Hoses, Hinges and Hatches, Oh My!

Hoses, Hinges and Hatches, Oh My!

Hard for us to believe but this week marked the beginning of Year Two as we passed the one year mark since Project Goldilocks began last April 6th and the productivity freight train that Team Möbius is, continues to pick up speed on the tracks to completion by the end of this year.  We were all too busy with the ever increasing teams and types of work that has been happening to stop and celebrate this milestone and it is one of those things where you wonder simultaneously at how it could have been so long ago and yet how short a time it seems.  As per the title and what you’ll see and read in this week’s progress update we now have teams working on finish welding in all our in-house designed and built deck hatches both glass and aluminium types, hand hold railings, electrical wiring, insulation, fuel hoses and manifolds, engine room door, wood and material selections for the interior design work which is picking up steam now too.  So with that brief synopsis let me stop telling and start showing you this week’s progress.

IMG_3577If you’ve been following along the past few weeks you’ll know where you are and what these are.  That’s right we are in the Basement and these are the two large fuel manifolds for selecting which fuel tank we are pulling from and which tank we are returning to when either polishing or transferring fuel. 
Most often this will be filling up the 500L Day Tank which is the supply source for the two diesel consumers, the Gardner engine and the Kabola water heater and then from time to time when we are polishing the fuel via the Alpha Laval MIB303 centrifuge or transferring fuel from one tank to another to keep all that weight well balanced and where we want it.

IMG_3570The manifold on the left manages all the return hoses and the one on the right the supply to each of the six fuel tanks below the Basement.  You can see the large access hatch opening above into the SuperSalon and we’ve located all these ball valves here for quick and easy access whenever we need to switch which tank we are drawing from and returning to.

IMG_3571The manifolds have 14 hoses connected to them, six each to/from each tank and then a main supply and return line leading up to the Day Tank in the Workshop and they have now started laying in all these rubber fuel hoses along the “superhighway” of wire trays that you’ve been seeing installed over the past month.
IMG_3561Speaking of the Day Tank, it moved aboard for a temporary stay to determine the precise location it will have and finalising the brackets to hold it there.  Here you see the partially welded up Day Tank making its way through the WT doorway from the Swim Platform into the Workshop.
IMG_3565Moving it straight forward from the door the Day Tank nestles into its spot up against the WT Bulkhead into the Guest Cabin and the Starboard side wall of the Engine Room on the left here.  If you look closely you can just make out the WT Bulkhead in the back as it is all covered with the black EPDM insulation and you can see two of the aluminium pass through sleeves on the right where hoses, wires and plumbing lines need to penetrate a WT Bulkhead frame. 
IMG_3555Where hoses, wires and pipes need to pass through a Water Tight Bulkhead, oval shaped aluminium sleeves have been welded in such as the three you can see on the left of this photo.  Near the end of the build once all the systems are fully installed these sleeves will be filled with a special certified foam to completely seal them.
IMG_3567And there are some off/on ramps built in where we need to run hoses and cables across a bulkhead such as this.
IMG_20190410_174815You might think some giant squid has squeezed aboard but this is the beginning of installing the larger 50mm/2” ID rubber hose for the Fill & Vents boxes where they connect to each fuel tank when refuelling.
IMG_20190409_134546These might look like two periscopes watching the action happening on the hose trays but they are actually two of the Fill/Vent connections into this fuel tank in the Basement that is inboard of the Grey Water tank in the background here with its access port on the right and some of the SAE5 flanges on the left where the Maretron and Hart tank level lines go.
IMG_20190409_133625Up in the Master Cabin the water tank access ports are being fitted with their SS studs………….
IMG_20190409_133655Fuel rated gasket material is cut to fit………..
IMG_20190410_174957……… and lids are carefully torqued down and then each tank is pressure tested to ensure it remains fully sealed.
IMG_20190408_112541Finishing up with tanks for this week, Uğur and Nihat are welding in the flanges around these two void (empty) tank sections which separate the water tanks in the aft end of the Master Cabin from the fuel tanks in the Basement  This is required by CE and class certification but is also just good practice to eliminate any chance of fuel and water mixing.  6mm / 1/4” aluminium plate covers will be bolted in with gaskets to keep this area fully waterproof as well as providing access in the future should it be needed for these areas which are located under the Queen bed in the Master Cabin.
IMG_20190408_112528Up at the front of the Master Cabin Mummy is busy finishing off the installation of the special acoustic insulation on this WT Bulkhead where the Forepeak on the other side.  With 50mm / 2” of EPDM on the other side, this is our typical over engineering just to ensure that anytime someone is sleeping in the Master Cabin noised from anchoring don’t interfere with their sleep.
IMG_20190408_112307These large acoustic insulation panels have peel & stick adhesive to keep them fully sealed against the aluminium plates and then these aluminium fasteners are glued to the aluminium bulkheads and the foam is pressed in place.

To finish, these large diameter aluminium locking washers are pressed on and the spikes are bent over and cut off to ensure these panels stay put prior to having the acoustic plywood panels fastened over top.

IMG_20190410_174901Finishing off the insulation update this week, Mummy has also been busy completing the exacting job of applying the thick cloth backed foil over all the EPDM foam insulation on the Basement walls and ceiling. 
IMG_20190409_100903This foil has proven to be a great solution to providing the just right surface in the Basement.  As you can see it is VERY bright in here with all the reflection off the aluminium foil and it is Xtremely durable and easy to clean.  What’s not to like?
IMG_3574Installation of all the glass topped deck hatch frames we’ve designed and built in house is now finished with these last two 70cm / 28” square welded in place on each side of the Aft Deck.  These are located overtop of the middle of the length of the 5m long workbenches below in the Workshop. 
IMG_20190409_163446At the very back of the Aft Deck Uğur, Nihat and Sezgin were hard at work building the door for the entrance into the Engine Room. 
IMG_20190410_150008We decided to put a fire rated glass window in this Engine Room door so we can do a visual check of what’s going on inside before opening this door.  We have plenty of gauges that would raise alarms if something goes wrong in the Engine Room but this adds an additional degree of safety when we are doing our hourly Engine Room checks on passage.

IMG_20190409_133422Inside the Port side of the Workshop looking forward we see the Engine Room doorframe tacked in place.
IMG_20190409_134721Uğur fits the short stingers that Nihat has cut to shape for the short area between the new door frames and the rest of the ER walls.
IMG_20190410_174615And Sezgin arrives to fully weld the frames to the walls.
IMG_3550Yiğit designed up these hinges and Uğur quickly fabricated them and tacked the door in place on the new door frames to check that the door can open the full 270 degrees so it folds all the way around out of the way up against the back wall of the ER.  You can see the window cut-out here as well.
IMG_3551It is a bit of an odd angle but might still give you a better sense of how this ER door fits.  This is looking aft towards the door diagonally across where you enter the Workshop from the Swim Step.
IMG_20190409_101243Last but definately not least the rest of the hand hold railings have been fabricated and tacked in place around the perimeter of the whole Pilot House.  Here we are looking at the Starboard/Right Aft corner of the Pilot House looking forward along the side decks. 
IMG_20190409_101313Moving up to the front of the Pilot House, there are similar hand holds run across the forward overhang.  These are huge safety factors enabling us to go out on deck if ever neccessary and always have an Xtremely sturdy and easy to grip hand hold around all 360 degrees of the Pilot House. 
These hand rails are about 1.4m / 4.5ft off the deck which is a just right height for easy reach while walking along these areas and they also provide a continuous series of places to clip your safety harness to.

IMG_20190411_084930Early Thursday morning Christine and I went out to the Antalya airport to start our most recent led of the Never Too Nauti Grandparents World Tour with a quick trip to Florida for some much needed time being Gramma and Grampa with our three grandchildren and three children and their respective spouses.  This low quality shot is as we were amongst the very first flights to land at the brand new Istanbul airport which opened thee days earlier
IMG_20190411_100241First time we have been able to get all of this extended family together and is about the only thing that could pull us away from building our boat with Naval Yachts.  Inside this new airport is truly enormous and stunningly designed.  We had a chance to explore and admire it as we had a few hours before our flight to Miami.
So we are leaving our beloved Möbius in the Xtremely capable hands of the rest of Team Möbius and Naval Yachts and staying in close contact via Email and WhatsApp to make sure we are there to answer questions and provide input whenever needed.  We fly back on the 26th and thanks to Yiğit taking photos every day onboard Möbius I will be able to continue to get these weekly update posts coming so that you, and we, don’t miss any of the action as this incredible voyage and adventure continues.

