In last week’s “Toasty Tootsies” post I went over the way our In Floor Heating system works and concluded my explanation with what I thought was a rhetorical question;
“Brilliantly simple don’t you think??!!
Well, based on the number of comments and Emails I received, while our In Floor Heating system might indeed be “Brilliantly Simple” my explanation was NOT! Therefore, let me try and mend this by revisiting our In Floor Heating and do my best to improve my explanation of how this Open Direct type of system works. If I’m successful I think that most of you will come to agree with my assessment that this Open Direct system is indeed “Brilliantly Simple”!
But you will be the judge of that and so Please do add your comments as to how well this second attempt helps you to understand how our In Floor and Domestic Hot Water systems work and don’t hesitate to add your additional questions and things that still don’t make sense to you.
OK, here is my second attempt to show how this all works;
Deeper Dive into our Open Direct System;
One of the Emails I received, (thanks Benjamin), asked the following set of questions that included many of the points of confusion others sent me so I thought I’d use this to frame this expanded explanation of the Open Direct system I used to design our In Floor Heating or IFH and Domestic Hot Water or DHW System.
If I understood your installation diagram correctly, you run the drinking water through the same pipes as the water for the underfloor heating. Drinking water and “heating water” are identical, or not installed separately. First of all, this is economical because you one water circuit less. But I have a question about summer operation: drinking water and heating are usually installed separately, because in summer mode
you want to avoid hot water flowing through the heating system, and
the water should not stand still in parts of the circuit for a longer period of time to prevent the formation of legionella.
You can probably avoid point a. with valves that separate the entire heating circuit from the drinking water circuit in summer. But if the heating circuit is not flushed for several months during summer operation, legionella can form and then be flushed into the drinking water circuit when the heating system is put into operation. How do you avoid this? Is the underfloor heating completely drained during summer operation modus?
Thank you very much for further information!
First, let me try to resolve some common sources of misunderstanding that Benjamin and many of you mentioned;
I should have emphasized more how the various parts of our overall water systems are separated from each other. In last week’s post I mostly left out the Cold or “drinking” water system so it needs to be understood that this has its own set of plumbing and ALL the water we drink and cook with comes directly from the water tanks to the cold water taps/showers onboard. All the water in our water tanks comes directly from the onboard watermaker so it is as clean and close to pure H2O as is possible.
One of the things that seems to confuse many people at first is to understand that there are only TWO conditions that causes water to FLOW in a plumbing system:
The regular water pressure in the system causes water to flow IF and ONLY IF water is being REMOVED from the system.
There is a continuous circulation loop with its own PUMP that causes water to flow round and round through the CIRCULATION loop.
When neither 1 or 2 is true, there is NO FLOW of water through the plumbing.
The Hot/Warm systems are the ones based on the Open/Direct system on Möbius and this has TWO different but interconnected systems:
The In Floor Heating Mode which provides WARM water to heat floors when wanted.
The DHW Domestic Hot Water Mode which provides HOT water to all the sinks and showers at all times.
I have modified the following illustrations from last week’s post to show a clearer picture of how these two systems work.
When no Hot water tap is open there is NO Cold water entering the system. However, when one of the In Floor thermostats turns on a Zone Circulation Pump, warm water then flows out of the Calorifier, through the in floor PEX tubing and back into the Calorifier. This is a continuous loop so warm water is flowing through the floor tubing anytime the circulation pump is running.
The DHW system always takes priority so whenever a Hot water tap is opened, the system works like this in DHW Mode. When any HOT water outlet at a sink or shower is opened, the regular pressure in the Cold water system which runs about 60 PSI, causes Cold water to enter and flow through the PEX tubing in the floors to refill the hot water that has been removed from the Calorifier. When the Hot water tap is closed the system automatically reverts back to In Floor Heating Mode and the Circulation Pump causes Warm water to circulate though the floor and keep it toasty warm. To answer another question I received and as should now make sense, we do not actually “drink” water going through the DHW or In Floor Heating, though there would be no problems if we did.
It can initially be a bit confusing because when Hot water is consumed (taken out of the Calorifier by turning on the hot water at a sink or shower) and the system is in DHW mode as per above, it is necessary to replace the water that has been removed from the Calorifier so Cold “drinking water” does enter the DHW system. This is exactly the same as in ANY home or other setup with a Water Heater or Calorifier; when Hot water is taken out, it must be replaced with water from the Cold water supply.
In operation this works extremely well and does so automatically by design. Anytime Hot water is wanted, the Open Direct system ensures that this takes priority and Hot water flows from the Calorifier to the tap or shower as long as it is open. As soon as you close that tap and are no longer needing Hot water, the system reverts to In Floor Heating Mode.
Summer vs Winter:
The difference between Summer and Winter is that in Summer/hot weather when the In Floor Heating is turned off, the IFH Circulation pumps never turn on so no water is flowing through the floor UNTIL a Hot Water tap is opened. Said another way, the ONLY time water is flowing through the floor PEX is when the system is in DHW Mode because a Hot water tap has been turned on. The rest of the time, there is NO water flowing through the floor tubes.
This turns out to be part of the “brilliance” of this type of system in my opinion because the design ensures that the In Floor Heating automatically adapts to whatever the weather is. HOT water ONLY flows through the floors when it is needed and the circulation pumps turn on in colder weather. NO hot water flows through the floors in warmer weather because the circulation pumps never turn on.
This sets up the ideal system as it ensures that the water in the PEX tubing is always being refreshed and is never standing still for any length of time.
Better yet, in hot weather, when you are using DHW and there is water flowing through the floor tubes, it is absorbing some of the heat in the room or from sun shining on the floors and so that by the time the water gets to the Calorifier, it is now a bit warmer so you save energy in the Calorifier because the replacement water has already been warmed up and does not take as much energy to heat up to whatever temperature you have sent the Calorifier to maintain.
Once this all makes sense I think you too will see just how “brilliantly simple” this Open Direct system is. It is completely automatic, no valves or switches to change, no need to drain the system or do anything else other than keep using everything on the boat/house as you always have.
Trust me, it does take a while to figure this type of system out. It is one of those things where it is very simple but ONLY after you understand it! To begin with, it can be VERY confusing! My suggestion, and what I used to do a lot of, is to draw out a schematic for yourself and trace the flow of water in the different scenarios from summer to winter and from In Floor Heat Mode to DHW mode and I think you will quickly see how it works.
Hope this helps and if it still doesn’t make sense just send me additional questions in the “Join the Discussion” box below to let me know what’s confusing or not making sense and I will do my best to answer them all as quickly as possible or in next week’s post.
Thanks for your patience with this not always so clear ex teacher!
