A day late in getting out this weekly update and I will keep it short but it has been both a very busy and successful week as we get closer and closer to our “throw off the dock lines” day. Lots and lots of jobs on the “Must be done before departure” list have been getting checked off and if all goes well today we hope to leave tomorrow!
Christine has been busy with electronics and computer related jobs onboard getting all six of our monitors working properly with the Upper and Lower Helm computers, getting internet connectivity sorted out for when we are underway and going up the coast of Turkey towards Marmaris and just playing that always fun version of Whack-a-Mole as each new “Mole” pops up. I’ve been busy getting the Tender and the Davit system ready to launch and yesterday we both worked on bringing 500kg/1100lbs of lead pellets aboard that are now safely ensconced inside the watertight coffer dams on either side which are there for the potential future addition of active stabilizers. But I’m getting ahead of myself so let’s jump in with a quick Show & Tell of what all we’ve been working on this past week.
Our workload has been reduced a bit with the addition of a new member of Möbius’ Crew, this little turtle who is one of many we regularly see around Möbius and inside the Finike marina. Turns out he just LOVES eating the green grassy growth that is already starting to appear along our black boot stripe and is a real pain to scrub off. As you may recall we hauled out a few weeks ago and gave our InterSleek “Foul Release” silicone based bottom paint a close inspection and found it to be just fabulous with almost no growth at all after almost a full year in the water with very little movement. However the black boot stripe above the bottom paint and waterline is a different story and this area which is kept constantly wet as the water moves up and down the hull a bit and is getting lots of sunshine all day long is the perfect garden for the “green slime” and grass like plants that grow here. No big deal for the boat really, just annoying and so we were delighted to find that we now had this new crewmember who likes nothing more than to munch away on the grass. Thanks buddy, we can use all the help we can get. Not sure about getting his visa for leaving Finike and Turkey but we’ll see.
As I mentioned earlier I got a good workout yesterday carrying 500 kg of these tiny lead pellets which we had purchased last year and have been sitting in a Bulk Bag on the dock behind Möbius. Christine worked on the dock to transfer about 40kg/88lbs of pellets into thick plastic bags that were then double bagged inside some heavy duty bulk bags which I then carried onto Möbius and down into the Basement under the SuperSalon. I had previously unbolted and removed the watertight cover plates over the two coffer dams on either side about midship on the hull which we had built just in case we decide in the future to add active stabilizers, most likely Magnus Effect type to help reduce roll more than our paravanes do. For now though, these watertight compartments made the ideal spot to put these lead pellets and improve the comfort of the ride by slowing down our otherwise “snappy” roll resistance. Working with Dennis our NA, we set up one of the design criteria for the hull to have a roll period that would have slightly less than the theoretically ideal roll period which is the time a ship takes from upright position to going to a particular angle on port side and then going to a angle on starboard side and then again returning back to upright position (zero list position) during natural rolling. We did this way so that we could dial in the Goldilocks roll period after the boat was built and fully loaded up to our actual weight/displacement. A shorter or faster roll rate provides more safety of returning the boat to upright but this faster or “snappier” motion can induce some nausea for some people and make crossings in rolly conditions less comfortable for the crew. Slowing down the roll is relatively easy to do by adding some weight/ballast that is further outboard and higher up than the centerline ballast, whereas speeding it up is very difficult once the boat is built. Hence we purposely went for a slightly faster roll period in the hull design knowing that we can then add some lead in the best locations once we have the boat in the water and in her natural trim and weight. So we will now operate Möbius with this additional 500kg of lead in the coffer dams which puts it well outboard of center and a bit higher up at just below the waterline, and se how this slightly slower roll rate feels and works for us. If we want to make further adjustments either way we can either remove or add more lead.
Being in small pellet form makes it easy to fill any size and shape spot we want and we are keeping them in these double bags for now so we can change if needed. Once we think we have the ballast and roll period at the just right, just for us Goldilocks point, then I will remove remove the bags of lead pellets, coat the aluminium with epoxy resin and then pour the lead pellets back into these spaces. Then I will pour some thickened epoxy over the top surface to fully encase the lead with the hull and keep it fully sealed to prevent any water from mixing with it which could set up some dissimilar metal corrosion.
As you might imagine this was a job that we were both very happy to check off the list and while we were certainly pooped at the end of the day we had big smiles on our faces and treated ourself to a “date night” of sorts and went out for dinner at the little café here in the marina.
Finishing the Tender Console
The other much larger job that got checked off the ToDo list this week was getting our tender we’ve named Möbli launched off the Aft Deck and into the water for the first time.
