Not as much to post about the past two weeks as I have been out of commission after hurting my back badly when I tripped and fell last week and aggravated the four cracked discs I have had from a nasty motorcycle accident over 25 years ago. But the spasms are lessening each day since and just a matter of time before I’m back to just the usual back ache which is my normal state. No complaints from me though as we continue to enjoy taking our time to weave our way generally north through some of the hundreds of postcard like Bahamian islands.
When I left off in the last post we were in Red Cut Cay and after a few days there we continued up and anchored at Black Point then on to Allen’s Cay and then a very neat fully enclosed very tiny little bay on Royal Island as seen here on our chart plotter. This will give you a better perspective on how small the entrance was and if you click on the photo I have circled in RED the two short pieces of white PVC pipe that marked each side. Captain Christine guided us through as she put the entrance in our wake and …… …… I soon had the anchor down into the sandy bottom 2.5m/8ft below and we were soon enjoying our very own little anchorage with wine up in the SkyBridge. THIS is why we worked on the design so hard with Dennis to have the least draft possible; 1.3m/4.4 ft After Royal Island we made our way over to Lynyard Cay where we anchored for four days and had a chance to meet up with some sailing friends Mark & Shawnae who were anchored nearby on their latest boat s/v Big Sky Blue Waters (they hail from Montana). Difficult to show on maps as most of these spots are too small to show up but you can get a rough idea of our route and anchorages along the way. We are now anchored up near the north end of Great Abaco Island just off of Coopers Town. There is a storm front coming through this weekend with winds out of the West and South rather than the usual Easterlies so we’ll wait out here for that to pass and then make our way West as we get ready to jump off and cross over to West Palm Beach area in Florida in the next week or so.
That catches you up on our most recent travels and anchorages and now I thought that something a bit different might be of interest to many of you. Read on to see what you think and let me know your thoughts with comments in the “join the discussion” box at the end please.
Year in Review: Top Features We Like Most and Least on Möbius
Hard to believe but we started writing this Mobius.World blog back in March 2018 so we’ve just passed the five year mark for that and the primary motivation for creating and writing the 262 posts since then has been the hope that sharing our experiences here provides a good way for us to “pay it forward” for all the other people who went before us and shared their experiences from which we learned SO much. In keeping with that hope, as the calendar turns over to May (how did THAT happen so fast??) we have been actively cruising Möbius for one year now. Also on the hard to believe list is that our log book shows that we have just ticked over 7300 nautical miles (8400 miles/13,520 Kilometers) and most of that in just the last six months since leaving Turkey at the end of October. Last year we were in and out of a number of marinas so we have been through our share of Med mooring, docking, fueling up and the like. This year we’ve been on anchor every night for the past four months in quite a variety of conditions, bottoms and weather. We’ve done everything from short day trips, lots of overnight passages and some longer ones such as our trans Atlantic crossing of 14 days. With these cumulative experiences I thought now would be a good time to reflect on what we have learned over the past year about what is working out best for us as well as what has not worked so well and we would change or do differently to make Möbius even better. I will write this up as two blog posts grouping what’s worked best into one and then a second with what changes we would make to follow. In my experience I have found that first hand experience from others has proven to be the best and most useful for making my decisions and so I hope these twin posts will do likewise for some of you.
A few caveats before I go any further:
All of the points I’ll be covering are simply what has worked so well or not for us and our use cases with no suggestion that these would be best for other owners, boats and use cases.
There is no implied order or ranking of these items, simply a list.
Any mention of specific products is done for clarity only, these are not endorsements and we have no sponsors or affiliations with any of the products mentioned.
In the years of posts here on this blog, I have provided lots of detailed coverage, too much perhaps, of each of these items during the build so in this posting I will just be listing the reasons why each item is on the list. If you are interested in more details you can refer to these previous posts and I’ll provide links to some of these.
OK, with that out of the way, let’s jump right into our top favorite features on Möbius.
Starting up at the Bow, our whole anchoring system has proven to be eXtremely strong, reliable and easy to use and has perhaps contributes more than any other system to our SWAN factor that enable us to Sleep Well At Night in every anchorage in all conditions. The “SideWinder” mounting of the anchor off the Port side of the Bow which Dennis and I designed, has proven to be a great setup eliminating the anchor and roller assembly from sticking out over 1m at docks and keeps it very securely pressed against the hull in pounding seas with nary a sound or any movement. The primary components of our Anchoring System are
110Kg/242lb Rocna anchor
100m/330ft of Galvanized DS40 13mm chain
Maxwell windlass VWC4000 w/Maxwell controls at both helms and wired remote in forepeak
Lewmar Deluxe Heavy Duty Chain Stopper 13mm chain
Lewmar EVO 55 Self-Tailing Winch for kedging The chain all stows inside of a round aluminium chain bin inside the forepeak which has worked out eXtremely well as there is no “castling” of the chain as it is stowed. and any anchor mud and muck that gets in there is easily flushed out through the drain in the bottom that exits out the side of the hull just above the waterline.