Thanks for joining us and don’t forget to add your questions, comments and suggestions in the “Join the Discussion” box below.

Miss Mobius World Wood Pageant

Miss Mobius World Wood Pageant

NOTE:  I’m having trouble splitting this week’s update post into two so it will have to stay here as one big posting.  So go get a comfy seat and a good beverage and I think you’ll enjoy this longer than usual posting.  As you’ll see it has be a VERY busy and eventful week!

OK, back to our regular programming now………………………………

It was one of the longest and closest beauty pageants in history but the jury is finally in and the 2019 Miss Möbius World Wood has been crowned. 

IMG_20190327_163635You saw some of the run up in last week’s post such as this photo of the final four veneer contestants in the Au Naturelle portion of the contest.
IMG_20190402_094341And here are the four finalists, resplendent in the early morning Antalya sun sporting their solid Rosewood edging with their carefully applied coats of clear varnish buffed to a lovely matte lustre.

The two Siamese twins in the middle are Anzem commonly known as African Bengi and the two contestants on either side as well as the other set of twins angling for attention in the background, are all different cuts and types from the Pelesenk/Rosewood family which is often mistaken for Lignum Vitae. 
According to their application form and family tree (sorry) these three are all

“Tropical hardwoods known for their beautiful figuring and rich, dark red or purplish color streaked and variegated with black.  A very hard, heavy and highly valued cabinet wood sustainably obtained from several tropical leguminous trees of the genera Dalbergia and Machærium  Takes a high polish easily and used for expensive furniture and jewellery making.  The Rosewood name is derived from aroma wood exudes as it is sawed. 

By whatever name, and with apologies to William Shakespeare I think you might agree that these woods are a great example of how “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.“ and look as beautiful as vividly on display in these photos.

So, without any further ado (not to be mistaken for adieu!), the winner of the Miss Möbius World Wood contest is ………………………………….

IMG_20190402_094450This beauty, known by her parents (aka lumberyard) as “Kisa” according to the label on the sample strip of veneer our awemazing interior designer Unzile had sent to us last week.  Kisa is seen here rightfully showing off her beautifully random swirling streaks of a colours ranging from light brown through burgundy wine to black.


In this pose you can see her solid wood edging and radiused corner.   This type of solid wood radiused corner will be used throughout the interior with varying radii from 25mm to 50mm depending on their use on cabinet edges, wall corners, etc..

We can’t wait to see how this will look in larger forms as the Xtremely talented Naval cabinetmakers start building the interior walls and cabinets so you will soon be seeing LOTS more of Kisa in the weeks and months to come.

IMG_20190404_145441Speaking of Beauties, I snapped this quick pic of my Beautiful Bride, aka Captain Christine, taking on the next daunting task of choosing all our other interior materials.  We wanted to start with finding our Goldilocks “just right” wood first as Mother Nature has such a range of colours and we weren’t sure just which ones were going to call our name the loudest. 

With Kisa being the winner we now know the colour pallet she brings aboard and so Christine is now moving on to the selection of materials and colours for the floor, ceiling and walls. 

As many of you who have built or remodeled homes, floating or otherwise, know all too well, there is a mind boggling number and range of colours, textures and materials to chose from so this is a tall mountain to climb but a thoroughly fun part of our adventure.

With our wood now known the next material and colour for the interior decision hierarchy is the floors and we are fortunate enough to find ADO Floors right here in the Antalya Free Zone and almost beside Naval Yachts where we are building Möbius.  The ADO Group is a 62 year old company now making some incredible “Luxury Vinyl” flooring which has proven to be a just right fit our priorities of Xtreme safety, comfort, durability and low maintenance.  The flooring we are going to use is part of ADO’s “LAAG” series which is found not only in homes but also industrial buildings such as airports and shopping centers as it is simultaneously tough, non-flammable, anti-bacterial as well as being sound insulating and waterproof.  Importantly for us this vinyl plank flooring also works well with our in floor hydronic heating so having checked all our “must have” boxes we have another winner this week!

Difficult to capture in a photo and with must one small piece, but the sample above is the one, “Aperta 2010” is calling our names the loudest and what we’re going with.  In addition to its other great properties we also went with this because it has a significant 3D texture that I would best describe as being similar to the texture of the raised grain of aged wood siding on old buildings.  Not sure how well that captures it but this texture provides the critical “grippiness” and non slip that we need on our floors when we can sometimes be walking about in bare, sometimes wet feet on a boat that is Rockin’ & Rollin’ in heavy seas or boisterous anchorages.

  • Cabinetry Wood:     Thumbs up  CHECK
  • Interior Flooring:     Thumbs up  CHECK
  • Walls, Upholstery, Ceilings?  TBD

Before we leave this interior topic, some of you may be interested in knowing the overall concept and theme we have for our interior spaces.  As you’ve seen and read the exterior will be all business, function first, raw unpainted aluminium, no paint, no wood no stainless and with a style and look that is “lean and mean”.  More industrial bordering on military so as to present a “don’t mess with me” vibe to any onlookers with less than friendly and honourable intentions.  On the outside we want to blend in an fit much more in a fishing port rather than a superyacht marina.

But on the inside we want to be transported to the opposite end of this spectrum to be bathed in natural light and fresh air and immersed in a world of carefully crafted cabinetry using woods and materials which radiate a feeling of warmth and beauty.  Materials on the walls, upholstery and ceilings which provide the perfect backdrop for the artwork of friends, family and some rare special mementos we have picked up in our decades of travel around the world.  

Having lived aboard our previous sailboats for decades, we are inextricably connected to Mother Nature and the environment we are anchored in which is usually an isolated “only boat in the bay” type anchorage in the latest Xtremely remote location we serendipitously find ourselves in and so we want to bring that with us and not be cut off from it when we step inside.  Hence the 360 degrees of glass surrounding our entire Pilot House/SuperSalon which is our primary living space and all the huge hatches we’ve designed which you’ve been seeing installed in the past few weeks and will see a bit more of below.

Mobius Strip animationI will tell more of the story behind our choosing Möbius as the name for our Goldilocks boat but for now I’ll encourage you to Xplore and play with these intriguing wonders of math, space and surfaces which have captured my imagination since I was a very young boy.  You can start with this brief Möbius strip explanation or this 3D “Klein” vessel exploration where the little GIF animation to the left comes from.

Ross Dawson insideisoutsideOne of the many fascinating features of a Möbius strip or Klein bottle which so boggled my little boy mind, which is still VERY active, is that they have no inside or outside, no boundaries, only one continuous surface and one continuous edge.  Or as Ross Dawson captures it so well in this little graphic on the left; “The inside is the outside”. 

If you are still with me after my all too typically “brief” lead ins, my point is that we are also going to adopt a Möbius theme to help us design our interior such that our “inside is the outside”.  At the very top of our interior design triangle the theme we have come up to help create “the inside I the outside” is to replicate a similar orientation and colouration of the natural outside world.  The floors will give us a feeling of the ground that is under our feet on remote beaches, walks on old docks and you can now see part of what led us to chose the vinyl floor sample above.  Our lower vertical surfaces will be reminiscent of the trees, jungle and forests we see and wander through ashore with our use of the beautiful Miss Kisa Rosewood for all the cabinetry and lower wall surfaces.   Then we are going to have a horizontal band at about countertop height which endlessly wraps itself around the whole interior to create an internal version of the aqua marine horizon we are accustomed to seeing all around us.  Above the horizon there will either be views of the natural exterior vistas that surround us or lighter coloured leather and fabric covering the walls and higher cabinetry and makes the transition into the whites of the clouds above on the ceilings.

In short, floors that mimic sand and rough wood surfaces under our feet and a horizon below which are forests of beautiful wood and above which are open expanses of sky and clouds.  Lucky for you and your eyes, I’ll leave it at that for now and return in future posts to give you more of the story behind the naming of our boat and the design of our interior.

IMG_20190405_173811The other bit of progress on our interior is these two sheets of a larger shipment which arrived this week.  Can you guess what this is for?

