Not as much to post about the past two weeks as I have been out of commission after hurting my back badly when I tripped and fell last week and aggravated the four cracked discs I have had from a nasty motorcycle accident over 25 years ago. But the spasms are lessening each day since and just a matter of time before I’m back to just the usual back ache which is my normal state. No complaints from me though as we continue to enjoy taking our time to weave our way generally north through some of the hundreds of postcard like Bahamian islands.
When I left off in the last post we were in Red Cut Cay and after a few days there we continued up and anchored at Black Point then on to Allen’s Cay and then a very neat fully enclosed very tiny little bay on Royal Island as seen here on our chart plotter. This will give you a better perspective on how small the entrance was and if you click on the photo I have circled in RED the two short pieces of white PVC pipe that marked each side. Captain Christine guided us through as she put the entrance in our wake and …… …… I soon had the anchor down into the sandy bottom 2.5m/8ft below and we were soon enjoying our very own little anchorage with wine up in the SkyBridge. THIS is why we worked on the design so hard with Dennis to have the least draft possible; 1.3m/4.4 ft After Royal Island we made our way over to Lynyard Cay where we anchored for four days and had a chance to meet up with some sailing friends Mark & Shawnae who were anchored nearby on their latest boat s/v Big Sky Blue Waters (they hail from Montana). Difficult to show on maps as most of these spots are too small to show up but you can get a rough idea of our route and anchorages along the way. We are now anchored up near the north end of Great Abaco Island just off of Coopers Town. There is a storm front coming through this weekend with winds out of the West and South rather than the usual Easterlies so we’ll wait out here for that to pass and then make our way West as we get ready to jump off and cross over to West Palm Beach area in Florida in the next week or so.
That catches you up on our most recent travels and anchorages and now I thought that something a bit different might be of interest to many of you. Read on to see what you think and let me know your thoughts with comments in the “join the discussion” box at the end please.
Year in Review: Top Features We Like Most and Least on Möbius
Hard to believe but we started writing this Mobius.World blog back in March 2018 so we’ve just passed the five year mark for that and the primary motivation for creating and writing the 262 posts since then has been the hope that sharing our experiences here provides a good way for us to “pay it forward” for all the other people who went before us and shared their experiences from which we learned SO much. In keeping with that hope, as the calendar turns over to May (how did THAT happen so fast??) we have been actively cruising Möbius for one year now. Also on the hard to believe list is that our log book shows that we have just ticked over 7300 nautical miles (8400 miles/13,520 Kilometers) and most of that in just the last six months since leaving Turkey at the end of October. Last year we were in and out of a number of marinas so we have been through our share of Med mooring, docking, fueling up and the like. This year we’ve been on anchor every night for the past four months in quite a variety of conditions, bottoms and weather. We’ve done everything from short day trips, lots of overnight passages and some longer ones such as our trans Atlantic crossing of 14 days. With these cumulative experiences I thought now would be a good time to reflect on what we have learned over the past year about what is working out best for us as well as what has not worked so well and we would change or do differently to make Möbius even better. I will write this up as two blog posts grouping what’s worked best into one and then a second with what changes we would make to follow. In my experience I have found that first hand experience from others has proven to be the best and most useful for making my decisions and so I hope these twin posts will do likewise for some of you.
A few caveats before I go any further:
All of the points I’ll be covering are simply what has worked so well or not for us and our use cases with no suggestion that these would be best for other owners, boats and use cases.
There is no implied order or ranking of these items, simply a list.
Any mention of specific products is done for clarity only, these are not endorsements and we have no sponsors or affiliations with any of the products mentioned.
In the years of posts here on this blog, I have provided lots of detailed coverage, too much perhaps, of each of these items during the build so in this posting I will just be listing the reasons why each item is on the list. If you are interested in more details you can refer to these previous posts and I’ll provide links to some of these.
OK, with that out of the way, let’s jump right into our top favorite features on Möbius.
Starting up at the Bow, our whole anchoring system has proven to be eXtremely strong, reliable and easy to use and has perhaps contributes more than any other system to our SWAN factor that enable us to Sleep Well At Night in every anchorage in all conditions. The “SideWinder” mounting of the anchor off the Port side of the Bow which Dennis and I designed, has proven to be a great setup eliminating the anchor and roller assembly from sticking out over 1m at docks and keeps it very securely pressed against the hull in pounding seas with nary a sound or any movement. The primary components of our Anchoring System are
110Kg/242lb Rocna anchor
100m/330ft of Galvanized DS40 13mm chain
Maxwell windlass VWC4000 w/Maxwell controls at both helms and wired remote in forepeak
Lewmar Deluxe Heavy Duty Chain Stopper 13mm chain
Lewmar EVO 55 Self-Tailing Winch for kedging The chain all stows inside of a round aluminium chain bin inside the forepeak which has worked out eXtremely well as there is no “castling” of the chain as it is stowed. and any anchor mud and muck that gets in there is easily flushed out through the drain in the bottom that exits out the side of the hull just above the waterline.
Once the anchor is set we attach a 25mm/1″ nylon snubber line using a loop of Dyneema with a slip knot that goes through one link on the chain. This takes seconds to attach or remove and the snubber from the chain and absorbs of any shock loads on the anchor chain and eliminates any chain noise into the boat. Letting the chain out until the snubber is taking all the tension the line comes up through the large round “nose cone” in the very front of the Bow and ties to the Samson post. Leading the snubber line through the center of the Bow reduces side to side swinging at anchor and the hyperbolic curve machined on the inside of the sold AL snubber cone prevents chaffing of the line which still shows no sign of chaffing after over 150 nights at anchor so far. The large degree of forward slope of the anchor deck also worked out great making it easy to hose down with all the debris draining out the nose cone back into the sea. All together this is a super dependable and easy to deploy/retrieve anchor system that sets first time every time and resets immediately on severe wind shifts. Depends on water depth of course but typically we have about 30m/100ft of 13mm anchor chain out which adds an additional 120kg/265lbs to the 110kg/242lbs of anchor on the bottom so we SWAN very well every night and is definitely one of our favorite systems!
Foul Release silicone bottom paint
Our last minute decision to go with silicone based “Foul Release” bottom paint instead of CopperCoat has turned out to be one of THE best decisions we made. This Foul Release type of bottom paint never ceases to amaze me with how it prevents almost anything from growing on it and what might be there after months of sitting still comes off completely with a simple wipe with a sponge or cloth to bring it back to like new. We used the International version called InterSleek 1100SR but several other manufacturers such as Hempel “Silic One” are also available. This paint has been in the water for over two years now and it still cleans up completely with just a sponge or cloth if we’ve been sitting at anchor for a long time and currently shows no sign of wear or age. It is supposed to be good for 5-7+ years and so far looks like it will achieve that easily which would be a HUGE benefit in terms of efficient hull speeds and no costly annual haul outs. I can’t say for sure but I think that having such clean and slippery silicone hull surface contributes to our overall hull efficiency, speed and great fuel burn rates. What’s not to like??!!
Open and Accessible system installation
All of the system components, wiring and plumbing were given dedicated locations with completely open access. This reduced the time for initial installation during the build but more importantly continues to put a smile on my face every time I need to do any work or maintenance on any of the systems as everything is easy to access and mounted at a just right height for working on. Here in the Basement for example you can see how all the components such as all the 14 MPPT controllers on the Left and the three 240V Victron Multiplus inverter/chargers on the Right, are all mounted such that when I’m kneeling or sitting in front of them they are at the just right height right in front of you to see and work on. Same story back in the Workshop area where all the major components on the Right such as the DC Distribution box, Kabola diesel boiler, watermaker and AirCon chiller system are mounted on top of the shelves to put them at just right height as well. At the far end, the front of the Day Tank has been used to mount all the fuel filters, Alfa Laval centrifuge and fuel transfer valve manifolds are out in the open and at perfect height when standing in front of them. Underneath that shelf the electrical wiring, external rectifiers and water distribution manifolds are also open and easy to access.
All of the plumbing is similarly open and easy to access such as this manifold with valves for all the cold water consumers in the Master Cabin.
One of our four primary principles for the design and build of Möbius was Low Maintenance and having all the components, wiring and plumbing open and so easily and comfortably accessed has been a big factor in achieving this goal throughout the whole boat.
As we did for all the major components, we took a “systems” approach to the propulsion system from front of the engine to the prop. coupled to a Nogva Controllable Pitch Propeller (CPP) is also way up at the top of our list of favorite features on Möbius.
