How & Why do we make all our Decisions on Designing, Building and outfitting XPM78-01 Möbius?

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. 

Mobius front Stbd renderOver 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. 

Contextual Background:

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. 

SCEM analysis

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.

SAFETY:

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. 
PXL_20201014_082740608.MPIn 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.
PXL_20210801_115654076In 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;

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 us on 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.

Llebroc Upper Helm ChairExamples 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. 

Paravane System wholeLess 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.

EFFICIENCY:

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.

MAINTENANCE:

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.

Firefly G31   L15  photoAnother 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!!

Hope to have you back again to join me next week.

-Wayne

Independence Day at Last! XPM78-01 Möbius Progress Update June 28-July 4, 2021

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 ………

Launch v2.0

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. 

PXL_20210629_105110233Mid 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!
PXL_20210629_110128821Fortunately 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!
PXL_20210629_111959834This 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.
PXL_20210629_112354972Down came all the vertical posts holding us up and we were headed for the TraveLift launch pads.
PXL_20210629_112427614Which are less than 100 meters away so again, mere minutes.
PXL_20210629_114303435We 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.
PXL_20210629_114815988All’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

Nogva Flange Alignment

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.

PXL_20210629_080919414If 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. 
PXL_20210629_080936243Then 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!
PXL_20210629_103444536It 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

PXL_20210629_153242188As 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.
PXL_20210702_135131703.MPThe 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.
IMG_1574I 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!

PXL_20210701_140317700Christine 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.
PXL_20210701_140322410 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.

PXL_20210702_113946968In 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.
PXL_20210702_104321751.MPThese 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.
PXL_20210702_104336523.MPLonger range shot still at 7.2 kts
PXL_20210702_105213682.MP20 minutes later, dialing in a bit more pitch this is what it looked like at 8.5 kts
PXL_20210703_105839330.MPJust 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.
PXL_20210702_104840861I 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

Anchor Down!

PXL_20210703_054539362After 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.
PXL_20210702_130359173.MPAt 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.
PXL_20210702_130314931First 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.)
PXL_20210703_054502939.MPWe swam around Möbius for the very fist time under Barney’s close scrutiny from deck.
PXL_20210703_054435979While 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!


PXL_20210702_113817556Oh, 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.

-Wayne


The Aqueous Phase of the Build – XPM78-01 Möbius 22-27 Feb, 2021

A VERY busy week here onboard the Good Ship Möbius as everyone on Team Möbius moves into the final stage of the build completing all the installations of equipment and beginning the commissioning of all these systems by their factory representatives and others.  Due to a major reconstruction project of the harbour inside the Free Zone * which removed all the previous launching facilities, Naval needed to launch us quite a bit sooner than expected by transporting Möbius overland to the nearby Setur Marina.  So in addition to the usual post launch commissioning of systems, we all continue to work our way through the Punch List of jobs needing to be completed in order to get Möbius into seaworthy condition to begin taking her out for sea trials.  To say that we are all eXtremely busy would be the understatement of the year!  But. for Christine and me, we are even more eXtremely eXcited to be back where we belong, home onboard a boat that floats.

* You can learn all about this huge and fascinating project by watching THIS VIDEO ANIMATION which does a great job of showing how the whole new harbour facility will work.

I hope you will accept my apologies in advance for another hurried weekly Möbius Update as I blast through as much of all the different jobs that we have all worked on this past week.  So grab your favorite beverage and chair and join me for this week’s Show & Tell.

Let me start with a quick snapshot leading up to this adventure that began over 5 years ago.


Mobius front Stbd render

After two years of intense collaborative design work with our AbFab Naval Architect Dennis at Artnautica Yacht Design, the building of XPM78-01 Möbius began at Naval Yachts on April 6, 2018. 
Launching Stbd side from Dincer1053 days of build time later, as most of you have likely seen in last week’s posting HERE, she finally left that temporary womb last Friday for a watery delivery into her permanent home with Mother Ocean last Saturday. 
PXL_20210222_081251718As I write this blog post from the SkyBridge of our beloved Möbius, we have just finished our first week afloat tied up to the concrete dock wall inside the Antalya Free Zone Harbour. 

And I am VERY happy, though not surprised, to report that ALL the sea water has remained where it belongs OUTSIDE of Möbius and our bilges only hold the remnants of construction dust and debris.

DOCKSIDE NEIGHBORS

PXL_20210222_081426614

Looking all the world to me like two tugs that escaped from a children’s animation story, these two almost new tugs are our most immediate neighbors.
PXL_20210223_125007789.MPTied up less than a meter in front of Möbius’ Bow.
PXL_20210227_065047889

These two tugs have crew aboard 24/7 as they are responsible for bringing every cargo ship into and out of the commercial side of the Harbour such as this recent little visitor, the 180m 36k Ton Argo B, who left about 04:30 this morning after loading up with several thousand “Big Bags” of industrial dry goods.
PXL_20210225_063350261These two tugs are also the Fire Boats for the Harbour.  And last night, they surprised and delighted us by bringing over a home made pizza just out of their oven!  Can’t think of a better example of why we LOVE living with these awemazing people of Turkey.
PXL_20210222_084755831.MPTied up almost as closely to our Stern is this first of four Police boats which are being built by Ares Yachts here in the Free Zone for the government of Oman.  These are a bit longer than us at about 26m but share many of the same basic attributes as our XPM-78 with all aluminum construction and built like the proverbial tank.
PXL_20210225_064345248We even have the same jet propulsion system though in our case just with our Tender and a single not these massive twin jet drives driven by two equally massive MAN diesel engines.
PXL_20210226_102842036One item that we do not share, YET! with these boats is that mount for a 50 cal machine gun.  But rest assured that once I get my 3D printer setup one of my first projects will be to create a realistic enough looking plastic replica to produce a silhouette that will add to our “don’t mess with me!” look to any onlookers thinking of approaching us with mal intent!
PXL_20210228_064153289I took this shot of our neighborhood early this morning after the Argo B had left and the tugs were back in front of us.  The weather has been truly spectacular for the past two weeks with daytime highs reaching 24C/77F and gloriously sunny clear blue skies with very little wind.  Not a bad place to spend our first week afloat.

For safety of such a new and incomplete boat, Christine and I are sleeping aboard each night and then going back to our apartment for breakfast and dinner and then we will move aboard full time once all the sea trials are done.

ANCHOR AWEIGH!

Bow render w anchor no railsOne of the projects I did not have enough time to show you last week was the completion of our rather unique “Sidewinder” anchor roller assembly that Dennis and I came up with so let me show that to you now.
150 Anchor Roller dim dwg v3I decided to make the two anchor rollers out of solid aluminium and didn’t take me long to design a 3D model of this in Autodesk Fusion 360 and create the 2D dimensioned drawings to machine them from.
PXL_20210210_133511164Aluminium is a dream to work with and the in house machine shop has a very good sized lathe that was easily able to machine the two anchor rollers out of a single blank of 200mm/8” OD aluminium round stock.
PXL_20210215_101708879I wanted to keep the anchor and the chain electrically isolated from the hull to reduce any corrosion problems and was able to do so with two details.  One is this Black Delrin bushing which we press fit into each roller with a nice rolling fit for the 40mm/1.6” SS pin that each roller spins on.
PXL_20210215_101554236The second isolating detail was to machine these Teflon discs that get separate the sides of the rollers from the inside cheeks of the anchor roller assembly welded into the hull.  Then a large SS end cap bolts on either end of the SS pin on the outside.
PXL_20210217_111230847Here is what that all looks like when assembled.
PXL_20210216_121707878For safety and quiet when pounding into big seas we very specifically designed the whole roller assembly to exactly match the shape of this 125kg/275lb Rocna anchor by obtaining a 3D model from Rocna to design with.  The way our design works is that those flared out bottom edges you see in the photo above have been designed such that they exactly match up with the inside of the flukes of the Rocna when pulled aboard and thus the Rocna becomes one with the hull and will not budge no matter what Mother Nature throws at us.  This creates not only a very tough and strong anchor mounting setup but also one that does not make any noise due to movement between the anchor and the roller assembly which is so common on many other boats we have run.
PXL_20210217_111212651So Nihat, Uğur and I spent quite a few hours with the anchor raised on a chain block that allowed us to get the position of the anchor just right and then layout the centers for each SS roller pin.  Front pin and roller have been mounted here and we are laying out the location for the 2nd Aft roller.
PXL_20210217_112203638Uğur and I came up with this idea of building an extended 40mm carbide hole saw so that he could drill both cheeks in one go and keep the two holes for the SS roller pin on the same centerline.  We lucked out finding the head of a 40mm carbide hole saw with its shank broken off and Uğur TIG welded a 200mm/8” long piece of 13mm/ 1/2” OD rod to it that we could chuck in my Milwaukee drill.  Worked like a charm!
PXL_20210217_134123280.MPWith the rollers both installed we tested it all out with the 13mm / 1/2” chain and the Maxwell VWC4000 Windlass and did a bit of tweaking of the rollers final shape to capture the chain nicely so it stays aligned as the chain goes Out/In and doesn’t twist. 
PXL_20210218_130220400Did not take us long to get to the Goldilocks Just Right point
PXL_20210219_063440982.MPand “Rocky” was in his new home as solid as his name.
PXL_20210217_151007235.MPUğur and Nihat both gave it their thumbs up and so we knew it was good to go!

