A bit of a slower week as the move to the new Naval Yachts shipyard continues as we are now in the midst of the most disruptive phase; moving the people! Moving the boats was relatively quick and easy but moving all the staff along with all our computers, monitors, desks, chairs, printers, has been taking much more time. However such disruption hasn’t prevented some very significant progress onboard Möbius, most of which was all up front at the bow this week. Let’s go take a look shall we.
My Main Man Uğur is fitting the final piece of hull plating, this fully curved plate around what we refer to as Möbius’ Nose, where our snubber line or tow line will go. This curved plate has to make a very challenging transition from a single point down at the bottom where it joins into the beefy 25mm thick keel or stem bar and then flares out and up a it connects with the top deck surface and wraps around the protruding “nostril” of the nose cone. Here is that full frontal shot promised in the title so you can see how the vertical transition works. Here is a good look at the business end of Möbius and what the breezes in the anchorage will see as they come aboard and head for the vents in the Pilot House overhangs to keep a nice breeze flowing through all the Cabins and the SuperSalon. Sezgin made short work of laying down all the final welds and in doing so completed all the hull plating. Still lots of other details to work on such as hatches, SkyBridge roof, arch and more but the hull itself is now fully plated and we now move on to completing the rest of the aluminium “hotworks”. One example of the more detailed work now going on inside the hull is seen here inside the forepeak storage area. Watertight Bulkhead and Frame #1 you see as the “wall” at the far end of this photo is 1 meter aft of that beautiful nose cone above and this area from the bow to this bulkhead is completely welded shut to act as a completely sealed “crash compartment” should we ever hit or be hit by something big and hard right at the bow.
The huge thick stem bar would take the brunt of such contact but if such unlikely contact was severe enough to puncture the 15mm / 5/8” hull plating in this bow section and 6 meters aft, then this crash compartment would be all that was breached and not allow any water into the boat itself.
Moving forward and standing on Frame #2 looking straight down will give you a sense of scale of the framing in this bow area.
Another detail you see here is the pipe that has been welded along the edges of the scalloped longitudinal stringers that run down the entire length of the hull and are spaced about 200mm/8” apart.
The pipe eases these edges in areas like this where it would be possible to be thrown against them in heavy seas and the scallops provide handholds everywhere which double as perfect places to tie down fenders, lines and other items that we want to store here in this very large Forepeak area.
The inside of this Forepeak Storage area is difficult to photograph but here I am standing with my back against that Bulkhead/Frame #1 you see above and looking aft towards the next WT Bulkhead at Frame #4.
The large void front and center of this shot will soon be fitted wtih the 300mm/12” diameter tube for the Bow Thruster and the two tank access ports you see behind this are for the Gray Water holding tanks in case we are ever in an area of the world that requires us to capture and hold all the water from our sinks and showers.
Looking up a bit will give you a better sense of how large this area is and the great headroom available which is about 220cm/7.2ft so no danger of hitting your head in here. The forepeak is 3 metres/10’ long overall so this is a very big space to keep all the gear we need up front such as dock lines, fenders and such. Other parts of this volume will be used for a large black water (sewage” tank that will go in the upper right corner of this photo.
Looking over to the upper left corner above you can see the large access hatch opening and that work light is doing a good job of highlighting how those same pipe crowned stringers create the perfect set of steps for getting in and out of the forepeak with great foot and hand holds all the way down.
Moving aft to the other side of that Bulkhead/Frame #4 puts us into this much more spacious area which runs from Frame #4 to Frame #9 so 5m/16.4ft long as the hull quickly widens out as it moves aft to give us a fabulous Master Cabin. The Head/toilet and shower will be on the left with the washer, dryer and a hanging locker on the right with a sink and vanity against the bulkhead in between. Our Queen bed will be in the lower left in this photo and the stairs up to the SuperSalon are behind me to the right of this shot.
Popping out of Möbius and up to the top of the bow of mv Legacy I snapped this quick birds eye view of Möbius that will give you more of a sense of her slender girlish figure that will help her slice through waves and glide through nautical miles of Mother Ocean with maximum efficiency.
Back down on the ground and moving inside the new Naval shipyard offices here is a quick glimpse of one of the more than 20 office spaces in this beautiful new building. Just outside the office above is the main door and reception area and you can see that work is still progressing on finishing off the interior with lights, fittings and floors but it is a wonderful new space for all of us to get even more work done on all these awemazing boats that Naval Yachts is creating. And I will leave you with a mystery question this week with this peek of the latest bundle of materials that just showed up alongside Möbius.
Can you guess what this tubing rectangular and round will soon become?
Or this nest of aluminium elbows trying to burst free?
Put your guesses in the “Join the Discussion” box below and then be sure to tune in next week to find out if you were right?!
Not quite as “moving” or dramatic of a week this time after the flurry of activity moving Möbius and Legacy from the original Naval Yachts boatyard to the new one so this post will be much shorter for you.
If you have been following along with our blog for some time you are starting to appreciate just how many tanks we have (14) given how long it is taking to just weld in all the tank tops and then their corresponding access ports. No surprise then that this work continued this week and you can see the latest progress here in our Master Cabin where the front four tank tops have now been fully welded in, pressure tested and are now sporting their access ports.
