Another eXtremely busy week for Christine and I as we continue to work our way through all the rigors of getting Möbius ship shape and ready to head out to sea.
I’m sure some of you must be wondering why such a seemingly simple step is taking so long? But many of you who have ever moved into a brand new home or new RV or new boat, especially custom built ones, will be able to relate to the seemingly endless list of jobs big and small that need to be looked after before your new “home” feels like it is yours and that you have worked through all the “little” things that don’t work right and all the improvements or installation of additional things be that putting in the new lawn in your newly built home.
I’ve read that many others who have gone through this process say that to get to the point where you can simply enjoy your new home and not be constantly working on it, takes about a year. From what experience I have had so far with both boats and homes that sounds about right to me. Hence Christine and I remind each other that this is a marathon not a sprint AND we enjoy* the whole process of making Möbius our full time super comfy home.
* Well most of the time anyway!
While we are seemingly busy non-stop, there isn’t much to see during this process that suits a Show & Tell so this will be a relatively short blog update (lucky you!) but let’s jump right on and catch you up on what’s been happening aboard the Good Ship Möbius this past week of May 24-30, 2021.
Wonderful Days in the Neighborhood
We continue to have stellar “Spring” weather here in Antalya though it is really more like an early arrival of summer.
Daily highs are typically in the low 30’s C / 90-95F and usually with a nice breeze to make it all very pleasant. Almost always clear blue skies, complete with the exclamation point of jet trails. This is our immediate neighborhood here at Antalya Setur Marina.
Things have changed a bit here as our big Blue powerboat neighbor to the right in this photo finished all their jobs, launched and headed out for sea on Wednesday.
So we now have a lovely large empty space next to us and our views of the Med and the Coast Guard station are much improved when we are out having our nightly sundowner wine on the Foredeck each evening.
And we continue to enjoy our life here propped up “on the hard” though we would of course much prefer to be floating on the water and hope to be doing so by end of June at the latest.
As you will soon see, Mr. Gee is not the only one “moving up in the world” as we have had some significant new neighbors move in next door in the form of these three little guys from the Turkish Navy. As you may have noticed in some of the aerial and satellite photos I’ve put in some recent posts, the area behind the big beautiful breakwater here on the far Western end of the Antalya coastline, contains four very different harbours within and I’ve marked up this satellite photo to help visualize.
Not the most pleasant terminology but this is an all too apt description of what commonly happens during the initial few months after moving into a new home/boat/RV etc. which is when brand new equipment fails to work. We have had our share of these already and likely more to follow in the coming months.
This is one of the latest “infants” to be DOA, our fabulous new Bosch washing machine. After going for many years without any washing machine Christine had been really looking forward to testing out this fancy (to us) new washing machine that she had so thoroughly researched and chosen. Alas, it made it part way through the first wash cycle and stopped working. As the saying goes “the lights were on but no one was home” as the big LCD panel lit up with all the controls, but none of them or the selection dial responded to her input.
Of course everything is under warrantee and Bosh is a very popular brand here in Turkey but it still took them three different calls and over three weeks to end up replacing all 3 internal circuit boards! Even though this was MUCH sooner than expected, we know that it is always when not if equipment and appliances will need to be serviced so we have designed the boat with accessibility as a key component and so it was a relatively quick task to help these two Bosch servicemen to remove the washing machine from its cabinet, set it on the floor and allow them to open it all up and replace those 3 circuit boards.
Good news is that IT WORKED! and Christine has already put it to the test with multiple different loads of laundry and is just beaming at the “upgrade” in her onboard chores.
Electrical System Update
Many of you have been asking about how some of the various systems are performing in their early days as we start to gather more real world data and while still early, here is a preliminary update for you on how our overall electrical system has been working.
This is a very high level graphic I’ve put together to show the overall Electrical System on Möbius. Given our use case of being in very remote locations and on anchor over 95% of the time, we are a fully “battery based boat” which in short means that we have no generator or other source of external electrical power input and so ALL our electrical power comes from our 1800Ah @ 24V 43.2kW House Battery Bank as you can see in the illustration above.
To be clear, we DO have the option of connecting to Shore Power with plug ins for these at both the Bow and Stern, however we are so rarely have access to Shore Power we consider this just an emergency backup if we were to need to go to a marina to work on components within the battery based system.
