Wow! Surely my calendar is fooling me; December already? Another year winding down to a close? Where does the time go??!? I’ve long been fascinated by the dichotomy of how our sense of time past works where the same amount of time can seem to simultaneously much longer and much shorter. In the case of Möbius it seems like both yesterday and a lifetime ago when we first started this crazy idea of switching from sail to power for our future voyaging. Then we dove head first into the deep end of the crazy pool by deciding to design and build it from scratch and started this wild adventure we are now on.
Here are just a few examples of the kind of mental dichotomy that fascinates me; Last month we passed our two year anniversary of being here in Antalya, 612 days ago (April 6, 2018) the first shipment of aluminium CNC cut plate arrived and construction of the hull began and in a few days (Dec. 19, 2018) it will have been one year since we signed on with with Naval Yachts to build the fully finished boat with them and have it be the first “prototype” of their new line of eXtreme eXploration Passage Maker XPM boats. How is it possible that SO much has happened in SO little time?
Well, not to waste any more time, I will ponder and wonder that question for a long time to come but for now let’s get on with catching up on all the progress Team Möbius has made this past week of December 2-6, 2019.
Let’s start this week’s update with the electrical wiring. The cables referenced in this week’s title include these four black and red eXtreme beauties which carry the eXtremely high amp 24 volt current from the 1350A @24V house battery bank to the fore and aft DC distribution panels. As per their labeling, each of these cables is 120 mm2 which would equate to about half way between the American Wire Gauge or AWG of about 4.5/0000. By any measure these are huge and we are doubling these, two positive and two negative so that each pair carries half the amps. Why such eXtreme sizes? In short, Electrical efficiency such that we keep the voltage loss occurring on these long cable runs as low as possible, meaning that as much of the current that leaves the batteries arrives at the consumers on the other end. Our standard maximum voltage drop for all DC circuits is < 3% and for the main supply cables such as these, we keep it under 2% and hence the large cable size. Last week Hilmi ran the four cables from the Basement up to the Forepeak using the cable trays you see in the photos above and this week he ran the other set of cables up from the basement and along the cable trays under the side deck space flanking the SuperSalon you are seeing here and running back to the Aft DC Distribution Panel in the Workshop. Down in the Basement where the House Battery Banks are located we find this growing collection of different cables which now includes the four 120 mm2 Red/Black cables. We had ordered the negative cable in Yellow which is the preferred new ABYC standard to help differentiate the DC negative from Black AC wires but this large size cable is difficult to find and the Yellow jacketed version wasn’t available for several months so we went with Black and will add extra labels along each cable run to maintain clarity. Not that anyone would likely confuse these huge cables for anything but high amp DC, but you can never be too careful when it comes to all things electric.
The two House Battery Bank bays which as you can see here are integral parts of the framing of the hull straddling the 25mm / 1” thick Keel Bar which is what the floors of these two bays are setting upon. Nihat has been welding in the side framing which will hold the composite containment boxes in place and bolting these floors to the hull. Even though all our batteries are fully sealed AGM type batteries with no actual fluid in them, we are building composite containment boxes to add an eXtra layer of safety to cover any possibility of a leak in one of the batteries. The L-bar frames hold the base of the batteries in place and then there will be a separate frame that wraps around the tops of the batteries and clamps them down to the hull so they can not move even in the unlikely event of a full 360 degree roll.
Uğur and Nihat continued their work on fabricating the framing for the glass and acrylic windows up in the SkyBridge. They have all the L-bar tacked in place that will provide the frames for gluing in the lower glass “eyebrow” windows and then started to weld in the flat bar on top to create the window ledges for the upper removable acrylic sheet windows.
Note the large vent seen in the foreground here. This will have a large mist elimination grill in front of it before all the fresh breezes flow down into overhead diffusers in the SuperSalon.
The front three 380W solar panels attach to a frame which sets just inside the upper angled edge of the space in front of this vent opening and hinges along the upper edge of the vent frame. This hinged frame of solar panels allows us to lower its front edge down onto the aluminium roof panel and seal off this space when we are on passages and then unclip it and raise it to its horizontal position which creates a huge wind tunnel to capture all the breezes coming from the bow when we are at anchor and funnel them all to this big vent and down into the SuperSalon. The flat bar window sills were slot welded to the tops of the L-Bar glass window frames and then ground flush and invisible. The angled support you see on the far right here is the articulated support post that is put in place when the roof needs to be folded down into either Cyclone or Canal mode. Most of the time it is removed and stored in Workshop. The front four support posts for the roof are attached with these bolt on flanges so they can be removed prior to folding down the roof. Same bolt on flanges are mounted vertically where these four posts attach to the the roof frame.
Both of the Cabinetry teams continued to make great progress on their respective cabinetry work for the Galley and the Guest Cabin areas so let’s go check in with them.
The spacious SuperSalon is difficult to capture well with photos but perhaps these two panorama shots will help. This one shot standing in very front where the Helm Chair will be looking Aft.
Click to enlarge any photo. Shot standing on the stairs up to the Aft Deck looking forward. Obviously very distorted views but when combined with the regular photos I hope it helps you visualise this truly Super space. Switching back to normal photo mode AND sparing no expense we have brought Chef Christine aboard to inspect her rapidly evolving Galley. Testing out a simulated pot stirring position where the induction cook top will soon be installed, the Chef seems to approve. Omur and Selim spent much of the week painstakingly fitting the Gull Wing door Garages into the Galley cabinets. With mitred corners and being recessed into the countertops requires very exacting dimensions along all three X,Y and Z axis in order for it all to work and for these Garages to be able to slide into their final position. And when they do, it looks abfab!
For those wondering, the Garages are “floating” above the countertops to allow for the 20mm/ 3/4” thick granite countertops. eXacting is what Naval’s Cabinetmakers eXcel at and here is another example as Omur (left) and Selim try out different sheets from the flitches of Rosewood we’ve purchased. When the thin sheets are sliced off the solid slab of Rosewood they are laid together in in the sequence as they come off so each sheet is different but matched with the one before and after. Omur has brought a series of these sheets onboard and is now trying out each one to find the Goldilocks match with the sheet on the right which forms the back of the dining settee. Selim and Omur also fitted the armrest end of the dining Settee. The top will be padded and upholstered and there will be a door in the Rosewood outer side to provide access to one of the electrical panels that will be housed inside.
LOTS of storage space below and behind the seats as you can see. Opposite the Settee on the far right here, Selim has removed the top of the cabinet for the two side by side freezer drawers and taken it back to the Cabinetry Workshop. Once he has these solid edges attached and trimmed flush, he will take it over to the big veneer press and apply the veneer sheets he and Omur have so carefully chosen. Over on the other side of the Cabinetry Workshop, Omer, perfectly framed by this cut out in the wall panel that goes on the outboard side of the stairs leading down into the Master Cabin, has been making great progress on the complex little cabinet for the sink in the Guest Head/Bathroom.