Welcome to this first Möbius Update post of 2022! I hope you have 2022 off to a great start already as we work to do the same here aboard the Good Ship Möbius. I am slowly warming up to getting back to weekly blog posts here so thanks very much for your patience in waiting for this first one of the new year. I’ve been warming up particularly well now that I have the in floor heating all working which I think may well be Captain Christine’s favorite feature so far.
And apparently she’s not the only one as Ruby & Barney have discovered how well the in floor heating heats up their little doggie beds.
With the weather getting colder since our return at the beginning of December from our 2 months back in Canada and the USA, I’ve been mostly working on getting all the Domestic Hot Water or DHW systems fully operational and all the various bugs worked out. I’ve received a number of questions about how our DHW system works and what components we have installed and a lot of interest in the in-floor heating system we’ve installed and that’s what Ill do my best to cover here in this week’s update.
Domestic Hot Water System
Our DHW system is pretty straight forward so let me cover that first.
There are just three basic components of the DHW System: Kabola KB45 Ecoline Combi diesel fired water heater/boiler
IsoTemp 75L Calorifier
with 3 internal heat exchangers
Hot Water circulation Loop that runs around the circumference of the boat
The Kabola is the primary heating source for the whole DHW system as it is eXtremely efficient, quiet and very trouble free.
Ours is the “Combi” model which means that it has two separate heating loops inside. The primary loop heats up the water in the IsoTherm Calorifier which holds all the DHW for the boat and the other loop heats up the fluid going to the four air handlers which can heat the air in each cabin if needed. This view of the back of the Kabola shows the primary boiler loop Supply/Return connections at #1 & #2 and then the secondary loop flows in/out of #5 & 6. The Primary loop has a built in circulation pump that constantly circulates the antifreeze/water fluid and a thermostat turns the burner on/off to keep the fluid at whatever temperature you set.
The secondary “Combi” loop has an external circulation pump that is part of the Webasto AirCon/Heating system.
I’ve removed the front of the burner to show you how the internal heat exchangers work. The large black tank you see on the Left contains all the antifreeze/water fluid and the diesel burner is inside the Grey tube on the Right.
The larger diameter tubes/holes on the top are the secondary loop and the larger number on the bottom are the primary heating loop. The Kabola is super simple to operate, just turn it on, set the thermostat to be whatever degrees you want the internal fluid inside the boiler to maintain and then pretty much forget it. When the fluid temp goes down the burner automatically fires up, heats the water a bit past the set temp and then shuts off. Could not be simpler or more efficient. Now let’s follow where the heated fluid as it leaves the Kabola and flows over to the heat exchanger loop inside the Calorifier.
This cutaway view shows how our IsoTherm Calorifier is similarly multi purposed with three different sources of heat to keep our DHW nice and hot. There are two loops of SS pipes on the bottom here, one which has the fluid from the Kabola flowing in/out of it and the other loop a similar antifreeze/water fluid flowing through from the Gardner engine’s “cooling” system. The top most loop is a 240V electric heating element that we can use if needed.
All SS construction and the outside never even gets warm so the heavy insulation has been working very well and the Kabola does not need to fire up very often to keep the water nice and hot all the time.
Turning the Calorifier above around and looking at the outside this sketch shows the three pairs of In/Out connections; one for the hot fluid from the Kabola, one for the hot fluid from the Gardner (when it is running) and then the Cold Fresh Water In and DHW Out. The end of the Calorifier in the illustration above is under my hand and if you look closely (click to enlarge any photo) you can see a Yellow ring labelled “Engine Water” on the far Right and a White ring on the Left labelled “Kabola White” On the top Right the Red Label marks where the Hot Water comes out through the black wrapped insulated pipes which are split into one line going to the DHW loop and the other with the bottom Left Mixing Valve going to the In Floor Heating loops. Closer view of the adjustable Mixing Valve which controls the temperature of the water going out to the In Floor Heating system which wants warm not Hot water, usually about 55C/131F whereas the DHW runs about 65C/150F. To make sure there is always hot water ready to come out of each sink and shower, the DHW flows around the whole boat in a continuous loop of insulated pipe. In this schematic the DHW loop is on the Right hand side and the In/Out to the In Floor Heating is on the Left.
I will get back to the In Floor Heating a bit later below but the key point to keep in mind is that the In Floor Heating is all part of the same DHW system.
To keep the DHW flowing through the hot water loop feeding each tap and shower, this magnetically coupled impeller pump is very small, about the size of your fist and is highly efficiency with very low power consumption and absolutely silent.
We now have very hot water readily available at every tap and shower onboard and we are both eXtremely pleased with how well the whole DHW system has been working.
In-Floor Heating or IFH
Winters here in southern Turkey are rather mild compared to many locations with lows down to 8C/46F a few nights and day time highs as much as 20C/68F but winter is also when we get rainy days and so can get chilly and so the real star of our DHW system the past while has been having nice warm floors throughout the boat to keep us toasty warm.
It has taken me some time to get it all adjusted and working properly but it is now running flawlessly and silently so let me walk you through how this system works.
As with the DHW system above, the In Floor Heating or IFH is a very simple system with the following main components:
An Azel I-Link controller with three thermostats for each IFH zone on the boat, one in each cabin and one in the SuperSalon. A pair of SS manifolds, top Red one where the Warm water (about 50C/122F coming in at the top and then the Returning slightly cooler water exiting out the bottom Blue manifold. Each of the I-Link thermostats controls one of these Taco 3 speed 1/25HP circulation pumps which circulates the fresh DHW water from the Calorifier through the PEX tubing that runs in loops underneath all our floors as needed to keep our tootsies nice and warm. We worked out these serpentine patterns of PEX tubing in each of the three Zones to provide an even distribution of heat wherever there were bare floors and not under the built in furniture. This is in the Master Cabin; Head/shower lower Left, bed center Right. This is how the PEX tubing was laid down before the 10mm marine plywood floors were installed. Serpentine grooves were cut into the foam with a router. Foil tape was set into the groove in the foam and then the 15mm PEX tubing was press fit into the groove. Here is how it looked in the forward end of the SuperSalon.
Let’s take a minute to walk through a brief explanation of how the In Floor Heating system works.
For our IFH system I decided to use what is called the “Open Direct” style as it is incredibly simple and efficient. OPEN in this case refers to the fact that the IFH system is “open” to the same DHW that we use onboard for sinks and showers. A “closed” system would be like the loops of antifreeze/water that the Kabola uses to heat up the water in the Calorifier.
DIRECT refers to the fact that the fresh warm water flowing through the PEX tubing is heating the floors directly, not through a heat exchanger like those in the Calorifier. This simple schematic adds the details of how the IFH portion of our DHW system works. Warm water coming out of the Calorifier via the mixing valve is pumped on demand through the PEX tubing in the floors by the Taco circulation pumps. Part of the simple brilliance of an Open Direct system is that the DHW always takes precedence so anytime you turn on a hot water tap or the shower, hot water is diverted to them until shut of when the warm water returns to circulate through the floors as needed. Huh? How does THAT work you ask? The following two illustrations should help make sense of this very simple but initially a bit confusing system works.