Next up will be fitting the tank lids and gaskets and then installing all the plumbing for lines in and out, vents and fills and level gauges so stay tuned for those exciting developments.
Mehmet will give you a sense of scale for our large Master Cabin where he is up against the WT Bulkhead with the Forepeak storage area on the other side. He is kneeling in the area that will be the head/toilet with a sink on center and then the Washer & Dryer being in front of him on the far upper Starboard/right side.
Meanwhile up in the Forepeak you might notice that the aft area has now got its tank tops welded in place and now await their access ports to be installed.
If you look closely in the bays in front of these tanks and perhaps click to enlarge, as you can do to all photos in our blogs, you can make out the circular cut out in the 25mm thick keel bar running down the centerline where the bow thruster will go.
Note too how the 40mm pipe is being welded in along the edges of all the longitudinal stringers. These help make this area a bit safer when you are in here in rough seas but mostly these mate with the semicircular cut-outs in the stringers to create some very handy spots for tying lines, fenders and hooking carabiners over to securely store such things up here.
The set of stringers going down from the bottom right corner of this shot will also provide a very sold and safe set of steps for climbing in and out of this space through the big Forepeak hatch through which I am taking these pictures.
Moving all the way aft and looking down through the even larger hatch into the Engine Room Enclosure, if you look VERY closely in the upper far right side of the Enclosure you can just make out the angle grinder with Mehmet on the other end of it hidden by the Enclosure wall. He is busy getting the aluminium in this area all cleaned and ready for its tank tops to be welded in place which will be used for Grey Water holding tanks.
We will hardly ever use these as we normally direct our Grey Water from sinks and showers directly out through our Sea Chests. However in the unlikely event we ever find ourselves anchored in a very crowded area or in a place that has such requirements, we will have these tanks available to store our Gray Water until we can pump them out well out at sea. And lastly for this week, a quick update on Möbius’ shipyard mate Legacy and a riddle:
Do you know what you do when you don’t like the size or shape of your boat’s butt?? You cut it off! Then weld up a new one,
Which you like better and weld it on instead.
I’ll show you the rest of this marine gluteus maximus replacement surgery next week. Thanks for joining us and please add your questions and suggestions in the “Join the Discussion” box below.
Whew! What a week here at Naval Yachts. The time has finally come to start making the move to the brand new home of Naval Yachts here in the Antalya Free Zone. The building isn’t fully finished yet but the shop side is ready so we started moving boats and as you are about to see Möbius was the first boat to move to her new home on Wednesday followed by Legacy on Thursday. It was quite the experience and I’ll let the pictures and the videos at the end do most of the talking so here goes……..
Team Möbius wasn’t going to let moving interrupt their progress within the boat itself so let’s first take a look at that.
Up on top of the aft end of the Starboard/Right side of the Pilot House roof the massive arch hinges are now tacked in place.
As you’ll recall from seeing this rendering of the aft end of the Pilot House in previous posts, the arch is hinged where it passes through the roof of the Pilot House so that we can fold it down to Canal Mode to reduce our air draft or height above the water to sneak under lower bridges and locks. This rendering shows the arch and SkyBridge roof in both the Green/Grey normal passage mode configuration as well as the purple folded down Canal Mode.
You’ll note too how the bimini roof overtop the SkyBridge cleverly folds down with the arch.
Looking at Port/Left side of what we call the “Wings” at the aft ends of the Pilot House, we can see those hinges being tacked together in the foreground and the 15mm/5/8” base plate for the two compression posts for the Arch tacked into the far inside corner of the Wing box. Those two large 100mm/4” diameter holes on the top of the Wing Box are where the two compression posts will soon be fitted.
The Arch itself is being built off the boat as we’ve seen in previous posts and we’ll show you more of that once it has been tacked together and gets fitted to the top sides of those big hinges.
If you look back at the rendering above you will see how the thick 30mm/1 1/4” window glass wrapped around all sides of the Pilot House extends back to the ends of these Wing Boxes so you can imagine how well protected this aft end of the Pilot House and Aft Deck will be.
This will be especially appreciated when you are going in/out of the SuperSalon through that door you see here on the left or up the circular stairs to the SkyBridge on the opposite side.
Meanwhile up front in our Maser Cabin the last of the water tanks are getting their baffles put in and their tops welded on.
Here is a closer shot to show the baffle plate and top flat bar welded in place and you can see what the completed matching tank looks like on the left. These tanks will be used more as ballast than for potable water for us to use for dishes and showers. With our eXtremely large volume of diesel fuel we carry in our central tanks, 14,500L/3800 USG, that as this volume and weight go down during a passage we are able to maintain the same overall displacement and balance of the boat by adding the equivalent amount of water in the tanks on either ends.
Our ability to move water, and fuel, from any one tank to any other also gives us tremendous options for adjusting the ride and balance of the boat as sea and weather conditions change during a passage. Safety, Comfort and Efficiency are our top 3 priorities and this helps us with all three and this is a good example of how we have made the thousands of design decisions for these eXtreme eXpedition Passage Makers or XPMs.
Down on the shop floor the work continued on the big hatch for the Engine Room. Framing is now all tacked in place and you can now clearly see the open channel that surrounds the entire outer perimeter is formed. This will in turn match up with an opposite U shaped channel surround the perimeter of the opening on the Aft Deck to create a very well sealed connection between them.
