Well, finally finding the time to put together this quick update we have ALL been waiting for and <spoiler alert> let me just start with what you really want to know; yes, the brand new Mr. Gee version 2.0 is now fully installed and Möbius is back up and running! This update will focus on the installation of the new Mr. Gee and then I’ll do a second one in a few days with outline of where Mr. Gee has powered Möbius to since we left Kalymnos last week on Oct. 30th.
Let me just say that since finally departing our four month home port in Kalymnos, we have now put about 600 nautical smiles under our keel and I am writing this to you from Marina di Ragusa down on the SE corner of Sicily. We are waiting for the next weather window to continue our travels West and out of the Med across the North coast of Africa, and hope to leave tomorrow (Monday 7 Oct) or Tuesday so it may take me a few days to get that second travel update written and get some internet to be able to post it but do stay tuned for that. Now, back to as quick a summary as I can do about the installation of the all new Mr. Gee.
It took almost two months for the original Mr. Gee to get from Kalymnos to the Gardner works in Canterbury England but fortunately the return trip was MUCH faster and “only” took about two weeks for this sight for sore eyes turned up on the dock beside us. All still fully sealed up and just as it had been when it left Gardner Marine Diesel GMD the day after I flew back from being there for the full dynamometer testing that I outlined in a previous post. Even Barney was wondering when this abyss in the Engine Room was going to be filled up again and he was on hand to supervise the whole installation. James and Michael at GMD had kindly included the remaining epoxy paint and put that in the box on the pallet. Manufactured September 2022 so can’t get too much newer than that! After SO much time and effort, it was sure a great feeling to unwrap this all new version of Mr. Gee and get busy preparing him for the installation. If you look closely at the brass plate on the fuel injection system you can see that it is currently set up for Continuous 100% use with 150 BHP @ 1650 RPM, and as some Gardner fans say these are “Draught Horses”! I spent a few hours reinstalling a few things such as the big Electrodyne alternator that is powered by the PTO (Power Take Off) as it was easier to do while sitting out on the dock. Then I protected the polished valve covers up top with some foam and set up the two chain blocks front and rear for adjusting the angle of the engine as we lowered it in place. The crane truck arrived right on time which was also a nice change as the first time for taking the engine out, it took over a week to arrange. Didn’t take long to lift the 1200kg engine off the dock ……… …… and onto Möbius. Kind compliments of brothers Michael and John Psarompas who own Argo Oil & Tug Boat, two of the crew from the Argo Tug Boat behind us kindly came over to lend some extra hands to help lower the engine into the Engine Room and set the motor mounts onto the anxiously awaiting engine beds. As many of you know this wasn’t my first rodeo wrestling Mr. Gee into place and with these four extra hands it all went quite quickly. And the all new Mr. Gee was finally settled into his new home and mated up with the Nogva CPP Controllable Pitch Propeller gear box. It took me about two days to remount all the systems such as exhaust,the second Electrodyne alternator (top left), fuel lines, engine guard bars and then do the engine/prop shaft alignment and torquing down the engine mounts to lock it all in place.
Apologies for this quick and dirty video of the first starting of the all new Mr. Gee v2.0 but hope it adds a bit to how this all went. I gave a bit of an overview before starting up the engine and then did a bit of a walk around of the engine to show things such as the oil pressure, exhaust water flow, etc. Hope you enjoy!
Out of both curiosity and safety I decided to pump the diesel Day Tank empty and open up the bottom inspection port to see how things had faired in the almost two years since the first fill during the build. Very happy to find what you see here, aka NOTHING. The sump you see in the lower Left had been doing its job of collecting some of the bits from construction and I had been able to drain these out previously as per the design. Silver cylinder in the top Left is the Maretron pressure sensor for measuring tank level and the pickup outlet is over on the Right.
Bolted the inspection cover back on (lower left) and refilled this 660 Liter Day Tank with fresh clean diesel out of the main tanks. New engine called for new filters so installed these and bled them to get rid of any air. Also took the time to put coloured zip ties on each of the valve handles on the three fuel manifolds to help me double check that I have the right ones open or closed for different operations such as transferring fuel between the main tanks, polishing the fuel (aka cleaning), filling the Day Tank and of course the supply and return for feeding Mr. Gee when he is running. Once I had Mr. Gee and the rest of the systems on Möbius back up and running there was quite a bit of bureaucratic steps we needed to go through before we were allowed to leave. The boat had been officially “detained” by the Greek Coast Guard and they required that we hire this engineer to prove that the engine and the boat was back up and running again. All of the various officials, offices and agencies all needed to collect their “pound of flesh” and ample Euros which took longer than the actual installation of the new engine! Last but not least, we completed a quick sea trial by doing a big loop outside the harbour with the engineer aboard and we finally had the green light from him and then went through another round of approvals and payments to all the agencies in town but by end of day on 29th of October, 2022, almost four months after we first arrived, we were cleared to depart Kalymnos! We treated ourselves to one last “date night” on this lovely island of Kalymnos that had come to feel like home and reminded ourselves of just how fortunate we had been to have had the opportunity to get to know this small Greek island and so many of her wonderful inhabitants who had become so familiar and were all so kind and generous to us.
Thanks for the memories and Bye Bye Kalymnos! We feel SO privileged to have had this extended time to get to know you.
Another week and another month fly by in a flash it seems but we are making good progress and cutting the dock lines from here in beautiful sunny Finike Marina is getting closer with each passing day. This week also felt like summer is definately on its way with day time temp yesterday getting up to a new high of 29C/84F so we tropical birds are loving this change.
Nothing too visually exciting for this week’s Show & Tell update unfortunately but I’ll do my best to get you caught up on what all we did get done this past week of April 25-30, 2022.
Decks are Done!
One of the larger jobs that we are very thankful to have finished is that the team from Naval finished redoing all the TreadMaster on all our decks.
Despite being very high quality, the West Systems epoxy that was used to affix all the sheets of TreadMaster to the AL decks had not adhered to the AL very well so it has become both an eyesore and a tripping danger. They carefully removed each panel of TM, sanded the AL down, applied Bostik Primer and then Bostik adhesive and glued them all back down with rollers.
