Captain Christine Returns! Möbius Update 12-25 Sept. 2022

Thanks to Christine and some tech support people at our web host provider, we now have all those technical problems worked out and I am able to post updates again.  Yaaayyyyy!!! 

My apologies for any annoyances you may have experienced with the test post and notification Email that went up here on the site instead of posting as a hidden draft only.   I appreciate your patience and happy to be able to post this quick update on what’s been going on aboard the Good Ship Möbius the past two weeks.

Best thing that happened for me last week was that my Captain returned! 

As you may recall, back on the 1st of the month, Christine flew over to Miami for some much needed Gramma time with our Grandson Liam, some visits with her family and friends and to look after a few medical appointments. 

IMG_1517She had lots of fun outings with Liam, seen here goofing it up with a selfie of him and his Dad, Christine’s son, Tim.
Liam 1st day 1st GradeAnd timing was perfect for Liam’s first day in First Grade.  Yayyyy Liam!

Brynn   Blair 1st Day School Sept 2022Meanwhile, over on the opposite coast near Los Angeles, our two Granddaughters Brynn (left) and Blair were also starting their first days of the new school year as well so school year 2022 is off and running!

IMG_1671Christine landed back here in Kalymnos on this ferry from Kos to Kalymnos on Monday (19th) evening after a two day marathon of travel.  Being on this tiny Greek island adds several legs to the journey with three flights to get from Miami to Dulles to Athens to the neighboring island of Kos and then the ferry from Kos to Kalymnos. 
CK bags return to KalymnosOh, and did I mention that she was schlepping over 55 Kilos/120 Lbs of new bits and bobs for the boat and ourselves?!  However, very happy to report that all went amazingly smoothly, checked bags went all the way from Miami to Kos without any intervention or loss, but it still requires lots of energy and time with not much sleep in between.  She has slept VERY well the first two nights without any real sense of jet lag and we are both very happy to be back together and home.

Super Hawg

PXL_20220920_083527654One of the many bits of kit for the boat Christine lugged back with her, and one of the heaviest, was this Super Hole Hawg as Milwaukee calls their monster HD right angle 18V drill.  Weighs in at 8 Kg/17.6 Lbs, has two reversable speeds and over 1000 FtLbs of torque.
PXL_20220920_083754316.MPIt is quite the beast and I was able to get a very good deal buying it through Home Depot with three of these super sized High Output 6Amp 18V lithium batteries which enables long continuous use between charges. 

This is part of our style of doing prototypes of systems on Möbius that allow us to try out different ways of doing things and allow us to find out what is the Goldilocks just right way for us.
PXL_20220920_083539547 In this case we are trying out this way of converting several of our manual winches to electric.  I ordered this SS adaptor that fits into all our winches.
PXL_20220920_083255443Almost all winches no matter the brand, use this same star pattern for their manual winch handles so this adaptor enables us to try out this powered winch handle on any winch we have so we can see which ones would make sense to convert to full built in electric systems.
PXL_20220920_083457996As an added benefit, this power winch handle will also give us an emergency back up for any failure of our already 24V powered electric winches such as this hefty Lewmar 65 on the Aft Deck.
PXL_20220920_083155882.MPTwo of the currently manual winches we are most interested in trying this out on are these horizontally mounted winches on the Tender Davit which we use to raise/lower the Tender in the Davit Arch.  Up to now we have been using the manual winch handles for this job which works well but we like to bring the Tender onboard every evening so this makes it much more convenient and faster.  I will let you know how it all works out once we have tried it out a few times.

Rats!

3621E3C5-FC9D-4897-AC82-00AF8AD4E1CEMuch lighter and put to immediate use unfortunately, were six of these classic Victor rat traps which I was able to get delivered to Christine hours before she flew out of Florida.  A few days earlier I discovered that I had a new and uninvited guest aboard and these traps are the best way I know of to get them to leave.  Ruby and Barney donated a piece of their kibble for bait which I upgraded with a bit of peanut butter and had had several set out a few hours after we were back onboard Monday night.  A few hours later we heard the distinctive and loud SNAP! of the trap under the sink and I escorted dead Rat #1 off the boat.  Turned out he had two other buddies which were shown the same exit the next night and the traps have all remained undisturbed ever since.  Whew!

Super Synthetics on Sale

For most of the lines we have onboard we use synthetic braided line such as Amsteel or Dyneema as they have SO many advantages such as higher strength that same size SS wire rope, very light weight, easy to handle and they float.  As you might know or guess they are also quite expensive, especially when you buy them from Marine suppliers.  But a tip I can share with you is that the same synthetic line is also now being used extensively in applications such as power winches for off road vehicles, emergency response teams and the like and buying these lines through those outlets is a fraction of the inflated marine cost. 

PXL_20220920_095905604So these two 30 meter/100ft lengths of 13mm/ 1/2” Dyneema also found their way into Christine’s checked luggage.
PXL_20220920_095925807These two are made for electric winches on the fronts of 4×4 and Overland vehicles so they come with a SS thimble on one end and a crimped on fitting for the end that bolts to the winch drum but it is easy to cut these off so I can tie my own eyes, loops or whatever ends I need.  These two are going to be used for some of the rigging on our Paravanes which I now have everything I need and we can start testing out when we get underway again.

Weighty Windings

PXL_20220924_101757840One of the other heavier items Christine brought back with her was this new stator coil for one of our 24V @ 250Ah Electrodyne alternators.
PXL_20220924_101231779Due to a manufacturing error, there was a short in the external rectifier and as you can see every third one of the copper coils was burned out.  There are two of these coils in each alternator which produce the high AC current which then runs through the thick cables out of the Engine Room over to the external rectifier where it is converted into 24V DC current.
PXL_20220924_100213110Electrodyne quickly sent a new replacement coil several months ago and this was our first chance to get it brought over to Möbius.  Fairly straightforward process to remove the old coil by first removing the aluminium Rotor that holds the permanent magnets for the alternator at this end.  The holes in this Rotor provide good air flow to keep the alternator cool.  These Electrodyne units actually have two individual alternators, one at each end of the Red housing but only the one on this end needed replacing.
PXL_20220924_105125920Once the old Stator windings are removed the trickiest part is fishing these three large gauge solid copper wires through the hole in the body of the alternator but just takes some time and holding your tongue just the right way.

Then I could bolt the new Stator windings onto the body.
PXL_20220924_115830765Rotor is bolted back on next and then all the wires inside the junction box up top can be attached to their respective studs.


PXL_20210127_153451189.MP

This upper alternator is driven by a cogged belt system I installed, driven by the crankshaft and also powering the bronze sea water pump you see on the far Left.
PXL_20210830_112742770Further down, the second alternator is driven directly by the PTO shaft from the front Left of the engine.


Each of our Electrodyne alternators can provide up to 6kW of power and so with the pair mounted on Mr. Gee we effectively have a 12kW generator whenever he is running.  Each external rectifier is connected to a WakeSpeed 500 Smart Regulator which automatically look after balancing the two alternators and keeping the 1800 Ah House Bank fully charged. 

Speaking of Mr. Gee, I am eXtremely pleased to let you know that I am flying up to the Gardner works on Tuesday to be there when the new engine is put through its paces on the dynamometer for the initial breaking in and to create a full data sheet and graphs of torque, horsepower, fuel consumption, etc.  I will be sure to take lots of photos while I’m there and be able to share those with you in next week’s update. 