BOTTOMS UP!

Another job and details I did not have time to post last week prior to the launch was the finishing of the silicone based International InterSleek 1100SR Foul Release bottom paint and the zinc anodes so let me go back and show you that.

PXL_20210215_101207324Once the super slick, slippery and shiny silicone InterSleek was fully dry the last few underwater details could be attended to such as mounting the Red plastic prop on the Vetus 220kgf 300mm/12” Extended Run Time Bow Thruster.
PXL_20210215_101145530Which is capped off with its own Zinc to reduce any problems with corrosion due to the mix of dissimilar metals involved with its construction of Bronze, SS and AL.
PXL_20210216_111830409.MPIn keeping with our Darth Vader, lean & mean look, we decided to make the 100mm/4” Boot Stripe that makes the transition between the top of the Black InterSleek and the bare AL hull, be gloss Black as well and we are eXtremely happy with the result that emerged as the masking tape came off to reveal the final look.
PXL_20210216_121054898The final detail for the underwater portion of the hull was mounting the ten 125mm / 5” diameter Zinc anodes which keeps all the metal bits that are in contact with seawater all at the same potential voltage and eliminates the battery effect that would eat away at our precious Stainless Steel, AL and Bronze components. 
PXL_20210216_121611273Being near the bottom of the Noble scale of metals, Zinc is what will erode instead and makes it easy to replace the zincs every few years when they get too worn away.
PXL_20210216_121418621.MPWe designed a very simple mounting system for the Zincs and Uğur had previously welded 80mm discs of 20mm / 3/4” thick AL to the hull with an M16 thread in the center for the SS M16 bolt that he is fastening this Zinc on the Rudder with.
PXL_20210219_063321360To ensure a good electrical connection for many years between the Zinc and the AL mounting disc, we coated those surfaces and the bolt with dielectric grease and then I followed along after Uğur and covered the SS bolt heads with some clear silicone to make it all the easier to remove and replace these zincs in a couple of years.  I usually do this while the boat is in the water using my Hookah or Snuba system so these little details all help to make that job go quick and easy.
PXL_20210219_063354149With all these preparations of the below the waterline areas of the hull and everything removed from underneath, Möbius was ready for the arrival of “Big Bird” the yellow 72 wheel boat mover to arrive the next morning and carry her overland to the marina for launching.

TILLER ARM DETAILS:


Tiller Arm w cylindersAnother few details that we needed to look after before Launch Day were for the all important steering system and the Tiller Arm in particular.  Similar to the Bow Rollers, last year I had designed this typically over engineered Tiller Arm in Fusion 360 and had it CNC milled out of a single block of aluminum.
Tiller Arm being fittedHere is a shot from almost a year ago when we first mounted the finished Tiller Arm to the 127mm / 5” OD solid AL Rudder Post.
PXL_20210118_151755877And here is a more recent shot of what it looks like with the two double acting Kobelt hydraulic steering cylinders in place.
PXL_20210215_143337875Such a massive Tiller Arm being powered by equally as beefy twin hydraulic cylinders, produces a LOT of force and so there needs to be some eXtremely strong and solid Tiller Arm Stops built in to stop the Tiller Arm when it goes hard over to each side.  Fusion 360 to the rescue yet again to help me quickly design these Stops which Uğur and Nihat quickly fabricated and were ready to mount.
PXL_20210215_153108831After carefully testing out the Just Right position for each stop, they were able to drill the four holes in the AL Rudder Shelf and bolt down one Stop in either side of the Tiller Arm body.  The SS bolt and lock nut allow us to adjust the final Stop position of the Tiller Arm once we are in the water and have the steering all working.
PXL_20210118_134133102I like to practice and live well by what I call “Readiness for the UneXpected” and in the case of our steering system that meant having multiple layers of fault tolerance for the Steering System.  This starts with twin independent Kobelt 7080 hydraulic steering cylinders sized so that either one can fully steer the boat in the most adverse sea conditions.

Then two independent Kobelt Accu-Steer HPU400 24V hydraulic Power Pack pumps, two independent Furuno 711C AutoPilots plus two independent Furuno Jog Levers.  This gives us eight levels of fault tolerance to go through.



PXL_20210226_121100138And if ALL of that should uneXpectedly fail, then we have this Kobelt manual hydraulic Steering Pump ……………
PXL_20210225_140913191.MP ……….. that we can slide this Emergency Steering wheel onto and steer the boat the “old fashioned” way.
PXL_20210121_080012586.MPAnd if ALL of that should somehow uneXpectedly fail we have THIS final layer of fault tolerance for our steering system; a completely independent and manual Emergency Tiller Arm.
PXL_20210118_134143252Can’t get too much more KISSS or Keep It Simple Smart & Safe than this; a 2m/6.5ft length of 80mm thick walled AL pipe that slides through the 20mm/ 3/4” thick plate we see Uğur bolting to the Tiller Arm body and then the pipe slides through a matching hole bored through the top of the Rudder Post. 
PXL_20210121_080012586.MPWe attach a block and tackle setup on each side of the end of the Emergency Tiller which fasten to shackles mounted on stringers on the adjacent hull sides which allows us to move and lock the Rudder in any position we want.

Yes, I do know that it works and Yes, you can ask me how I know that!

Miscellaneous Work on Deck

Finishing up this blog post is between me and another very late dinner so I’m going to speed through a series of other jobs that got done this first week in the water.
PXL_20210215_131834473Turkish Turquoise Marble countertops got installed atop both Vent Boxes on the Aft Deck to create our Outdoor Galley.
PXL_20210215_131519658.MPSS sink plumbed.
PXL_20210215_085612478And installed in the Starboard/Right side Vent Box.
PXL_20210215_131927886Plumbing connections all ready to connect to the sink; Red & Blue PEX lines with shut off valves for the Hot/Cold water to the sink faucet, Brass elbow for the sink’s drain and small Blue tube with the Black elbow to drain the water extracted by the Mist Eliminator grills in the Engine Room supply air duct.
PXL_20210216_105438835.MPOrhan with his home made adaptor for his pneumatic caulking gun ……..
PXL_20210216_122129530…….  to get into some hard to reach spots around the Pilot House windows like these.
PXL_20210218_134142509Uğur prepping the nylon insert mounts for the Passarella on the Swim Platform and another on the Port side gate.
PXL_20210226_122256916Ever the ingenious one on Team ,Uğur came up with this brilliant DIY solution for mounting our Fire Hose in the HazMat Locker; an empty plastic spool of MIG welder wire!

PXL_20210226_122310591Which will rotate on this pipe mounted on the side of the HazMat Locker.
PXL_20210227_133714661With the Black Fire Nozzle mounted alongside.  Any wonder why I just love working with this guy who has been with us from the very first day of the build?!!!
PXL_20210227_110021249More Uğur Goodness, on Saturday no less, as we designed and built this simple setup for propping the front 3 Solar Panels mounted on this hinged frame up in the horizontal position when we are on anchor.

This horizontal position not only helps out with solar power production but you can see the demister grill across the far end of what now becomes a giant wind tunnel to capture all the fresh breezes blowing over our bow at anchor and funnel them down into the SuperSalon.
PXL_20210227_105959889Two SS pipes that are hinged to the bottom of the Solar Panel frame and will fit into these Black Delrin collars Uğur machined which were then glued down to the aluminium floor with a SS set screw to lock them in place.

When we are ready to convert to passage making mode and head out to sea, you simply lift the panels up a few inches and the two support rods slide aft as the panel is lowered down and locked into place.

ELECTRIAL WORKS:

Our Sparkie Hilmi always has a long list of electrical jobs that need his attention and this past week was certainly no exception.  With almost 150 circuit breakers on XPM78-01 Möbius to safely look after all our 12 & 24 Volt DC circuits and our all our 120V & 240V AC circuits, it was quite the design challenge to figure out where and how to place all these.

