity of idyllic sandy beaches. and ocean vistas like this looking South over to the island of St. Vincent. As you can see, the Sargasso weed we encountered all the way across the Atlantic, is very prevalent here as well. On January 23rd, I reached my own milestone during our time at St. Anne with my very own embarras de choix of gifts including time with Philip and a surprise virtual B’day party that my Beautiful Bride secretly orchestrated. Over 35 of my dearest friends and family called into the group video from a vast swath of the planet stretching from Auckland NZ to Switzerland to make this an eXtremely memorable birthday. My thanks to all who gifted me with your time on this very special B’day call.
RIght now, our thought is to make our way North from here as we wander our way through many of the other Caribbean islands and then follow the arc of other islands East over to the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and the Bahamas. We will start our Northern journey by going up to the next island of Dominic which has a special place in Christine’s heart from her previous time there on her sailboat Sunrise in the 1990’s. We keep our eye on the weather forecasts every day and on Thursday (Feb. 2nd) the constant Easterly Trade Winds were down a bit so we hoisted the anchor and headed up to the NW corner of Martinique for a short overnight anchor before heading out into the straits between Martinique and Dominica. After relatively short sail of about 30nm and we arrived in the small roadsted at Le Prêcheur (see map above) late in the afternoon after leaving Saint Anne about 2pm. This map will give you a better sense of this string of Caribbean islands that we will be cruising through in the coming weeks. After a good nights rest anchored off of Le Prêcheure we weighed anchor on Friday morning and headed North to cross over to Dominica. The forecasts for lighter winds didn’t prove to be very accurate as we had average winds of +25 knots with gusts to 35 and 2 meter/6.5ft swells on our Starboard beam aka right side. The constant higher winds on our side helped to reduce the roll a bit and we put the paravanes out for the whole crossing which smoothed the ride out considerably. We passed a number of charter catamarans heading south and they were having a very rough ride in these winds and seas as the swells were quite short periods. As soon as we got in the lee of the southern point of Dominica the swell disappeared and we pulled in the paravanes for a lovely smooth ride up to the NW corner of Dominica to an anchorage off the small town of Portsmouth. Overall trip from St. Anne to Portsmouth was 86nm and we continued to motor through lots of Sargasso weed so we had to slow down and clear the paravane lines two times but our overall speed averaged about 8 knots in spite of the more boisterous winds and seas so we were quite happy with this performance.
NOT to be confused with the Dominican Republic the egg shaped 300 square miles of Dominica is very undeveloped compared to the other Caribbean islands with very few sandy beaches and instead filled with spectacular geological wonders; canyons, hot springs, mountain trails, jungle, ocean cliffs, thriving reefs. The weather has been unusual for this time of year with high 25+ knot winds constantly blowing out of the East and bringing misty overcast skies across the island to where we are, pretty much all the time. Not at all uncomfortable as we are well protected by the mountainous island with almost no fetch between us so even though the winds come racing down the slopes the waters are flat and the boat is very comfy just swinging side to side in a wide arc on the anchor chain as the gusts come through. Our 110kg/240lb Rocna and overall anchoring setup is another of our better decisions and really helps us SWAN, Sleep Well At Night. Since we arrived in Dominica two days ago, we have been getting short bursts of rain with a few bigger downpours from time to time so it is one of those “if you don’t like the weather, wait a few minutes” kind of situation. Ideal time for us to rest up and catch up with our various jobs and projects. We were able to get a very good SIM card from Digicel when we arrived in Martinique and it is supposed to work all the way through the rest of the Caribbean all the way North just short of the Bahamas so we’ve got quite good internet connections which have become about as basic as electricity for us. So that is the latest sit rep for you. We will probably be here in Dominica for the next 3-5 days keeping an eye on the weather looking for the winds and seas to calm down a bit to cross over to what Christine refers to as “the butterfly island” of Guadeloupe, another French island. Stay tuned for that and the update on what else happened here in Dominica.
Thanks for taking the time to join us on these latest adventures and please put your comments, questions and suggestions in the “Join the Discussion” box below.
Reminiscent of the line from one of the Godfather movies I believe “Just when I thought I was out; they pull me back in” Möbius is now back in Finike. Multiple factors driving our decision including that Christine needed to go back to Antalya for one or more consultations with her surgeon who did the arthroscopic operation to fix her torn meniscus and we needed to get the new beam for the Davit Arch brought to Möbius from Naval Yachts in Antalya. As you may recall, Setur Marina here in Finike was our “home port” since last July so we are very familiar with the area and know where to go to get things, who to talk with in our network here to get things done and a good safe spot to have Möbius tied up for a few more weeks while Christine continues her recovery and I get boat jobs done.