This is In Floor Heating Mode that happens whenever the thermostat for this IFH Zone turns the circulation pump ON and warm DHW is pumped through the under floor PEX tubing in that zone and then returned back to the Calorifier (Water Heater). Keep in mind that even though the whole DHW system is pressurized to about 4 Bar/60 PSI in this mode the ONLY way water flows is IF the circulation pump is running. Even though it is available, Cold water cannot enter the system when the pump comes on unless someone is taking hot water out of the system by taking a shower, doing dishes, etc..
When a Hot water tap is opened then the pressure drops and the system reverts to this DHW Mode and Hot water flows out of the Calorifier (Water Heater) to the HW tap and Cold water flows into the system to replace it.
The cold water goes through heating tubes within the floor on its way to the water heater. This flow pattern provides limited free cooling and other benefits. Stagnation is prevented and priority is given to the domestic hot water use over the space heating use. A small amount of free cooling is realized in the summer.
Note that NO additional equipment, parts or power is needed to make these two modes work automatically.
Brilliantly simple don’t you think??!!
I found these beautiful SS manifolds on Amazon for a great price and they made the whole plumbing of the system very straightforward to install and control. Red handled ball valve top Left is where the warm water from the Calorifier flows INTO the system and is made available to each of the three Red Flow Control Meters/Valves and into the PEX fittings on the bottom.
Cooler water from each continuous PEX loop flows into the bottom three fittings, each with the White capped control valve and then OUT the Blue ball valve and back to the Calorifier. Each continuous loop of PEX in a zone has one of these Red Flow Meters that you adjust to get the correct flow rate, which is about 1-1.5 L/min for our zones. Each ball valve has a temp gauge so you can check the differential of the water temp coming IN and how much it drops going OUT. Ideal is about 50C/122F coming in and 40C/104 going OUT and you adjust this via the Mixing Valve on the Calorifier. Here is what the whole IFH manifold looks like when assembled and installed with the three Taco circulation pumps.
These Taco pumps are pretty much bullet proof and are miserly power consumers as they are very small 1/25HP AC motors. The Taco pumps are absolutely silent and can be run at one of three speed settings to get you the flow you want. They are also dead quiet and you can only tell they are running by watching the flow meters. This Azel I-Link controller is the brains of the IFH system and takes its orders from one of the three thermostats conveniently located in each Zone. Each thermostat is very easy to adjust and provides a full set of information of room temp, floor temp, when the “heating mode” or pumps are on, etc.. Here is what one looks like in operation today. Room temp is 22.3C/72F, Set Point is 24C, floor temp is 49C. Each Zone has one of these little temperature sensors installed which connects to the thermostat of that Zone so it and the controller knows when to turn the circulation pump Off/On. The main control box of the I-Link system is carefully tucked away into a small alcove in the Ship’s Office where it is well protected but easily viewed by opening the cupboard door. Red lights on the far Right indicate when one of the 3 zones is working (pump on).
And that is it! Just like the Kabola boiler, this is a “set it and forget it” system and has been working flawlessly and very easy to adjust as we learned what temps we liked in each zone.
You have to experience it to understand just how fabulous Toasty Tootsies are when the weather turns colder outside!
And that’s a wrap for this week, the first blog and Möbius Update of 2022 is done and dusted!
Hope you enjoyed it and please be sure to tell me if you did or didn’t and add any other questions in the “Join the Discussion” box below.
I’ll do my best to be back again next weekend with another Möbius Update for you and thanks again for your patience in waiting for this one to go live.
Moving is the theme for this week, and more next week all of which is a VERY good thing! Albeit eXtremely short trips, literally a couple of hundred yards each, they still represent movement both progress wise and boat wise so it is all good. When I left you last week we had just moved onto one of the many brand new concrete docks not far from the infamous “end wall” dock inside the Free Zone Harbour where we have tied up several times in the past few months since we splashed on Feb. 20th but they had another big cargo ship coming into the port here so all of us tied up on the end wall needed to move to other locations so the Big Guys could come and go. I’ll show you more of that in a moment.
The other even more eXciting moves, yes plural, are hopefullly happening this coming week. On Tuesday we will be moving Möbius out of the Free Zone harbour for the last time and taking her around the corner to Setur Marina where she will officially begin her life as XPM78-01 Möbius. Not sure how long we will be there, basically as long as it takes for Christine and I to get her fully seaworthy and ready to cut the dock lines and head out to sea. I will chronicle all of that here in future weekly Progress Updates so you will get to see what all is involved as it happens.
But WAIT! There’s MORE!!! What could possibly top having Möbius start her own life with us? Easy, because the other big “move” which I am even more eXcited about is that my Beautiful Bride, aka Captain Christine flies back into my arms on Thursday night! She’s been away in Florida having a whirlwind of a time with all her family and friends back there in the Fort Lauderdale area and especially enjoying her much needed Gramma time with our grandson Liam. So it’s been great for her to get away from this non-stop boat work, and even more so jettison out of “Wayne’s World” for two weeks but I miss her terribly and can’t wait to meet her coming out the exit doors at AYT, Antalya Intnl Airport on Thursday.
And as you can see, I’m not the only one who has been missing the Captain.
For those who may not have met them yet, Ruby the Wonderdog is the mass of Black curls on the Left and Barney, aka The Barnes, our Yorkshire Terror at her side. Other than the past 3 years while we’ve been dirt dwellers during the build of Möbius, both of these guys have spent all their lives on boats, and a fair number of planes, trains and automobiles. 14 years worth for Ruby and 9 for Barney so they have a LOT of miles under their paws and more to come soon.
So it is easy to see why “moving” is the theme this week and next and now let’s move on to Showing & Telling you more about all the moves and other progress here on the Good Ship Möbius during the week that was April 19-23, 2021.
As with most posts for the past two months, the primary activity aboard Möbius is the commissioning of all the many bits of kit that make up our many systems. Not too eXciting to watch quite frankly but eXtremely important to do and get everything right, working and tested. Sometimes we do this virtually, with the technician from the manufacturer coming aboard via the internet and truly eXciting scenes like this one! Ismail, our electrician, and I are talking with Alex from Victron who is in his office in Istanbul and we have him patched in via a shared desktop on my laptop on the Left which is in turn connected by ethernet cable to the Victron network aboard Möbius, and via WhatsApp on my smaller computer for text and voice. Together we are able to run and test all the Victron equipment such as the 5 MultiPlus Inverter/Chargers, Isolation Transformer, MPPT controllers and so on. Took us about 5 hours but we were able to get everything configured and they are now all good to go.