PXL_20210226_085403482We ended up with two primary circuit breaker panels; this one on the angled short wall on the Stbd/Right side of the Main Helm Station.
PXL_20210226_085300787.PORTRAITAnd this larger one in the Corridor at the bottom of the stairs leading down from the SuperSalon to the Guest Cabin, Ships Office and Workshop/Engine Room.
PXL_20210226_085119437After months and months of preparation, Hilmi was finally able to bring it all together this past week by attaching these Black AL panel fronts with all the engraved labels onto the hinged access doors into each of these Circuit Breaker panels.

Next week the hinged glass doors are due to arrive which will finish off these critical component of the electrical system on Möbius.

GLASS WORK

PXL_20210224_133202907.MPThe double paned 16mm thick glass window finally got installed in the Engine Room door this week which is a critical component to completely closing in the Engine Room in the case of a fire.
PXL_20210224_083947825.MPAnd the gas lift cylinders have now all been installed on the Glass Deck Hatches which I designed and Naval built in house.  Now just need to finish installing the rubber edge seals and the AL hatch handles and the deck is totally watertight!

HELM STATIONS:

PXL_20210217_125040209I can’t possibly do justice to explain the amount of work that Christine has done this past week alone on getting all our navigation and electronics in both Helm Stations all setup and working. 

Nor can I articulate how much I LOVE my Captain!
PXL_20210228_064153289What I can do though is to leave you with this shot from early this morning that does capture for me just how well we have succeeded in designing and building our new home with all of Team Möbius to meet the goal we set out over 5 years ago to blend in perfectly when in a commercial dock as apposed to a ‘yachty’ marina.
And with that I am going to hit the “Publish” button on this latest Möbius Weekly Progress Update and look forward to bringing you more Show & Tell of this coming week’s progress that begins first thing tomorrow morning.

But WAIT!!!

There’s MORE!!!!!

One year ago, Christine and I returned from a brief trip over to the UK for her Birthday (March 15th) just as the whole Corona 19 pandemic was ramping up and caught us squarely in the vortex.  Given our ages, let’s just say rapidly approaching 70, every day since we have been playing a kind of Russian Roulette by going into the shipyard to work on Möbius and so we are eXtremely eXcited that tomorrow morning at 11am we are going to get our Covid 19 vaccine shots!

Of course, this doesn’t put an end to anything really but sure will help with our upcoming travel plans, for which we shall be eternally grateful to this country we have called home for almost four years now and that love a wee bit more every day.  Thank you Turkey for allowing these two salt water turkies to enjoy your beautiful country and people!

-Wayne


What if Beauty & the Beast had a Love Child? XPM78-01 Möbius Progress Update 07-12, 2020

With Team Möbius back to work and augmented by additional sub-contractors the rate of progress was at an all time high this past week so there is a LOT to Show & Tell you about this week.  I will apologise in advance that this week’s Progress Update may be a bit rushed both because I have so much to cover and it is now already mid afternoon on Sunday here.  But before I jump right into all the progress updates, some other news from around the shipyard for you.

FINAL PLANS are SIGNED & SEALED!

Baris & Dincer signing Addendum v2-5The biggest news for Christine and I this week is that we finalized all the details for the final finishing of XPM78-01 Möbius with Naval Yachts and signed off on all the new addendum documents, which is what Baris (left) and Dincer, the founding brothers of Naval Yachts are smiling about here! 
With projects of this size and complexity and especially for such a unique first XPM series build, there are a LOT of changes and adjustments along the way and a LOT of equipment, materials and sub-contractors that needed to be ordered and it has taken all of us more hours than we would like to know, to sort out all these details and get them all formally documented.  So we were elated to have all four of us, Builders + Owners, sign off on this Friday afternoon.

Wayne Looses 1 old Titanium Screw and Gains 7 new ones!

Immediately after we all signed the new addendum on Friday, my elation transformed into something else when I spent several hours “under the knife” in the Dentist’s office!  Another reason why this blog post will be a bit rushed as I’m not quite up to full  speed again just yet. 
For those curious to know, the scorecard from that surgery is that Wayne is now:

MINUS:

  • one molar and
  • one titanium screw (one of more than a hundred I have from a nasty motorcycle accident back in 1997) but now plus 6 titanium implant

PLUS:

  • 7 titanium implant screws
  • some extra jawbone (grafts)
  • 29 stitches

dental-implants-massachusetts-nhI won’t bore you with any more details but given the somewhat technical nature of my posts and for those curious about dental implants, as I was, here is these 2 illustrations will give you the basic picture of what’s involved.

implant2Now it is just a waiting game to get the stitches removed in 10 days and then let the jawbone and implants merge for two months or so before I go back to have the ceramic (Zirconia) crowns put in and I can chew again!

Möbius gets a New Neighbor

PXL_20201202_073019553.MP

This actually happened two weeks ago so I’m a bit delinquent in posting this but we now have a new neighbor off of Möbius’ Stbd Aft corner. 
PXL_20201202_070022961.MPShe’s a Turkish flagged boat “Celeb” and is in the yard at Naval Yachts for some relatively minor work and some out-of-the-water winter storage.
PXL_20201202_073028119Once again, our friendly neighborhood 72 wheel Yellow boat mover was called in for this move and it all came off without a hitch as usual.
PXL_20201207_063306545There were more changes to the neighborhood a few blocks away from us over on the Free Zone side of the harbour where they are completely redoing the shoreside facilities to put in an all new humungous dry dock and other launching facilities.
PXL_20201207_063311854This work has been going on for quite a few months already with the removal of the existing concrete walls, the whole rail launch and TraveLift launch facilities and a whole lot of dirt to enlarge the water area.

That leaves the Free Zone with no launching facilities but fortunately just on the other side of this harbor in the background here, is Setur Marina and so the authorities can open up the gates and let the boat movers bring boats in/out of the marina and into the Free Zone. 

With Möbius’ launch date *hopefully* coming up early in the New Year it is likely that we may need to launch into Setur Marina rather than inside the Free Zone harbour.  Either way works fine as the emphasis for us is LAUNCH ASAP!!


PXL_20201207_063309337This pile driver has been running non-stop 24/7 for the past week putting in over 20 so far of these steel cylinders which I presume will be filled with concrete to form the underlying foundation for all the new concrete and dry-dock equipment to come.
OK, with this week’s episode of  “What’s New in the Neighborhood”, let’s get back to the shipyard and get you caught up on this past week’s progress on finishing XPM78-01 Möbius.

LITTLE JOBS = BIG DEAL:

As I did in last week’s posting, let me quickly run you through a set of several “little jobs” which got looked after this past week.  Some of you sent in comments noting that you liked the more rapid-fire sequences of work so I will repeat that here and please do let me know how well it is working or not by putting your comments in the “Join the Discussion” box at the bottom of every blog posting.

And as I noted last week these may be “little” in terms of amount of work, these jobs are all play very important roles themselves and perhaps most important of all are what define a FINISHED yacht!

PXL_20201207_065803494First good example of how these little jobs can be so important was the finishing of the door into the Engine Room.  Uğur and Nihat had fabricated and mounted this door many months ago but it needed to be fully insulated with fireproof EPDM insulation covered with the laminated aluminium/composite sandwich AlucoBond material you have seen being used to cover all the walls and ceilings of the Engine Room and Workshop.

They started by welding in these short lengths of aluminium L-bars for the AlucoBond to be fastened to.
PXL_20201207_074407324Then Nihat cut the 50mm / 2” thick EPDM foam insulation and fitted each piece into their compartments.
PXL_20201207_091641911.MPAlucoBond is then cut to size and screwed in place.
PXL_20201207_091651554.MPUğur than installs two of the same beautiful Bofor Dogs & Latches you saw him installing in the big AL hatches up on the main deck for the Forepeak and Engine Room.
PXL_20201208_075045601Then the door can be remounted on its hinges while it awaits the 26mm thick tempered glass window to be installed to complete this door.
PXL_20201208_082758414Next up for the same basic treatment was this hatch that goes into the floor in the SuperSalon to provide the only access to the cavernous Basement which sits under the entire SuperSalon floor.
PXL_20201208_085739733.MPSame 50mm EPDM foam is inserted into each of the little bays formed by the reinforcing AL stringers of this hatch, which is upside down here BTW.

Then Uğur spreads on a light coating of contact cement while ……….
PXL_20201208_085748314.MP……. Nihat cuts out the thick foil covered fireproof cloth that will cover and protect the EPDM insulation.
PXL_20201208_105411719With the foil cloth all glued down, Nihat finished off the edges with some AL foil tape and this hatch was then mounted to the awaiting piano hinge in the Salon floor opening into the Basement.
PXL_20201210_091317725The first of many “little” jobs in getting the below the waterline portion of the hull all prepped for the upcoming application of all the epoxy primer preceding spraying on the International InterSleek 1100SR Foul Release bottom paint we have decided to use.