Marmaris to Finike
I spent most of the day on Monday going to different marine stores in Marmaris to pick up some of the lines and hardware I need for rigging up our Paravane stabilization system and doing some grocery shopping to stock up for the next week. Christine had found a lovely little anchorage on the charts that was just about 10 nm (nautical miles) from the marina in Marmaris so we untied from the dock and headed over there on Monday afternoon leaving Marmaris in our wake as per the photo. Though I must point out “What wake?” as I am just so pleased with how clean Möbius slices through the water. Thanks Dennis for the great hull design! We tucked inside a small bay with this small island just outside and enjoyed the sundown with some wine up in the SkyBridge with views like this. We had a bit of a rude awakening when a ferry went past the entrance at about 3am which rolled us so bad we almost flew out of bed. After picking up some of the items that had ended up on the floor we decided that we were wide awake and had a long run ahead of us so might as well just weigh anchor and head for Finike. We were rewarded with what was apparently a special “Rose Moon” and very flat seas as you can see so made the decision pretty easy. It was ideal motor boat conditions with glassy flat seas and no wind.
This is a shot of our wake or lack thereof at about 8.3 knots And this is the bow wave.
It was about 110nm down to Finike and these conditions continued the entire way. It was the longest continuous voyage we’ve yet taken aboard Möbius and gave us a good chance to test out running the boat for longer and longer runs as we get everything broken in and learn more and more about running this very unique and new to us boat.
I’ve discovered that our fuel flow meters have not been connected correctly so all my previous fuel burn numbers I’ve published are out by at least 40% so for this run I measured the actual volume of fuel removed from the Day Tank and used this to calculate the true fuel consumption. 109nm total distance traveled and we burned 169 liters so an average of 0.64 nm/L or 2.4 USG/nm which is right on my original estimates and MUCH better than the numbers I had been getting from the fuel flow meters. Just like the oil pressure gauge problems that vexed me in the past, I have once again been tripped up by assuming that the gauges were correct. Silly me!
The Turquoise Coast of Turkey was on full display for the whole day and this photo is typical of what the rugged rocky and forested coastline looks like.
Total trip time anchor to dock was about 13.5 hours so our average speed was 8.1 knots. We will continue to play with the various combinations of Mr. Gee’s RPM and the CPP pitch settings to bring the speed up more and more and find the Goldilocks “sweet spot” for speed, fuel economy and ideal loads.
Progress Update on Christine and XPM Hulls #2 & 3
We rented a car for Tuesday morning and drove down to the hospital in Antalya for Christine’s checkup and to get the stitches removed. Typical of our experiences with Turkish medical treatment at least at this hospital, it took less than 20 minutes from the time Christine walked in with no appointment to when she was back out front of the hospital stitches removed and an A+ report card from her surgeon. She is still not getting off the boat too much yet but the swelling is way down as is the pain and she is able to walk more and more around the boat so a full recovery is looking more and more likely. Doc said she could go swimming as of today (Sunday) so we will probably go for our first swim of the year when I get this blog posted. While we were in Antalya, we asked Naval Yachts if we could stop by the Free Zone to see how the two new XPM builds are going and this is what XPM78-02 “Vanguard” is looking like. And this is what XPM85-01 is looking like while still upside down getting all the hull plates welded on. She is due to flip right side up next month which is always a very big milestone in a build and we could not be more excited for her owners Andrew and Lili. A view of Vanguard from the rear Port quarter. Those with detailed eyes will perhaps notice that the owners have decided to paint the hull so you can see the first coat of primer has been applied to the hull sides. One of the major differences between our XPM78-01 and this second version is that it will be a twin engine/prop boat. These are the partially completed skegs that house the prop shafts. No change here on the Swim Platform with the doghouse for entering into the Engine Room and the same stairs on boat sides leading up to the Aft Deck. With twin JD engines the Engine Room will be much more traditional with a full beam layout but this comes at the expense of the Workshop we have in Möbius with the smaller central ER for Mr. Gee. The Basement has also been eliminated on Vanguard so the ER will also have most of the systems equipment located within as well. Up above on the Aft Deck the cantilevered roof is much longer and more substantial than on Möbius which will provide more shelter underneath and space for solar panels above. These are the drawings and renderings for one of the two guest cabins, this one located at the very front near the forepeak. Construction of the furniture for this cabin has begun and this will be the cabin for the Owners’ young son. Shower and toilet in the cabin’s Head. Probably the biggest single difference between Möbius and Vanguard is that they have replaced the Basement underneath the floor of the Salon with this spacious Master Cabin. To get the additional 1.2m of headroom needed, the tank tops have been lowered and the whole Salon has been raised. Provides a significant increase in the sleeping area but comes at the expense of storage so all part of the compromises of designing and building a boat that best matches her owners. The additional height is easy to see when you notice how the bottom of the Salon windows now sit about 40cm above the deck where they are almost flush on Möbius. Another very visible difference with the addition of these tall bulwarks that run down the entire length of both sides of the deck. Will make for a much safer feeling that many prefer when traversing these side decks. Seen from the Aft Deck of Vanguard, the stern of XPM85-01 shows how it too will be a twin engine boat and the two prop tunnels are easy to see now. A worm’s eye view underneath the XPM85 shows how the upside down framing is supported by the steel structure attached to the concrete floor of the shipyard. Still a long way to go and a LOT of welding but they are off to a good start as you can see looking up into what will be the Engine Room of the XPM85. Looking aft from the bow, the plates for the sides of the hull are being held in alignment by all these sacrificial AL bars. The plates are pushed/pulled into alignment and then these bars are tack welded to hold the plates in position for the MIG welders to sew together all the seams. Same “crash bulkhead” bow design and central anchor snubber nose cone. As exciting as it was to see all the progress on these next two XPM hulls, what really got our hearts racing was finding this completed new beam for the Davit Arch on Möbius! We are ever so appreciative of Naval Yachts getting this replacement beam fabricated in record time. All thanks to Dennis’ even speedier redesign and testing of this new beam so our thanks to all. I’ve arranged for a bonded truck to bring it from the Free Zone to Finike this coming week and with any luck I’ll be able to show you the new and improved Davit Arch installed and working on Möbius in next week’s update.