Apologies for not having any photos of the completed decks but you get the idea.
When my friend John was here two weeks ago we finished setting up and configuring the two WakeSpeed 500 regulators which control the two Electrodyne 250 Amp @ 24V alternators.
This upper Electrodyne is powered off of Mr. Gee’s crankshaft with a toothed “timing” belt.
The six large red cables carry the AC current from each alternator over to the Electrodyne Rectifiers which are mounted outside of the ER. Difficult to photograph this drive system I designed so this rendering of my CAD models will show it much better. Crankshaft pulley is at the bottom, sea water pump on the left and Electrodyne in the upper right. Works out eXtremely well as there is zero chance of any slippage of these toothed belts and I put in a spring loaded idler pulley (not shown in this render) which keeps the tension just right all the time. Also difficult to photograph now all the floors are in the Engine Room, the lower Electrodyne is powered directly off of the PTO or Power Take Off that is on the lower left side of Mr. Gee. An eXtremely robust and almost maintenance free setup as well. This older photo when Mr. Gee was up in the air shows how this PTO drive works. I went with these massively large and strong Electrodyne alternators in large part because they use an external Rectifier which is what you see here. The diodes in the rectifier are where the majority of the heat comes from in an alternator and heat is the enemy of electrical efficiency so keeping them out of the alternator and out of the ER really helps to increase the lifespan and efficiency of the whole charging system. Each Rectifier is then connected to one of the WakeSpeed 500 Smart Regulators and each WS500 is interconnected with the white Ethernet cable you see here.
Connecting these two WS500’s is a big part of what makes them deservedly called “smart” because they then automatically figure out how to perfectly balance the charging from each alternator which can otherwise be quite difficult and prone to errors. However, the biggest reason these WS500’s are the first truly ‘Smart’ regulators is because they use both Voltage AND Amperage do monitor the batteries and adjust the alternators to produce the just right amount of charging. With everything all wired up we started up Mr. Gee and after the initial ramp up time we were soon seeing about 220 Amps going into the 1800 Ah House Battery which was a joy to see.
Having two of these Electrodyne 250Ah alternators give us the potential for up to 12kW of electrical charging so in a way we actually do have a “generator” onboard. Unfortunately we soon noticed that some of the 24V circuit breakers were tripping when these alternators were running and I’ve spent the past few weeks trying to figure out what was causing that. Thanks to exemplary help from both Dale at Electrodyne and Neil at WakeSpeed, both of whom have been fabulous to work with from the very beginning, I was eventually able to track down the problem to an incorrectly installed aluminium bar that was used to fasten the two halves of the Electrodyne Rectifiers. One end of this AL flat bar was touching one of the AL L-brackets that hold the studs and diode in the Rectifier. Once found the fix was pretty quick and easy.
However somewhere along the way one of the WS500’s stopped working so I am now working with Neil to sort that out. In the meantime we have up to 250Ah charging capacity from the one working Electrodyne/WS500 combo and with all the solar power we have coming out of our 14 solar panels, we have no need for any of it most of the time.
Exhausting work on Tender Mobli
Most of my time this week was spent finishing off the installation of the Yanmar 4JH4 HTE 110HP engine and Castoldi 224DD jet drive in our Tender that we have named “Mobli”.
Similar to Mr. Gee and most marine engines, the Yanmar uses a wet exhaust where sea water is injected into the exhaust gas after it exits the turbocharger. This water dramatically drops the temperature of the exhaust gasses so you can use rubber and fiberglass exhaust hoses to carry the gases and water out of the boat. You can see the primary components I’m using to build the exhaust system in the photo below; water injection elbow on the Yanmar on the far Left with the Black rubber exhaust hose with the yellow stripe to carry the exhaust gas and water down to the cylindrical water muffler in the upper left. I will use the two white RFP 90 degree elbows to carry the water/gas up and out of the boat through the 76mm/3” AL pipe on the right. Like this. I am waiting for more of the SS hose clamps to arrive but this is what the finished setup will look like. Will need to fabricate and install a bracket to hold the muffler in place as well and that will complete the exhaust system.
Hard to see (click to expand any photo) but I was also able to install the black rubber hose that you see running parallel to the left of the exhaust hose and muffler. This carries the cooling sea water from the housing of the Castoldi Jet drive up to the intake on the sea water pump on the left side of the Yanmar.
Last major job to complete the installation of the Yanmar/Castoldi propulsion system is the mounting of the battery and its cables to both the jet drive and the engine and I hope to get that done this coming week. That’s how I spent my last week of April 2022 and hope yours was equally productive.
Thanks for taking the time to follow along, always encouraging to know you are all out there and along for the ride with Christine and me. Thanks in advance for typing any and all comments and questions in the “Join the Discussion” box below and hope you will join us again next week as we get May off to a good start.
Regrettably the Good News/Bad New duopoly continues with Mr. Gee and is leaving all of us “hanging”. Good news is that he started up just like his typical self, first touch of the start button. Bad news is that the oil pressure was not up to what it should be and given that he is essentially all brand new parts wise I knew it best to shut him down right away and spend more time figuring out what’s still ailing him. More Good News in that I’ve been able to check off a few more items on the ever present To Do list but Bad News is that for all of us who are anxiously awaiting to see and hear Mr. Gee spring back to life, he is going to keep us hanging a bit longer.
Workshop of Many Colours
Starting off on a bit more positive note, one of the To Do list items I was able to check off this week was my testing of some improvements to the Workshop. A few months ago Christine came across these fun interlocking foam squares that they were almost giving away at Turkey’s version of Home Depot so she picked up three boxes of them for me to try out. The floor in the Workshop is made from some sheets of a fabulous composite grid that is typically used in chemical plants and the like and it worked out eXtremely well for creating the floors in the Workshop, Engine Room and Forepeak. Under the grid flooring there are a LOT of equipment such as pumps, plumbing, and wiring, all of which I need to keep a regular eye on to spot any leaks or problems early before they turn into big problems. Any other flooring would have kept everything hidden whereas the open grid let’s me see right through all the time so that very much goes in the Good News column. However the down side of the grid is that it is so rigid and sharp edged that it is tough on your feet when standing on for long periods and even worse ANYTHING you drop goes right through into the space below and I need to play an all new version of “Go Fish”!