The new engine is due to start its return voyage back to us here in Kalymnos next Friday and hopefully will take “only” 3 weeks or so to get here.  Given that the shipping up to Gardner took over six weeks, that will actually be quite fast!  Everything is relative right?  Once the new Mr. Gee arrives here I will be able to provide you with more details of the installation and most excitingly the results of the initial sea trials so do stay tuned for that.

Thanks for all your patience with the change of pace the past few months and please do keep your questions and comments coming in the Join the Discussion box below.

Thanks!

Wayne

 






 

Going to the Dogs Möbius Update 22-28 Aug 2022

Barney   Ruby on settee As many of you may have seen in your various news feeds, Friday August 26th is/was International Dog Day. 
PXL_20220109_142635914Based on my observations of our dogs, it seems to me that EVERY day is pretty much Dog Day, but apparently the 26th makes it official.
P1040039_59852Ruby is our 14 year old “Spoodle”, a mix of Cocker Spaniel + Poodle and
PXL_20220228_125629953.MPBarney is our 10 year old Yorkshire “Terror” as Christine affectionately calls him.
82990918They have been with us from the very beginning of their respective lives as well as ours as a couple.

As you can see, they have become quite the couple themselves.
PXL_20220822_134844865Happy International Dog Day to all the dogs in our lives!

Going to the Dogs is a bad thing?

I’ve always been curious about the origin of all the various sayings we have in our language and years ago I was quite surprised when I looked up “it’s a dog’s life” and found it defined as “a difficult, boring, and unhappy life” and that “going to the dogs apparently means “: to become ruined : to change to a much worse condition,The economy is going to the dogs.”  All my experiences with dogs had been quite the opposite and as you can see in the photos above, Ruby and Barney certainly seem to have a life that many would envy.

However, I must admit that of late things aboard Möbius do seem to fit the dictionary definition of “going to the dogs” with the various problems that have cropped up with our FireFly batteries, Kabola diesel water heater and the list goes on.  Latest addition this week was finding that the Bow Thruster was not working and I’ll use that example to highlight my contrarian perspective wherein I regard all these as challenges to be taken on and resolved and that in the end they turn out to be good things. 

That’s not a Bug!  That’s a Feature!!

Another common phrase we often hear is that when life deals you lemons, make lemonade.  Along similar lines, one of the more profound and transformative concepts I synthesized during my decades working with software and technology, was that rather than “problems”, such challenges present me with the opportunity “to transform bugs into features”.  I have come to realise that it is largely a matter of perspective.  If you look at things differently, things look different.  In addition to the new understanding and skills I learn by fixing things and resolving these challenges, they also present me with the opportunity to improve and make things better after they are fixed than they were originally.  The problem with the Bow Thruster “challenge” this week is the most recent example I can use to illustrate how I apply this “bugs into features” approach. 


Vetus Bow Thruster wiring connectionsAfter spending time with my multimeter tracing all the wiring for the Bow Thruster, the issue turned out to be caused by very poor electrical design by the manufacturer, in my opinion, for the way the fuse and wires from the controller joy sticks at both helm stations, are placed and connected to the Bow Thruster motor in the Forepeak.
Vetus Bow Thruster wiring connections closeupThe four wire connector on the Left and the 5Amp ATC fuse on the Right are located on the outside of the 24V motor of the Bow Thruster and thus completely exposed to the damp and often salty air in the Forepeak.

Not surprisingly then, these exposed copper connections had suffered from severe corrosion.   
PXL_20220828_092607412

This is the four wire connector with the 24V positive connection being completely corroded and making no connection to the Red wire it joins. 
PXL_20220828_092459203.MPThe ATC fuse holder and the 5A fuse itself were in even worse condition.
PXL_20220828_092526270Compared to the new Orange fuse on the far Left, you can see that both of the spade terminals on the factory fuse have completely corroded into dust.

Not much surprise then that the Bow Thruster wasn’t working.
Quite surprising and disappointing to me to find such an obvious design fault in what is otherwise a very high quality bit of kit, and it made no sense to just clean up the fuse holder and redo the four wire connectors as the same thing would just repeat itself, presenting me with the “opportunity” to not just fix the problem but to improve the whole wiring setup. 

My apologies that I forgot to take photos as I was working and hope these generic images will still help you understand what I did to transform these bugs into features.


sealed ATC-in-line-fuse-holder-30aI carry a good supply of these sealed ATC in-line fuse holders for just these kinds of situations and so I replaced the original factory Black plastic built in fuse holder on the Bow Thruster with one of these.  I also extended the wire length so that the fuse holder was located up higher in a more protected spot which also provides better access if/when this fuse ever blows and needs to be replaced. 

Fuse now fixed and working

Sealed fuse holder

Better protected location

√  Easier to access for future fuse replacements

heat shrink butt connector instructionsFor the four wire connector, I replaced it entirely with new wires that I spliced directly to the wires on the Bow Thruster using these crimped butt splice connectors that have adhesive lined heat shrink coating that completely seals the connection. 

√  No more exposed connections

No more corrosion

Hope this helps illustrate my perspective on how to transform bugs into features. 


With the above as context, I have a much bigger and much better example of my latest transformation; Mr. Gee 2.0!  Here is a brief (consider the source) overview of what’s been happening with Mr. Gee lately.

Tick Tock

Several months ago, after Mr. Gee had about fifty hours of run time, I began to hear a metallic “ticking” noise when he was running.  It wasn’t very loud and sounded very similar to when there is too much clearance between the end of an exhaust or intake valve and the rocker arm.  I had previously done the recommended valve adjustment after about the first five hours of running and all the metal parts have been through multiple heating and cooling cycles.  Shortly after hearing this new ticking sound I checked the valve clearances again and found them all to be spot on but the ticking noise continued.

After that I kept my ear attuned to the ticking and it seemed to stay the same, not changing or getting any louder so I thought it was perhaps just a normal Gardner sound and just kept listening closely on every engine room inspection while we were underway.  I do one of these ER inspections every hour or two when we are underway and record all other engine data such as RPM, fuel consumption, SOG (boat speed over ground), oil temperature and pressure, coolant temperature, Exhaust Gas Temperature EGT and temperatures at various parts of the engine and the air in the Engine Room.  Reviewing this spreadsheet allows me to see what all these readings should be and makes it easy to spot any changes.

Everything stayed the same until we about ten hours into making our way from the Greek island of Rhodes to Athens on the mainland.  I began to notice some increased temperatures in the area of the cylinder heads by cylinder #3.  All the other temperatures of oil and water and metal parts elsewhere remained the same but I also noticed that the ticking noise was getting louder.  More like a slight metal on metal knocking sound.  Always hard to tell with sounds inside an Engine Room if this is just your imagination or if the sound really is changing but I shut the engine down and did a much closer inspection of every part of the engine but found no visible signs of any leaks or other changes.  So I restarted Mr. Gee and we continued.

You know where this is going!  Sure enough the heat around the exhaust and intake ports of cylinder #3 continued to rise, the ticking noise got louder and the engine ran more unevenly.  Not a condition that could be allowed to continue and so we rerouted ourselves to the closest island of Kalymnos where I would be able to take on this latest challenge and figure out how to transform this bug into a feature.  This would have to wait for a month or so because we now had our granddaughters and family onboard followed by some other dear friends so not much time to work on Mr. Gee. 