We have decided to go with passive rather than active stabilization, at least for the foreseeable future and will use a pair of A-frame booms that can be lowered to about 45 degrees off each side of the Aft Deck. The aluminium booms have been installed for some time now so this week I was finally able to do the rigging to raise/lower the booms. As with most of the other rigging on Möbius I am using synthetic rope most commonly known as Dyneema or Amsteel. As incredible as it sounds this new age line is stronger than multi stand stainless steel wire and is SO much easier to rig and replace. It is easily cut with this “hot knife” and I just wrap the location of the cut with grey PVC tape and then slice through the line with the red hot blade. This leaves a very nicely fused end on the line so it does not unravel and is easy to handle. This is the setup that will raise and lower the booms from vertical when stowed to about 45 degrees when deployed. Very simple setup with the end of the line attached to the bracket on the left which is about half way up the 6.2m/20ft long boom pole and then over through the black turning block and down to the winch below.
Deploying the paravane booms is a simple matter of slipping the line on the winch to lower the boom until ……
…….. the fixed length support line at the end of the boom goes tight. Looking up from deck level where it is easy to reach and turn the winch handle. Easy to see from this view from the dock. One side all done. Both sides done and this is what it looks like with both paravane booms fully extended. I grabbed this shot from some posts on the Trawler Forum boat “Hobo” to show what it will look like with the paravanes or “fish” as they are often called deployed when underway. Each paravane/fish is suspended by a 9m length of Dyneema from the ends of each boom such that they “fly” through the water about 6m/20ft below the surface and about 5m off the sides of the hull. As the boat tries to roll, one vane resists being pulled up while the other one “dives” down and sets up to resist as the roll goes over to the other side. A bit like the tight rope walker’s pole works. Paravanes also have the benefit of working at anchor as well so no more being tossed out of bed in a rolly anchorage! Some of my fellow Canadian boaters have come up with this design for a DIY paravane and I’ll be using this to build the first pair for Möbius. Plywood is surprisingly difficult to find here so Christine and I spent a few hours when we were in Antalya searching and finally finding a shop in the industrial zone that had some left over 20mm / 3/4” marine plywood left over and kindly agreed to cut the two pieces I need to build our paravanes. When finished our paravanes will look very similar to these also off mv Hobo.
White epoxy painted plywood with aluminium plate for the fin and line attachment. We will use Dyneema rather than SS chain as shown here.
That’s the story for the week of June 13-19 here in Finike and hope your week was similarly productive. Thanks for taking the time to join us here and please do add any and all comments or questions in the “Join the Discussion” box below. Hope to have you here with us again next week.
Christine and I took some much needed time away from boat projects to spend time wtih some dear friends who flew in and stayed aboard Möbius with us. So as you might have noticed I did not manage to get a blog post up last week and hope you enjoyed that break as well! John and his wife Michelle and their four kids are full time live aboards on their Lagoon 500 sailing catamaran which they just crossed the Atlantic on and are now enjoying time in the Caribbean.
John is an eXtremely experienced sailor so having him aboard was a huge help for both Christine and I to have someone like this to bounce ideas off and join forces in our problem solving. Even better, John and I had a few days together by ourselves while Christine flew up to Istanbul to show his daughter Genna “Christine’s Istanbul” as she has become one of its best tour guides from all her previous times there.
When we all reunited on Möbius we set out for a few days and sailed up to a beautiful little anchorage off the village of Kekova and I’ll show you a bit more about that in a moment.
Truth be told, we did spend some time working on boat projects as we took full advantage of tapping into John’s extensive expertise and experience to get his thoughts on several of the projects we have underway as well as some ongoing problems we are trying to sort out. John and family are huge fans of catamarans, and justly so as a family of six most often with other guests aboard but John did admit to a wee bit of Engine Room and Workshop envy while he was here.
Otherwise, not too much in the way of the usual Show & Tell for me to share with you about boat work the past two weeks although I did manage to finish installing the hydraulic steering in our Tender Mobli and this coming week I hope to get back to work on him with installation of the fuel lines, exhaust system and other items needed to be able to start Mobli up and take him out for some sea trials.