  • IMG_20190405_173850This close up view (click to enlarge any photo) will help answer that.  This is the first in the multi layered insulation of the interior bulkheads to keep them Xtremely well insulated both thermally and acoustically.  As you can see here, this first layer already has 3 layers of its own with an inner 3mm layer of highly compressed EPDM sandwiched between the 17mm layer of white foam and the 6mm layer of black foam.
    IMG_20190405_173927The outer side of the black foam is covered with “peel & stick” industrial adhesive which will be used to attach the foam to the flat aluminium plate of the bulkhead “walls”. 
  • Given the Xtreme nature of how these XPM boats will be used these additional aluminium fasteners are glued to the aluminium bulkheads prior to the foam sheets being pressed in place. 
    Once the foam is in place one way lock washers are pressed overtop of the protruding portion of these aluminium “nails” to lock them in place.  The walls will then be covered with a further layer of special acoustic plywood which is also constructed of multiple layers of wood and fibre and I’ll show you that in a future post.

  • In case you are wondering, this Xtra special acoustic and thermal insulation on this side of these WT bulkheads is over and above the already eXcessive 50mm/2” EPDM foam that is on the other side,  Why go to such Xtra work and expense?  This treatment is being used here to ensure that none of the noise and heat from the engine room is able to sneak into Christine’s Office/Guest Cabin.  The WT bulkhead between our Master Cabin and the Forepeak will receive similar treatment to insulate it from the sounds of the anchor chain, windlass, etc..
  • Speaking of insulation, good old “Mummy” continues the seemingly endless task of applying the nautical miles of EPDM foam insulation that covers every internal aluminium surface and if you look closely here you’ll see him carrying yet another roll of EPDM up the steps to the Swim Platform on Möbius.

  • IMG_20190405_103043In addition to installing all the EPDM insulation Mummy has also been in charge of another long and tedious task; applying all that beautiful shiny aluminium foil cloth overtop the EPDM in places like the Basement as you see him doing here. 
    IMG_20190405_100214Here is more of Mummy’s handiwork installing the EPDM insulation inside the “doghouse” where you step into the Workshop from the Swim Platform and you can also see that the overhead hatch is now all welded in place patiently awaiting Mummy to find the time to put in the EPDM around it.
    IMG_20190403_102251More EPDM seen here in our Master Cabin where Hilmi the electrician continues his work installing all the perforated AL wire trays that he will soon start filling up with many nautical miles of wire and cable.

Fuel Tank manifoldsAt the other end of the beauty spectrum, some might say the more masculine end, you may also recall this depiction of the Fuel Supply and Return manifolds from last week’s progress update and we’ve now got an update on that as well.
IMG_20190405_102431Here is the first phase of building the first of what will be many different manifolds for fuel and water.  As per the drawing above this is machined from a single length of 70mm / 2.75” square solid aluminium that is bored out down its centerline to provide the common internal reservoir which feeds each of the six 316 SS full flow ball valves on the top and bottom, one for each integral fuel tank that forms the hull compartments below the tank tops you see here. 

The same 3/4” ball valve on the right end of the manifold is where the main supply/return line lines connect and bring fuel to/from the Day Tank in the Workshop.  All the rubber 20mm ID fuel hoses will connect to the ball valves using the blue/red JIC AN-12 fittings you see two of here.  These components are as expensive as they look although building in house helps but we gladly spend our budget on mission critical systems on our boats and on a power boat the fuel system is definately mission critical.

If this were a water manifold, the supply/return valve and line would need to be larger to have enough flow for multiple lines being used simultaneously, but in these fuel return/supply manifolds allow us to select which of the six fuel tanks we are taking fuel from and which one we are returning to so there is never a situation where more than one tank is being used at the same time.

Many may feel that Kisa and her wooden sisters above are far more beautiful but as I like to remind people, beauty is a FEELING using any number of our senses not merely what we see so these Xtremely robust fuel manifolds are Xtremely beautiful to me and make us feel Xtremely warm and fuzzy knowing that they will never leak, are easy to use and ensure that our fuel is safely transported to all diesel consumers and tanks.

IMG_20190402_124525More fuel related progress, the Fuel Vent boxes are now all welded in place sporting their requisite hose barb outlets for the 50mm vent hoses to come.
IMG_20190402_124610More hose barb pipes and some elbows all machined ready for welding into the tank tops for the other end of the hoses running from the Fuel Vent and Fill boxes into the fuel tanks underneath the Basement.
IMG_20190403_122803Like this.
IMG_20190403_122813Final Fuel related update for this week, these two threaded flanges are now all finished, insulated and foiled awaiting the JIC AN-12 fittings to be installed for the fuel hoses on either side of this WT Bulkhead in the Basement.
IMG_20190404_095445Switching from Fuel to Water for a bit, another exciting milestone this week was the start of installing the Sea Chests into the hull.  I’m a huge fan of using Sea Chests for bringing sea water into the boat for things like the supply for the watermaker, salt water wash down pumps and the wet exhaust on the Gardner. 
Rather than having individual sea cocks perforating the hull in every location these sea water consumers, a single large diameter Sea Chest pipe can be used to bring the sea water inside and act as a manifold for any number of outlets via a SS ball valve for each one. 

IMG_20190404_100634HOWEVER, my top priority is keeping the sea OUT of our boat so cutting big holes into the hull BELOW the Waterline has my full attention and we go to great lengths to ensure that we keep the sea on the outside of the hull!  Hence these special order Xtra thick aluminium pipes from which we will fabricate our Sea Chests.  The one above is for the Intake Sea Chest in the Engine Room which is 120mm / 4.7” ID and the walls are 15mm / 5/8” thick.  The pipe on the left here will be used for one of the lower volume Sea Chests and is 90mm / 3.5” ID.
IMG_20190405_125129In addition to the Sea Chests for bringing salt water into the boat we will also have Sea Chests for taking Gray and Black water out.  Both the Intake and Exit Sea Chests extend up well above the Waterline, about 30cm / 1’  so I can service them while the boat is in the water and each have a thick flange on top for a clear Lexan cover. 
Having a clear cover allows me to quickly inspect what’s going on inside and if needed I can either remove a small threaded plug in these covers large enough to allow me to stick a wood dowel “broom handle” or the like and push out anything that might be sucked up, or swims up and blocks the pipe. 

Ask me how I know?!!

IMG_20190405_100437Here is the Intake Sea Chest being fitted in the forward Starboard corner of the Engine Room. 

Once it is welded VERY securely into the 15mm thick bottom plate of the hull it will be fitted wtih offtake pipes leading into large dual water strainers which in turn feed into a manifold with take offs for the wet exhaust system, watermaker and aft deck wash pump.
IMG_20190402_102309OK, we’ve seen the progress on wood, fuel and water so let’s finish up with fresh Air and Light.  Uğur, Nihat and Sezgin continue with their work installing the ten big hatches which will bring in all the fresh air and natural light below decks while we are at anchor.  Dorade boxes will look after the fresh air when we are underway and the hatches are closed but we spend the vast majority of our time over the course of a year at anchor so the hatches are critical importance.

The two large rectangular boxes you see flanking the large opening above the Engine Room will provide the air in and out of the Engine Room and Workshop as well as being used for our Outdoor Galley with BBQ, sink, counters, etc..

IMG_20190402_102414We are out on the forward area of the Aft Deck behind the Pilot House where there are stairs down into the SuperSalon or up to the SkyBridge.  This is all overtop of the Guest Cabin and Christine’s Office and the hatch you see Uğur welding above is overtop the Guest Cabin shower. 

The 450mm / 18” square one on the bottom of the photo on the left is overtop of Christine’s Office desk and the large 700mm / 28” one under the spiral SkyBridge stairs is overtop the Guest Cabin Queen bed.

