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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Super Hawg

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

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

Rats!

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

Super Synthetics on Sale

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

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

Weighty Windings

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

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


PXL_20210127_153451189.MP

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


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

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

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

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

Thanks!

Wayne

 






 

Going to the Dogs Möbius Update 22-28 Aug 2022

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

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

Going to the Dogs is a bad thing?

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

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

That’s not a Bug!  That’s a Feature!!

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

Fuse now fixed and working

Sealed fuse holder

Better protected location

√  Easier to access for future fuse replacements

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

√  No more exposed connections

No more corrosion

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


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

Tick Tock

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

30 Horses Gallop into the Scene…..

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

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

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

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

Go BIG or Don’t Go!

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

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

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


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


Out with the Old

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


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

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

Going Out with a BANG!

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

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

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

-Wayne



 

The Pressure is ON! XPM78-01 Möbius Weekly Update 30 May-5 June, 2022

Marmaris   marina at nightWe have spent this past week in the relatively small but very marine based town of Marmaris.
map-showing-marmaris-turkey-with-a-red-pin-3d-rendering-2F9749BFor orientation, here is Marmaris relative to the others nearby islands and coastline around us.
Turquoise CoastYou’ll recall this map from previous posts and we started out in Antalya where Möbius was built and have been slowly making our way West and North along the Turquoise Coast.  We spent the winter in Finike and left there to begin our cruising season back on May 17th.  As you have read in the previous weekly updates since then we have stopped in Kekova, Kaş, Fethiye, Göcek and now Marmaris.
Netsel Marina Marmaris aerial view labelledWe have spent the past week here in Netsel Marina in Marmaris and the arrow shows where Möbius is docked.
Netsel Marina Marmaris aerial view 2The city of Marmaris itself isn’t that large but as you can see the marina is literally part of the city.
Map of Setur Marinas in TurkeyNetsel is one of the 10 Setur Marinas along the Turquoise Coast that we have access to as part of our annual contract with Setur Marinas.  If you click to enlarge you can all the red Setur Marina pins.  Antalya is the most Eastern Setur Marina and then the other 9 marinas are spread out as the coastline moves West and North to Istanbul. 

Christine’s Knee Update

This is a very large and very full marina and not usually our cup of tea but as I mentioned last week, Christine had torn her meniscus in her left knee and getting that fixed became our #1 priority and Marmaris was the best place to put in to.  After several appointments with doctors in several other ports we stopped at along the way we decided that the best course of action was to go back to the same hospital in Antalya that we both had outstanding experience with while living there.  Sunday morning Christine made the 6+ hour ride on a very luxurious bus that she said was more like an airline than a bus and on Monday morning she met with the surgeon who specializes in arthroscopic knee surgery at 9:30.  After going over all the specifics of Christine’s history with this knee, their consensus was that arthroscopic surgery was the best choice.  The surgeon asked “When would you like to have the surgery done?” and when she said as soon as possible he said “OK, how about tomorrow?”.  Fifteen minutes later Christine was in a hospital bed being prepped for surgery on Tuesday.  As amazing as this might sound to many of you, this is our experience with hospitals and medical care in Turkey and makes it easy to understand why Antalya in particular is such a popular destination for medical tourism.

Good news is that the surgery went very well and both the surgeon and Christine were very pleased so I rented a car on Wednesday morning, packed the pups and was in Antalya by noon to pick Christine up and bring her back to Möbius.  She has been confined to the boat since then which has been challenging for her but as per the title of this week’s update, one of the ways in which “The Pressure is ON” is that she has been able to put more and more pressure on the knee as she hobbles around Möbius a bit better each day.  While not something any of us would want this has been one of those good reminders of just how important our health and mobility is and as Christine soon remarked “I had no idea we had so many steps on this boat!”.

The surgeon wants to see Christine again in about two weeks so we are now thinking that it may be best to motor our way back East and get closer to Antalya for her follow up and to make sure that she has her knee well looked after.  Stay tuned for updates on where we decide to go next.

Oil Pressure is ON too!

Dual oil pressure gaugesYou may recall from the great oil pressure hunt with Mr. Gee, I had installed two oil pressure gauges after discovering that the original one had been falsely reading 20 PSI too low and causing me a LOT of angst until I discovered this.  Mr. Gee now has over 40 hours of run time and has been purring along with a steady 35 PSI of oil pressure just as a healthy Gardner 6LXB should and so one of my jobs this week was to create the more permanent setup for monitoring Mr. Gee’s oil pressure.
PXL_20220603_140942645.MPHere is the cleaned up and likely permanent setup on the four port bronze oil pressure manifold on the side of the oil filter.  Moving down from the liquid dampened oil pressure gauge on top, the other three ports are:

     1.  black pipe that takes pressurized oil over to the valve rockers on each head,

     2.  Silver fitting that takes oil pressure through a flexible hose over to an electric oil pressure sensor mounted on the opposite side of the black oil filter housing