Even when we DO have ready access to Shore Power, such as we do now up on the hard here in Setur Marina, we chose to still NOT connect to the Marina’s Shore Power grid. This is partly because electricity here at this marina is very pricey, but more so because we simply don’t need it and also want to be more fully testing out our overall electrical system in its normal state of running entirely off the House Battery Bank and charging those with “just” our large 4.5kW solar array consisting of fourteen 320 Watt panels, each with their own Victron 100/20 MPPT controller.
This is a screenshot of the Victron Connect app on my phone a few minutes ago (10:30 am Sunday 30 May, 2021) and as you can see the solar panels are having no problem at all bring the House Bank back up to 100% SoC (State of Charge) after running everything on the boat while the sun was down.
Because we are in “test mode” for the first few months we have been maxing out all systems and in the case of our electrical system this means running EVERY electrical device onboard as fully as possible. For example, after we had fully tested the Kabola KB45 diesel boiler for about a week we shut it down and turned on the 230V 1500W electrical heating element in the Calorifier (water heater tank) which is a very big consumer. Other electrical equipment on all four voltages (12V + 24V DC and 120V + 230V AC) we are using daily and as frequently as possible to build up the data set for maximum use includes such electrical consumers as:
Bosh 4 burner induction “hob” cooktop with extraction fan running throughout
Bosch Smart Oven that combines convection/grill/microwave
Kenyon 230V BBQ grill
250L/hr watermaker run about ever 4-6 days
two 130L 24V refrigerators
two 70L 24V freezers
230V electric kettle & 230V espresso machine
Bosh washing machine (now that it is working)
At least 4 computers and at least four large monitors which are rarely turned off
50” TV for nightly “dinner and a movie” onboard streaming content from YouTube, Netflix, Apple TV, etc..
a long list of internet based equipment such as routers, bridges, cellular & WiFi extenders, etc..
VacuFlush toilets w/ Bidets
an eXtremely extensive Maretron monitoring and control system and an equally extensive NMEA 2000/N2K network
the usual compliment you would expect from two nautical nerds of 3 smartphones, 4 smart home (Amazon/Google/Apple) devices all of which need to be regularly charged or plugged in.
and the usual assortment of regular living items such as lights, music, TV, sound systems, fans, etc.
With so many other systems needing our attention, the only two significant systems we have not yet tested and run extensively are the 3 zone in-floor heating system and the AC/heating system via the Webasto V50 Chiller and the four Webasto Air Handlers (5400 BTU overall) in the three cabins. We will get to those as soon as we can and all the more so as the daily temperatures start to rise up for summer into the mid 30 to 40C range typical of Antalya summers.
For the more technically minded, here is a bit larger history view of what’s been happening since we launched back on 20 Feb. 2021.
We have had a LOT of different scenarios onboard since launch and during the commissioning of all the electrical components so we have twice run the batteries down below 20% SoC and also had no battery connections several times and hence some of the very eXtreme numbers you see here. In total we have used 21,808 Amp hours with an average 24hr discharge of 417Ah and yet only required 5 total charge cycles.
During the past 3+ months since launching, we have had 230V shore power connected for about 3-4 days to test out the chargers in our 5 Victron MultiPlus Inverter/Chargers but otherwise our only source of “external” power is from the 14 solar panels. We are therefore eXtremely happy with these preliminary results and I will publish more and more such real world data as we collect it and once we are underway and back to our more typical use cases.
Mr. Gee Gets High!
Interestingly, the one bit of kit that seems to get the most attention from so many of you is our beloved Gardner 6LXB engine, which as most of you know by now, we affectionately refer to as Mr. Gee.
Unfortunately and uncharacteristically of any Gardner, Mr. Gee has a problem. He suddenly lost oil pressure on the first sea trial last month, falling from his usual 38 PSI down to about 20 PSI which is definately NOT a good thing! While I have a pretty good idea of the source of this problem, I won’t know for sure until I can do an eXtensive tear down that involves removing the huge cast AL oil pan so I can inspect the crankshaft, oil pump and bottom end bearings.