Similar virtual commissioning going on with our Kabola KB45 diesel boiler, though it was not so cooperative and we still have more to do to finish the commissioning and testing so we can finally have hot water aboard! Part of the remaining work with the Kabola is getting this Grundfos Alpha2 circulation pump installed, filled with antifreeze solution and bled. This circulates the hot water for one of the heat exchangers which transfer their heat to our domestic hot water. Commissioning also often involves some good Houdini skills such as Ismail up on top is demonstrating as they try to get the Kabola lifted up and put into it AL frame bolted to the Workshop shelf it lives on.
Mr. Gee gits ‘er dun!
While he is ailing and I have not had a spare moment to investigate the cause of his sudden loss of oil pressure on the first sea trials a few weeks ago, Mr. Gee was able to power the move here within the Free Zone harbour with no problem.
This was Mr. Gee’s oil pressure at start-up, right around 30 PSI, which for a Gardner is not much below the 38 PSI he normally runs at, however as the oil warms up it drops down to around 20 PSI so there is definately something very wrong that I need to get to the bottom of as soon as we are over in Setur Marina and I can make the time to start digging into the source of the problem. Unfortunately I am relatively certain that I know what the problem is and it is not good news nor a quick fix. But I will leave all that until I have time to find out for sure what’s going on which means a significant dismantling I’m sure. Stay tuned for more on all that starting next week.
New Neighbors and Neighborhood
You may recall seeing this birds eye view from the last move we did from Setur over to the Free Zone harbour and this aerial view of the Free Zone Harbour on the bottom Left and Setur Marina on the bottom Right will give you a bester sense of the move this week.
Last week were at position #1 on the End Dock Wall and this week we are now back over at position #2 where we were about a month ago.
Next week’s move has us going from #2 over to #3 in Setur although we don’t know just where we will be in Setur just yet. We are Med Moored in our new home this week, which means there are lines off our Bow as you can see here, which extend out to a massive weight at the bottom of the harbour with all these lines firmly attached. On your way in, you pick up the float that is on the end of one of these lines and bring it aboard while you back down with your stern to the dock. Like this. It takes a bit of getting used to this style of docking but the key advantage, at least to the marina, is that each boat only takes up its width on the dock rather than its length if you were to be side tied. So you can have a LOT more boats docked on any given length of dock. This is the norm in the Mediterranean and hence the name Med Mooring. If you look closely at the bottom of this photo you will see how we are able to use our swim ladder for a passerelle or “gang plank” for getting on/off the boat. You can’t really see it but there are massive black rubber fenders or bumpers all along the edge of the concrete dock and that’s what the end of the now horizontal swim ladder rests on. Works well and makes getting on/off the boat quite quick and easy. This is our new Starboard side neighbor, a brand new Bering 77 “Veronika” which just launched. There was some good press coverage of the launch that you can see HERE if you’re interested in knowing more. If this boat looks vaguely familiar, there is a good reason for that as you saw this boat two weeks ago when I was showing you the “Launch Fest” going on here when the new 560 Ton TraveLift started working after more then 4 months with no launching capabilities here. Based on hull length, Veronika is just one foot less than Möbius at 78 feet, however these shots are a great example of how length of any boat tells you so very little about the boat itself or provides any real comparison. This is a much more traditional “Trawler” and so you can perhaps understand why I hesitate when people ask me if an XPM such as our XPM78-01 Möbius is a Trawler?
For a quick comparison, Veronika’s basic measurements first followed by those of Möbius:
Displacement: 165 metric tons vs Möbius’ 45
Beam: 7.3m/24 ft vs 5.0m/16.4 ft
Cruise Speed: 8 kts vs 10-11 kts
Range: 4000nm vs 8000
Accommodation: 6cabins, 6heads + up to 4crew vs Möbius 2cabins, 2 heads and no crew thanks very much.
Take a moment to study the differences between Möbius and Veronika and you will quickly see that other than being about the same length, they share almost nothing else in comparison.
You can find the whole set of specs on the Bering 77 HERE if you’d like to learn more and see more photos. Just so we are clear, it is not a question of which one is “best”, they both are, just depends on your use cases and taste. There’s a boat out there for everyone and every use case. We are just SO eXcited that thanks to Dennis at Artnautica and everyone at Naval Yachts we now have our Goldilocks Just Right, Just for Us, boat! And that’s a wrap for this past week folks. Lots of activity, just not much visual results to show you but hope you continue to enjoy coming along on this ride with us and that you will be back again for more next week.
In the meantime, please do leave any and all questions and comments in the “Join the Discussion” box below. While I am atrociously behind in responding to your most recent comments, they add a HUGE value to this blog and for Christine and myself and I am eXtremely appreciative of each one so thanks for that!
The weather here in Antalya has continued to be absolutely spectacular with a daytime high on Thursday of 22C/72F! We did have some strong winds for 2 days this past week but they only served to make the views even more awemazing as they made the air crystal clear and the views of our surrounding snow capped mountains and the Mediterranean just popped visually and keeps smiles on our faces all day long and then the night sky has been just as brilliant.
While it was another eXtremely busy 24/7 week for all of us on Team Möbius there isn’t as much for this week’s Show & Tell as much of our work has been troubleshooting and commissioning of systems which doesn’t get captured too well by a camera. We are also still working our way through a number of veXing system installation and commissioning issues including controls for our steering, throttle and CPP Pitch and so Möbius is not yet able to move under her own power and so the first of many sea trials is yet to happen but hopefully this coming week.
Nevertheless there is still lots of progress to share with you and so let’s just dive right and catch up on all the progress that happened this past week of 8-13 March, 2021.
More Lovely Days in the Neighborhood
We continue to be delighted and entertained by the new neighborhood we have been floating in on the end concrete wall of the harbour inside the Free Zone. However yesterday they towed us off the end wall and moved us over to one of the side walls of the harbour and put us right in front of this Green Monster “Aqua Helix”.
with a LOA of 24m and Beam of 5m we thought Möbius was long and skinny with a Length to Beam ratio of 4.8. But as you can see by this bow on shot, we don’t hold a candle to this little green fella which was built by the Damen boatyard beside us sporting a LOA of 73.4m and Beam of 11m which works out to a L/B ratio of 6.67. You can check out all the numbers and details on this FCS 7011 Crew Transfer vessel “Aqua Helix” HERE on this very well done overview from Damen Shipyards.
Captain Christine has made sure that we are comfortably clear of our very nearby new neighbor as we get an up close and personal chance to get to know this amazing boat.
* As per the brochure I linked to above, Aqua Helix is a Crew Transfer boat for wind and solar farms as well as oil drilling rigs and other situations where there are people living and working miles off shore and often in very nasty weather conditions year round.