Eventually though, I was able to do some deeper testing and dismantled the engine enough to find that the exhaust and intake valves on cylinder #3 were defective and no longer sealing on their valve seats and hence not getting cooled down. 
exhaust valve cooling illustrationValves, the exhaust in particular, live in a very nasty high heat environment and they mostly are cooled when they are tightly closed and can transfer their heat through the valve seat.  If they don’t seal tight they don’t work as a valve bringing the air/fuel mix into the cylinder, sealing it completely on the compression and then power strokes and then letting all the burned mixture out the exhaust port.  And without the contact to the valve seat, they rapidly start to overheat and would eventually likely crack.
I am very fortunate to have some of the best experts there are when it comes to diesel engines and Gardner’s in particular.  I have the Mr. Gardner himself, Michael at Gardner Marine Diesel GMD, the home of Mr. Gee and all Gardner engines and my long time friend Greg who I’ve known since we were in University and trade school together and who is the best expert on diesel engines I know.  I spent a LOT of time texting and talking with Greg and Michael and they were both eXtremely generous with their time and patience.  After going through all the possible scenarios and reviewing all the data and photos of what I was able to see, the problem and the solution became quite clear.

I had begun the restoration of Mr. Gee when Christine and I were house/pet sitting for some dear friends in Portugal and had a machine shop there do all the machining of the cylinder heads and block and install the new valve seats, valve guides and cylinder liners.  Michael at GMD remembered this and he noted that installing new valve seats in these LXB engines is quite particular and he has seen problems in the past when other machine shops have installed new valve seats and valve guides, so this cast some doubt on whether these had all been installed correctly by the machine shop in Portugal.  While we won’t know for sure until a more detailed examination of the valves, seats and heads improperly installed valve seats became the most likely suspects as to what was causing the problems with Mr. Gee and making that ticking noise. 

It was possible I could remove the cylinder heads, order in new valves and seats and find a machine ship in Athens or somewhere to properly install all new valve seats and guides, but this would not be easy to arrange and would not be a shop that had experience working on Gardner engines so we quickly ruled out this option.  To be completely sure that all the valves, seats and guides on Mr. Gee were 100% correctly installed, this work needed to be done at the Gardner works at GMD.  Our attention thus turned to how best to do this?

30 Horses Gallop into the Scene…..

I should also note at this point, that I have been having a completely separate conversation with Michael all this year about converting Mr. Gee from the 150HP @1650 RPM he is currently at, to the 180HP @ 1800 RPM option which the 6LXB can be configured for.  The 150HP setup is a Continuous or 100% duty cycle which means the engine can be run at this speed and HP 24/7 which many 6LXB’s are.  The 180HP version has a lower duty cycle which means that you can run them safely at full power and RPM for shorter periods of time and then continue at lower RPM.  Almost all diesel engines have this range of RPM/HP they can be configured for and on mechanical fuel injection engines such as the Gardner LXB, this involves physically changing the fuel injection pump setup to inject a higher volume of diesel fuel on each intake stroke and adjusting timing of the injectors and valve advance.  Not that difficult but requires specialized tools, equipment and expertise from Gardner than what I am comfortable doing.

In our trips this year, about 80 hours total run time, we have been finding that the Goldilocks or sweet spot for the best combination of loads, EGT, speed and fuel economy is about 1400-1500 RPM so why am I interested running Mr. Gee at up to 1800 RPM?  Simply put, I would like to have the option to call on those additional 30 HP, a 20% increase, in an emergency situation when that extra power could mean the difference between getting out of a situation vs loosing the boat.  One example of such a situation is when you are at anchor and find yourself on a lee shore when the conditions change unexpectedly such that there are high winds and seas trying to push the boat onto the shore.  Of course this always seems to happen at O’dark thirty and you are in the dark with every second counting, so being able to start your engine and call on every pony the engine has can make all the difference.

FRANCE-CORSICA-WEATHER-ENVIRONMENT-TRANSPORT-TOURISMLest this should sound a bit farfetched to some of you, just this past week we were vividly reminded of how fast and unexpected this type of lee shore situation can develop when a very high wind storm swept over the island of Corsica in France.  You may have seen this in video on the news you watched and seen these winds gusting up to 224 km/h (140mph) pushing hundreds of boats onto the shore.

I had therefore wanted to do this conversion to the 180HP setup before we start venturing out on our longer passages and later in the season and was going to remove the fuel injection system from Mr. Gee and ship to GMD to do the conversion and then ship back so I could install it and we could continue our travels.  The trick was going to be when and where to do this as Möbius would need to stay in one place while the fuel injection was off being reconfigured.  Now that we found ourselves with such a rare and ideal side tie dock arrangement we serendipitously stumbled upon here in Kalymnos, this latest challenge with Mr. Gee’s valves and the repowering all seemed to converge into a perfect storm kind of situation and here is how this all came together.

Go BIG or Don’t Go!

As long time sailors, we have come to understand how critical it is that you have complete confidence in your boat before you go to sea.  When you find yourself in those rare but inevitable situations where things have become very nasty and every decision is critical, having ANY doubts about your boat, or yourself, can be crippling and life threatening.  Mother Nature can be an eXtremely effective teacher and you soon learn the hard truth about how critical such confidences is and that if you don’t have full confidence, then you don’t go to sea. 

Given the high dependency we have on Mr. Gee for our propulsion and the fundamental requirement to have eXtreme confidence in all the critical systems on Möbius, it was not difficult for Christine and I to decide that we needed to go “all in” on this situation and transform all these “bugs” into features resulting from us doing everything possible to ensure that Möbius is the most seaworthy boat we could create. 

I’m sure you can see where this is all headed.  Rather than send just the fuel injection system to GMD to convert it to the 180HP version, go Big and send all of Mr. Gee to GMD.  Michael made this decision even easier by kindly offering to do a full exchange of Mr. Gee for a new 6LXB that they would put together at the Gardner Works there at GMD.  We send them Mr. Gee, they send us a new 6LXB we will now refer to as “Mr. Gee two point O” or Mr. Gee 2.0  They will transfer over a few of the external bits such as the items I have already polished such as the rocker covers, GMD side covers and the custom brackets I’ve designed and built for things like the sea water pump and hand crank system but these can all be done right after Mr. Gee 1.0 arrives at GMD and after the new Mr. Gee 2.0 has been built. 


Gardne dynamometerMichael will also put the new engine on the Gardner dynamometer where they can run it through its paces, do the initial break in and create a full HP/Torque/Fuel graph directly from the readings on the dyno.  I don’t have a photo of their dyno yet but this one will give you a rough idea.  The engine is mounted to the dyno with flywheel connected to the measuring devices that read horsepower, torque, fuel consumption, etc. and plot this out onto a graph.  This will add to our confidence that we know for sure what these outputs are and will make it a relatively straight forward process for me to lower the new Mr. Gee 2.0 into the ER, connect him to all the mounts, Nogva CPP, hoses for coolant and exhaust and electrical and we will be able to get back out to sea and set our sights on destinations West.
I hope that all of the above does not come across as me being flippant or suggesting this was all easy or without a good share of sadness and frustration along the way.  It was all of those things and I do have thoughts about “Why me?” from time to time.  But as I’ve often found with the big decisions in life, these were also very clearly Goldilocks decisions being just right, just for us and in that sense they were easy to make.  The harder part has been dealing with all the time and logistics it has taken to do all this from a small remote island in the middle of one of the busiest and most disrupted summers in the EU and now waiting for the new Mr. Gee to get back here.  