All a very straightforward BUT to get at these bottom end components I have to lift Mr. Gee about 1 meter up out of his normal home resting solidly on his 25mm thick engine beds and that is taking some time. I also need to remove both of the heads so I can check out the pistons and valves and this will also put Mr. Gee on a serious weight reduction program making the job of raising him up one meter a bit easier. As I remove these various bits and bobs I put them out on one of my workbenches in the Workshop right outside of the ER, which now has the appropriate dual meaning of Engine Room and Emergency Room! Running through the dismantling process quickly for you, off come the valve rockers, pushrods and cylinder head bolts. Off comes one of the cast iron cylinder heads which weigh in at a svelte 65kg/145lb. (ask me how I know?!) This is what Mr. Gee looks like when he goes “topless”!
All looks good so far as I confirm that there has not been any contact between the valves and the piston tops. Whew! Workbench continues to fill up even though I’ve already moved all the intake and exhaust manifolds elsewhere. Down to a mere shadow of his former self, Mr. Gee is all ready to move UP in life. Or at least 1 meter up inside the ER.
I carry a 2 ton hydraulic hoist as quite reasonably I would argue EVERY serious XPM or eXpedition/eXploration boat should and in particular mine is a modular hoist which then also gives me these eXtremely strong cross members to span the overhead ER hatch (previously removed) frame and provide the overhead “sky hooks” aka attachment points for the two chain hoists that I also carry. (of course!) I’m a big fan of synthetic rope, Dyneema or AmSteel in particular as it is much stronger than the SS wire of the same size and MUCH easier to handle. In addition to using Dyneema for all our Lifelines, Davit and Paravane rigging, etc. I also us this for lifting and hoisting eXtreme loads and have used this throughout the entire rebuilding of Mr. Gee. (he likes that the Dyneema is very gentle on his “skin”)
In this situation I am using multiple loops of Dyneema to hang the chain hoist in the foreground as well as wraps around the front and rear ends of Mr. Gee where the hoist hooks will attach to him. My plan is to leave the Nogva CPP gearbox in place and then take the weight of Mr. Gee every so slightly so I can then slide him forward with his feet still resting on the AL Engine Beds. To do so I’ve removed all the bolts fastening the four engine mounts to the beds and then positioned the two chain hoists forward of where they would be vertically centered so that as I lift him up, Mr. Gee will be pulled forward and come away from the Nogva case.
At least that’s my theory and I’m sticking to it! Worked just as planned and if you look closely you can see that Mr. Gee’s silver AL flywheel housing has slid about 50mm/2” forward and now separated from the Burgundy Nogva gearbox. Now it was a simple matter of alternating between lifting with the front and the rear chain hoists to until I had Mr. Gee up about 1 meter above the engine beds and with plenty of space for me to get underneath and remove the oil pan, crankshaft and piston/connecting rod assemblies. With Mr. Gee now floating right where I need him, I built a super solid cross member using more of the rectangular steel components from my hydraulic hoist and then built up a support platform out of solid wood blocks so I could lower him down for stability and safety while I did the first part of the disassembly which involves removing the two halves of the flywheel housing, rear motor mounts, and the massive flywheel itself.
And YES! I have also put four more sets of Dyneema loops, one at each of Mr. Gee’s corners, to add a backup safety system in the unlikely event that any of the main supports should break or fail. Here is the view as of today looking down from on deck through the ER hatch opening. Blue lighting is due to the large blue plastic tarp I have setup on deck in the unlikely event we should get any rain and to keep the marina dust out.
Sadly, I must leave many of you with your questions, and mine too, still unanswered as to just what has caused that drop in oil pressure and just what I’m going to need to get Mr. Gee back to thrumming away endlessly and effortlessly in his comfy ER home.
You can rest assured that NO ONE is more anxious to get to the bottom of this than I am and I’m pretty confident that I will be able to share all of that with you in next week progress update Show & Tell.
Sorry to keep you hanging like this and thanks very much for continuing to join us in this latest leg of Project Goldilocks as we get XPM78-01 Möbius ready to head out to sea.
I would also be most appreciative if you could help me feel a bit less like I’m talking in an empty room by adding your questions, comments and suggestions in the “Join the Discussion” box below. I don’t always manage to answer your questions as quickly as I would like but I will continue to do my very best and please do know that I definately read and benefit from every one.
This past week has been a roller coaster ride of emotions for both Christine and myself and the whole thing is difficult to articulate and yet not something that can be captured by cameras either but I’ll do my best to use my standard Show & Tell technique to bring you up to date on the latest leg of the journey of Project Goldilocks aka the design and building of XPM78-01 Möbius.