We’ve made quite a few changes to this early rendering of the Guest Head and my apologies for not having an updated render to show you but if you do a mirror flip of this render in your head (sorry) you’ll be close to the new layout. Omer is demonstrating how the countertop with the sink setting atop the right end will appear to float above the cabinet below and if your mental gymnastics worked well, the image in your head should augment the reality you’re seeing here. Earlier in the week it looked like this with the sink area on the left and the L-shaped that runs down the side of the Head and then wraps around to create a handy shelf behind the VacuFlush toilet similar to what you can see in the original render above. A good example of how the solid Rosewood is glued up to create the large radius corners and the sink surround edges. Which soon looks like this as Omer turns his attention to the veneer he has chosen for the wrap around countertops. He has also fabricated these two large radius corner posts for the cabinet below the sink. Which he is gluing up here. Closeup of those large radius corner posts now glued with reinforcing biscuits into the completed under sink cabinet. Here is how the countertop and sink cabinet will fit together.
Mr. Geeeeee gets a Beautiful New Mechanic!
Mr. Gee as we affectionately call our mighty Gardner 6LXB engine has also been getting some much needed time and attention the past few weeks so let’s catch you up on that. Since she returned from her short sojourn in Spain two weeks ago, Captain Christine has added new title to her already long list by becoming Mr. Gee’s new mechanic! With Commodore Barney thankfully supervising very closely. Currently Mr. Gee more closely resembles Humpty Dumpty as he is all in pieces again after being put together briefly for a complete sandblasting of all his external parts. Now we are busy cleaning up all the internal parts which have accumulated over the 50 years of his previous life in powering a tugboat on the Thames River in England. Christine has these valve lifter assemblies all cleaned up and ready for their new life as the heartbeat in Möbius. Looking back a few weeks, this is what Mr. Gee looked like after giving him a very thorough sandblasting and several coats of high temperature silicone based primer.
Ruby the Wonderdog on the left and Barney the Yorkshire Terror always on duty supervising every step of the way. Loosing his head, two cast iron ones in fact, each of which must weigh at least 70kg/150lbs, next up for removal is the cast iron cylinder block sitting on top here. I had previously removed the old cylinder liners and had new ones pressed in and machined to finished size so they are all ready for their equally new pistons and rings.
One of the great things about these Gardner engines and what makes them surprisingly viable for reuse is that while complete engines are no longer being manufactured almost every part is still being made and available from Gardner Marine Diesel which carries on the Gardner name and heartbeat. So with the exception of the primary castings such as the cylinder block, crankcase, and crankshaft I was able to buy every other part new from pistons and rings, to every bearing, every gasket, fuel injectors, etc. Once Christine and I have him fully scrubbed clean we begin to put Humpty Dumpty back together again and bring Mr. Gee back to his original glory or better.
I have Mr. Gee fully disassembled for about the fourth and hopefully final time since I first picked him up in England two years ago. Here he is stripped down to just his all cast aluminium crankcase. Next week I’ll take him outside for a thorough de-greasing and pressure washing to flush out every nook and cranny to get rid of all the accumulated oil sludge and the sandblasting sand that has crept inside.
Yesterday I tackled the truly massive crankshaft by scrubbing every surface and all the internal oil galleries with degreasing liquid and LOTS of paper towels. Old on the right, partially cleaned on the left. About 3/4 clean now before getting a good pressure wash and some new fibre discs in the torsional damper on the left end.
Visible below the crankshaft is the Cast Iron cylinder block with its new liners and ready for its equally thorough cleaning and prep for reassembly. Old meets new!
The shiny new aluminium ring I’m holding in front of Mr. Gee’s massive marine flywheel is the outer Centamax ring that transfers Mr. Gee’s rotational torque of the spinning flywheel to the Nogva CPP input shaft. Easy to see how simple this Centamax flex coupling is with the outer aluminium ring’s fingers fitting tightly into the matching grooves in the thick rubber disc bolted to the Nogva’s input shaft. The grey cast aluminum housing on the left is off Mr. Gee and mates perfectly to the the matching SAE bolt pattern on the red Nogva servo box. Fortunately for me, the Society of Automotive Engineers or SAE began creating standards for things such as threads and bolt hole patterns back in 1905 and are still being used to this day quite universally and ubiquitously in the manufacturing world globally. Gardner and Sons Ltd. was founded in 1868 and began building engines in 1895 and so they were amongst the very first to adopt SAE standards for their engines. Sound boring? Well not to me! Our union of old and new provides a great example of why such standards matter an enable me to simply bolt our almost 50 year old Gardner 6LXB engine to our brand new Nogva CPP using in this case the SAE14 bolt hole pattern to fasten the new Nogva/Centamax ring to the Gardner’s flywheel. Michael Harrison now runs Gardner Marine Diesel after his Dad retired after working for Gardner and Sons Ltd for most of his working life and then started Gardner Marine Diesel when he bought the entire inventory and much of the machinery when Gardner and Sons closed shop in the early 1990’s. Michael not only found Mr. Gee for us when he was being removed from that tugboat so they could upgrade the tug to the more powerful 8LXB for the tugs newly upgraded job requirements, but he also found this original solid steel marine flywheel “blank”. Next week this flywheel will be machined with the SAE14 bolt pattern on this outer face so I can bolt the Nogva/Centamax ring to it prior to mating the Gardner with the Nogva and lifting them into their new home in Möbius’ Engine Room for the first time. Just a wee bit eXcited about that and so stay tuned for more in the coming Weekly Progress Updates.
But WAIT! There’s more!
NEW ARRIVALS @ Naval Yachts
Remember that crate Christine & I built when we were back in Florida last month? and then filled with the many, many, many parts which we had been ordering and sending to our Florida addresses? And then trucked down to Miami to have it air freighted over to Naval Yachts?
Well, it showed up here on Friday! We’ll have great fun unpacking it and showing you all the contents next week.
But WAIT there’s even mooooooooooore!!!
Look what else showed up on Friday!!
Can you guess what’s inside THIS crate and why our brilliant interior designer Yesim is almost as excited as we are about it? This should help you guess? Do Hakan and Yesim help you get your guesses warmer? Or a peek inside perhaps? Good Guess!! It is our eXquisite Galley countertops which have all be cut from this slab of Turquoise granite at Stoneline. It arrived at the end of the day on Friday so we only had time for a quick inspection and we’ll show you much more as it gets installed in the coming weeks. But we were able to see the bullnose rounded edges and some of the other details and can’t wait to inspect it fully tomorrow. and I promise it is the LAST time for this week but ……………………………………
WAIT! There is just ONE more HUGEY thing to show you………………………………
Christine and I regard ourselves as two of the most fortunate people on the planet because we are surrounded by the most awemazing friends who, in addition to being very good friends, also have talents you just wouldn’t believe. One of dearest friends and most talented artists we know is pictured below, the one and only Sherry Cooper.
Sherry and I first met back in 1981 when she and her husband Rick arrived in Baden Baden Germany where I was living at the time. I was a High School teacher for the Canadian Air Force jet fighter base there and Rick joined us from his English teaching gig in Vancouver BC. In addition to teaching there for the next three years we all traveled extensively throughout Europe, Africa and beyond and our friendship continued to grow ever since.
And I am I telling you this because??
Because Sherry agreed to put her incredible artistic talents to work and design the patterns for those two plate glass walls that form the corner of our Master Cabin shower that you may recall seeing in some of the early renderings of the Master Cabin.
