We were underway all day yesterday in some rather boisterous weather so not able to put together this weekly update and get it out to you until today. We continue to climb the learning curve with this very unique boat but all is going well and we could not be happier to have finally thrown off those pesky dock lines and start our new adventures aboard the Good Ship Möbius.
What’s the Plan Stan?
As many of you know I life life on The No Plan Plan and have hopes and intents instead but in the coming weeks we will continue to make our way along the beautiful Turquoise Coast of Turkey which you can see in this map. Möbius was built at Naval Yachts in Antalya so that’s where the adventure began. Last July with our Granddaughters and family aboard we moved West to the marina in Finike where Möbius has been tied up most of the time since We took time to go fly over to North America for a much needed “Nauti Nomadic Grandparents Roadtrip” to visit family and friends in October and November. Since then and as per all the weekly blog updates since, we have been eXtremely busy checking off all the To Do list items to get Möbius fully sea worthy and ready for us to finally head back out to sea-ing this awemazing world of ours. Both Christine and I will admit to wondering at times if this day would ever come but finally, on Tuesday the 17th of May 2022 we threw off the dock lines and were “free at last” as we left Finike in our wake and our new adventures out sea-ing the world on our new floating home began. Our friends Matt and Cindy have also got their relatively new Amel sailboat in the Finke marina and they are recently returned from the US to get “Speed of Life” all ready for the sailing season and they kindly helped release the lines from the dock and give us a good send off. They also took some video of us leaving the dock and so here’s a look at that for you and our thanks to Matt and Cindy for taking and sending these videos.
One thing that is working eXtremely well is using the huge rudder and CPP prop to act as a big stern thruster. Very well shown in this video as you watch Möbius pull away from the dock, clear the bow lines on the boat to our Starboard/Right side and turn on a dime. I put the rudder over at 35-40 degrees (limit is 45) and then push the Pitch lever full ahead for a few seconds and then back to neutral. You can see the water being kicked up from this at the stern and then watch as the boat turns almost on its center point to make the 90 degree turn in this narrow waterway. As I get more and more used to this the bow thruster won’t be needed at all though always there to help out and for other uses as well. We designed the rudder to be very large and to be able to turn 45 degrees in both directions for this purpose so it is great to see it all work out so well in practice.
And with that, we were off!
Another thing we are eXtremely happy with is how well this hull slides through the water. In this shot of us leaving the marina we are doing 6.5 knots and not a wake to be seen. Thanks Dennis!
And so we were free at last but we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to spend our first anchorage alone in the beautiful little bay near Kekova where you may recall this shot and Christine’s drone video from this April 12th blog when our friends John and Genna were with us for a week. Kekova did not disappoint and we enjoyed two blissful nights on anchor with nothing but the sounds of water lapping on the hull, some birds overhead and some goats with bells on ashore. This is the small hilltop castle above the village of Kekova which we pass going in/out of the bay. How could we possibly pass up a chance for a few more days and nights on anchor here to more indelibly inscribe this amazing spot into our long term memory banks? I think it is going to take me at least quite a bit longer to make the transition from the multi year building stage to this new underway stage, but as you can see I’m working on it! All thanks to Captain Christine manning the Helm most of the time while I look after the boat and keeping everything working and well logged as we go. So far we have only used the Helm up in the SkyBridge as the views from there are truly spectacular and this has been working out very well. The removable acrylic sliding windows allow us to move and remove the side panes to suit the weather and right now it is still a bit chilly during squalls and early mornings so we have left in two of the four sliding panes on each side which allows us to get just the right amount of breeze coming in or kept out as conditions change. As the hotter summer weather arrives we will remove all but the front three panes for maximum airflow and cooling.
In all seriousness though, it really is going to take me a good while longer to make this transition back into the live I and we both love SO much. The build officially started on the 6th of April 2018 and we had been in Antalya since the end of 2017 so we have been landlubbers for over four years and that along with all the stress and strain of the build process has taken its toll on both of us. Our choice of Turkey and Antalya to build Möbius turned out to be even better than we had hoped and especially when you consider the safe haven this provided for us as we lived through the past few years of Covid on top of it all. We therefore begin our meandering exit out of Turkey with the fondest of memories, a fabulous new home and that bittersweet combination of melancholy to be leaving and excitement of getting back to life afloat.
Truth be told though we are also both exhausted mentally and physically. You know that feeling when you finally finish a big job and sit down for a quick breather and it hits you; “Oh! I didn’t realise I was THAT tired!”? Some supersized version of that is what I’ve been feeling these past few days after leaving Finike. Christine has her own similar but unique version as we both become more and more aware of the need to breath deeply and take our time settling into what in some ways is our very familiar past life and yet at the same time, our all together new life.
The Latest Voyage Begins
You can follow along on the map up above and here again, to see how we are taking our time to coastal hop our way along this beautiful Turquoise Coast. After putting Kekova in our wake we made the next short 20 NM or so hop West to Kaş. Our annual contract with Setur Marinas has a feature that we are now going to take full advantage of which is that we get to stay for up to 30 nights on any of the other 10 Setur marinas between Antalya and Istanbul! So we sailed into the lovely Setur Marina in Kaş and spent two nights there. We enjoyed three nights tucked in between these other boats which will give you a good sense of the diversity of boats that are in this area.
Unfortunately Christine twisted her knee last week and it has been getting worse so we rented a car and drove back down to the hospital in Kamlucha the town beside Finike and where we have been before. Their MRI machine was being serviced but they did a preliminary exam and prescribed some anti inflammatory to help reduce the swelling and those have been helping. We will go to the next big hospital for a full MRI scan at our next stop in Fethiye.