I’ll start with the ending which is that Möbius is now ALL OURS and we are back on the hard, aka land, having hauled Möbius out to complete some of the jobs remaining to make her fully sea worthy.
BUT, this time the land Möbius is on is OUTSIDE of the Free Zone where she has been for over 3 years during the build and now she is resting inside Setur Marina in Antalya.
I’ve marked up the sat photo above and the photo from Setur here, to show you our big move to Freedom.
It may only be a few hundred meters in reality but it is worlds apart for us. We are quite used to living aboard a boat that is “on the hard” as it is called when you haul your boat out of the water and put her on “hard stands” to hold her up, as we have probably spent several years all together in this situation from times we were working on our previous boats. NOTE: Back in February, when we were last here in Setur Marina for the first launching of Möbius, we met Emily & Matt who have their catamaran “Sea Odyssey” out on the hard just behind that big silver sailboat on the far Right in the photo above, so we already know some of our new neighbors.
Mountains off our Starboard/Right side and the Med on our Port so as you can see from all these photos, while not in the water where we would prefer, this isn’t too bad a place to call home for the next 1-2 months.
But wait!! I’m getting ahead of myself, so let’s go back to the beginning of this latest leg in the adventures of mv Möbius.
FREE’d at LAST!
We are always so gobsmacked, as our British friends might say, at how many of you have been following us from near the beginning of this building of XPM78-01 Möbius at Naval Yachts here in Antalya Turkey that began back with the first aluminium hull work on April 6th, 2018 which as the counter at the bottom of this blog notes was 1144 days ago! Over THREE years ago? Yikes!
The actual beginning of Project Goldilocks as we originally called this whole adventure once the crazy idea of switching from sail to power and designing and building our own boat to do it with, took hold back in 2016 and we spent the first two years working closely every day with our awemazing designer Dennis Harjamaa at Artnautica Yacht Design in Auckland New Zealand which was where we delivered our last boat Learnativity to her new owners in Whangarei NZ. Rob Westermann runs Artnautica Europe where you can check out his notes on Möbius HERE. Rob and Dennis are also now busy designing an all new LRC65 that Rob and his wife will use as their next magic floating carpet ride.
Once we had the design of XPM78-01 Möbius pretty much set in 3D models and 2D drawings, we began searching the world quite literally for the Goldilocks just right location and builder and ended up partnering with Naval Yachts who are locating within the Free Zone here in Antalya Turkey and we now have them to thank for working quite literally cheek to jowl with us to build this first iteration and our new home, Möbius.
As most of you from following these weekly updates, Möbius first “splashed” on February 20th here at Setur Marina when the Free Zone had no launching capabilities for several months during their massive rebuild of their harbour and all their launching equipment. Since then we have been working through the process of commissioning every system where you get them all up and running, adjusted and dialed in. I’ve described these past few months as being a version of Zeno’s Paradox of the Tortoise and Achilles, where you make forward progress in steps that are each one half the remaining distance. The reason this is a paradox is that as odd as it might seem, it takes an infinite number of those half steps and you never arrive at your goal because there is always one more half step to go!
The other dimension to all this is that when building a new boat, while the Owners are technically just that and they “own” the boat, they don’t take possession of the boat until it has been fully finished by the Builders and the Owners make all the final payments and accept the boat. The feelings surrounding this gradual transfer from Builders to Owners are part of what I referenced in the beginning of this post that are so difficult to articulate. We’ve been living aboard since we splashed in February and it felt great and almost unbelievable to have our visions from years previous be transformed into this very solid reality. And yet, as the commissioning process extended into more and more days, then weeks and then months, the Free Zone felt a bit like living inside the line in the Eagle’s class Hotel California“Such a lovely place. You can check out any time you like. But you can never leave!”
The Free Zone was a lovely place, Möbius is an incredible boat, but she still wasn’t ours and we couldn’t help wondering if we would indeed ever leave so we could start finally restart our new lives in our new home and get back to our old habits of traveling the world’s seas.
And then, mid afternoon on Tuesday, May 18th, we received a text from our Builders that said “Prepare to leave, you are fully cleared for export and need to leave the Free Zone this afternoon!