A very different look from the sides and if you check out the brochure you will find lots of photos of the interior which is more reminiscent of an airplane or fancy ferry with seats that have built in TV access and fully recline while you zip your way at up to 40 knots out to your place of work out on the high seas. And on our opposite Starboard side we are even more friendly with this little Red & White catamaran, also built here in the Antalya Free Zone by Damen Shipyards. With her “twin axe bows”, mv Allegro is a bit different design than Aqua Helix but also a “Fast Crew Supplier” and all three of us share many similar overall attributes so it is great fun to be sandwiched between these two family relations. Earlier in the week, “Allegro” had docked right in front of us on the end wall but we both moved over to the other side of the harbour yesterday because there was a large cargo ship coming in that needed the entire end wall where we have been docked for the past 3 weeks. You can read all about Allegro HERE and when she is all finished she will head over to her new home in Germany.
Möbius is now rafted up and tied to Allegro for what we think will be the next few days but all subject to change without notice.
A you can see here looking over to our new neighborhood sandwiched between Allegro and Aqua Helix, It was a very short trip across the harbour and so our move was all done in short order. Continuing with the international theme of neighbors from different countries, we also had our first visitors aboard Möbius since she splashed when Wade and Diane drove up from Antalya for a day trip to come see us again now that we were in the water. Wade and Diane are fellow Canadians and cruisers who we met and visited on their boat sv Joana which is in the marina about 50nm east of us in Alanya. They sailed up the Red Sea last year and are spending the next year or more exploring the gorgeous coastlines of Turkey so we hope to be able to anchor with them in the next month or so. They drove up with another couple of cruisers, Erik and Pam who are also in the marina at Alanya beside Wade & Diane and we had a fun time taking them on a guided tour of Möbius and then out for a lovely lunch at a nearby restaurant right on the Med.
Möbius is Officially Flagged in the Bailiwick of Jersey!
Here is the photo I promised you last week with the Workshop door closed so you can see all of the newly mounted aluminium lettering of Möbius name and Port of Jersey. Even better, Uğur and Nihat kindly fabricated and mounted this removable AL flagpole!
They no sooner had it bolted in place when Captain Christine jumped at the chance to do the very first flag raising and signal that we are now officially part of REG or the Red Ensign Group and are very eXcited about voyaging proudly under this commonwealth flag. Here is a shot looking aft at our previous neighbors, these 23m Police boats heading over to Oman when they are all finished. While their mission is drastically different than ours, construction and systems wise we are all very much from the same family of boats.
As you can see, this photo was taken at the beginning of the week when we were back in our previous neighborhood on the end wall.
One very welcomed bit of progress this past week was seeing these White beauties come aboard and get installed.
Can you guess what these are? Probably not too hard a question for most of you who have been following for a long time, (or those who just read the sub title!) but yes, these are the wood liners for the three hatches in the Workshop such as this one which is way up high in the Doghouse over the entryway from the Swim Platform into the Workshop. I have been busier than a one armed wallpaper hangar as my Dad used to say so I will have to get you more photos when the finish these hatches next week but you can see how these wood liners slide snuggly up into the awaiting aluminium frames of the hatches welded into the deck. For those wondering, the odd shaped slots cut into the liners are to allow the tangs on the aluminium hatch handles to reach in to the aluminium blocks bolted to the inside of the frame sides. I will get better photos for you next week and show you how these hatches and latches I designed for Möbius actually work but you can get a good idea I think from this shot looking up at the two hatch handles up on the top end on this smaller 45cm x 45cm or 18 inch square hatch.
One of the big jobs upon launching a new boat is what is referred to as the “Commissioning” stage where of all the many systems that have been installed onboard are setup, adjusted, configured and tested. As you can see here in the midst of us commissioning our Kabola KB45 Ecoline “Combi” diesel boiler it isn’t always “pretty” as we track down all the bugs and gremlins which show up at this stage of starting up all these systems for the very first time. For the bigger systems such as the Kabola diesel boiler we bring in a factory authorized technician to do all the initial adjustments of commissioning and this is Ali Polat from Kalender Services adjusting the fuel pressure on the Kabola. Commissioning of some of the more complex systems require very special servicing equipment such as this gas analyzer that Ali connected to set the CO and CO2 levels in the exhaust to get them to their Goldilocks settings for perfect combustion and fuel economy.
Ali ran into some problems finishing this today (Sunday) and had to fly back to Istanbul this afternoon so he has left the gas analyzer with me and I will get online with the technicians at Kobelt HQ in the Netherlands and complete the commissioning of the Kabola.
This Kabola diesel boiler will be our primary source of all hot water applications onboard XPM78-01 Möbius providing the just right temperature water to not only our DHW or Domestic Hot Water for showers and sinks, but also heated water for our in-floor heating and the Heat side of our HVAC or Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning system where it will heat up the interior air by blowing it across little radiators inside the four heat exchanger fan coils in our three Cabins.
These new Ecoline Kabola boilers have reached the pinnacle of efficiency fuel economy and emissions wise but they are also built like tanks and as you know by now, that “Beauty and the Beast” combination always gets my attention and business. This shot of the insides of the boiler assembly itself will give you a bit of an example of this. The grey tube on the far Right is where the diesel injector lies and burns with a totally blue flame and then all the hot air circulates through all the pipes you see here with the heating fluid captured inside as part of the closed loop between the boiler and the Calorifier that holds all our hot water for DHW, in-floor heating and hot air heating. Another inner workings shot for you of the Left side of the Kabola where the waterworks all happen. The heating fluid circulation pump is the Silver/Black item in the far lower Right and the Copper and SS tubing route the fluid (water and antifreeze) though the two separate coils of heat exchangers inside the Kabola with the upper primary one providing the heat inside the Calorifier and the secondary lower one providing the hot water for the Webasto fan coils inside each Cabin for backup interior heat. In spite of all the other demands on my time I was able to carve out enough to get the Media or “sand” filter set up and filled. This is the very first filter that the sea water goes through on its way to the Delvin 200 liter/hr watermaker and these things are truly awemazing in terms of their filtration capabilities. Even as “just” a regular sand filter such as those used in most swimming pools these are incredible filters but I give this filter some superpowers by using Zeolite in place of regular silicone sand. If this is new to you and you’re interested in knowing more, here is the Zeolite product description that does a good job of describing the properties and capabilities of Zeolite;
What Is ZeoSand? ZeoSand is a high purity natural zeolite that has a unique three dimensional honeycomb structure. Natural zeolites were formed millions of years ago by alkaline salt water altering volcanic ash. ZeoSand is a new type zeolite that has a huge surface area and a natural ammonium ion trapping capacity. The same natural zeolite in ZeoSand is also used as a soil amendment and feed additive.