Out with the Old

As you might imagine it was rather hectic here going through all this testing, making the arrangements with the local crane truck to remove Mr. Gee 1.0, securing him to the pallet and arranging to get him trucked from Kalymnos to Athens and then onto two more ferries to get him all the way to the GMD in Canterbury in England, so I don’t have too many photos but here is a quick summary of all that.


PXL_20220715_075826142Gee, I wonder why it doesn’t take me too long to disconnect everything and get Mr. Gee ready to be lifted up?  Oh yeah, lots of practice!
PXL_20220715_075856899I enlisted the help of two local men to help extract Mr. Gee from the Engine Room and …..
PXL_20220715_080118585.MP….. then over to the concreted dock we are side tied to.
PXL_20220715_125220821All the openings sealed and taped off and engine strapped onto the shipping pallet.
PXL_20220803_100143996.MPShipping labels attached under Shrink wrap to keep him clean and protected for his long journey home to GMD.
Mr. Gee at SLA LogisticsAnd just a few hours ago, I received this photo of Mr. Gee in the storage warehouse of the trucking company outside of London waiting to be make the final leg of his journey over to GMD in Canterbury on Tuesday as Monday is a national “Summer Bank Holiday” in the UK. 

Don’t even think about asking me how long this whole journey has taken!  Let’s just say that all you’ve been hearing about disruptions to supply chains and shipping, record high tourist traffic this summer in Europe and how the whole EU tends to take their holidays in the month of August, is so very very true.
PXL_20220828_135748885.MPLeaving me with a very sadly empty Engine Room and a lot of greasy hand prints to clean off the walls.

Going Out with a BANG!

AE249F0F-D6B9-4B26-8A85-45115D1B7E81Thanks to Christine, I can leave you with a dynamite ending to this week’s update by sharing THIS LINK to her latest SailingWriter newsletter.

She continues to be very self disciplined with her daily physio routines after her knee operation and been taking full advantage of her “Freedom Machine” aka her eBike, to explore this fascinating island we have been living on since July and finding new beaches for her in the water exercises.  Click the link above to see all her photos and explanation of how this island is literally a dynamite place to be!

IMG_20160601_173921Back to where I started this posting, I will let Barney send us off into a new week as he wistfully enjoys another sundowner and contemplates what it truly means to live a dog’s life
Thanks for joining me again this week and hope you’ll be back for more next week.  I will!

-Wayne



 

No Fire at FireFly Batteries? Möbius Update 14-21 August, 2022

Another regular “work week” for the crew of Möbius this past week so not too much in the way of a Show & Tell post.  So I’m going to use this week’s update to cover the recent demise of FireFly Batteries both as a business and on Möbius.  Not sure that this will be of too much interest to too many of you so feel free to speed read or skip this weeks posting and I’ll have something of more universal appeal next week.

IMG_1070I must have jinxed it in last week’s update where I talked about how ideally cool the temperatures are here in Kalymnos, as the past week Mother Nature turned the thermostat up a touch and we hit a high of 35C/95F on Friday.  Still not anywhere near what most others in Europe and elsewhere in the world are experiencing though!  Daily highs have been dropping a degree a day since then and the Meltemi winds have been blowing hard every day so keeps a good breeze flowing through the boat and makes it pretty comfy onboard. 
IMG_1260Christine continues to have her daily swim and knee calisthenics and thinks her knee is ready for longer walks now so that will help change up her daily routines. 

You can’t see it for the other boats but FYI, Möbius is just above the unicorn’s horn here.

I made some progress with the rigging for the Paravanes but most of my time was consumed with working out the best Goldilocks way to rig them, particularly for retrieving them and I’ll hopefully get time this coming week to install the actual rigging and have that to show you in the next update.

Summary of Möbius’ Electrical System

XPM Electrical System w 4 Batt BanksFor a quick refresher and provide some context for what I’m about to discuss, here is a schematic of the overall DC electrical system in Möbius.  (click any photo to enlarge)
We are a “DC based boat” in that pretty much all our electrical power, both 12+24V DC and 120V+240V AC originates from our 24 volt x 1800Ah House Battery bank.  We do have the ability to plug into shore power when in marinas but the majority of time we are on anchor and even when in marinas we don’t usually plug in as it is much easier and cheaper to just power everything from our 24 Volt House Bank.
XPM 6S4P House BatteryThis House Bank is made up of 24 individual L15+ FireFly Carbon Foam 4V/450Ah cells which when wired as per this schematic creates the 24V x 1800Ah or 43.2 kWh battery bank.
  IMG_20190920_122217In THIS post last year I outlined how and why we decided to go with these FireFly batteries rather than traditional AGM or Lithium so please check that out if you are interested in those details.  Short summary is that these Carbon Foam batteries were the just right choice for our use case as this chemistry is eXtremely efficient, safe and tolerant of cold temperatures and partial states of charge. 
IMG_20200508_153636They are heavier and larger than most other batteries but we built the battery compartments integral to the hull on either side of the keel bar.
IMG_20200512_123726In addition to being a well cooled and secure location the batteries provided a very useful form of lead ballast and thus their weight was a feature and not a “bug” for Möbius.
Photo_6553620_DJI_20_jpg_4702500_0_2022410101452_photo_originalKeeping this House Battery charged is primarily accomplished by our 4.4kW array of 14 Solar Panels and this can be supplemented by the 12kW available from the two 24V x 250A Electrodyne alternators whenever Mr. Gee is running.  We have been using this system every day since the boat was launched a year and a half ago and has proven to work very well. 

Until they didn’t!

Restoration Charging

Several months ago I noticed that the batteries had lost some of their overall capacity and so I performed the “Restoration Charge” that is recommended and outlined very thoroughly in the FireFly User Manual.  The Restoration Charge involves doing a deep discharge of the batteries, pretty much flattening them, followed by a very high amperage Restoration Charge. 


IMG_20200606_142536As per the second schematic above, the 24 batteries are divided into four 24V @ 450Ah or 10.8kWh Groups each consisting of six 4V @ 450Ah cells/batteries.  Each Group can be connected On/Off with individual battery switches which enables me to charge them one Group at a time with the very high rate Restoration Charge of about half their overall 450A capacity, commonly referred to as .5C.  Being able to apply such large amperage charging is one of the other big advantages of Carbon Foam and Lithium based batteries and can accept charging rates as high as 1C meaning charging at the rate of the full capacity of the battery.  IF you have the ability to generate these high amperage charging it allows you do dramatically reduce the overall charging time.
PXL_20201016_104019305.MPIn the case of a boat such as Möbius that primarily uses solar charging, this rapid rate of charge is not really an issue or a benefit because the solar panels fully recharge the batteries almost every day.  However, having the ability to generate high amperage charging (.5C or above) that this Restoration Charging process requires, via either our three shore powered Victron MultiPlus 120A chargers …..
PXL_20201205_072756095……… or the two 24V x 250A Electrodyne alternators, which made it relatively easy to perform these Restoration Charges.  Based on my research and speaking with other owners who have FireFly batteries this Restoration Charging can be used any time that the capacity of the FireFly batteries goes down and only seems to be needed every few years if at all.


It worked just as promised for the first two Groups and in fact restored to a bit more than 100% of their rated 250A capacity.  However the third and fourth Groups I performed this Restoration Charge on did not recover.  I repeated this Restoration Charge process a second time on both Groups but to no avail and their fully charged capacity remained very low at less than 100A.  I spent quite a lot of time both researching this situation and testing the individual 4V cells and all the cabling, connections and readings checked out properly with no significant differences between cells other than their capacity. 