The matching U shaped channel on the Aft Deck will also create a perfect gutter to catch any water on the outside of the door and make it easy to put in some drains out the bottom of the channel so that when you open this big ER hatch no water ever drips inside and keeps any water from sea or sky on the outside where we like it.
What do you think these two onlookers are looking at?? Could it be watching our Master Welder Sezgin pushing one of the many MIG welders outside?
Or are they checking out how most of the other equipment and aluminium parts have been removed from around and under Möbius? Or could they be wondering what that black Naval Yachts banner is hiding?
Or what are these Team Möbius members doing taking their tea break on this new blue bench that showed up?
Ohhhhhhh, now I get it, it is MOVE DAY! Everyone pitches in to help get the blue boat mover into position. Blocking and supports are carefully set in place. Uğur and Umit quickly fabricate some additional braces to weld to the hull for more support. Möbius steel floor supports are unceremoniously amputated with some quick passes of the Oxy-Acetylene torch. This old white haired buy keeps getting in the way. Then all these people show up….. Deep within the dark shadows we hear the muted roar of a little diesel engine starting up and the whine of hydraulic motors as Möbius gracefully lifts off the floor ….. … and backs her beautiful aluminium butt out the door and into the sunshine. aft deck now all clear and now we see what that Naval banner was covering up! Someone snuck in during the night to chisel out a bit more room for the upper heights of the SkyBridge to fit under! All clear and fully out in the sunshine at last! Backing all the way out and across the street and almost inside of the big Damen shipyard building next door. Thanks to all those turnable wheels she makes the turn onto the street Holds her beautiful big nose high in the air Looking ever so huge and beautiful, she backs her beautiful butt down the street and off to her new home. and a few minutes later she gracefully makes the last turn towards her and Naval Yachts’ new home.
More of that same crowd showed up again to help mark this momentous occasion and you can click to enlarge to see if you can spot any faces you recognize? Calmly waiting while they get the door to her new home open, Möbius sizes up that opening to make sure she will fit. Doesn’t look like any chiseling of the door top will be needed here! Half out …….. …. half in. Everything in life is relative and our big baby now looks more like a little girl as she backs into her cavernous new home. Ahhhh, home at last! Four VERY proud parents with their respective new “babies”:
Dincer on the left and Baris on the right, the two very proud parents of the new Naval Yachts shipyard they have just designed and built.
And Christine and I in between, proud parents of our beautiful little girl Möbius towering over all of us in the background with some of her many attendants all around. Our poor little amputee has her legs reattached. out goes the boat mover and in goes the stands Feeling a wee bit little and lonely, Möbius now awaits her fellow shipmates to join her. Next up is her slightly larger and much heavier sister “Legacy” who requires the slightly larger yellow boat mover. Remote control all ready to guide her around the first corner around the last corner Legacy points her nose into the same bay and heads for her awaiting buddy boat Möbius And soon these two sisters of the sea are nuzzled nose to nose ready for their respective teams to resume work tomorrow. As you can see it was a VERY “moving” week for all of us at Naval Yachts and now the work resumes on moving the rest of the company, a few more boats and getting back to work on completing these awemazing boats.
As one chapter ends and another begins, seems fitting that tonight would end with this beautiful sunset off our back balcony don’t you think?
I’ll admit to being a bit of a pooped pup after such a fabulous week so I’m going to let Miss Google look after creating the videos of you this time. Frankly, I’m not sure I could do much better myself and that would take hours.
So here are the videos which Miss Google automagically created, one from my videos and one from Christine’s.
These are also nice little examples of the very early uses of something I have an abundance of, Artificial Intelligence! But seriously folks it is a fabulous time to be alive and an awemazing time to be living in so both Christine and I hope you will enjoy this post and these videos.
Either way, let us know what you like and what you don’t like or would you suggest to make these blog posts more interesting and enjoyable. Can’t guarantee I will be able to follow all your suggestions but I can guarantee that I’ll do my best to keep making them better each week.
While I spent this past week up in Amsterdam walking the miles of aisles of the HUGE METS 2018 Marine Equipment & Trades Show the rest of Team Möbius was hard at work getting the frames for the tank access ports welded to the tank tops and they also started work making the big hatch lid that seals off the access hatch into the Engine Room as well as the big hinges for the arch we showed you last week as well. Let’s go take a look ……………….
You wouldn’t think that we would be happy to see all these big holes cut into all the tanks that had just been so carefully welded up and pressure tested to make sure they were all sealed tight. But you’d be wrong! I need to have a way to access the inside of all those many baffled sections within each of the 14 fuel and water tanks that create the lattice type grid of the below the waterline portion of the hull on Möbius and that is what these access ports are for.
In last week’s blog post you saw the two halves of these 25mm thick frames being welded and the rectangular holes being cut into the tank tops and now you can see how these frames are welded around the perimeter of all those tank top holes. The series of small holes you see around the surface of each frame are threaded for the 8mm SS bolts which will be used to clamp the 6mm thick lid plates down to the frames with special fuel safe gasket material in between to seal them tight.
The inside dimension of these frames is about 250mm/10” square which gives plenty of room for me to reach in all the way to the bottom of the deepest part of the ends of each baffled tank compartment with something like a big vacuum hose if it were ever neccessary to remove any buildup of debris in any of these tanks over the years of use.