However I may not make too much progress on that as we are going to be hauling Möbius out tomorrow morning as a haul out is included in our annual contract here at Setur Marina and so we thought it would be smart to take advantage of the opportunity to fully inspect everything below the waterline, see how well the InterSleek foul release bottom paint has been working after a year in the water and see how the anodes/zincs are doing. Having a slick and slippery bottom and prop will help us get a great start as we finally head back out to sea and out of the Med.
A to Z; the Zen of being at Anchor
The last time we had been on anchor with Möbius was this past June when our two Granddaughters (and their parents) spent the month with us here in Turkey so it was ear to ear grins as we fired up Mr. Gee and headed out to spend a few days with John and Genna aboard and explore a new anchorage just up the coast from us here in Finike.
This is the view as we head out of Finike Marina and some of the mountains that surround us. Genna was hard at work on deck as we left. Meanwhile, John was too busy practicing his rendition of the scene in the movie Titanic but we all have our parts to play right? We have been using out swim ladder with a plank of wood lashed to it for our passerelle to get on/off Möbius while tied up at the marina so we just folded it up for the trip and we were off!
This is our wake at about 7.5 knots with Mr. Gee turning about 1300 RPM. Captain Christine did all the piloting while I kept a close eye on Mr. Gee and all the systems as we continue to put on more nautical smiles and hours. Here she has up up to about 8 knots with Mr. Gee turning about 1300 RPM and burning just a bit less than 19 L/hr or 5 USG/hr which works out to be about 2.4 L/nm or 0.63 USG/nm which we are quite happy with as we slowly break in Mr. Gee and perhaps more so ourselves on this eXtremely new and unique boat for us to sailors. This was the view off our stern as the Captain moved us up to about 8.8 knots @ 1440 RPM consuming about 20.4 L/hr 5.4 USG/hr so about 2.3 L/nm 0.61 USG/nm. Mr. Gee is currently set for 100% or Continuous duty cycle at 150 HP @ 1650 RPM so he still has some room left to go and we will keep moving up to this as we put on more miles and collect all this kind of data to see where the sweet spot is.
For now though, we think this wake at almost 9 knots is pretty sweet! Sweeter still was this view passing the castle above the village of Kekova. as we headed for this lovely little anchorage. Only one other boat was there and we anchored a good ways back from him for some mutual privacy. Always time for one more project right? Just before we put the anchor down John and I installed the new Mantus SS swivel between the anchor chain and our 110Kg/242lb Rocna anchor. We had tried it without the swivel but I had overdesigned the AL anchor rollers a bit and machined a groove in them that kept the chain very snug but would not allow it to rotate at all which made bringing the anchor aboard a bit difficult at times. I’ve been very impressed with how well Mantus makes these swivels and have complete confidence in it and will SWAN, Sleep Well at Night with this no problem.
One more boat job checked off the list! And how much better a spot to sleep can you find than this?! Never content with just one Captain’s hat, Christine decided this was also the perfect opportunity for her to get some more air miles on our drone. Which allowed her to get shots like this. Almost surrealist as it almost looks like it is too good to be real and must be a rendering.
Click to enlarge this or any other photo to see at full resolution. But this was as real as it gets with John, Christine and me enjoying this sunny day in complete silence other than the bells on the goats scrambling on the rocks ashore. And lucky you, Christine has just quickly put together this video montage of some of her drone video and some from John’s camera as he enjoyed exploring more of Möbius.
Hope you enjoyed this more scenic blog post this week and that you will join us again next week when we will report on what we found when we hauled Möbius out after her first 14 months in the water after the initial launch. And please do add any comments or questions in the ‘”Join the Discussion” box below.
I’m going to depart from the usual Show & Tell weekly update posting here today and do something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time and continue to get requests for. It will be less Show/photo based and more Tell/text based than usual so it may not be your cup of tea and please feel free to skim and speed read accordingly.
Over the 5+ years of designing and building what is now XPM78-01 Möbius, I have very gratefully received a lot of recommendations for our followers and others we meet, for equipment and bits of kit they think we should install. This always leads Christine and I to researching and learning as much about each item as we can and that in itself has been eXtremely valuable and helpful. Many people have been surprised at our decisions as to what bits of kit we do decide to use and those that we don’t and have been curious as to our reasons and our process for making these decisions which by now, likely run into the thousands.
I have done my best to answer these questions when they appear here as comments on the blog or ones I receive via Email or text messages and these have often led to valuable exchanges in the discussion section. However, I’ve been meaning to write a better response that outlines our decision making process for a long time and that is what I’m going to do my best at today.
For more details than you probably want with the background and context of our thinking around these topics you can refer to THIS blog post from back in April 2018. In that post you will find two summative points I made that will provide some context to this article;
the byline of our purpose to be “Wandering, Wondering and Pondering the world one nautical smile at a time”
and that we were setting out to; “ design and build an exceptional long range Passage Maker that is strong, safe, fast, fun and efficient, serving as our full time home along with the infrequent guests who join us on expeditions exploring the most remote locations of the world in exceptional safety and comfort.”