I spent a LOT more time on all this as we literally live off these batteries, but after discussing with many other FireFly owners and speaking to FireFly technicians, the conclusion was that the Quality Control issues that have plagued FireFly batteries for several years had come home to roost on Möbius and 12 of my 24 batteries were defective and would need replacing.  Not the news I wanted but at least FireFly has a good warrantee program and would cover most of the cost of replacing these batteries right? 

This too started out promising with my Email discussions with FireFly International but quickly faded into less and less responses and then complete silence and lack of any responses.

Bye Bye FireFly?

I don’t know the exact details but as best I can tell FireFly batteries don’t appear to be available at all anymore and the company appears to be out of business.  I can not find any official news or reports on this from FireFly themselves or in the media, but after even more research, here are some of the details I can provide in the hopes that this might help other FireFly owners or those considering purchasing them.

  • All of the Email addresses I have for both individuals at FireFly as well as generic ones such as “information”, “Sales” and “Contact”, all of which had been working up to about the beginning of June are no longer working and return with permanent errors.  No response to any Emails from me for over two months now.
  • Rod Collins, highly respected marine electrical expert and owner/founder at Ocean Planet Energy and Marine How-To, posted on the FB Boat Electrical Systems Feb 8, 2022  (2) Boat Electrical Systems | Elsewhere on the net there have been discussions about FireFly batteries and their availability | Facebook
    • They (FireFly) began having some warranty issues that they never had when they were made in the USA. The current owner of the company has run a great product into the ground. So after years of investing lots of time & energy into what can be a great product, yet receiving little support from the manufacturer, OPE decided to throw in the towel. If OPE was no able to get quality batteries, and they were spot testing every shipment. A DIY stands even less of a chance when ordering direct from India..Sad but This is what happens occasionally with off shore manufacturing..
  • FireFly US website suspended  Account Suspended (fireflyenergy.com)
  • FireFly batteries No longer available from US based Fisheries Supply (see bottom)  Firefly Battery FFL16+2V/4V | Fisheries Supply
  • WakeSpeed no longer able to support or offer profiles for as per WakeSpeed founder Al Thomason Email to me
  • FireFly batteries no longer available from Pacific Yacht Systems in Vancouver Pacific Yacht Systems: Shop Boat Marine Electronics and Electrical Products (pysystems.c
  • long thread in Cruisers Forum FireFly Battery Long Term Users – Speakup – Page 9 – Cruisers & Sailing Forums (cruisersforum.com) with many having the same problems and lack of responses now.

Where to From Here?

You may well be asking yourself, where does this put us for a solution to replacing our FireFly batteries on Möbius?  I know I am certainly asking that question!

For the time being, several months now, we are up and running without much problem.  I purposely oversized the overall House Battery capacity to be 1800Ah / 43.2kWh and this is now proving to be very helpful.  I have all four Groups connected as a single House Battery, which I’d estimate combine to give us a bit more than 1000 Ah or 2.4kWh total capacity.  In these summer months, the solar panels bring the House Bank back to 100% by noon or earlier every day and I think that we can continue to have the boat be very livable with all our electrical systems, cooking, etc. fully operational on this reduced overall capacity for quite some time.

It really is a shame that this company has not been able to build reliable Carbon Foam batteries and I hope that some other company acquires the patent and brings good quality Carbon Foam batteries back onto the market, but that would likely take years if it happens at all and battery technology is evolving rapidly all the while.

I do still REALLY like these Carbon Foam batteries and believe that this chemistry offers an eXcellent solution for use cases such as ours and so I am trying, without much success so far, to find out if there are any dealers who still have inventory of 12 or more of these L15+ size 4V FireFly batteries, that test out OK.  I would then need to figure out how to get them delivered to me or me get to them but this would be the best option if available.  If any of YOU reading this might know of a source for these L15+ sized FireFly batteries that might be taking up space in some dealers warehouse, PLEASE do let me know!

Victron OPzV battery photoSwitching over to another battery type would require a significant amount of time and cost but may be in our future now.  Given that we have the space and can use the weight of batteries to our advantage, perhaps going with tried and true AGM or Gel, or perhaps going with the batteries I had originally chosen, 2V OPzV traction batteries would be the best solution? 

Box
Dragonfly Battery Images (Transparent Background)And of course Lithium and LiFePO4 batteries and their related BMS systems are becoming more and more common and proven and perhaps a bit better value so that’s another option I’m exploring.


At the end of the day a boat, even a relatively new one, is still subject to the harsh reality of all boats wherein they ALL have ongoing problems and present ever expanding To Do list items so I guess this is just the latest one for us to solve.

For now I will put this out there as a question for all you fellow boat owners and those with experience in larger House Batteries such as we need on Möbius, to send along your thoughts, connections and recommendations and I will gratefully add these to my own research and let you know what we decide to do.


IMG_1169In the interim, we will continue to enjoy each other and our unique situation here in Kalymnos and remind ourselves of just how fortunate we are to have each other, to be where we are and to have this great home from which we get to enjoy sunsets like this!
-Wayne


E-bikes and Flying Fish

Sheesh!  Half way through the month of August already!

Time for a brief update on what’s been happening with us and Möbius over the first two weeks of August.

Weather here continues to surprise us with how ideally cool it is.  This past week has seen the daily temperatures drop a few more degrees from their previous norms of about 32C / 90F down to about 28C / 82F as I sit typing this at about 3pm on Sunday.  Evenings and mornings are even cooler and with the constant Meltemi winds blowing through the boat sleeping is very comfy and mornings are starting to feel downright chilly!  Not sure why this area is experiencing such relatively cool summer when the rest of Europe, the UK and many other parts of the world are seeing record high temperatures but we’ll just enjoy and be grateful that we’ve got such ideal conditions.

Here is what else we’ve been up to the past two weeks.

Update from Kalymnos Greece

IMG_1239_thumbChristine and I have settled into a nice rhythm here onboard Möbius and in this lovely south end of Kalymnos Island that I showed you around in the last post.
Kalymnos set in larger map_thumb[1]If you did not see that post, this map will help orient you as to where the small island of Kalymnos is at (red pin) in the bigger picture of this Eastern end of the Med.
Kalymnos sat view_thumbThis satellite view of the island of Kalymnos (click to enlarge any photo) will help you see how arid and mountainous it is.  Möbius is the south harbour at the Red pin.  To give you a sense of scale, the coast road allows you to circumnavigate the whole island in just 68 km/42 miles.  So not too big which suits us just fine. 

Christine Update

IMG_1204Christine continues to be very dedicated to getting her knee back to full working order and goes for a swim each day where the surprisingly brisk ocean water is the perfect medium for her physio exercises.  Progress is slower than she’d like but improving.  This is but one of may swimming spots she gets to chose from every day.
IMG_1258And almost all of them have a beachside taverna so she gets to enjoy a Freddo Cappuccino and water in the shade when she finishes her exercises.  Thanks to her E-bike that she got before we left Turkey she is able to get to pretty much any of the swim spots on this end of the island in less than 10 minutes and with no strain on her knee, so all good.
IMG_1251The town itself is small but lively with daily arrivals of Turkish Gullets and other sail boats as well as lots of ferries that bring people to and from the surrounding islands or as far away as Athens.  Makes for good people watching including this very salty dog of a Captain.
IMG_1253As with most small towns though there are some less savory characters like this one who manage to sneak in when no one is watching.
IMG_1212In addition to swimming, Christine loves to use her E-bike which she calls her “Freedom machine” to explore further afield and she has been super impressed by how well the “pedal assist” of her trusty E-bike allows her to climb even the steep hills that are the norm everywhere on the island once you leave the waters edge.
IMG_1230Her explorations down random little roads and alleys continue to produce finds like this old church.
IMG_1229Which can often reveal surprise treasures such as this interior of the building above if you go up the stairs and push the door open.
When not out swimming or exploring, Christine is hard at work in her office every day here aboard Möbius as she starts doing the heavy mental lifting of creating a whole new set of characters and timelines for the newest book she is writing.  Stay tuned for more on that as it develops.