Oh, and of course all the bits of day to day “droppings” from working in the Workshop all go down there too so I need to take up the flooring and clean it all out every few months. BTW, if you don’t already have one of these flexible “grabber” tools, I HIGHLY recommend you go get one ASAP. Trust me you’ll thank me. I have several of these, some are the very simple basic type that are good for getting through really tiny openings but this is my eXtreme version that has both a magnet and an LED light on the end with the four gripper jaws which comes in VERY handy on many occasions.
I’m experimenting with a simple system that I can cover the grid with that is still very easy to remove when needed but when in place is “good news” for my feet and reducing the amount of “fishing” I need to do with all the bits and bobs I drop each day. In addition to these coloured tiles I’m also testing out a single piece of similar dark Grey foam that I’ve rolled out in the walkway from my WorkBench alongside the Engine Room so I’ll be able to see if the longer length or the jig saw tiles work out better. Next month or so of daily use will help me evaluate the pros and cons of each type and see which is the Goldilocks just right choice for the whole Workshop or if I need to keep searching. As in life it is so often the little thanks that please me the most and while I’m embarrassed by how long this has been on my To Do list, I FINALLY bolted my big cast iron vice to this center workbench using three 1/2” SS bolts like the one circled in Red. Rock solid now and something I use pretty much every day and can’t imagine being without.
As bonus, I’ve got one of my metal storage drawer stacks conveniently located right underneath and so I just pull out the top drawer and put a piece of plywood on top to catch the dust from cutting and filing things in the vice. The aforementioned floor coverings will now catch such dust too but this little dust shelf catches most before it hits the floor and makes cleanup with my shop vac even easier.
Meanwhile, back in the ER…….
Mr. Gee Keeps Us All Hanging!
At the end of last week I had run out of time and left you all hanging at this point with Mr. Gee fully back on his “feet” bolted to the Engine Beds and just needing a few more connections with exhaust and cooling before he was ready to start up.
To make sure all the new oil had fully filled up all the pipes and passages in the lubrication oil system I hand cranked him for several minutes with the compression levers all on and the fuel shut off. Just before I ran out of steam I was able to see the needle on the oil pressure gauge start to rise letting me know that oil was now flowing everywhere it should be. So on Monday morning it was Start Time!
Good news is that as usual he started up the very first touch of his all new Start Button.
Not so good news is that I could immediately see that the oil pressure was lower than it should be so I shut him down right away.
Don’t have a photo of that moment but here is the gauge on the Left side of the oil filter.
FYI, it is reading zero here as the engine isn’t running. In the photo above and here you can see the Pressure Relief Valve on the Right side and the slotted adjustment screw. This is used to adjust the oil pressure when running to be 35 PSI @ 1000 RPM which is easily done by loosening that lock nut and turning the adjuster screw Up/Down.
Turning it clockwise/down increases the oil pressure so I turned it down several turns and restarted Mr. Gee.
Good news, oil pressure was up to 25 PSI and further turning of the adjuster brought it up to 35 PSI.
Bad news is that this required several more turns of the adjuster which is WAY too much from what should be needed so I shut him down again.
I spent the next few hours going over EVERY possible thing that could be causing this lower oil pressure, did more testing and slept on it overnight but there was just no option but to get Mr. Gee back up off his feet and back to hangin’ in his Engine Room.
Out came the chain blocks and Dyneema lines, off came the exhaust, engine mount bolts, sea water hoses and alternator cables. What I needed to do was get the oil pan off so I could fully check out the lube oil pipework and oil pump inside and to do that I would need to lift Mr. Gee up in the air about a meter or so as you’ve seen me do in the past. Hopefully I do NOT need to remove the crankshaft this time so I could leave Mr. Gee and Ms. Nogva all hooked up and lift them up as a single unit which would be MUCH less time and effort.
This requires decoupling the prop shaft flanges from the Nogva and unthreading the Pitch Control Rod that you can see here sliding into the center of the Prop Shaft. Red jack is underneath to support the Prop Shaft at the right height and keep it all on center. With all that disconnected it only takes minutes for me to lift Mr. Gee as much as needed using the chain blocks up above. Weighing in at about 2000 kg/4400 Lbs, I want to be eXtremely sure that he is well supported and can’t fall down on me so I set the bottom of the Nogva down onto a steel tube spanning the Engine beds with a block of wood underneath. Harder to see but at the front I run a double set of Dyneema lines from a second overhead steel beam and down around the front engine mounts on either side. Before removing the lube oil pipework’s, I wanted to pressure test them to see what that might tell me so I built this little adaptor using a bit of aluminium flat bar and the valve cut from the tube of a bicycle tire. This copper pipe that delivers the pressurized oil from the oil pump to the pipework inside the Oil Sump. This allowed me to bolt my adaptor in its place with the tire valve easy to access. Making it easy to connect my bicycle pump and pressurize the pipework system inside.
Good news is that it worked like a charm.
Bad news is that the results didn’t tell me much with the Oil Sump still in place so time to take it off. Once the Oil Pan/Sump is off I was able to test the pipework’s again but the results were still inconclusive so I removed the whole pipework’s from the crankshaft Bridges. Here is the whole pipework assembly minus one of the cast iron pipe connector fittings at the far upper end.
Good news is that I *think* I found the problem and have been discussing with my team of experts at Gardner and elsewhere.
Bad news is that I’m going to replace all this pipework assembly with ones from another 6LXB at Gardner Marine. Not a problem but it usually takes at least a month, often more to get parts shipped from England to me here, and now with all the shipping and supply slowdowns it takes even longer. So I think there is a flight to England in my not to distant future!
For now this is where I am going to have to leave all of us hanging, while I continue the pursuit of this latest chapter in the seemingly endless Oil Pressure Killer mystery.