Our choice of a Gardner 6LXB engine aka Mr. Gee, coupled to a Nogva Controllable Pitch Propeller (CPP) via a Nogva HC-168 2.95:1 reduction gearbox is also way up at the top of our list of favorite features on Möbius.
The combination of the slow revving engine and lack of any transmission shifting created a seamless and smooth propulsion system. This was our first experience with CPP and it did take some time to learn how to run a boat where you first set the throttle at the RPM you want and then don’t touch it and just use the Pitch lever to increase pitch through an infinite range from zero/neutral to maximum pitch for the load and speed you want. With no shifting involved to go from forward to reverse it is eerily quiet and smooth when docking and when underway we essentially run the boat based on the EGT or Exhaust Gas Temperature meter to get the just right pitch for any speed we want.
We cruise between 8.5-9 knots and after 7300 nautical miles our overall propulsion efficiency has us averaging about 1.85 L/NM @ 8.5kts which we are eXtremely pleased with.
The dedicated “propulsion room” is another of my most favorite design decisions as it similarly provides open and easy access to Mr. Gee and all his components, ….. as well as the Nogva gearbox, coupling and Tides Marine dripless prop shaft seal. I am able to stand, sit or kneel on the grated composite flooring on all sides and with a full meter of width all around and each grate can be easily lifted out of the way to provide access underneath if needed. Having a dedicated engine room with nothing but the engine inside keeps everything inside easy to see and work on, easy to keep well ventilated and all the other components typically found in engine rooms such as fuel filters, batteries and system components are kept OUT of this environments heat and vibration. More examples of how well the open and accessible systems design is one of our favorite features.
Layout (cabin locations, balance living vs functional, up/down)
The overall interior layout also makes it way to the top of our favorite aspects of live aboard Möbius. For us it has the Goldilocks balance between amount of living space vs functional systems space and our decision to have a very large forepeak up front and then an even larger engine room/workshop space in the rear has resulted in a great layout as well as keeping these spaces completely separate with their own dedicated access so you never need to go through a living space area to get to something in the forepeak or engine room or workshop. The vertical layout has also worked out eXtremely well for us with each cabin a few steps below the SuperSalon and the SkyBridge up above. One of the most useful features of our layout is having an enormous “Basement” area below the floor of the SuperSalon. We designed this to be 1.2m/ 4ft high such that you can easily move around by bending over and not hit your head on anything and then sit or kneel to access any of the equipment mounted on intermediate floor to ceiling walls or access any of the many storage bins and shelves in the Basement. The stairs leading down into the SuperSalon from the Aft Deck on the Left and then around to the stairs down into the Ships Office and Guest cabin on the Right provide excellent access between all these areas. Very difficult to photograph but hopefully this pano shot of the SuperSalon will help convey why we like this layout with the 360 degrees of glass so much.
We knew we wanted a Flybridge overtop of the main Salon or House so this was part of the design from the beginning but I don’t think either of us appreciated just how much we would enjoy this feature and how much time we would spend up here both when at anchor and underway. Part of what makes this space work so well is our decision to put the Upper Helm at the Aft end of the SkyBridge. As we’ve done in several areas of the boat we have created an initial prototype for the seating in this SkyBridge Lounge area by using patio furniture which we rearrange from time to time to figure out what will work best longer term. So far this L shaped layout has worked out best. There are great sight lines when sitting in the Helm chair just outside this photo on the far Left and yet still takes full advantage of the height for sight lines through the 360 degrees of windows that surround this entire space. The Bow and the side rub rails are all fully visible from the Helm chair. The roof overtop of the outdoor galley down on the Aft Deck does prevent a direct view of the transom but otherwise the sight lines Aft are great and we have a camera that displays a birds eye view of the transom on the Helm displays if needed when backing into a dock.
The Helm down in the SuperSalon duplicates the Upper SkyBridge Helm. But unless the weather is very cold or wet we much prefer to run the boat from the SkyBridge with its added height and even better visibility.
At anchor it also makes a great office space and a comfy bed for naps and off watch time as well. So the SkyBridge definitely makes it onto our top favorites list.
Hot Water & Heated Floors
Another example of the advantages of taking a Systems approach is our Domestic Hot Water system or DHW and probably fair to say that the heart of our DHW system that puts his solidly on our top favorites is our decision to install a Kabola diesel fired boiler. Located with all the other system components in the Workshop it is out of the way yet easily accessible. The 75L Kabola boiler is our primary source of DHW as it circulates through one of three heat exchanger circuits in our Calorifier that stores all our hot water as can be seen in this cutaway demo. The second heat exchanger circuit routes hot water from our Gardner engine and so whenever we are running the boat this provides all our hot water instead of the Kabola boiler. The third heat source is a 240V electrical heating element which we can use if the water based heat exchangers should ever fail.
However the one feature of our DHW that truly steals the show in cold weather is mostly invisible and that our Heated Floors. Underneath the vinyl flooring in all the living spaces there are circuits of plastic PEX tubing that circulates hot water and provides a creature comfort in colder climates that is difficult to adequately describe in words. A detailed description of the whole heated floor system can be found HERE in this previous blog post.
As you can read in that more detailed blog post, this is quite a simple system really but does take a bit to get your head around how it works as this is all part of the overall domestic hot water system so that all the water flowing through the floor PEX is coming from the Calorifier in the Basement circulating the same water as distributed to all the sinks and showers on the boat. No valves to adjust or turn on/off it all works by virtue of how this “Open Direct” plumbing design dictates.
Overtop of the PEX tubing and rigid foam, these industrial vinyl floor planks provide a fantastic floor in all weather conditions and are specifically made to work well with heated floors. Critical for our use on a boat, these vinyl floor planks have a simulated wood grain texture molded in which has proven to be completely skid proof even with wet feet and any spills clean up easily. After two years of rigorous use these floors show zero signs of wear or marks which helps keep them on our top favorites list.
There are three independent zones for the two cabins and the SuperSalon and each is controlled by one of these easy to set thermostats which maintain whatever temperature you want.
The manifolds and pumps are mounted down in the Basement up against the Aft bulkhead and yet another example of how easy this whole system is to access.
Battery & Solar Based Electrical System
Yet another systems approach on our top favorites list is our overall Electrical system. It is “battery based” in that all four voltages; 12V + 24V DC and 120V + 240V AC comes from our 1800Ah @ 24V House Battery bank. AC is created via the 5 Victron MultiPlus inverter/chargers and the DC is provided via three DC distribution boxes; Central Main in the Basement plus one in the Forepeak and one in the Workshop for the high amperage circuits there. Solar is our primary source for recharging the house batteries most of the time but when we are underway the two massive 250A x 24V Electrodyne alternators with WakeSpeed 500 regulators provide up to 9KW of power and we also have the option of connecting to shore power whenever we are in a marina. There are eight 320W solar panels that form the roof of our SkyBridge as seen in the photo above and then three more mounted on top of the cantilevered roof over the Outside Galley on the Aft Deck as seen here. And then three more mounted in a hinged frame in front of the SkyBridge. These 14 solar panels add up to just over 4kW of potential power and most days our battery monitors show an actual input of between 1kW during the winter months and up to over 2.5kWh of power during summer hours. Each solar panel has its own MPPT controller which are mounted in the Basement and feed into individual circuit breakers for further control as seen here. Having a dedicated MPPT for each panel reduces the impact of any shading on any panel and helps with the overall performance of our solar system. This screen shot from our Victron VRM display shows a summary for our solar output vs electrical consumption so far in 2023. And this summary of the past 2 days, April 28+29 2023 lets you see how it varies throughout a 24 hour day. We have not been in a marina or connected to shore power in the past four months and the combination of solar and alternator power is keeping our batteries 100% charged every day and so easily makes it onto our favorites list!
Handholds Everywhere for Everyone
Safety was another of the four design principles we had and one example that has proven to be a big favorite is the way we were able to ensure that there were super solid hand holds for EVERY person onboard from children to adults.