I spent the first few days of last week finishing up the last of the wiring that connects the Yanmar 4JH4 HTE 110HP engine to the Castoldi 224DD jet drive and the control panel and gauges for both in the center console. This Yanmar/Castoldi combination is a purposely matched pair and the two companies created a very complete kit package that provided all the custom wiring harnesses to plug into both the engine and the jet drive and connect these into the supplied instrument panel that is now mounted in the console. Most of these connections were done with very high quality quick connect watertight fittings but there were a few wires that I needed to look after to connect to the 12V AGM battery. A bit time consuming but not too difficult and this is how it looks so far. I’m very happy with how this has turned out so far and will work on getting the Standard Horizon VHF and Vesper AIS wired up after we launch and test Möbli out.
One more detail was to install the fuel filler cap in the cover of the 80 liter fuel tank up in the bow. I had previously installed the rubber fuel lines that run under the floor and back to the Yanmar so now I just needed to remove the cover plate, drill the hole for the filler cap and bolt that back down. Put in 15 liters of diesel for now and she should now be ready to start up for the first time.
First though, we need to get Möbli into the water so there is sea water supply for the engine’s heat exchangers for engine oil and fresh water coolant and for the wet exhaust system.
Most of you will have seen in some previous updates a few weeks ago that I had all the rigging for raising and lowering the Tender inside the Davit Arch as well as rotating the Arch itself to launch the Tender over the Port side. A pair of triple blocks provide a 6:1 mechanical advantage for the Tender Lifting lines that go to the winch you see here on the vertical leg of the Davit Arch. Inside the Tender at each corner there is a welded in attachment point where the Lift Line snaps into. Then there is a separate set of rigging that controls the pivoting of the Arch itself so that it moves the Tender sideways off the deck clear of the rub rails and then the Lift Lines are let out to lower the Tender down into the water. This Pivot Control Line of PCL leads through 3 blocks and then over to the bit Lewmar 65 electric winch which allows you to rotate the Arch out and back in. With that all hooked up it was launch time and little Möbli was soon testing out the waters beside Möbius. She sits pretty much right on the waterline predicted in the 3D model which was good to confirm and put the exhaust pipe a bit more than 150mm above the water. I could then hop in and start it up and was delighted when the Yanmar fired up at the first touch of the start button. Must have been taking lessons from Mr. Gee!
So an eXtremely big milestone for us and puts us in position to head out to sea in the next few days. Of course these are boats and so there are always those pesky little Moles that pop up and need to be whacked down. Two popped up with the Tender; there is a small pinhole leak where the Castoldi bolts up to the bottom of the hull and then the larger issue is some problems with the Davit Arch setup that will take more time to “whack” down. The leak is very minor and slow but to be safe I didn’t want to take it out for a test run but I was able to run the engine for about 20 minutes and test out the steering and bucket controls on the jet drive while Möbli was tied up to Möbius and get the oil and coolant up to operating temperature. All of that checked out perfectly; ran well, oil pressure and temperature were right one, steering and bucket control which is how a jet drive directs the thrust of the jet to move the boat forward, reverse and sideways. So VERY pleased with how the Tender turned out and can’t wait for that first test drive which will hopefully be in a few weeks.
For now though, the Tender is back in the chocks on the Aft Deck and all lashed down and covered ready for us to head out to sea.
Christine is working on a video collage of building and launching the Tender so watch for that to go live here in the next few days.
We still have a few small jobs to get done but right now it is looking good that we will be able to finally throw off those dock lines some time tomorrow and leave Finike in our wake as we start working our way up the Turquoise coast towards Marmaris. As usual we are on The No Plan Plan so we will take our time and enjoy stopping wherever calls our name as we motor up this beautiful coastline. We think we will use Marmaris as our jumping off point to check out of Turkey and head over the explore some of the Greek islands in June. Then we have our two granddaughters, with their pesky parents who seem to insist on coming along (just kidding Lia & Brian!) flying in to spend most of the month of July with us so that’s the ultimate prize that is driving us forward from here and a BIG part of what we have build Möbius for so we can’t wait for their return to join us aboard and make more memories together as we explore Greece and perhaps Italy.
As always, thanks for taking time to join us here and please keep those comments and questions coming by typing them into the “Join the Discussion” box below and with luck I’ll be sending the next update from some beautiful anchorage between here and Marmaris.
First and foremost my best and biggest wishes to all the Moms out there! Every day should be Mother’s Day in my opinion so I hope this is just an extra special day for all of you extra special people.
The past week has been filled with a litany of little jobs for the most part and nothing too visual to show you so I’ll keep this short so as not to take up much time on Mother’s Day or better yet, don’t bother reading till later this week.