We go to great lengths to reduce the possibility of any contaminants entering our tanks. The only source of fresh water to fill the water tanks is our high capacity water maker, never any water from shore side sources, so we know that it is always very pure and clean. For the diesel fuel we have an Alfa Laval centrifuge that removes even the tiniest of particles as well as any water or other contaminants which might be in fuel we take onboard so we expect our tanks to stay extremely clean at all times.
These frames will now have all their edges and welds cleaned up and the lids and gaskets will be bolted down for the last pressure test to make sure all tanks are fully sealed. Once that is done and they have been all pressure washed and cleaned the tanks will await their first fill up.
Oh, and BTW, we are now accepting any and all contributions to the first fuel fill up! I’ll let you do the math but the total volume of all our fuel tanks combined is over 14,500 liters/3825 US Gals.
Just sayin’ ……………………………………..
Several of you have asked about the water tanks I mentioned that were on either side of the engine and CPP gearbox beds and this shot inside the Engine Room will show more clearly how these tanks fit in here. In addition to the fresh water they hold, these tanks also help add more mass to this area of the hull which will absorb some of the vibration and noise transfer and with our help ensure that Möbius is nice and quiet throughout when we are on passages and Mr. G is quietly powering us to our next destination.
Taking a look around while we are inside the hull, the stairs going up from the Master Cabin to the front of the SuperSalon have been fully welded and cleaned up.
Meanwhile, up on top of the foredeck the coaming we’ve been watching as it was assembled and tacked has also been fully welded and cleaned up.
The bottom edges of the big 30+ mm/1.2” thick panes of laminated window glass will run along the tops of this coaming and the sloped edges will help deflect any green water that comes over the bow in heavy seas and manages to make it this far back.
Diving down to the underwater areas at the aft end of the hull we see that the boys have been busy finishing up the welding and now smoothing out the surfaces of the prop shaft Skeg.
Aluminium is just such a great material to work with and IMHO SOOOOOOOoooooo beautiful to look at as well.
This closer look at the Starboard side of the Skeg shows the finished welding around the prop tube and how the welds between that 25mm thick vertical keel bar and the 15mm Skeg skin has been ground and faired smooth.
Keep in mind that the outer hull surfaces which are below the waterline will all be painted, the only paint on the whole boat, because we need to have the anti fouling protection below the waterline. This means that we can use epoxy filler to create perfectly smooth and well radiused fillets in all the corners and transition areas which enable us to have the just right surfaces for best hydrodynamic flow of the water especially in this critical area of water feeding into our slow turning 1m diameter CPP propeller.
As if that wasn’t enough, a super smooth bottom also turns Christine and me on. No, no, NO! Not that way, it is just that WE are usually the ones who have to dive in and do all the cleaning and scraping of any buildup on the hull surfaces and prop. You learn over time just how much even the slightest bit of growth slows down the boat and reduces hull efficiency so we like to keep our bottoms very clean and smooth as a baby’s bum!
So what’s new you ask? How about this big hatch door that goes over that big opening in the aft deck above the Engine Room. We will see this get finished up and fitted in the next few weeks but you can already see the general construction of the underside of this hatch door here. The inner framing creates the open boxed profile perimeter that will protect the rubber seal that will line the bottom perimeter surface you see here and this seal will be pressed firmly against the top edge of the opposite facing frame around the perimeter of the hatch opening welded into the aft deck.
When closed, this hatch door will sit flush with the aft deck level and be covered in the same non skid material as the rest of the deck so the whole aft deck area will be completely free and clear of any obstructions. The door will have gas cylinders tucked into this perimeter area to assist in opening this door much like you’d have on the rear door of an SUV or hatchback car. There will be a series of “dogs” or handles at intervals all around the inside edges so this door can be pulled tight against the rubber seals and make sure all the water stays where it belongs; OUTSIDE the boat!
This quick rendering of the aft deck and SkyBridge areas helps to show where this Blue hatch door sits overtop the Engine Room below and within the two Red ER Vent Boxes. The hatch is large enough to allow the whole Gardner and Nogva CPP gearbox assembly to be lifted into and out of the Engine Room. It will also provide me lots of fresh air and sunlight anytime I need to be down in the Engine Room doing maintenance when we are at anchor.
If you didn’t catch last week’s post, the purple components in this render shows how the arch and bimini roof overtop the SkyBridge folds down to “Canal Cruise” mode.
Can you guess what these aluminium things sitting atop the other end of the hatch door are for?
Correct, these are the big hinges we first saw last week and you have just seen in the rendering above, that enable the arch to fold down 90 degrees to significantly reduce the “air draft” or bridge clearance, which is the height above the waterline for situations such as cruising through inland canals in some areas of the world where there are lower bridges.
The regular air draft from the waterline to the top of the arch will be about 6.4m/21ft @ half load and then there will be radar and antennae above that so overall bridge deck clearance will be more like 7m/23’. Usually this is plenty of room for most bridges in seaways but by folding the arch and SkyBridge bimini roof down our bridge clearance would drop down to a svelte 4m/13’ which will open up a tremendous opportunities to explore so many more parts of the world.
As you are discovering, we call these boats eXtreme eXploration eXpedition Passage Makers or XPM for good reasons!