Wayne’s World

Meanwhile I am kept very busy with the combination of remaining boat jobs on the list and fixing the inevitable gremlins that pop up.  Our Kabola diesel boiler suddenly stopped earlier this week after working flawlessly every day for the past year and a half so trying to sort that out.  For now I’ve just turned on the 220V element in the Calorifier (hot water tank) for daily dishes and showers.

One of the unfinished boat jobs this week has been finishing building the paravanes so we can test them out when we next head out to sea. 
paravanes1As you may recall from previous posts, Paravanes are passive stabilizers which work by “flying” about 6m / 20’ below the water.  These help keep the boat level by resisting forces trying to roll the boat from side to side.  As the boat rolls, one of the paravanes or “fish” or “birds” as they are sometimes called, resists being pulled upward while the other paravane dives down and sets up for its turn to resist being pulled up as the roll forces go to the other side.

PXL_20220618_144026919The paravanes themselves, are suspended from Dyneema lines (super strong synthetic rope) that hang off of long booms extending out from each side of the boat at about 45 degrees.
LarryM fish in water with retreival lineHere is a paravane in action from another boat.

If you’d like more details on our Paravane setup check out THIS blog post and THIS one from back in June when I was rigging the booms and starting to build the paravanes.

PXL_20220809_114817402   Before we left Finike in Turkey I had finished shaping and painting the 20mm / 3/4” plywood “wings” for the two paravanes and bolting in the T-bracket where the line goes up to the boom. 
PXL_20220809_114751558Now I needed to cut these two aluminium plates to act as vertical fins that will help keep the paravane tracking parallel to the hull.
PXL_20220809_114751558Pretty straightforward to cut with my jig saw and shape with my angle grinder.
PXL_20220809_114815059Now just need to drill holes for the bolts that will attach the vertical fins to the T-bracket and the paravane wings.
PXL_20220809_124532184.MPLike this.  The holes along the top of the T-bracket are where the line going up to the boom attaches and provide adjustments for the angle the paravane will slice through the water at different speeds and conditions.
PXL_20220809_134200156Final step was to bolt on these two zinc weights that weigh about 15kg / 33lbs and create the nose of the paravane.  This forward weight ensures that the fish will dive down quick and smooth when not being pulled upward.  When the boat rolls the other way, the line pulls up which straightens out the fish and immediately start resisting the roll.  Rinse and repeat!
PXL_20220809_142948848_thumbHere is the finished pair of paravanes all ready for testing, though I will probably put on another coat of epoxy paint for good measure.

Next week I’ll finish the rigging and get the lines attached from the ends of the booms to each paravane.


IMG_1070Not too bad a spot to be in and we are eXtremely grateful for just how fortunate we are to be here.

I’ll be back with more as our time races by here in Kalymnos and hope you enjoy these briefer updates.  Let me know by sending your comments and opinions in the “Join the Discussion” box below and I’ll be back with more as soon as I have it.
-Wayne


Möbius; so much more than a name. Update June 27-July 3, 2022 XPM78-01 Möbius

Quite a momentous week for us as we finished all the critical remaining boat jobs and on Saturday, July 1st we checked out of Turkey.  Seemed like an appropriate date being Canada Day and a day that at times we were not sure would ever arrive.  Our whole experience the past year or so has difficult to capture in words as it felt like some surrealistic blended version of the song Hotel California (you can check in but you can never leave) and the movie Groundhog Day where time got stuck and every day was Ground Hog Day all over again.

Mobius are we there yet cartoonHowever our dear friend Sherry came up with the perfect description when she sent us a link to this fabulous cartoon by Scott Johnston over on the Mathematics Facebook group that summarized it perfectly.  As most of you would likely recall a Möbius strip is this truly fascinating shape created when you take a strip of paper, twist it 180 degrees and glue it together into a loop.  As you may recall from high school math class a Möbius strip is a one sided surface with no boundaries.  If for example you try to draw a line down the middle of the strip you will find that the line keeps going till it rejoins your start point.
If it’s been awhile since you played with a Möbius strip do yourself and others around you a favor and create your own out of paper and have some fun with it or just watch this short video for one of the classic things to do with a Möbius strip.
 
Mobius ring sketches (2)Möbius strips showed up on the “first date” Christine and I had but I’ll leave that story for another time and just say that this shape has captured our relationship from the very beginning.  So much so that I designed our matching wedding rings by playing around with some ideas based on a Möbius strip.
Ring Compare shotsWith the help of my friend Ted, turned one of my designs into a 3D model,
Ring_example_0013D printed the model in jeweler’s wax and then used this wax model to create a porcelain mold into which the White Gold could be poured.
PXL_20220703_124506061Capture a split raw cognac diamond inside the twisted top and Voila! 
Mobius are we there yet cartoonSherry knows this story well and so she just had to send us that fun cartoon as soon as she saw it and you can see why this so perfectly captures our life of late and from the very beginning.  Thanks Sherry!

Möbli Launches!
.trashed-1659079411-PXL_20220629_071902358

One of the bigger jobs we checked off this past week was the completion of our new Davit Arch and the launching of our Tender Möbli. 

IMG_1010I’ve gone over the rigging in past posts but you can see how we lift Möbli up inside this Davit Arch and then let the Arch rotate off the Port side where we lower Möbli into the water.  Time was short but I took him for a quick test run out of the harbour and back and little Möbli performed perfectly and then we loaded him back onboard Möbius. 

Christine took some video of this maiden voyage but I’m not able to get it to upload for some reason so I’ll bring you more in future updates.


Paravanes/Birds/Fish

Canadian plywood   lead paravane WoodFish from Balder VIII on Trawler ForumYou may recall in last week’s update that I starting building the paravanes or “birds” or “fish” as they are commonly referred to, which we will use to reduce stabilise Möbius in rolly sea conditions on passage.  The ones I’m building are based on the design you see here commonly used by Canadian commercial fishing boats that I’m familiar with from my many years in the Vancouver/Victoria area.
PXL_20220618_133852317.MPThese paravanes hang from the end of the long aluminium tube A-frames you may recall me rigging up a few weeks ago and they glide through the water about 6m/20ft below the surface.  As the boat rolls the paravane on that side dives down and then resists when the boat tries to pull it up as the roll goes the other way.  Very KISS and all mechanical so much lower maintenance and less likely to break down.
PXL_20220626_115201694Last week I got the plywood cut to shape, all the edges rounded over and two coats of white epoxy paint on them.
PXL_20220701_074113950This past week I got the aluminium plate cut and welded for the T-brackets that go through the plywood and create the lifting point for the dyneema line that each paravane is suspended by.  The two plates underneath will form the tail fins to help keep the paravane tracking parallel to the boat.
PXL_20220701_091011432.MPDrilled all the holes for the line attachment on top and the four holes for the through bolts to fasten these brackets to the plywood, and rounded over all the edges to help reduce drag and be safer to handle.
PXL_20220701_114446009Used my circular saw and some files to cut the slot into the plywood for the vertical 10mm plate to slide through.
PXL_20220701_114508462Routed out some V grooves for the welds to fit into and keep the AL plate flat against the plywood when bolted together.
PXL_20220703_120730433Used some marine adhesive to seal the T-brackets to the plywood and keep everything watertight.  Unfortunately I only had Black Sikaflex on hand but I will be giving the paravanes at least one more coat of White epoxy so they will end up being all white, not that it matters to their operation.
PXL_20220703_120821245I didn’t have time to complete the last step to complete these which is to cut the vertical Tail Fin plates and bolt them to the vertical T bracket and the plywood.  Once that is all done they should be easy to rig onto the ends of the Paravane A-frame poles and ready for their first test run.  We are now underway so I’ll be doing my best to get them finished along the way and will be able to report back to you as to how they work.