Christine and I are inching closer and closer to the day when we finally throw off the dock lines here at Setur Marina in Finike and begin our adventures making our way up the Turkish coast a bit and then start making our way West across the Med this summer. If all goes well we hope to take off in about two weeks as we whittle the To List down more each day. Thanks to the help of the great people at Electrodyne and WakeSpeed I think we have found the causes of the one alternator and regulator that are not working properly and have the new parts being put together to be shipped out next week. With us about to become “moving targets” with no fixed address I will need to figure out how and where best to get these parts delivered to us but after so many years out sailing the world this is a very common problem for us and we always manage to find a way to get boat parts and boat united.
One of the big things I need to get done before we take off is getting our Tender “Mobli” finished and running and also be able to test out launching and retrieving him with our Davit Arch system. So in addition to working on some of the remaining To Do items such as tracking down some new gremlins in our Shore Power setup, I have been trying to stay focused on getting Mobli finished. Last week you saw me finish installing the wet exhaust system and I’m waiting the arrival of two more hose clamps to finish that completely and that leaves just the electrical wiring to be fully completed. So as per the title, wiring was the focus this week. Christine has been my trusted parts finder and delivery person tracking down the parts and supplies I need to complete the work on the Tender. She has taking taking full advantage of her fabulous new eBike to pick up parts available here in our little town of Finike or take the 2 hour bus ride down to the big city of Antalya to bring back parts from there. One of those items was a 12 volt AGM battery and battery box which I now have solidly mounted on this shelf I created using some leftover composite grid that we used for the flooring in the ER, Workshop and Forepeak.
I had several of these large Red Battery Switches from Blue Sea left over from building Möbius and so I installed two of these. that This under seat area is easy to access, fully protected, easy to lock up and keeps the weight well centered so this seemed like the best location for the battery. I installed the second battery switch in the Engine Bay on the opposite side of the AL bulkhead under the seat. This isn’t really necessary but provides a very secure anti-theft device when turned off and the Engine Bed lid is locked. We would not likely need to use it very often so it will just be left on most of the time but will be good to have if we ever need to leave the Tender ashore for long periods of times or we are unsure of the security ashore. The primary 12V positive 1/0 size Red cable goes from this switch under the Yanmar engine and connects directly to …. … this stud on the starter solenoid. A bit tight to get to but it is now on and well tightened. The other smaller Red AWG 8 gauge cable comes off the same switch and goes back to the jet drive along with the other wiring for the jet drive and the two Black hydraulic hoses for steering the jet drive. The steering is also hydraulic but is manually powered by turning the steering wheel. The hydraulic pump that raises and lowers the jet drive’s bucket is electric so that Red cable goes to this 50 Amp breaker which feeds power to the pump behind it. There is also the same size Black negative cable that runs from the engine ground to the bronze stud you can see in the center of this shot. Some nylon zip ties help keep all the wiring and hydraulic hoses in place and well protected and with that the wiring inside the Engine Bay is now pretty much complete. Just need to add engine oil, coolant and hydraulic fluid and this should be ready to fire up as soon as we launch the Tender and have it in the water needed for the wet exhaust and heat exchangers. Next week I will move back to the console to finish connecting the Castoldi jet drive wire harness to the Yanmar harness. That leaves me with these 8 wires that connect to the ignition and starter switches and the bucket position gauge which I hope to get done next week. Depending on if I get the remaining parts in time and finish all the wiring, we may be able to launch Mobli over the side next week and fire him up so be sure to tune in again next week to see all that. Thanks as always for joining us again this week and be sure to leave your questions and comments in the “Join the Discussion” box below. They are all VERY much appreciated!
Now, let’s all get back to reminding all the Moms in our lives how awemazing they are!
Another week and another month fly by in a flash it seems but we are making good progress and cutting the dock lines from here in beautiful sunny Finike Marina is getting closer with each passing day. This week also felt like summer is definately on its way with day time temp yesterday getting up to a new high of 29C/84F so we tropical birds are loving this change.
Nothing too visually exciting for this week’s Show & Tell update unfortunately but I’ll do my best to get you caught up on what all we did get done this past week of April 25-30, 2022.
Decks are Done!
One of the larger jobs that we are very thankful to have finished is that the team from Naval finished redoing all the TreadMaster on all our decks.
Despite being very high quality, the West Systems epoxy that was used to affix all the sheets of TreadMaster to the AL decks had not adhered to the AL very well so it has become both an eyesore and a tripping danger. They carefully removed each panel of TM, sanded the AL down, applied Bostik Primer and then Bostik adhesive and glued them all back down with rollers.
Apologies for not having any photos of the completed decks but you get the idea.
