Our first week back aboard the good ship Möbius after our 3 week fun packed time being Gramma and Grampa with our two Granddaughters Brynn (beside me in Red) and Blair beside Christine in Green. Their parents, Lia & Brian joined us as well of course and we are all still savoring the latest batch of memories we created during our time with them exploring Turkey.
I’ll let the photo and the smiles tell you all you need to know about what a great time we had.
If you’d like to see and know more, check out THIS post that Christine put up last week with a few more photos and explanations. After that MUCH needed break, it was back to work for Christine and I this week and we were soon ramped right back up to our typically busy selves onboard, me getting back to the still growing list of jobs needing done to get Möbius seaworthy and Christine getting back to working on her next books. For those interested you can check out all of Christine’s best selling thriller novels HERE on her Author’s Page on Amazon.
And boy has it been HOT here in Finike!
Lest some of you should think, for reasons I can’t fathom, that I’m eXaggerating about the weather here, check out this snip I just grabbed from Accuweather.
See for yourself, daytime highs of 43C/110F and night time lows down to 22C/72F
Where is Möbius??
Speaking of Finike, some of you have asked about where we and Möbius are now located so here is a quick set of maps to show you, Starting with this bigger picture to give you a sense of where Finike and Turkey is relative to the countries and seas surrounding us. Zoomed into the coastline between Antalya where we started in the upper Right corner and Finike just around the coastal corner in the bottom Right. Distance by sea is about 70 nautical miles which would be 130km/81 miles. We were originally tied up on the inner harbour wall where you see the two larger boats in the bottom center here. However, this was just outside the Setur Finike Marina itself with several very nice restaurants right behind us that featured very lovely live music every night, but a bit too loud and a bit too long (2 AM) for our liking. So last week we moved over to the docks running along the sea wall breakwater that is in the upper Right in the photo above and we are now snuggled in between these two sailboats. A bit tight, but no one living on either boat and it is only a short walk to go for a swim over the other side of the sea wall, which we look forward to every night. Here’s our view looking NNW across our bow at the rest of the marina with the town of Finike spread out behind and some of the surrounding mountains.
All in all a very nice spot that will be Möbius’ Home Port for the rest of this year as we eXplore more of the beautiful Turkish Turquoise Coast.
The Whack-a-Molomino games begin!
I’ve created this portmanteau “Whack-a-Molomino” in an attempt to articulate how my week has been going as I find myself playing this new game that combines; the thrill of the hunt of playing the arcade game of Whack-a-Mole …. …… that has been infused with the intrigue of the Domino Effect.
Read on and you will soon see what I mean.
Cooling Down Heats me up!
Let’s start with this riddle; “How can Air Conditioning heat you up?” The technically correct answer is that this is a feature of some AirCon systems which can run in what’s known as Reverse Cycle model which heats up the air going into the rooms instead of cooling it down. This is a very welcome feature in cold climates and the Webasto AirCon system in Möbius does indeed have this Reverse Cycle feature. However, this week it was a “bug” not a feature when things went pear shaped and the game of Whack-a-Molomino began while trying to get our AirCon system to cool down the cabins on Möbius in these very hot days and nights we’ve been having. Here’s how that went.
We have been anxious to test out the extensive Air Conditioning system based on a Webasto BlueCool V Series 77k BTU Chiller located in the Workshop which provides the chilled (or heated) water that is piped to …… …… the four A Series Air Handlers; one 12K in the Guest Cabin, one 18 K in the Master Cabin and two 12K units on either side of the SuperSalon. Each Air Handler is controlled by one of these MyTouch display panels in each Cabin and then there is a similar controller mounted on the Chiller in the Workshop. All these MyTouch control panels are networked together so you can control the whole system from anywhere on the boat.
A marine AirCon system uses the readily available sea water that is continuously pumped through the Chiller’s water to water heat exchanger which cools the antifreeze/water solution down to about 2-4°C. This chilled coolant is then pumped through well insulated plumbing to the small water to air heat exchangers (mini radiators) in each Air Handler with a thermostatically controlled fan that blows fresh cold air into each Cabin.
I was primarily anxious to get some real world data on the energy consumption of this AirCon system and as you might imagine, these hot days provided all the more incentive. So Monday morning I went through all the pre-start preparations for this brand new and new to me set of equipment and controls. After re-reading the Webasto product manuals, checking that all valves for sea water and coolant were open, all the 230V circuit breakers were on, the five MyTouch displays all came to life and were ready for testing. I started with the Guest Cabin aka Christine’s Office where she is anxiously awaiting cool calm place to work on her books. At first I had a problem getting the Chiller unit to go into Cooling mode but it was stuck on Heating mode, but I worked with the two head technicians from Webasto to both design this system and then when they were commissioning it and so I was able to get in touch with them on WhatsApp and they were very fast to respond and show me the “trick” to get into the second settings menu by holding down the main screen for 3 seconds which then gave me the option to change the mode from Heating to Cooling and set it to be Automatic in the future.