Are We There Yet?

Christine has been watching weather for the past week and a great window was forecast to open up on Saturday morning so Friday afternoon she worked with the officials at Finike Marina and got all the paperwork filled out, stamped and signed and just like that we were finally officially checked out of Turkey and cleared to leave Saturday morning! 

Could this really be true??!?


PXL_20220702_061521384We awoke to ideal conditions on Saturday morning, no wind and flat seas and we just had one more job to look after before leaving.
PXL_20220702_070434755.MPUp to now we have been running on the initial 2000 liters of diesel fuel we put into Möbius’ tanks just prior to launching over a year ago.  Not the greatest timing to be buying fuel but we “only” paid US$1.61 per litre which is much less than anywhere in Europe so that helped a to reduce the sting of the current fuel prices a wee bit.
Our six fuel tanks hold a total of 14,000 Litres/3,700 USG but we will wait till we get to Algiers where diesel is now 19 cents/litre to fill up completely so we just took on 4000 Litres/1057 USG which will be more than enough till we get to Algiers. 

Look out Greece, Here we come!

ATurquoise Coastnd with that, we motored out of Finike marina for the LAST time, for sure we hope, and started making our way up the Turkish coast, again for the last time we hope.   We are headed for Rhodes where we will officially check into Greece and then make our way over to Athens in time to meet up with our two Granddaughters and their parents.  They will be with us for two weeks as we explore the Greek islands with them.
IMG_1032As former sailors we are still working on making the transition to voyaging under power and the dramatic change in what makes for “ideal weather”.  Somewhat the opposite of ideal sailing weather, we now seek out NO wind and flat seas and that’s pretty much what we had for our all day trip from Finike to Göcek. 
IMG_1036Not at all difficult to get used to mind you and our two crew members seem to agree, just very different from what we’ve been used to while sailing around the world the past few decades.
IMG_1038Christine wanted to go back to the idyllic little bay at the top end of Göcek that she had found for us last month when we were up here which made for a longer day as we didn’t get the anchor down till about 20:30 but still in lots of light and we had our tracks from the last time.  However the late afternoon sun comes pouring into the SkyBridge and so the Captain adapted with this very fashionable headdress made out of one of our Turkish towels and all was well.
IMG_1040And all well worth it when you’re rewarded with a great sunset like this as we made our way to the anchorage.
We will probably weigh anchor early in the morning to get some favorable motoring conditions to make the 50nm passage over to Rhodes and get checked into Greece there and start making our way West across the Aegean Sea to Athens.  I’ll be able to update you on that passage in next week’s update when we are in Athens with our four new family crewmembers onboard so do stay tuned for that.

Thanks for taking the time to join us here again this week and we hope you’ll be back again for next week’s update.  Don’t forget to leave your comments and questions in the “Join the Discussion” box below. 

Also sending out lots our very best wishes to all our fellow Canadian and American friends and family as you celebrate your July 1st and 4th independence days in style.  Christine has a bottle of bubbly in the fridge for us to celebrate our departure from Turkey and arrival in Greece tomorrow so we’ll toast you all then.

-Wayne

Holy Flying Fish Batman! XPM78-01 Möbius Update 20-26 June, 2022

Another very busy week here in Finike as we work our way through the last boat jobs that need to be completed before we can set sail (yes, we still refer to it as “sailing”) and finally put Turkey in our wake.  In what feels a bit like some marine version of Groundhog Day (the movie), we thought we had left Finike for the last time about a month ago but life intervened with some new twists, quite literally.  Christine “twisted” her knee and needed to go back to Antalya to get that operated on and when we first launched the Tender the overhead beam portion of the Davit Arch “twisted” and needed to be replaced.  So we find ourselves back here in what was our home base for almost the past year to look after these and several other key items on our To Do lists.  All working out very well as we know and like this area and have a good network of people we can call on to help find things we need which really speeds up the process and allows us to get these jobs done much faster than if we were in a new town.

Weather here continues to be outstanding and much “cooler” than past summers.  Hottest we’ve been up to in the past few weeks is about 33-34C / 91-94F and nights have been down in the low 20’s / 70’s so makes for very pleasant evenings and sleeping and not too sweltering in the daytime though it does get toasty when you’re in the direct sun which I was for much of this past week and have the “farmers tan” to show for it.  But we go for a swim in the ocean on the other side of the rock seawall behind us and that is a great way to cool down and good exercise for Christine’s knee which continues to improve and get stronger and stronger.

A good variety of jobs on the go this week including building DIY Paravanes, assembling and installing he new Davit Arch v2.0 and getting all its rigging in place.  So let’s dive right in…………

Paravanes

Paravane rigging System v2Last week you may recall that I completed the rigging for the aluminium A-frames that fold out from each side of Möbius and have lines going down from their ends to a paravane of “fish” that glides about 6m/20’ below the water level.  The rendering here is from when I was doing the calculations for line lengths so you are seeing multiple positions of the paravanes whereas there is only one on each side in reality. 
Paravane working flow illustrationParavanes are know as a “passive” system to help stabilize the motion, side to side rolling in particular, of the boat in large seas and in rolly anchorages. 
The other option is to use active stabilizers such as fins or gyroscopes which work very well and at more of a flip of a switch, but they require a lot of power, a lot of $$ and are relatively complex systems known to be quite prone to failures or at least a lot of maintenance and so we’ve chosen to go with all mechanical and very simple paravanes which are commonly used by commercial fishing boats. 
Our intent is to use this paravane system for the next year or so and if we decide we want to change to active stabilizers in the future, the hull already has all the internal framing and watertight coffer dams which will make the installation of active stabilizers relatively quick and easy. 