Lastly, let me be sure to be clear that ALL of what you will read below is framed within the context of two primary points:
1. Our only application here is for an XPM type of boat that is going to be used as intended to live up to that moniker of eXtreme eXploration Passage Maker.
2. This is all about our pursuit of what we called “Project Goldilocks”, wherein we set out to design and build the just right boat, just for us to live and learn on for the indefinite future.
All our decisions are made within this Goldilocks concept of just right, just for us and while we hope and hear that the sharing our our thinking and our experiences is of some use and value to other cruisers, please don’t misconstrue any of this to be what is “best” for any other boat or sailors.
Decision Making Process:
As with most decision making I think, ours is not a linear step by step process and is more of an ongoing series of discussion, mostly between Christine and myself, which cycle and loop through many different categories but for the sake of this explanation, let me outline the basic categories that we cycle through.
Over the combined years and nautical smiles that we’ve both logged while sailing the world, a set of “first principles” emerged and during the very early days of designing Möbius, after a LOT of discussions between us, we synthesized these down to four: Safety Comfort Efficiency Maintenance or SCEM for short.
Oxford defines First Principles as;
“the fundamental concepts or assumptions on which a theory, system, or method is based”
It was a long and winding but very fun and rewarding effort to boil the results of our discussions down to a “reduction sauce” of SCEM and then articulate what each of these meant to us, but these first principles proved to be invaluable throughout the entire design and build of Möbius and has been generating growing dividends ever since as we continue to use them almost every day.
I don’t think it makes sense to try to put SCEM in any order as they are all important but it would also be true to say that Safety ranks up at the top of our decision making. Safety is also somewhat synonymous with confidence which is a value that we MUST have before we will ever head out to sea or even “just” be on anchor in our floating home.
Safety in this context is primarily the safety of ourselves and our passengers as well as those around us. Whenever we find ourselves in some kind of severe unexpected situation at sea one of us literally asks the other “Is anyone going to die?” and that bifurcates the discussion and our decision making from there. Given our use case of having Möbius take us to some of the most remote locations in the world where we often find ourselves quite totally alone and in some very eXtreme environments, it is not any exaggeration to say that our lives do quite literally depend upon our boat and our ability to use her and it is within this context that safety factors into every decision we make and every bit of kit we install.
It isn’t a “bit of kit” but this first principle of Safety also influenced our very purposeful design of Möbius to be easily mistaken for a military, coast guard, police type boat with a “don’t mess with me” vibe. This all relates back to our use case of being in eXtremely remote locations and locations where conditions ashore are unknown and possibly have people who might be motivated to approach us with mal intent if they see a bright and shiny “superyacht” off their shore.
Two other very quick and different examples, out of hundreds at least, to illustrate our safety based decisions;
1. Anchoring and ground tackle. We prefer to anchor rather than use mooring fields or marinas and SWAN or Sleep Well At Night becomes of paramount concern every night, and day we stay anchored. Our basic tenants for choosing anchor and ground tackle might be summed up as “go big or go home” in that we go with the largest and most bulletproof anchor, chain, windlass, etc. that we can carry. We only want one main anchor on the boat such that EVERY time we put the anchor down we know our best bit of kit is holding us in place be that for an hour’s lunch stop or for weeks or more through storms and all that Mother Nature can test us with. In keeping with another theme in our decision making of only going with “Tried & True”, for our anchor we went with a Rocna, the same brand of anchor that had served us flawlessly through over 12 years of sailing our 52’ steel cutter “Learnativity” and just upsized it to about the largest one they make at 110kg/242lbs. This is attached to 120m/400’ of 13mm / 1/2” G4 galvanized chain and a Maxwell VWC 4000 windlass.
2. FLIR One thermal camera. In last week’s post, you saw a vivid example of the value of this small bit of kit that I used to identify the faulty wiring that had severely overheated and could have easily resulted in a fire and further damage. An odd item that you won’t find included on too many other boat’s list of Safety Equipment but I think last week’s use alone will explain why this is on our list of Safety Equipment.
Comfort in this context is somewhat synonymous with Safety because if we don’t have a boat that allows us to do what we do without being beat up when conditions get rough, or there is equipment that is not comfortable and convenient to use, then we won’t be as likely to use it.
Comfort takes on an eXtremely important role as it encompasses what keeps us wanting to sail further, go to more places, stay longer in those we enjoy and so on. You will often hear those of us who are full time live aboards or spend most of the year living on our boats say that “we are not camping”! For us, this is our home and our life and most of our days so designing and building a boat that will “… take uson expeditions exploring the most remote locations of the world in exceptional safety and comfort.” as I noted in the old April 2018 post I linked to above.
Examples here would include some of the obvious such as eXtremely comfortable Helm Chairs as one of us usually needs to spend most of our waking time on passages sitting in them and when conditions get rough these seats need to keep us comfortably in place and able to fully control the boat while seated.