All was going well as the Chiller fired up, brought the water temps down from 32C/90F which believe it or not is the sea temperature here, to about 3-4C and then the Air Handler in Christine’s Office came on and had cold air blowing in which put an eXtremely big smile on my Captain’s face! As I scurried about setting up the other three air handlers, checking for and fixing the leaks I found, and keeping an eye on the Amps/Watts meters I started to notice the very unsettling odor of burning wires! Yikes!
My nose quickly led me to the AC Main Panel in the Basement which is behind the now open Grey door at the far Right end in this photo. This is the Main AC panel for all the 120 volt and 230 volt circuits we have onboard.
Fortunately I had caught this early and there was no fire, just the unmistakable and unsettling smell of overheated insulation on electrical wires.
Everything looked to be fine when I first opened up the door of this Main Panel but the smell was clearly coming from somewhere inside. Almost all the wires are neatly tucked away inside plastic wire chases like this which do a great job of tidying up all the individual wires and keeping them tucked out of the way BUT you also can’t see what’s going on inside so I started to quickly unclip the tops on all these chases so I could see the wires inside.
In the literal heat of the moment I didn’t have the time to take any photos to show how it looked with the covers all in place but a few minutes later, with all the covers removed, I snapped this shot and at first glance all appeared to be well. However, as I scanned all the wiring I realized that this jumble of Black wires in the middle above the row of gray plastic DIN rail junction blocks had not been there the last time I had looked over the AC wiring, though that was a year ago now at least. As I took it all in I was more and more puzzled as to what all these Black wires were needed for as most of them seemed to be just jumpers from one junction block to the next. This is very puzzling because these DIN junction blocks have built in slots in the middle where you can insert proper copper jumpers that you press in place between any two or more terminals you want to interconnect. The closer I looked the more strange it became and as I carefully moved some of the coiled up wires and found that multiple wires had been jammed into single terminals?
I quickly found the culprit when I burned my fingers on the wires jammed into terminal # 24 (Green arrow) and saw the melting plastic in the middle of that block which the Red arrow is pointing at.
I quickly and carefully pulled the sticky hot wire out of the the melting terminal and you can see the wire inside the White oval. Again, lest any of you might think I’m eXaggerating how hot these wires had become, I submit as Evidence #1, this thermal image taken from about the same vantage point as the photo above. The thermal camera I use has this nifty feature of not only color coding the temperatures as well as overlaying actual temperature reading of key spots. As you can see the “White hot” wire I have removed from terminal #24 is at 101.1C / 214F
For those of you wondering about this photo and my thermal camera, here are some quick details of what I regard as, for now obvious reasons, one of my most important Safety devices I carry onboard Möbius and would not be without.
My ever so handy and well used Flir ONE Thermal camera plugs into the USB C of my Pixel 5 phone and displays the thermal images overlaid on top of the phones camera image where I can control the degree of transparency to see more or less of the thermal image vs the actual image by varying the degree of transparency. As you can see in the photo above and relative to my hand here, it is a very compact little device which normally lives inside the protective hard shell “Otter box” case it comes with until I need to use it for situations like this.
I have this camera out at all times on passages and we use it on our hourly engine room and ship inspections to scan things like all the wiring panels, the Gardner and any other places where changes in temperature are not a good thing.
Not particularly cheap until you consider the consequences and expenses of NOT having one! As a less dramatic and more positive example, I was also able to use my Flir ONE to check the temperature of the air vents in the Salon window sills when the AirCon unit was running and see precise temperatures which I could compare with the other vents and get precise readings to know how well the air was being cooled or not. After this first round of Whack-a-Molomino my AirCon job had turned into a major AC wiring job so this was my “office” for the last four days as I used that plastic crate as my seat perched in front of the AC Main Panel removing all the wiring and replacing it with new and properly connected wires. Wiring any boat can be challenging but on any metal boat boat and especially so an aluminium boat, this is eXtremely important as the consequences of incorrectly wired, especially AC and DC grounding wires range from accelerated corrosion from stray electrical currents to eXtremely rapid corrosion if current is traveling through the hull or other conductive components such as the prop shaft and propeller. For reasons that most of us AL boat owners can’t understand, this is an area that many professional and certified technicians seem to not understand and as a result many boats suffer unnecessary damage and shortened life spans.