Plain clear glass just wouldn’t fit with the eXtreme beauty aboard Möbius now would it? Plus, unlike me, Christine has a modicum of privacy and wasn’t thrilled by the idea of being on such a well lit stage when she was showering. So we came up with the idea of having the glass etched with some fun and beautiful pattern. But where would we find such a pattern?
Ha! Easy peasy as some of my Canadian friends might say, we mentioned it to Sherry on one of our visits and she delighted us by jumping at the chance to be so involved with the creation of our new home. Several meetings and lots of Emails later we evolved the idea of having a theme that would involve some of the art and imagery of the Aboriginal Peoples of Möbius’ Home Port of Victoria BC. The term “Aboriginal” refers to the first inhabitants of Canada, and includes First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples. This term came into popular usage in Canadian contexts after 1982, when Section 35 of the Canadian Constitution defined the term as such.
Then we asked Sherry if it might be possible to incorporate some pictures we so vividly recalled from her prodigious photography work of some otherworldly reflective waters where she and Rick have their boat near Gambier Island? Of course she said!
My apologies to you Sherry for this amateurish picture of your pictures, but really people, can you believe that these are untouched photos Sherry took when she spotted these patterns being reflected in the water as Rick was docking their boat??!!!
So what did Sherry come up with?
Check out what we awoke to find in our Email inbox this morning!
We will now be having one of these images etched into each of the two plate glass shower walls and can’t wait to show you the results when they are done and installed in the Master Cabin.
You are AWEMAZING Sherry! Thanks and just let us know when you are flying over to come see your work on display inside Möbius!
OK, as promised that is finally it for this week’s update. See what I mean about that conundrum of time? How could so much happen in so little time? But it did and I have the photos above to prove it!
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Thanks so much for taking the time to join us on this week’s adventure and PLEASE do be encouraged to add your questions, comments and suggestions in the “Join the Discussion” box below.
This was a four day work week here in Antalya as Monday was a national holiday so a few less hours this week but I’ve still got LOTS of new things to show you as our brilliant interior designer Yeşim created more renderings of her designs for the Guest Cabin and Christine’s Office.
Christine and I took advantage of the long weekend to take some dear fellow sailing friends who were staying with us for the week from their current home in Barcelona, out to see one of our favorite summer spots in this area, Köprülü Kanyon. I will let the following few photos show you why:
Less than 2 hour drive from our apartment and the shipyard takes you up this fabulous river canyon to this ancient bridge built before Roman times and while narrow is plenty strong to drive across. Here was our view of that same bridge from down on the water in our inflatable river raft paddles at the ready.
Not quite what most people picture when they think of Turkey. Our excellent and very strong guide Baris, literally pulled us UPSTREAM against this current by scrambling along those vertical stone walls on the left with a rope from the raft in his teeth! Sure glad he did as this is what was one of several waterfalls literally coming out the sides of the canyon walls as we travelled upstream. We stopped along the way to enjoy one of our many favorite Turkish delights, Gözleme!.
Thanks for such a great visit Annabelle, Sophie and Maurice!!
Tuesday it was back to work for all of us so let’s jump right in by looking at what’s been new this week onboard the good ship Möbius.
Can you guess what these three are working on? There is a similar smaller one leaning up against the wall of the SuperSalon if that helps? Aha! It is upside down and on the floor in the first picture and now we see that this is the plate with all the vent ducts that direct the fresh air flowing into that huge air vent formed by the hinged solar panels up on the front angled edge of the roof overhead. With this plate removed you can see how it closes off this space above to create a nice plenum that creates a bit of a high pressure area as the breezes funnel their way into this smaller space and is then forced out through each of those five 100mm / 4” vent ducts.
The smaller plate closes off the plenum at the very front overtop the Helm station and chair. I’ve created he following quick renderings to help show how these two natural vent systems work. The largest volume of air into the SuperSalon will come in while we are at anchor through a vent funnel that is formed by these three blue solar panels shown here in closed/passage making position. All 3 panels fit into a single large frame which is hinged at the top/aft edge where it meets the short glass panels at the front of the SkyBridge. Removing this frame of solar panels you can see the large green mist eliminator vent. Now imagine the frame of solar panels being propped up about 300mm/12” at the front edge by the red handrail and you see how the opening this forms is a perfect tunnel that captures any breeze coming over the bow when we are anchored and funnels it back through the green demister grill vent and down into that larger plenum you see being built in the photos above. Dropping the rendering camera down to foredeck level and looking up under the overhang of the Pilot House roof you can see the series of red slots which similarly funnel the air in the high pressure zone of air trapped in that upper corner between the negatively raked front glass and the roof overhang. This air runs through another mist eliminator grill on the inside and then fills up the forward plenum above Uğur’s head as he preps this plenum for the 2nd smaller plate to be bolted in place.
Nihat is drilling and tapping the holes for the countersunk SS bolts which will secure and seal the aft plate to the ceiling. The individual vent tubes extend up into the plenum about 150mm / 6” and will have adjustable lids on their tops to close off the vent pipes completely if needed and they also work similar to the Dorade Vents you’ve seen in previous postings to prevent any water that might make its way in here from getting into the SuperSalon and instead being drained off to the outside.
This shot borrowed from the Imperial diffuser company web site shows how this will be finished off nicely inside the SuperSalon. The upper part of the PVC diffuser fits inside the aluminium vent pipe, the upholstered ceiling panels is snapped into the ceiling grid and then the bottom half of the PVC diffuser click/snaps in place. The air flow volume and direction of air entering through each of these diffusers can be adjusted by turning the center disc. This allows us to easily increase or decrease the amount of air flowing in and ensures that there is never a blast of air coming straight down on your head. Moving forward into our Master Cabin Cihan has been busy installing these hoses that carry away any water that collects in the gutter around the deck hatches and drains it off to the side and out a pipe welded through the hull just below the Rub Rails. Up above on deck Mehmet with Sezgin below, is checking these hatch gutter drains for any leaks by filling them with water from that white can. Down in the Basement Cihan has now got the water lines for the four large potable water tanks below the floor in the Master Cabin routed through the Basement on their way to the main potable water manifold in the aft Workshop where the water maker and house pressure water pumps are also located. You can see how well these perforated aluminium trays work to keep each hose and wire fully supported and neatly organised, just like they do for all the wires and cables.
The two black and red diaphragm pumps in the background are some of the series of low water bilge pumps that suck up any moisture that might gather in the gutters created by the angled margin plates that connect the tank tops to the sides of the hull plates and thus run down all sides of each interior compartment.
OK, that covers what’s new this week on Möbius in the very real worlds of all the aluminium, hoses, wires and ducting, now let’s go get virtual with Yeşim as she generates some renderings of the initial interior design work she and Christine have been doing for the aft Guest Cabin which also doubles as Christine’s Office.
First for orientation, here is the 2D General Arrangement or “GA” drawing of Möbius showing the area we are focusing on now. This profile drawing will let you see how the upper level of the SuperSalon relates to the Master Cabin in front and the Guest Cabin aft. In the previous progress update post “Shhhh Here is an Early Sneak Peek of the Interior of Mobius” you saw some of the very first renderings of the Guest Cabin and here is the next round which now includes renders of the shower, head/bathroom and my little office workbench area in the corridor outside the Guest Cabin.