IMG_20190403_102147Below all this action, the ever present Mehmet is prepping the big 10mm / 3/8” thick frames that go around the perimeter of the Engine Room enclosure and provide the sealing surfaces for the large hinged door that keeps the large opening into the Engine Room you can see two photos above, all watertight.
IMG_20190403_102423With all that action happening on the Aft Deck and around that Engine Room hatch, the big hatch door has been moved up to the bow and is being cleaned up and prepped for its finish welding hinges and “dog” which are used to latch it tightly shut.
IMG_20190404_095437Meanwhile, down on the shop floor below the slightly smaller Forepeak hatch door up on the Anchor Deck at the Bow is being fabricated. and seen here upside down ready for the stiffening grid and gasket flanges to be welded in place.
IMG_20190405_100126Here’s the flip side of that Forepeak hatch which is what you’ll see when up on the Bow.
IMG_20190403_102810I’ll finish up this very loooooooong weekly update post with this random shot of some of our fuel and water tank access port covers seemingly forlornly awaiting their turn to go aboard and be installed.
But wait!  There’s MORE!!!

Melek & Burak wedding danceLast night Christine and I had the huge privilege to attend the wedding celebration of one of our Team Möbius members Burak and his fabulous wife Melek.
IMG_20190406_210434This is a few others other Naval Yachts people, all working with us as part of Team Möbius and joining in on this joyous night celebrating love, life and happiness.
IMG_20190406_201901Congratulations Melek and Burak!  Seeing you so happy makes us happy!!

Holey Hatches Batman!

Holey Hatches Batman!

The Spring air has cooled off a bit this week but things have REALY been heating up inside Naval Yachts shipyard with all the progress and exciting new developments on Project Goldilocks, our just right, just for us new 24m/78’ aluminium XPM78-01 Xtreme Xploration Passage Maker.  There is a LOT to cover this week so come join me for a look around and some explanations of this week’s progress.

GOPR0560This slightly distorted fisheye view captures the three Naval Musketeers responsible for all the great work on the hatches that you saw getting started last week.  Uğur on the far right then Nihat in the hard hat and WonderWelder Sezgin with his back to us.

If you look closely (click to enlarge any photo) you can make out the jigsaw cut lines in all three hatches.


This is up on the foredeck overtop of our 5m long Master Cabin which has 3 large hatches, one forward on center which puts it directly overtop the vanity sink, one that Uğur is cutting in this photo on the Port side overtop the shower and then one on center in front of the Pilot House windshield where Nihat is standing which puts it right over our Queen sized bed below.
IMG_20190327_105405I’ve stepped inside for this shot looking forward out the center window from the Main Helm and with the people above and down below will give you a sense of scale.

Each of these hatches are 700mm / 28” square and Nihat is standing in the hatch over our shower.
IMG_20190327_104742Another sense of scale with the smiling Yiğit who is the “main man” for Möbius looking after all the CAD work and overall coordination of the whole project.
IMG_20190327_104514Always a bit scary to see huge holes being cut into your boat but those hatch frames behind Yiğit and Uğur will soon be completely welded into ………..
IMG_20190327_104756……. the deck, stringers and frames below such as these which will ……………
IMG_20190327_155707……… result in an even stronger deck and hull.  The hatch frames are way over engineered for this being all 8mm thick aluminium so it is definately up for the task with no flexing.

IMG_20190327_155721These beautiful big hatches will bring tremendous amounts of natural light and breeze into our cabin and there are 7 more elsewhere in the boat which you’ll see in the coming weeks.
IMG_20190327_155156With the holes all cut the hatch frames fit in snugly and are tacked in place.  Uğur is checking with this thick flat white plate resting on the upper edge of the inner frame which is the critical surface for the hatch seal, to make sure it is perfectly flat and planar ensuring no twisting as occurred in the fitting and tacking.
IMG_20190327_155228One hatch tacked and ready for Sezgin to do the finish welding.

The two rectangular holes in the rear are where the hidden hinge arms sit inside hinge arm boxes which will be welded in next.

You can see one of the drain holes that are on each side where a 20mm / 3/4” ID pipe will carry any water that gets into this Gutter area back into the sea.
GOPR0574After welding the perimeter of the hatch frames to the underside of the deck plates from down below, Sezgin moves up onto the foredeck and does the final weld of the 8mm / 5/16” hatch frame to the upper deck.
IMG_20190330_105557Before you know it, they’re all done and Mehmet has carefully ground the welds flush with the deck.
IMG_20190330_105613Mehmet is meticulous and makes this very exacting grinding look quick and easy but I know better from experience.  Because there will be no paint there will also be no filler so these are now the final surfaces that we will see and there is no room for any “oooops” moments of taking off too much aluminum.

We will finish these deck edge corners off with a small router to give them a nice even 3mm radius and then do a bit of cleanup on that milled flat edge on the 8mm inner frame where the hatch seal goes.

IMG_20190325_161852In between all the welding of hatch frames Sezgin was also busy doing the final TIG welding of these Xtremely beefy bow railings.  There will be two “dolphin watching” seats added to the inner aft section of these railings and a tall arch/mast for the forward mounted antennae, lights, GPS and assorted other electronics.

However MY favorite spot is going to be sitting on that beautiful bow section of the Rub Rails nicely wedged in between the two vertical railings with my feet dangling over to enjoy the view up there and be Möbius’ hood ornament!

IMG_20190330_111016Not all of this week’s excitement was up on deck with the hatches though!

Can you guess what this is?
IMG_20190330_110555Does it help if I fold it over to show you the other side?

Or tell you that this has Xtremely thick aluminium foil on one side of thick woven fireproof cloth? 

Feels similar to denim blue jeans cloth.

Or that it is fully certified by the Classification societies for large superyachts and commercial ships such as Lloyds, Bureau Veritas, Rena, ABS, DNV and others to be fully fireproof?
IMG_20190330_110632That’s right, this is the foil covering over the EPDM insulation foam down in the Basement.
IMG_20190330_110612It is an option to buy a fire rated version of the EPDM with a layer of foil already glued to one side but after testing some samples I felt that the foil was too thin to stand up to years of use, cleaning, leaning into, etc. so we brought in this specialised foil covered cloth and it is now being used to cover all the EPDM on the walls and ceiling of the cavernous Basement area.

IMG_20190330_110608The white perforated trays you see are where the runs of wire and hoses will be attached as they make their way to their respective ends of things like manifolds for fuel and water and distribution boxes for electrical circuits.

Fuel Tank manifoldsThe two L bars in the foreground of the photo above are where these two large fuel manifolds will be mounted within easy reach from the hatch opening in the SuperSalon floor above to set which tank we are drawing from and returning to.  More on the whole fuel system in the coming weeks.

IMG_20190327_113414Any idea what those two round discs at the celling/bulkhead in the upper left corner of the photo above and here are for?

These two 25mm/1” thick discs have 3/4” NPT pipe threads on the inside and will soon be fully welded into the aluminium plate bulkhead with matching discs welded to the other side and this is how we take two fuel lines through this WT bulkhead.

If you look down in the photo above at the tank tops aka floor you can see four SAE5 flanges welded into the tank tops where matching flanges for the fuel hose fittings will attach.  Two hoses on the right run up to 90 degree elbows in those threaded discs to go through the WT Bulkhead and the two hoses attached to the flanges on the left run up the vertical white tray and then over along the ceiling to get over to the fuel manifolds shown above.

IMG_20190327_113620As with installing the EPDM foam insulation, this foil has been very labour intensive and exacting work cutting, fitting and gluing each section into the maze of areas between frames and stringers and around every corner and edge.  However it is well worth this investment and is turning out to be a fabulous solution to provide an Xtremely safe,  easy to clean and bright surface for the life of our boat.
IMG_20190325_161234Hilmi who is our main electrician has led the way putting in what amounts to something akin to a superhighway system with corners, on and off ramps and about everything but a cloverleaf all in preparation for the nautical miles of wires and hoses that will soon be riding in this support system.
IMG_20190330_110755Wires?  Did someone say wires??

Yet another part of the exciting developments this week was seeing the first wires start to go in.  These are some of the cables for lighting up in the Master Cabin and as the weeks go by you will see all those cable trays filling up quickly.

But WAIT!  There’s MORE!!!!!