What ensued next was like a scene out of the Keystone Cops and perhaps video will help capture this best so Christine has quickly pulled together this video montage of being “Freed from the Free Zone” on Tuesday afternoon.
That whole scene remains a blur but by late Tuesday afternoon, we ended up here, tied alongside the TraveLift bay where Möbius would get plucked out of the water by the 200Ton TraveLift and set down inside the hard stand area at Setur Marina! I sent off a quick text to Matt & Emily to say “You won’t believe it but ….” and they met us at the dock and helped us tie Möbius to the dock.
That was all 5 days ago now and It still has not quite sunk in for me that this has all happened and is real. But that is an eXcellent problem to have and I’m working on it!
Moving Möbius into her New Home
This is the same TraveLift that first launched us back in February so the operators quickly had us plucked out of the water and wheeled her over to ……. … this freshly vacated spot just a few meters away from the TraveLift bay and just a few boats over from Matt & Emily on Sea Odyssey. With all four sets of wheels on the TraveLift able to turn it makes it easy for them to move Möbius into this spot …….. …… and set her down on her keel. You can see another reason we designed the Rub Rails the way we did as they make for the perfect spot for the hard stands to be wedged underneath. This obviates the need for the more traditional stands which go down much lower up against the bottom paint and create a whole new set of problems.
KISS at its finest; Keep It Smart & Simple. So this is Möbius’ new Home Base for the next month or two.
Very Slick Bottom you have there Miss Möbius!
One of the good things about hauling out again is that we got the chance to check out how well the new Foul Release paint was doing its job. The hull had been in the water for three months without moving so this was a good test, and as you can see in this photo (click to enlarge any photo)the InterSleek 1100SR silicone based bottom paint had worked even better than I had hoped.
This will give you a bit of a Before & After shot where I had gently wiped the corner spot in the foreground here with a sponge and every bit of the algae and growth wiped clean. A few minutes with my sponge and I had the CPP prop blades, the Skeg and the Rudder wiped spotlessly clean. Even what growth there was you can see on the sides of the hull in the upper Left were minimal and came off with a gentle wipe of the sponge. And looked like this a few minutes later. There is a lot of surface area on a 24m/78 ft long hull so it did take us a couple of hours to do it all but this was the result and I’ve gotta say that I wouldn’t have believed it if I had not seen it for myself. * For those of you interested in this Foul Release as opposed to Anti-Foul bottom paint, I wrote about this in more detail HERE in this Weekly Progress Update from Feb 8-13, 2021
It is still early in its life of course, which we expect to be 5-10 years before needing to be recoated, but based on this initial experience I am just blown away by how well this silicone based bottom paint works and can not say enough good things about it at this point. Stay tuned for “Bottoms Up (dates)” over the next few years.
Open Sesame Mr. Gee!
Many of you have been asking for more details about Mr. Gee and his sudden loss of oil pressure on the last sea trial. Now that we are out of the Free Zone and very solidly setup, that is my #1 priority and so yesterday I started to dismantling Mr. Gee to track down the culprit and fully fix the problem.
I’ve oft been asked why the hatch overtop of the Engine Room is so big and now you know the answer. To make it easy to access the entire engine and CPP gearbox and be able to lift it all out as one assembly if/whenever needed over the lifespan of the boat which is measured in decades.
At this point I am still hoping that it won’t be neccessary to completely remove Mr. Gee and the Nogva CPP but with the hatch removed it makes working in the ER very well lit and ventilated even in the mid 30C/95F weather we are already having here. You can also see why I designed the ER to be as wide as it is which makes accessing everything a piece of cake compared to most other boats I have ever worked on.
While I don’t know if I will need to remove the engine, I do need to remove the large cast AL oil pan and to do that I need to lift Mr. Gee about 1m/40” up from where he sits here. So I first need to remove many of the parts up on the front such as the cast AL water reservoir and the whole cogged belt system I made to drive the upper Electrodyne alternator on one side and the sea water pump on the other. I also need to remove both heads to check out the valves and pistons and to do that I need to remove everything attached to the heads such as all the valve train, exhaust and intake manifolds, fuel lines, etc. So my next few days are a process of removing all these parts and here are the ones I removed yesterday. Cast AL water holding tank on the middle Left, Fuel filter and valves in the lower Left and water manifolds on the Right.