On the exterior the handholds are all 30mm diameter thick walled AL pipe such as these on the aft end of the house roof near the Aft Deck. These pipe handholds also make for eXcellent strong points for fastening things with Dyneme and other lines. Perhaps one of the most important spots for handholds is along the side decks when you are moving between the Fore and Aft Deck areas. On the left you can see the continuous length of AL pipe that runs along the entire edge of the house roof and then the three rows of Dyneema landlines that Christine rigged between each of the sturdy vertical AL stanchion pipes. The top lifeline is 1 meter above the deck so hits most adults about waist height which ensures that even if you were to be thrown against these you would be stopped and not flipped over top. Up at the Bow there is a very solid set of AL pipe railings that wrap all the way around and make this area extremely safe and fun spot to be for dolphin watching or just dangling your feet overboard and taking in the scenery at anchor or underway. At the far end of the Aft Deck there are solid AL pipe railings for the corner of the deck before the stairs going down to the Swim Step and then a solid AL pipe railing on the other side of the steps. In the Engine Room, Mr. Gee has a full set of AL pipe railings wrapped around him to ensure you can’t be tipped over onto him in rough seas and these have worked out very well to also provide good support as you are leaned over working on various parts. On the interior of the boat one of our favorite esthetic features of the gorgeous Rosewood cabinetry is the design we came up with to incorporate built in hand holds to the design that are located on all the cabinets in all the cabins and SuperSalon. This example is on the corner of the Galley cabinet across from where the fridges are located. These solid Rosewood edges wrap around the whole boat to form what we call our “Blue Horizon Line” and their key feature is that they have a deep groove that is at about waist height where your fingers naturally slip in to provide an eXtremely secure hand hold. We have had our grandchildren onboard several times now and these have worked out as designed to be at Goldilocks height and size for their fingers too.
Possibly saving the best for last, something that brings us joy every day is the choice of interior materials we made.
The Rosewood we chose for all the cabinetry really steals the show and this shot of the Galley cabinets will give you some idea. We were very fortunate that Naval Yachts happened to have their very best cabinetmakers throughout the entire build and they were a joy to work together with to produce details such as how all the grain is bookmatched such that it literally flows from one piece to the next. This was made possible because after months of searching we were able to purchase an entire flitch of Brazilian Rosewood that had been flat cut from the same log. As each slice comes off they stack these in order and therefore the grain of each slice follows the next. The other key was finding a matching stack of solid Rosewood that would be used to build the frames and every edge of every panel. NO veneer edging allowed! Unlike more typical construction, all plywood edges had these T shaped pieces of solid Rosewood glued in place and then the veneer was applied AFTER so that it overlapped the solid wood edging. What this does is ensure that there are no glue joints exposed and they become invisible as they gradually transition from veneer to solid. When these panels would be used for a corner of a cabinet, a thick piece of solid Rosewood was glued glued on and then this solid edge was rounded over in a shaper to create a large radius corner The Rosewood was more than 11X the cost of any other hardwood so to help stretch the prized solid pieces it was sometimes possible to glue on a piece of cheaper hardwood like this and then round the Rosewood for the corner. For the very large radius corners, strips of solid Rosewood were edge glued up and then radiused like this. Or like this. When combined with the Turquoise Turkish marble and the inset Blue Horizon line strips, the end result was well worth the extra time and expense to build. We carried the same combination of materials throughout both cabins, Salon and Galley and I hope these few photos help you see why this puts a smile on our faces every day. There is a LOT more that we like about our dear Möbius and she has definitely lived up to being “Project Goldilocks” by being just right, just for us but the above items hit upon most of our top favorite features and I hope this review was worthwhile. Of course there is always the other end of the spectrum and so in the next blog post I will follow up by reviewing things that have not worked out as well or are things we want to change so do stay tuned for that.
It was a busy week for both Christine and me but nothing too blogworthy so this week’s Möbius update will be short for a change.
I just returned to Möbius last night after spending most of the week in England. This was my first trip for 2022 and a nice change of pace for me. It has proven to take a LOT of time, energy and $$ to get parts shipped from England to us here in Turkey so I decided it was best to go pick up the new parts I needed for Mr. Gee in person from Gardner Marine Diesel and bring them back with me. To be honest, I will take just about any reason to make a trip to GMD and see Michael, James and David there so it was an easy decision. To make it even more compelling, Pegasus Airlines has very cheap flights twice a week between Antalya and London so my entire trip would cost less than the customs duties to ship the parts to me and would take at least a month, sometimes two to get here. The icing on the cake for me was the chance to get in a visit with a very good friend Robin and his wonderful wife Jayne. Robin and I first met when we were both fairly new to Autodesk back in about 1990 and have continue to grow our friendship over all those years. My thanks to Robin and Jayne for opening their home and hearts in welcoming me to stay with them and we had a delightful three days hanging out and catching up.
My outbound flight was very early in the morning so we decided to rent a car and spend the night in a fun little hotel not far from the airport and enjoyed a nice “date night” out at a great little family restaurant right across from the hotel. Christine was then able to do some shopping for groceries and other items that are much more available at the larger stores and malls in Antalya and then drive back to our small town of Finike so it all worked out very well..
We also took advantage of being back in Antalya to stop by the Free Zone and Naval Yachts to see the progress on the several new builds they have underway. XPM78-02 mv Vanguard is now looking very much like a boat now that the superstructure for the Pilot House is in place. The other build is for the larger XPM85-01 which is in the early stages of the ‘hotworks’ and after a long wait due to supply chain and other issues, all the aluminium plates and parts have been delivered. These boats are built upside down in this first stage until all the hull plating is welded in place and then the hull is flipped right way up. The upside down deck plates are first put together in the steel framework bolted to the floor and then frames and bulkheads are tacked in place. Meanwhile, over on Vanguard, Uğur and Nihat, who did most of the AL work on Möbius are now busy welding the hundreds of Al pieces in place. You can see some of the cut and rolled plates for the keels setting on the floor to the Left. XPM78-02 is based on the same design as Möbius but will have twin JD engines as you can see from the dual prop tunnels in these two photos. The aft deck will be slightly larger and the Owners have decided to build some of the furniture into the boat such as this L-shaped dining area. Large window behind it, WT door into the SuperSalon in the middle and stairs up to the SkyBridge on the Right.
Here is the view from inside the SuperSalon looking back out onto the Aft Deck.
Going up those stairs the SkyBridge is starting to take shape and more built in furniture with an other L-shaped settee at the Aft end. Peering down from the very Aft end of the FlyBridge and roof overtop of the Aft Deck you can see the same arrangement as on Möbius with the doghouse for walking into the Engine Room on the Left and matching winding stairs on both sides. Looking up and aft lets you see another view of the upside down XPM85. Back down to Deck level on Vanguard, you can see another owner driven change with the addition of these bulwarks running most of the length of the side decks.
Bulwarks run all the way up to and around the Anchor Deck and bow. Up at the Bow the “sidewinder” anchor setup is the same as we designed for Möbius along with the Samson Post in the center and nose cone in the very front. This setup has proven to work out eXtremely well on Möbius so has been replicated here on hull #2. You can see how Dennis has nicely designed the Bow and anchoring arrangements to now include the wrap around bulwarks.
Lest we should forget the Mighty Möbius, I will leave you with THIS LINK to a series of photos that Captain Christine put together while I was off in Gardner Land in the UK this past week. Christine went through some of our archives of thousands of photos over the past 6 months or so and put the ones she liked into this album. So if you’ve been Jonesing to see less of the Engine Room and all the detailed technical shots that I post and more of the interior and exterior of Möbius, click the link above and enjoy your tour through this collection. Thanks for taking time to join us here again this week and hope you’ll be back again next Sunday for the latest weekly update on what’s been going on in Möbius.World.
Special thanks to all of you who have been contributing your questions and comments in the “Join the Discussion” box below and please keep them coming!
I double checked the calendar and it is indeed just the beginning of May but it sure feels like summer here in Antalya today. We’ve been having fabulous weather all year actually with an eXtremely mild Winter season that saw very little rain and very mild temperatures. But Spring has been off the charts in terns of great temperatures, low humidity and no rain. Today, Sunday May 9th, is a real scorcher and as I sit and type this aboard Möbius at 14:00 the temperature is a toasty 34C / 93F with a little bit of wind and crystal clear skies. No complaints from any of the crew aboard the good ship Möbius, that’s for sure.
While the lack of visual progress to show you continues as we work our way through the final jobs remaining to fully configure and test all the many systems onboard XPM78-01 Möbius, the amount of work required to play this real world version of Whack-A-Mole is relentless and non stop. That combination conspired to prevent me from putting together an update for you last week and I thank all of you who wrote to ask if all was well and thank all of you for your patience. In this Progress Update I’m going to combine the past 2 weeks into this one, so please grab a comfy chair and beverage and join me for a Show & Tell of what’s been happening from April 26th through May 5th, 2021.