The Newest Member of Möbius.World Fleet
As you may recall reading last week, our Davit Arch is not working so we are unable to launch and retrieve our Tender Möbli and so we bought this newest member of the Möbius.World fleet. We actually have another inflatable 2 person kayak onboard which we had aboard our previous boat sv Learnativity, but alas when Christine when to pump it up the seams on the floor had all let go and and are beyond a simple regluing. We will order a new one from Advanced Elements but we will have to figure out how to get to us as we are “of no fixed address” once again.
For now though, this new kayak will work fine for short trips ashore when we are on anchor. Not sure on a name for the newest kayak yet though I’m thinking “Klein” because if you turn a 2D Möbius strip into 3D it becomes what is known as a Klein vessel or bottle. Let me know your thoughts on this and other names for our newest floating member of the family.
Testing, Testing ………
We now had about 100 nautical miles under Möbius’ keel with our various short test runs and trips since launching last year and all of these have been in very benign conditions so we wanted to push Möbius, and ourselves, a little bit harder. Weather forecast for Sunday the 22nd called for some thunderstorms and a bit of wind so we decided to make the longer run, about 60nm from Kas to Fethiye. We left Kaş marina in beautiful sunny morning weather but a few hours later as we were making our way along the coast the skies turned dark and stormy with winds gusting over 35 knots with about 1 meter seas. Both of those on the nose of course! So we got a bit more than we had bargained for but did provide us with the kind of testing and different conditions we wanted. Mr. Gee purred along for the next 8+ hours without a hiccup or complaint and we probably averaged about 7.5 knots overall. I was surprised at how much wind affected our speed which would reduce our speed up to one knot when against us and add about the same when from behind. We are in eXtremely lightships trim with only about 500 of the 17,000 liters in our tanks and I have not make our paravanes yet and so in the confused seas we experienced, when the swells came at us on the Port beam/Left side they rolled our smooth rounded hull much the same as our previous sailboat. However Möbius handled it all in stride and really did help us get much more of a feel for the way this new hull performs. It will be a completely different ride once we have full fuel tanks and paravanes in the water! With that experience under our keels we can now go back to the much more common calm sea and weather conditions for the remainder of our cruising up the Turquoise coast towards Istanbul. As Christine noted though, “getting those paravanes installed just moved up my priority list quite a few notches”!
We checked out one potential place to anchor on the way up as there were some squalls breeding up ahead, but we didn’t like the looks of it so we just continued back along the coast and made it safely into the very protected harbour here in Fethiye. Total trip time from Kaş to Fethiye was exactly 8 hours and was a good test for both Möbius and ourselves. We have anchored here in Fethiye harbour on a boat we were delivering back in 2017 and it is a very protected and large bay with good sandy bottom throughout at about 2-4 meters / 6-15 ft.
The rain and winds had started to die down as we approached Fethiye and put the anchor down and Mother Nature treated us to a HUGE rainbow, which was so stunning I forgot to take any pictures! This one taken a few hours ago will have to do. We enjoyed a peaceful night on the hook with yet another castle on the hills above us to admire for our breakfast up in the SkyBridge. I have just taken Christine ashore in the maiden voyage of our new kayak and she is now getting the MRI and other examination of her left leg looked after. I’m back onboard catching up to this overdue blog update and then tackle of few more of the ever present ToDo list items while I await her call to paddle back and pick her up. This is how we will continue for our last few weeks in Turkish waters before we check out and head over to Greece where we are VERY excited to be meeting Lia, Brian and our two Granddaughters Brynn and Blair when they land in Athens. Can’t wait for more time and experiences with that whole crew and we will need to take it slow and rest up between now and then to have enough energy to keep up with our two young crewmembers.
Thanks for joining us as we set of on this latest of life’s adventures and please continue to add all your comments and questions in the “Join the Discussion” box below.
A day late in getting out this weekly update and I will keep it short but it has been both a very busy and successful week as we get closer and closer to our “throw off the dock lines” day. Lots and lots of jobs on the “Must be done before departure” list have been getting checked off and if all goes well today we hope to leave tomorrow!
Christine has been busy with electronics and computer related jobs onboard getting all six of our monitors working properly with the Upper and Lower Helm computers, getting internet connectivity sorted out for when we are underway and going up the coast of Turkey towards Marmaris and just playing that always fun version of Whack-a-Mole as each new “Mole” pops up. I’ve been busy getting the Tender and the Davit system ready to launch and yesterday we both worked on bringing 500kg/1100lbs of lead pellets aboard that are now safely ensconced inside the watertight coffer dams on either side which are there for the potential future addition of active stabilizers. But I’m getting ahead of myself so let’s jump in with a quick Show & Tell of what all we’ve been working on this past week.
Our workload has been reduced a bit with the addition of a new member of Möbius’ Crew, this little turtle who is one of many we regularly see around Möbius and inside the Finike marina. Turns out he just LOVES eating the green grassy growth that is already starting to appear along our black boot stripe and is a real pain to scrub off. As you may recall we hauled out a few weeks ago and gave our InterSleek “Foul Release” silicone based bottom paint a close inspection and found it to be just fabulous with almost no growth at all after almost a full year in the water with very little movement. However the black boot stripe above the bottom paint and waterline is a different story and this area which is kept constantly wet as the water moves up and down the hull a bit and is getting lots of sunshine all day long is the perfect garden for the “green slime” and grass like plants that grow here. No big deal for the boat really, just annoying and so we were delighted to find that we now had this new crewmember who likes nothing more than to munch away on the grass. Thanks buddy, we can use all the help we can get. Not sure about getting his visa for leaving Finike and Turkey but we’ll see.