Here Uğur has removed the propeller blades on the Vetus Bow Thruster and sanded all the internal AL surfaces.
PXL_20201208_094130489I was able to pull my weight a little bit this week as well by finishing off some similarly small but important jobs, as well as one quite BIG BEAUTIFUL BEASTLY job on Mr. Gee, our Gardner 6LXB engine.  More on that later.

The Black cone and disk up near the top Left here is the front end of the Chain based Hand Cranking system that I am now starting to mount.  I have pulled it far forward here in order to mount the cast AL coolant tank.

Below this tank on the Right is the secondary fuel filter and return line and in the weeks ahead you will be seeing much more of that flat rectangular Pad in the bottom Left where I will soon be mounting one of the Big Red Electrodyne alternators.
PXL_20201208_094136808A classic example of how Gardner leaves nothing to chance is this cast in place detail of how you need to use the correct type of anti-freeze and fill it to the correct level.
PXL_20201210_143328346Big Red #2 near the bottom Left with blue taped box, as I’ve taken to calling the second 250A @ 28V Electrodyne alternators is the much bigger job I worked on this past week and I’ll cover that in more detail a bit later in this post.  With this 2nd alternator now securely mounted to the side of Mr. Gee I was able to finish installing these beautiful copper oil lines that snake their way around Mr. Gee to carry his lifeblood engine oil to and from where it needs to go.


PXL_20201210_143324987Large AL unit taking up the center of of the photo above and aft end here, is the complete fuel pump and mechanical injection system.  The six vertical (5 Black 1 Red) levers you see in the photo above allow you to hand prime each of the 6 fuel injectors as well as shut off one injector at a time to check performance while running.

Burgundy cylinder in the top middle is the secondary oil filter housing with its copper oil lines bringing oil to/from this filter.
PXL_20201210_143238782A few more finishing touches on Mr. Gee’s Stbd/Right side such as the exiting salt water hose now connected to the rear of this gorgeous cast bronze engine oil cooler, and the vertical braided SS mesh exhaust connector in the upper Left here is now bolted to the aft end of the cast iron exhaust manifold.
PXL_20201210_143154653In the bottom middle of the photo above and up close here, the Black 24V Starter is now fully installed and connected.  Two Red cables as one is from the twin FireFly G31 starter batteries and the other cable can connect the starter to the massive House Battery Bank in case the starter batteries should ever not be working.

Beauty & the Beast’s Love Child?

Gardner 6LXB CLOSEUP alternator strap mount exploded diagram

Take note in the 2 photos above of how Gardner attaches the starter to the massive cast aluminium crankcase with that silver strap and you can see in this illustration from the 6LXB Parts Manual how they attached the standard Gardner alternator in the same way over on the opposite side.

PXL_20201130_091059790I wanted to mount Big Red #2, which is what I’ve come to call the second Electrodyne alternator, to the same place that Gardner used but would Big Red fit?  Only one way to find out; try it!  As did Gardner, I first made 2 shims from some AL 10mm plate to adjust the radius of the cast in place ribs to match Big Red’s 188mm / 7.4” outside diameter and bolted them in place as you can see here.
PXL_20201130_091053884Here is an uncluttered straight on shot of the mounting base for Big Red #2.  Fuel pump bowl in the upper Left corner, bottom of the cast AL injection pump running across the top and you can see the two “nubbins” where the hinge pin will slide through to hold the forked bolt that tightens the flat strap to cinch the alternator up tight.
PXL_20201127_132125627That forked bolt is part # 11/19/20 in the illustration above but with Big Red being a bit on the Beastly side of the girth scale the original forked bolt was too short so I whipped up this new larger and longer version out of some SS plate and threaded rod.
PXL_20201127_134248126.MPI fashioned the fork out of a small block of SS and tapped it for a M10 threaded rod and threaded the two together.  A SS nut to lock it in place and then for added safety and strength I thought it best to TIG weld the nut and threaded rod to the fork.
PXL_20201123_121423664I will give you that I can be given to some hyperbole and eXaggeration from time to time but I think you need to give me that it is no eXaggeration to suggest that “shoehorn fit” describes this situation?!!
PXL_20201123_121407320Each GE 250-24 Electrodyne alternator tips the scales at 40 kg/88 lbs and so again I will make my case that calling these Red Beauties Beasts is also no mere Hodgins Hyperbole!
PXL_20201125_125418339As you might imagine, I had to take Big Red #2 in and out quite a few times as I adjusted its position and tested out the strap mounting setup to get that all to work out and still  clear everything.  Fortunately and as I’ll explain in a bit, took advantage of the fact that I had to take these alternators apart so I was able to cut their weight down quite a bit which made all my test mounting a bit less muscle building.
PXL_20201130_090928226With the alternator temporarily held in place with some wood blocks I could test out the fit of this Black strap which is has a 10mm / 3/8” pin that slides through the bottom as you can see in the illustration above and the bottom of this photo. 

Up at the top you can see the nut on the end of the upper forked bolt what cinches the alternator tight up against the radiused ribs you saw earlier.

I am close here BUT the large copper wires that carry the AC current out of the alternator need to come through that hole in the case across from my fingers, so I need to nudge it forward a wee bit more so the strap clears the hole.
PXL_20201123_121426909Oh, and I also need to make sure that the length of this Jack Shaft with U-joints on each end that I am retrofitting to drive Big Red #2 from the Gardner PTO (Power Take Off) on the Left here.

(click to enlarge any photo)

Electrodyne E 250-24 specs   graphI’m getting ahead of myself a bit so let me stop and provide a quick overview of these Electrodyne E 250-24 alternators that I’ve chosen to use and mount on Mr. Gee which I think will help you see how they truly are the Goldilocks combination or “Love Child” of Beauty and the Beast. 
In addition to these basic specs my primary reasons for choosing these Electrodyne brutes include:

  • truly rugged “beastly” construction and weighing in at 40kg / 88 lbs each
  • Beautiful simplicity with only one moving part, the stator shaft and no moving electrical parts
  • More simplicity being Brushless with no brushes and no brush springs
  • One piece steel “double ended” housing with TWO alternators; one at each end.
  • Remote Rectifier which moves most of the performance robbing heat outside the ER
  • eXceptional life with 20,000 hours  between recommended servicing

PXL_20201124_135938081Here is what one looks like in real life.  The box on top is simply a junction box where the 6 (3 from each alternator)AC current carrying wires emerge from inside the alternator body and connect to six large cables that go to the remote rectifiers outside the ER in the Workshop.
I ordered these alternators directly from Electrodyne in Oklahoma almost 2 years ago and spent a LOT of time with Dale Gould who is the Operations Manager at Electrodyne and he has been truly fabulous to work with on every level from getting these beasts built to the specs we decided upon, getting them shipped to me (not as easy as it sounds) and even creating little how to videos to show me how to do the alterations I needed on my end.  Can’t thank Dale and his team enough nor recommend them more highly to you.

PXL_20201123_125232591In the interim, I ended up changing how and where I was going to mount these two beastly beauties on Mr. Gee and so I now needed change the location of these Junction Boxes from where I had originally asked Dale to position them.  Not a big deal and I always welcome any chance to get “up close and personal” with every bit of kit on Möbius as I’m also the guy that needs to maintain everything and keep us up an running at all times in all conditions.
PXL_20201124_134411083The aluminium Junction Boxes are bolted to the steel housing and to reposition them I needed to re-drill and tap (thread) four new holes for the new position. 

First step was to remove the two pressed on aluminium ROTORS which have all the permanent magnets embedded in them and rotate around a few millimeters away from the stationary Stator coils you see here.
PXL_20201124_134037297With the Non-Drive end Rotor off I could now remove the Rotor on the Drive end by pressing out it and its shaft from the internal hub and bearings inside the case.
PXL_20201124_134032959This close up of the inside of the AL Rotor let’s you see how all the permanent magnets such as the two I’m pointing at here, are embedded into the AL Rotor.
PXL_20201124_120154113I know this is riveting Show & Tell for so many of you, NOT! but the disassembly goes pretty quickly from here so I’ll speed through the process even faster for you from here.

Top Lid comes off the Junction Box enabling me to disconnect all the wires from their studs in the sides of the Junction Box body.
PXL_20201124_115044100Each set of Stator windings, one at each end, can now be unbolted and …….
PXL_20201123_135125891…… pulled off of their tight fit to the central hub inside the housing allowing me to now carefully pull the three large gauge solid copper wires and terminals out through the holes in the housing one at a time.
PXL_20201124_115805591One end Stator windings removed, ready to spin around and do the same to remove the Stator windings on the other end.

Removing 4 Allen head bolts, one seen in the bottom Right here, let’s me remove each Junction Box.
PXL_20201123_151212610Full dis-assembled now!