All Hands on Deck!
In addition to all the configuration and testing, there is also a long list of those “little jobs” that add up to be quite a large amount of work all together and we knocked off more of these the past 2 weeks as well and here are a few examples.
Here we find Captain Christine, ably abetted by our two four legged crewmembers, Barney (Left) and Ruby, finished whipping the Dyneema lifelines she had previously spliced in place and which are working out eXtremely well. The Rosewood Dinette table came back from being refinished and is once again mounted to the vertically adjustable pedestal with the XY sliders that allow us to move the table 200mm / 8” fore/aft and side to side which enables us to always have the table in its Goldilocks position for any situation. There had been some small depressions on the top surface of the table which while minor, were also very visible and took away from the otherwise superb finish on all the woodwork so the Finishing crew quickly refinished it and as you can see it is now flawless. There are a LOT of valves, circuit breakers, hoses, electrical connections, etc. that number in the hundreds and so labeling everything is a must and makes it easy to know what’s what and how to operate all these systems. These 3 fuel manifolds provide a good example. You may recall a few weeks ago that the two cleats on the Swim Step were upgraded from AL pipe to solid and the heat from welding those in required that the TreadMaster be removed and now it has been replaced. The light Grey TreadMaster is also proving to be as good or better than we had hoped. The top priority is to provide a great non-skid surface in any conditions and the tight sharp diamond pattern of the TreadMaster eXcels in this department and locks even bare wet feet in place everywhere. Second priority is to provide a more bare feet friendly surface especially when in hot sunny climates so that you don’t have to do your “walking over red hot coals” fire dance when you are on deck. While not comparable to the tropics, today’s high temperatures and intense direct overhead sunlight gives us a reasonable test and we are happy with the results.
For a baseline, as of a few minutes ago, 14:30 Sunday May 9th, here is the temperature on the fully shaded Aft Deck area which my trusty IR temperature gun clocked at 32.4C / 90F. And out on the Stbd side decks that have been getting the most direct sun right now, the TreadMaster is at about 50.5C / 122.9F. Definately not cold, but I can stand in place on these decks without too much discomfort and when walking it is quite comfortable. As in life, everything is relative right and compared to our previous boats, with painted on non-skid on both fiberglass and steel decks, this is a HUGE improvement, so we’re happy with these results.
Love Thy Dock Neighbor!
You’ve seen in previous postings that we have some very interesting and varied dock neighbors here in the Antalya Free Zone with over 30 different boat builders producing a wild and wide range of boat sizes and purposes. Most of these boats are in a similar situation as we are, brand new being launched for the first time so that all the in-the-water testing and finishing can be done. Then once finished, they are off to their new home bases scattered around the world so boats are leaving and new ones arriving on almost a daily basis. Here are some recent examples of our recent neighbors:
On our Port side we have this 34m/112ft steel “Phi Phantom”. This is a support boat for a much larger superyacht so this is all function with huge flat decks and even larger bays below with that monster articulated crane to get all the “toys” off/on this boat and the superyacht. They also carry all the fuel, supplies, parts and maintenance crew. These kinds of support boats are often called “over the horizon tenders” as that’s where they are to stay out of sight of the high paying passengers on the superyacht or a “phantom boat” such as this one that is to stay similarly ghost like or invisible to the superyacht it supports. On our Starboard side we have this Bering 77 I showed you a bit in my last posting.
At 77 feet long overall, she is 1 ft shorter than Möbius but otherwise MUCH larger at more than twice our weight, much taller, much wider and quite a bit slower than Möbius (8 kts vs 11) but still a Goldilocks boat for the right owner and use case. Down the dock a few more meters is this little fella who showed up last week and is the basis of my “Love thy neighbor” heading for this section.
Why you ask? Look a little closer at some of her deck hardware ……….. Like here for example. Or zoom in a bit closer to read that red safety lock….. The more you look, the more interesting it gets. For example, when those hatches in front of the two rocket launchers are opened up it reveals a relatively typical set of instruments, controls and a small bench seat for the operator. Most of the time though and during testing, these hatches remain tightly closed and fully waterproof. So how do they operate the boat now and where is the Captain sitting? Inside here! Turns out this is a fully autonomous vessel or unmanned drone and the real “Captain” is actually sitting ……. …… here!
“ULAQ” is the first indigenous armed unmanned surface vessel (AUSV) developed in Turkey. It is being offered by Ares Shipyard and Meteksan Defence Systems to the Turkish Navy and you can read all about this fascinating research project HERE and HERE if you’d like to know more details. Suffice it to say that we treat all our dock mates with great respect and kindness!
Get the Lead Out no IN!
This was one of the more interesting things happening with our Bering 77 dock mates this past week.
Can you guess what they are up to and what’s in all those wood crates up on the dock? Is this a Turkish version of a Swill Alps horn? Nope, just an ingenious way of putting the lead ballast into the stern compartments of the Bering 77. Here is what is inside all those crates, 1000 Kg of 5mm diameter lead balls like this. One scoop at a time the little lead balls are poured into this funnel, run down the long black PVC pipe into the holds in the aft end and are then capped off with an aluminium plate that is bolted down overtop.
However, hands down, THE most exciting and interesting thing that happened on the docks this past week happened to us and Möbius.
Hmmmm, what do you think that crane truck is doing behind us?
And what is Captain Christine busy with and what are those weird shaped teak blocks on the Aft Deck? Aha! That’s our Tender flying through the air! and about to be lowered onto those Teak chocks on the Aft Deck. Like this……… ……. and this. And she fits like the proverbial glove and just as I had laid out in the 3D models; with the front Stbd fender just able to rub up against the vertical support bar coming up out of the Port Vent box…….. ……… and the Aft Port corner of the fender right up against the doghouse over the stairs from the Swim Platform into the Workshop. And there she is! Our Tender finally setting in her new home and Möbius is now fully equipped. Sinan, our upholstery master made this tight fitting cover out of some waterproof Sunbrella fabric we had brought over from the US.
This shot provides a good perspective of how nicely everything fits and works together on the Aft Deck with the Tender onboard. Plenty of room in the Outside Galley and the entire Stbd side to walk back and forth the whole length of the boat. Here’s what it all looks like viewed looking forward. Next up is fitting all the rigging to raise/lower the Davit Arch and the Tender within it but that should be a relatively straightforward job that can wait for now.
Oh, and we’ve settled on a name for Möbius’ new “baby” and she will be called “Mobli”. A lot of different parts to the story behind this including a reference to Mowgli in Kipling’s Jungle Book as well as being our sense that Mogli is the diminutive version of Möbius.
Welcome to our family Mogli! We can’t wait to start playing with you in the water and showing you the awemazing aquatic world that surrounds us. Hope you enjoyed this combined 2 weeks worth of Show & Tell from all of us here on Team Möbius. We’ll be back with more next week as we inch closer and closer to leaving the Free Zone and returning to our lives sailing the world.
Not as much for this week’s Show & Tell as the Commissioning Phase is now underway which mostly involves setting up and testing all the many systems onboard which doesn’t yield much visual interest. It is not too much of a stretch to say that the systems on an eXtreme eXploration Passage Maker like XPM78-01 Möbius are similar to what a floating village would require. Given the eXtremely remote locations we favor we often have no support systems ashore or when on passage and so we need to be completely self sufficient with what we have onboard. For example we need to be able to do all of the following for an indefinite amount of time and be our own:
Power Plant to generate all our electrical power; 12 & 24V DC and 120 & 240V AC
Water Utility able to create and store all our own Domestic Fresh Water and Domestic Hot Water
Sewage Treatment Plant able to pipe and store all Black Water (sewage)
Grey Water Treatment Plant able to pipe and store (drainage from all showers & sinks)
Telecom Utility looking after all our own cellular, WiFi and satellite communications.
Weather Station maintaining up to date and highly accurate weather at all times is a BIG factor in keeping us safe, knowing where to be and more importantly where NOT to be at any given time and what anchorage is best for any given day’s weather.
Navigation System allowing us to know in great detail what is all around us both above and below the waterline in order to plot our routes safely.
Full Repair Shop. Christine and I are the only two people on board and so if something breaks or needs fixing or maintaining, as we often say “If these four hands don’t or can’t do it; it doesn’t get done. So we need both all the knowledge, skills and tools to fix every system and every piece of equipment onboard.
Equipment & Supply Store. We need to carry any and all parts and supplies that are needed to service and maintain all these systems and again, if it isn’t onboard, it doesn’t exist in our world.