As I mentioned earlier I got a good workout yesterday carrying 500 kg of these tiny lead pellets which we had purchased last year and have been sitting in a Bulk Bag on the dock behind Möbius. Christine worked on the dock to transfer about 40kg/88lbs of pellets into thick plastic bags that were then double bagged inside some heavy duty bulk bags which I then carried onto Möbius and down into the Basement under the SuperSalon. I had previously unbolted and removed the watertight cover plates over the two coffer dams on either side about midship on the hull which we had built just in case we decide in the future to add active stabilizers, most likely Magnus Effect type to help reduce roll more than our paravanes do. For now though, these watertight compartments made the ideal spot to put these lead pellets and improve the comfort of the ride by slowing down our otherwise “snappy” roll resistance. Working with Dennis our NA, we set up one of the design criteria for the hull to have a roll period that would have slightly less than the theoretically ideal roll period which is the time a ship takes from upright position to going to a particular angle on port side and then going to a angle on starboard side and then again returning back to upright position (zero list position) during natural rolling. We did this way so that we could dial in the Goldilocks roll period after the boat was built and fully loaded up to our actual weight/displacement. A shorter or faster roll rate provides more safety of returning the boat to upright but this faster or “snappier” motion can induce some nausea for some people and make crossings in rolly conditions less comfortable for the crew. Slowing down the roll is relatively easy to do by adding some weight/ballast that is further outboard and higher up than the centerline ballast, whereas speeding it up is very difficult once the boat is built. Hence we purposely went for a slightly faster roll period in the hull design knowing that we can then add some lead in the best locations once we have the boat in the water and in her natural trim and weight. So we will now operate Möbius with this additional 500kg of lead in the coffer dams which puts it well outboard of center and a bit higher up at just below the waterline, and se how this slightly slower roll rate feels and works for us. If we want to make further adjustments either way we can either remove or add more lead.
Being in small pellet form makes it easy to fill any size and shape spot we want and we are keeping them in these double bags for now so we can change if needed. Once we think we have the ballast and roll period at the just right, just for us Goldilocks point, then I will remove remove the bags of lead pellets, coat the aluminium with epoxy resin and then pour the lead pellets back into these spaces. Then I will pour some thickened epoxy over the top surface to fully encase the lead with the hull and keep it fully sealed to prevent any water from mixing with it which could set up some dissimilar metal corrosion.
As you might imagine this was a job that we were both very happy to check off the list and while we were certainly pooped at the end of the day we had big smiles on our faces and treated ourself to a “date night” of sorts and went out for dinner at the little café here in the marina.
Finishing the Tender Console
The other much larger job that got checked off the ToDo list this week was getting our tender we’ve named Möbli launched off the Aft Deck and into the water for the first time.
I spent the first few days of last week finishing up the last of the wiring that connects the Yanmar 4JH4 HTE 110HP engine to the Castoldi 224DD jet drive and the control panel and gauges for both in the center console. This Yanmar/Castoldi combination is a purposely matched pair and the two companies created a very complete kit package that provided all the custom wiring harnesses to plug into both the engine and the jet drive and connect these into the supplied instrument panel that is now mounted in the console. Most of these connections were done with very high quality quick connect watertight fittings but there were a few wires that I needed to look after to connect to the 12V AGM battery. A bit time consuming but not too difficult and this is how it looks so far. I’m very happy with how this has turned out so far and will work on getting the Standard Horizon VHF and Vesper AIS wired up after we launch and test Möbli out.
One more detail was to install the fuel filler cap in the cover of the 80 liter fuel tank up in the bow. I had previously installed the rubber fuel lines that run under the floor and back to the Yanmar so now I just needed to remove the cover plate, drill the hole for the filler cap and bolt that back down. Put in 15 liters of diesel for now and she should now be ready to start up for the first time.
First though, we need to get Möbli into the water so there is sea water supply for the engine’s heat exchangers for engine oil and fresh water coolant and for the wet exhaust system.
Most of you will have seen in some previous updates a few weeks ago that I had all the rigging for raising and lowering the Tender inside the Davit Arch as well as rotating the Arch itself to launch the Tender over the Port side. A pair of triple blocks provide a 6:1 mechanical advantage for the Tender Lifting lines that go to the winch you see here on the vertical leg of the Davit Arch. Inside the Tender at each corner there is a welded in attachment point where the Lift Line snaps into. Then there is a separate set of rigging that controls the pivoting of the Arch itself so that it moves the Tender sideways off the deck clear of the rub rails and then the Lift Lines are let out to lower the Tender down into the water. This Pivot Control Line of PCL leads through 3 blocks and then over to the bit Lewmar 65 electric winch which allows you to rotate the Arch out and back in. With that all hooked up it was launch time and little Möbli was soon testing out the waters beside Möbius. She sits pretty much right on the waterline predicted in the 3D model which was good to confirm and put the exhaust pipe a bit more than 150mm above the water. I could then hop in and start it up and was delighted when the Yanmar fired up at the first touch of the start button. Must have been taking lessons from Mr. Gee!