It became worse as I tested and traced each of the existing wires and discovered that in several cases wires had be simply cut or disconnected in order to prevent things like the RCB safety circuit breakers from tripping. As I continued by drawing out a schematic of the current Main Panel, I discovered that the electrical diagrams I had been supplied with had not been kept up to date during the build process and given the importance of getting this right the best thing to do was to remove ALL the wiring and start over.
So I started with a literally blank piece of paper and drew out the schematic of how the AC wiring inside this Main Panel needed to be wired. They are what they are, quick hand sketches, but they work for me and I have found that by drawing out each wire in every circuit and then tracing out each wire with colored highlighters it pretty much forces me to get it right. Red is the AC Hot/Load wires, Blue is Neutral and Green/Yellow is safety grounding “PE” wires. I won’t belabour this any further and just provide these few shots I took along the way or the rewiring.
Here is the newly wired middle set of Gray Junction blocks with all the Black jumper wires you can see in the original photo up above now gone and proper DIN junction jumpers now in place where needed. One of the most critical parts of AC wiring on boats is the Green/Yellow grounding wires which must be fully isolated from both the hull and the Blue Neutral wires and be connected at one and ONLY ONE connection point on the boat. This too had been missed and so here you can see the set of Green/Yellow wires I have separated from the other grounding bus bar a the bottom and added to their own set of Gray junction blocks above.
This is where I left off last night, all wires now properly connected and fully tested with both Shore Power connections and Inverter connections to ensure the grounding is correct and that the RCD (Residual Control Devices) are tripping immediately with the least bit >30mAmps of imbalance between the Neutral and the Load wires in each AC circuit. Tomorrow morning I will finish up by reconnecting indicator lights, tidying up all the wires and putting them neatly into the wire chases for added safety. I’ll try t show you that in next week’s update.
And thus ended round one of this week’s Olympic Whack-a-Molomino games. I’m not sure who “won” here other than Möbius being the winner of now being both a better and a more seaworthy boat that puts us one step closer to being able to head out to sea with the complete confidence that is mandatory for doing so, or is at least for Christine and myself.
I’ll be back with more next week as I hopefully get back to what I originally set out to do; get our AirCon system working!
Thanks for taking the time to join me for this week’s tournament and PLEASE do add your comments, questions and suggestions in the “Join the Discussion” box below.
Just a relatively short update for all of you that have been wondering about the “deafening silence” for the past 3 weeks from your more typically ebullient and brevity challenged author. In case you missed the ending of my last posting, Christine and I flew up to Istanbul to meet our daughter Lia, hubby Brian and our two granddaughters Brynn (7) and Blair (5) as they got off their non stop plane ride from LAX to spend THREE WEEKS with us! This would be a grand gift at any time but having not been able to get together for almost two years now, this was a HUGEY big gift!
And a jam packed three weeks it was as we shared the Turkey we have come to know and love with them AND got to host them for the first real passage on Möbius! Christine will be posting a bit more about our wonderful two day trip with the six of us aboard Möbius as we cruised the awemazing coastline from Antalya to Finike and here are just a few photos from our other adventures in planes, trains, automobiles AND hot air balloons!
We walked and ate our way throughout the truly world class city of Istanbul for the first three days and this is just one of our many Turkish kahvaltı, aka breakfasts. Short flight back from Istanbul to Antalya, test run for our new mariners with an overnight anchor at the nearby Rock Island to celebrate Brynn’s 7th Birthday!
See Christine’s post for much more about all this.
Thumbs up from all the crew and so we headed out for the first actual passage on Möbius. Slipped into this little spot that the girls dubbed as “Mermaid Cove” for another night on anchor and lots of swimming. Onward to some land based adventures, we went white water rafting in Köprülü Canyon National Park which is about 90 minutes from from where we lived in Antalya. Swimming through the thermal mineral ……. ……. pools of Pamukkale Climbing through the ruins of Sagalossos dating back to 600 BCE. Three nights in our two Cave Hotel rooms which were literally carved into the volcanic rock cliffs in Cappadocia. Up the next morning at 3AM to catch the sunrise in ….. ……. our very own Hot Air Balloon. Floating over the otherworldly “Fairy Chimneys” of Cappadocia 90 minutes went by SO fast! Until we gently touched down with the expert touch of ……. …… our favorite pilot Hakan (Black shirt far Left) from our previous ride with him 2 years ago for a champagne finish! We bid our family adieux for their return flight to IST and then on to LAX the next morning and Christine and I drove the 9 hour trip back to Möbius.
Where we had left her peacefully tied up in Finke marina which will be our home port for the rest of this year. Whew! We have spent the weekend savoring all these newest family memories and catching our breath from the wonderful whirlwind that our life has been for the past three weeks, indeed the past three years!