Possibly resembling Dr. Frankenstein’s workbench I am already LOVING my new Workshop and all 11 meters of workbenches!
PXL_20201124_084516773I marked the new location of the Junction Boxes with felt pen and so now it was a simple matter of lining up the 2 holes in the bottom of the Junction Box with the new holes in the housing and clamping them in position.  I could then use the 4 bolt holes in the Junction Box as a template to mark the corresponding center marks to drill into the housing.
PXL_20201124_105407408I had carefully taped off all access to the inside of the housing to prevent any metal chips or dust from getting inside and it was a bit tricky to drill the 4 holes into the housing at this angle but it worked out fine and I could then cut the 10-32 threads into the housing with my tap set.
PXL_20201124_112801551And now re-attach the Junction Box in its new permanent location on the housing with the 4 Allen head bolts you see here in each corner of the Junction Box.
PXL_20201124_120148496The trickiest part of the reassembly was fishing the thick stiff solid copper wires back through the hole in the Junction Box and housing as they just barely have enough room to fit through and the hole is behind the Stator windings, but it all went smoothly and I soon had all 6 Stator wires and both Field Wires all back in place and ready to connect to their awaiting studs in the sides of the Junction Box
PXL_20201205_072756095One done; one to go!

But I need to wait to mount the Junction Box on the lower Big Red #2 on the side of Mr. Gee as you saw above because I need to strap it in first and THEN I can bolt the Junction Box to the housing OVER TOP of the strap.
PXL_20201204_093851598As you can see, all my trial and fit had made a bit of a mess so I needed to put back some of the Beauty into these two Beasts with a good sanding and repainting.
PXL_20201204_093900588I just happened to have this short little Jack Shaft left over from another project and in a lovely stroke of synchronicity it worked out to be the Goldilocks solution to drive Big Red #2 from the gear driven PTO on Mr. Gee.  So it needed a matching paint job as well.
PXL_20201205_064102850.MPWith all the openings and AL rotors all plugged and masked off it didn’t take me long to shoot these with three coats of Red International “Perfection” epoxy. 
PXL_20201205_072756095Although it was not the ideal shade of Red, a bit on the orangey side ….
PXL_20201205_072804595…… they definately looked better than when I started and were now all ready to be installed onto Mr. Gee. 

Hopefully Dale and all his team at Electrodyne will like what he sees too.

Now let’s quickly get onto the mounting of Big Red #2!!

I will try to mount BR#1 next week so stay tuned for more scintillating story telling then! Smile
PXL_20201209_120140437By now I was getting pretty quick at mounting BR#2 to the side of Mr. Gee and I wanted to do one final test fit of the Junction Box to double check that everything really did clear.
PXL_20201209_120133890To my absolute joy and delight everything just barely cleared!  Click to enlarge this photo or any other and you can see how close some of those fits are.
PXL_20201210_143350130If you look closely you will see that there are a LOT of close fits! 
PXL_20201210_143415830I think this must be some polar opposite of Murphey’s Law where the stars align and every close fit actually cleared!

Fortunately for me, mounting Big Red #2 on that upper flat pad you saw earlier will be a breeze compared to this one and I hope to get that done next week and will show you the results.

CHAING STOPPER:

PXL_20201207_121636753Up at the Bow on the Anchor Deck, we needed to install this latest bit of boat jewellery; our gleaming solid SS Lewmar 13mm Chain Stopper!

It is a very simple system that can become eXtremely critical if your snubber line breaks in a big storm and you need to have a way to “for sure” hold your anchor chain to the boat no matter what.  Yes, ask me how I know!
PXL_20201207_120350060Uğur and I quickly sketched up the design we thought would work best to solidly bolt this Chain Stopper to the deck framing and he had it all fabricated out of 20mm / 3/4” AL plate and was welding it to the Anchor Deck plate.
PXL_20201207_132430429Simple arched platform that elevates the Chain Stopper to be at the correct height of the chain as it comes off the gypsy chainwheel on the Maxwell VWC 4000 windlass and then the Chain Stopper is through bolted with 4 M16 SS bolts and nuts.
PXL_20201207_134200667A bit of Blue Threadlocker to make sure these never come loose but are still easy enough to unbolt if ever needed.
PXL_20201207_151922644One more “little but important” job done and checked off the list.

ELECTRICAL WORK:

PXL_20201208_074929996.MPHilmi was a welcome addition back on Team Möbius this week and he was right into the same theme of completing many more of those little but important electrical jobs.

He started with this one; putting in the connections for Mr. Gee’s two G31 FireFly Carbon Foam starter batteries.


PXL_20201208_075003433First Hilmi mounted the Red Start Battery Shut Off Switch and ran the cables from there to the Battery Box locations.
PXL_20201209_071928930Each battery will be enclosed in it’s own dedicated plastic battery box and mounted at the very far end of the Stbd/Right side wing of the Workshop underneath the Day Tank and up against the WT Bulkhead there.

They go forward another 40cm/16” from here and their lids just clear the 127mm/5” rubber exhaust hose that runs overtop of them.

PXL_20201209_071914716Now time to tame all these electrical snakes slithering out of the Engine Room!
PXL_20201209_083259750One of the best features of our decision to put in a dedicated Engine Room enclosure is that we can keep this an “Engine only” Engine Room and locate almost everything else OUTSIDE the ER where they are much cooler, easier to access, less likely to be exposed in the case of fire and much easier to comply with all the ABYC and CE fire safety requirements. 

No batteries, no electronics, no fuel filters or tanks; nothing but Mr. Gee and his immediate systems such as heat exchangers and exhaust.

What wires we do need to bring inside the ER, mostly for the Electrodyne alternators, come through this one penetration under the floor of the same Stbd wing of the Workshop on the other side of this photo.
PXL_20201209_110130702Hilmi takes it all in stride as usual and he, Ramadan and Cihan soon have the new cable trays in place ……
…… PXL_20201210_143215673and start routing and fastening the cables in place alongside …….
PXL_20201210_143228988.MP…….  and then under Mr. Gee.

Cihan does EXHAUSTING WORK!

PXL_20201202_120607019Möbius’ Engine Room was a busy place this week as Cihan and Ramadan installed the Halyard Exhaust System which has been patiently waiting its turn down on the shop floor underneath Möbius for many months now.

As you might have noticed in some of the photos above, I had already installed the flexible SS woven mesh that bolts vertically to the aft end of Mr. Gee’s exhaust manifold.

So the fist part of the “dry” section of the Halyard Exhaust components to go in was the75mm/ 3” ID vertical SS riser you see here rising up here in the lower Right corner.

The two “wings” on this riser are where the two support rods will connect down to Mr. Gee to help stabilise them.
PXL_20201202_124011317My personal favorite bit of kit from Halyard is this beautifully crafted and polished SS water injection elbow which Cihan is assembling to its silicone bellows.
PXL_20201202_124021624Peering down for an inside view, you can see how the water jets are all distributed evenly around the inner circumference and make sure there is a very even spray and mixing of the seawater that is pumped through them with the exhaust gases exiting Mr. Gee. 

This is where the exhaust changes from dry to wet and where most of the noise and the heat is removed by the mixing of the seawater and the exhaust gases.
PXL_20201202_123902462Simple job now for Cihan to slide the soaped up silicone bellows to the awaiting downward angled 127mm / 5” pipe on the Halyard “Combi” Silencer/Separator that has previously been mounted on its dedicated shelf on the front ER WT Bulkhead wall.
PXL_20201202_142018661.MPAlmost a year ago now, Yigit and I had spent several months working with Oliver and his team of engineers at Halyard HQ in the UK to design this Goldilocks Exhaust System for XPM78-01 Möbius.  Together we exchanged countless 3D models that we were each creating and so it was wonderful to see this all fall into place like an accurately cut jig saw puzzle.
PXL_20201202_142009961.MPEven Cihan, who has installed countless exhaust systems in the many other yachts he has worked on was very impressed and asked “How did you DO that??!!”
PXL_20201202_143501699With everything dry fitted and checked Cihan and Ramadan could now tighten up all the connecting bolts and SS hose clamps.

Using plenty of Tef-Gel on all threads of course!
PXL_20201203_123545070All that remained to be done was install the three rubber hoses needed to complete this Goldilocks exhaust system.  Over on the far Left side is the Black 75mm/3” ID hose that quickly takes all the seawater in the bottom of the Silencer/Separator down to the dedicated AL pipe welded into the exiting Sea Chest and out to sea.

Next over to the Right is the White hose that delivers the fresh cold seawater up to the inlet pipe on that SS mixing elbow.

And then the large 127mm/5” ID Black hose transports the now cool and quiet exhaust gases from the Combi down and over to the AL pipe welded into the Stbd ER wall where it then connects to another short length of the same rubber exhaust hose and out the similarly welded in place AL exhaust exit pipe in the hull just above the WL.