Less obvious Comfort related items would include things like our paravane stabilisers which dramatically reduce roll both while at sea and on anchor and make life aboard both much more comfortable and safer.
Lack of comfort on an global passage maker such as Möbius would also result in fatigue, aches and pains which would lead to poor and possibly dangerous decisions at sea.
We use Efficiency in an all encompassing way here as it applies to everything from fuel efficiency to cost efficiency to time efficiency. These are often very interrelated to themselves as well as to the other three First Principles of SCEM. Fuel efficiency is obviously related to cost efficiency but less obvious perhaps is the efficiency of things like insulation of the hull and all our bulkheads. This high degree of insulation adds to our overall efficiency in multiple ways such as reducing the energy requirements of our HVAC systems (Heating Ventilation And Cooling) to keep the interior of the boat as cool or warm as we wish. Better insulation also makes the whole boat much quieter, keeping each cabin sonically isolated from both the sounds of others in or on the boat as well as some of the sounds of the sea in big storms which can add to the stress of the situation and which in turn can compromise safety.
Less obvious perhaps are things such as electrical efficiency with sizing everything from wires and cables to batteries, inverters, chargers, refrigeration, HVAC and indeed almost all of our electrical equipment. We have to produce all our own electricity and therefore efficiency in producing every watt and then using every watt most efficiently allows us such “luxuries” as being able to be at anchor indefinitely.
We must also produce all our own Potable water for drinking, cooking, bathing, etc. as this is critical to our self sufficiency and health. Therefore being able to produce all our own fresh water most efficiently in terms of the energy our watermaker requires and the time it takes to do so, factors into our decision making and thus another example of the key role efficiency plays in our decision making and equipment selections.
Actually this should probably be LM as it is all about LACK of Maintenance, but this First Principle also drives a lot of our decisions in the design and building of Möbius. Pretty much everything on a boat, no different than a house or a car, requires maintenance to keep all their bits and pieces working properly, looking good and lasting as long as possible. On a boat, and especially on an XPM boat, the conditions we operate in are much more severe and harsh. Imagine if your home was constantly being shaken, sometimes quite gently as in a swaying tree house, but sometimes shaken quite violently as if it were perched atop the Disneyland Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. Add to this being immersed within salt water and humid salty air and you can begin to appreciate why cruisers often joke that their life is spent moving from one exotic repair destination to the next!
What raises Lack of Maintenance to being a First Principle for us though is what we call the “two hand rule” which we illustrate by holding up our two hands and saying “See these? If something breaks or stops working, these are the only two things that can fix it”. For most of us, doing our own maintenance is the only way we can afford to life this life and for the less sane of us, we actually enjoy working on our boats. Up to a point at least. On a more serious note, in our use case we NEED to be able to fix our boats ourselves by having the neccessary tools, materials, parts and skills because we are often in places or out at sea where we are the ONLY people present. There is no one else to call for parts, tools or expertise and even if there was they couldn’t get to you. In this context then, being able to do your own maintenance and fixing can become something your life depends upon.
In our case examples of decisions we have made that are highly influenced by the Maintenance or lack thereof principle, are things such as deciding to build an aluminium boat and to leave it all raw and unpainted. Aluminium naturally forms a thin almost invisible layer of Aluminium Oxide on the surfaces exposed to air which therefore creates an eXtremely hard inert protective coating that requires zero maintenance on our part.
Lack of Maintenance also drove other exterior decisions such as having no paint, no stainless, and no wood. In addition to the significant reduction in Maintenance, these decisions also go towards cost efficiency as repainting a boat, keeping it all clean and shiny and varnished, is also eXtremely eXpen$ive so the benefits start to multiply.
Another good example of this decision making process and how our first principles often multiply each other is our choosing to go with Carbon Foam FireFly batteries. We literally live off our batteries as we have no generator (also less maintenance and more comfort) and these Carbon Foam batteries are about as bullet proof as batteries get, require almost no maintenance, have extremely long cycle life and are eXtremely cost effective.
Whew! As usual, your brevity challenged author has yet again applied his mastery of neverasentencewhenaparagraphwilldo to make this go much longer than originally intended and so I’m going to stop here and follow the lead of the truly talented author onboard, Captain Christine Kling, and turn this book aka article, into a multi part series.
Here are some examples of topics I will cover in the next parts of this series about how and why we make the decisions and chose the equipment that we install on Möbius:
What problem is this item attempting to solve?
Is the problem/item a want or a need?
Consequences of adding this item? Domino effect?
Does it pass the Goldilocks test?
New Tech or Tried & True?
Valuation? Is it the best value?
Perhaps the most important reason for stopping here and turning this into a series of articles is to pause to ask YOU if this is the kind of content you want and find useful???