So an eXtremely big milestone for us and puts us in position to head out to sea in the next few days. Of course these are boats and so there are always those pesky little Moles that pop up and need to be whacked down. Two popped up with the Tender; there is a small pinhole leak where the Castoldi bolts up to the bottom of the hull and then the larger issue is some problems with the Davit Arch setup that will take more time to “whack” down. The leak is very minor and slow but to be safe I didn’t want to take it out for a test run but I was able to run the engine for about 20 minutes and test out the steering and bucket controls on the jet drive while Möbli was tied up to Möbius and get the oil and coolant up to operating temperature. All of that checked out perfectly; ran well, oil pressure and temperature were right one, steering and bucket control which is how a jet drive directs the thrust of the jet to move the boat forward, reverse and sideways. So VERY pleased with how the Tender turned out and can’t wait for that first test drive which will hopefully be in a few weeks.
For now though, the Tender is back in the chocks on the Aft Deck and all lashed down and covered ready for us to head out to sea.
Christine is working on a video collage of building and launching the Tender so watch for that to go live here in the next few days.
We still have a few small jobs to get done but right now it is looking good that we will be able to finally throw off those dock lines some time tomorrow and leave Finike in our wake as we start working our way up the Turquoise coast towards Marmaris. As usual we are on The No Plan Plan so we will take our time and enjoy stopping wherever calls our name as we motor up this beautiful coastline. We think we will use Marmaris as our jumping off point to check out of Turkey and head over the explore some of the Greek islands in June. Then we have our two granddaughters, with their pesky parents who seem to insist on coming along (just kidding Lia & Brian!) flying in to spend most of the month of July with us so that’s the ultimate prize that is driving us forward from here and a BIG part of what we have build Möbius for so we can’t wait for their return to join us aboard and make more memories together as we explore Greece and perhaps Italy.
As always, thanks for taking time to join us here and please keep those comments and questions coming by typing them into the “Join the Discussion” box below and with luck I’ll be sending the next update from some beautiful anchorage between here and Marmaris.
As most of you know by now, Christine is American and I am Canadian so this was a big week as both our countries celebrated their independence within days of each other; Canada day on Thursday July 1st and today being July 4th for the USA. However, Friday July 2nd, was THE most special independence day celebration for us as this was the day we felt we and our new world aboard Möbius achieved our true independence. Why Friday? Well because that was the day that we took Möbius out for her maiden voyage and a whole set of firsts such as our first overnight on anchor. Hard to capture how this felt having been five years in the making but I’ll do my best, try to keep it short and let the photos do most of the talking with that “photo is worth a thousand words” thought in mind. Here goes ………
After waiting SO long for this to all happen the past few days have been a bit of a blur and reminds me of the “hurry up and wait” condition I learned in the Canadian military.
Mid day on Monday Christine went up to the marina office to let them know that we would be ready to launch in the next few days and they told her that the TraveLift was going in for service tomorrow so if we wanted to launch it had to be NOW! Fortunately I had Mr. Gee all back together again and running the day before which was where I left off in last week’s update posting and the remaining jobs could be done in the water so we were good to Go! This is actually the third time we have splashed Möbius here at Setur marina so it didn’t take them long to get the slings positioned under Möbius round belly and we had lift off in no time flat. Down came all the vertical posts holding us up and we were headed for the TraveLift launch pads. Which are less than 100 meters away so again, mere minutes. We hover over the water for a few minutes and then down we go till the straps are loose and I can head below to check for any leaks. All’s well down below, just the way we like it, not a drop of salt water to be found and so we give the thumbs up to the crew with our thanks and the TraveLift is off for its servicing leaving us floating merrily in the water at last.
Flange Alignment v2.0
One of the last jobs of putting Mr. Gee all back together again was to recheck the alignment of the flanges that couple the output of the Nogva CPP gearbox to the prop shaft.
If you have been following the whole Mr. Gee v2.0 rebuild you may recall that I left the Nogva gearbox bolted in place to the engine beds with the two anti-vibration mounts on either side so it *should* not have moved but this alignment is critical to smooth vibration free power transfer from Mr. Gee through to the 1 meter OD 4 bladed CPP propeller and as per the illustration above, the two flanges have to be near perfectly aligned with no more than 0.05 of a millimeter deviation. For reference a strand of average human hair has a diameter between 0.06 and 0.08 mm.
Not a difficult job, fist step is to remove the composite grated flooring and unbolt the sealed AL panel underneath to reveal the space where the prop shaft enters the boat. Then remove all 8 hardened bolts around the flanges, pull the flanges apart by sliding the prop shaft back a few inches and then moving it forward till the two flanges touch. Then you use feeler gauges to determine the exact size of any gap between the two flanges. In my case the gap was 0.06mm so it only required a tweak with a pry bar on the front of the Gardner to eliminate that and then I could torque the 8 bolts back to a grunt worthy 240 Newton Meters and the propulsion system was good to Go! It was also time to say bye bye to Mr. Gee’s original crankshaft and pack him all up for a safe trip back to Gardner Marine Diesel in Canterbury England where they will grind all the journals and have it ready to be installed in the next marine 6LXB engine they build.
At about 220kg / 485 Lbs, the wooden crate that GMD had made to send the new crank to me, would work well for the return flights and I added a few 2×2 timbers through screwed into the framing of their crate for good measure and one more component is Good to Go!
SkyBridge Lounge Act v1.0
As we are doing with many aspects of this very new boat, we are using this first year of living aboard to make lots of adjustments as we determine just how we tend to use various spaces and equipment and THEN we will build them in permanently. The most recent example is the layout and furniture for the upper SkyBridge area in front of the Helm Station.
What we decided to do is buy some inexpensive modular outdoor patio furniture which we could rearrange into various different configurations to see what we tended to gravitate to and use most often. Once we know that I can build in a more permanent set of furniture next year.