DIVINE DINETTE TABLE & PEDESTAL SYSTEM:

Last I have time to cover in this week’s Show & Tell is yet another bit of boat jewellery and Rosewood; our Dinette Table!


PXL_20201207_092001988It was love at first sight for me about 2 years ago when I first spotted this Triton Deluxe 2-stage table pedestal at the Zwaardvis booth at the big METS Marine Trade conference every year (except this one of course) in Amsterdam.

This is the fully lowered position which lowers the surface of the table to be flush with the surrounding seats where it can then become an additional Queen bed on those rare occasions when we have more quests, or more likely more Grandkids aboard than can be accommodated in the 2 beds in the Guest Cabin.
PXL_20201207_091906231Simply rotate those 2 SS handles and the air assist gas cylinder inside pushes the pedestal up to proper eating/working table height.
PXL_20201207_091915319But WAIT!  There’s MORE!

Check out that Kissin’ Cousin from Zwaardvis sitting to the side of the Triton pedestal!


Triton X-move sliderThis is the Triton T-System X-Move slider which allows you to slide the table top 200mm / 8” in the X or Y, Fore/Aft or Left/Right direction
PXL_20201207_093536309by simply pulling this lever which mounts under the table.  In the normal “fixed” position that little rectangular rubber pad on the Right is pressed up against the underside of the table and locks the table in whatever position you want.  Pulling the hand pulls the rubber down allowing you to push/pull the table wherever you want and then release the lever to lock in that position.  Brilliant!
PXL_20201208_095454023Over in the Cabinetry shop Ramadan #2, our newest Cabinetmaker has been busy building the Dinette Table top I designed.  Very simple and sturdy, it has 50mm/2” thick solid Ro$ewood edges surrounding a Rosewood laminated plywood table top.
PXL_20201208_095510680Ramadan cut this hardboard template so we could try it in place in the Dinette on the Triton pedestal and slider and check out the clearances with the table in all its different X, Y and Z positions.
PXL_20201208_095520688Once we had it just right, he was able to laminate both sides of some 20mm/ 3/4” marine plywood …..
PXL_20201208_095526367……. with Rosewood veneer in the lovely heated laminating press they have here at Naval.
PXL_20201209_081110609Mitre all the corners of the solid edging.
PXL_20201210_092310547.MPCut the biscuit joints and the glue and clamp it all ….
PXL_20201211_080236219to create a single solid table top.

All ready to have the large radii shaped into all these solid edges, sanding, filling and varnishing and I will soon be able to show you this next bit of beautiful art work aboard the good ship Möbius.
Well as usual I have much more to show you but I’m pooped, swollen and hungry as it is now after 21:00 here in Antalya on Sunday night so I’m going to call it quits for tonight and be back with much more next week.

Thanks SO much for taking time to get this far and join us on this grand adventure.  As always we REALLY appreciate you adding any and all comments and questions in the “Join the Discussion” box below so don’t be bashful now!  Your feedback is invaluable and VERY much appreciated.

Hope to see you here again next week.

– Wayne






I can’t Handle it! Sealing Chain Bin has Treaded and Exhausted me like a Dog! Progress update XPM78-01 Möbius Nov 30-Dec 5, 2020

This week’s title is a bit of a riddle for you so see if you can figure out why I’ve strung together these words to summarise the progress on XPM78-01 Möbius this past week of Nov. 30th to Dec. 5th, 2020?  And Yikes!  someone please tell me that it is not already December and the end of 2020?!?!  While I’m sure that we are all going to be somewhat happy to see this wild ride during 2020 come to an end, I do still shake my head as to how it can be possible that another whole year has flown by?!!  So now looks like it won’t be till 2021 that XPM78-01 Möbius launches but trust me, it is all hands on deck in the most literal of ways with Team Möbius as we all recommit ourselves to “git ‘er dun” mode or as our 4 year old Granddaughter is fond of exclaiming; “Let’s DO this!!”

We are now hoping, emphasis on the hope part, to actually “Splash” or Launch her before the end of February now.  However, the actual Launch Date remains the same as I’ve always answered that question; “Thursday”!

I will apologise in advance that I’m going to rush through creating this week’s blog posting as it is already mid afternoon on Sunday and it has been a truly exhausting week, both literally and figuratively, which is a clue as to the riddle of the title I mentioned above.

But enough with all this preamble get yourself a favorite beverage and a comfy seat and let’s jump right into this week’s Möbius Show & Tell.

“Little Jobs that add up to be a BIG Deal!

As with most big projects, at this late stage of the build there are a LOT of different jobs getting done as we all pull together and work on the punch list of jobs remaining.  Some of these are quite small and continuations of jobs that I’ve covered here extensively in the past so rather than whole sections for each of these, let’s just blast through a few such “little jobs”, all of which add up to a BIG deal BTW.

PXL_20201130_090310442If you have had a chance to follow along over the past month or so you’ve seen the installation of these two etched glass walls that form the corner of the shower in our Master Cabin.  All thanks to the incredible talents of our dear friend Sherry and if you have not read the blogs in the past month where I’ve provided all the details and links to Sherry’s other art work, I can highly recommend taking the time to do so.

This week the glass installation contractors returned to finish the silicone seals around the perimeter of each glass panel and our Cabinetmaker “Ramazan” (pronounced Ram-a-Dan” in Turkish) installed the Ro$ewood trim board that run along the top and bottom exterior edges.


A bit hard to see in this photo (click to enlarge any photo) but I thought this backlit shot helped to show you Sherry’s etched artwork and just how truly “kewl” our Shower looks.


PXL_20201201_135916883Adding significantly we think, to the overall artistic feel and “pop” of our Master Cabin Shower and Head/Bathroom is this additional work of art & engineering, our blue hued solid tempered water glass VIGO vessel bathroom sink!


PXL_20201201_135928699Cihan was busy this week installing this Vigo sink and its very complimentary, we think, black faucet.

The oval shaped matching kissing cousin to this rectangular sink is just outside the door into the Head/Bathroom at our Vanity Sink area at the very front end of the Master Cabin.
PXL_20201201_134925135Captain Christine came into the shipyard earlier this week to work on completing the assembly of our LiteMax Durapixel 43” sunlight readable monitor that goes up in the forward Starboard/Right corner of the SuperSalon.  After a LOT of searching, we finally found LiteMax in , New Taipei City Taiwan and purchased all  5 of our big sunlight readable monitors from them and had them shipped to us here at Naval.
These 2 phots show how I simply attached each board to the aluminium back of the monitor with a SS machine screw that I epoxied in place.
PXL_20201201_134931161This 43” Durapixel model is part of their “Industrial Display” product line which are used for applications such as ATMs, airport displays, etc. and the metal case on the back of these was going to take up too much space for us so we ordered it with just these 3 circuit boards that are needed for the power supply, monitor control and all the various input/output plug ins.


PXL_20201202_120641887It was great to see Ramazan working on these templates that he will be using next week to cut out these counter surfaces that set atop each of the two Vent Boxes out on the Aft Deck to create our Outside Galley. 

This is the Vent Box/Countertop on the Port/Left side where the sink and faucet will live.
PXL_20201202_120629874.MPAnd this is the two tiered counters on the Stbd/Right side where our electric Kenyan BBQ/Grill will go.

Ramazan will use these templates to cut each countertop from the “left overs” of Turkish Turquoise Marble that we used to build all our Galley countertops.  We are totally “Gobsmacked” as my British friends might say by the looks of this Turquoise Turkish marble slab we found and were delighted that there was just enough left over to let us use them for these Outside Galley countertops.
PXL_20201202_120647195.MPThis shot taken from just outside the WT Entry door into the SuperSalon looking towards the Aft Stbd corner of the boat will give you a better sense of the size and scale of the Outdoor Galley.

The big “hole” between them is the big access hatch into the Engine Room below which will normally be closed with its all AL hatch door which you will be seeing a bit later here.
PXL_20201204_084607219.PORTRAITOn the Port/Left side just opposite the Galley, Ramazan was busy putting the finishing touches on the installation of our two Vitrifrigo 70 litre/18.5 USG drawer freezers.
PXL_20201204_084634506.PORTRAITThese are the latest models from Vitrifrigo and one of their very cool  features (sorry couldn’t help myself) is that you can configure them to be anything you want from slightly cooling vegetable storage fridge all the way down to a rock hard freezer at -20° C / -4° F. 

Making this change could not be simpler as all you do is change the temperature setting on the digital thermostat touch screen on the front of the drawer.