That workbench will soon be filled with a lot more parts as I get to the bottom of the problem and fix it properly so stay tuned for more episodes of “As Mr. Gee Turns” As I rest my weary little body each evening of this process, I’m going to be dreaming of the day when Möbius is back in this spot with Mr. Gee thrumming away as we back out of the slip and head off into the blue horizons that await us. Thanks as always for taking the time to join Christine and I on this grand adventure and don’t forget to add your questions and comments in the “Join the Discussion” box below.
I double checked the calendar and it is indeed just the beginning of May but it sure feels like summer here in Antalya today. We’ve been having fabulous weather all year actually with an eXtremely mild Winter season that saw very little rain and very mild temperatures. But Spring has been off the charts in terns of great temperatures, low humidity and no rain. Today, Sunday May 9th, is a real scorcher and as I sit and type this aboard Möbius at 14:00 the temperature is a toasty 34C / 93F with a little bit of wind and crystal clear skies. No complaints from any of the crew aboard the good ship Möbius, that’s for sure.
While the lack of visual progress to show you continues as we work our way through the final jobs remaining to fully configure and test all the many systems onboard XPM78-01 Möbius, the amount of work required to play this real world version of Whack-A-Mole is relentless and non stop. That combination conspired to prevent me from putting together an update for you last week and I thank all of you who wrote to ask if all was well and thank all of you for your patience. In this Progress Update I’m going to combine the past 2 weeks into this one, so please grab a comfy chair and beverage and join me for a Show & Tell of what’s been happening from April 26th through May 5th, 2021.
All Hands on Deck!
In addition to all the configuration and testing, there is also a long list of those “little jobs” that add up to be quite a large amount of work all together and we knocked off more of these the past 2 weeks as well and here are a few examples.
Here we find Captain Christine, ably abetted by our two four legged crewmembers, Barney (Left) and Ruby, finished whipping the Dyneema lifelines she had previously spliced in place and which are working out eXtremely well. The Rosewood Dinette table came back from being refinished and is once again mounted to the vertically adjustable pedestal with the XY sliders that allow us to move the table 200mm / 8” fore/aft and side to side which enables us to always have the table in its Goldilocks position for any situation. There had been some small depressions on the top surface of the table which while minor, were also very visible and took away from the otherwise superb finish on all the woodwork so the Finishing crew quickly refinished it and as you can see it is now flawless. There are a LOT of valves, circuit breakers, hoses, electrical connections, etc. that number in the hundreds and so labeling everything is a must and makes it easy to know what’s what and how to operate all these systems. These 3 fuel manifolds provide a good example. You may recall a few weeks ago that the two cleats on the Swim Step were upgraded from AL pipe to solid and the heat from welding those in required that the TreadMaster be removed and now it has been replaced. The light Grey TreadMaster is also proving to be as good or better than we had hoped. The top priority is to provide a great non-skid surface in any conditions and the tight sharp diamond pattern of the TreadMaster eXcels in this department and locks even bare wet feet in place everywhere. Second priority is to provide a more bare feet friendly surface especially when in hot sunny climates so that you don’t have to do your “walking over red hot coals” fire dance when you are on deck. While not comparable to the tropics, today’s high temperatures and intense direct overhead sunlight gives us a reasonable test and we are happy with the results.
For a baseline, as of a few minutes ago, 14:30 Sunday May 9th, here is the temperature on the fully shaded Aft Deck area which my trusty IR temperature gun clocked at 32.4C / 90F. And out on the Stbd side decks that have been getting the most direct sun right now, the TreadMaster is at about 50.5C / 122.9F. Definately not cold, but I can stand in place on these decks without too much discomfort and when walking it is quite comfortable. As in life, everything is relative right and compared to our previous boats, with painted on non-skid on both fiberglass and steel decks, this is a HUGE improvement, so we’re happy with these results.
Love Thy Dock Neighbor!