Why Does ZeoSand Give Superior Clarity? The sandpaper rough surface has 1 to 15 micron pore spaces that trap smaller particles than sand; thus, water clarity is improved. A cubic foot of ZeoSand has the surface area of 100 football fields – 100 times greater than sand. ZeoSand’s huge surface area holds more dirt than sand; therefore, the time between backwashes can be increased. How Does ZeoSand Control Chloramines? ZeoSand traps and holds ammonium ions through a molecular sieving or water softening action. Sand does not trap ammonium ions. Less ammonia means reduced eye-burning chloramines. Since chloramines are lower, chemical shock treatments are not needed as often. A twenty five pound bag of ZeoSand will trap about half a pound of ammonium ions. How Is ZeoSand Used? Typically, one 25 pound bag of ZeoSand replaces a 50 pound bag of sand. ZeoSand weighs 55 pounds per cubic foot compared to sand that weighs 100 pounds per cubic foot. To install, remove all of the sand from the filter, and repair any damaged parts. Fill the filter half way with water and slowly pour the ZeoSand into the filter. Backwash until the backwash water is clear; this will take several minutes. Turn the filter off for two minutes and let the ZeoSand settle. Backwash for an additional two minutes, and check to be sure the backwash water is clear. If the backwash water is clear, turn the multiport valve to filter and start the pump. How Long Does ZeoSand Last? Under normal conditions, ZeoSand will need to be replaced about as often as sand. After filter use, ZeoSand may be added to your garden or potted plants as a soil conditioner. ZeoSand may be discarded as a non hazardous waste
See what I mean?
As you can see in the photo above I first put in a layer of 1/2 – 3/4” crushed rock which covered these six Black intake bodies which sit on the very bottom of the Blue filter body which is where the filtered salt water goes up to the top of the filter into the 6-way valve, and then poured in about 20kg of Zeolite “sand” to fill up the rest of this blue filter body. Then I followed the instructions you see here to fully rinse and clean out the initial filling of Zeolite prior to using it to filter the sea water going into the Watermaker. Many of you will recognize this 6-way valve on top of the Blue Zeolite/sand filter and it makes it easy for me to change from filtering to back flushing the Zeolite every few months to remove all the little nasties that the Zeolite has removed and send them all back out to sea and make live eXtremely easy for the other two finer paper filters on our watermaker so that they last up to a year rather than just a few weeks.
Can you guess what these Black rubber beauties are for? Correct! These are the Fenders that wrap around the upper edge of our 6m AL Tender. Our Tender is as much of a “working boat” as is Möbius and as I’ve outlined in several previous posts our Tender will be part “tug boat” and be able to push/pull Möbius if ever neccessary or enable us to assist other boats that get themselves into difficult situations or need towing. Therefore we wanted to have an eXtremely strong and yet flexible fender system the same as proper tug boats have and that’s what you are seeing here. Indeed we ordered these from a Turkish company that specializes in manufacturing these rubber beauties for boats up to 200 meters as well as the fenders you see in commercial ports and docks. I ordered the larger ones in the photo above, which are about 200mm/8” tall to wrap around the whole top edge of the Tender and then these smaller ones you see here which are about 120mm/5” While the rubber is relatively hard, the hollow construction makes these 1.5 meter / 60” lengths quite flexible and so the technique that Uğur and I worked out was to start up at the bow and clamp the first length centered on the flat section of the bow and then bend it around the corners to run down both sides. On commercial tug boats they use the holes you see going through these rubber fenders to bolt the fenders to the hull. However, I have this obsession about not having ANY penetrations of my aluminium hulls and so instead, we used this Bostik industrial adhesive which the manufacturer recommended to glue the fenders directly to the AL hull. It worked like a charm!
We would start by sanding and scrubbing both the AL and the rubber surface where the fenders will be glued and then wiped them both clean with Acetone and then Uğur applied a generous bead of the Bostik adhesive. We went through all the shops at Naval and rounded up over 100 clamps and used these to clamp the rubber fenders to the AL hull surfaces. That first length of rubber fender that wrapped around the bow was the most challenging and then it was on to the much easier job of gluing the other 1.5m lengths down both sides.
Rinse and repeat! The butt joints where two fenders meet up were easy to do as we just put on a good bead of adhesive and then one of us would push them together tightly while the other set up the clamps to the hull. We cut some 10mm / 3/8” thick rubber to match the shape of the ends of each fender where they ended at the aft end to seal them off. We had both sides done in about 3 hours and …… ……. moved on to the smaller fenders to wrap around the Aft dive platform overtop of the Castoldi jet drive. This only took two lengths of rubber and it was an easy shape with a large radius corner on each side so this went quickly. Looking a bit like a porcupine but the fenders were all glued on and we just needed to wait for a few days for the adhesive to fully cure before taking off all those clamps. As you can see it was worth the wait! Having spent over a year all together designing this beauty, I am eXtremely happy with the way it has turned out and think it will be the Goldilocks Tender for Möbius. The combination of the swim platform and the rubber fenders keep the Castoldi 224DD jet drive eXtremely well protected. She looks all the part and very much the slightly smaller partner for her mothership Möbius don’t you think?
But WAIT!! There’s MORE!!!!!!!
I decided to double down on the TLC for our Tender and so once the fenders were all done I moved on to the last two bits to fully finish this mini Möbius.
First up was designing and building a pair of chocks that will hold the Tender securely in place on the Aft Deck when the Tender is onboard Möbius when we are underway and where we stow the Tender every night. Alaaddin, who we call our “Turkish Fixer” because he fixes all our problems and he was able to find a local carpenter who would build these teak chocks for us which started with this lovely plank. He soon had that plank all planed and cut into the individual pieces that make up this pair of chocks. All glued up now. A few days later the suitably happy Alaaddin delivered the finished chocks to me at the shipyard. And just like Cinderella’s slipper, the fit was Goldilocks perfect! And the Tender was ready for her maiden voyage, on land as she emerged from Naval Yachts and headed out into the sunshine for the first time.
But WAIT!! There’s still MORE!!!!!!!
More TLC for the Tender To Möbius
I meant it when I said that I was going to double down on the TLC doses for our Tender and so the second item was designing and making a nice Sunbrella cover made to protect her from the UV and rain when she is waiting for us on the Aft Deck. Naval has a very talented and very FAST upholstery craftsman and so I turned to Sinan to help me design and build this lovely cover and two days later he called me to come check it out!
Sinan and I decided to add one little extra feature with two of these grommeted tabs that we can pull up with small strings going up to the Davit above that will prevent rain from pooling in the middle of the large horizontal areas of the Tender cover.
And as I believe Porky the Pig used to say; “Th …. th ……th …..that’s all folks”!
I am one pooped pirate after yet another 7 day work week and it is another late Sunday night over here and posting this blog post is between me and dinner so I’ll sign off for now. Thank you all for following along and joining us on this journey that is nearing an end one of these days!