IMG_20190327_163520For the past few months we have been working with Naval’s incredibly talented interior designer Unzile (pronounced “Un zee lay” and as part of this we’ve been spending lots of time rummaging through what sometimes felt like acres piled high with stacks of all different wood veneers at several different lumber yards.  After MANY hours of searching for our Goldilocks wood species for our interior cabinetry, we finally zeroed in on two woods known here as “Pelesenk” and “Santos” both of which translate into types of Rosewood.
Unzile has been working up in Istanbul lately so most of our discussions of late have been via Email but she has that rare talent to be able to understood eXactly what we meant when we told her things like we were looking for a wood with Xtreme character in its grain, not even and consistent, not too dark, not too light, grain that swirled wildly and differently in each board, not brown, not blonde, some tones of red wine with burgundy and purples.  Proof of her talents arrived on Thursday when these four samples were delivered by courier so you don’t need to take my words for it, you can literally see what I mean about Unzile’s talents and the woods we were looking for.

IMG_20190327_163635One of the biggest challenges has been finding a wood that we can get in both veneer AND solid wood planks so the lumber yard sent this small sample of the rough sawn Santo/Rosewood planks they have.

The equally talented Naval cabinetmakers and finishers have been busy making up samples of the veneer laminated on marine plywood panels with solid wood edging and some large radius sold wood corners and then varnishing these.  Varnish wasn’t quite dry by end of the day yesterday (Sat) so you’ll have to wait until next week’s update to see how they look when finished, but trust me, it will be WELL worth the wait!

Once we see the finished samples we’ll make our decision of the lucky wood that Möbius’ cabinets wears.
With all the business of Möbius and the many other boat projects Naval has underway, Daddy Dincer did not have time to get me any pictures of the twins for this week’s blog so you’ll sadly have to be content with just the time lapse video overview below.

Whew!!! What a week!  Hope you enjoyed watching and reading as much as we have enjoyed living it and we’ll be back next week with more.

Till then, we hope all of you are making good progress with your projects and lives and we can’t thank you enough for taking time out of doing so to join us here.  Please do add even more by putting your questions, comments and suggestions in the “Join the Discussion” box below.

Hatches, Railings & Wire Trays Oh My!

Hatches, Railings & Wire Trays Oh My!

Well, Spring has definately sprung here in Antalya and the flowers and birds are not the only ones who are full of energy as the work on Möbius within the Naval Yachts shipyard continues to blossom and bloom.  Progress continued on building the new hatches you saw started last week as did work on the aluminium pipe railings and the installation of trays for wire and hose runs.  Let’s go check it out.

IMG_20190318_103853Picking up where we left off last week here are five of the ten new hatches we’ve designed all assembled and ready for the final TIG welding of the inner frames to the Gutter frame.  These hatches are sitting upside down from how they will be installed and you can see the finished TIG welding around the corner where the outer frame attaches to the Gutter frame.
IMG_20190318_103903Here you can see the different stages of welding the three individual 8mm thick plate parts which make up the Frame of the hatches. The one in the foreground is fully welded and ready to head to have the three edges machined and the hatch in the middle has the Gutter and Outer frames tacked in place ready for the Inner frame to be slid in place, tacked and then fully welded.
Open Hatch with DrainsIf you have not seen last week’s update post here is what the finished hatches will look like.  I’ve made the Deck plate transparent so you can see how the hatches fit flush with the deck and what lies below.

Note too the white pipe extending below the middle of Gutter frame.  There is one 20mm / 3/4” ID drain pipe on each side to quickly remove any water that collects in the 40mm / 1.6” wide Gutters.  Not shown are the latch handles and SS gas compressed lift cylinders on each side.
Hatch SectionAnd this section view will show you how the Hatch Lid fits into the Frame with the thick solid wood liner on the inside extending down below the ceiling panels.

IMG_20190319_143722Once the Frames are fully welded together we put them on this vertical milling machine to level the edges which are critical for the watertight seals. 
IMG_20190319_143734I sized the initial widths of the flat bar shapes to be CNC cut out of the 8mm thick AL plate to be 5mm larger than their finished size to give us enough material to do this leveling.  The Hatch frame is clamped upside down to the table so the bottom edge of the inner frame can be cut first as it is not critical to the functioning of the hatches but gives us a good reference surface for milling the two upper edges which are critical. 

With this bottom surface all trued up the hatch is flipped right side up to cut the top edges of the Inner and Outer frames which are critical to the seals working properly.

IMG_20190319_143808This close up shot shows the finished upper edges all nicely milled flat and true. 

As per the drawings below the Hatch seal fits overtop of the edge of the Inner frame you see here and so it is important that this surface is absolutely flat and on a plane parallel to the edge of the outer frame which is welded flush with the Deck plate.
TrimLok Hatch seal detail dwgTrimLok Hatch seal dwg 2 closedThe bottom of the hatch seal has an upside down U shaped PVC bottom which will fit tightly overtop of the inner frame edge you see here and then there is a hollow 11mm / 1/2” EPDM rubber tube on top which is squeezed about 50% by the flat inner surfaces of the Lid when fully closed. 
Similar to how the door seals on your car work.

Hatch Hinge Boxes close upNext up are these Hidden Hinge Boxes which are welded to the outer frame and the underside of the Deck plate.  I’ve made the 10mm thick aluminium they are made of to be transparent in this quick render so you can see the Hinge Arm and SS pin on the inside.  See the animation at the end of this post to see these Hidden Hinges in action.
IMG_20190319_180657Rectangles of 8mm plate you can see stacked up in the front here are first cut and then tacked together.
IMG_20190323_112116After being fully welded the Hinge Boxes are cleaned up and ready to be mounted later on after the Hatch Frames have been welded into the Deck.
IMG_20190319_104807A rectangular hole needs to be cut into the Outer frame where the Hinge Arm will sit and I’ve roughly marked that out to show you here.
IMG_20190319_104817This small rectangle on top here will show you how the 6mm thick Deck plate sits flush with the top edge of the Outer frame and how the Hinge Box rests tight against the bottom of the Deck. 

Both holes have been cut into this Frame and the Hinge Box is all ready to be welded in place.
IMG_20190323_112159We will wait until the Hatch Frames are all welded into the Deck to fit and weld these Hatch Boxes in place so we can ensure they are in precisely the right orientation to line up for for the SS Hinge Pins.
IMG_20190323_112028The Frames are all now ready to be fit and welded into their respective locations in the Deck.
IMG_20190323_112306Or in the case of the first hatch to be fitted, into the overhead of the entranceway from the Swim Platform into the Workshop.
IMG_20190323_112356Moving up top onto the Aft Deck we see the other side of this entranceway with the hatch location marked out and if you click to enlarge this shot, as you can do to any picture in the blog, you will see that the side closest to you has already been cut with the jig saw blade that has been inserted in the right corner for clarity.

IMG_20190323_112423Next week we should see most of the ten hatches being installed like this in various locations in the Deck such as one here under the stairs on the aft Starboard (right) corner of the Pilot House/Galley which lead up to the SkyBridge.  This is largest of 3 hatches which bring lots of natural light and fresh air into the Guest Cabin/Office below.
IMG_20190319_120758As per the title of this week’s post work also picked on with the mounting and welding of the many sets of Railings which are made from 40mm / 1.6” thick walled AL tubing.

First Uğur and Sezgin fit the Delrin sleeves that have been machined to fit snugly into the AL pipe sockets for the bottoms of each Stanchion post and Railing leg.
IMG_20190319_113758The 40mm pipe of each Railing or Stanchion post is also a snug fit into these black Delrin sleeves so it takes a bit of force for Sezgin to push these two legs of this Gate Railing into place. 

In addition to helping get a nice tight fit for the Railings and Stanchions, these Delrin sleeves ensure there is no metal to metal contact between the two aluminium surfaces which would lead to crevice corrosion,
IMG_20190320_121902We’ve taken so much care to get such a close fit so the Railings won’t have any wobble when you grab or lean on them.  One of my pet peeves!
IMG_20190319_180530Once they are all positioned correctly and tacked together, each Railing is welded and cleaned up.

The top of these Railings and the Stanchion posts are 1m/40” above the Deck/Rub Rail which is much higher than most boats but just right for these XPM type of boats which will see some very Xtreme conditions as they Xplore the world.
IMG_20190320_121931The big Paravane A-Frames will hinge on the Rub Rail forward of the Gate Rail above and be book ended by this tapered Railing on the other side.