I could go on for some time but you get the idea. The Commissioning Phase we are now in is all about getting all the components in all those systems up and running and getting them all adjusted so they work correctly and together. So while there isn’t as much to show and tell you about this week, there is a LOT of things going on in this critical phase. So without any further delay, come along for this week’s update for the week of March 15-20, 2021.
One important announcement before we begin.
We had an eXtremely eXciting start to this week when Captain Christine began her next circumnavigation of the Sun. I won’t give away the number of her new circumnavigation, let’s just say that the two digits add up to Lucky 13! We are sleeping on the boat now so I was able to have her wake up to this little surprise on Monday morning.
Möbius on the Move!
For a boat that is still experiencing a number of “installation issues” that are preventing Möbius from being able to move under her own power, we have sure been doing a lot of moving!
I’ve grabbed this shot from Google Earth to help show our different locations over the past few weeks.
Position #1 is where we have spent the most time on the End Dock Wall. #2 is where we were sandwiched between the Green and Red/White boats on the Side Dock Wall and #3 is where we are now on the outside wall of Setur Marina.
As you may recall from last week’s post our first move was to be towed off Position #1 on the end wall of the harbour over to #2 on the side wall between the big Green Monster and the Red/White power cat. This was our new view looking off our bow to the now empty end wall where we had been at position #1 for the past 2 weeks.
The reason for that move was because the little guy on the Right here was coming in to dock and get loaded up. As you can see there was barely enough dock space for our two little Red tugs, let alone us or any other boats. After loading that ship up he left and we were able to move back over to the end wall. One of the small harbour tugs came and hip tied himself to our Port side and quickly moved us back to the end wall again. That lasted until late afternoon on Thursday when we suddenly got the call that they needed to move us again because another long cargo ship was on its way in to dock on the end wall. If you look closely at the photo above (click to enlarge any photo), you will see that a new Coast Guard boat was now in our previous spot #2 between the Green and Red/White boats and so the only option was for them to move us over to Setur Marina which is only a few hundred meters away. With the help of the marina staff we Med Moored to this new dock #3 at the marina using two of the marina’s lines to our bow and then lines off both stern quarters to the dock. This is where I am typing this post right now and while our stay is temporary, Christine and I have been enjoying this first sight of Möbius tugging at her dock lines with Mother Ocean just off our bow and calling our name eXtremely loudly!
Ramazan and I were able to get several of the remaining cabinetry jobs done in the Super Salon this past week. He pulled out this back wall behind the 43” monitor on the far Right/Stbd side of the Main Helm and cut the slots for the return air to the Stbd Air Handler. It is a bit of a shame that this beautiful Ro$ewood panel will rarely be seen as it is hidden by the 43” monitor that is mounted here but it makes us smile every time we do. Simple and effective, these slots allow air to flow through them into the space behind where the Stbd side Air Handler lives and delivers either chilled air on AC or hot air in Heat mode to this side of the Salon. While Ramazan putting in those slots, I lent a hand to work on mounting the Dinette table which is a job I have been longing to do for months now.
This is the air assist pedestal and the XY slider setup from Zwaardvis that I have shown you below and now it was finally time to mount the table to it. This ingenious bit of hardware allows us to move the table 200mm/8” fore/aft and side to side enabling us to always have the Goldilocks Just Right position for the table. To reference the mounting I lowered the pedestal to put the table in “Bed” position and then moved the X and Y sliders underneath to allow movement in all 4 axis. I marked the slots on the feet of each slider with black pen as you can see here and I laid out two different positions; Passage Mode and Anchor Mode. To allow me to move between these two modes I installed these threaded metal inserts which gives me metal M6 threads to fasten the table to the XY slider. Fun Fact: I have had this set of threaded inserts for almost 40 years as I first used them when I was building bunk beds and other furniture before my 2 children were born!
I used a Forstner drill bit to carefully drill the flat bottom pilot holes and then you just install each metal insert with a hex socket to drive the external threads into the sides of the wooden holes. Et Voila! 16 metal inserts with M6 threads in them all ready to accept the SS M6 bolts I will use to mount the table to the XY Slider and Pedestal. You can see how this works now and I have also mounted the Black handle that unlocks the table and allows you to slide it wherever you want it to be. Here is the final result, this being in Anchor Mode dinning table position. From here you can move the table down and out in both directions to be in “Coffee Table” mode or all the way down into Bed mode or anywhere in between.
With so much more Commissioning work to be done I quickly covered it all in protective cardboard and painters tape for now. As you can imagine, we can’t wait to remove all of these protective coverings throughout our beloved Möbius and convert from the current construction zone mode to Beautiful Living mode!
Pole Dancing Anyone?
Nihat was back onboard for a bit this week and he installed what should be the last of the aluminium components on the SkyBridge which is this 40mm/1/5” AL pipe that does 2 important jobs; a wire chase to bring some of the cables for GPS and cameras mounted on the Roof down into the Upper Helm Station and ….. ……. a hand hold when standing and walking up in the open area of the SkyBridge.
This adds a 3rd pole onboard for the Captain to use in her Yoga Pole Dancing routines! And that’s a wrap for this week and I need to get back to trouble shooting some of the gremlins that have been creeping up with our steering, throttle and CPP Pitch angle controls.
Thanks for taking the time to join in the journey and hope you’ll be back for more again next week.
A VERY busy week here onboard the Good Ship Möbius as everyone on Team Möbius moves into the final stage of the build completing all the installations of equipment and beginning the commissioning of all these systems by their factory representatives and others. Due to a major reconstruction project of the harbour inside the Free Zone * which removed all the previous launching facilities, Naval needed to launch us quite a bit sooner than expected by transporting Möbius overland to the nearby Setur Marina. So in addition to the usual post launch commissioning of systems, we all continue to work our way through the Punch List of jobs needing to be completed in order to get Möbius into seaworthy condition to begin taking her out for sea trials. To say that we are all eXtremely busy would be the understatement of the year! But. for Christine and me, we are even more eXtremely eXcited to be back where we belong, home onboard a boat that floats.
* You can learn all about this huge and fascinating project by watching THIS VIDEO ANIMATION which does a great job of showing how the whole new harbour facility will work.
I hope you will accept my apologies in advance for another hurried weekly Möbius Update as I blast through as much of all the different jobs that we have all worked on this past week. So grab your favorite beverage and chair and join me for this week’s Show & Tell.
Let me start with a quick snapshot leading up to this adventure that began over 5 years ago.
After two years of intense collaborative design work with our AbFab Naval Architect Dennis at Artnautica Yacht Design, the building of XPM78-01 Möbius began at Naval Yachts on April 6, 2018. 1053 days of build time later, as most of you have likely seen in last week’s posting HERE, she finally left that temporary womb last Friday for a watery delivery into her permanent home with Mother Ocean last Saturday. As I write this blog post from the SkyBridge of our beloved Möbius, we have just finished our first week afloat tied up to the concrete dock wall inside the Antalya Free Zone Harbour.
And I am VERY happy, though not surprised, to report that ALL the sea water has remained where it belongs OUTSIDE of Möbius and our bilges only hold the remnants of construction dust and debris.
Looking all the world to me like two tugs that escaped from a children’s animation story, these two almost new tugs are our most immediate neighbors. Tied up less than a meter in front of Möbius’ Bow.
These two tugs have crew aboard 24/7 as they are responsible for bringing every cargo ship into and out of the commercial side of the Harbour such as this recent little visitor, the 180m 36k Ton Argo B, who left about 04:30 this morning after loading up with several thousand “Big Bags” of industrial dry goods. These two tugs are also the Fire Boats for the Harbour. And last night, they surprised and delighted us by bringing over a home made pizza just out of their oven! Can’t think of a better example of why we LOVE living with these awemazing people of Turkey. Tied up almost as closely to our Stern is this first of four Police boats which are being built by Ares Yachts here in the Free Zone for the government of Oman. These are a bit longer than us at about 26m but share many of the same basic attributes as our XPM-78 with all aluminum construction and built like the proverbial tank. We even have the same jet propulsion system though in our case just with our Tender and a single not these massive twin jet drives driven by two equally massive MAN diesel engines. One item that we do not share, YET! with these boats is that mount for a 50 cal machine gun. But rest assured that once I get my 3D printer setup one of my first projects will be to create a realistic enough looking plastic replica to produce a silhouette that will add to our “don’t mess with me!” look to any onlookers thinking of approaching us with mal intent! I took this shot of our neighborhood early this morning after the Argo B had left and the tugs were back in front of us. The weather has been truly spectacular for the past two weeks with daytime highs reaching 24C/77F and gloriously sunny clear blue skies with very little wind. Not a bad place to spend our first week afloat.