Tomorrow (Monday here) we will renew our efforts to get through the long and seemingly growing list of jobs to do in order to get Möbius fully sea worthy and ready for our next adventures. So we will resume our regular programming here on Mobius.World and do our best to continue to entertain and inform you about our ongoing adventures aboard the good ship Möbius.
Please tune in again next week for the next chapter and THANK YOU SO MUCH for your continued interest and comments. Be sure to add more in the “Join the Discussion” box below.
As most of you know by now, Christine is American and I am Canadian so this was a big week as both our countries celebrated their independence within days of each other; Canada day on Thursday July 1st and today being July 4th for the USA. However, Friday July 2nd, was THE most special independence day celebration for us as this was the day we felt we and our new world aboard Möbius achieved our true independence. Why Friday? Well because that was the day that we took Möbius out for her maiden voyage and a whole set of firsts such as our first overnight on anchor. Hard to capture how this felt having been five years in the making but I’ll do my best, try to keep it short and let the photos do most of the talking with that “photo is worth a thousand words” thought in mind. Here goes ………
After waiting SO long for this to all happen the past few days have been a bit of a blur and reminds me of the “hurry up and wait” condition I learned in the Canadian military.
Mid day on Monday Christine went up to the marina office to let them know that we would be ready to launch in the next few days and they told her that the TraveLift was going in for service tomorrow so if we wanted to launch it had to be NOW! Fortunately I had Mr. Gee all back together again and running the day before which was where I left off in last week’s update posting and the remaining jobs could be done in the water so we were good to Go! This is actually the third time we have splashed Möbius here at Setur marina so it didn’t take them long to get the slings positioned under Möbius round belly and we had lift off in no time flat. Down came all the vertical posts holding us up and we were headed for the TraveLift launch pads. Which are less than 100 meters away so again, mere minutes. We hover over the water for a few minutes and then down we go till the straps are loose and I can head below to check for any leaks. All’s well down below, just the way we like it, not a drop of salt water to be found and so we give the thumbs up to the crew with our thanks and the TraveLift is off for its servicing leaving us floating merrily in the water at last.
Flange Alignment v2.0
One of the last jobs of putting Mr. Gee all back together again was to recheck the alignment of the flanges that couple the output of the Nogva CPP gearbox to the prop shaft.
If you have been following the whole Mr. Gee v2.0 rebuild you may recall that I left the Nogva gearbox bolted in place to the engine beds with the two anti-vibration mounts on either side so it *should* not have moved but this alignment is critical to smooth vibration free power transfer from Mr. Gee through to the 1 meter OD 4 bladed CPP propeller and as per the illustration above, the two flanges have to be near perfectly aligned with no more than 0.05 of a millimeter deviation. For reference a strand of average human hair has a diameter between 0.06 and 0.08 mm.
Not a difficult job, fist step is to remove the composite grated flooring and unbolt the sealed AL panel underneath to reveal the space where the prop shaft enters the boat. Then remove all 8 hardened bolts around the flanges, pull the flanges apart by sliding the prop shaft back a few inches and then moving it forward till the two flanges touch. Then you use feeler gauges to determine the exact size of any gap between the two flanges. In my case the gap was 0.06mm so it only required a tweak with a pry bar on the front of the Gardner to eliminate that and then I could torque the 8 bolts back to a grunt worthy 240 Newton Meters and the propulsion system was good to Go! It was also time to say bye bye to Mr. Gee’s original crankshaft and pack him all up for a safe trip back to Gardner Marine Diesel in Canterbury England where they will grind all the journals and have it ready to be installed in the next marine 6LXB engine they build.
At about 220kg / 485 Lbs, the wooden crate that GMD had made to send the new crank to me, would work well for the return flights and I added a few 2×2 timbers through screwed into the framing of their crate for good measure and one more component is Good to Go!
SkyBridge Lounge Act v1.0
As we are doing with many aspects of this very new boat, we are using this first year of living aboard to make lots of adjustments as we determine just how we tend to use various spaces and equipment and THEN we will build them in permanently. The most recent example is the layout and furniture for the upper SkyBridge area in front of the Helm Station.
What we decided to do is buy some inexpensive modular outdoor patio furniture which we could rearrange into various different configurations to see what we tended to gravitate to and use most often. Once we know that I can build in a more permanent set of furniture next year.
So Captain Christine has been on the hunt for the past few months at all the home supply stores here in Antalya and her choice arrived on this pallet on Wednesday. The L-shaped sectional couch and glass topped table are made from aluminium tube covered with plastic rattan like weaving so they are super lightweight and will work well in our salty environment.