Three Grey Dyneema lifelines will run horizontally between all these Railings and the Stanchion posts making for a very safe and difficult for anyone to fall overboard with the possible exception of our little Yorkie Barney!
IMG_20190323_113933Up front at the Bow the large sloped Anchor Deck area is fenced in by these sturdy Railings which will raise the on deck safety factor of this critical area all the higher which makes us VERY happy.
IMG_20190318_103956The seemingly never ending task of installing the nautical miles of EPDM foam insulation continued of course and Muammer or “Mummy” as he is mostly called, diligently keeps making more and more progress and never tires of it.
IMG_20190322_152317For a slight change of pace though, this week he has also been applying some of the thick foil covered cloth which is glued overtop of the EPDM in areas such as this in the Basement. 
IMG_20190323_113551This specialised foil cloth is very thick and meets all the classification society requirements such as Lloyds and RENA which all the big superyachts are required to carry.  The foil has a thick fiberglass like cloth backing and is relatively easy to cut with sharp scissors and utility knives but it is very painstaking to fit it around all the complex shapes in these areas.  But it provides us with an Xtremely tough surface that will stand up to years of use, resists pretty much everything that might get on it, is easy to clean and creates a very easily light enclosed area such as in the Basement.
IMG_20190323_113620This foil covered cloth is being installed in the Basement right now because of this exciting sign of progress.  We are starting to mock up the locations of all the electrical devices and other equipment that will live down here.

The foil needs to go in first so the many aluminium trays such as the white ones you see mocked up here can be more permanently mounted. 
IMG_20190322_152333These trays provide great support and easy mounting for all the electrical wiring, hoses and pipes that run throughout the boat.  Yiğit on the left and Hilmi are working with me here to finalise the location in this particularly busy area where electrical lines, fuel hoses, plumbing runs and vent and fill lines all run through and need to stay out of each other’s way.

With locations all decided, Hilmi is now able to fit the AL flatbar which the trays are riveted to.

IMG_20190323_112502One last bit of detail and excitement for us is the pouring in place of the thickened epoxy filler we are using to level and fill in the grooves and lower surfaces where the tank tops are welded to hull framing. 

If you look along the outer edges by the hull sides (click to enlarge) you’ll see how they have temporarily glued some plywood to the angled margin plates that matches the height of the tank top surfaces and provides a stop and leveling surface as the trowel the epoxy level. 


We need to get these floor surfaces all flat and level prior to installing the 40mm thick Rigid XPS foam board that goes on top for both insulation and where the PEX tubing will be pressed in place for the in-floor heating that will be in all living area floors to keep us Xtremely comfy when we are in colder climates.
And that’s what’s been happening here with the build of XPM78-01 Möbius for the week of March 18-22, 2019.

If you’d like to see this in video here is a quick sped up compilation of the few bits of video I was able to take this week.  Hope you enjoy and let me know in the comment section below what you prefer format wise for these weekly updates between explanatory text and photos or video and how well each is or isn’t working for you.  I’m always wanting to get as much feedback from you as possible on what’s working, what’s not and any suggestions for me to consider so thanks in advance for that.

Yigit & Mert March 20 2019 sporting our baby gift clothesAnd saving the best for last as usual, here is this week’s dose of cuteness for all of you with this update shot of the infamous Dinc twins, Mert and Yiğit.  Daddy Dincer sent this one to show them modeling some of the clothes we gave them for baby gifts.  At the time (end of Dec) the boys were SO small that we thought they would take a long time to grow into them so it is amazing to see them sporting their new outfits already.

Thanks for taking your valuable time to join us here and we look forward to getting any and all comments, questions and suggestions from you via the “Join the Discussion” box below.

Hatching New Hatches

Hatching New Hatches

It is Christine’s Birthday today, Happy Birthday my Beautiful Young Bride!  So I snuck away early Friday afternoon and we drove East from Antalya along the coat to the beautiful old town of Alanya and have a fabulous room up at the top of a hill in an old castle with a view out over the original Red Tower and the inner harbour.  Here is a quick panorama shot to give you and idea of this fabulous old city or Alanya.


But not to worry, I’ll do my best to make sure this week’s Möbius progress update posting WILL happen before the weekend is out and right now there is a HUGE downpour that has already dropped more than 80mm/3” of rain in less than 2 hours so we are enjoying the view from our room across the the harbour to the mountains on the far side.  Christine is busy working on her daily Turkish lesson so she doesn’t loose the “streak” she is on with them and I’m taking advantage of the time to get this blog post started.  As you might have already noticed, this will be a much longer post than usual as there is much to explain and show you so settle into a comfy chair with a good beverage and let’s get started.

This week was particularly exciting as work started on building the new hatches for Möbius which we have been designing and deliberating on for many months.  Having Xtremely great hatches is super important to us because they bring in most of the fresh air and all the natural light into both our Master Cabin and the aft Guest Cabin.  We have lived aboard boats with hatches for decades but never with ones we would rate as great.  Sometimes they are just not well sized, sometimes they open the wrong way for the breezes, or they let any nearby raindrop in.  Worst of all though is that pretty much all of them start to leak at some point, especially ones up on the foredeck when on passages in big waves that often bring volumes of sea water crashing onto the decks and penetrating even otherwise good seals no matter how well you try to “dog” them down tight.  So we were determined that we would find a way to have truly GREAT hatches on Möbius.  Hatches that are Goldilocks by being just the right size in just the right place and oriented just right to catch the least bit of fresh breezes coming over the bow when we are anchored.  And MOST importantly of all, hatches that would NEVER leak under any conditions.

Then I added in two more and perhaps two of the most challenging must have characteristics; one, the hatch frames had to be raw aluminium that was shaped and thick enough to be welded directly into the decks and underlying framework, and second the hatches had to be significantly above the requirements for them to be certified for a full self righting situation.

This is a tall order and set us out on a very long and winding search for many years now dating back to well before we decided to move over from sail to power and to design and build our own boat as we had already been on the hunt for new hatches for our last sailboat Learnativity for a long time.  We’ve been to most of the big boat shows on several continents to talk with the various hatch vendors.  We’ve tapped into all the online forums, magazines and trade journals we could find.  We’ve talked to MANY fellow liveaboard cruisers, most of whom share our pain and spent time exploring every detail of their hatches.  All of which helped us figure out what works and what doesn’t when it comes to hatches so we had a very clear sense of the key traits of a great hatch and we know what we were looking for.

It may sound like an episode from Mission Impossible or an obsession to some of you but I believe it is possible to design and build a boat that stays dry inside in ALL conditions and does not EVER leak.  One key to this is that one of my primary rules is that there will be NO penetrations of the deck or hull which could ever leak.  None, zero, nada.  No bolts, screws or rivets which penetrate the hull.  No parts mounted through holes cut in the deck and then sealed with caulking or the like.  One of the places where even good hatches often end up leaking is through their mounting of the frame to the deck where water finds its way, often under very severe pressure from so called Green Water in high seas, through fasteners or through seals and sealants that fail over time.  Hence my hatches had to be welded into the hull and leave a single challenge to being leak free; the gasket that seals between the hinged lid and the outer frame.  Even this is a challenge, but a solvable one which lets me put all my focus on making these lid seals as leak proof as possible.

I’m sure many of  you are shaking your heads at this point with a wry smile on your lips and a wish for good luck but we are accustomed to being on the hunt for parts and equipment for Möbius with equally as daunting lists of Must Haves and other requirements and eventually we were able to find a few companies who make truly great hatches.  But, and you knew that was coming didn’t you, none of these companies carried their great hatches in our sizes or at all and so they would need to be custom built and this was going to take both too much time and cost too much so the choice was simple and a bit like Möbius herself, we would need to design and build our own.

This is not as difficult as it sounds as it is more a case of assembling all the various features which are on our Must Have list and putting them together into a single design of a hatch.  None of these features are new in and of themselves so we are not so much designing a new hatch as we are creating our own combination of features and ideas from many different sources.  This holds true for the design of the whole boat IMHO as there are very very few features truly new and never seen before features in any boat.  What sets any given boat apart from others is the combination of features they select to use and how they put them all together.

I find Autodesk’s Fusion 360 to be a fantastic tool for doing this kind of evolutionary design work and I used it to try out my initial ideas for the Goldilocks just right hatch I’ve outlined above and ended up with the design you’ll see below.  I have not had time to create any proper renderings of these so I will just grab some screen captures from within Fusion 360.  I have coloured the two basic aluminium parts for clarity with the outer Frame in RED and the inner Lid in BLUE.  I’ve made the 15mm/5/8”  thick glass that is glued to the Lid and the partial deck surface around the outside of each hatch to be transparent so it is a bit easier to see what’s inside and added a bit of wood appearance to the inner wood liner which is all that will be seen from the inside of the boat.