Stay tuned for more in the coming weeks. To end on a happier note, one of the other To Do list items I attended to this past week was mounting the new luggage rack system onto our intrepid bicycle.
Christine found this very well built all aluminium rack online and was able to get it delivered in just a few days via Amazon Turkey. She also found these two even more impressive pannier bags which are fully waterproof and made to clip On/Off the bike rack. Christine looks after all our grocery and other shopping at the weekly local fruit and veggie market which is a few miles down the road from the marina and so this setup will make her life MUCH easier.
A happy Captain makes me eXtremely happy so all’s well here in Finike Marina and aboard the Good Ship Möbius. Thanks for joining us again this week and please do keep contributing all the great questions and comments you have on these weekly Update postings by typing them into the “Join the Discussion” box below.
I’ll be back with the next chapter for you next week.
As has been the norm for most updates and perhaps life in general I guess, this will be a mix of good news and bad for all you faithful followers (thanks to you all!) In the good news column this week’s update will be mercifully short compared to some of the novel length ones I have been writing of late but the related not so good news is that this update will be disappoint all of you who have been anxiously awaiting to see and hear Mr. Gee roar back to his third new lease on life.
The finiteness of time is always the challenge it seems, and especially so on a boat it seems where there are so many things on the To Do list and so little time to get all of them done. I’m pretty sure most of you have your own version of this dilemma, which is actually a good thing in itself in that who would ever want to have NOTHING left on their To Do list?!?!? Not me at least.
So this past week has been filled with a litany of To Do list items which too precedent over those in Mr. Gee’s Engine Room (ER) though I certainly did not ignore him completely.
Getting Mr. Gee Ready for Life #3
If you have been following along, here is what things looked like in the ER when I left you in the last Update. Mr. Gee was back “in bed” with his four “feet” now resting firmly on the wide 25mm thick AL Engine Beds that run down each side of the Engine Bay. Now came all the “little things” that have to be reconnected, adjusted and tested before he is ready to start.
As many of you can relate to, the “little things” in life can often take most of the time and are of the highest importance and that is very much the case here. For example, before I can fasten the Mr. Gee’s four feet to the Engine Beds, I need to precisely align these two flanges. The bright Red one on the Right is attached to the end of the Nogva Prop Shaft and the darker Burgundy on it mates to is the Output flange coming out of the Nogva servo gear box on the far Left. These two flanges must be perfectly aligned axially, meaning both side to side and top to bottom with no more than 5/100th or 0.05mm/0.002” which for reference is about the thickness of a human hair. To do this, I need to remove the eight hardened bolts which hold the two flanges together, keep the two flanges up against each other and then measure the gap all around where the flanges meet to make sure there is ideally no gap or at least no more than 0.05mm. This is done using a feeler gauge you see in my hand here which is a thin piece of steel that is of an exact thickness. It was close but a bit too big on the Right side (3 O’clock) so I then go up to the front of Mr. Gee and pry his feet over to the Right just a wee bit and go recheck the size of the gap. If there is a gap top to bottom then you have to use the nuts on the motor mounts to tilt the engine/gearbox assembly to remove the gap. As you might imagine, it takes quite a few trips back and forth to get the two flanges completely flush with each other and once done I could replace the 8 hardened bolts and tighten them down in stages to their final toque of 160 NM/120 FtLbs, which is VERY tight. With Mr. Gee & Miss Nogva now perfectly in position, I could install the two hardened bolts in each of his four “feet” and torque these down to the very grunt worthy 225 NM/166 FtLbs.
Note, this is a photo from last year before I had drilled the holes in the Engine Beds so this time I just needed to reinsert the bolts into the existing holes. Here is an overview shot from my Fusion 360 screen which is what I used to design all the mounts. Each side has two feet/mounts for Mr. Gee and one for the Nogva. With Mr. Gee now in his final resting spot I could reattach the wet exhaust system. Wet refers to the fact that sea water is injected into the exhaust gas which removes both noise and heat from the exhaust and allows the use of much easier to handle rubber exhaust hose to take the exhaust gasses out of the boat.
The Blue/Red is special silicone hose where the stainless Mixing Elbow bends downward and mixes the sea water with the exhaust. The smaller SS pipe you can see pointing up here, is where the hose bringing the sea water attaches. Here is a peek inside the mixing elbow where you can see all the holes around the outer SS circumference where the water sprays evenly into the exhaust gasses. Now I could hoist the whole exhaust pipe assembly into place sliding the Blue silicone hose overtop of the angled input pipe on the large cylindrical Silencer/Separator in the top Separator of the ER.
Once in place I could also reattach the four SS supports which connect the exhaust system to the front and rear roll bars around Mr. Gee. This has worked out eXtremely well by keeping the exhaust system very tightly in place with no transfer of noise of vibration into the hull it never touches.
3” SS pipe attaches to the exhaust manifold on the Aft Starboard/Right end of Mr. Gee and then carries the hot exhaust gasses up and over to the SS mixing elbow and into the Silencer/Separator. The Black rubber exhaust hose curving down from the Silencer on the Right carries the now cooled and quiet gasses out of the ER and across to the AL exhaust pipe in the hull.
The sea water drains out of the bottom of the White separator and into the vertical Sea Chest where it exits out of the boat back into the ocean.
It has proven to be an eXcellent exhaust system; simple, efficient and quiet. I’ve used a Silencer/Separator combo unit rather than a more traditional “Lift Muffler” as this design has almost no power robbing back pressure and no “sploosh sploosh” as water from lift mufflers create when exhaust and water both exit out the side of the boat.
Time at last to install the new oil filter and fill it up with clean new oil. The rest of Mr. Gee’s 28 Liters/ 7.4 USG of engine oil I add by pouring into the two cylinder heads to thoroughly douse all the valves in clean new oil which then drains down to fill up the oil sump/pan. Lots more “little jobs’ such as reconnecting the six large Red cables to each of the two 500 amp Electrodyne alternators you can see on the top and bottom Left side here.
The list of connections is much longer of course and valve clearances need to be set, fuel pump and injectors primed, etc. but each one takes Mr. Gee one step closer to first start up. Unfortunately I ran out of time this week at this point so I will need to leave you hanging here and pick up again next week.