When my friend John was here two weeks ago we finished setting up and configuring the two WakeSpeed 500 regulators which control the two Electrodyne 250 Amp @ 24V alternators.
This upper Electrodyne is powered off of Mr. Gee’s crankshaft with a toothed “timing” belt.
The six large red cables carry the AC current from each alternator over to the Electrodyne Rectifiers which are mounted outside of the ER. Difficult to photograph this drive system I designed so this rendering of my CAD models will show it much better. Crankshaft pulley is at the bottom, sea water pump on the left and Electrodyne in the upper right. Works out eXtremely well as there is zero chance of any slippage of these toothed belts and I put in a spring loaded idler pulley (not shown in this render) which keeps the tension just right all the time. Also difficult to photograph now all the floors are in the Engine Room, the lower Electrodyne is powered directly off of the PTO or Power Take Off that is on the lower left side of Mr. Gee. An eXtremely robust and almost maintenance free setup as well. This older photo when Mr. Gee was up in the air shows how this PTO drive works. I went with these massively large and strong Electrodyne alternators in large part because they use an external Rectifier which is what you see here. The diodes in the rectifier are where the majority of the heat comes from in an alternator and heat is the enemy of electrical efficiency so keeping them out of the alternator and out of the ER really helps to increase the lifespan and efficiency of the whole charging system. Each Rectifier is then connected to one of the WakeSpeed 500 Smart Regulators and each WS500 is interconnected with the white Ethernet cable you see here.
Connecting these two WS500’s is a big part of what makes them deservedly called “smart” because they then automatically figure out how to perfectly balance the charging from each alternator which can otherwise be quite difficult and prone to errors. However, the biggest reason these WS500’s are the first truly ‘Smart’ regulators is because they use both Voltage AND Amperage do monitor the batteries and adjust the alternators to produce the just right amount of charging. With everything all wired up we started up Mr. Gee and after the initial ramp up time we were soon seeing about 220 Amps going into the 1800 Ah House Battery which was a joy to see.
Having two of these Electrodyne 250Ah alternators give us the potential for up to 12kW of electrical charging so in a way we actually do have a “generator” onboard. Unfortunately we soon noticed that some of the 24V circuit breakers were tripping when these alternators were running and I’ve spent the past few weeks trying to figure out what was causing that. Thanks to exemplary help from both Dale at Electrodyne and Neil at WakeSpeed, both of whom have been fabulous to work with from the very beginning, I was eventually able to track down the problem to an incorrectly installed aluminium bar that was used to fasten the two halves of the Electrodyne Rectifiers. One end of this AL flat bar was touching one of the AL L-brackets that hold the studs and diode in the Rectifier. Once found the fix was pretty quick and easy.
However somewhere along the way one of the WS500’s stopped working so I am now working with Neil to sort that out. In the meantime we have up to 250Ah charging capacity from the one working Electrodyne/WS500 combo and with all the solar power we have coming out of our 14 solar panels, we have no need for any of it most of the time.
Exhausting work on Tender Mobli
Most of my time this week was spent finishing off the installation of the Yanmar 4JH4 HTE 110HP engine and Castoldi 224DD jet drive in our Tender that we have named “Mobli”.
Similar to Mr. Gee and most marine engines, the Yanmar uses a wet exhaust where sea water is injected into the exhaust gas after it exits the turbocharger. This water dramatically drops the temperature of the exhaust gasses so you can use rubber and fiberglass exhaust hoses to carry the gases and water out of the boat. You can see the primary components I’m using to build the exhaust system in the photo below; water injection elbow on the Yanmar on the far Left with the Black rubber exhaust hose with the yellow stripe to carry the exhaust gas and water down to the cylindrical water muffler in the upper left. I will use the two white RFP 90 degree elbows to carry the water/gas up and out of the boat through the 76mm/3” AL pipe on the right. Like this. I am waiting for more of the SS hose clamps to arrive but this is what the finished setup will look like. Will need to fabricate and install a bracket to hold the muffler in place as well and that will complete the exhaust system.
Hard to see (click to expand any photo) but I was also able to install the black rubber hose that you see running parallel to the left of the exhaust hose and muffler. This carries the cooling sea water from the housing of the Castoldi Jet drive up to the intake on the sea water pump on the left side of the Yanmar.
Last major job to complete the installation of the Yanmar/Castoldi propulsion system is the mounting of the battery and its cables to both the jet drive and the engine and I hope to get that done this coming week. That’s how I spent my last week of April 2022 and hope yours was equally productive.
Thanks for taking the time to follow along, always encouraging to know you are all out there and along for the ride with Christine and me. Thanks in advance for typing any and all comments and questions in the “Join the Discussion” box below and hope you will join us again next week as we get May off to a good start.