For this rendering we have descended the stairs from the SuperSalon, walked to the end of the corridor leading to the WT door into the Engine Room and Workshop and turned around in the Workshop doorway to see this workbench/desk running along the Port/Left side of the hull. This will be my little office and more so my “clean” workbench area for things like my 3D printer, electronics work and so on and I am more than just a little bit eXcited when I imagine working here.
The cabinets down the left side of the stairs will be where the aft electrical distribution panel will go and the door on the right opens into the aft Head/WC. To get this rendering the shower where the camera would now be sitting has been removed. To see that shower let’s move forward and step into the Head doorway and turn around to look aft down the corridor to that WT Workshop door you see the aft end of my workbench on the right. With the large 700mm / 28” hatch overhead you can almost feel the fresh air and sun inviting you into this beautiful shower. Important to keep our guest fresh, clean and happy right?! Walk into the shower and turn around 180 and you get to see the equally beautiful Guest Head/Bathroom. We’ve been working more on getting this important space just right this weekend and we will show you the latest changes next week. Completing the tour of this corridor area let’s get rid of my workbench/office and step back into that space to look across the corridor into the entryway into the Guest Cabin. Doors into the Head is on the left and shower on the right, WT door into the ER/Workshop on the far right. Stairs on the left lead up to the SuperSalon and then turn 180 to go up the next flight to the Aft Deck.
Our Horizon Line Handhold continues throughout all these spaces as you can see to ensure there is always a secure hand hold at all times for all heights of people and continues our theme of wood/earth below the Horizon Line with clouds and sky above. Cutting out the corridor wall above allows us to see the layout of the Head and Shower areas on either side of the entryway into the Guest Cabin. Stepping into that doorway above with our very wide angle lens shows us the basic layout of the Guest Cabin with the fold down Queen bed/couch at the far end and fold down Pullman berth above. Christine’s desk and bookshelves on the right with more on the upper left. Removing Christine’s desk let’s us get this shot looking forward on the boat to the see the bookshelves and closet. Doing the same trick from the other side let’s us look aft and get this full shot of Christine’s desk and work area with the two big hatches overhead. And we complete our tour of the Guest Cabin by momentarily deleting the couch/bed and looking across to the entryway door with the Shower to the left and Head to the right. We have actually gotten rid of this door and instead will have the door on the Head also serve double duty as the door to close off the entryway into the Guest Cabin.
These “two in one” doors are great examples of how we often use elimination as a design tool to create better solutions and KISS or Keep It Safe & Simple designs. In this case instead of up to four doors in this one area we have just two which is so much more efficient use of space and a more effective design.
That’s a wrap for the week that was July 16 to 19, 2019 here at Naval Yachts and we’ll see you again next week to bring you up to speed in the next run of this awemazing adventure we are on.
Thanks for joining us and PLEASE be sure to add your questions, comments and ideas in the “Join the Discussion” box below.
This week’s progress building our beloved MV (Motor Vessel) Möbius and XPM78-01 here at Naval Yachts reached another exciting milestone with the cutting of the first wood being used to build our interior cabinetry and furniture. We are VERY excited about this and as per the title we think “You Wood Too!” Not that the work on all things metal and mechanical aren’t exciting as they continue to progress very well too, but this most recent deep dive into designing and now starting to build the interior of our new home and boat has us particularly excited and wanting to share it with you so please join us as we dive into the latest progress in designing and building mv Möbius.
As you may recall if you read the previous post “Miss Mobius World Wood Pageant” we have chosen to use Rosewood for all our interior woodwork and so it was a very exciting day when the first truckload of solid and veneer arrived from the lumberyard near Istanbul. With different languages and species all this wood is from the Dalbergia family and goes by several names including Santos, Palisander, Pelesenk, African/Burmese Blackwood and (your choice) Madagascar/Brazilian/Indian/Honduran/Yucatan/Amazon/Burmese Rosewood. You may be interested to know that these woods are called Rosewood because they give off a rose like scent when being cut and worked so I will borrow from the bard’s astute observation that “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”, add my own “and be as beautiful” and from here on in I will simply refer to this as Rosewood.
The photo above was taken as the protective wrap was first pulled back to unveil the stacks of hundreds of flitches of Rosewood veneer quickly followed by the same reveal of these planks of our solid Rosewood. While we had spent a LOT of time searching for and choosing this wood it still took our breath away with the reality and beauty of this wildly varied colours and swirling grain patterns.
Christine and I were still in Florida being Gramma and Grampa so Dincer had flew up to Istanbul to personally select the specific batches of veneer and solid Rosewood for us and as usual he did a masterful job of choosing the just right Rosewood for us.
My dear friend Eileen Clegg once called me an “extremophile” which I took as a compliment, and with Möbius being the first of Naval’s XPM eXtreme eXpedition Passage Maker series of boats it seemed only fitting that we would have sought out a wood with such eXtreme ranges of colour and grain. The only thing more eXtreme than the beauty of Rosewood is its price but Christine and I may well spend the rest of our lives living aboard Möbius and want to be surrounded by beauty every one of those days so this was an easy decision to make given the infinite amount of joy it will provide for us and others who join us aboard.
This photo shows how the cabinetmakers have unpacked the first four of that stack of wide strips of veneer known as flitches shown above into matching layers after cutting off any splits or damage at their ends.
Is this Beauty in the eXtreme or what??? As with most other facets of boat building Naval does all their cabinetmaking in house which includes doing all their plywood lamination so these Rosewood flitches will soon be matched up on either side of marine birch plywood and be pressed and heated in this large hydraulic laminating press to create the finished veneer panels. You will see this fabulous bit of kit in action in the upcoming weekly updates. As beautiful as the veneer is the solid Rosewood more than shared the spotlight as you can see here with these first four 25mm / 1” planks to emerge from their own stacks off the truck.
The very large staff of professional cabinetmakers, which I will be introducing to you over the coming weeks, seemed to be equally as excited and impressed by the opportunity to start transforming this Rosewood into furniture and cabinets for Möbius.
You Wood too right? Those first planks were soon coming out of the table saw and shaper as these T shaped strips which will next be glued to all exposed edges of the veneered panels. This solid Rosewood edging is at least a 10mm / 3/8” thick which enables further shaping and ensures that none of the veneer edges are exposed to any wear and tear over the years. Panels which will have all four sides exposed when finished on things like drawer fronts have these solid Rosewood T’s glued on all four edges with mitred corners such as the one on the far left here. All the outer corners of these T edges will be rounded over with a 3-5mm radius to make them very easy on your hands and very luxurious in their looks. Another technique for creating the large 50mm/2” Radius external corners and reducing the amount of Rosewood required on things like vertical cabinet edges, corners of the bed frame, etc. begins with gluing these triangular shaped lengths of solid Beech, the white wood here, to lengths of solid Rosewood. Why? might be a common question so I grabbed a piece of scrap wood with a 50mm Radius on the bottom side and made that horizontal pencil line to show how the Rosewood portion of the glued up piece on the bottom left will be machined with that large radius surface being all Rosewood and the inner triangle of Beech providing the a large surface area for the adjoining panels to be glued in place and be hidden in the joinery on the inside. Once the glue has cured the next day and operation is to machine these laminated lengths of Rosewood and Beech ……. …… into this shape and you can now hopefully see how this creates the two wide flats at 90 degrees to each other to form the large vertical corners on cabinets and corners and then have the full 25-30mm thickness of Rosewood to form the rounded outer corner.