Engine Control Box
I do my best to “discipline” myself when doing boat jobs to always try to improve on whatever system I’m working on such that it is better than before I started. Such was the case in completing this latest rebuild of Mr. Gee where I wanted to build and install a much better and safer Engine Control Box.
Here is what I came up with. Quite simple but a bit time consuming to build. I started with a standard IP65 (waterproof) Grey plastic junction box and cut openings for an Engine Hour meter (top), Red STOP button, power “ignition” switch Left, Green START button Right and digital Tachometer on bottom. The junction box provided a cool, dry protected spot to make all the connections for these controls so I used these handy junction blocks to make secure connections between all the wires. Then I mounted the whole box up high just outside the ER door.
I’ve done my best to reserve the Engine Room to have ONLY the engine inside it; no other equipment, no batteries, no fuel tanks, etc. An ER is a great place for the engine but the hotter temperatures and vibration is not so kind to things like batteries, equipment, etc.
Here is a better shot of the Control Box in the upper center as you look forward down the Port/Left side of the Workshop to the WT door at the far end which separates the Workshop & ER from the interior of the boat.
By mounting this control box outside the ER followed the same thinking and added a safety element in that I could quickly shut down the engine in the unlikely event of seeing a fire inside and not needing to open the ER door. For orientation on how the ER and the new Control Box is mounted, here is the opposite view looking Aft from that WT Door toward the WT door leading out onto the Swim Platform at the far Left end. The whole Control Box setup and other wiring is still very much a work in progress as you can see with this perspective from inside the ER looking out through the door on the Left. In the upper center of this photo you can see how the wires from the Control Box have been led through a hole in the White AlucoBond walls lining the ER.
Off to the right I’ve mounted a new BlueSea junction box which provides me with 12 individually fused connections for each circuit. Next week I will be working on making all the connections for circuits such as the Start/Stop solenoids, Sea Water flow alarm, hot water circulation pump from engine to calorifier, engine sensors for pressures and temperatures and connections for the field wires from the alternators to the WakeSpeed 500 remote rectifiers and regulators.
I’ve had great success using these BS junction boxes on previous boats and they do a great job of making secure, neat easily accessed connections and fuses. There were a LOT of other To Do list items commandeering my time this past week but I’ll spare you from all those gory details and leave off here to be continued next week for those of you brave enough to return for more!
My sincere thanks to those who made it to the end of yet another “brief” update from your cub reporter aboard the Good Ship Möbius. I value all the comments and questions you leave in the “Join the Discussion” box below eXtremely highly so thanks in advance for all those contributions and I hope you will join me here again for continuing adventures as Christine and I work at getting Möbius and ourselves fully sea worthy and ready to throw off the dock lines and head back out to eXplore the world by sea.
Thanks to the many of you who responded to the “mystery novel” that I turned last week’s update into and for putting up with my amateurish mystery writing skills. I was quite taken aback but most appreciative of how many of you enjoyed along with what I hope to be the final chapter in the great Serial Oil Pressure Killer series here on Möbius.World.
This last week most of my time has been spent putting Humpty Dumpty aka Mr. Gee all back together again with his new crankshaft, bearings and now FLAT oil pipework fittings installed and you can read all about that below. He is now back to ‘’bed” resting on his anti vibration mounts and I’m working my way through the rest of the assembly and adjustments so I can bring him back to life purring away in his Engine Room. If all goes well I should be able to share the first start up in next week’s update so do stay tuned for that.
Picking Up Where We Left Off
In my focus on telling the long and winding tale about tracking down the real oil pressure killer I skipped over most of the process of reinstalling the new crankshaft, oil pump, oil cooler tube and all the many other parts that I had disassembled so I will catch you up with al that now.
One of the only things we are not so fond of about our years here in Turkey is how much time, money and energy it takes to get things shipped into or out of the country. Not completely sure why this is and we do sometimes have things all go very well, but most often it is quite a PITA. Such was the case with getting the previous crankshaft sent back to Gardner Marine in England to be reground and then getting the new crank, oil pump, cooler tube and O-rings sent back to us here in Finike marina.
With the help of our ever resourceful “Turkish Fixer” Alaaddin, the latest crate finally arrived about two weeks ago. The crankshaft alone weighs about 100kg/220lbs but Christine and I were able to get it out of the van and down the ramp onto the swim platform on Möbius without it going overboard. and then slowly get him down the steps into the Workshop. There are a number of parts that attach to the front end of the crankshaft such as a large disk vibration damper, triple row timing chain cog, roller bearings, etc. and these all need to be pressed or bolted onto the crankshaft. So I propped it up against the center workbench to do all this work. This tag confirms the sizes of the Main Bearing and Connecting Rod or “Big End” bearing journals after they have been freshly reground and then the bearings are oversized by this same amount to match.
Protective corrugated cardboard is wrapped around each journal to protect the finely ground surfaces during shipping and installation. To prevent the crankshaft from moving fore and aft there are two pairs of Thrust Bearings that need to allow no more than 0.006 – 0.009” of end play so you need to fit these to a newly ground crankshaft to get the exact fit. My good ole drill press often doubles as a vertical milling machine so I was able to use it again here to mill down each Thrust Bearing to just the right thickness. I could do a dry fit of this and check the gap with feeler gauges while the crank was out of the engine and then once it was in place I could double check with a dial gauge as you see here. I forcefully tap the crank fully forward to zero the gauge and then fully aft to read the total endwise travel. Reading was about 0.0065” or “six and a half thou” which is just right. Once I had the damper, roller bearings and chainwheel cog fully mounted I could start to carefully pull the whole assembly into the Engine Room. A bit like an inch worm’s progress, I just took it a step at a time. It was probably now approaching 140kg/300lbs but I could lift one end by hand and so I put in some plywood ramps to help me slide the crank slide into the ER ……… …… then inch it over under the anxiously awaiting Mr. Gee who was “hanging in there”. I rigged up a set of 6:1 blocks at the front and rear of the engine using Dyneema that I could wrap around the ends of the crankshaft and allow me to gradually pull it up into place. To make sure the large hardened steel studs that clamp the main bearings in place don’t touch and damage the ground surfaces, I wrapped the threads with lots of duct tape and then carefully peeled off the corrugated cardboard covers. Over on the workbench, I cleaned and prepped the main bearing shells in their big cast AL bearing caps. Each of the AL bearing caps are press fit into the solid AL crankcase so I used a hydraulic jack to push them into place and then the cast iron Bridges slide over the two studs and the nuts are torqued down.