You’ve seen in previous postings that we have some very interesting and varied dock neighbors here in the Antalya Free Zone with over 30 different boat builders producing a wild and wide range of boat sizes and purposes. Most of these boats are in a similar situation as we are, brand new being launched for the first time so that all the in-the-water testing and finishing can be done. Then once finished, they are off to their new home bases scattered around the world so boats are leaving and new ones arriving on almost a daily basis. Here are some recent examples of our recent neighbors:
On our Port side we have this 34m/112ft steel “Phi Phantom”. This is a support boat for a much larger superyacht so this is all function with huge flat decks and even larger bays below with that monster articulated crane to get all the “toys” off/on this boat and the superyacht. They also carry all the fuel, supplies, parts and maintenance crew. These kinds of support boats are often called “over the horizon tenders” as that’s where they are to stay out of sight of the high paying passengers on the superyacht or a “phantom boat” such as this one that is to stay similarly ghost like or invisible to the superyacht it supports. On our Starboard side we have this Bering 77 I showed you a bit in my last posting.
At 77 feet long overall, she is 1 ft shorter than Möbius but otherwise MUCH larger at more than twice our weight, much taller, much wider and quite a bit slower than Möbius (8 kts vs 11) but still a Goldilocks boat for the right owner and use case. Down the dock a few more meters is this little fella who showed up last week and is the basis of my “Love thy neighbor” heading for this section.
Why you ask? Look a little closer at some of her deck hardware ……….. Like here for example. Or zoom in a bit closer to read that red safety lock….. The more you look, the more interesting it gets. For example, when those hatches in front of the two rocket launchers are opened up it reveals a relatively typical set of instruments, controls and a small bench seat for the operator. Most of the time though and during testing, these hatches remain tightly closed and fully waterproof. So how do they operate the boat now and where is the Captain sitting? Inside here! Turns out this is a fully autonomous vessel or unmanned drone and the real “Captain” is actually sitting ……. …… here!
“ULAQ” is the first indigenous armed unmanned surface vessel (AUSV) developed in Turkey. It is being offered by Ares Shipyard and Meteksan Defence Systems to the Turkish Navy and you can read all about this fascinating research project HERE and HERE if you’d like to know more details. Suffice it to say that we treat all our dock mates with great respect and kindness!
Get the Lead Out no IN!
This was one of the more interesting things happening with our Bering 77 dock mates this past week.
Can you guess what they are up to and what’s in all those wood crates up on the dock? Is this a Turkish version of a Swill Alps horn? Nope, just an ingenious way of putting the lead ballast into the stern compartments of the Bering 77. Here is what is inside all those crates, 1000 Kg of 5mm diameter lead balls like this. One scoop at a time the little lead balls are poured into this funnel, run down the long black PVC pipe into the holds in the aft end and are then capped off with an aluminium plate that is bolted down overtop.
However, hands down, THE most exciting and interesting thing that happened on the docks this past week happened to us and Möbius.
Hmmmm, what do you think that crane truck is doing behind us?
And what is Captain Christine busy with and what are those weird shaped teak blocks on the Aft Deck? Aha! That’s our Tender flying through the air! and about to be lowered onto those Teak chocks on the Aft Deck. Like this……… ……. and this. And she fits like the proverbial glove and just as I had laid out in the 3D models; with the front Stbd fender just able to rub up against the vertical support bar coming up out of the Port Vent box…….. ……… and the Aft Port corner of the fender right up against the doghouse over the stairs from the Swim Platform into the Workshop. And there she is! Our Tender finally setting in her new home and Möbius is now fully equipped. Sinan, our upholstery master made this tight fitting cover out of some waterproof Sunbrella fabric we had brought over from the US.
This shot provides a good perspective of how nicely everything fits and works together on the Aft Deck with the Tender onboard. Plenty of room in the Outside Galley and the entire Stbd side to walk back and forth the whole length of the boat. Here’s what it all looks like viewed looking forward. Next up is fitting all the rigging to raise/lower the Davit Arch and the Tender within it but that should be a relatively straightforward job that can wait for now.
Oh, and we’ve settled on a name for Möbius’ new “baby” and she will be called “Mobli”. A lot of different parts to the story behind this including a reference to Mowgli in Kipling’s Jungle Book as well as being our sense that Mogli is the diminutive version of Möbius.
Welcome to our family Mogli! We can’t wait to start playing with you in the water and showing you the awemazing aquatic world that surrounds us. Hope you enjoyed this combined 2 weeks worth of Show & Tell from all of us here on Team Möbius. We’ll be back with more next week as we inch closer and closer to leaving the Free Zone and returning to our lives sailing the world.
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!