I’ll be able to show you this in much more detail in the coming weeks as the cabinetry progressed so let’s leave the cabinetmakers alone for a bit and go back aboard Möbius to see how things are progressing there.
The “Sparkies” as our brilliant Kiwi (New Zealand) designer Dennis would call the team of electricians who are growing in number aboard Möbius, are now busy running literally nautical miles of wiring throughout the conduits and wire trays and have setup shop in the SuperSalon to do the cutting and labeling of all the individual runs of wire. If you look in the background of the picture above (click to enlarge any photo) or in this close up shot you can see some of the runs of flexible conduit going up the inside of the vertical SuperSalon window mullions which are soon filled up with the wires for devices up in the ceiling of the SuperSalon and the SkyBridge. Each length of wire is labeled with the temporary tubular yellow labels you see here. With hundreds, perhaps thousands of wire end connections to make, this labeling is key to making it faster and clearer for the Sparkies to know that the right wire is going to the right switch, light or circuit breaker. Before the final wiring of each connection is done each wire will be cut to the just right length and additional labels will be heat shrunk to each end of all wires for future reference whenever someone, aka ME! is doing any modifications or maintenance of any of the eXtensive electrical systems aboard Möbius.
Down in the Basement we see that the “Poopsmiths’ ** aka plumbers in Kiwi speak, have been busy starting to install the runs of Vetus Sanitary hose for all the Grey (shower & sink) Water and Black (toilets) Water tanks, pumps, drains, etc.
** Full list of such wonderful Kiwi slang words here for those of you interested in “dropping your gear’ and go “full tit” to be fully “home and hosed” when it comes to speaking like a native down under. I hope this doesn’t’ come across as rarking you up or pack a sad for too many of you and if so the next drink is my shout but this offer is only good at sparrow fart.
Those of you who have been following this blog for awhile will recognise this and for the rest of you this is one of the hatches which I’ve designed and Naval is is now building in house. The little army of aluminium boxes on the right are the hinge boxes which provide the support for the SS hinge pins that slide through the 8mm / 5/16” holes in their sides.
Turning these boxes transparent in the 3D model of these hatches (click to enlarge) will show you better how they work. Everything but the Rosewood inner liner is all aluminium but I have coloured the Lid Blue and the Frame in Red he blue for added clarity and you can see how the Blue Hinge Arms which are welded to the Lid, extends into the Hinge Boxes under the deck and rotate on the white SS 8mm diameter hinge pins. I used one of my favorite CAD tools, Autodesk Fusion 360 to design these hatches and here is a little animation Fusion enables me to create which I hope will show you how the hatch works.
One of the most rewarding aspects of designing and building your own stuff is when your designs are transformed into reality and here is my most recent example. This is what the Hinge Arm you’ve seen above looks like as a component within the Fusion 360 model. And here I am holding that very same Hinge Arm after Uğur has cut it from a solid block of aluminium. We decided to create a few prototypes of these hatches to fully test out my design in the real world and here is one of the prototype assemblies of the Hinge Arm assembled within the Hinge Box on a temporary threaded hinge pin. Hinge Arms tacked to the Lid and Hinge Boxes tacked to the outer Frame. A quiet ”Open Sésame” and Voila! it works! The hatch opens fully to the 120 degree angle I wanted as the Hinge Arms come into contact with the inner edge of the cut-out in the outer Frame where the Hinge Boxes attach.
After a few tweaks with the prototype hatches to get these hinges working and positioned just right we were ready for the critical step of welding the Hinge Boxes to the actual Hatch Frames that have been welded into the decks on Möbius.
As you can see from the photos and models above, the two Hinge Pins have to have their centerlines precisely aligned in order for the Lid to open smoothly so Yiğit and I designed up a jig that Uğur and Nihat could use to hold each pair of Hinge Boxes in just the right position under the deck plates and up tight against the outer Frame surfaces and tack the Hinge Boxes in place. You can see the aluminium plate part of this positioning jig in Ugur’s right hand here and It worked just as we hoped. I forgot to take a picture of the jig itself so what you can’t see but can hopefully imagine is that there are two arms welded to the edge of that aluminium plate which exactly replicate the Hinge Arm positions and have matching pipes for the Hinge Pins to go through. So Uğur slides these two arms on the jig into the rectangular openings you saw above in the outer Hatch Frame and then holds each Hinge Box in his left hand and slides it over the arms of the jig and inserts an 8mm pin through the holes in the Hatch Box and the jig.
Takes longer for me to type this than it did for Uğur and Nihat to tack the Hinge Boxes in place and hope this all makes some sense to most of you?
While Uğur and Nihat were busy working up on deck, our awesome Master Welder Sezgin was busy down on the shop floor under Möbius finishing up the welding of the Hatch Lids. And the pile of finish welded Lids piled up quickly. In case you are wondering, he tacked two lids together to help hold each Hatch Lid assembly in alignment and prevent them from warping or moving as they were welded up. Then the tacks are ground off to separate each Lid and the Lids are cleaned up and prepped for the last bit of welding the Hinge Arms to the Lids which is perhaps the trickiest and most important step to ensuring that the Hatches open, shut and seal just right. Once the Lids have their Hinge Arms welded on they will be sent off to the glass supplier to cut and install the 15mm tempered glass to complete the Lids and I’ll cover that as it happens in the next few weeks.
And as Porky the Pig used to say “Th-th-th-th That’s All Folks!” At least for this week. Hope you are continuing to enjoy and possibly even get some value from these weekly progress updates and I look forward to your comments, questions and suggestions you leave in the “Join the Discussion” box below.
It is Christine’s Birthday today, Happy Birthday my Beautiful Young Bride! So I snuck away early Friday afternoon and we drove East from Antalya along the coat to the beautiful old town of Alanya and have a fabulous room up at the top of a hill in an old castle with a view out over the original Red Tower and the inner harbour. Here is a quick panorama shot to give you and idea of this fabulous old city or Alanya.
But not to worry, I’ll do my best to make sure this week’s Möbius progress update posting WILL happen before the weekend is out and right now there is a HUGE downpour that has already dropped more than 80mm/3” of rain in less than 2 hours so we are enjoying the view from our room across the the harbour to the mountains on the far side. Christine is busy working on her daily Turkish lesson so she doesn’t loose the “streak” she is on with them and I’m taking advantage of the time to get this blog post started. As you might have already noticed, this will be a much longer post than usual as there is much to explain and show you so settle into a comfy chair with a good beverage and let’s get started.