Once the anchor is set we attach a 25mm/1″ nylon snubber line using a loop of Dyneema with a slip knot that goes through one link on the chain. This takes seconds to attach or remove and the snubber from the chain and absorbs of any shock loads on the anchor chain and eliminates any chain noise into the boat. Letting the chain out until the snubber is taking all the tension the line comes up through the large round “nose cone” in the very front of the Bow and ties to the Samson post. Leading the snubber line through the center of the Bow reduces side to side swinging at anchor and the hyperbolic curve machined on the inside of the sold AL snubber cone prevents chaffing of the line which still shows no sign of chaffing after over 150 nights at anchor so far. The large degree of forward slope of the anchor deck also worked out great making it easy to hose down with all the debris draining out the nose cone back into the sea. All together this is a super dependable and easy to deploy/retrieve anchor system that sets first time every time and resets immediately on severe wind shifts. Depends on water depth of course but typically we have about 30m/100ft of 13mm anchor chain out which adds an additional 120kg/265lbs to the 110kg/242lbs of anchor on the bottom so we SWAN very well every night and is definitely one of our favorite systems!
Foul Release silicone bottom paint
Our last minute decision to go with silicone based “Foul Release” bottom paint instead of CopperCoat has turned out to be one of THE best decisions we made. This Foul Release type of bottom paint never ceases to amaze me with how it prevents almost anything from growing on it and what might be there after months of sitting still comes off completely with a simple wipe with a sponge or cloth to bring it back to like new. We used the International version called InterSleek 1100SR but several other manufacturers such as Hempel “Silic One” are also available. This paint has been in the water for over two years now and it still cleans up completely with just a sponge or cloth if we’ve been sitting at anchor for a long time and currently shows no sign of wear or age. It is supposed to be good for 5-7+ years and so far looks like it will achieve that easily which would be a HUGE benefit in terms of efficient hull speeds and no costly annual haul outs. I can’t say for sure but I think that having such clean and slippery silicone hull surface contributes to our overall hull efficiency, speed and great fuel burn rates. What’s not to like??!!
Open and Accessible system installation
All of the system components, wiring and plumbing were given dedicated locations with completely open access. This reduced the time for initial installation during the build but more importantly continues to put a smile on my face every time I need to do any work or maintenance on any of the systems as everything is easy to access and mounted at a just right height for working on. Here in the Basement for example you can see how all the components such as all the 14 MPPT controllers on the Left and the three 240V Victron Multiplus inverter/chargers on the Right, are all mounted such that when I’m kneeling or sitting in front of them they are at the just right height right in front of you to see and work on. Same story back in the Workshop area where all the major components on the Right such as the DC Distribution box, Kabola diesel boiler, watermaker and AirCon chiller system are mounted on top of the shelves to put them at just right height as well. At the far end, the front of the Day Tank has been used to mount all the fuel filters, Alfa Laval centrifuge and fuel transfer valve manifolds are out in the open and at perfect height when standing in front of them. Underneath that shelf the electrical wiring, external rectifiers and water distribution manifolds are also open and easy to access.
All of the plumbing is similarly open and easy to access such as this manifold with valves for all the cold water consumers in the Master Cabin.
One of our four primary principles for the design and build of Möbius was Low Maintenance and having all the components, wiring and plumbing open and so easily and comfortably accessed has been a big factor in achieving this goal throughout the whole boat.
As we did for all the major components, we took a “systems” approach to the propulsion system from front of the engine to the prop. coupled to a Nogva Controllable Pitch Propeller (CPP) is also way up at the top of our list of favorite features on Möbius.
Our choice of a Gardner 6LXB engine aka Mr. Gee, coupled to a Nogva Controllable Pitch Propeller (CPP) via a Nogva HC-168 2.95:1 reduction gearbox is also way up at the top of our list of favorite features on Möbius.
The combination of the slow revving engine and lack of any transmission shifting created a seamless and smooth propulsion system. This was our first experience with CPP and it did take some time to learn how to run a boat where you first set the throttle at the RPM you want and then don’t touch it and just use the Pitch lever to increase pitch through an infinite range from zero/neutral to maximum pitch for the load and speed you want. With no shifting involved to go from forward to reverse it is eerily quiet and smooth when docking and when underway we essentially run the boat based on the EGT or Exhaust Gas Temperature meter to get the just right pitch for any speed we want.
We cruise between 8.5-9 knots and after 7300 nautical miles our overall propulsion efficiency has us averaging about 1.85 L/NM @ 8.5kts which we are eXtremely pleased with.