As always, even though I am woefully tardy in responding to many of your comments, PLEASE do add your comments, questions and suggests in the Join the Discussion box below and I hope you will be back again next Sunday for the latest Progress Update on Project Goldilocks, aka XPM78-01 Möbius
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!
Not as much progress as we would have wanted to report this week as many of Team Möbius were MIA working on other boats at Naval Yachts and also prepping one of the boats beside us for its Owner’s visit tomorrow.
However, that didn’t stop the rest of us from making good progress and we achieved several big milestones that we are very eXcited to share with you now. So get a good beverage and comfy chair of your choice and come along for this week’s Möbius.World Show & Tell.
The Captain & Mr. Gee Get Cranky!
Several years ago, when I was answering some of Christine’s typically probing questions about why Mr. Gee our Gardner 6LXB was the Goldilocks Just Right, Just for us Choice for the main (and only) engine in XPM78-01 Möbius, Christine likes to say “You had me at Hand Cranked”.
This is in reference to me mentioning that one of the Gardner’s many eXtremely appealing features is that they could be fitted with this Chain Hand Crank option.
As you can see, this kind of “crankiness” makes my Captain eXtremely happy which makes me eXXtremely happy!
Very KISSS Keep It Simple Smart Safe as you can see with a rod running along the top of of the engine with handles at both ends with an Upper Chainwheel that transfers the crank’s rotation via a Chain down to a Lower Chainwheel keyed onto the engines crankshaft. Michael and his team at Gardner Marine Diesel or GMD in Canterbury England were able to salvage all these parts off one of the many 6LXB’s they have in their inventory and sent them to me many months ago and I’ve been working on fitting them to Mr. Gee ever since.
You would think it would be a relatively quick and simple process to just clean and paint all these parts and install them on Mr. Gee …………………… but you’d be wrong! One problem was that Mr. Gee is one of the later models of 6LXB and it had this quite different Hand Crank with just one handle on the front of the engine and a different crankshaft and Chainwheel setup down on the new style crankshaft. Secondly, as you can see in this shot of the front support and Upper Chainwheel I’ve mounted onto Mr. Gee, there is no room up front for the Hand Crank handle, let alone enough room for me to get in there to crank it. So I needed to come up with a “Hybrid” Hand Crank setup that would allow me to marry the Old style with the Hand Crank Handle at the rear, to the new crankshaft end up front.
And just to put a particularly sharp point on this challenge, I also needed to drive the Jabsco Sea Water pump and one of our monster 250 Amp @24V Electrodyne alternators off the front of the crankshaft as well.
Let’s just say that the front of Mr. Gee became a very busy and challenging spot for me to sort out.
When I am doing this kind of problem solving and exploration of new design ideas I have evolved to using pieces of stiff cardboard I cut up from shipping boxes to capture the critical dimensions and sketch out my rough ideas. It is a surprisingly efficient system as I get to reuse the many cardboard boxes all our hundreds of shipments come in and the stiffness of the cardboard makes is very easy to sketch on when I’m laying under or over an engine for example with my digital Vernier calipers or tape measure in hand and recording all the critical dimensions. I then use Microsoft Office Lens utility on my Pixel4XL phone to digitize these sketches so I have a more permanent digital copy to keep and one I can print out if needed.
I don’t expect these to make much sense to anyone else but they work eXtremely well for me to record all these details and dimensions as I work my way through the different ways I come up with to solve a particular problem, create 3D models of them and ultimately machine or fabricate the parts I need and finally get them installed. After much head scratching and sketching, eventually this layout emerged as a way that I could fit both the RED Chain based Hand Crank system and the GREEN cogged timing belt system for driving the Electrodyne “Big Red #1” in the upper Right here and the Jabsco sea water pump on the far Left.
I will show you the Green cogged timing belt drive system next week and show you the Red chain based Hand Crank system now. With all the dimensions and my ideas roughed out on cardboard I then move over to Autodesk Fusion 360 to create a 3D model of all these parts where I can put my ideas to the test and see if they will actually work out. This is a quick screen grab of the model I came up with from the sketches you saw above. I won’t bore you with all the details but for orientation Mr. Gee is mostly off the screen on the far Right and the Red disk is the Lower Chainwheel on Mr. Gee’s Crankshaft running horizontally across the bottom of the screen. On the front side of this is the cogged pulley driving the rubber timing belt that goes up to the cogged wheel on the Jabsco sea water pump.
* Note: I didn’t bother to model the actual chain and sprocket teeth so you will have to imagine that being wrapped around the Red Chainwheel.
The Green and Blue disks on either side of the Red Chainwheel are two of several flanged parts I needed to machine for my Hybrid Old/New Gardner Hand Crank system.
Oh, and did I mention that the Old Gardner Hand Crank system used a different pitch of chain than the New style?
So I had GMD send me the Upper and Lower Chainwheels from the New style that would fit nicely on the New style of Crankshaft that Mr. Gee has but the third Idler Chainwheel (part #37 in the Gardner illustration up above) had to the the Old style Chain as it is part of the cast aluminium bracket that supports the Old style cranking shaft. FYI: Eventually I will design and machine a whole new Idler Chainwheel with the New style Chain pitch but for now I just mounted the Old Idler in my drill press and hand milled the teeth to get the New Chain to fit as you see here.
This is that Blue coloured Flange I pointed out AL in the rendering of the 3D Fusion 360 model above, which was quit easy to machine on a lathe out of solid aluminium round stock and then broach the keyway through the inner hole so it will be locked into the 3/8 x 3/8” key on the front end of the Crankshaft.
Now you can see how this newly machined AL Flange slides into the New style Lower Chainwheel which is now all sand blasted clean and painted Black.
All well and good but I’m sure that most of you are now asking “How the heck does this work to turn Mr. Gee’s Crankshaft Wayne?
That’s the job of the eXtra part you see here that rotates on a pin sticking out of the Chainwheel. This little part is the key to making the Hand Crank work and is called a “Ratcheting Pawl” part #3 in the Gardner Illustration above. I don’t have a milling machine (yet!), but to badly reuse The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, (for those of you old enough to remember) “We don’t need no stinkin’ milling machine” right?
Nothing that a bit of ingenuity and my handy dandy 45 year old drill press and shiny new vice can’t handle. I machined a short shaft to just fit inside the hole of AL bushing and tightened that in the vice jaws. This allowed me to slowly rotate the AL bushing into the 4 flute spiral milling cutter in my drill press so I could mill away the four recesses for the Pawl to fit into and ended up looking like this. So to Hand Crank Mr. Gee you simply reach down and rotate the Pawl counter clockwise so it engages in one of the four recesses like this.