So Captain Christine has been on the hunt for the past few months at all the home supply stores here in Antalya and her choice arrived on this pallet on Wednesday. The L-shaped sectional couch and glass topped table are made from aluminium tube covered with plastic rattan like weaving so they are super lightweight and will work well in our salty environment.
Minutes later, the Captain could take the new lounge setup out for a quick test drive and seems to be pleased with her choices. I soon followed suit and am sitting here now typing up this blog post for you. Not a bad office, and one of several we no have onboard.
Wayne’s Newest Toy!
Christine and I are both running on fumes energy wise and so on Thursday we took the day off to drive about 2hrs north to the big city of Denizli where a brand new air compressor was waiting to be picked up. I had sent a new compressor over from Florida with all our other effects and boat parts a few years ago but it was DOA due to a faulty install and the best option for this critical bit of kit was to go for an upgraded new version which you see here on the Swim Platform Thursday afternoon.
2HP dual motors with dual compressors on each, 60L AL tank and super quiet!
I will soon be mounting this compressor under one of the AL workbenches in the Workshop where I will plumb it into the PVC pipes that run the full length of the Port side of the hull all the way up to the Forepeak with quick connect fittings in each area along the way. I’ve had compressed air on boats for so long I can’t imagine a boat without and use it daily for powering pneumatic tools such as sanders and impact guns and being able to clear out debris from clogged tubes and just general cleanup. Also super handy for quickly filling things like air mattresses and our inflatable kayak.
Compressed air is also how I clear any clogs in our Sea Chest with a quick blast in the fittings installed in each plexiglass lid.
But perhaps our favorite use is to supply the air for our two Hookah regulators which allow us to stay underwater with just a regulator in our mouth, no tanks, to do maintenance on the hull such as keeping the silicone foul release paint super slick and clean or to explore some of the nearby coral and underwater life around Möbius. We will also have a 12V Hookah setup in the Tender to be able to enjoy underwater wonders further afield.
Maiden Voyage v1.0
Still not quite believing it, we seemed to finally be ready to head out to open ocean waters for the first time and have Mr. Gee take Möbius and us out for our Maiden Voyage! With everything from Mr. Gee to so many other systems being all new or on version 2.0, we spent Friday morning checking everything over multiple times, getting Mr. Gee warmed up, bow thrusters working, steering working, charting and all nav systems working and at 13:20 Friday July 2nd, 2021 we cast off the dock lines and headed out through the breakwater of the Antalya harbour to officially begin our latest adventure.
In a rare attempt at brevity to try to say how pleased we are, I will simply show you a set of shots of the wake we left as we slowly increased the pitch and thus speed through the water as we pointed Möbius’ bow to the horizon. These shots of the wake behind Möbius at different speeds probably won’t be too exciting for many of you but for us, this is a huge part of the “proof of the pudding” from all the time we invested with Dennis in designing this hull to be eXtremely efficient for maximum speed with minimum power and fuel burn and to be slick, slippery and smooth as she slices through the water.
This is the wake at 7.2 kts off the Swim Platform. Longer range shot still at 7.2 kts 20 minutes later, dialing in a bit more pitch this is what it looked like at 8.5 kts Just a bit more speed with a bit more pitch but still keeping well under full load as we break in Mr. Gee very gently, this was our top speed for this first outing of 9.2 kts. I will publish tables of data like this in the coming weeks but one quick shot for those curious, this is the EGT and Fuel burn rate at 8.5 kts with Mr. Gee spinning at 1500 RPM. For reference, EGT at full continuous load rating for Mr. Gee at 1650 is 400C
After two hours testing out different pitch/speed combinations, some hard turns and circles to familiarize ourselves with steering and handling Captain Christine headed us for this small nearby uninhabited island. At her cue I dropped “Rocky” our 110Kg / 243 Lb Rocna anchor into the sea for his first bite of bottom sand. As usual for a Rocna he bit right away in about 30 feet of water, Christine backed down to give him a good pull for a few minutes and Möbius settled back with the 13mm / 1/2” chain hanging straight down in these calm waters. First order of business?
Our first dives off the Swim Platform!
(you can just make out Christine about to enjoy her first dive into these cool clear blue Aegean waters.) We swam around Möbius for the very fist time under Barney’s close scrutiny from deck. While this view of the shoreline of the mainland off our Port side isn’t too bad, what was breathtaking for us as we did our first lap around Möbius, was to be looking up to see our visions we developed over all these past years now be a realty looming overhead.
Suffice it to say that our fist night at anchor was pure bliss!
Oh, and for those curious, Mr. Gee performed flawlessly throughout the 5.5 hours we ran him out and back on this Maiden Voyage. Here is a shot of his oil pressure and oil temperature after running at various loads for about 2 hours on the way back to the marina on Saturday doing about 8.5 kts @ 1500 RPM. As happy as you can imagine we were when we returned to the marina yesterday afternoon after about 3 hours of more testing and maneuvering, we are even MORE excited here on Sunday night as we fly to Istanbul in the morning to meet our daughter Lia, husband Brian and our two granddaughters Brynn and Blair! This is a family get together that has been delayed for over 2 years and we are eXtremely eXcited to see this vision also become reality and I’ll have a bit more about this in next week’s post when we fly back here with all of them next Thursday.
Thanks for joining us through this eXtremely long and winding adventure that it has taken us to get here. Hope you have enjoyed it and we will continue to keep you posted as we switch into cruising mode and can provide more of the real world data and experiences aboard XPM78-01 Möbius that many of you are apparently anxious to receive.