FYI, the small oval surface you see machined on each Bridge is where the infamously “bowed” fittings with the O-rings bolt in place. Once I had the crankshaft bolted in place I could very carefully lower each Connecting Rod down onto their journals and bolt their bearing caps in place with the four bolts on each one.
Torqueing all these nuts down has to be done in a specific pattern as you progress through four different stages of increasing torque so that they are fully tightened and clamp the crank bearings precisely round. Crankshaft is now fully in place with all cylinders attached and turning easily so I now turned my attention to installing the very critical timing chain and the hand crank chainwheel and water pump/alternator cogged belt pulleys on the front end. Small and Light are never found in the same sentence with Gardner so I used the same inch work technique to get the massive solid cast AL oil pan/sump moved into the ER and in place under Mr. Gee.
I was able to reuse the 6:1 blocks and some webbing at the front and rear of the sump to pull it up into place and get it all aligned to slide onto the oil pump tube and the studs that attach the sump to the crankcase.
The flywheel is the most massive of all, not sure of its exact weight but I can tell you that it takes four burly guys to pick it up and it is all I can do to tip it upright when it is on the ground Fortunately the 6:1 blocks help me work smarter not harder and so once I got Mr. Gee pulled into the right position I was able to easily lift this beast up and into precise position to slide over the 6 end studs on the crankshaft. With the flywheel torqued down I could now mount the aft half of its housing and then bolt on the large mounting brackets I had designed for the anti vibration “feet” or mounts to attach to on either side. After carefully repositioning the overhead steel beams spanning the ER hatch up above, I was able to now lower Mr. Gee’s feet onto the Engine Beds for what he and I both fervently hope is the LAST time for a LONG time! And now the wrestling match begins as I coax all of Mr. Gee aft to engage the big rubber cogs on the CentaMax torsion coupling on the Nogva input shaft to the matching AL housing on the Flywheel.
The blocks help me take off some of the weight and then lots of elbow grease and pry bars allow me to slide Mr. Gee aft little by little. Here I now have it all lined up with the cogs just engaged. You can see the 3cm gap that I still have to slide Mr. Gee aft to fit tight against the Brown Nogva case. Done! Mr. Gee and Miss Nogva are now bolted back together and remarried for their new life together. Next up is this new bit of engineering art and science from Gardner that was in the crate with the crankshaft. This is the copper engine oil cooler pipe where the oil is pumped through on its own circuit with its own oil pump. The “dimpled” pipe creates more surface area for the cooling sea water to flow around and extract out the heat from the oil as it flows through the tube. Too bad this copper beauty has to be hidden away when I slide it into this cast Bronze housing but I’ve done my best to polish up the housing and give it a clear epoxy coating to keep it looking great for years to come. Who says you can’t have a bit of “bling” on a Gardner?! Here is the engine oil cooler all reassembled. The cast Bronze housing on the closest end is where the oil enters and then runs through that dimpled tube inside and comes out the far end where it then drains back into the pan all nice and cool.
Sea water is pumped into the flanged fitting you see lying open in the near end here and then it flows inside the square cast Bronze housing and out the large diameter copper pipe elbow you can see on the far end. Looking into that hole in the flange you see above, you can see the copper dimpled tube inside. Sorry for the poor photo but if you look closely you can see the Bronze oil cooler now installed along the side of Mr. Gee on the left side of this photo.
I then connected all the white water hoses you see on the Right side here to various parts of Mr. Gee. Some of these carry fresh water to the heat exchanger which is like the radiator in a car or truck but uses sea water to cool rather than air. Other hoses cary salt water in/out of the engine oil cooler and the heat exchangers and the water pump. You can see through the clear lid on one of the sea water strainer in the mid Right side. Big Black 5” Exhaust hose now reconnected to the large White water separator/silencer in the top Left corner and then down and out the ER where it connects to the AL exhaust pipe welded into the hull above the WL. And that’s where we are at as of now (Jan 30th 2022) and where I will pick up with you again next week. Lots more parts and systems to reconnect and install but if all goes well I hope to be able to bring you a short video of Mr. Gee starting up first crank as he usually does and let you all hear the sweet sounds of a Gardner 6LXB purring away.
Thanks for joining and for your comments and questions typed into the “join the Discussion” box below.
Möbius completed her second week afloat and I’m delighted to report that we ARE still floating and not a drop of seawater inside thank you very much! Christine and I spend all day aboard working our way through the still growing punch list of jobs for us and Team Möbius from Naval Yachts to work on and we sleep aboard each night for safety’s sake as she is still so new and the probability of some surprise that could endanger the boat will be high for the first month or so until we get all the systems up and running and fully tested.
So our routine is to get up at our usual 06:30 or so, walk the dogs and drive back to our apartment to make breakfast, shower, etc. and then head back to the boat. We do the same at the end of the work day here, whenever that ends up being and drive back to the apartment for dinner and then back to the boat for the night. It is working out well as a good way for us to start to familiarize ourselves with the boat’s systems and be here to help out the rest of Team Möbius with all their tasks to complete the work remaining to fully finish this beautiful boat. We have a few more things that need to be done before Möbius is fully seaworthy and safe to take out on her first sea trial run and if things go well we hope to do that this coming week so do be sure to join us here again next week to find out if that happened and how the first test run went.
As with the previous blog posts over the past month or so, I will do my best to cover the large range of “little” jobs that have been done so this will be more of the “fly through” style Show & Tell, where I will let the photos do most of the talking and just add a few comments for context and understanding.