After our wonderful time with friends John & Genna last week and our chance to get out on anchor again, it was back to boat work this week. Our annual contract at Setur Marinas includes a haul out and so we decided to take advantage of that to see how everything under the waterline has fared over the past year in the water. Spoiler alert; everything below the WL was in great shape and we were eXtremely happy with the silicone based foul release bottom paint we decided to use. Here are the details of this very busy past week.
First thing Monday morning we moved Möbius over to the Travel Lift bay here at Finike Marina. The slings dropped down into the water in front of the Bow as the Travel lift moved back. And up out of the water we came. Looking pretty good after 11 months in the water with almost no movement. The typical “sea grass” and green slime up around the Boot Stripe and a bit of growth on the bottom paint itself. Prop is also looking pretty clean with just a bit of growth around the base of the blades at the hub. This area would get the least amount of self cleaning turbulence when the prop is spinning so makes sense that we might see some growth here. We designed the Rub Rails with this situation in mind and the underside makes a strong solid pocket for the support poles to lock into. Some blocks under the keel bar running the length of the boat and the Travel Lift was good to go and we could get to work cleaning up the bottom and inspecting everything under the waterline This was a good indicator of how easy it was going to be to clean the bottom paint. Just the contact with the web straps on the Travel Lift was enough to completely brush off all the growth. Another good sign that a small patch of harder growth on the bottom of the Keel Bar came off in my fingers. Each of the zinc anodes also had a bit of harder growth on them but this too came off very easily with a lift of my fingernail or a plastic spreader. I got out a bucket of water and a sponge and after a few swipes with the sponge the growth came off and the silicone bottom paint was as clean and shiny as new. I just kept going with the sponge and this is what it looked like in less than 30 minutes. Christine tackled the prop and rudder with similar fast results. It was a very warm sunny day and the dirty water from sponging would evaporate quite quickly and leave this kind of residue behind but this was easy to rinse off with a spray nozzle on the water hose. Bow thruster tunnel and plastic blades also cleaned up very quickly which was another very pleasant result for us compared to any of our previous boats By the end of the day we had finished the Starboard side and would get back to the Port side in the morning. And that was it! Two days of work and we had a super clean and slick bottom and some VERY big smiles on our faces seeing how easy it was going to be to keep the bottom of Möbius’ hull clean, smooth and slippery.
For other boat owners who are interested in more details on this fabulous bottom paint we used you can read all the details and see how it was applied in THIS previous post from last year.
This type of bottom paint is referred to as “Foul Release” rather than Anti Foul and it is basically a coating of silicone that is sprayed over typical good quality epoxy primer and base coats using an airless sprayer. It is basically the same as what some of you might know as “Prop Speed” that is commonly used to keep propellers clean.
We chose International’s version called InterSleek 1100SR and as you can see this was one of the best choices we made. Having cleaned a LOT of hulls in our many years of sailing this silicone based foul release paint is the best we have ever seen by a very large margin. I simply don’t know or understand why this type of bottom paint is so unknown in the recreational boat market but it is very commonly used by military, cargo and super yachts so is not hard to find if you ask. Given our experience after about 14 months of use, we could not imagine using anything else in the future and can give this our highest recommendation to other boaters to consider. it has an estimated life of 5-7 years so we will continue to report on how this paint performs over the next few years but at this point we are unbelievably happy with our choice and how well it meets our low maintenance priority.
Two days later we were back in the water and back to our dock to finish up other remaining boat jobs so we can finally cut the dock lines and head out to sea.
Fixing the TreadMaster
One of those jobs was redoing the TreadMaster that covers all our decks. The epoxy that had been used to glue the TreadMaster to the aluminium deck surfaces had not stuck and most of the corners were starting to lift and become both a trip hazard and unsightly. Naval sent up a crew of guys who carefully separated each panel of TreadMaster from the deck, sanded the AL deck surfaces clean, primed it and put down a layer of Bostic primer and then used Bostik Simson MSR adhesive to reattach each panel. They got about 70% of the decks done and will be back again Monday morning to finish the rest and we will have nice solid non skid decks again.
Rigging the Davit and Tender
Once back at the dock I got busy installing all the rigging for the Davit Arch that will allow us to launch and retrieve our Tender Mobli.
I’ve got a long and successful experience on previous boats with Garhauer rigging hardware so went with them again. These are the triple blocks that will lift Mobli Up/Down inside the Davit Arch. Like this. From the top triple block the Dyneema line goes through a turning block on the inside corner of the Arch. And then down to a manual Lewmar 40 winch. A Dyneema bridle connects to the bottom triple block and then extends down to ….. …… one of these welded in eyes in each corner of the hull. Makes it very easy to clip the bridle on/off the Tender. Same setup for the bridle at the Bow.