I double checked the calendar and it is indeed just the beginning of May but it sure feels like summer here in Antalya today. We’ve been having fabulous weather all year actually with an eXtremely mild Winter season that saw very little rain and very mild temperatures. But Spring has been off the charts in terns of great temperatures, low humidity and no rain. Today, Sunday May 9th, is a real scorcher and as I sit and type this aboard Möbius at 14:00 the temperature is a toasty 34C / 93F with a little bit of wind and crystal clear skies. No complaints from any of the crew aboard the good ship Möbius, that’s for sure.
While the lack of visual progress to show you continues as we work our way through the final jobs remaining to fully configure and test all the many systems onboard XPM78-01 Möbius, the amount of work required to play this real world version of Whack-A-Mole is relentless and non stop. That combination conspired to prevent me from putting together an update for you last week and I thank all of you who wrote to ask if all was well and thank all of you for your patience. In this Progress Update I’m going to combine the past 2 weeks into this one, so please grab a comfy chair and beverage and join me for a Show & Tell of what’s been happening from April 26th through May 5th, 2021.
All Hands on Deck!
In addition to all the configuration and testing, there is also a long list of those “little jobs” that add up to be quite a large amount of work all together and we knocked off more of these the past 2 weeks as well and here are a few examples.
Here we find Captain Christine, ably abetted by our two four legged crewmembers, Barney (Left) and Ruby, finished whipping the Dyneema lifelines she had previously spliced in place and which are working out eXtremely well. The Rosewood Dinette table came back from being refinished and is once again mounted to the vertically adjustable pedestal with the XY sliders that allow us to move the table 200mm / 8” fore/aft and side to side which enables us to always have the table in its Goldilocks position for any situation. There had been some small depressions on the top surface of the table which while minor, were also very visible and took away from the otherwise superb finish on all the woodwork so the Finishing crew quickly refinished it and as you can see it is now flawless. There are a LOT of valves, circuit breakers, hoses, electrical connections, etc. that number in the hundreds and so labeling everything is a must and makes it easy to know what’s what and how to operate all these systems. These 3 fuel manifolds provide a good example. You may recall a few weeks ago that the two cleats on the Swim Step were upgraded from AL pipe to solid and the heat from welding those in required that the TreadMaster be removed and now it has been replaced. The light Grey TreadMaster is also proving to be as good or better than we had hoped. The top priority is to provide a great non-skid surface in any conditions and the tight sharp diamond pattern of the TreadMaster eXcels in this department and locks even bare wet feet in place everywhere. Second priority is to provide a more bare feet friendly surface especially when in hot sunny climates so that you don’t have to do your “walking over red hot coals” fire dance when you are on deck. While not comparable to the tropics, today’s high temperatures and intense direct overhead sunlight gives us a reasonable test and we are happy with the results.
For a baseline, as of a few minutes ago, 14:30 Sunday May 9th, here is the temperature on the fully shaded Aft Deck area which my trusty IR temperature gun clocked at 32.4C / 90F. And out on the Stbd side decks that have been getting the most direct sun right now, the TreadMaster is at about 50.5C / 122.9F. Definately not cold, but I can stand in place on these decks without too much discomfort and when walking it is quite comfortable. As in life, everything is relative right and compared to our previous boats, with painted on non-skid on both fiberglass and steel decks, this is a HUGE improvement, so we’re happy with these results.
Love Thy Dock Neighbor!
You’ve seen in previous postings that we have some very interesting and varied dock neighbors here in the Antalya Free Zone with over 30 different boat builders producing a wild and wide range of boat sizes and purposes. Most of these boats are in a similar situation as we are, brand new being launched for the first time so that all the in-the-water testing and finishing can be done. Then once finished, they are off to their new home bases scattered around the world so boats are leaving and new ones arriving on almost a daily basis. Here are some recent examples of our recent neighbors:
On our Port side we have this 34m/112ft steel “Phi Phantom”. This is a support boat for a much larger superyacht so this is all function with huge flat decks and even larger bays below with that monster articulated crane to get all the “toys” off/on this boat and the superyacht. They also carry all the fuel, supplies, parts and maintenance crew. These kinds of support boats are often called “over the horizon tenders” as that’s where they are to stay out of sight of the high paying passengers on the superyacht or a “phantom boat” such as this one that is to stay similarly ghost like or invisible to the superyacht it supports. On our Starboard side we have this Bering 77 I showed you a bit in my last posting.
At 77 feet long overall, she is 1 ft shorter than Möbius but otherwise MUCH larger at more than twice our weight, much taller, much wider and quite a bit slower than Möbius (8 kts vs 11) but still a Goldilocks boat for the right owner and use case. Down the dock a few more meters is this little fella who showed up last week and is the basis of my “Love thy neighbor” heading for this section.
Why you ask? Look a little closer at some of her deck hardware ……….. Like here for example. Or zoom in a bit closer to read that red safety lock….. The more you look, the more interesting it gets. For example, when those hatches in front of the two rocket launchers are opened up it reveals a relatively typical set of instruments, controls and a small bench seat for the operator. Most of the time though and during testing, these hatches remain tightly closed and fully waterproof. So how do they operate the boat now and where is the Captain sitting? Inside here! Turns out this is a fully autonomous vessel or unmanned drone and the real “Captain” is actually sitting ……. …… here!
“ULAQ” is the first indigenous armed unmanned surface vessel (AUSV) developed in Turkey. It is being offered by Ares Shipyard and Meteksan Defence Systems to the Turkish Navy and you can read all about this fascinating research project HERE and HERE if you’d like to know more details. Suffice it to say that we treat all our dock mates with great respect and kindness!