Minutes later, the Captain could take the new lounge setup out for a quick test drive and seems to be pleased with her choices. I soon followed suit and am sitting here now typing up this blog post for you. Not a bad office, and one of several we no have onboard.
Wayne’s Newest Toy!
Christine and I are both running on fumes energy wise and so on Thursday we took the day off to drive about 2hrs north to the big city of Denizli where a brand new air compressor was waiting to be picked up. I had sent a new compressor over from Florida with all our other effects and boat parts a few years ago but it was DOA due to a faulty install and the best option for this critical bit of kit was to go for an upgraded new version which you see here on the Swim Platform Thursday afternoon.
2HP dual motors with dual compressors on each, 60L AL tank and super quiet!
I will soon be mounting this compressor under one of the AL workbenches in the Workshop where I will plumb it into the PVC pipes that run the full length of the Port side of the hull all the way up to the Forepeak with quick connect fittings in each area along the way. I’ve had compressed air on boats for so long I can’t imagine a boat without and use it daily for powering pneumatic tools such as sanders and impact guns and being able to clear out debris from clogged tubes and just general cleanup. Also super handy for quickly filling things like air mattresses and our inflatable kayak.
Compressed air is also how I clear any clogs in our Sea Chest with a quick blast in the fittings installed in each plexiglass lid.
But perhaps our favorite use is to supply the air for our two Hookah regulators which allow us to stay underwater with just a regulator in our mouth, no tanks, to do maintenance on the hull such as keeping the silicone foul release paint super slick and clean or to explore some of the nearby coral and underwater life around Möbius. We will also have a 12V Hookah setup in the Tender to be able to enjoy underwater wonders further afield.
Maiden Voyage v1.0
Still not quite believing it, we seemed to finally be ready to head out to open ocean waters for the first time and have Mr. Gee take Möbius and us out for our Maiden Voyage! With everything from Mr. Gee to so many other systems being all new or on version 2.0, we spent Friday morning checking everything over multiple times, getting Mr. Gee warmed up, bow thrusters working, steering working, charting and all nav systems working and at 13:20 Friday July 2nd, 2021 we cast off the dock lines and headed out through the breakwater of the Antalya harbour to officially begin our latest adventure.
In a rare attempt at brevity to try to say how pleased we are, I will simply show you a set of shots of the wake we left as we slowly increased the pitch and thus speed through the water as we pointed Möbius’ bow to the horizon. These shots of the wake behind Möbius at different speeds probably won’t be too exciting for many of you but for us, this is a huge part of the “proof of the pudding” from all the time we invested with Dennis in designing this hull to be eXtremely efficient for maximum speed with minimum power and fuel burn and to be slick, slippery and smooth as she slices through the water.
This is the wake at 7.2 kts off the Swim Platform. Longer range shot still at 7.2 kts 20 minutes later, dialing in a bit more pitch this is what it looked like at 8.5 kts Just a bit more speed with a bit more pitch but still keeping well under full load as we break in Mr. Gee very gently, this was our top speed for this first outing of 9.2 kts. I will publish tables of data like this in the coming weeks but one quick shot for those curious, this is the EGT and Fuel burn rate at 8.5 kts with Mr. Gee spinning at 1500 RPM. For reference, EGT at full continuous load rating for Mr. Gee at 1650 is 400C
After two hours testing out different pitch/speed combinations, some hard turns and circles to familiarize ourselves with steering and handling Captain Christine headed us for this small nearby uninhabited island. At her cue I dropped “Rocky” our 110Kg / 243 Lb Rocna anchor into the sea for his first bite of bottom sand. As usual for a Rocna he bit right away in about 30 feet of water, Christine backed down to give him a good pull for a few minutes and Möbius settled back with the 13mm / 1/2” chain hanging straight down in these calm waters. First order of business?
Our first dives off the Swim Platform!
(you can just make out Christine about to enjoy her first dive into these cool clear blue Aegean waters.) We swam around Möbius for the very fist time under Barney’s close scrutiny from deck. While this view of the shoreline of the mainland off our Port side isn’t too bad, what was breathtaking for us as we did our first lap around Möbius, was to be looking up to see our visions we developed over all these past years now be a realty looming overhead.
Suffice it to say that our fist night at anchor was pure bliss!