AND …………. there is a special Bonus Video hot off the press from Captain Christine which will fully explain the references in this week’s title so be sure to hang in to the end for that!
If you haven’t done so already, grab a tasty beverage and a comfy seat and let’s dive right into this week’s Update.
Sing it with me ….. Möbius is her Name-O…
Some of you might recall seeing Mobius’ name and her Port of Registration in the Bailiwick of Jersey in black letters several months ago, but those were just temporary stick-on vinyl letters that were required to complete the registration paperwork in Jersey. This week the CNC cut aluminium letters finally showed up and Orhan and Ali quickly had them adhered to the Aft Transom wall for Captain Christine’s approval.
These letters are made out of 10mm thick aluminium and we will paint their outer surface Black for better visibility a bit later. But it was another one of those little things that makes her feel more and more like a “real boat” as we slowly get used to the idea that “Did we actually DO this?!!!”
* For the sharp eyed curious types, the little item above the E in Jersey is the bracket for for the door latch on the WT door behind Christine.
And the vertical gravestone looking item with the donut hole in it is a fair lead for bringing lines aboard from shore or other ships and up to the big Lewmar power winch on the Aft deck.
Orhan (Left) and Ali arranged the letters on the Aft Deck so we could decide on final spacing before the mounted them. Each letter of the boat’s name must be a minimum of 150mm/ 6” high to meet the Registration requirements of Jersey and most other countries and these are 180mm high. Wood strip to line up the bottoms of each letter and some painter’s tape to keep them in place overnight while the Grey Sikaflex cured. Jersey lettering is required to be at least 100mm / 4” high and ours are 120 / 4.75” so they all easily meet the size requirements and still seem to be in good proportions with the size of the Transom and Swim Platform. Ooops! Can’t forget the umlaut as that is the proper spelling of the Möbius strip which is a big part of the whole story behind why we chose this name.
For anyone not familiar with them a Möbius strip is a surface with only one side was discovered by the German mathematician Augus Ferdinand Möbius and hence the spelling. If you have not previously played with Strip or it has been awhile, then do yourself a favor and try making one for yourself (quick How-To HERE) and playing with this seemingly impossible surface as you cut it in half and other fun experiments.
** The sharp eyed amongst you might have also noticed when my left hand appears in some of the photos here, that the the wedding rings I designed and had cast from 3D printed wax models I made are also a Möbius Strip. But that’s a whole post in itself so I’ll leave that for later.
And here is the end result.
Sorry I didn’t get a better shot after removing the painter’s tape from the two umlauts but I’ll try for one next week with a shot of the whole Aft end of Möbius.
*** For the curious, the winch handle on the Left is used to open the two dogs that keep the AL door into our HazMat locker very tight and fully watertight.
Hinged Front Solar Panel Rack
Uğur finished installing these two hinged support posts that keep the front three 345W solar panels propped up when we are at anchor and want these panels to be horizontal or parallel to the waterline for best solar performance.
The other key reason for propping up these 3 Solar Panels on this hinged rack is to create the giant wind tunnel which captures even the slightest breezes coming over out bow when at anchor and funnels it through the large Black vertical mist eliminator grill you can see at the far end. After having most of the salty humidity removed by the Mist Eliminator grills this fresh air then fills a large plenum box above the ceiling in the center of the SuperSalon and is controlled via 5 diffusers in the ceiling panel which provides eXtremely good fresh air flow throughout the SuperSalon. In the raised position, the hinged posts fit into one of these Delrin sockets and are secured by the SS bolt. The tops of the posts are captured in this bracket with another SS Allen head bolt providing the hinge pin. When we want to get ready to head back out to see, or in high winds, we just lift the panel up a few inches and the ball ends of the posts can slide aft as they fold down with the hinged rack. Another one of the “Big little jobs” that got going this week was making the last 3 wooden liners that wrap around the inside AL surfaces of the 10 glass covered hatches on Möbius. Seven of these wood liners have been done for many months now as they are all made out of Ro$ewood and were done when the rest of the Rosewood interior was being made. These last three on the Aft Deck which bring lots of light and fresh air into my Workshop will be appropriately made from laminated marine wood and then painted White. Here you can see how these wood frames are a snug fit inside the 10mm thick AL frames of the hatches. Once each liner had been fully test fitted they were taken back to the Naval shipyard to finish them which included the two small cut-outs you can see in this photo for where the latches for the hatch handles will go. The top edge of these wooden liners need help create the groove and support surface for the edge seals that ring each hatch and make them completely watertight no matter what Mother Nature and Mother Ocean throw at us, so they were cut and fitted as part of the hatch installation. Trim-Lok is a very cool company that discovered after LOTS of research for the Goldilocks hatch seals. Trim-Lok was great to work with via their excellent web site which allows you to design your own edge seals using their “Hatch Seal Product Builder” site so last year I had designed these edge seals as part of my overall design of the hatches themselves. You can see how these edge seals have two connected parts to them, the U shaped rubber channel pointing to the Right here is lined with aluminium U-shaped “staples” which allow the edge to stay flexible as it wraps around the tight corner radius at each corner of the Hatch Frame and still grips the 10mm AL edge. The upper part on the Left here is the “bulb”, a hollow tube of EPDM rubber that provides the “squish” and the actual seal against the underside of the hatch lid and keeps all the water outside where it belongs. This is one of the Rosewood liners that goes into the Guest Shower, if you will please pardon the mess of construction debris, you can see how the top edge of the wood liners form both the inner groove where the edge seal fits over the AL frame and how the flat top surfaces of both the AL frame and the wood liner provide a very solid surface for the bottom of the EPDM bulb to be sandwiched and squished tight when the top of the bulb is pushed down by the closed hatch lid. Here is a closer shot during one of the test fittings so you can see how these seals work.
This attention to such details and my decision to design my own hatches is all part of my overall obsession about keeping all the water on the OUTSIDE of the boat! Our past experiences and that of most other sailors, has taught us that hatches are one of the prime culprits and most annoying of leaks on a boat so we set out to build some Goldilocks Just Right hatches that establish a strong fully watertight seal when closed and will stay that way for at least the next 10 years. *** Check back in with me here in 2031 for an update on how well these worked. For now though we are delighted with how well our hatches have turned out and in the coming week or so I will be able to show you the final step; mounting the custom designed hatch handles and latches.