The dedicated “propulsion room” is another of my most favorite design decisions as it similarly provides open and easy access to Mr. Gee and all his components, ….. as well as the Nogva gearbox, coupling and Tides Marine dripless prop shaft seal. I am able to stand, sit or kneel on the grated composite flooring on all sides and with a full meter of width all around and each grate can be easily lifted out of the way to provide access underneath if needed. Having a dedicated engine room with nothing but the engine inside keeps everything inside easy to see and work on, easy to keep well ventilated and all the other components typically found in engine rooms such as fuel filters, batteries and system components are kept OUT of this environments heat and vibration. More examples of how well the open and accessible systems design is one of our favorite features.
Layout (cabin locations, balance living vs functional, up/down)
The overall interior layout also makes it way to the top of our favorite aspects of live aboard Möbius. For us it has the Goldilocks balance between amount of living space vs functional systems space and our decision to have a very large forepeak up front and then an even larger engine room/workshop space in the rear has resulted in a great layout as well as keeping these spaces completely separate with their own dedicated access so you never need to go through a living space area to get to something in the forepeak or engine room or workshop. The vertical layout has also worked out eXtremely well for us with each cabin a few steps below the SuperSalon and the SkyBridge up above. One of the most useful features of our layout is having an enormous “Basement” area below the floor of the SuperSalon. We designed this to be 1.2m/ 4ft high such that you can easily move around by bending over and not hit your head on anything and then sit or kneel to access any of the equipment mounted on intermediate floor to ceiling walls or access any of the many storage bins and shelves in the Basement. The stairs leading down into the SuperSalon from the Aft Deck on the Left and then around to the stairs down into the Ships Office and Guest cabin on the Right provide excellent access between all these areas. Very difficult to photograph but hopefully this pano shot of the SuperSalon will help convey why we like this layout with the 360 degrees of glass so much.
We knew we wanted a Flybridge overtop of the main Salon or House so this was part of the design from the beginning but I don’t think either of us appreciated just how much we would enjoy this feature and how much time we would spend up here both when at anchor and underway. Part of what makes this space work so well is our decision to put the Upper Helm at the Aft end of the SkyBridge. As we’ve done in several areas of the boat we have created an initial prototype for the seating in this SkyBridge Lounge area by using patio furniture which we rearrange from time to time to figure out what will work best longer term. So far this L shaped layout has worked out best. There are great sight lines when sitting in the Helm chair just outside this photo on the far Left and yet still takes full advantage of the height for sight lines through the 360 degrees of windows that surround this entire space. The Bow and the side rub rails are all fully visible from the Helm chair. The roof overtop of the outdoor galley down on the Aft Deck does prevent a direct view of the transom but otherwise the sight lines Aft are great and we have a camera that displays a birds eye view of the transom on the Helm displays if needed when backing into a dock.
The Helm down in the SuperSalon duplicates the Upper SkyBridge Helm. But unless the weather is very cold or wet we much prefer to run the boat from the SkyBridge with its added height and even better visibility.
At anchor it also makes a great office space and a comfy bed for naps and off watch time as well. So the SkyBridge definitely makes it onto our top favorites list.
Hot Water & Heated Floors
Another example of the advantages of taking a Systems approach is our Domestic Hot Water system or DHW and probably fair to say that the heart of our DHW system that puts his solidly on our top favorites is our decision to install a Kabola diesel fired boiler. Located with all the other system components in the Workshop it is out of the way yet easily accessible. The 75L Kabola boiler is our primary source of DHW as it circulates through one of three heat exchanger circuits in our Calorifier that stores all our hot water as can be seen in this cutaway demo. The second heat exchanger circuit routes hot water from our Gardner engine and so whenever we are running the boat this provides all our hot water instead of the Kabola boiler. The third heat source is a 240V electrical heating element which we can use if the water based heat exchangers should ever fail.
However the one feature of our DHW that truly steals the show in cold weather is mostly invisible and that our Heated Floors. Underneath the vinyl flooring in all the living spaces there are circuits of plastic PEX tubing that circulates hot water and provides a creature comfort in colder climates that is difficult to adequately describe in words. A detailed description of the whole heated floor system can be found HERE in this previous blog post.
As you can read in that more detailed blog post, this is quite a simple system really but does take a bit to get your head around how it works as this is all part of the overall domestic hot water system so that all the water flowing through the floor PEX is coming from the Calorifier in the Basement circulating the same water as distributed to all the sinks and showers on the boat. No valves to adjust or turn on/off it all works by virtue of how this “Open Direct” plumbing design dictates.
Overtop of the PEX tubing and rigid foam, these industrial vinyl floor planks provide a fantastic floor in all weather conditions and are specifically made to work well with heated floors. Critical for our use on a boat, these vinyl floor planks have a simulated wood grain texture molded in which has proven to be completely skid proof even with wet feet and any spills clean up easily. After two years of rigorous use these floors show zero signs of wear or marks which helps keep them on our top favorites list.