No space given up inside for the compressor as we ordered the models with remote mounted compressors and they are all down in the Basement below.
PXL_20201204_094057386

We are very impressed by the quality of Vitrifrigo products with examples such as these robust all SS drawer slides, the well done HD coiled cord to connect the sliding drawer to the door mounted thermostat and the beefy rubber self closing gaskets/seals to keep all the cold in and the heat out.

Once we launch and start using these we will be able to report on our overall electrical loads for our four fridge/freezers but we expect them to be very efficient.  In addition to the already very good insulation of these units themselves, we have also installed them in cabinets that have 50mm/2” of rigid foam insulation around all 4 sides and backs.


PXL_20201204_094111687Built in fan as you can see here to keep the air circulating and consistent throughout the whole freezer.

Having a total of 140L / 37USG of “freezer” space on top of 260L / 69 USG of refrigerator space is going to be true luxury for these two ex-singlehanded sailors who are used to MUCH smaller single top loader fridge/freezers where what you want is ALWAYS at the very bottom!
PXL_20201204_094214673Last but definately not least for our run through some of these “little” jobs, Nihat has now pretty much finished his HUGEY task of putting the final finished appearance on the seeming acres of all our exterior exposed bare aluminium surfaces. 
PXL_20201205_071026019These 2 photos are of his handiwork in the Upper Helm Station in the SkyBridge.
Llebroc Upper Helm ChairIt is currently all wrapped up in protective plastic right now but just out of view in those photos above is THIS beauty that is patiently waiting to be bolted into that Upper Helm Station! 

I had put a Llebroc Helm Chair in my previous sailboat Learnativity and as a full time single handed passage maker I quite literally lived in that chair for weeks at a time on long passages so I speak with some authority when I say that these are VERY comfy helm chairs!


I purchased that first Llebroc chair back in 2006 and they have had a LOT of improvements since so we were pretty sure we wanted to “go with what we know” but we just to make sure Christine and I went to every seat manufacturer at boat shows for over 2 years and tried out all of them.  We also did a number of deliveries on other boats all with different seats so we had extended opportunities to test out many other seats.  But, our bottoms and backs voted VERY clearly; Llebroc was the hands down Goldilocks Helm Chairs for us.


PXL_20201123_071233863.MPAnd this is the slightly different Llebroc Bandera Series 2 helm chair  we are about to install down in the Lower Helm Station.  It is a bit wider and a bit lower back so it is still super comfy but doesn’t get in the way of our 360 degree views outside the SuperSalon.
PXL_20201123_071306466When you are “conning the helm” for hours at a time you usually want to be sitting up nice and high so both chairs have over 18” of vertical “air lift” adjustment.  When you are sitting up high though your feet can’t touch the floor which becomes very uncomfortable quickly so both helm chairs have these robust foot rest platforms which can be folded up out of the way when you are sitting lower.
PXL_20201123_075451372These foot rests shipped separately from the chairs and it didn’t take me long to bolt them on with the supplied SS Allen head bolts. 

I am a bit fussy, OK, some say obsessive, about coating ALL threads and especially SS ones or ones where there are dissimilar metals involved, with a good coat of TefGel hence that little white jar in the foreground.  but trust me it is SO worth this extra step to have fasteners that come out as easily as they went in 20+ years ago. 

And yes, you can ask me how I know!
PXL_20201123_075515183Another great feature is that our Llebroc Helm Chairs are mounted on these Mariner 2 Sliders which  provide 210mm/8” of fore/aft travel on these AL rods.

All the framing and primary parts of the chairs, pedestals and swivels are solid cast aluminium so everything is eXtremely rigid and solid.
PXL_20201123_071609316However, for this aging sailor’s badly damaged spine, THIS Is my favorite feature, the manual pump adjusted Lumbar back support!  You have to use one of these to appreciate just how awemazing and once again, yes you can ask me how I know?!!
PXL_20201123_071245508.MPEven though it is just temporarily in place and there is much to be finished around it, this Helm Chair will be seeing a LOT of use by both of us as we get back to sailing the world from either our upper or lower helm stations.

HATCH SEALS:


PXL_20201202_120615989.MPOne of Ugur’s “little jobs” this past week was installing all the big thick EPDM rubber gaskets in all the three big all aluminium hatches on Möbius.  This is the biggest of the three hatches, the one overtop of the Engine Room. 
PXL_20201202_120619336Even though they only have one job, keeping these hatches completely watertight no matter what forces of sea water is crashing on deck and trying their bet to get through, these gaskets are eXtremely critical. 
PXL_20201202_091803759.MPOne of these hatches is this one up at the Bow sealing off the whole Forepeak area below and there will undoubtedly be times when we “bury the nose” into some huge wave so you can imagine the water pressure that these seals need to keep out.
PXL_20201202_091800963It took me a bit of time to run the calculations and scenarios needed to chose the Goldilocks “just right” Durometer hardness for these seals.  They need to be hard or stiff enough to seal well enough to keep out all that water pressure and yet they need to be soft enough to “squish” just the right amount when you close them and “dog” them down with their big beefy latches which I will show you in a bit below.
PXL_20201202_152743519To add to the challenge the width and thickness of each of these hatch gaskets/seals needed to be different to match their construction.  This EPDM gasket on the ER Hatch is 40mm / 1.6” wide by 25mm / 1” thick and this shot shows how Uğur has done a nice job of gluing this seal in place and holding it to bend around the short radius on each corner with some temporary blocks.  This way he could install each seal as one long piece with just one butt joint about half way along the length of the ER Hatch. 

All of these EPDM seals are firmly glued in place with Sikaflex industrial adhesive so they should serve us well for many, many years.

HATCH DOGS & HANDLES

                 ?? have you twigged to the riddle of this week’s title yet??

PXL_20201204_065314463Of course those EPDM hatch seals can be as fabulous as you like, they are not going to do much sealing if they are not eXtremely well dogged down when closed so that they get that Goldilocks Just Right pressure to squish the Just Right about to form the Just Right watertight seal.

And THAT is what these bits of boat jewelry are for!

This is one of 14 Bofor Dog Locks & Handles which Uğur spent much of his time installing this past week.
Bofor AL Dog Handles snipBofor is one of our favorite Turkish companies we have found while building Möbius and you may remember that name as we also turned to Bofor for all our WT Doors on Möbius.

BTW, the “Brass roller” indicated here is a typo and as you can see in the photos the roller is actually Black Delrin so no concerns about having Brass and Aluminium touching each other which is a corrosion No-No.
Bofor Dog Locks   Handles snip

This dimensioned drawing above and this illustrations below will give you a good idea of how these Dogs and Handles work and the quality of their construction.
PXL_20201204_065305848One example of the eXquisite quality of these Bofor products are the SS ball bearings that enable us to dog down these big hatches with tremendous clamping force and yet be smooth as butter when doing so.


PXL_20201204_094445650One of my other many “obsessions” besides prodigious use of TefGel is to not have very clear clean decks with no “toe-stubbers” allowed.  Hence our use of these flush mount Bofor Dogs.


PXL_20201204_133008815.MPIn addition to being very good looking, these flush mount Dogs are also super practical as we open them with the same winch handles we use for our winches using this rather universal “star pattern” SS fitting. 

Simple 1/4 turn to close or open.
PXL_20201204_094455478Here is how the four flush mount Dogs look on the Forepeak Hatch which Uğur has now completed and reinstalled on its hinges and dogged down to check for fit.
PXL_20201204_094508073.MPThis is what those four Dogs and their anodized aluminium Handles look like from the inside when the Forepeak Hatch is open for business.
PXL_20201204_084044648A bit closer look for those of you interested in a more detailed look at how these Dogs and Handles work.
PXL_20201203_122359063The Dogs on the ER Hatch are too high to reach so they only have the “Dog” portion and not the Handles but they operate the same way from up above using a winch handle.
PXL_20201204_064747782Simple though them may be, installing these Bofor Dogs & Handles takes great care and attention to mount them in just the right position. 

The process begins with Uğur carefully laying out the location of the through holes for the body of each one has just the right amount of purchase on the AL frames underneath for that Delrin roller to rotate on.
PXL_20201204_064837519The body of the Dog Lock is then inserted into the hole and the AL collar in the foreground is threaded onto it from the underside. 
PXL_20201203_150844878Down inside the Engine Room there was another bit of detail for Uğur to look after which was that the AlucoBond panelling inside the ER was in the way of the dogs.

This one at the far Aft end of the ER Hatch also needed to clear this clear water hose which is the drain from the six holes in the “gutter” around the full perimeter of the ER Hatch.  We can’t have water dripping on Mr. Gee when we open his hatch now can we??!!
PXL_20201204_130849432[3]But didn’t take Uğur too long to cut out the AlucoBond paneling where the Dogs need to be able to swing as they close to grab onto the AL frame you can see here.
PXL_20201204_135458687Last but not least was this vertical mounted Hatch/Door on the HazMat locker on the Aft Swim Platform.  We will often have some big following seas which can sometimes break and really “poop” the whole Swim Platform and Aft Deck so equally robust seals are needed here as well.