This rigging is what we will use to lift the Tender Up/Down inside the arch to raise it up off the Aft Deck and then down into the water on the side when launching. Retrieval is the reverse sequence. The second rigging is to allow the Arch to rotate off to the Port side so that the Tender moves off the Aft Deck and out to clear the sides so Mobli can be lowered down into the water. Here I have installed the bridal for this that you can see in the middle of the Arch. From the top of the Arch, the line runs over to a turning block on the Stbd side then … … back up to another turning block on the bridle, back down through one more turning block that takes the line over to the Lewmar 65 electric winch. Belaying the line out allows the Arch to rotate out and over the Port side. Like this except the Tender would be hanging from those two Up/Down lines you saw earlier. Next time we are out at anchor and have enough room beside us, we’ll do our first launch of Mobli and see who the whole system works. A work in progress I’m sure and as with many of our systems we will use it for some months to learn how it works and how we can improve it. We may want to modify this to be all electric perhaps or even consider going with a hydraulic crane but for now this simple manual setup should work well we hope. Baris and Dincer at Naval Yachts sent up this lovely surprise gift with the TreadMaster crew this week. Four lovely hand painted tiles of famous Turkish boats of the past and a beautiful hand made Turkish ”evil eye” to help keep us, Mobli and Möbius safe. Now we are trying to decide on the best place to showcase this much appreciated gift. Thanks Naval!
And that wraps up our busy week over here as the days get warmer and warmer and we already feel summer weather coming our way. Thanks for tuning in again this week, be sure to add your comments and questions in the “Join the Discussion” box below and hope you’ll be back again to join us for next week’s adventures.
With most of the major Mothership Möbius jobs looked after, this week I diverted my attention to our other new boat Mobli. This is our 5m aluminium tender that we designed to match the subset of use cases we have for Möbius.
We have named the Tender “Mobli” as a slight play on Kipling’s character Mowgli.
Basic specs are:
LOA 5.0m / 16.4ft
Beam 2.0m / 6.5ft
Draft 288mm / 13.8 inch
Weight: 1088 Kg / 2390 Lbs
Engine: 110HP Yanmar 4JH4-HTE
Propulsion: Castoldi 224 Direct Drive Jet
Our design intent was not for a typical RIB dinghy to just ferry us ashore in an anchorage and much more so a full on Tender that we designed using the same four SCEM principles we used for Möbius; Safety, Comfort, Efficiency and Maintainability. This will be our mini eXplorer boat to take us to places we can’t or don’t want to take Möbius to such as up small inlets and rivers, into super shallow bays and enable us to take multi day eXcursions in safety and comfortably dry in most any weather. Should also make for a fun boat when we have grandkids and others that might want to go water skiing or wakeboarding.
Mobli will also be our backup plan if we should ever run into catastrophic problems with Möbius being either unable to move or worst yet, sinking or on fire. As such Mobli will be both our lifeboat should we ever need to abandon ship and also be our emergency “get home” solution by being a little mini tugboat capable of pushing or pulling Möbius at a reasonable speed in reasonable sea conditions.
Hence the 110HP inboard, which also met our single fuel boat design criteria by eliminating gasoline for an outboard engine. I chose the 4JH4-THE model as it is all mechanical injection so no electronics, ECU and such to worry about getting parts for.
After seeing so many jet drives being used the pilot boats being built for Coast Guards, military and police use, we went with a jet drive for added safety, shallow water ability and high mobility in any direction. Having industrial quality rubber fenders or rub rails wrapped around all sides gave us all the better abilities to be a mini tugboat and be that much safer and cleaner when we make contact with docks or other boats.
Best of all perhaps was that this combination has been put together as a matched set in a joint venture between Yanmar and Castoldi so it came as a very complete kit with literally every part I needed to connect and install in Mobli.
Connecting Yanmar to Castoldi jet drive
Picking up where I had left off last year, I started by working on coupling the Yanmar to the Castoldi via the CentaFlex coupling which you see I have bolted to the flywheel of the Yanmar on the Right. This is a flexible coupling which helps reduce any vibration in the drivetrain and offers some dampening. This is the CV or Constant Velocity Cardan shaft that connects the output of the Yanmar to the input shaft of the Castoldi jet drive. The bolts are special hardened ones that I had brought back with me from McMaster Carr when we were in the US last year. These bolts are armor coated socket head and were the Goldilocks choice for bolting the ends of the Cardan shaft to the CentaFlex coupling and the input flange on the Castoldi. I had previously and precisely aligned the engine to the jet drive so I could now torque the bolts down and the propulsion system was now fully connected.