Oh, and for those curious, Mr. Gee performed flawlessly throughout the 5.5 hours we ran him out and back on this Maiden Voyage. Here is a shot of his oil pressure and oil temperature after running at various loads for about 2 hours on the way back to the marina on Saturday doing about 8.5 kts @ 1500 RPM. As happy as you can imagine we were when we returned to the marina yesterday afternoon after about 3 hours of more testing and maneuvering, we are even MORE excited here on Sunday night as we fly to Istanbul in the morning to meet our daughter Lia, husband Brian and our two granddaughters Brynn and Blair! This is a family get together that has been delayed for over 2 years and we are eXtremely eXcited to see this vision also become reality and I’ll have a bit more about this in next week’s post when we fly back here with all of them next Thursday.
Thanks for joining us through this eXtremely long and winding adventure that it has taken us to get here. Hope you have enjoyed it and we will continue to keep you posted as we switch into cruising mode and can provide more of the real world data and experiences aboard XPM78-01 Möbius that many of you are apparently anxious to receive.
Whew, I am one pooped pirate! Partly because like many of you apparently, we have had an eXtremely HOT week here in Antalya weather wise with daily highs around 40C/104F and we hit 42C/108F yesterday during the day and only dropped down to about 30C/86F for the evening so its been a bit toasty. And as “luck” would have it, being out of the water right now we can’t run our AirCon system as it requires seawater for its cooling pump.
Things have also been smokin’ hot progress wise this week as the GA1 aka Gardner Army of One aka yours truly continues to put in very full days getting Mr. Gee, our beloved Gardner 6LXB main (and only) engine, all back together again, running and soon thereafter ………………… splashing back into the water!
Captain Christine and I are now affectionately referring to him as Mr. Gee 2.0 which seems appropriate as he really has been “born again” as this is his 2nd full renovation after the first one I did last year after we acquired Mr. Gee from a tugboat on the Thames River in England. As all you regular readers know from following along on this adventure (Thanks!!), we had a disheartening debacle during the first few minutes of the first sea trial when the CPP Pitch lever was pushed fully forward to maximum pitch which put an eXtremely large and sustained overload condition rather than the gradual breaking in of this brand new engine that the hired captain had been asked to do.
As all you faithful followers now know, this required that we lift Mr. Gee up about 1 meter above his comfy Engine Room bed to allow me to do a second full tear down in order to replace the crankshaft, bearings, rings, etc. with all new parts and get Mr. Gee back to his next new life. Hence version 2.0 which should last us for many decades to come which is the norm for these eXtremely strong and simple Gardner engines.
So I will pick up where I left off last week, with the last of the reassembly process, lowering Mr. Gee back down onto his Engine Beds and hopefully getting him running again, adjusted and ready to go back where he and we belong; in the water!
Ready? Got a comfy chair in a cool spot with a cool beverage? Great, let’s jump right in……………
Even the Turkish Polish Approve!
Mid morning on Monday (June 21, 2021) as I was working away on Mr. Gee in the Engine Room, I heard a knock on the hull and a voice calling to me. You can picture my face as I emerged to find five fully uniformed Turkish Marine Police standing on the Swim Platform and peeking through the door into the Workshop! What else would a Canadian say but “Hi, can I help you and would you like to come in?
We had seen the TraveLift pull up in front of us with this relatively new Police Patrol boat as this was where the marina staff do all the pressure washing of vessels that get hauled out so we didn’t think anything more of it.
Turns out that they had seen Möbius for some time and had been quite intrigued by this very unusual almost military looking boat and wanted to know all about it.
Turns out that they are in the process of designing their next new boat and the Captain on the far Left in the photo below, was very taken with the design and features of Möbius and wanted to know much more about it.
The Officer in the middle here spoke quite a bit of English so he did all the translations for the others and they spent about an hour with us asking more and more questions. As usual Barney was an instant hit and spent the whole time being held and well attended to by all the officers as they spent about an hour onboard with us until their boat was ready to go back into the water and they had to leave.
Now THAT is the way to be boarded by the marine Police!
Making Mr. Gee 2.0 Better Yet
When I do repairs on boats I always try to do more than “just” fix the problem and do some things which will make the boat better than before and so I took a bit of time to give some of Mr. Gee’s parts a fresh new coat of tough epoxy paint.
I set up this temporary workbench outside with my trusty grinder and wire wheel to clean up parts such as these main bearing cap cross bolts, nuts and washers. I also decided to change a few of these external parts to a contrasting glossy Black rather then the previous Burgundy color to make Mr. Gee even classier than he already was. Oil Filter housing and cap on the Left then Fuel Lift Pump, Oil Heat Exchanger Pump, and Oil Pressure relief valve on the far Right. The kind, wise and beautiful Captain decided to treat me to a bit of a “makeover” as well by having her print shop buddy she had gotten to know over the past 3 years, to print and bind the Gardner parts and technical manuals that I rely on SO much every day. I only had the one on the far Left previously printed a few years ago but had since acquired several even better ones and a full parts manual (top middle) and so it was a wonderful surprise when the printer dropped them off with his son as they too wanted to get a tour of Möbius.