This week was particularly exciting as work started on building the new hatches for Möbius which we have been designing and deliberating on for many months. Having Xtremely great hatches is super important to us because they bring in most of the fresh air and all the natural light into both our Master Cabin and the aft Guest Cabin. We have lived aboard boats with hatches for decades but never with ones we would rate as great. Sometimes they are just not well sized, sometimes they open the wrong way for the breezes, or they let any nearby raindrop in. Worst of all though is that pretty much all of them start to leak at some point, especially ones up on the foredeck when on passages in big waves that often bring volumes of sea water crashing onto the decks and penetrating even otherwise good seals no matter how well you try to “dog” them down tight. So we were determined that we would find a way to have truly GREAT hatches on Möbius. Hatches that are Goldilocks by being just the right size in just the right place and oriented just right to catch the least bit of fresh breezes coming over the bow when we are anchored. And MOST importantly of all, hatches that would NEVER leak under any conditions.
Then I added in two more and perhaps two of the most challenging must have characteristics; one, the hatch frames had to be raw aluminium that was shaped and thick enough to be welded directly into the decks and underlying framework, and second the hatches had to be significantly above the requirements for them to be certified for a full self righting situation.
This is a tall order and set us out on a very long and winding search for many years now dating back to well before we decided to move over from sail to power and to design and build our own boat as we had already been on the hunt for new hatches for our last sailboat Learnativity for a long time. We’ve been to most of the big boat shows on several continents to talk with the various hatch vendors. We’ve tapped into all the online forums, magazines and trade journals we could find. We’ve talked to MANY fellow liveaboard cruisers, most of whom share our pain and spent time exploring every detail of their hatches. All of which helped us figure out what works and what doesn’t when it comes to hatches so we had a very clear sense of the key traits of a great hatch and we know what we were looking for.
It may sound like an episode from Mission Impossible or an obsession to some of you but I believe it is possible to design and build a boat that stays dry inside in ALL conditions and does not EVER leak. One key to this is that one of my primary rules is that there will be NO penetrations of the deck or hull which could ever leak. None, zero, nada. No bolts, screws or rivets which penetrate the hull. No parts mounted through holes cut in the deck and then sealed with caulking or the like. One of the places where even good hatches often end up leaking is through their mounting of the frame to the deck where water finds its way, often under very severe pressure from so called Green Water in high seas, through fasteners or through seals and sealants that fail over time. Hence my hatches had to be welded into the hull and leave a single challenge to being leak free; the gasket that seals between the hinged lid and the outer frame. Even this is a challenge, but a solvable one which lets me put all my focus on making these lid seals as leak proof as possible.
I’m sure many of you are shaking your heads at this point with a wry smile on your lips and a wish for good luck but we are accustomed to being on the hunt for parts and equipment for Möbius with equally as daunting lists of Must Haves and other requirements and eventually we were able to find a few companies who make truly great hatches. But, and you knew that was coming didn’t you, none of these companies carried their great hatches in our sizes or at all and so they would need to be custom built and this was going to take both too much time and cost too much so the choice was simple and a bit like Möbius herself, we would need to design and build our own.
This is not as difficult as it sounds as it is more a case of assembling all the various features which are on our Must Have list and putting them together into a single design of a hatch. None of these features are new in and of themselves so we are not so much designing a new hatch as we are creating our own combination of features and ideas from many different sources. This holds true for the design of the whole boat IMHO as there are very very few features truly new and never seen before features in any boat. What sets any given boat apart from others is the combination of features they select to use and how they put them all together.
I find Autodesk’s Fusion 360 to be a fantastic tool for doing this kind of evolutionary design work and I used it to try out my initial ideas for the Goldilocks just right hatch I’ve outlined above and ended up with the design you’ll see below. I have not had time to create any proper renderings of these so I will just grab some screen captures from within Fusion 360. I have coloured the two basic aluminium parts for clarity with the outer Frame in RED and the inner Lid in BLUE. I’ve made the 15mm/5/8” thick glass that is glued to the Lid and the partial deck surface around the outside of each hatch to be transparent so it is a bit easier to see what’s inside and added a bit of wood appearance to the inner wood liner which is all that will be seen from the inside of the boat.
Basic components you see here are:
* Red Outer Frame made from 3 pieces of 8mm/ 5/16” thick AL plate
* Blue Lid made from a 8mm thick outer flat bar frame welded to a top which is CNC cut as a single piece from 10mm/ 716” aluminium plate which then has a 15mm/5/8” thick clear tempered glass plate which sits flush with the other edges of the Lid frame and the top Deck surface.
* 20mm/ 3/4” thick wood inner liner which extends through the interior upholstered head liners.
I have omitted the handles and latch details for clarity but you can see where they attach to the two round bosses on the underside of the blue Lid.
Two SS gas compression lift cylinders are also not shown and will mount to the aft corner of the Gutter inside the red Frame and the side of the blue Lid to assist with opening when the latch handles are turned. In the interest of time and what will likely already be a long post, the basic key design requirements I ended up with include the following:
KISS (Keep It Simple & Safe) the design for both functional use as well as the fabrication of these hatches by using the least number of individual parts and keeping each one as simple as possible using stock aluminium.
KISS the fabrication process as straightforward as possible requiring as few special tools, jigs and machines as possible so that it can all be done in house with our current capabilities.
Design the hatches so as to eliminate any high pressure sea water forces from bearing directly on the seals so that readily available good quality seals will be able to easily keep all water out for many years of daily use and then be easily replaceable when they do eventually wear out.
Ensure that the entire hatch is well above and beyond engineering and certification standards to stay intact and fully sealed in the case of a full roll over or self righting recovery.
KISS the latching or locking mechanisms by having no external access for opening, all latches operate from inside only.
KISS the latching system and have an ability for a varying degree of locking or “dogging” down the hatches over time as the seals may take some set.
Present the least possible interference and disruption of the clean deck surfaces for both equipment and humans. eg. no toe stubbers or line catchers
Maintain the lowest possible maintenance factor as with all other aspects of the design of these XPS boats.
Along the way to the final design I ended up designing these hatches to be completely flush with the deck surfaces they are welded into. I wrestled with this decision of flush versus having the hatch frame extend up above the deck surface by 50-100mm/2-4” or so which is typical of most hatches and which was how I had initially thought they would sit. I came up with several such above deck designs which would have worked very well but in the end flush mounted hatches won out through my version of “the process of elimination”. What is the most sure fire way to deal with those high pressure sea water forces being able to reach the seals? Eliminate them. What is the best way to keep the deck surfaces free and clear? Eliminate any part of the hatches being above or below the deck surface. By making the top glass surface flush with the deck any big seas that end up on deck will simply pass right over these hatches and leave the seals to just deal with any standing water that collects in the Gutter area you will see below that runs like a moat around the outside perimeter of the Red Frame inner and outer frames before it drains out the two holes in the bottom of the Gutter.
It is a bit difficult to show but here is a quick render of how the top glass surface of the hatches sits completely flush with the deck surface.
Notice anything missing in the rendering above? Where are the hinges??One of the trickier parts of creating a fully flush hatch is how to keep the hinges below the deck and this is what I came up with for our “hidden” hinges.
For clarity I have turned off the deck plate that sits flush with the red tops of the outer frames and made the Hinge Boxes that are welded to the red outer Frame to appear transparent so you can see the blue hinge arms inside. The 8mm Hinge Pins are in white.
I’ve turned the Deck plate on for this render and moved around to show the inside rear hinge area from the inside with the hatches fully open.