Next I tackled the installation of the sound insulation for the engine room/bay by covering the inside surfaces with this type of multi layered acoustic insulation.
I had previously purchased two large sheets of this foam and you can see the four layers here in this sample. There is also a peel and stick layer of adhesive under the white covering you see on the far Right so this side goes against the aluminium surfaces inside the ER of Mobli. When I have all the insulation glued in place I will then cover it with thick foil backed cloth for added protection and easy cleaning. It was a rather finicky job measuring the sizes and angles for the spaces between the fames inside the ER and then cutting the foam pieces to fit just right. Best tool for cutting the foam was my cordless Milwaukee circulation saw and while it was a bit messy it worked eXtremely well at cutting this very fussy and rather fragile foam. Here is how the foam fits between each frame on the side walls of the ER. I am going to hold off gluing the foam to the ER until I have the whole Tender finished and running to prevent any damage and then I will glue in the foil topped cloth which wraps around all the edges as well and provides a very protective and easily cleaned surface, the same as you have seen inside Möbius.
The Castoldi/Yanmar combo kit came with a full steering package as well which starts with this manual hydraulic pump that the steering wheel turns. First I needed to fabricate the aluminium frames that I have now bolted to the back of this pump which I then bolted to the frame of the cockpit pedestal. Jet drive boats don’t have a rudder and instead you steer by rotating the nozzle of the jet from side to side so two hydraulic hoses will attach here and go back to the Castoldi jet drive to connect the steering wheel to the nozzle. The angled top of the steering station is hinged to provide easy access to the insides and here I have drilled the hole for shaft of the hydraulic pump. Bolt those two AL brackets to the vertical panel below the steering station, slide on the steering wheel and presto! Mobli has his steering station! Also included in the Castoldi/Yanmar kit was this beautiful and well engineered throttle and bucket control lever. A bit of work with my jig saw and I had the custom opening cut into the 6mm / 1/4” AL plate that the tender is mostly made from. Tap four 6mm holes for the SS attachment bolts and the throttle/bucket controller is ready to go. In operation the lever works like a regular throttle lever; forward to increase RPM, all the way back to idle. For a jet drive boat there is also the two way electrical switch which controls the position of the bucket on the jet. This illustration (click to enlarge) from the eXtremely thorough Castoldi installation manual does a good job of explaining how the bucket move up and down to either allow the jet of water coming out to thrust the boat forward and when the bucket is moved down it redirects the jet of water to thrust the boat in reverse. Neutral or no thrust is achieved by having the bucket half way down so that the water is directed straight down. On the right side top views show how the steering works by moving the nozzle from one side to the other so the thrust of the jet is now out the sides. Steering, throttle and bucket controls now all installed.
The Castoldi/Yanmar kit came with six different wire harnesses and most of these had high quality marine waterproof connectors on their ends but in other cases where the wire lengths would vary too much from one boat to the next, they were just cut wire ends that need to be connected to fuse and connection panels. Fortunately both Yanmar and Castoldi provided me with full wiring schematics and after a few hours I was able to sort out what each wire connected to and get them all labelled for installation. Four of the wiring harnesses go back into the ER to connect to the Yanmar or the Castoldi wire connectors and this shorter harness is the one that attaches to the bucket controller.
Throttle Morse Push/Pull Cable
The throttle lever is all mechanical and uses a standard Morse Push/Pull cable that most of you would be familiar with and was the next focus of my attention. These cables need a good radius to bend through so I needed to use my hole saw to cut a 60mm/2.4” hole for the cable to pass through the Al side wall at the bottom of the inside of the steering station. I cleaned up the edges and then pressed a length of the rubber U channel we’ve used throughout the boat to provide a very good non chafe surface for the cable to rest on. After a bit of “fishing” to get the 5m long cable down through this cut out and the hole and then back through each frame along the bottom center of the hull I could attach cable to the throttle controller. One more hole and one more fishing expedition to get the two cable ends through to the cables on the throttle/bucket controller.
Yanmar & Castoldi Control Panels
The Yanmar came with the upgraded control panel that has tachometer, engine oil pressure and water temp gauges as well as an LCD screen for more information such as engine hours and a set of buttons for power, start, stop and glow plugs.
The Castoldi has a bucket position gauge, Neutral bucket switch and backup Fwd/Rev switch so all these needed to be installed next. A bit more work with my trusty jig saw and some hand files and taps and the dashboard was suitably cut up. A bit more fishing to pull the wire harnesses up through and start connecting them to their switches and gauges. There is still some more wiring and connecting to do but everything fits. This is how the cockpit looks so far. Time today for one last bit of kit, the VHF radio. This is where I’ve left off today and will pick up from tomorrow and cover for you in next week’s blog. Thanks for joining me on the adventure again this week. Hope it was of some interest and if not add your comments in the “Join the Discussion” box below and let me know what else you’d be interested in me covering in an upcoming blog.