Back On His Feet Again!
When we left off last week, I had the new crankshaft in place along with all its attached bearings, connecting rods, pistons, rings, etc. and had bolted up the massive cast AL oil sump to the bottom so Mr. Gee was now ready to be reunited with his buddy “Normy” the Nogva CPP or Controllable Pitch Propeller gear box.
This required lowering Mr. Gee from his lofty position you see here, and he also needed to move aft about 25cm/1 ft so that their two mating SAE housing surfaces lined up precisely.
I called for the expert, Captain Christine ** to run the front chain block while I managed the aft end where hidden from view inside the AL housing on the bottom here is the CentaMax flexible coupling. ** Note the Captain’s hair here. You’ll understand why at the end.
The massive torque Mr. Gee puts out gets smoothly transferred to the Nogva CPP via this CentaMax 1600 SAE14 flexible drive system which makes it relatively easy to line up all those aluminium “fingers” with their mating U shaped grooves in the thick rubber disk that is bolted to the input shaft of the Nogva gearbox. I had rigged up two chain hoists for just this reason as it made it easy to adjust the angle as we lowered Mr. Gee in place and put him back on his Feet again where he attaches to the 25mm/1” thick AL engine beds on either side.
Click to enlarge and immediately above that Blue masking tape patch, you can see the outer AL portion of the CentaMax drive that is bolted to the Gardner’s flywheel sitting in between the Burgundy Nogva SAE 14 housing and the matching Gardner flywheel housing. Going in stages down and aft and wiggling the suspended Mr. Gee, it was quite easy to get the two halves of the CentaMax drive system lined up and slid together.
Lined up perfectly here and just the last centimeter to go. That last cm is a bit trickier as these two housings had to line up precisely to allow the sliding fit of the hardened bolts to go through their holes on the Noga and thread into the holes on the Gardner’s AL housing. But didn’t take too much “wiggling” to get them lined up and you can see the bolts now in place here so Mr. Gee and Normy are solid once again!
Putting Humpty Dumpty Together Again
Now it was largely a matter of putting all of the removed parts back onto Mr. Gee which is quite straightforward but does take time as you have to fit all new gaskets and seals, adjust things like valve clearances, injection timing and so on. Having already done this once before helped it go very smoothly and the new manuals and sage advise via WhatsApp text messages from my Gardner expert and counsellor, Michael Harrison at Gardner Marine Diesel in Canterbury England who is always ready to provide me with invaluable assistance.
Thanks Michael and all your crew at GMD.
Shiny Black Oil Filter housing with original Gardner Brass Oil Temp thermometer in the bottom Right and I’m also now installing all the copper external oil tubes and fuel lines.
While I was at it, I freshened up the Gardner logos with matching Black paint background and repolished the raised logos on the six access ports on the upper sides of the cylinder heads. These covers are now bolted on and take their place along with the three matching Gardner logos I have also freshened up on the Fuel Injection Pump assembly below. A bit closer look at where the oil tube attaches to the bronze manifold on the side of the Oil Filter housing below the Oil Pressure gauge and carries fresh pressurized oil into galleries cast into the cylinder heads which pump oil into each of the valve rocker arms to keep them well lubricated and smoothly running for decades to come.
Hand Crank Starting System!
This is perhaps Captain Christine’s favorite features of Mr. Gee, his hand crank starter! Yes, you read that right and No I am not kidding, should our starter or batteries fail it is no problem to start Mr. Gee by hand cranking him!
Top chainwheel is connected to a long shaft that runs all the way to the handle on the aft end and then the chain goes down around the Black chainwheel at the very bottom here which is attached to the crankshaft. Careful observers will also note the AL idler chainwheel in the bottom Right corner that keeps the tension on the chain just right. Here is the long drive shaft I mentioned above, making its way to the very back of the engine where the hand crank attaches.
While the hand crank was a standard Gardner option, they had changed to put the crank handle on the front of the 6LXB models and so I had to do quite a bit of tricky engineering using Gardner parts from the old and new models along with some that I machined myself to keep the hand crank at the rear as there is no room to do this at the front on Möbius. As you can see here the fit is just a wee bit close!
But it works like a charm and I use this hand crank almost every day when I need to rotate the crank to a new position for doing valve or injection timing and things like that.
I will do a little video of hand starting Mr. Gee in the next few weeks for you non-believers!