For safety of such a new and incomplete boat, Christine and I are sleeping aboard each night and then going back to our apartment for breakfast and dinner and then we will move aboard full time once all the sea trials are done.
One of the projects I did not have enough time to show you last week was the completion of our rather unique “Sidewinder” anchor roller assembly that Dennis and I came up with so let me show that to you now. I decided to make the two anchor rollers out of solid aluminium and didn’t take me long to design a 3D model of this in Autodesk Fusion 360 and create the 2D dimensioned drawings to machine them from. Aluminium is a dream to work with and the in house machine shop has a very good sized lathe that was easily able to machine the two anchor rollers out of a single blank of 200mm/8” OD aluminium round stock. I wanted to keep the anchor and the chain electrically isolated from the hull to reduce any corrosion problems and was able to do so with two details. One is this Black Delrin bushing which we press fit into each roller with a nice rolling fit for the 40mm/1.6” SS pin that each roller spins on. The second isolating detail was to machine these Teflon discs that get separate the sides of the rollers from the inside cheeks of the anchor roller assembly welded into the hull. Then a large SS end cap bolts on either end of the SS pin on the outside. Here is what that all looks like when assembled. For safety and quiet when pounding into big seas we very specifically designed the whole roller assembly to exactly match the shape of this 125kg/275lb Rocna anchor by obtaining a 3D model from Rocna to design with. The way our design works is that those flared out bottom edges you see in the photo above have been designed such that they exactly match up with the inside of the flukes of the Rocna when pulled aboard and thus the Rocna becomes one with the hull and will not budge no matter what Mother Nature throws at us. This creates not only a very tough and strong anchor mounting setup but also one that does not make any noise due to movement between the anchor and the roller assembly which is so common on many other boats we have run. So Nihat, Uğur and I spent quite a few hours with the anchor raised on a chain block that allowed us to get the position of the anchor just right and then layout the centers for each SS roller pin. Front pin and roller have been mounted here and we are laying out the location for the 2nd Aft roller. Uğur and I came up with this idea of building an extended 40mm carbide hole saw so that he could drill both cheeks in one go and keep the two holes for the SS roller pin on the same centerline. We lucked out finding the head of a 40mm carbide hole saw with its shank broken off and Uğur TIG welded a 200mm/8” long piece of 13mm/ 1/2” OD rod to it that we could chuck in my Milwaukee drill. Worked like a charm! With the rollers both installed we tested it all out with the 13mm / 1/2” chain and the Maxwell VWC4000 Windlass and did a bit of tweaking of the rollers final shape to capture the chain nicely so it stays aligned as the chain goes Out/In and doesn’t twist. Did not take us long to get to the Goldilocks Just Right point and “Rocky” was in his new home as solid as his name. Uğur and Nihat both gave it their thumbs up and so we knew it was good to go!
Another job and details I did not have time to post last week prior to the launch was the finishing of the silicone based International InterSleek 1100SR Foul Release bottom paint and the zinc anodes so let me go back and show you that.
Once the super slick, slippery and shiny silicone InterSleek was fully dry the last few underwater details could be attended to such as mounting the Red plastic prop on the Vetus 220kgf 300mm/12” Extended Run Time Bow Thruster. Which is capped off with its own Zinc to reduce any problems with corrosion due to the mix of dissimilar metals involved with its construction of Bronze, SS and AL. In keeping with our Darth Vader, lean & mean look, we decided to make the 100mm/4” Boot Stripe that makes the transition between the top of the Black InterSleek and the bare AL hull, be gloss Black as well and we are eXtremely happy with the result that emerged as the masking tape came off to reveal the final look. The final detail for the underwater portion of the hull was mounting the ten 125mm / 5” diameter Zinc anodes which keeps all the metal bits that are in contact with seawater all at the same potential voltage and eliminates the battery effect that would eat away at our precious Stainless Steel, AL and Bronze components. Being near the bottom of the Noble scale of metals, Zinc is what will erode instead and makes it easy to replace the zincs every few years when they get too worn away. We designed a very simple mounting system for the Zincs and Uğur had previously welded 80mm discs of 20mm / 3/4” thick AL to the hull with an M16 thread in the center for the SS M16 bolt that he is fastening this Zinc on the Rudder with. To ensure a good electrical connection for many years between the Zinc and the AL mounting disc, we coated those surfaces and the bolt with dielectric grease and then I followed along after Uğur and covered the SS bolt heads with some clear silicone to make it all the easier to remove and replace these zincs in a couple of years. I usually do this while the boat is in the water using my Hookah or Snuba system so these little details all help to make that job go quick and easy. With all these preparations of the below the waterline areas of the hull and everything removed from underneath, Möbius was ready for the arrival of “Big Bird” the yellow 72 wheel boat mover to arrive the next morning and carry her overland to the marina for launching.
TILLER ARM DETAILS:
Another few details that we needed to look after before Launch Day were for the all important steering system and the Tiller Arm in particular. Similar to the Bow Rollers, last year I had designed this typically over engineered Tiller Arm in Fusion 360 and had it CNC milled out of a single block of aluminum. Here is a shot from almost a year ago when we first mounted the finished Tiller Arm to the 127mm / 5” OD solid AL Rudder Post. And here is a more recent shot of what it looks like with the two double acting Kobelt hydraulic steering cylinders in place. Such a massive Tiller Arm being powered by equally as beefy twin hydraulic cylinders, produces a LOT of force and so there needs to be some eXtremely strong and solid Tiller Arm Stops built in to stop the Tiller Arm when it goes hard over to each side. Fusion 360 to the rescue yet again to help me quickly design these Stops which Uğur and Nihat quickly fabricated and were ready to mount. After carefully testing out the Just Right position for each stop, they were able to drill the four holes in the AL Rudder Shelf and bolt down one Stop in either side of the Tiller Arm body. The SS bolt and lock nut allow us to adjust the final Stop position of the Tiller Arm once we are in the water and have the steering all working. I like to practice and live well by what I call “Readiness for the UneXpected” and in the case of our steering system that meant having multiple layers of fault tolerance for the Steering System. This starts with twin independent Kobelt 7080 hydraulic steering cylinders sized so that either one can fully steer the boat in the most adverse sea conditions.
Then two independent Kobelt Accu-Steer HPU400 24V hydraulic Power Pack pumps, two independent Furuno 711C AutoPilots plus two independent Furuno Jog Levers. This gives us eight levels of fault tolerance to go through.
And if ALL of that should uneXpectedly fail, then we have this Kobelt manual hydraulic Steering Pump …………… ……….. that we can slide this Emergency Steering wheel onto and steer the boat the “old fashioned” way. And if ALL of that should somehow uneXpectedly fail we have THIS final layer of fault tolerance for our steering system; a completely independent and manual Emergency Tiller Arm. Can’t get too much more KISSS or Keep It Simple Smart & Safe than this; a 2m/6.5ft length of 80mm thick walled AL pipe that slides through the 20mm/ 3/4” thick plate we see Uğur bolting to the Tiller Arm body and then the pipe slides through a matching hole bored through the top of the Rudder Post. We attach a block and tackle setup on each side of the end of the Emergency Tiller which fasten to shackles mounted on stringers on the adjacent hull sides which allows us to move and lock the Rudder in any position we want.
Yes, I do know that it works and Yes, you can ask me how I know that!
Miscellaneous Work on Deck
Finishing up this blog post is between me and another very late dinner so I’m going to speed through a series of other jobs that got done this first week in the water. Turkish Turquoise Marble countertops got installed atop both Vent Boxes on the Aft Deck to create our Outdoor Galley. SS sink plumbed. And installed in the Starboard/Right side Vent Box. Plumbing connections all ready to connect to the sink; Red & Blue PEX lines with shut off valves for the Hot/Cold water to the sink faucet, Brass elbow for the sink’s drain and small Blue tube with the Black elbow to drain the water extracted by the Mist Eliminator grills in the Engine Room supply air duct. Orhan with his home made adaptor for his pneumatic caulking gun …….. ……. to get into some hard to reach spots around the Pilot House windows like these. Uğur prepping the nylon insert mounts for the Passarella on the Swim Platform and another on the Port side gate. Ever the ingenious one on Team ,Uğur came up with this brilliant DIY solution for mounting our Fire Hose in the HazMat Locker; an empty plastic spool of MIG welder wire!