The Blue Hinge Arms will initially be milled out of a single meter long piece of square aluminium stock to form the profile for the Hinge Arms you can make out in this and the rendering below and then cut and machined to 50mm/2” long lengths for each Hinge Arm which is TIG welded to the outer frame of the Lid. For those interested in more details this section side view might help to see how the Deck (orange), Outer Frame (light blue) and Lid (yellow) all work together. I’ve turned off the seals that fill the gap on the top of the inner most vertical light blue Frame and the inside surface of the Lid.
The gap between the outer edges of the yellow Lid and the light blue Frame is about 5mm and there will be two 20mm diameter drain pipes for the water to quickly flow out through the bottom of the light blue horizontal Gutter frame where the Lid sits. The Latches and Handles are omitted here for clarity and will attach to the round yellow boss seen on the right side here. There are ten hatches in total, all of them square, six large ones 700mm/28” square, one 600mm/24” and three 450mm/18”.
Whew! Hope that long explanation and renders help give you a good sense of what these hatches will look like and how they work, now let’s get back to reality and see how this design is being transformed into real aluminium.
It all starts with two full sheets of 8mm aluminium plate which the CNC plasma quickly cuts into the individual pieces for the ten hatches. CNC cutting is a very precise method which creates this very small amount of scrap. One of the many great things about building with aluminium over other materials such as fiberglass, carbon, etc. is that every bit of scrap is equally efficiently recycled so all this goes into the recycle pile in the yard and is sent off to be melted down into new sheets.
As you can see here and noticed in the renderings above most of the parts of this hatch design are made from single lengths of 8mm plate, basically simple flat bars. Only the Gutter bottom of the 3 part Frame which you see here, and the 10mm top plate of the Lid are cut out as fully formed parts.
The 10mm top plate parts are out being cut by a waterjet CNC machine as we want to have a fully finished edge out of the CNC machine to be flush with the edges of the 15mm glass plate. As you have read in the intro, I really pushed hard on KISSing this hatch design to end up with the least number of pieces in the overall design with the least specialised tooling or jigs required.
I also spent a lot of time working out how these parts would be formed, assembled and welded to keep the build time and costs as low as possible.
The majority of the work to shape the parts was done with four equal large radius bends for the corners of the outer and inner Frames and the outer edge of the Lid frame. To do this, Uğur and Nihat quickly made up this jig for the big hydraulic press and did a couple of test bends to dial in the process. We decided to build one full Frame first to make sure our methodology and tooling was optimal and this is the first bend of that first hatch Frame. I designed the Gutter bottom to be a single piece so that we could take advantage of the accuracy of the CNC cutting to ensure that the outer and inner frames had to be the exact right size, all edges parallel and perfectly square.
Here is that first Frame with all four corners of the inner frame bent and being checked for fit. Using large clamps, the inner frame is then pulled tight against the inside of the Gutter bottom and then the overlapping ends you see up at the top of the photo are cut to the exact length and the inner frame is tacked together. With the inner frame tacked together in precisely the right size Uğur welded both sides of the butt joint to turn the inner frame into a single continuous inner frame. The same process is repeated to bend the four corners of the outer frames. Then the outer frames are clamped tight to the Gutter bottom, tacked in position and the butt joint welded up. The inner frame is reinserted into the Gutter bottom, clamped up very tight all around and tacked in final position.
The fully assembled and tacked Frame is then cleaned up and ready for final welding.
The upside down Frame in the back is one of the 450mm / 18” hatches and the one in the foreground is the 600mm / 24” hatch Frame. Here is a close up shot of the Gutter I’ve been referring to which is where any water that runs down through the 5mm gap between the outside edge of the Lid and the inside edge of the outer Frame you see on the far right. This Gutter is 45mm / 1 3/4” wide and about 75mm / 3” deep and there will be two 20mm / 3/4” ID drain pipes welded into the bottom of this Gutter to quickly drain all the water down and back into the sea. Sezgin arrives with his TIG welder and gets busy welding up the outside corners to turn the 3 pieces of the Frame into a single part which is then ready to be fitted and welded flush into the deck plates. Outer frame fully welded to the Gutter bottom…. …… followed by the inner frame being fully welded and this Frame is ready for final machining and then fitting into its location on the deck.
I don’t think you need to know much about welding to agree that this is not only strong but beautiful work and it is a shame that it will never be seen once these are welded into the Deck, but we will all know its there and helps account for the huge grins we will all have on our faces when we launch. I realise that these hatches are Xtremely Xtreme, over the top some will surely say. But will NEVER leak, and as the guy who has to live with these, sleep under them, maintain them and fix anything that goes wrong, I think they are well worth the extra effort and I could not be happier with the way these have turned out and look forward to showing you the next phase of building the lids and then fitting and installing the finished hatches into the boat.
The other bit of excitement this week was the Mr. G., our Gardner 6LXB main engine was lifted up one floor and moved into his new home and my new workshop for restoring him to better than new condition.
That is him hanging from the end of the extending boom of one of the many “Preying Mantis” cranes in the yard while Mother Möbius looks on over on the far right making sure her energy source is being treated well. Now safely resting on the door into his new home on the first floor. Ready to be rolled over to his place in this voluminous new workshop area where he will be lovingly restored and then taken back down and mounted inside Möbius in a few months. It is now Sunday night and we are back from our FABULOUS weekend in the town of Alanya, about a 2 hour drive east from our home in Antalya. We walked our little hoofies off probably logging 20km over the two days and most of that as you can see was either straight up or straight down!
It was just as spectacular from our room at night. The pano shot above is looking the opposite way from the previous one above, this one looking West along the coast towards our place in Antalya. Worth clicking on these shots to see some of the details of the castle and fortified walls of this town that dates back to the 12th century.
Before you go, while it is very short here is a time lapse video of some of the work this week and I hope you’ll enjoy seeing a hatch built in about 30 seconds!
Lest you think that hatches are all that has been hatching here is the latest progress photograph of the Dinc twins, Yiğit and Mert who as you can see are also making GREAT progress and growing up fast already.
Thanks for joining us and please do add your comments, questions and suggestions in the Join the Discussion box below.
As many of you reading this would know, Circa Marine in Whangarei NZ is the very talented engineering firm and shipyard which worked with Steve Dashew to design and build all of the FPB series of boats which totals about 20 boats all together I think.
Christine and I were fortunate to spend a day with the great people at Circa back in November 2016 when we sailed our previous boat down there and they were extremely generous in answering the hundreds of questions we put to them as we made our way in and around the FPB78’s and FPB70 they were building at the time. As we discussed the four different size FPB’s they had built, 64/115/78/70 we got the distinct impression that the FPB70 was their favorite and they had many of their own ideas they’d like to incorporate in the future. Of course we didn’t know then and neither did they that the FPB series was going to end and so not too surprising to us that they have decided to create their own new Circa version and take advantage of their deep experience in building these kinds of boats. Clearly these boats will benefit from what is now about 20 years of experience in building these types of boats, let alone many other boats they have been building for even longer and that this new Circa 24 will be an incredible boat.