That wraps up the week that was November 12 to 16, 2018. Another fabulous week of great progress for Team Möbius and my first experience with the giant METS boat show. I will try to write up a separate post here with more about what I saw and learned at METS for those of you who might be interested in those details.
Sorry but no video this week but I will do my best to make up for it next week. If all goes as planned I will have some very exciting video to show you next week as it looks like we will start moving boats including Möbius over to their new home in the brand new Naval Yachts shipyard! So stay tuned for more next week and as always be sure to add your questions and suggestions to the “Join the Discussion” box below.
This was not only a full 5 day week is was 5 days filled with welding, welding, welding. Not that this is anything new, building a metal hull is mostly about welding. This is all more so the case now that almost all the cutting is done with CNC machines which take their code directly from the 3D models and precisely cut the sheets of different thicknesses of aluminium into the thousands of individual pieces of aluminium which are then fit together in a very jig saw puzzle like way. Because all the individual pieces now arrive at the shipyard direct from the AL supplier all precisely cut and marked, there is very little cutting and fitting during the build as most parts interlock and fit together as is. The focus is thus largely on assembling the pieces, tacking as needed to keep aligned and then doing the finishing welds. In the not so distant past all the steel or aluminium would arrive at the shipyard as whole sheets and the parts would be individually laid out and cut by hand to much rougher tolerances which then required a significant amount of grinding and cutting and fitting of each piece for it to be tacked and then welded, hopefully in just the right place and position. This all worked well however it meant that the alignment and fitting of all the parts and the overall boat itself was up to the skills of those people building the boat and it required a tremendous amount of time for all this skilled labour.
There is no less skill in building metal boats these days but the skills are changing and distributed differently than in the past. The initial focus and larger amounts of time are now being spent on the design and engineering to create extremely complete 3D models which can be tested for strength, faults, balance and stability before any metal is cut or actual building has begun.
In the past few years the efficiency of the overall building of a ship has jumped up another notch, pun intended as the parts are now all “notched” or otherwise made to be interlocking and self aligning anywhere possible and not at all unlike the way interlocking blocks and puzzle pieces fit together. By having all the pieces interlocking and also marked wtih alignment points it is possible to almost eliminate the chance of any part going in the wrong place or wrong way and so the initial part of the building of a hull, as you have been seeing here each week update on the building of XPM78-01 is a process of assembly, putting all the individual pieces together, tack welding them where needed to hold them in place and then once that whole assembly has been put together it is added into the other sub assemblies to create the hull, deck and superstructure. With most of these pieces interlocking, as each piece slots into the next they are held in alignment by each other and as each additional part is slotted in place the alignment tightens up and the final assembly is almost assured of matching precisely with the 3D model from which all these parts originated.
The skills of the tradespeople building boats this way today are no less critical to successfully building of a great boat than they have been in the past, but the build process now requires far fewer person hours and the skills are distributed and focussed much differently than the past. Build wise the focus has shifted away from specific skills in things like hand cutting and fitting and is a more holistic view with a critical eye for fit and alignment of the sub assemblies and, taking us back to were I started this tangent; welding!
If you’ve been following along with the build of XPM78 aka Möbius, you’ve been aware that welding has been a constant presence from the very beginning. You may recall for example that the first step in the build process was building the jig on the ship floor upon which the whole hull was initially built upside down. Throughout the assembly of all those interlocking pieces there was tack welding going on throughout and as the hull came together the continuous welds to finish assemblies started to lay down literally nautical miles of weld which continues to this day and this post. Hence this week’s title.
So with that much too long intro, let’s get into all the progress Team Möbius has made this week of November 5-9, 2018.
I will start from the bottom of Möbius and work our way upward and here we see Sezgin our Master Welder expertly laying down his trademark beautiful MIG welds where the prop tunnel plates join the outer hull plates. All of this is 15mm/5/8” plate so this area is enormously strong and perhaps even more importantly this thick plate has been carefully shaped into the very complex collection of curves required to make the many transitions from the hull to the tunnel to the skeg.
Here is a good view looking forward along that welded edge of the prop tunnel and hull side as well as the welds along the upper corner of the skeg where it connects to the prop tunnel plates and around the prop shaft tube.
I will give you a before and after set of photos of this tricky transition where the prop shaft tube emerges through the sides of the skeg plate. You may recall that in the middle of this shot the vertical 25mm frame used to fully encircle the prop shaft tube to ensure that this critical tube was locked into just the right position which is another example of the interlocking nature of this build I described in the intro.
Now that the Skeg is all assembled and tacked together, that outer 25mm frame has been cut off to expose the tube sides and this area along with all the slots are ready to receive their final welds like this.
The only area of Möbius that will be painted is the below the waterline hull surfaces which means that once these welds are all ground down flush we can apply some epoxy filler to create perfectly radiused corners and fillets. Smoothing these regions serves two important purposes. First and most importantly such super smooth transitions help to ensure that the laminar water flow along these surfaces stays very clean, smooth and uninterrupted as this is the water that flows into our prop blades. The cleaner and smoother this flow of water is, the more efficient the prop is at absorbing the torque from the Gardner engine and converting it into thrust.