Cogged Belt Drive Alternator & SW Pump
As tricky as the hybrid old/new hand crank system was, the true test was this cogged belt drive system I designed and built for Mr. Gee to power one of the two monster Electrodyne 250Ah @ 28V alternators (the 2nd one is powered by the built in Gardner PTO) and the bronze sea water pump that circulates cool seawater through all the heat exchangers and the wet exhaust system.
You can see the 3 special pulleys for the cogged belt’s “cogs” to run in and many of you would know these systems as serpentine belts or timing belts which drive the camshafts in most modern engines both gas and diesel for the past 30+ years. Super long lasting with zero slippage and able to drive large loads with no belt wear or stretching. Easy to see how this works when I fit the cogged belt loosely in place around all three pulleys.
I won’t bore you with all that it took to design, build and mount this this cogged belt system, at least not now, trust me when I say that this eXtremely unique to Möbius setup was a very fun challenge and I’m delighted with how well it all worked out.
One of the reasons why these belt systems are so widely used and so long lasting is that they also require zero maintenance or adjusting. This is partly achieved by the special Kevlar reinforced cogged belts, and I chose ones by Gates as they are the most commonly available worldwide. But the real trick to long, maintenance free life is that they use a heavy spring loaded belt tensioner to keep the tension always the same Goldilocks just right amount.
So I ordered a Gates tensioner pulley that is used on Toyota and many many other brands, again for worldwide parts availability, and them built the AL plate to mount it on that you see bolted to the Gardner AL A-frame for the Hand Crank chainwheel up on top. It was difficult to film single handed but to install the belt in the photo above, I just pull the spring loaded Black pulley up and slide the belt underneath.
Est voilà c’est tout!!
As timing belts in cars and trucks, these belt systems last for 100-150,00 miles of use under much more stress and strain so this setup should outlast me and Mr. Gee!
However, should this belt ever fail, there is a spare new one mounted above and as you have seen here it would take mere seconds and NO tools, to install a new one in an emergency at sea.
Fuel Injection System
The final and perhaps most important system to install is the Fuel Injection Pump, pipework’s and Injectors.
The Injection Pump that creates the eXtremely high pressure that forces the diesel fuel to atomise as it exits the tiny little holes in the tips of the injectors, is seen here with the 6 vertical Black “priming” levers. This is one of the 6 injectors and as is the norm with Gardners, these are all mechanical and super simple. No moving parts inside just eXtremely precisely machined parts to ensure a smooth travel of the high pressure diesel from the pump down the the 3 holes in the bottom of the injector nozzle. One of the features of a Gardner that I SO appreciate is that they designed and built them with servicing and service people in mind. What a concept!
In this case, I wanted to test each injector to make doubly sure they were all working and putting out the same injector pattern. Need to take to a Gardner testing shop? Nope!!
Just rotate the fuel pipe that connects the Fuel Injection Pump to the Injector body so it is outside the engine, tighten the injector to the pipe and then give the Priming Lever a few sharp hard pulls while you watch the spray pattern coming out of the 3 holes in the nozzle.
KISS at its best! Smart, Simple, Safe! All 6 injectors had the exact same spray pattern and so they were ready to drop gently in place into the cylinder heads and toque down the simple lever arm that holds the tapered end of the injector body against the matching face inside the head. No gaskets or seals requires, simple metal to metal tapered seat sealing.
I finally treated myself to a 1/4” drive torque wrench and this was its first use to torque down the 6 fuel injector body clamps just right. The threaded hold down “nuts” are castellated rather than hex head so I made up this special tool to fit and enable me to use the torque wrench to tighten them precisely. Used and old socket and my handy dandy Dremel tool to cut away these 4 teeth to fit the slots in the nuts. Together with my lovely new 1/4” torque wrench this worked like a charm and the injectors were quickly torqued down to factory specs and I could finish tightening up all the Black pipes to each injector and the return ones which take the unused fuel back to the tank. All the fuel injection pipes in place and torqued to the Injection Pump Body. Fuel injection system installed, tested and ready for service Captain Christine!
About all that’s left now before starting Mr. Gee up is to pour in the 28 liters of oil and 24 liters of water (to be replaced with antifreeze when fully tested for leaks and such) which is what I did just before starting to write up this blog post. So I will leave you here for now.
What’s that you say?
How dare I leave you hanging like this?
What more could you possibly want???
Oh, you wanted to know if Mr. Gee started??!?!?!?
Well, OK then, seeing as how you have been such patient boys and girls throughout Mr. Gee’s version 2.0 rebuild ………………..
LOVE that sound! Truly music to our ears!
We only ran Mr. Gee for a few minutes today because we are on the hard and have no seawater source.
I’ll have more testing and updates for you next week but as you have just seen, Mr. Gee 2.0 is ALIVE! and running once again!
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.