There are three independent zones for the two cabins and the SuperSalon and each is controlled by one of these easy to set thermostats which maintain whatever temperature you want.
The manifolds and pumps are mounted down in the Basement up against the Aft bulkhead and yet another example of how easy this whole system is to access.
Battery & Solar Based Electrical System
Yet another systems approach on our top favorites list is our overall Electrical system. It is “battery based” in that all four voltages; 12V + 24V DC and 120V + 240V AC comes from our 1800Ah @ 24V House Battery bank. AC is created via the 5 Victron MultiPlus inverter/chargers and the DC is provided via three DC distribution boxes; Central Main in the Basement plus one in the Forepeak and one in the Workshop for the high amperage circuits there. Solar is our primary source for recharging the house batteries most of the time but when we are underway the two massive 250A x 24V Electrodyne alternators with WakeSpeed 500 regulators provide up to 9KW of power and we also have the option of connecting to shore power whenever we are in a marina. There are eight 320W solar panels that form the roof of our SkyBridge as seen in the photo above and then three more mounted on top of the cantilevered roof over the Outside Galley on the Aft Deck as seen here. And then three more mounted in a hinged frame in front of the SkyBridge. These 14 solar panels add up to just over 4kW of potential power and most days our battery monitors show an actual input of between 1kW during the winter months and up to over 2.5kWh of power during summer hours. Each solar panel has its own MPPT controller which are mounted in the Basement and feed into individual circuit breakers for further control as seen here. Having a dedicated MPPT for each panel reduces the impact of any shading on any panel and helps with the overall performance of our solar system. This screen shot from our Victron VRM display shows a summary for our solar output vs electrical consumption so far in 2023. And this summary of the past 2 days, April 28+29 2023 lets you see how it varies throughout a 24 hour day. We have not been in a marina or connected to shore power in the past four months and the combination of solar and alternator power is keeping our batteries 100% charged every day and so easily makes it onto our favorites list!
Handholds Everywhere for Everyone
Safety was another of the four design principles we had and one example that has proven to be a big favorite is the way we were able to ensure that there were super solid hand holds for EVERY person onboard from children to adults.
On the exterior the handholds are all 30mm diameter thick walled AL pipe such as these on the aft end of the house roof near the Aft Deck. These pipe handholds also make for eXcellent strong points for fastening things with Dyneme and other lines. Perhaps one of the most important spots for handholds is along the side decks when you are moving between the Fore and Aft Deck areas. On the left you can see the continuous length of AL pipe that runs along the entire edge of the house roof and then the three rows of Dyneema landlines that Christine rigged between each of the sturdy vertical AL stanchion pipes. The top lifeline is 1 meter above the deck so hits most adults about waist height which ensures that even if you were to be thrown against these you would be stopped and not flipped over top. Up at the Bow there is a very solid set of AL pipe railings that wrap all the way around and make this area extremely safe and fun spot to be for dolphin watching or just dangling your feet overboard and taking in the scenery at anchor or underway. At the far end of the Aft Deck there are solid AL pipe railings for the corner of the deck before the stairs going down to the Swim Step and then a solid AL pipe railing on the other side of the steps. In the Engine Room, Mr. Gee has a full set of AL pipe railings wrapped around him to ensure you can’t be tipped over onto him in rough seas and these have worked out very well to also provide good support as you are leaned over working on various parts. On the interior of the boat one of our favorite esthetic features of the gorgeous Rosewood cabinetry is the design we came up with to incorporate built in hand holds to the design that are located on all the cabinets in all the cabins and SuperSalon. This example is on the corner of the Galley cabinet across from where the fridges are located. These solid Rosewood edges wrap around the whole boat to form what we call our “Blue Horizon Line” and their key feature is that they have a deep groove that is at about waist height where your fingers naturally slip in to provide an eXtremely secure hand hold. We have had our grandchildren onboard several times now and these have worked out as designed to be at Goldilocks height and size for their fingers too.
Possibly saving the best for last, something that brings us joy every day is the choice of interior materials we made.