Open Hatch 2Basic components you see here are:

Red Outer Frame made from 3 pieces of 8mm/ 5/16” thick AL plate

Blue Lid made from a 8mm thick outer flat bar frame welded to a top which is CNC cut as a single piece from 10mm/ 716” aluminium plate which then has a 15mm/5/8” thick clear tempered glass plate which sits flush with the other edges of the Lid frame and the top Deck surface.

*  20mm/ 3/4” thick wood inner liner which extends through the interior upholstered head liners.

I have omitted the handles and latch details for clarity but you can see where they attach to the two round bosses on the underside of the blue Lid.

Two SS gas compression lift cylinders are also not shown and will mount to the aft corner of the Gutter inside the red Frame and the side of the blue Lid to assist with opening when the latch handles are turned.
In the interest of time and what will likely already be a long post, the basic key design requirements I ended up with include the following:

  • KISS (Keep It Simple & Safe) the design for both functional use as well as the fabrication of these hatches by using the least number of individual parts and keeping each one as simple as possible using stock aluminium.
  • KISS the fabrication process as straightforward as possible requiring as few special tools, jigs and machines as possible so that it can all be done in house with our current capabilities.
  • Design the hatches so as to eliminate any high pressure sea water forces from bearing directly on the seals so that readily available good quality seals will be able to easily keep all water out for many years of daily use and then be easily replaceable when they do eventually wear out.
  • Ensure that the entire hatch is well above and beyond engineering and certification standards to stay intact and fully sealed in the case of a full roll over or self righting recovery.
  • KISS the latching or locking mechanisms by having no external access for opening, all latches operate from inside only.
  • KISS the latching system and have an ability for a varying degree of locking or “dogging” down the hatches over time as the seals may take some set.
  • Present the least possible interference and disruption of the clean deck surfaces for both equipment and humans. eg. no toe stubbers or line catchers
  • Maintain the lowest possible maintenance factor as with all other aspects of the design of these XPS boats.

Along the way to the final design I ended up designing these hatches to be completely flush with the deck surfaces they are welded into.  I wrestled with this decision of flush versus having the hatch frame extend up above the deck surface by 50-100mm/2-4” or so which is typical of most hatches and which was how I had initially thought they would sit.  I came up with several such above deck designs which would have worked very well but in the end flush mounted hatches won out through my version of “the process of elimination”.  What is the most sure fire way to deal with those high pressure sea water forces being able to reach the seals?  Eliminate them.  What is the best way to keep the deck surfaces free and clear?  Eliminate any part of the hatches being above or below the deck surface.  By making the top glass surface flush with the deck any big seas that end up on deck will simply pass right over these hatches and leave the seals to just deal with any standing water that collects in the Gutter area you will see below that runs like a moat around the outside perimeter of the Red Frame inner and outer frames before it drains out the two holes in the bottom of the Gutter.

Flush hatch viewIt is a bit difficult to show but here is a quick render of how the top glass surface of the hatches sits completely flush with the deck surface.

Hatch Hinge Boxes close upNotice anything missing in the rendering above?  Where are the hinges??One of the trickier parts of creating a fully flush hatch is how to keep the hinges below the deck and this is what I came up with for our “hidden” hinges. 

For clarity I have turned off the deck plate that sits flush with the red tops of the outer frames and made the Hinge Boxes that are welded to the red outer Frame to appear transparent so you can see the blue hinge arms inside.  The 8mm Hinge Pins are in white.

Hatch Hinge Boxes insideI’ve turned the Deck plate on for this render and moved around to show the inside rear hinge area from the inside with the hatches fully open.

The Blue Hinge Arms will initially be milled out of a single meter long piece of square aluminium stock to form the profile for the Hinge Arms you can make out in this and the rendering below and then cut and machined to 50mm/2” long lengths for each Hinge Arm which is TIG welded to the outer frame of the Lid.
For those interested in more details this section side view might help to see how the Deck (orange), Outer Frame (light blue) and Lid (yellow) all work together.  I’ve turned off the seals that fill the gap on the top of the inner most vertical light blue Frame and the inside surface of the Lid.

The gap between the outer edges of the yellow Lid and the light blue Frame is about 5mm and there will be two 20mm diameter drain pipes for the water to quickly flow out through the bottom of the light blue horizontal Gutter frame where the Lid sits.  The Latches and Handles are omitted here for clarity and will attach to the round yellow boss seen on the right side here.
Hatch Section labelled
Hatch ListThere are ten hatches in total, all of them square, six large ones 700mm/28” square, one 600mm/24” and three 450mm/18”.

Whew!  Hope that long explanation and renders help give you a good sense of what these hatches will look like and how they work, now let’s get back to reality and see how this design is being transformed into real aluminium.

IMG_20190311_155722It all starts with two full sheets of 8mm aluminium plate which the CNC plasma quickly cuts into the individual pieces for the ten hatches.
IMG_20190312_112829CNC cutting is a very precise method which creates this very small amount of scrap.  One of the many great things about building with aluminium over other materials such as fiberglass, carbon, etc. is that every bit of scrap is equally efficiently recycled so all this goes into the recycle pile in the yard and is sent off to be melted down into new sheets.

As you can see here and noticed in the renderings above most of the parts of this hatch design are made from single lengths of 8mm plate, basically simple flat bars.
IMG_20190312_112750 Only the Gutter bottom of the 3 part Frame which you see here, and the 10mm top plate of the Lid are cut out as fully formed parts.

The 10mm top plate parts are out being cut by a waterjet CNC machine as we want to have a fully finished edge out of the CNC machine to be flush with the edges of the 15mm glass plate.
IMG_20190313_124612As you have read in the intro, I really pushed hard on KISSing this hatch design to end up with the least number of pieces in the overall design with the least specialised tooling or jigs required.

I also spent a lot of time working out how these parts would be formed, assembled and welded to keep the build time and costs as low as possible.

IMG_20190313_102716The majority of the work to shape the parts was done with four equal large radius bends for the corners of the outer and inner Frames and the outer edge of the Lid frame.  To do this, Uğur and Nihat quickly made up this jig for the big hydraulic press and did a couple of test bends to dial in the process.
IMG_20190313_102602We decided to build one full Frame first to make sure our methodology and tooling was optimal and this is the first bend of that first hatch Frame. 
IMG_20190313_124553I designed the Gutter bottom to be a single piece so that we could take advantage of the accuracy of the CNC cutting to ensure that the outer and inner frames had to be the exact right size, all edges parallel and perfectly square.

Here is that first Frame with all four corners of the inner frame bent and being checked for fit.  Using large clamps, the inner frame is then pulled tight against the inside of the Gutter bottom and then the overlapping ends you see up at the top of the photo are cut to the exact length and the inner frame is tacked together.
IMG_20190314_094353With the inner frame tacked together in precisely the right size Uğur welded both sides of the butt joint to turn the inner frame into a single continuous inner frame.
IMG_20190314_094524The same process is repeated to bend the four corners of the outer frames.
IMG_20190315_100953Then the outer frames are clamped tight to the Gutter bottom, tacked in position and the butt joint welded up.
IMG_20190313_160220The inner frame is reinserted into the Gutter bottom, clamped up very tight all around and tacked in final position. 

The fully assembled and tacked Frame is then cleaned up and ready for final welding.

The upside down Frame in the back is one of the 450mm / 18” hatches and the one in the foreground is the 600mm / 24” hatch Frame.
IMG_20190314_094507Here is a close up shot of the Gutter I’ve been referring to which is where any water that runs down through the 5mm gap between the outside edge of the Lid and the inside edge of the outer Frame you see on the far right.  This Gutter is 45mm / 1 3/4” wide and about 75mm / 3” deep and there will be two 20mm / 3/4” ID drain pipes welded into the bottom of this Gutter to quickly drain all the water down and back into the sea.
IMG_20190315_101306Sezgin arrives with his TIG welder and gets busy welding up the outside corners to turn the 3 pieces of the Frame into a single part which is then ready to be fitted and welded flush into the deck plates.
IMG_20190315_140449Outer frame fully welded to the Gutter bottom….
IMG_20190315_101413…… followed by the inner frame being fully welded and this Frame is ready for final machining and then fitting into its location on the deck.