I’m not suggesting that this will become the new form for all my future articles as I think it only fits a few topics and I will continue to produce the Show & Tell articles as the work on finishing and then cruising on Möbius continues. However I would be eXtremely appreciative if you would add a short comment in the “Join the Discussion” box below to let me know your thoughts on this type of content, and the Show & Tell ones as well so I can get a better feel for what’s working best for you and what’s not? What would you like more of/less of? What topics would you like me to address that I have not so far?
I can’t promise that I can or will do all that you ask but I do promise to take your suggestions into account as I continue to write and post here on the Mobius.World blog. My thanks in advance to all your feedback and assistance in improving my writing. As you’ve clearly seen I can use ALL the help I can get!!
As most of you know by now, Christine is American and I am Canadian so this was a big week as both our countries celebrated their independence within days of each other; Canada day on Thursday July 1st and today being July 4th for the USA. However, Friday July 2nd, was THE most special independence day celebration for us as this was the day we felt we and our new world aboard Möbius achieved our true independence. Why Friday? Well because that was the day that we took Möbius out for her maiden voyage and a whole set of firsts such as our first overnight on anchor. Hard to capture how this felt having been five years in the making but I’ll do my best, try to keep it short and let the photos do most of the talking with that “photo is worth a thousand words” thought in mind. Here goes ………
After waiting SO long for this to all happen the past few days have been a bit of a blur and reminds me of the “hurry up and wait” condition I learned in the Canadian military.
Mid day on Monday Christine went up to the marina office to let them know that we would be ready to launch in the next few days and they told her that the TraveLift was going in for service tomorrow so if we wanted to launch it had to be NOW! Fortunately I had Mr. Gee all back together again and running the day before which was where I left off in last week’s update posting and the remaining jobs could be done in the water so we were good to Go! This is actually the third time we have splashed Möbius here at Setur marina so it didn’t take them long to get the slings positioned under Möbius round belly and we had lift off in no time flat. Down came all the vertical posts holding us up and we were headed for the TraveLift launch pads. Which are less than 100 meters away so again, mere minutes. We hover over the water for a few minutes and then down we go till the straps are loose and I can head below to check for any leaks. All’s well down below, just the way we like it, not a drop of salt water to be found and so we give the thumbs up to the crew with our thanks and the TraveLift is off for its servicing leaving us floating merrily in the water at last.
Flange Alignment v2.0
One of the last jobs of putting Mr. Gee all back together again was to recheck the alignment of the flanges that couple the output of the Nogva CPP gearbox to the prop shaft.
If you have been following the whole Mr. Gee v2.0 rebuild you may recall that I left the Nogva gearbox bolted in place to the engine beds with the two anti-vibration mounts on either side so it *should* not have moved but this alignment is critical to smooth vibration free power transfer from Mr. Gee through to the 1 meter OD 4 bladed CPP propeller and as per the illustration above, the two flanges have to be near perfectly aligned with no more than 0.05 of a millimeter deviation. For reference a strand of average human hair has a diameter between 0.06 and 0.08 mm.
Not a difficult job, fist step is to remove the composite grated flooring and unbolt the sealed AL panel underneath to reveal the space where the prop shaft enters the boat. Then remove all 8 hardened bolts around the flanges, pull the flanges apart by sliding the prop shaft back a few inches and then moving it forward till the two flanges touch. Then you use feeler gauges to determine the exact size of any gap between the two flanges. In my case the gap was 0.06mm so it only required a tweak with a pry bar on the front of the Gardner to eliminate that and then I could torque the 8 bolts back to a grunt worthy 240 Newton Meters and the propulsion system was good to Go! It was also time to say bye bye to Mr. Gee’s original crankshaft and pack him all up for a safe trip back to Gardner Marine Diesel in Canterbury England where they will grind all the journals and have it ready to be installed in the next marine 6LXB engine they build.
At about 220kg / 485 Lbs, the wooden crate that GMD had made to send the new crank to me, would work well for the return flights and I added a few 2×2 timbers through screwed into the framing of their crate for good measure and one more component is Good to Go!
SkyBridge Lounge Act v1.0
As we are doing with many aspects of this very new boat, we are using this first year of living aboard to make lots of adjustments as we determine just how we tend to use various spaces and equipment and THEN we will build them in permanently. The most recent example is the layout and furniture for the upper SkyBridge area in front of the Helm Station.
What we decided to do is buy some inexpensive modular outdoor patio furniture which we could rearrange into various different configurations to see what we tended to gravitate to and use most often. Once we know that I can build in a more permanent set of furniture next year.
So Captain Christine has been on the hunt for the past few months at all the home supply stores here in Antalya and her choice arrived on this pallet on Wednesday. The L-shaped sectional couch and glass topped table are made from aluminium tube covered with plastic rattan like weaving so they are super lightweight and will work well in our salty environment.
Minutes later, the Captain could take the new lounge setup out for a quick test drive and seems to be pleased with her choices. I soon followed suit and am sitting here now typing up this blog post for you. Not a bad office, and one of several we no have onboard.
Wayne’s Newest Toy!