     3.  Low Oil pressure warning switch which will also provide power to the engine hour meter anytime Mr. Gee is running
PXL_20220603_140927749.MPThe silver canister is the electric oil pressure sensor which sends its analog data over to ………
PXL_20220327_122546988  …… this Actisense EMU-1 engine monitor which converts all the analog engine data such as oil pressure, oil & coolant temperature, CPP oil temp & pressure, into digital signals and sends these onto our N2K network that is used to communicate ALL the boat’s data to the boat computers and onto any of the six monitors we have on the Upper and Lower Helm stations as well as broadcasting this wirelessly to our phones, tablets and any other monitors we chose.
PXL_20220605_125829832This is an example of the kind of dashboards that Christine is building using our Maretron N2K View software which allows us to create virtual gauges, switches, warning lights, alarms, etc.  We are slowly learning our way around this eXtremely powerful and diverse tool but we have a long ways to go and there really is no end to the different screens, gauge types, switches, alarms, lights, logs, graphs and other info we can display using this Maretron N2K View software.
Maretron N2K View Mobile Engine DataThere is also a free Maretron N2K View mobile app which we have on our phones so we can also see all this data on these screens as well.  Not something we use a lot as the larger screens provide a much more comprehensive collection of data on their larger real estate at each Helm but the phones are super handy when you are somewhere else on the boat and just want to check how things are working.  I also tend to use this while I’m working on some system somewhere else on the boat and can use my phone to show me what’s going on as I adjust things in the Engine Room or down in the Basement where most of the Victron electronics are located.  eXtremely handy and powerful and will only get more so as we learn to use these tools better over time and create all the Goldilocks displays that each of us prefer.
PXL_20220605_125902758.MPNow that we had Mr. Gee’s oil pressure on the N2K network via the EMU-1, we were able to create the virtual oil pressure gauge you see here and with a bit of tweaking we were able to configure this so that the pressure shown on this gauge matched the PSI shown on the liquid filled gauge on Mr. Gee.  Having all this data able to be displayed on any screen on the boat is a huge benefit while we are underway keeping us fully informed as to how everything on the boat is functioning.  We have a LOT of work to do to build out all the various screens we want for different contexts but this is a good start for now.

Configuring the Auto Pilots

PXL_20220605_130518956While I was in configuration mode I decided to also finish configuring our two Furuno 711C Auto Pilots.  The 711C display head you see on the bottom Left of the Main Helm provides all the data and controls for our Auto Pilots and there is a duplicate setup at the Upper Helm on the SkyBridge.  To the right of the 711C AP is the Furuno Jog Lever which is the second way we can steer the boat by simply moving that Black knob whichever way we want the rudder to move. 
The rotary switch to the Right of the Jog Lever is used to select which of the two helm stations is active.  The two silver levers on the far Right are how we control the throttle and the pitch.

Took a few hours but all of these are now working properly and next trip we will do the final tweaks to the Auto Pilot while we are underway and can dial in the actual zero rudder position.  These Furuno AP’s have the very great feature of “auto learning” and so as we use the boat more the AP system is learning the specifics of how Möbius handles, turns, rolls, etc. and uses this to dial in all the settings better and better over time.

Of course this being a boat, there were plenty of other little gremlins and “moles” to whack back down like the house water pump that I just spent the past 5 hours replacing today, but that’s how our start to yet another new month played out and I hope that yours was equally productive. 

How can it be another month already and almost half way through 2022?!?  However, with our recent reminder as to how precious time is we continue to be grateful for every day that speeds by and can only hope to have many more to come and enjoy each one as it passes.

Hope you will join us again for next week’s update and till then please be sure to add your comments in the “Join the Discussion” box below.

-Wayne

Tender Wiring XPM78-01 Möbius Update 2-7 May, 2022

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.

PXL_20210508_142134749 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.
PXL_20220430_141100157Last 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.
PXL_20220507_154630029Christine 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.
PXL_20220507_154622505.MPthat 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. 
PXL_20220507_152943165I 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.
PXL_20220507_152949264.MPThe primary 12V positive 1/0 size Red cable goes from this switch under the Yanmar engine and connects directly to ….
PXL_20220503_153811831… this stud on the starter solenoid.  A bit tight to get to but it is now on and well tightened.
PXL_20220507_152938918The 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.
PXL_20220507_152922879The 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.
PXL_20220507_152934488Some 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.
PXL_20220402_154030638Next week I will move back to the console to finish connecting the Castoldi jet drive wire harness to the Yanmar harness.
PXL_20220507_111327451That 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.
PXL_20210505_073322984.MPDepending 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!

-Wayne

An eXhausting Week XPM78-01 Möbius Update 25-30 April, 2022

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. 

IMG_0667Despite 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.  
PXL_20220425_081917085They 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.

Charging Issues

PXL_20210105_141245947When 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.
Cogged Belt Pulley Fusion screenshotDifficult 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.
Electrodyne #2 jack shaft labelledAlso 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.
PXL_20210830_112735339This older photo when Mr. Gee was up in the air shows how this PTO drive works.
IMG_20200515_190541I went with these massively large and strong Electrodyne alternators in large part because they use an external Rectifier which is what you see here. 
IMG_20201007_130735The 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.
PXL_20210830_112422607Each 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.
IMG_20200515_131855However, 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. 
IMG_20200515_190603With 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.


Electrodyne x2 paintedHaving 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;
PXL_20220430_092530094water 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.
PXL_20220430_130201688I 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.
PXL_20220430_141107025Like this.
PXL_20220430_141100157I 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.


PXL_20220430_141118761Last 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.

-Wayne

My ER is BACK!! Möbius Update 21-26 March, 2022

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!

Monitoring Matters

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.

Mr. Gee gauges and PRV 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.
PXL_20220327_122501031Here 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.

PXL_20220327_122434591Over 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.
PXL_20220327_122450219Over 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.
PXL_20220327_122533992Then 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.
Actisense EMU-1 photoThe 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.
Actisense EMU-1 network diagramThis 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.
Actisense EMU-1 wiring diagramThis is the wiring diagram for the analog side of things with the wires from each sender going into the EMU-1.
PXL_20220327_122546988Which 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!

PXL_20220326_141034339.MPAnother 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.
PXL_20220326_141058011In 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.
PXL_20220326_141122496.MPNot 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.

Thanks!

Wayne