The Rosewood we chose for all the cabinetry really steals the show and this shot of the Galley cabinets will give you some idea. We were very fortunate that Naval Yachts happened to have their very best cabinetmakers throughout the entire build and they were a joy to work together with to produce details such as how all the grain is bookmatched such that it literally flows from one piece to the next. This was made possible because after months of searching we were able to purchase an entire flitch of Brazilian Rosewood that had been flat cut from the same log. As each slice comes off they stack these in order and therefore the grain of each slice follows the next. The other key was finding a matching stack of solid Rosewood that would be used to build the frames and every edge of every panel. NO veneer edging allowed! Unlike more typical construction, all plywood edges had these T shaped pieces of solid Rosewood glued in place and then the veneer was applied AFTER so that it overlapped the solid wood edging. What this does is ensure that there are no glue joints exposed and they become invisible as they gradually transition from veneer to solid. When these panels would be used for a corner of a cabinet, a thick piece of solid Rosewood was glued glued on and then this solid edge was rounded over in a shaper to create a large radius corner The Rosewood was more than 11X the cost of any other hardwood so to help stretch the prized solid pieces it was sometimes possible to glue on a piece of cheaper hardwood like this and then round the Rosewood for the corner. For the very large radius corners, strips of solid Rosewood were edge glued up and then radiused like this. Or like this. When combined with the Turquoise Turkish marble and the inset Blue Horizon line strips, the end result was well worth the extra time and expense to build. We carried the same combination of materials throughout both cabins, Salon and Galley and I hope these few photos help you see why this puts a smile on our faces every day. There is a LOT more that we like about our dear Möbius and she has definitely lived up to being “Project Goldilocks” by being just right, just for us but the above items hit upon most of our top favorite features and I hope this review was worthwhile. Of course there is always the other end of the spectrum and so in the next blog post I will follow up by reviewing things that have not worked out as well or are things we want to change so do stay tuned for that.
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.
She had lots of fun outings with Liam, seen here goofing it up with a selfie of him and his Dad, Christine’s son, Tim. And timing was perfect for Liam’s first day in First Grade. Yayyyy Liam!
Meanwhile, 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!
Christine 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. Oh, 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.
One 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. It 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. 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. Almost 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. As 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. Two 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.
Much 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.
So these two 30 meter/100ft lengths of 13mm/ 1/2” Dyneema also found their way into Christine’s checked luggage. These 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.
One of the other heavier items Christine brought back with her was this new stator coil for one of our 24V @ 250Ah Electrodyne alternators. Due 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. Electrodyne 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. Once 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. Rotor is bolted back on next and then all the wires inside the junction box up top can be attached to their respective studs.
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. Further 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.
Quite a momentous week for us as we finished all the critical remaining boat jobs and on Saturday, July 1st we checked out of Turkey. Seemed like an appropriate date being Canada Day and a day that at times we were not sure would ever arrive. Our whole experience the past year or so has difficult to capture in words as it felt like some surrealistic blended version of the song Hotel California (you can check in but you can never leave) and the movie Groundhog Day where time got stuck and every day was Ground Hog Day all over again.
However our dear friend Sherry came up with the perfect description when she sent us a link to this fabulous cartoon by Scott Johnston over on the Mathematics Facebook group that summarized it perfectly. As most of you would likely recall a Möbius strip is this truly fascinating shape created when you take a strip of paper, twist it 180 degrees and glue it together into a loop. As you may recall from high school math class a Möbius strip is a one sided surface with no boundaries. If for example you try to draw a line down the middle of the strip you will find that the line keeps going till it rejoins your start point. If it’s been awhile since you played with a Möbius strip do yourself and others around you a favor and create your own out of paper and have some fun with it or just watch this short video for one of the classic things to do with a Möbius strip.
Möbius strips showed up on the “first date” Christine and I had but I’ll leave that story for another time and just say that this shape has captured our relationship from the very beginning. So much so that I designed our matching wedding rings by playing around with some ideas based on a Möbius strip. With the help of my friend Ted, turned one of my designs into a 3D model, 3D printed the model in jeweler’s wax and then used this wax model to create a porcelain mold into which the White Gold could be poured. Capture a split raw cognac diamond inside the twisted top and Voila! Sherry knows this story well and so she just had to send us that fun cartoon as soon as she saw it and you can see why this so perfectly captures our life of late and from the very beginning. Thanks Sherry!
One of the bigger jobs we checked off this past week was the completion of our new Davit Arch and the launching of our Tender Möbli.
I’ve gone over the rigging in past posts but you can see how we lift Möbli up inside this Davit Arch and then let the Arch rotate off the Port side where we lower Möbli into the water. Time was short but I took him for a quick test run out of the harbour and back and little Möbli performed perfectly and then we loaded him back onboard Möbius.
Christine took some video of this maiden voyage but I’m not able to get it to upload for some reason so I’ll bring you more in future updates.