STEERING our Course to Freedom
We left off last week with the beginning of the installation of the emergency manual steering wheel in the Main Helm and we finished that this week. We regard this as an “emergency” or backup steering system as we have several layers of fault tolerance designed into our primary Kobelt steering system with dual redundant double acting hydraulic steering cylinders and dual redundant Accu-Steer HPU 400 24 volt hydraulic steering pumps.
A the very bottom here, you can see how the SS adaptor we machined bolts to the Vetus steering wheel and then slides over the SS shaft coming out of the Bronze Kobelt 7012 manual hydraulic steering pump above.
The majority of the time this wheel will be taken off and stored somewhere nearby the Helm by simply loosening those two SS machine screws that clamp the wheel adaptor to the pump shaft. The elbow coming out of the top of the pump goes over to a 1 liter AL header tank we fabricated here and is mounted inside the triangular upper storage area on the Stbd/Right side of the Main Helm and keeps a steady “head” of hydraulic oil to feed this pump. When you turn the steering wheel the pump forces hydraulic oil out one of the two valves on the rear of the pump where you see the two red handled ball valves here, and those hoses go all the way back to the cylinders attached through the Tiler Arm to the Rudder Shaft and the boat turns. Way back in the Workshop we have been setting up and commissioning the two Accu-Steer HPU400 pumps, also owned by Kobelt, and this is a shot looking straight down at the Blue anodized AL manifold housing of the Stbd side HPU400. These are 2Speed pumps so the two silver cylinders in the middle here are where you adjust the High/Low Speeds but this is rarely needs any adjustment.
We have custom designed this whole steering system with Lance Lidstone and Keivan Ashouei and they have continued to provide us with outstanding support and assistance throughout the installation and now the setting up and commissioning of our whole steering system.
FYI, at maximum conditions these pumps are set to put out 1000 PSI of hydraulic pressure that gives us much more than we need under even the most severe scenarios. Just the way we like it and have designed all the systems onboard Möbius.
Keivan has been especially helpful via WhatsApp video calls at very early Am times for him and late PM for me. when we had a few problems with the initial settings on some of the control valves which one of the installers on this end had changed from the factory pre-set positions without me knowing but it was an easy fix once we identified it.
We also had a bit of a setback when one of our more “burly” installers got a bit too aggressive when tightening down the SS bleeder screws, one of which you can see at the top of this cylinder. These bleeder screws push a small SS check ball down against a seat machined as a chamfer in the brass end caps and if you don’t follow the Kobelt Installation Instructions (harrumph, harrumph!) and overtighten the bleeders more than the maximum 5 ft.lbs torque, they score a groove into the SS check ball as you can on this one.
Difficult to photograph but if you look closely and click to enlarge this photo (works on all photos in all blog Post s BTW) you will be able to see the groove cut into this SS check ball by the SS bleeder screw.
But as luck would have it and with the help of our “Turkish Fixer” Alaaddin, we were able to find a ball bearing that had the exact same 3.8mm diameter steel balls in it and by cutting this bearing open was able to end up with 7 brand new SS check balls!
To make matters much worse though, this excess force and force the SS ball into the soft brass seat damaging it as well. Easy to tell when this happens as the bleeder screw now leaks! Even more difficult to photograph this but if you enlarge and look closely at the bottom of this threaded port for the bleeder screw, you will see how you can badly deformed the brass seat is here. The solution I came up with was to remove the brass end caps as you see me doing here and then try to make a little tool that would cut a new seat in the brass and put it back to the original 118 degree angled chamfer. I was too busy making this custom tool bit and machining the new seat to take any photos but the good news is that it all seemed to work well and I was able to machine new seats on all four end caps.
Tune in next week to find out if this all really does work when we reassemble all the cylinders and put all 1000 PSI into them and see if we have any leaks.
Wish us luck! One of the other BIG little jobs that Ramazan checked off this past week was the installation of our 10 different fire extinguishers that are spread throughout the whole boat. We have doubled up on these as well with the one of the Right here being the traditional style most of you would be familiar with. Then we have doubled up with these rather new and totally awemazing fire extinguishers from Maus in Sweden. If you have not heard of these before please do check out the link above to the UK Maus site which has some very compelling video sequences showing how and how well these puppies work!
OK, I’ve saved THE BEST for last this week and hope you too will find it worth the wait. This is of course the reference to this week’s title and have you already guessed what this is all about?
NO! It is not in reference to the fact that Captain Christine says I bear a certain resemblance to Gene Wilder in this infamous scene from the fun movie Young Frankenstein.
Will this clue help you guess?
Hint; you are looking at the two high amp 24V cables going into Mr. Gee’s starter. How about this clue?
Yes, that is Mr. Gee’s engine coolant water temperature gauge.
Hint: check out the temperature even if it is a bit blurry. Obvious right??!!!!!
Ahhhh, heck, why don’t you just watch the fun even by playing the short little video clip below that Christine just finished putting together as that will be MUCH better than my belaboured and boring explanation.
Click PLAY below and enjoy!
That’s right! He’s ALIVE!!!!!!!
After a gestation period of almost 5 years and a LOT of work along the way to fully restore this 1971 Gardner 6LXB marine engine to his original if not better than factory new condition, Mr. Gee has been “reborn” and his newest “Birth Day” is now March 6th, 2021.
It all went down just as you see in the video above. After topping Mr. Gee up with fresh water, oil, diesel fuel, saltwater cooling heat exchangers and priming his fuel injection system, he lit up on first crank, first time! I’m not even going to start telling you more as I won’t be able to stop myself from going on and on and on, even more than I usually do if that is within the realm of believability. Instead I’ll just let you enjoy the video as I go join my Beautiful Bride and Captain Christine as we enjoy this MAJOR Milestone for us and we toast Mr. Gee’s Birth Day and wish that he will start up first time every time during his next lifetime and ours.