Secondly but equally important to Christine and me is that smooth surfaces and well radiused corners are MUCH easier to clean when we are scrubbing the bottom regularly to keep it super smooth and slippery. We have onboard a hookah type system which is essentially an air compressor with twin airlines connected to a SCUBA regulator which is often referred to as a SNUBA setup because it has all the combined benefits of SCUBA tank type gear along with snorkeling. The quick video below will show you the unit we had on our previous sailboat Learnativity and you can see why we liked it so much.
We will probably have two different versions of this on Möbius, one that works off a built in compressor in my Workshop and has oil less compressed air quick connectors on the swim platform so we can simply plug in our twin 25m/85’ air lines in and either explore the immediate seabed surrounding us or more typically go to work on scrubbing the hull. The second setup is the one you see in the video above where the 12v compressor floats on the water or is in our tender and allows us to go “Snuba diving” wherever we want. These units are usually good enough for one diver to get down to 60’ which I’ve had to do a few times to rescue items from the bottom as much as 80’ or more but most of the time Christine and I find that most of the fun and colourful underwater attractions are in the first 10m/30’ so this Snuba gear really opens up this eXploration for us and has already provided phenomenal experiences for us on Learnativity which we can’t wait to continue on Möbius.
I have actually come to regard this Snuba setup to be a key component of our SAFETY at SEA equipment because when (never if) we have some problem underneath the boat and water, I can be down there breathing easily for as long as needed to make the neccessary repairs. This would include things like snagging a stray line, fishnet, kelp, nets and such that end up wrapped around the prop or as was the case with Learnativity once and on what we call our “first date” when doing the 3 week passage from Fiji up to Majuro in the Marshall Islands and the rudder broke off! Just think about the difference between trying to work on such problems at sea, usually very rough seas, with a snorkel or less compared to having a constant supply of air. You know our choice!
Speaking of the Swim Platform let’s climb up there next and as we do we can see that it too has received its finished welding to the hull plates
Up standing on the Starboard/right side of the Swim Platform we see that the plinth providing plenty of headroom when you walk through the watertight door into the Workshop has been all welded up and ready for cleaning to get it ready for the glued on EPDM insulation that will go on next.
Stepping through that doorway and we now find Sezgin up here where he is laying down the finished welds on the inside of the welds you saw him doing above around the prop tunnel. This area he is in will be the big open area part of my Workshop along with two eXtremely long workbenches, all 5m/16.5’ of them running down both sides of the hull. Not that I’m at all excited about this.
Looking inside the Engine Room or ER Enclosure we can see more of Sezgin’s craftsmanship with the now fully welded interior areas where the skeg and hull plates come together and attach to those beefy frame rails running across into the two thick lengths of plate running lengthwise which provide the beds for mounting the engine and CPP servo gearbox.
Dropping down and looking aft with my foot for reference, this is the other end of the prop shaft tube where it enters the boat and many more welds proudly on display. The dripless shaft seal will be attached to this end of the prop tube to keep the water out as the prop shaft extends forward and is bolted onto the output shaft of the CPP servo gearbox. Note too the limber holes you can see in the very center of this photo on either side of the keel bar which ensures that any water that might get in her can drain easily down this sloped area to the very front where the bilge pump pickup can suck it all up and out through the exit sea chest.
Moving forward along the Port/Left side where one set of those fabulous workbenches will be, we step through though the next WT door seen in the top right here which takes you from the Workshop into the corridor that lies alongside the Guest Cabin and Christine’s Office on the right or straight ahead to the stairs up into the SuperSalon.
But Ohhhh NOOOOOO!! What have you done Umit??!!! You’ve cut big square holes in our boat!?!
Double Oh Oh!! as we see you’ve cut more holes into the tops of the tanks in the Basement area too!!! I am baffled as to why you would do this??
Alas, not to worry, all according to plan, these of course are some of the many access ports into all the baffled tank areas. On our yearly inspections or in case of a problem with dirty fuel or water it is very important that I have good access to all each of the compartments created by all the baffles inside each of the 14 fuel and water tanks. Peering through one of these access port holes near that is on the centerline and deepest part of the tanks which run alongside of the big keel bar, you can see that I will have very ready access to all parts of each compartment.
Aha! Now we see the method to Umit’s madness as he is prepping the U shaped 25mm thick pieces what will be welded together to create the frames for each tank access port.
These access port frames have been CNC cut in two pieces so as to reduce the waste that would have been if these were cut as one piece. These U shapes can all be nested very closely together to use the plate very efficiently and then welded together along the deep V grooves created by the joining ends you see here.
The X crosses have been marked by the CNC machine to indicate where the threaded holes will end up for the SS bolts which will fasten each gasketed lid in place. Once these frames have been welded and the holes drilled and threaded they will be welded to the tank tops surrounding those cut outs we saw earlier. This creates blind threaded holes, which don’t penetrate the tank tops eliminating any possibility for some liquid to seep through the threads into the interior. While I love the power it has I DETEST the smell of diesel inside a boat so we are making sure there is no chance of even the tiniest of fuel, or water, leaks inside the boat.
Continuing with the welding theme here are the frames with their alignment plates tacked firmly in place to keep the whole frame is perfectly square and and flat and ready for………………….., you guessed it, welding!
And here is one batch of frames with the welding all done and cleaned up, ready for surfacing the faces to make them dead flat then drilled and threaded and finally welded onto the tank tops.