You may recall in last week’s update that I starting building the paravanes or “birds” or “fish” as they are commonly referred to, which we will use to reduce stabilise Möbius in rolly sea conditions on passage. The ones I’m building are based on the design you see here commonly used by Canadian commercial fishing boats that I’m familiar with from my many years in the Vancouver/Victoria area. These paravanes hang from the end of the long aluminium tube A-frames you may recall me rigging up a few weeks ago and they glide through the water about 6m/20ft below the surface. As the boat rolls the paravane on that side dives down and then resists when the boat tries to pull it up as the roll goes the other way. Very KISS and all mechanical so much lower maintenance and less likely to break down. Last week I got the plywood cut to shape, all the edges rounded over and two coats of white epoxy paint on them. This past week I got the aluminium plate cut and welded for the T-brackets that go through the plywood and create the lifting point for the dyneema line that each paravane is suspended by. The two plates underneath will form the tail fins to help keep the paravane tracking parallel to the boat. Drilled all the holes for the line attachment on top and the four holes for the through bolts to fasten these brackets to the plywood, and rounded over all the edges to help reduce drag and be safer to handle. Used my circular saw and some files to cut the slot into the plywood for the vertical 10mm plate to slide through. Routed out some V grooves for the welds to fit into and keep the AL plate flat against the plywood when bolted together. Used some marine adhesive to seal the T-brackets to the plywood and keep everything watertight. Unfortunately I only had Black Sikaflex on hand but I will be giving the paravanes at least one more coat of White epoxy so they will end up being all white, not that it matters to their operation. I didn’t have time to complete the last step to complete these which is to cut the vertical Tail Fin plates and bolt them to the vertical T bracket and the plywood. Once that is all done they should be easy to rig onto the ends of the Paravane A-frame poles and ready for their first test run. We are now underway so I’ll be doing my best to get them finished along the way and will be able to report back to you as to how they work.
Are We There Yet?
Christine has been watching weather for the past week and a great window was forecast to open up on Saturday morning so Friday afternoon she worked with the officials at Finike Marina and got all the paperwork filled out, stamped and signed and just like that we were finally officially checked out of Turkey and cleared to leave Saturday morning!
Could this really be true??!?
We awoke to ideal conditions on Saturday morning, no wind and flat seas and we just had one more job to look after before leaving. Up to now we have been running on the initial 2000 liters of diesel fuel we put into Möbius’ tanks just prior to launching over a year ago. Not the greatest timing to be buying fuel but we “only” paid US$1.61 per litre which is much less than anywhere in Europe so that helped a to reduce the sting of the current fuel prices a wee bit. Our six fuel tanks hold a total of 14,000 Litres/3,700 USG but we will wait till we get to Algiers where diesel is now 19 cents/litre to fill up completely so we just took on 4000 Litres/1057 USG which will be more than enough till we get to Algiers.
Look out Greece, Here we come!
And with that, we motored out of Finike marina for the LAST time, for sure we hope, and started making our way up the Turkish coast, again for the last time we hope. We are headed for Rhodes where we will officially check into Greece and then make our way over to Athens in time to meet up with our two Granddaughters and their parents. They will be with us for two weeks as we explore the Greek islands with them. As former sailors we are still working on making the transition to voyaging under power and the dramatic change in what makes for “ideal weather”. Somewhat the opposite of ideal sailing weather, we now seek out NO wind and flat seas and that’s pretty much what we had for our all day trip from Finike to Göcek. Not at all difficult to get used to mind you and our two crew members seem to agree, just very different from what we’ve been used to while sailing around the world the past few decades. Christine wanted to go back to the idyllic little bay at the top end of Göcek that she had found for us last month when we were up here which made for a longer day as we didn’t get the anchor down till about 20:30 but still in lots of light and we had our tracks from the last time. However the late afternoon sun comes pouring into the SkyBridge and so the Captain adapted with this very fashionable headdress made out of one of our Turkish towels and all was well. And all well worth it when you’re rewarded with a great sunset like this as we made our way to the anchorage. We will probably weigh anchor early in the morning to get some favorable motoring conditions to make the 50nm passage over to Rhodes and get checked into Greece there and start making our way West across the Aegean Sea to Athens. I’ll be able to update you on that passage in next week’s update when we are in Athens with our four new family crewmembers onboard so do stay tuned for that.
Thanks for taking the time to join us here again this week and we hope you’ll be back again for next week’s update. Don’t forget to leave your comments and questions in the “Join the Discussion” box below.
Also sending out lots our very best wishes to all our fellow Canadian and American friends and family as you celebrate your July 1st and 4th independence days in style. Christine has a bottle of bubbly in the fridge for us to celebrate our departure from Turkey and arrival in Greece tomorrow so we’ll toast you all then.
We have spent this past week in the relatively small but very marine based town of Marmaris. For orientation, here is Marmaris relative to the others nearby islands and coastline around us. You’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. We have spent the past week here in Netsel Marina in Marmaris and the arrow shows where Möbius is docked. The city of Marmaris itself isn’t that large but as you can see the marina is literally part of the city. Netsel 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!
You 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. Here 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 The silver canister is the electric oil pressure sensor which sends its analog data over to ……… …… 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. This 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. There 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. Now 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
While 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.
First and foremost my best and biggest wishes to all the Moms out there! Every day should be Mother’s Day in my opinion so I hope this is just an extra special day for all of you extra special people.