Magnus Effect stabilizer illustrationFWIW, if we were to do go with active stabilization today we would probably chose to go with the Magnus Effect type of stabilizers as these can be folded inline with the hull when not in use.  This greatly reduces the danger of hitting something with the fins that permanently protrude out much further and can add some risk when in areas with lots of coral, rocks or ice.  And who knows what new systems might be developed by the time we might be looking into active stabilization?
Kolstrand paravanesThis is an example of the most commonly available paravanes from Kolstrand company and used by many commercial fishing vessels.  Galvanized steel and work very well but very heavy and a lot of drag.
Canadian plywood   lead paravane WoodFish from Balder VIII on Trawler ForumHowever, some fellow Canadian boaters have been having very good success with these DIY paravanes built using plywood for the horizontal wings and a metal T-bracket to attach to the line above and a lead weight on the front, so I’m going with this design. 
Relatively low cost and easy to build and these will let me do a lot of experimenting in the next year of use to try different sizes of wing surface area, front weight, attachment line positions, etc.  The ideal is to get the maximum roll resistance with the minimum drag.
Plywood paravanes being built by Cold Smoked on TFOver on the always helpful Trawler Forum, a trawler owner “Cold Smoked” had provided some photos of this type of paravane he was building and
plywood paravane being built by Cold Smoked…. ended up looking like this. 
Plywood Paravane by LarryM on TFThis is an example off this same style on the trawler mv Hobo all rigged up and ready to be tossed overboard.
LarryM fish in water with retreival lineHere is a shot when this paravane is at work and helps to show you how the A-frame on this boat works.
With the Paravane A-frames all rigged, this week I started building the paravanes or “fish” themselves. 
PXL_20220619_123240022To my surprise, finding good plywood suddenly seems to be very difficult but on our trip to Antalya last week we were finally able to find a lumber shop that had some pieces on the side they were willing to cut for me.
PXL_20220623_080435142.MPI worked out my best estimate of the various dimensions and scale for what I think will be close to the Goldilocks size of paravanes for Möbius and got to work cutting the plywood.
PXL_20220623_100209801My ever handy 18V Milwaukee router made it easy to put this bullnose profile on all the edges to help reduce the drag when these are flying through the water.
PXL_20220626_115201694Two coats of white epoxy to make the plywood waterproof and easy to see when deployed.  I’ll add a third and perhaps fourth coat tomorrow and can then start attaching the hardware.
PXL_20220626_115242034Ideally I would like to have used a round lead fishing weight cut in half but could not find any here in Turkey so I’m going to use these large disc zinc anodes that I found in a marine shop when we were in Marmaris a few weeks ago.  This one weighs about 7kg/15lbs and I will through bolt two of these to the bottom of the nose of the plywood. 

Paravane bracket sketchDidn’t seem worth it to fire up Fusion 360 for such a simple bracket and fin so I just made this quick and dirty hand sketch as I worked out the dimensions and proportions for the T-bracket and the Tail Vane.  I’m still tracking down someone in Antalya who has the AL plate I need and hope to have these here next week so I can finish building the fish for Möbius and start testing the whole paravane system out.  Stay tuned as that happens.
As I do with so many other systems, my intent is to use these first fish as prototypes and spend the first year or so experimenting with them to find that sweet spot of best roll resistance with least drag and all the tricks to deploying and retrieving them.  This design allows me to easily change the size and shape of the plywood wings as well as trying different amounts of front weights with the different zinc anodes I now have onboard.  And I can try different attachment points of the line to the fish to get the down angle just right and I try out different positions at different boat speeds in different sea conditions.  Should be fun and educational so stay tuned for more as I finish building and start using these paravanes in future blog posts.

Mr. Gee 3.0 First Oil Change

PXL_20220620_083618615.MPMr. Gee has now been thrumming away very happily for almost 50 hours now so this week I did his first oil change to make sure I could get rid of any particles that had gotten flushed out after the last rebuild.  He holds about 28 liters and I use a 24V transfer pump to make it very quick and easy to pull out all the old oil and then pump in all the new.  Mr. Gee has the optional hand pump for removing the oil so the oil pan is all plumbed for this and I just push on a vinyl hose and use the transfer pump instead.

Gardner recommends oil changes at about 400 hours so should not need to do this again until next year but I carry an extra 50 liters of 15W40 oil and several new oil and fuel filters so I can change these at any time.

Captain Christine’s Tech World

IMG_0987While I was busy with all the mechanical work this week, Christine continued her non stop game of Whack-a-Mole as she gets our complex set of electronic systems for navigation and monitoring all working and playing nice with each other.  Not something that lends itself to much in the way of photos but trust me she works harder than I do!  As just one example of hundreds, this is the screen she uses in Maretron N2K View to create the oil pressure gauge with all its settings, color coding, warning light, etc.  It is a super system for monitoring everything on board but you pay the price in both cost and time.

Davit Arch Beam v2.0

Davit Arch v2 beam Pocket rod detailWhen we first launched the Tender several weeks ago the overhead beam of the three piece Davit Arch failed and so we needed to have a new one designed and built. 
Fortunately Dennis, our awemazing Naval Architect at Artnautica in New Zealand, was kindly able to squeeze in my request to design this new version and have it fully tested by a structural engineer.  As we had done with the design of Möbius, we were able to collaborate on the design via Email to exchange models and test results.
Davit v3 loads from Dennis 26 May 2022Dennis was able to use some structural engineering plugins with Rhino3D that showed the various loads in all locations and guide us through the new design.  Then Dennis sent it to his engineer colleague Peter who did the full set of structural testing and gave it his OK.
Davit Beam v2All of this was then sent to Naval who also managed to squeeze building this new arch into their very busy schedule and had it build in less than a week.  Next challenge was how to get this beam out of the Free Zone and trucked the 120km to where Möbius is in Finike.
PXL_20220621_072505088.MPAs usual the solution involved hiring a customs broker, paying lots of fees and completing lots of forms but eventually the bonded truck showed up at Finike Marina on Monday.
PXL_20220621_073108033.MPPrecious cargo inside.
PXL_20220621_074046241And we soon had it out of the truck and onto the concrete behind Möbius. 
PXL_20220621_142359199.MPThe original two vertical legs of the Davit Arch were fine so it should have been a simple matter of bolting the three pieces together.  However nothing with boats is ever easy and the new beam was 40mm too short.  Grrrrrrr
PXL_20220623_111925916So I designed some adaptor plates to get the vertical legs in the right position and Naval kindly sent up a small crew with a welder and we were able to build and weld in the adaptor plates on Wednesday.
IMG_0992With the new beam now fully bolted in place the next challenge was to get the new Arch lifted aboard Möbius, aligned with the hefty brackets welded to the deck and the 50mm OD SS hinge pins pushed in place.  Fortunately crane trucks like this are ubiquitous in this area so Christine was able to quickly arrange for this one to show up.


IMG_0997Sure makes it easy to move heavy items from one spot to the next.
IMG_1001The fit is very close so it took some time to get everything lined up so the hinge pins would slide into place as you have to get the bored pin holes lined up within about 1mm or the pins won’t slide in.
PXL_20220626_144222934But with some help by our local marina handyman Faik, we finally got everything lined up and the SS pins pressed in place.
IMG_1003And version two of the Davit Arch was now in place and ready to be rigged.
PXL_20220626_083547840The rigging I had built for the first Arch had worked out fine but Dennis and I changed the Pivot Control Line blocks to be over on the far Port side (left in this photo) so that the angle the lines going to the beam were at the largest angle to reduce compression of the beam a bit.  The lines you can see on the right going up the vertical leg is a 6:1 set of triple blocks which lead to the hand winch on each vertical leg.  These lines lift the Tender Up/Down inside the arch to get the Tender up high enough to clear the deck chocks and the rub rail as it goes over the side.
PXL_20220626_083554027.MPThe Pivot Control Line goes through this 3:1 set of blocks and then ….
PXL_20220626_083625349……. over to the big Lewmar 65 electric winch in the centerline of the Aft Deck.
PXL_20220626_083631073.MPDavit Arch all rigged and ready for first test launch this coming week and I’ll bring you all of that and more in next week’s Möbius.World update.

And that’s a wrap for yet another week and almost another month!  Thanks SO much for taking the time to join us and follow along on our adventures.  Hope you will tune in again next week for the latest update and please continue to add your most appreciated comments and questions by typing them into the “Join the Discussion” box below.

Thanks!

Wayne