I’m not sure how it happened but another week and almost another month has somehow zipped by and it feels like Spring is finally in the air as the weather begins to warm here in Southern Turkey. Still a bit of a chill at nights but they are trending upwards and the forecast is calling for that to continue.
With Mr. Gee now back on his feet we are now ramping up our efforts to make Möbius fully ship shape and ready to head out to sea as the weather improves. It is now mostly all the little things that need to be done but they do take time and at the end of many days when I look around I don’t seem to see much visual progress but I does feel good to be checking items off of the To do list.
So let’s jump right in and get you updated on all that happened this week that I could photograph. Oh, and stick around for the Bonus video at the end!
Since getting Mr. Gee back up and running I’ve been spending a lot of my time doing all the “little” things on him such as getting all the various sensors wired up that measure things like oil pressure, engine oil, gearbox oil and coolant temperature.
If you look closely at this labelled photo (click any photo to enlarge) of the pressure and temperature senders on Mr. Gee you will notice that in addition to the analog gauges there is a second electric sensor that measures these same things. Here for example, is the Sika temperature gauge for the engine oil and on the left of it is the electric temperature sender which sends the oil temperature over to our Maretron boat monitoring system.
Over on the left side of the oil filter you can see the same combination of two analog oil pressure gauges and then a third electric sender at the very bottom. Over on the right front of Mr. Gee on the coolant manifold we find the analog temperature gauge and its electric cousin on the right.
It was finicky work running all the wires for these electric sensors and finding the best route to as I like to keep them well hidden and safe from chaffing so took the better part of a day to get these installed. Then I needed to chase a multi strand cable to get all output from these sensors over to the front Port/Left side of the Workshop where these Maretron black boxes and the Actisense EMU-1 are located. The EMU-1 is needed to convert the signals from the electric sensors and put this data on our NMEA2000 or N2K network which runs throughout the boat and carries all the boat data. This N2K network carries all the data to and from each sensor on the boat and allows us to display all this data on any of our many monitors onboard, our phones, laptops and tablets. This is the wiring diagram for the analog side of things with the wires from each sender going into the EMU-1. Which now looks like this. I will finish this job tomorrow by wiring the EMU-1 for the 24 volt power it needs. When we next have Mr. Gee running we can then check that the pressure and temperature data is showing up on the N2K network and Christine can build the screens to display all this info. We have done this dual analog/digital combination for most of the things we monitor on Möbius such as tank levels, water pressure, DHW temperature and many more. It is time consuming and costly but being able to monitor and log all this data is critical to being able to run Möbius safely and efficiently and to get early warning signals of equipment or systems as soon as they start to malfunction or fail. A big part of this is to be able to see this information from any screen anywhere on, as well as off, the boat so we find this to be well worth the effort and cost.
Having the backup analog gauges provides redundancy should any of the digital senders fail and also enables us confirm that the N2K data is accurate. As the recent mysterious missing oil pressure adventure proved, this double checking can prove to be eXtremely important!
My ER is Back!
Another one of those little and time consuming jobs was putting the grated flooring back in the Engine Room. We have used this composite grating in many other spaces such as the Workshop and Forepeak and it has worked out eXtremely well. Strong, solid, oblivious to any liquids and very non skid. Each grid has a frame surrounding it that is fabricated using aluminium L-bar which are then bolted to vertical L-bar supports welded to the frames. In the ER this grid flooring wraps all around Mr. Gee and is a huge safety factor when we ae underway and in rough seas as you always have a solid slip free floor under your feet. Not difficult work, just finicky to get the jig saw puzzle of all the individual frames fit back into their spaces and then bolted to their support bars.
At least in this case the results of all my time were very easy to see and it does feel particularly great to have the Engine Room back again since I first removed it back in June of last year.
Mr. Gee Video Tour Bonus
As promised, here is the bonus video so many of you have been requesting for so long. I don’t have the time to do any editing so this is going to be a very “uncut” and amateurish video I’m afraid but for all you Mr. .Gee fan boys and girls out there, hopefully this will hold you over until I can do a better version.
And for those who may have missed it, here is the video that was in last week’s update of the first starting of Mr. Gee version 3.0 after fixing the recalcitrant O-rings and finding the faulty oil pressure gauge that finally solved the mystery of the disappearing oil pressure.
Hope you enjoy these “rough and ready” videos from your trusty reporter and please type your questions and comments to let me know in the “Join the Discussion” box below.