The past week has been filled with a litany of little jobs for the most part and nothing too visual to show you so I’ll keep this short so as not to take up much time on Mother’s Day or better yet, don’t bother reading till later this week.
Christine and I are inching closer and closer to the day when we finally throw off the dock lines here at Setur Marina in Finike and begin our adventures making our way up the Turkish coast a bit and then start making our way West across the Med this summer. If all goes well we hope to take off in about two weeks as we whittle the To List down more each day. Thanks to the help of the great people at Electrodyne and WakeSpeed I think we have found the causes of the one alternator and regulator that are not working properly and have the new parts being put together to be shipped out next week. With us about to become “moving targets” with no fixed address I will need to figure out how and where best to get these parts delivered to us but after so many years out sailing the world this is a very common problem for us and we always manage to find a way to get boat parts and boat united.
One of the big things I need to get done before we take off is getting our Tender “Mobli” finished and running and also be able to test out launching and retrieving him with our Davit Arch system. So in addition to working on some of the remaining To Do items such as tracking down some new gremlins in our Shore Power setup, I have been trying to stay focused on getting Mobli finished. Last week you saw me finish installing the wet exhaust system and I’m waiting the arrival of two more hose clamps to finish that completely and that leaves just the electrical wiring to be fully completed. So as per the title, wiring was the focus this week. Christine has been my trusted parts finder and delivery person tracking down the parts and supplies I need to complete the work on the Tender. She has taking taking full advantage of her fabulous new eBike to pick up parts available here in our little town of Finike or take the 2 hour bus ride down to the big city of Antalya to bring back parts from there. One of those items was a 12 volt AGM battery and battery box which I now have solidly mounted on this shelf I created using some leftover composite grid that we used for the flooring in the ER, Workshop and Forepeak.
I had several of these large Red Battery Switches from Blue Sea left over from building Möbius and so I installed two of these. that This under seat area is easy to access, fully protected, easy to lock up and keeps the weight well centered so this seemed like the best location for the battery. I installed the second battery switch in the Engine Bay on the opposite side of the AL bulkhead under the seat. This isn’t really necessary but provides a very secure anti-theft device when turned off and the Engine Bed lid is locked. We would not likely need to use it very often so it will just be left on most of the time but will be good to have if we ever need to leave the Tender ashore for long periods of times or we are unsure of the security ashore. The primary 12V positive 1/0 size Red cable goes from this switch under the Yanmar engine and connects directly to …. … this stud on the starter solenoid. A bit tight to get to but it is now on and well tightened. The other smaller Red AWG 8 gauge cable comes off the same switch and goes back to the jet drive along with the other wiring for the jet drive and the two Black hydraulic hoses for steering the jet drive. The steering is also hydraulic but is manually powered by turning the steering wheel. The hydraulic pump that raises and lowers the jet drive’s bucket is electric so that Red cable goes to this 50 Amp breaker which feeds power to the pump behind it. There is also the same size Black negative cable that runs from the engine ground to the bronze stud you can see in the center of this shot. Some nylon zip ties help keep all the wiring and hydraulic hoses in place and well protected and with that the wiring inside the Engine Bay is now pretty much complete. Just need to add engine oil, coolant and hydraulic fluid and this should be ready to fire up as soon as we launch the Tender and have it in the water needed for the wet exhaust and heat exchangers. Next week I will move back to the console to finish connecting the Castoldi jet drive wire harness to the Yanmar harness. That leaves me with these 8 wires that connect to the ignition and starter switches and the bucket position gauge which I hope to get done next week. Depending on if I get the remaining parts in time and finish all the wiring, we may be able to launch Mobli over the side next week and fire him up so be sure to tune in again next week to see all that. Thanks as always for joining us again this week and be sure to leave your questions and comments in the “Join the Discussion” box below. They are all VERY much appreciated!
Now, let’s all get back to reminding all the Moms in our lives how awemazing they are!
Another week and another month fly by in a flash it seems but we are making good progress and cutting the dock lines from here in beautiful sunny Finike Marina is getting closer with each passing day. This week also felt like summer is definately on its way with day time temp yesterday getting up to a new high of 29C/84F so we tropical birds are loving this change.
Nothing too visually exciting for this week’s Show & Tell update unfortunately but I’ll do my best to get you caught up on what all we did get done this past week of April 25-30, 2022.
Decks are Done!
One of the larger jobs that we are very thankful to have finished is that the team from Naval finished redoing all the TreadMaster on all our decks.
Despite being very high quality, the West Systems epoxy that was used to affix all the sheets of TreadMaster to the AL decks had not adhered to the AL very well so it has become both an eyesore and a tripping danger. They carefully removed each panel of TM, sanded the AL down, applied Bostik Primer and then Bostik adhesive and glued them all back down with rollers.