I don’t think you need to know much about welding to agree that this is not only strong but beautiful work and it is a shame that it will never be seen once these are welded into the Deck, but we will all know its there and helps account for the huge grins we will all have on our faces when we launch.
I realise that these hatches are Xtremely Xtreme, over the top some will surely say.  But will NEVER leak, and as the guy who has to live with these, sleep under them, maintain them and fix anything that goes wrong, I think they are well worth the extra effort and I could not be happier with the way these have turned out and look forward to showing you the next phase of building the lids and then fitting and installing the finished hatches into the boat.

IMG_20190315_113506The other bit of excitement this week was the Mr. G., our Gardner 6LXB main engine was lifted up one floor and moved into his new home and my new workshop for restoring him to better than new condition.

That is him hanging from the end of the extending boom of one of the many “Preying Mantis” cranes in the yard while Mother Möbius looks on over on the far right making sure her energy source is being treated well.
IMG_20190315_113840Now safely resting on the door into his new home on the first floor.
IMG_20190315_113907Ready to be rolled over to his place in this voluminous new workshop area where he will be lovingly restored and then taken back down and mounted inside Möbius in a few months.
IMG_20190316_113941It is now Sunday night and we are back from our FABULOUS weekend in the town of Alanya, about a 2 hour drive east from our home in Antalya.  We walked our little hoofies off probably logging 20km over the two days and most of that as you can see was either straight up or straight down!

IMG_20190316_194227It was just as spectacular from our room at night.
The pano shot above is looking the opposite way from the previous one above, this one looking West along the coast towards our place in Antalya.  Worth clicking on these shots to see some of the details of the castle and fortified walls of this town that dates back to the 12th century.

Before you go, while it is very short here is a time lapse video of some of the work this week and I hope you’ll enjoy seeing a hatch built in about 30 seconds!

Yigit & Mert March 14 2019Lest you think that hatches are all that has been hatching here is the latest progress photograph of the Dinc twins, Yiğit and Mert who as you can see are also making GREAT progress and growing up fast already.

Thanks for joining us and please do add your comments, questions and suggestions in the Join the Discussion box below.

See you next week,

–  Wayne

That Which Fills Must Vent

That Which Fills Must Vent

Progress continues this week installing the seemingly endless amounts of EPDM foam on every interior aluminium surface while the focus shifted to fabricating the Fuel Vent boxes to match up with the Fuel Fill boxes you saw last week.  Grab a comfy chair and a beverage and let’s go check it all out.

IMG_20190307_102521After trying many different materials and designs for the Fuel Vent boxes this is what won out.  Keeps it in all aluminium so no dissimilar metals involved and building these mitred U tubes made from 50mm/2” OD thick walled aluminium made it possible to create the inverted U shapes in this very small volume.  Plus they look so cool!

Reminds me of my more youthful hot rod days welding up header pipes and intake manifolds to eke out more power from my many car projects back then.
IMG_20190307_182507Picking up where we left off last week, here is one of the two Fuel FILL boxes all welded into the Port side coaming at the aft end of the side decks that run alongside the Pilot House.

The Fuel Vent box will be installed directly in front of this in the blank space to the left in this shot and both will have sealed lids that bolt in place with thick rubber gaskets around their perimeter.

Check out the video at the end of this post to get a better idea how these will work.
IMG_20190308_174516Seen from the inside, here is what the finished Fuel Fill box looks like.  The smaller 25mm pipe on the right is the drain that will safely return any spilled fuel that is captured within the Fill Box back to the fuel tank.

One of our big design goals was to eliminate having spilled diesel fuel getting on the decks or into the water when “bunkering” as filling up our huge tanks is called.  If you compare the photo above of the outside view with interior shot you can see how big the catchment volume is, capable of holding as much as 15 litres but with the big drain lines not much would accumulate.

IMG_20190306_110303Here is a close up of the internal Vent U tubes tacked in place inside the Vent Box
IMG_20190306_110602Uğur, who is the one who is basically responsible for this wining design, quickly TIG welds all the pipes……..
IMG_20190307_182427……….. and soon has one Fuel Vent box ready to be installed.

It is quite unusual to have fuel come out the vents, especially when our tank tops are over 2m/6.5 ft. below this but we’ve put in a similar drain line as the Fill boxes to make sure any spillage, usually just foam if any, drains back into the fuel tanks.


Uğur soon has the rectangular hole cut and the Fuel Vent box tacked in place on the Starboard side.

As many of you know from filling other boats, unlike the automatic shut offs in gas stations which mostly avoid spills, when filling fuel tanks in boats you know when the tank is getting full by listening carefully to the air whistling as it leaves the vents.  So having the vents very close to the fills like this, really helps us hear this important sound in the often very noisy environment of a large fuel bunkering area.

IMG_20190308_104854Here is what the Port Fuel Vent box looks like this from the outside looking aft.

If you look closely (click any photo to bring up full size version) you will see the Fuel Fill box with its lid closed in the background and the Fuel Vent box cover grill is laying on the side deck below.

We will have two different types of Fuel Vent Box cover plates, one with demister grill on the upper area to allow air in and then a solid plate that we will switch to when leaving the boat for longer periods of time so that humidity in the air cannot get into or out of the tanks and allow some water to condense out and into the fuel.  A small detail but an important one for us and another example of the joys of designing and building your own boat!


Speaking of joys, check out all this EPDM foam insulation going into the ceiling of the SuperSalon area! 
IMG_20190305_103743The hull sides have more uniformly sized areas but as you can see here in places like the ceiling it is all very irregular shaped surfaces so much more time consuming to custom cut each piece of EPDM to be just the right size.

IMG_20190305_103816Right size is just slightly larger than the actual area by about 5-10mm/ 1/4 –3/8” larger so that there is a slight compression fit to keep each edge sealed tight against the next so measuring and cutting each piece of foam is time consuming.
IMG_20190307_182309The Engine Room was MUCH faster and easier to insulate with all its large flat equal sized cavities.  The protocol we have worked out for all the EPDM insulation is to wrap each stringer and frame with 10mm thick first and then fit the 50mm thick pieces between such as what you see here on the WT Bulkhead at the end of this photos

IMG_20190307_182325The side walls were all fabricated from 50mm L bar in a grid you see here and this made it easy to fill all those cavities with 50mm EPDM and then cover the whole wall surface with a layer of 10mm.

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Next all these surfaces will be covered with Alucobond which is a sandwich construction of thin aluminium sheets on either side which are anodized white (or other colours) and bonded to a thicker (5mm or so in our case) core that can be made of a variety of materials such as this fibre based one we are using in the ER, Workshop and Basement.

This provides us with a perfect surface for mounting things on, is all white so reflects light well and cleans up very quick and easy.

Image result for alucobond honeycomb panelAlucobond is also available with different cores such this aluminium honeycomb for the core which creates unbelievably stiff and light panels.  Our Galley/Kitchen countertops will likely be made using this aluminium honeycomb panel with thin sheets of stone such as marble or granite.  Gives us real stone countertops that are featherlight.  More on that in future posts.

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This is a fabulous material to work with as you can cut grooves on one side with a router bit or circular saw, which let you bend the sheet as much as 135 degrees or put in a parallel series of such grooves to bend the sheet into a round corner.  We will be using these various types of Alucobond in many different places on Möbius so stay tuned for more.


I will  leave you with this slightly humorous shot from up on Möbius’ decks looking down on the shop floor as the boys moved the SkyBridge Solar roof out of the way for now.  It will give you an idea of its size which is such that each of those eight open frames will each have a 360W solar panel mounted to them to form the actual roof over the SkyBridge.

It’s been very busy with all the behind the scenes work on designs and details as we ramp up for installing all the systems, equipment, interior, wiring, plumbing, etc. so I didn’t get too much time for taking and editing videos this week but here is a sped up look around video from this past week.

We really appreciate you taking the time to come along for the ride with us and please add any of your comments, suggestions and ideas in the Join the Discussion box below.

See you next week!