The ever busy Energizer Bunny aka Sezgin the Master welder has also been busy welding up the cantilevered roof that extends aft from the SkyBridge over the Aft Deck and provides such great protection from the elements for the BBQ and outdoor kitchen area on the aft deck and even more importantly wraps around and overtop both the doorway leading into the SuperSalon and the stairs up to the SkyBridge.
Moving inside the SuperSalon and looking up from its floor level reveals some of the eXtremely strong framing that is the hallmark of these XPM boats. This shot is looking forward along the Stbd/Right side and shows how the side decks run alongside those beautiful big glass windows that wrap around the entire SuperSalon.
In addition to their thick I beam type construction you can also see how these frames are all tied together in one continuous loop curving their way up to create the mullions for the windows and then arcing over to the other side to create the ceiling of the SuperSalon and floor of the SkyBridge above. These same fame members curve down along the hull side plates and then tie into that big thick keel bar that runs from stem to stern of the hull.
The round and oval cut outs you see in the frame here will have matching shaped AL pipes welded in to provide smooth support for the hoses, plumbing and wires that run though here.
Up on the foredeck we see that the coaming that creates a sleek bases for the window glass that wraps around the sides and front of the Pilot House has now been all tacked in place and awaits its final welding.
This coaming extends forward more as it wraps around the front windows to provide a stylish way of helping to break up and deflect any large amounts of sea water that might come over the bow and down the decks.
Gussets are welded in place to support the surface plating which Uğur is tacking into place here.
With all the tacks freshly cleaned up these are now added to Sezgin’s always growing list of things to weld.
Standing back you can see how this has all shaped up very nicely and you can also see quite clearly how transparent this whole area is and why we’ve named it our SuperSalon.
But wait! There’s more!!
Let’s not forget that big beautiful arch that provides support for our paravane A frame booms, one of which can be seen on the far Starboard/right side here in its dark gray up and Orange down position.
This arch will also provide support for the aft end of the bimini roof over the SkyBridge as well as a convenient place for mounting the some of the many antennae we will have along with multiple GPS receivers, RADAR units, search lights, etc. I will show you the details in future posts but the very significant feature of this arch is that it is hinged on each side just above where the double posts exit the Pilot House roof. Dark Gray shows the arch in its normal Up position and then Purple shows it folded down. This enables us to dramatically lower our “air draft” or height so we can cruise through places in the world such as the canals with lower span bridges. And as if that isn’t cool enough, Dennis designed it such that when the arch folds down the bimini roof folds down with it! Here you can see the Green SkyBridge bimini in its normal Up position with the 8 Blue solar panels atop and then in Purple down in “Canal Mode”. But that neat feature will have to wait for a future post.
What I can show you now, in addition to more welding of course, is Uğur and Nihat starting to build the top span section of the arch. The flat plates you see them tacking in place here create a nice box section and surface for mounting the various bits and pieces of electronics that go up here and a waterproof area to house the connections and wiring.
These two sections form the two vertical legs of the upper arch parts of the Arch which attach to the deck and extend up through those “wings” you have seen in previous posts which extend back from the aft corners of the Pilot House.
Which in turn have these two box frame arms that extend forward to provide the pivot point for the bimini roof. If you click to enlarge the rendering above you can get an idea how this all works and interacts.
And as if all THAT wasn’t enough for this week check out what else was happening here at Naval Yachts in the Antalya Free Zone.
Looking up and outside the Naval Yachts shipyard on Wednesday this little fella went slowly sliding by heading for a refit in the shipyard next door.
And then two blocks over at the new home for Naval Yachts they have now poured all the concrete for the driveways and outside parking and storage areas around the new shipyard building. With the exterior concrete now in along with the Palm trees and grass alongside, the new Naval Yachts is rapidly nearing completion and we should start moving in by the end of this month. So nothing but exciting news and progress over here.
Finishing up for this week I will leave you with this video summary of the week and an updated guided tour for you. It is a bit longer, 13 minutes, than the fast time lapse summaries of my regular weekly video summaries so please do let me know your thoughts on these different formats and what you prefer as well as any and all other comments and suggestions for improvement. I would be sincerely appreciative of any and all help to make these blog posts work better for you.
I leave tomorrow for Amsterdam to experience the huge Marine European Trade Show or METS this is the largest marine show in the world and primarily aimed at the ship building industry so it is the perfect opportunity for me to go see all the latest and greatest materials and equipment for boats like ours and get some in person time with some of the worlds experts. I’ll do my best to capture some of this in pictures and video and bring you some of that in a special edition blog update next weekend.
Until then thank you VERY much for taking the time to join us on this adventure and as always, please be sure to add your comments, questions and ideas in the “Join the Discussion” box below.
It was only a 4 day week here as it was the big Republic Day here in Turkey marking the 95th anniversary of when Ataturk formed this amazing country we are now enjoying so much. However the shorter week certainly didn’t slow down Team Möbius as they all picked up the pace first thing Tuesday morning and by weeks end most of the 14 integral fuel and water tanks had their top plates welded on and pressure tested, the Pilot House had its front window frames and surrounding coaming tacked in place and as per the title of this week’s post, the curved stairs leading from the forward and aft cabins to the SuperSalon were in place for testing as well. So let’s take a look inside shall we.