TREADMASTER!!

PXL_20201202_120729232The star of the show this past week in terms of exciting milestones for Christine and I to see when some of the newest members of Team Möbius started installing the TreadMaster that will cover any and all exterior aluminium plates where we walk. 

The decks are the most obvious but this same TreadMaster will go onto all stair treads, tops of hatches, around winches and the floors of the SkyBridge and the Tender.
PXL_20201204_084150015TreadMaster is made in the UK and has been a standard non-slip surface on boats since 1990.  It is quite a fascinating material as it is eXtremely soft and flexible as you can see here so it can perfectly follow most any surface.  Yet at the same time it is also eXtremely tough and we have been on boats with TreadMaster decks that are over 20 years old and still working well.
PXL_20201204_131556059.NIGHTI took this close up shot to show you how the non-skid works with all these sharp edged diamonds cut about half way through the 5mm thick Treadmaster material.
PXL_20201204_094337064Tools of the Trade for applying Treadmaster include lots of West Systems epoxy with colloidal filler to get just the right “peanut butter consistency”, some V-notched spreaders and a very skookum roller for squeezing out the epoxy to just the right thickness.
PXL_20201201_140811208Let run through a rapid-fire set of photos to show you the overall process we came up with for installing all our TreadMaster on Möbius.

First they glue down registration strips of thin plywood that are 20mm / 3/4” wide, the width of the gap we wanted between each piece of TreadMaster.

PXL_20201204_131641665Each corner of each sheet has a 30mm / 1.2” radius that is cut with a special cutter I made up out of a short length of 60mm SS pipe with a 90 degree section of the edge sharpened with my Dremel tool.  This made quick work out of the hundreds of corners that needed to be cut and kept them all the same.  These rounded corners prevent any lifting that a sharp 90 degree corner would likely experience and looks great to boot.

PXL_20201204_131308728Once each sheet is cut and dry-fitted, it is removed and the underlying AL deck plate is given a light sand with some 120-180 grit sandpaper to remove the oxidized layer that natural forms and protects raw aluminium surfaces.  This is a very desirable trait of aluminium that naturally protects all our AL surfaces but adhesive does not stick as well to the oxide layer so it needs to be removed to expose “fresh” clean AL for the adhesive epoxy to bond to.

Last bit of prep is to thoroughly clean the whole AL surface with clean cloths soaked in Acetone.


PXL_20201204_131658271Time to mix up the epoxy adhesive now!
West Systems epoxy pumps in cans west-system-301a-epoxy-resin-pump-set-1508338222-lWest Systems makes this very quick and easy with their pump system; One pump of Resin + one pump of Hardener and you are good to go!  Such a brilliant system!
PXL_20201204_131741076TreadMaster’s detailed installation instructions specify a “peanut butter” consistency and explicitly caution against one of ketchup, mayonnaise or yogurt.  To do so requires the addition of High Density 406 Colloidal Silicone filler mixed at a ratio of 1:1 by volume with the mixed epoxy.
PXL_20201204_131907113Thorough stirring produces the just right Peanut Butter, smooth and creamy, not “Chunky” thank you very much and it is ready to be applied to the shiny clean AL deck surface.
PXL_20201204_132025481The peanut butter can be applied to either the TreadMaster or the AL deck but we found that it worked best to apply to the cleaned AL surfaces because you could really force the epoxy to stick to the entire surface right up to the edges and know for sure there were not missed spots
PXL_20201204_132210992Now the V-notched spreaders come into play and provided an easy fool proof way of getting the just right thickness of the epoxy mix across the entire surface.
PXL_20201204_132244580.MPNow those fast glued registration guides come into play as the previously cut piece of TreadMaster now easily set into the just right position by simply pushing the piece up against the edges of these guides.
PXL_20201204_132247410The piece can then be quickly set in place by hand making sure that the edges in particular are all perfectly referenced against their respective guides.
PXL_20201204_132302202.MPNow that hefty multi roller tool comes into its own by allowing you to put your full weight onto it as you rapidly roll out from the center to each edge thereby ensuring that all the epoxy is firmly and evenly squished and …….
PXL_20201204_132349704 … that you get the same amount of squeeze-out around all the edges
PXL_20201204_132720324Any uneven amount of squeeze-out can be easily seen and fixed with some added thumb pressure.
PXL_20201204_132723690And then the ultimate tool, your finger, forms the just right coved surface on the epoxy as it makes the transition from the AL deck to the TreadMaster edge.
PXL_20201204_132731108.MPThe fast glued registration guides can be quickly popped off with light tap with a chisel and you can now go over the entire edge of the finished sheet.
PXL_20201204_084214993Rinse and Repeat 100 times and you’re all done!
PXL_20201204_084157027Orkan, who is also Naval’s “Teak Deck Guy” was in charge of doing all cutting each sheet of TreadMaster to their Goldilocks Just Right size with their appropriate radiused corners and here he has got the Stbd/Right side Deck all covered with dry-fitted TreadMaster.
PXL_20201205_081650598He was in with me on Saturday, along with Faruk and Ramazan to take advantage of this quieter and dust free time in the shipyard and here is cutting and fitting the sheets on the Port/Left side of the Aft Deck.
PXL_20201205_081758434.MPMeanwhile, Faruk on the Left and Ramazan teamed up to glue down all the Port side sheets on the Foredeck.
PXL_20201205_143159066As the winter darkness came on and it was quitting time on Saturday, Orkan had finished most of the Port side of the Aft Deck and we were all VERY pleased with how quickly and how well this whole process had worked.

Next week should see all the rest of the TreadMaster applied though it becomes slower as you do the smaller areas such as stair treads and such but I will show you all that next week.

CHAIN BIN FULLNESS

PXL_20201202_064235373Somehow amidst all that went on this week I was able to finish putting Big Red 1 & 2 together, our two 250A @ 28V Electrodyne alternators and get them all painted and ready to install  But I’ve promised several of you to cover them in quite a bit of detail so I’ll do that next week.  But I was also able to build and install the neat grid in the Chain Bin and put all 100m / 330 feet of our 13mm anchor chain so let me finish up with a quick overview of all that.
PXL_20201202_065218799I began by giving the Chain Bin a much needed thorough cleaning after sitting open down in the Forepeak for almost a year now, and then attaching a length of 1/2” Dyneema line to the D-ring welded to the bottom of the Chain Bin.
PXL_20201202_070855423This red Dyneema line runs up through the vertical AL pipe and out the 90 degree hawse pipe in the Maxwell VWC 4000 windlass where I spliced it into the bitter end of the 13mm anchor chain.  The purpose of this line is that if we ever got into a situation where we had to “cut and run” due to severe conditions mixed with an anchor that we can’t get up for some reason, then we would let out all our anchor chain and bring up this Dyneema tail onto the anchor deck where we could quickly cut it with a sharp knife.  No time in such situations to be undoing shackles or going down into the Chain Bin to do this.
PXL_20201202_103623605For some time now, I’d been mulling over the best way to keep as much separation between the galvanized anchor chain and the aluminium Chain Bin as they are a bit far apart on the Noble scale of metals which can cause some corrosion.  I had one of those fun Aha! moments when I realized that the composite grid material that we were using for the flooring in the ER, Forepeak and Workshop would be the Goldilocks solution!
PXL_20201202_103630049We had a bunch of scrap pieces left over from doing those floors so I traced out two half circles the diameter of the inside of the Chain Bin with my trusty Milwaukee “Hacksall” and soon had the two part, for ease of installation into the Chain Bin, all cut out.  I then thought that water and much might get trapped a bit inside all those square grids so out came my Milwaukee angle grinder with a nice thick grinding wheel and made a quick pass down the middle of each row of square grids. 


PXL_20201202_111442977et Voilà!  The Goldilocks Chain Bin bottom was born!
PXL_20201202_111959009.MPNow time to get back up on the Anchor Deck and thread all 100 meters of that colour depth coded 13mm anchor chain into its new home down below.
PXL_20201202_123126927And THIS folks, is the result and what 100 meters of perfectly cone shaped anchor chain looks like inside a Goldilocks Chain Bin!
OK, I’ve got lots more to Show & Tell but I’m exhausted and it is now 9pm and my personal chef par excellence, aka my Captain Christine, has been patiently keeping dinner warm so I’m going to end it here for this week and pick up where I left off.

Thanks for joining and as always, PLEASE add your questions and comments in the “Join the Discussion” box below.

Till next week,

-Wayne