Christine and I are both running on fumes energy wise and so on Thursday we took the day off to drive about 2hrs north to the big city of Denizli where a brand new air compressor was waiting to be picked up. I had sent a new compressor over from Florida with all our other effects and boat parts a few years ago but it was DOA due to a faulty install and the best option for this critical bit of kit was to go for an upgraded new version which you see here on the Swim Platform Thursday afternoon.
2HP dual motors with dual compressors on each, 60L AL tank and super quiet!
I will soon be mounting this compressor under one of the AL workbenches in the Workshop where I will plumb it into the PVC pipes that run the full length of the Port side of the hull all the way up to the Forepeak with quick connect fittings in each area along the way. I’ve had compressed air on boats for so long I can’t imagine a boat without and use it daily for powering pneumatic tools such as sanders and impact guns and being able to clear out debris from clogged tubes and just general cleanup. Also super handy for quickly filling things like air mattresses and our inflatable kayak.
Compressed air is also how I clear any clogs in our Sea Chest with a quick blast in the fittings installed in each plexiglass lid.
But perhaps our favorite use is to supply the air for our two Hookah regulators which allow us to stay underwater with just a regulator in our mouth, no tanks, to do maintenance on the hull such as keeping the silicone foul release paint super slick and clean or to explore some of the nearby coral and underwater life around Möbius. We will also have a 12V Hookah setup in the Tender to be able to enjoy underwater wonders further afield.
Maiden Voyage v1.0
Still not quite believing it, we seemed to finally be ready to head out to open ocean waters for the first time and have Mr. Gee take Möbius and us out for our Maiden Voyage! With everything from Mr. Gee to so many other systems being all new or on version 2.0, we spent Friday morning checking everything over multiple times, getting Mr. Gee warmed up, bow thrusters working, steering working, charting and all nav systems working and at 13:20 Friday July 2nd, 2021 we cast off the dock lines and headed out through the breakwater of the Antalya harbour to officially begin our latest adventure.
In a rare attempt at brevity to try to say how pleased we are, I will simply show you a set of shots of the wake we left as we slowly increased the pitch and thus speed through the water as we pointed Möbius’ bow to the horizon. These shots of the wake behind Möbius at different speeds probably won’t be too exciting for many of you but for us, this is a huge part of the “proof of the pudding” from all the time we invested with Dennis in designing this hull to be eXtremely efficient for maximum speed with minimum power and fuel burn and to be slick, slippery and smooth as she slices through the water.
This is the wake at 7.2 kts off the Swim Platform. Longer range shot still at 7.2 kts 20 minutes later, dialing in a bit more pitch this is what it looked like at 8.5 kts Just a bit more speed with a bit more pitch but still keeping well under full load as we break in Mr. Gee very gently, this was our top speed for this first outing of 9.2 kts. I will publish tables of data like this in the coming weeks but one quick shot for those curious, this is the EGT and Fuel burn rate at 8.5 kts with Mr. Gee spinning at 1500 RPM. For reference, EGT at full continuous load rating for Mr. Gee at 1650 is 400C
After two hours testing out different pitch/speed combinations, some hard turns and circles to familiarize ourselves with steering and handling Captain Christine headed us for this small nearby uninhabited island. At her cue I dropped “Rocky” our 110Kg / 243 Lb Rocna anchor into the sea for his first bite of bottom sand. As usual for a Rocna he bit right away in about 30 feet of water, Christine backed down to give him a good pull for a few minutes and Möbius settled back with the 13mm / 1/2” chain hanging straight down in these calm waters. First order of business?
Our first dives off the Swim Platform!
(you can just make out Christine about to enjoy her first dive into these cool clear blue Aegean waters.) We swam around Möbius for the very fist time under Barney’s close scrutiny from deck. While this view of the shoreline of the mainland off our Port side isn’t too bad, what was breathtaking for us as we did our first lap around Möbius, was to be looking up to see our visions we developed over all these past years now be a realty looming overhead.
Suffice it to say that our fist night at anchor was pure bliss!
Oh, and for those curious, Mr. Gee performed flawlessly throughout the 5.5 hours we ran him out and back on this Maiden Voyage. Here is a shot of his oil pressure and oil temperature after running at various loads for about 2 hours on the way back to the marina on Saturday doing about 8.5 kts @ 1500 RPM. As happy as you can imagine we were when we returned to the marina yesterday afternoon after about 3 hours of more testing and maneuvering, we are even MORE excited here on Sunday night as we fly to Istanbul in the morning to meet our daughter Lia, husband Brian and our two granddaughters Brynn and Blair! This is a family get together that has been delayed for over 2 years and we are eXtremely eXcited to see this vision also become reality and I’ll have a bit more about this in next week’s post when we fly back here with all of them next Thursday.
Thanks for joining us through this eXtremely long and winding adventure that it has taken us to get here. Hope you have enjoyed it and we will continue to keep you posted as we switch into cruising mode and can provide more of the real world data and experiences aboard XPM78-01 Möbius that many of you are apparently anxious to receive.