Picking up where we left off last week, the plinth for full headroom access from the aft Swim Platform into the Workshop received its nice large radius corners all around and is now ready for finish welding and then installing the WT door framing. Flatbar are tacked to the outer surfaces to keep them all straight as they are welded and will then be removed and the tacks ground off so they disappear. This ease of adding and removing things and the ease of fabricating in general is what makes working with aluminium such a treat and we are VERY happy with our choice of material for Möbius.
We will also add at least one glass hatch in the sides and perhaps one on top to provide a good flow of natural light and air into the aft end of the Workshop.
Heading on into the Workshop (sorry couldn’t resist), we find Sezgin sitting in the aft end of the Engine Room Enclosure.
He is sitting where the Nogva CPP gearbox will eventually mount to those two thick engine bed planks on either side.
Sezgin is hard at work laying down more nautical miles of aluminium MIG wire to the hull. Here he is welding the 15mm thick prop tunnel plates to the 25mm keel/skeg plates and engine beds.
Standing up on the aft deck looking down through the big hatch opening you can see the finished structure of the ER and the beds and framing underneath.
This dedicated Engine Room is going to be one of the best Engine Rooms on any boat I know as it has full 210mm standing room and almost a meter of space on either side of the big Gardner engine. By dedicating this room to just the engine and the CPP gearbox and putting everything else outside provides me the rare luxury of clear and open access to all parts on the engine and gearbox. We have designed this so there is also more than 300mm/12” below the Gardner’s massive cast AL oil pan so plenty of easy access below as well. As a point of reference I had 5mm clearance between the oil pan on the big Cummins engine and the ER floor in Learnativity our previous 52’ steel sailboat. Sorry if I seem overly excited about an Engine Room but If you’d spent as much time in ones as I have, wedged like a pretzel between burning hot engine parts, you’d be excited too!
** FYI, over here on the Trawler Forum there has been a lively discussion about our Engine Room Enclosure design which Dennis, our gifted NA and designer, initially proposed and it prompts me to do a separate post here on the blog to get into more details as to what led us to create this dedicated ER Enclosure rather than a full width ER so watch for that post to go up soon and in the meantime many of you might enjoy reading the rich resource of articles on Trawler Forum.
Moving forward from the ER into the Guest Cabin/Christine’s Office you can see (click to enlarge this or any photos) that the tank tops are all welded in place now and have all passed their pressure tests.
Next up will be welding in the many access ports to all these tanks and in the meantime they are cleaning up all the interior AL surfaces and welds so they are all nice and clean for the self adhesive EPDM insulation foam that will soon be covering the entire interior of the boat. Continuing forward through the next WT Bulkhead into the Basement area we find more tank tops all welded in place and fully sealed. One of the 3 battery boxes is seen on center here and these will eventually have AL top plates bolted on with sealing gaskets.
But THIS is the latest and most exciting development for Christine and me; STAIRS! Both the forward Master Cabin and Aft Guest Cabin are down four steps from the raised SuperSalon floor and each of set of stairs has a slight twist or spiral to them for safest entry and exit positions. Plus we think they look cool!
Here are the first two steps leading down into the corridor to the ER and the aft Guest Cabin which is where I’m standing to take this picture. . The remaining two steps will be added once the tanks which make up the floor are all finished.
Up forward leading down to our Main Cabin you can see how the full 5 steps look.
If you look at these two stairwells you will see how they completely close in the Basement area such that it becomes another WT Looking straight down you can see how you move through about 90 degrees as you enter along that very top edge in this photo and then wind down to the floor level in the Main Cabin.
Each staircase is a bit different as you enter and exit them differently but they both provide very secure footing in any conditions at sea.
Stepping up into the SuperSalon we find Nihat prepping the framing underneath the the forward stairs. Last but not least for this week the frames for window glass is now all tacked in place. These frames are cut from 12mm plate so they are one solid piece and provide the wide surfaces for the very thick 28mm/1.1” adhesive mounted panes of tempered laminated glass.
This strip along the side windows creates a slight coaming off the deck which protects the bottom edge of the glass panels when they are glued in place. The sides of each pane of glass but up against each other with adhesive filling the small gap between them so as to create the look of a seamless glass surface. As the coaming wraps around the front windows it extends out an angle you can see in these gussets that Nihat is tacking in place. Next week you will see how the plates on the deck Nihat is sitting on will cover this framework to create a smooth transition for any big “green water” that we might take on over the bow when slicing upwind through big seas. The energy of the water would be reduced and reflected back forward as it flows smoothly from the deck and makes the transition up the angled coaming onto the window glass and then back forward. You can imagine how sleek and maybe a wee bit sinister this will look when it is entirely covered in glass. This is a similar type of construction that has been developed for sheathing high rise buildings in glass and is enormously strong. With their negative rake/angle and the generous roof overhangs they will also pick up less rain and have very little reflections inside at night. Best of all though will be the views that wrap themselves all around you when you’re in this super space and why we call it our SuperSalon.
Leaving you as always with a video summary of the week’s progress that I hope you will enjoy watching and give you a bit more insight into what you’ve seen above.
Please add your comments, questions and suggestions in the “Join the Discussion” box below and thanks for taking your time to join us on this grand adventure.