Now when Christine turns that Hand Crank Handle on the Aft end of Mr. Gee as you see her doing in the opening photo, the Upper Chainwheel rotates the Chain CCW, which transfers that force down to the Lower Chainwheel which the Pawl has now locked to the Crankshaft and around goes Mr. Gee! This takes a good bit of muscle but with the compression relief levers keeping the intake valves open it isn’t too difficult to bring Mr. Gee’s massive flywheel up to speed and then you flip the compression levers back off and Mr. Gee chugs to life and begins to purrrrrr. Doesn’t get too much more KISSS or reliable than that!
Oh, and for those of you following all this, as Mr. Gee starts up you no longer need to turn the Hand Crank Handle and so the Pawl “ratchets” out of the recess back to this disengaged position such that the Chainwheel is now stationary while the AL Flange and Crankshaft spin together. To finish putting this all together, I machined a groove into the AL bushing for this spring steel circlip to fit into which keeps the Chainwheel aligned and spinning on the AL bushing. With the Lower Chainwheel assembled onto its new AL Flange, into the Engine Room I go and with a bit of TefGel 45 to help it slides just perfectly onto the keyed portion of the front end of the Crankshaft.
That modified Idler Chainwheel is in the upper Right here and it adjusts sideways in the slot you can see to the right of the Chain which you tighten down to keep the Chain Just Right Tight. Not much space in here so a bit difficult to photograph but hopefully you can now see how the whole Chain driven Hand Crank system works. And to come full circle, you now understand what put that great grin on my Beautiful Bride and Captain.
While we were cranking away on Mr. Gee, Hilmi and Ramazan were cranking away up in the SuperSalon so let’s go see what they have been up to this past week.
Ramazan has finished installing all the Ado LVT vinyl plank flooring and you may recall that Uğur, Nihat and I installed these two SS locking lift handles in the large hatch to access the Basement that is under the whole of the SuperSalon floor. Most of Ramazan’s masterfully laid down flooring is covered in protective cardboard but you can see how nicely he has fit the edges around the hatch so they are barely visible.
But what’s that I see over on the far Left here? Aha! Our 50” Samsung 4K SmarTV has arrived and will soon be mounted on a fully adjustable mounting system that fits into the recess in the now opened hinged and slotted Rosewood door.
But who’s that hiding behind that door? Of course! Hilmi and Christine are busy finishing up all the wiring for AC, DC, Ethernet and N2K that runs inside the large space behind the TV. This is also where our Boat Computer #1 will reside and Christine is anxious to start connecting it up and getting all our display screens up and running next week. While she waits for Hilmi to finish the wiring behind the 50” TV, Christine fired up Boat Computer #2 and started setting things up in the SkyBridge Helm Station. In the midst of all this, Sinan was back this week to start sewing up the Sunbrella covers like this one for that Upper Helm Station. He is also making a similar cover for the Upper Helm Chair and I will show you that next week.
Not a lot of progress on the Bottom Paint this week but they did get started on the 100mm / 4” Black Boot Stripe that makes the transition between the bare aluminium hull sides and the InterSleek 1100SR silicone Foul Release bottom paint which I have marked off for the painters here. The International Epoxy primer has now been on longer than the maximum recoat time so they needed to do a light sanding so that the International Perfection Polyurethane paint will adhere well. The laser level makes is SO must faster and easier to mark out perfectly straight and level lines for the masking tape to follow.
Next week the paint crew will hopefully be on site to spray on the Black Boot Stripe and then once it is dry they can mask it off and start applying the InterSleek Foul Release Bottom Paint. Hope to be able to show you all that next week as well.
All Donations Gratefully Received!
Why is THAT truck parking beside Möbius?? Yup! I’ve saved two of our bigger milestones for the end of this week’s Show & Tell. That’s a diesel fuel truck and Cihan is about to bring the very first drops of diesel fuel into our six integral fuel tanks! It took a lot of time but I think we came up with an eXtremely effective design for both the Fuel Fills and Vents on Möbius. With the fully sealed lid removed you have ready access to these three Fill Pipes on the Starboard/Right side and a matching set on the Port/Left side. These each connect to one of the six integral fuel tanks at the bottom of the hull with 40mm / 1 5/8” ID rubber fuel hose. Just forward of the Fuel Fills, these inverted 40mm U pipes are similarly connected by that same size rubber fuel hose to the vents on each fuel tank. Together these both worked just perfect on this first fueling test with no foaming or “spit back”. But mistakes can and will happen so we designed these Fuel Fill stations to have a large capacity spill tanks below the Fill Pipes so that any diesel that does overflow will simply run into this spill tank and drain back into the fuel tank. No mess, no fuss, no bother. When the Fuel Fill cover is in place it completely seals off all the Fill Tubes from the outside air and from any sea water on decks. The Fuel Vent pipes have this slotted cover so they stay well vented and there is a drain pipe inside to remove any seawater that might make its way through the slots. For this first load of diesel, we only took on enough fuel to do all the commissioning of diesel based equipment such as the Kabola KB45 boiler, all the fuel transfer pumps, Alfa Laval fuel centrifuge, fuel polishing system and Mr. Gee of course and then enough for the first set of sea trials. Hence, we only took on a “measly” 2150 Liters / 567 USG out of the 14,600 Liters / 3860 USG that we will take on prior to our first passage. However, as per the intro, all donations are still very much welcomed!
X marks the Spot!
OK, are you ready for the final milestone that Christine and I just completed yesterday?
Does this help you guess what we are up to? Helpful hint: It took place UP here. That’s right! Time to apply these CNC cut vinyl letters and numbers to put the XPM78-01 markings big and bold on Möbius’ Bow. All pretty simple to do. First mark off the top edge of the lettering with a straight edge and pencil. Give the area a good cleaning with 3M Scotch Brite pads and water, rinse well and then sponge on a coat of clean water with lots of liquid dish soap in it so you can slide the lettering as needed to get it perfectly aligned. Peel off the inside layer of the peel & stick lettering and press it onto the soapy wet hull and use your fingers and a plastic spreader to squeeze out all the water and get all the letters and numbers perfectly aligned and adhered to the hull. Then carefully peel off the outer layer and go over each letter with lots of pressure on soapy fingers and plastic scrapers taking special care to ensure that all edges are tightly bonded to the hull and there are no bubbles or wrinkles. Bring in some cheap labour if you must. Take your time to go over each letter and number several times. Then stand back to check out the proportions and placement.
Goldilocks!! And yes, we would be delighted to be mistaken for a military/coastguard ship in the unlikely event that anyone is considering approaching us with mal intent! Now THAT is a Bow to be proud of! And that’s a wrap for the week that was February 01-06, 2021.
Thank you all SO much for taking the time to join us here and we hope you will be back again next week. In the interim please be sure to put your questions and comments in the “Join the Discussion” box below.