Apologies for not having any photos of the completed decks but you get the idea.
When my friend John was here two weeks ago we finished setting up and configuring the two WakeSpeed 500 regulators which control the two Electrodyne 250 Amp @ 24V alternators.
This upper Electrodyne is powered off of Mr. Gee’s crankshaft with a toothed “timing” belt.
The six large red cables carry the AC current from each alternator over to the Electrodyne Rectifiers which are mounted outside of the ER. Difficult to photograph this drive system I designed so this rendering of my CAD models will show it much better. Crankshaft pulley is at the bottom, sea water pump on the left and Electrodyne in the upper right. Works out eXtremely well as there is zero chance of any slippage of these toothed belts and I put in a spring loaded idler pulley (not shown in this render) which keeps the tension just right all the time. Also difficult to photograph now all the floors are in the Engine Room, the lower Electrodyne is powered directly off of the PTO or Power Take Off that is on the lower left side of Mr. Gee. An eXtremely robust and almost maintenance free setup as well. This older photo when Mr. Gee was up in the air shows how this PTO drive works. I went with these massively large and strong Electrodyne alternators in large part because they use an external Rectifier which is what you see here. The diodes in the rectifier are where the majority of the heat comes from in an alternator and heat is the enemy of electrical efficiency so keeping them out of the alternator and out of the ER really helps to increase the lifespan and efficiency of the whole charging system. Each Rectifier is then connected to one of the WakeSpeed 500 Smart Regulators and each WS500 is interconnected with the white Ethernet cable you see here.
Connecting these two WS500’s is a big part of what makes them deservedly called “smart” because they then automatically figure out how to perfectly balance the charging from each alternator which can otherwise be quite difficult and prone to errors. However, the biggest reason these WS500’s are the first truly ‘Smart’ regulators is because they use both Voltage AND Amperage do monitor the batteries and adjust the alternators to produce the just right amount of charging. With everything all wired up we started up Mr. Gee and after the initial ramp up time we were soon seeing about 220 Amps going into the 1800 Ah House Battery which was a joy to see.
Having two of these Electrodyne 250Ah alternators give us the potential for up to 12kW of electrical charging so in a way we actually do have a “generator” onboard. Unfortunately we soon noticed that some of the 24V circuit breakers were tripping when these alternators were running and I’ve spent the past few weeks trying to figure out what was causing that. Thanks to exemplary help from both Dale at Electrodyne and Neil at WakeSpeed, both of whom have been fabulous to work with from the very beginning, I was eventually able to track down the problem to an incorrectly installed aluminium bar that was used to fasten the two halves of the Electrodyne Rectifiers. One end of this AL flat bar was touching one of the AL L-brackets that hold the studs and diode in the Rectifier. Once found the fix was pretty quick and easy.
However somewhere along the way one of the WS500’s stopped working so I am now working with Neil to sort that out. In the meantime we have up to 250Ah charging capacity from the one working Electrodyne/WS500 combo and with all the solar power we have coming out of our 14 solar panels, we have no need for any of it most of the time.
Exhausting work on Tender Mobli
Most of my time this week was spent finishing off the installation of the Yanmar 4JH4 HTE 110HP engine and Castoldi 224DD jet drive in our Tender that we have named “Mobli”.
Similar to Mr. Gee and most marine engines, the Yanmar uses a wet exhaust where sea water is injected into the exhaust gas after it exits the turbocharger. This water dramatically drops the temperature of the exhaust gasses so you can use rubber and fiberglass exhaust hoses to carry the gases and water out of the boat. You can see the primary components I’m using to build the exhaust system in the photo below; water injection elbow on the Yanmar on the far Left with the Black rubber exhaust hose with the yellow stripe to carry the exhaust gas and water down to the cylindrical water muffler in the upper left. I will use the two white RFP 90 degree elbows to carry the water/gas up and out of the boat through the 76mm/3” AL pipe on the right. Like this. I am waiting for more of the SS hose clamps to arrive but this is what the finished setup will look like. Will need to fabricate and install a bracket to hold the muffler in place as well and that will complete the exhaust system.
Hard to see (click to expand any photo) but I was also able to install the black rubber hose that you see running parallel to the left of the exhaust hose and muffler. This carries the cooling sea water from the housing of the Castoldi Jet drive up to the intake on the sea water pump on the left side of the Yanmar.
Last major job to complete the installation of the Yanmar/Castoldi propulsion system is the mounting of the battery and its cables to both the jet drive and the engine and I hope to get that done this coming week. That’s how I spent my last week of April 2022 and hope yours was equally productive.
Thanks for taking the time to follow along, always encouraging to know you are all out there and along for the ride with Christine and me. Thanks in advance for typing any and all comments and questions in the “Join the Discussion” box below and hope you will join us again next week as we get May off to a good start.