Looks like our intuition when we were visiting them was right and like us Circa has decided that the 24m or 78ft size is the sweet spot or Goldilocks just right size for these kinds of boats and owners so we take that as great validation for our coming to the same conclusion with Möbius several years ago. This makes sense as well in that the FPB70 was the last of the FPB’s to be designed and therefore the one which benefited the most from what is almost 2 decades of gathering such a plethora of real world data from all the previous boats, all those years and hundreds of thousands of nautical miles of owner experiences and all of Circa’s experience in building these boats. Steve was extremely diligent at collecting and curating all this data, sharing it so generously and articulately on the SetSail blogs and learning from it all and the results certainly show this evolutionary journey. Everyone from Steve to all the talented people who worked with or at Circa over all those past 20 years certainly deserve a great deal of credit and a huge amount of gratitude for developing this new style of boat and putting them on the marine world map.
New Zealand is certainly a hot spot in the marine world in general and especially so for these new kinds of eXtreme Passage Maker style boats and the “family tree” has very deep roots there. Back in the early 2000’s, prior to the FPB’s, Kelly Archer another very talented Kiwi, had designed and built his personal boat “Ripple” which obviously caught Steve’s eye at the time and Steve and Kelly went on to have a long partnership designing and building the FPB’s.
Oh, and I might add that Kelly chose to put a horizontal version of the same Gardner 6LXB main engine in Ripple. Brilliant!
No coincidence then that we found our own “just right” designer for Möbius in New Zealand when we met up with Dennis Harjamaa at Artnautica Yacht Design. Dennis had designed AND built a boat for himself based on the same DNA I’ve been outlining of long, lean, low all aluminium low maintenance boats for couples with the shared passion for crossing oceans in extreme safety, comfort and efficiency. These boats known as the LRC58 and there are now four of them out exploring the world and a fifth beginning it’s build phase at Aluboot in the Netherlands. Good article here on the three LRC58’s which Dickey Boats in NZ have built and you can follow along with Rob at Artnautica.eu while he was building his LRC58-3 “Britt” at Aluboot.
Thanks to all our “Giant Teachers”:
Since I was very young I’ve always been fascinating by the way in which we humans are able to continuously learn, innovate and advance by “standing on the shoulders of giants” which Wikipedia nicely describes as:
“… expresses the meaning of “discovering truth by building on previous discoveries”.
This concept has been traced to the 12th century, attributed to Bernard of Chartres. Its most familiar expression in English is by Isaac Newton in 1675: “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.”
Christine and I are retired teachers as are most of our siblings so we have that in our DNA as well and we see these “giants” as the great teachers in our lives. We do our best to be very highly motivated learners and we certainly want to add our deep gratitude and appreciation for the many giants whose shoulders we humbly stand upon, learn from and leap forward.
Currently we find ourselves standing upon the shoulders of several other such giants and teachers such as Dennis at Artnautica and Dincer and Baris here at GreeNaval who have been instrumental in transforming our vision into the reality that is Möbius and we can’t wait to launch her and join this growing family of eXtreme passage makers out exploring the world one nautical smile at a time.
Last month I put up a post “Newest Member of this Family of Passage Makers” about the newest members of Dennis’ Artnautica LRC58 line of boats, the LRC58-3 “Britt” and LRC58-4 “Raw” which have both been launched and are now at sea as will be joined by LRC58-5 being built in the Netherlands. My larger comment and purpose for that post, and for this one, is to highlight the rapid growth of a whole new style and type of long, skinny ocean crossing passage makers which are most often designed to be owned and operated by a couple with no crew.
An overall name for this new family of passage makers has not emerged as of yet and they aren’t trawlers, they aren’t pilot boats, they aren’t military boats though they have characteristics from all of these types and many others.
I will write a future post that will go into more details of this new style of ocean crossing beauties but wanted to introduce you to the newest family member which my crack researcher Christine uncovered yesterday in this recent article Simon Murray wrote for Power and Motoryacht magazine entitled “Meet the Special Forces-Inspired Tactical 77”.
The “Tactical 77” as it is being called is a recent design from Bill Prince of Bill Prince Yacht Designs of a 24 meter all aluminium ocean crossing passage maker for an ex Special Forces gentleman to take his family out cruising the world.
She will be built by the Canadian builder Tactical Custom Boats located near Vancouver British Columbia and near where I lived while going to the British Columbia Institute of Technology BCIT and University of British Columbia back in the early 70’s and then taught High School for many years in nearby Ladner.
Located in Richmond B.C., Tactical’ s web site says they build;
High performance aluminum boats designed for speed, comfort, and safety in all operating conditions – without compromising dependability, luxury or design.
Sound familiar? As you can see from these pictures, location is not the only thing we have in common. The similarities to our upcoming addition to this new family named Möbius which we are referring to as eXtreme eXploration Passage Maker or XPM are striking. It is no coincidence that the looks of these boats are so similar because the owner’s requirements and the design goals and use cases overlap extensively. To quote this P&M article;
“Prince was tasked with designing a cohesion of extremes. The client wanted a high-performance vessel with pseudo-military exterior styling and interiors that emphasized luxurious, superyacht-like accommodations.”
It will if you’ve read over my earlier post “Project Goldilocks: Mission Impossible” where I outlined the overall mission and all the key characteristics Christine and I have for designing and building Möbius.
Prince went on to say about the client;
“He wants a really comfortable yacht that will scare the Coast Guard from a quarter mile away.”
Christine and I are not interested in scaring our friends in the world’s Cost Guards but are very keen on similarly deterring any “bad guys” with mal intent towards us.
“We have designed go-anywhere capability and luxurious accommodations inside aggressive, pseudo-military exterior styling,” says Prince.
There are a few differences mind you when it comes to weight, costs and power. For example “the boat will be propelled by twin MAN 1,900hp inboard diesels giving the Tactical 77 combined 3,800HP and top speeds over 35 knots.” Yikes! Mobius for comparison will have about 150HP and a top speed of 11-12 knots. But I’ll be much happier paying our construction costs and our fuel bills!
However at their core all these new kinds of boats share very similar purposes and owners and I was most intrigued by a story the designer Bill Prince shared when interviewed for this article:
With the owner’s highly specialized background, you would think clients like him are exceedingly rare. Yet Prince had three people come to him separately a few years ago, asking for essentially the same thing:
a low-maintenance, go-anywhere-in-any-kind-of-weather, aluminum cruising boat that doesn’t require a full-time crew.
“In the space of six to eight weeks I listened to three gentlemen who were all experienced yachtsmen describe almost the same spec,” said Prince. “So, I’ve seen this coming for a couple of years.”
Almost like reading my own writing!
In the Mission Impossible posting I shared that the mission statement Christine and I brought to Dennis, Dincer and Baris is:
“The just right boat for exploring extreme locations in equally extreme safety and comfort.”
and some of our key characteristics for Möbius included:
all aluminium, no paint, no stainless
Go far, Go everywhere, Go nowhere (@ anchor), Go alone
Interior with extremely high craftsman level fit and finish
You get the idea.
On the one hand the owners of these new style of boats have their own unique use cases and criteria, so each of their boats will be similarly unique. However when viewed by others they will tend to look similar because at their core these boats are designed and built for those who share a passion for long, low, lean & mean low maintenance boats which inspire them to cross oceans in eXtreme safety, comfort and style. We can’t wait to add Möbius to this growing family of ocean crossing passage makers and more so to join them out exploring this awemazing watery world of ours.