Which will rotate on this pipe mounted on the side of the HazMat Locker. With the Black Fire Nozzle mounted alongside. Any wonder why I just love working with this guy who has been with us from the very first day of the build?!!! More Uğur Goodness, on Saturday no less, as we designed and built this simple setup for propping the front 3 Solar Panels mounted on this hinged frame up in the horizontal position when we are on anchor.
This horizontal position not only helps out with solar power production but you can see the demister grill across the far end of what now becomes a giant wind tunnel to capture all the fresh breezes blowing over our bow at anchor and funnel them down into the SuperSalon. Two SS pipes that are hinged to the bottom of the Solar Panel frame and will fit into these Black Delrin collars Uğur machined which were then glued down to the aluminium floor with a SS set screw to lock them in place.
When we are ready to convert to passage making mode and head out to sea, you simply lift the panels up a few inches and the two support rods slide aft as the panel is lowered down and locked into place.
Our Sparkie Hilmi always has a long list of electrical jobs that need his attention and this past week was certainly no exception. With almost 150 circuit breakers on XPM78-01 Möbius to safely look after all our 12 & 24 Volt DC circuits and our all our 120V & 240V AC circuits, it was quite the design challenge to figure out where and how to place all these.
We ended up with two primary circuit breaker panels; this one on the angled short wall on the Stbd/Right side of the Main Helm Station. And this larger one in the Corridor at the bottom of the stairs leading down from the SuperSalon to the Guest Cabin, Ships Office and Workshop/Engine Room. After months and months of preparation, Hilmi was finally able to bring it all together this past week by attaching these Black AL panel fronts with all the engraved labels onto the hinged access doors into each of these Circuit Breaker panels.
Next week the hinged glass doors are due to arrive which will finish off these critical component of the electrical system on Möbius.
The double paned 16mm thick glass window finally got installed in the Engine Room door this week which is a critical component to completely closing in the Engine Room in the case of a fire. And the gas lift cylinders have now all been installed on the Glass Deck Hatches which I designed and Naval built in house. Now just need to finish installing the rubber edge seals and the AL hatch handles and the deck is totally watertight!
I can’t possibly do justice to explain the amount of work that Christine has done this past week alone on getting all our navigation and electronics in both Helm Stations all setup and working.
Nor can I articulate how much I LOVE my Captain! What I can do though is to leave you with this shot from early this morning that does capture for me just how well we have succeeded in designing and building our new home with all of Team Möbius to meet the goal we set out over 5 years ago to blend in perfectly when in a commercial dock as apposed to a ‘yachty’ marina. And with that I am going to hit the “Publish” button on this latest Möbius Weekly Progress Update and look forward to bringing you more Show & Tell of this coming week’s progress that begins first thing tomorrow morning.
One year ago, Christine and I returned from a brief trip over to the UK for her Birthday (March 15th) just as the whole Corona 19 pandemic was ramping up and caught us squarely in the vortex. Given our ages, let’s just say rapidly approaching 70, every day since we have been playing a kind of Russian Roulette by going into the shipyard to work on Möbius and so we are eXtremely eXcited that tomorrow morning at 11am we are going to get our Covid 19 vaccine shots!
Of course, this doesn’t put an end to anything really but sure will help with our upcoming travel plans, for which we shall be eternally grateful to this country we have called home for almost four years now and that love a wee bit more every day. Thank you Turkey for allowing these two salt water turkies to enjoy your beautiful country and people!
First and most importantly, let me send out a big Happy Valentine’s Day wish to all of you. I hope that you and those you love treat yourselves to an extra special Valentine’s Day Sunday. Christine and I have done our best to do the same though our Valentine Möbius seemed to get the majority of the TLC and attention as you’ll see below.
Before I begin this week’s Progress Update, a brief story (I promise!) that sums up our lives right now.
When I was about 8 years old, my never ending curiosity lead me to read about one of Zeno’s paradoxes that completely dumbfounded me and led to many sleepless nights trying to wrap my head around it. That paradox has been haunting me again as we get closer and closer to finishing and launching XPM78-01 Möbius so I thought you might enjoy the story. I suspect many of you know this particular paradox often referred to as Zeno’s Paradox of the Tortoise and Achilles and you too might have also found it undeniably true but equally hard to accept at first. My eight year old self read it as a simple question;
If you want to get from Point A to Point B and each step you take is exactly 1/2 the distance between you and Point B, how many steps will it take you to get there?
An infinite number of steps and you will never get all the way there! Think about it, you’ll see the paradox.
Ahhh, I see those smiles and nods of recognition and you already know why I feel like I am living that paradox every day! Step after step, progress being made as we inch closer and closer but it feels like we’ll never get there. We WILL of course and you can read all about various “solutions” or different takes on this paradox but it does nicely sum up how Christine and I are feeling at this point.
More to the point that YOU care about and why you are reading, let’s jump into this week’s Show & Tell of the many half steps that Team Möbius DID make this past week of Feb. 8-13, 2021 and did move us closer to the finish line. And my apologies in advance for likely rushing you through this week’s Show & Tell, but it has been a very long week and it is now late Sunday evening as I’m typing this up and my vivacious Valentine awaits as does our dinner so I hope you will pardon the rush job this week.
Silicone based Foul Release Bottom Paint
If you were not able to catch up to last week’s Progress Update post “The Captain & Mr. Gee get CRANKY!” it may help to go read that over before continuing as we picked up where we left off last week wtih the preparation for the application of the International InterSleek 1100SR Foul Release paint that will cover all the underwater aluminium surfaces and keep them clean and slick by not allowing any marine growth to stick.
By the end of last week, we left the bottom paint crew having finished applying all the coats of International Epoxy Primer to the freshly sanded bare AL hull surfaces and masking off the 100mm / 4” wide glossy Black Boot Strip that makes the transition between the top of the Black InterSleek and the bare aluminium hull sides above the WL. With the top and bottom edges of this Boot Stripe all taped off with Blue Painter’s Tape, they did a quick sand of the areas that would be sprayed with the glossy Black International Perfection polyurethane paint. It was just before 18:30 quitting time when they got to the quick and easy part of spraying on several coats of the Black Boot Stripe. It is getting lighter here as the days get longer but still needed the help of an LED work lamp to do the spraying. They let that dry for 24 hours and then masked it off for the big job coming next; applying the InterSleek 737 “Pink” primer coats and then the Black InterSleek final coats. For the application of the InterSleek primer and topcoats, Naval called in the Big Guns from neighboring industrial boat builder Damen as they have a whole team of people who do nothing but InterSleek on the bottoms of the many big ships that they build and launch each year. Given its thick consistency, InterSleek requires the use of airless spray equipment so they wheeled this bad boy over under Möbius and we brought out all the cans of InterSleek 737 Pink which is a three part A+B+C mix. Ilyas is the Manager of Damen’s InterSleek team and started mixing this 3 part mix of 737 primer. As per its name, an airless sprayer does not use compressed air to atomize liquid finishes out the end of a spray gun. Instead it uses hydraulic principles to push liquid paint directly from a big intake pipe set into the can of 737 Pink you see here and then out a spray gun nozzle at the other end. That big black round cylinder at the top of the airless sprayer seen here wrapped in protective plastic, is a giant rubber diaphragm that pumps up and down and pumps the liquid paint out the thing black hose you can see exiting the photo on the far Right edge by the blue pail. This is the actual spray gun at the other end of that black hose where the highly pressurized paint flows out the small nozzle on the upper Right and …….. …….. onto the hull like this.