Get the Lead Out no IN!
This was one of the more interesting things happening with our Bering 77 dock mates this past week.
Can you guess what they are up to and what’s in all those wood crates up on the dock? Is this a Turkish version of a Swill Alps horn? Nope, just an ingenious way of putting the lead ballast into the stern compartments of the Bering 77. Here is what is inside all those crates, 1000 Kg of 5mm diameter lead balls like this. One scoop at a time the little lead balls are poured into this funnel, run down the long black PVC pipe into the holds in the aft end and are then capped off with an aluminium plate that is bolted down overtop.
However, hands down, THE most exciting and interesting thing that happened on the docks this past week happened to us and Möbius.
Hmmmm, what do you think that crane truck is doing behind us?
And what is Captain Christine busy with and what are those weird shaped teak blocks on the Aft Deck? Aha! That’s our Tender flying through the air! and about to be lowered onto those Teak chocks on the Aft Deck. Like this……… ……. and this. And she fits like the proverbial glove and just as I had laid out in the 3D models; with the front Stbd fender just able to rub up against the vertical support bar coming up out of the Port Vent box…….. ……… and the Aft Port corner of the fender right up against the doghouse over the stairs from the Swim Platform into the Workshop. And there she is! Our Tender finally setting in her new home and Möbius is now fully equipped. Sinan, our upholstery master made this tight fitting cover out of some waterproof Sunbrella fabric we had brought over from the US.
This shot provides a good perspective of how nicely everything fits and works together on the Aft Deck with the Tender onboard. Plenty of room in the Outside Galley and the entire Stbd side to walk back and forth the whole length of the boat. Here’s what it all looks like viewed looking forward. Next up is fitting all the rigging to raise/lower the Davit Arch and the Tender within it but that should be a relatively straightforward job that can wait for now.
Oh, and we’ve settled on a name for Möbius’ new “baby” and she will be called “Mobli”. A lot of different parts to the story behind this including a reference to Mowgli in Kipling’s Jungle Book as well as being our sense that Mogli is the diminutive version of Möbius.
Welcome to our family Mogli! We can’t wait to start playing with you in the water and showing you the awemazing aquatic world that surrounds us. Hope you enjoyed this combined 2 weeks worth of Show & Tell from all of us here on Team Möbius. We’ll be back with more next week as we inch closer and closer to leaving the Free Zone and returning to our lives sailing the world.
As we all continue to work our way through the commissioning of systems and getting XPM78-01 Möbius fully ship shape and sea worthy, it was another week of good progress but nothing too visually exciting for you I’m afraid. However, progress is being made and there were some significant accomplishments this week so come on along for this week’s Show & Tell.
Beautiful Blue Eyes
You may recall seeing these beautifully handcrafted glass “Blue Turkish “Evil Eyes” that Christine found in Antalya when I posted about them in THIS previous blog post last month. In Turkish, these are called nazar boncuğu and they are seen on almost every boat here in Turkey and many other countries. The”Evil Eye” moniker is a bit misleading as these are a GOOD thing with folklore having that they protect you from evil and bring good luck.
Hope I didn’t offend the Evil Eye for making it wear this patch while the adhesive dried overnight! I like twisting a straight line spectrum so that the two opposite ends meet so this seemed like the perfect spot to have these beautiful glass eyes cozy up to their opposite lean and mean XPM78-01 military font on the bow.
What do you think?
Stop the Bleeding!!
The major milestone/accomplishment this week for sure was getting the hydraulic steering cylinders re-machined, installed and finally working with NO leaks!
We are using Kobelt 7080 balanced cylinders that have a 3” ID with a 12” stroke cylinders and as you can see they are Beautiful Brutes. Dennis and I spent a good long time with the great engineers at Kobelt in Vancouver BC and this is the cylinder geometry that we came up with. There are two of these SS bleeder screws, one at each end which you use to bleed the air out of the system as you first fill it up or after working on the system. The threaded bleeder screw has a 4mm OD SS ball bearing underneath which when tightened easily seals of the 1000 PSI pressures that we can see in rough weather steering. However the body of these end caps is brass which is relatively soft compared to SS and so you have to tighten these the Goldilocks Just Right amount or else the SS ball deforms the brass seat which is what had happened to several of these bleeder screws when they were originally installed and hence they leaked.
Getting new end caps sent over from Vancouver would have taken too much time and money so I thought I’d try to re-machine the angled brass face at the bottom and see if I could renew the cylinder end caps this way. At the left and right ends of the bottom section drawing you can see how these bleeder screws (#11) work.
(click to enlarge any picture) Lance and Keivan who I worked with at Kobelt continued to be absolute super hero’s for me throughout the many years I’ve been working with them and were able to send me this dimensioned drawing of the bleeder screw and several other drawings for me to figure out how to re-machine the brass faces.
They also dug up that the included angle of the brass face is machined to be 1180 so I had all the info I needed to fabricate a little re-facing tool. Hard to show you but here is the little tool I came up with. It is the end of a broken 4.5mm titanium drill pit which I ground the end to a 1180 angled cone shape, a bit like a sharpening a wood pencil and then used a very thin cutting wheel chucked in my ever handy Dremel tool to cut these four groves which created the sharp “teeth” to cut the brass seats inside the end caps. The trick was to create a tool that was part cutter and part burnisher because the face of the seats need to be very flat and even all around for the SS ball to seal. I was pushing to get this all done as soon as possible so I didn’t get any photos of the process but I clamped the brass end caps in the blue vice you see in the background and then chucked my little tool bit in my drill press and carefully removed just enough brass to renew the seats yet not take off too much brass and weaken the seal.
I’ve dragged that drill press around the world with me for over 40 years and this is a good example why. And Yes! it is about to get mounted in my Workshop on Möbius for another world tour.
From there it was a relatively straight forward task of putting the cylinders back together again and remounting them to the AL tiller arm on the Rudder Post at one end and to the brass ball socket joint on the other outbound end.
Connect the hydraulic hoses, fire up the Accu-Steer HPU400 24V Hydraulic Power Units (pumps) and then bleed the whole system.steering pumps. Once I had all the air out I was eXtremely careful to tighten those bleeder screws to that Goldilocks torque and then test by running the pumps briefly up to their max 1000 PSI. …….. and ………
….. check out underneath those bleeder screws …..
……… dry! No leaks now!
* I think I heard Möbius release a soft sigh (and a few other people at Naval as well) to finally have her steering back in full working order again. And me too!
Stand Back! Free for All in the Free Zone!
While all this work was going on aboard Möbius, there was MUCH more action happening all around us every day because for the past few months there has been 400 million Euro construction project of the launching facilities at the Free Zone. Check THIS very well done time lapse VIDEO ANIMATION which does a great job of showing how the whole new harbour facility works. A very innovative idea with that cable raised platform!
The dramatically enlarged launching bays called for an equally enlarged TraveLift and so over the past 3 weeks, this tiny little 560 tonne TraveLift was being assembled right beside us and this week he sprang to life and has been an eXtremely busy boy!
With no launching facilities in the Free Zone harbour for the past 3-4 months there has been a huge backlog building up of new boats waiting to be launched and older ones waiting to be hauled out for their refits. This week those flood gates opened up and they have been launching and hauling out boats every day. Such as this classic trawler style Bering 80. This 36 meter “Phantom Phi” boat by Alia shipyard. This is a support vessel for a super yacht and these are often referred to as “Ghost” or “Phantom” boats as they are not to be seen by the superyacht they are supporting. This shot will add some perspective for you to see the relative size of the raised platform bay that they will be installing next. Check out the link to the animation above to see how this works and I think you too will be impressed. Out behind us is one of four 25m Turkish Coast Guard boats launched this week by Damen Yachts.
I have lost count now but I’d say well over 20 boats like these have launched this past week so there is never a dull moment here in the Antalya Free Zone.
And that’s the week that was April 12-17 here at Naval Yachts and aboard the Good Ship Möbius. Hope you enjoyed this brief update and I will try to have more for you in the next weekly update.
Please be sure to leave all questions and comments in the “Join the Discussion” box below and I hope you will be back for more next week.
Unbelievably, yet another month zips into the past and we’re now sailing into the second quarter of 2021. Yikes! And it was another eXtremely busy week aboard the Good Ship Möbius but alas, not so much that is very visible and so not a lot of content for this week’s Show & Tell Progress Update. However we also had some eXtremely eXciting milestones and firsts to share with you so let’s jump right into that.
The Beast Gets Some Bling!
Regular readers know that I quite like having the contrasting combination of Beauty and Beastly and Mr. Gee, our Gardner 6LXB engine is perhaps my favorite example of this combination. His “Beastly” characteristics include the fact that he weighs a svelte 1400 Kg/3086 Lb that he puts out some monster torque of 736Nm / 542 ft-lb @ 1000 RPM. His Beauty characteristics include his simplicity with a minimum of moving parts, no turbo, completely mechanical fuel injection, no glow plugs, zero electrical requirements to run and he is happy to be started with his hand crank. Being such a class act, at least in my eyes, I figured that he deserved a wee bit of eXtra class to add the finishing visual touch by carefully polishing a few of his many aluminium parts to a gleaming mirrorlike shine and I think he is quite happy.
What do you think? To get this all done quickly, I turned to our “Turkish Fixer” Alaaddin and he was his typical resourceful self in finding all the polishing wheels, polishing compound and a local polishing machine and as you can see his was quite rightly happy with the results. Thanks Alaaddin!
Möbius Mini Maiden Voyage
The eXtremely eXciting milestone event we had this past week was that Möbius took her very first “voyage” under her own power and steering! The caveats are that we only moved the boat a few hundred meters from the dock wall we had been Med moored to at Setur Marina around the corner and back into the Free Zone harbour where we tied up to the same end wall we had been at two weeks ago. No big deal you might be saying but you’d be missing the point! This was still her and our first trip under her own power so we are taking the Win!
You can check it all out in this short little video I’ve put together from one video I shot onboard and then two from ashore thanks to Dincer and Baris taking these on their smartphones. My apologies for not having the time to do a better job of creating this video with sound and more info so this is a silent movie but I hope you will still enjoy it and get a sense of how exciting this milestone was for Christine and me.
Seemingly fitting, this happened on Thursday which was April Fool’s Day and then on Friday we had to move to a different wall in the Free Zone harbour because a large cargo ship was coming in and needed the whole end wall, so we got to take a second even “minier” voyage from the end wall around the corner to the side wall which was an eXtremely long ways away of almost 150 meters! But still …………..
There is still some jobs that need to be completed before we can head out to sea and do a “full size” Maiden Voyage and sea trials but we hope that Naval will be able to get those done in the next few days so do stay tuned for more videos of our first “real” Sea Trial.
Thanks for joining me on this equally “mini” weekly Progress Update and please be sure to add your questions and comments in the “Join the Discussion” box below.