As a former Automotive and Autobody teacher and antique car/motorcycle restorer, I have done my fair share of traditional spray painting but this airless spraying is more like using a very well controlled fire hose! Möbius is 24m / 78 feet long on each side and yet …. it took Ilyas less than 15 minutes to spray on two thick coats on all that area! And that included details such as the Rudder and prop shaft Skeg, and ….. …… the Bow Thruster Tunnel. The 737 Pink primer was allowed to set up for 24 hours and then it was time for ……. …….. the final 3 topcoats of the Black silicone based InterSleek 1100 SR which is also a 3 part mix. All mixed up and ready to be hydraulically pumped to that big spray gun in Ilyas’ hand. While Ilyas suited up his team mates were busy rolling the Black InterSleek 1100 on all the edges of things like the Rudder and CPP Prop Skeg. Depth and sonar transducers…… ….. and deep up inside all the 5 Sea Chest tubes. InterSleek 1100SR all mixed up and suction pipe set inside so it is all systems GO! Difficult to capture with the camera amongst all the fumes but that gun blasts out a cone of paint that is about 1m / 39” wide And so once again Ilyas had the first coats of Black InterSleek all sprayed on in under 15 minutes! It is a fascinating product which looks very wet even when it is fully dry 24 hours later and to the touch it feels “sticky” and it remains that way throughout its 5-8 year expected life. You know this feeling if you have ever handled soft silicone cooking mats or the like as that is just what is now covering all of Möbius’ bottom. Go ahead and try to stick to that you little marine munchkins! A second coat was applied the next day and once that had dried it was time to reposition all the support stands so that the area underneath them could also receive the full silicone InterSleek treatment. Uğur was masterful at this tricky task as he positioned a new steel stand to one side of the existing ones and then hammered in new wood wedges to take up the weight of the boat enough to remove the wedges on the other stand and take it out.
And you can see what I mean about this InterSleek stuff being slick! With the old wedges and stand out of the way we reveal these bare AL patches whose turn it is now to get the full epoxy primer and InterSleek treatment. These patches are carefully taped off with some special “super tape” that can manage to stick to silicone and then a roller can be used to apply the epoxy primer coats like this. And this. Once the epoxy primer coats were fully dry, the 737 Pink silicone primer was rolled on next.
BTW, you can see that special tape quite well here. Finally, the last 2 coats of Black InterSleek are rolled on and our bottom is done!
The Black discs you see like this one are 25mm / 1” thick AL mounting pads with a blind threaded hole where a circular Zinc anode will eventually be attached before launch. This is how the very aft end of the hull will look for its underwater portion.
Painting the Nogva CPP Propeller
We got mixed reviews and recommendations for using the same InterSleek 1100SR to keep the CPP propeller equally as clean and slick as the rest of the hull so we opted to go with a single purpose silicone paint propeller paint called “PellerClean” which the Japanese company SeaJet created. If you would like to know more about this product and how to apply it, Matt over on the “MJ Sailing” YouTube channel that he and Jessica maintain so well, has THIS full video on their application of PellerClean on their prop last year. If you are not already subscribed to Matt and Jessica’s MJ Sailing channel we can recommend it highly as it is one of our many favorites for great boat related content.
This propeller treatment wasn’t covered by our agreement with Naval Yachts so Christine and I looked after this application. Do I really need to answer the question about why I am so madly in love with my Valentine and perfect partner for my very imperfect self?!? The application of these very specialized silicone paint systems is very exacting so we followed them to the letter and prepped all the bronze with a 80 grit wheel to give the upcoming PellerClean Primer a good bit of “bite”. The 2 part yellow coloured PellerClean comes in premeasured cans which you simply stir together well for about 5 minutes and then brush on. It is very thick with a consistency similar to mayonnaise so it is a bit challenging to get all the brush marks out in the first coat. But with each of the successive 3 coats we were able to get it well evenly applied and then let dry for 24 hours. The clear topcoats go on next and curiously these are a single part product and after my experience with it I suspect it is pretty much pure silicone. Another late night at the yard for us so this is all shot in the dark with just the LED work lights which really skew the phot colors so it looks very greenish here whereas the real colour is closer to a bronzy yellow but the more important part is that this is goes on smooth and slick! I finished the 2nd coat of clear PellerClean yesterday and I’ll see what it looks like in the morning and decide whether to add a final 3rd coat.
It was not cheap but a clean propeller and bottom makes SUCH a difference in terms of boat speed and amount of power it takes to propel the boat through the water. This was very evident to us on our previous 52 foot sailboat and so now with our XPM power boat, these super slick easy to keep clean surfaces will make a huge difference in our fuel economy and increase our speed through the water. Stay tuned for those data points once we launch and start logging real world measurements.
More “Big Little Jobs” this past week:
Apologies in advance again for blasting through this but thought you would enjoy seeing some of the “little jobs” that add up to Big things which got done this past week.
Our Super Sewer Sinan, whipped up this “skirt” that wraps around the round Anchor Chain Bin and seals the top to the Hawse Pipe where the Chain comes In/Out and keeps all the muck and mud from the anchor chain, inside the Chain Bin where it is easily rinsed out through the drain in the bottom. I had originally thought about having Sinan put in a clear plastic window so we could see inside the Chain Bin to see how the chain was moving In/Out but instead we went with this KISSS Velcro slit which you can open up anytime and peer inside. Sinan attached the Skirt to the outside of the top of the Chain Bin with snap fasteners so it is also quick and easy to do the Full Monty and take the whole skirt off (but you can keep your hat on!) The cylindrical tops of these Tiller Rudder Stops were back from the machine shop with their M16 threads for the SS bolt and locking nut that provide adjustment so Uğur was able to finish welding these up and we will show you them being mounted next week. Ramazan was busy much of this past week up in the Master Cabin and here is is fitting the FastMount fasteners for the access panel below the seat in the Master Shower. This provides full access for all the plumbing and water manifolds hidden away inside the base of the Shower Seat. Which the Captain is particularly looking forward to and testing out here. Just outside the Shower, Ramazan has now installed the mirrors on this cabinet above the Vanity Sink at the very forward end of the Master Cabin. As well as these mirrors on the doors of the cabinets above the sink inside the Master Head/Bathroom. Overhead dropped ceiling above our bed is reflected in the mirror here so you may need to look twice to figure out that this is the full length mirror that Ramazan is mounting to the inside of the Shower/Head door now laying on top of the bed. From the outside looking in I find Ramzan up at the Main Helm taping off the Rosewood Window Sills as he installs all 21 of the HVAC air vents on all the SuperSalon windows. We were able to track down these very well made rotating adjustable air diffusers that are made for use in many different makes of cars and trucks and are the Goldilocks solution for bringing the hot or cold air from our AC/Heating system into the SuperSalon. Same as the ones you would be familiar with in your car, these rotate and can be closed shut as in the photo above or tilted open at different angles. This will give us full adjustment to the air coming in to direct it into the room or up onto the windows for some defroster like function. The largest front and center window in front of the Main Helm gets 3 of these vents. And all the other windows have 2 diffusers. Captain Christine has jumped feet first into the deep end of the electronics systems on Möbius and had a very busy week working with things like our PepWave cellular/WiFi router which I will cover in another post focussed on all of our electronics. We had just enough of this gorgeous Turkish Turquoise marble from our inside Galley to use in our Outdoor Galley countertops as well and that all got mounted this past week. We didn’t have quite enough to do all the countertops in single slabs but we are SO in love with this marble that we created the tops out of several pieces. The system I came up with started with 6mm AL plates that are through bolted to the Vent Boxes underneath and then the marble is permanently adhered to these AL plates with industrial SikaFlex.
This allows me to remove the whole countertop for future access by unbolting these AL plates and provided a super solid backing for all the marble pieces. First slab with the cut-out for the SS sink all glued in and ready for the 2nd piece. To be set into the SikaFlex much like how you would lay ceramic tiles. This will give you a sense of how our Outside Galley is shaping up and next week the marble team will be in to finish sealing and polishing the tops and edges. I can smell the salmon cooking on the BBQ already!
Möbius Goes to the Dogs!
Saving a bit of the best for the last, our two dogs, 14 year old Ruby the Wonderdog in Black and 9 year old Barney The Yorkshire Terror were onboard for the first time with Captain Christine so they could check out what will soon be their new floating home too.
Like us, they have both spent most of their lives as boat dogs and so are awaiting the move onto their new boat/home as anxiously as we are. Barney is a rather “excitable boy” who can sometimes get a wee bit too excited at the edges of our boats so the bottom Dyneema lifeline that Christine now has all finished is at a custom “Barney height” so he got to measure up to that. And down in the Master Cabin we have what we refer to as The Barney Bed, where Mr. Actionallnightlong, will be able to sleep and practice is nightly training for the Olympics all by himself! And THAT folks is going to have to be a wrap for tonight as I am Wayyyyyyyyy past my time limit and bedtime and dinner still awaits.
Thanks SO much for taking the time to join us here again this week and just because it is taking me much longer than I would like to answer them, PLEASE keep adding your questions and comments in the “Join the Discussion” box below.
See you here again next week as we take yet another of our infinite half steps forward.