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.
The weather here in Antalya has continued to be absolutely spectacular with a daytime high on Thursday of 22C/72F! We did have some strong winds for 2 days this past week but they only served to make the views even more awemazing as they made the air crystal clear and the views of our surrounding snow capped mountains and the Mediterranean just popped visually and keeps smiles on our faces all day long and then the night sky has been just as brilliant.
While it was another eXtremely busy 24/7 week for all of us on Team Möbius there isn’t as much for this week’s Show & Tell as much of our work has been troubleshooting and commissioning of systems which doesn’t get captured too well by a camera. We are also still working our way through a number of veXing system installation and commissioning issues including controls for our steering, throttle and CPP Pitch and so Möbius is not yet able to move under her own power and so the first of many sea trials is yet to happen but hopefully this coming week.
Nevertheless there is still lots of progress to share with you and so let’s just dive right and catch up on all the progress that happened this past week of 8-13 March, 2021.
More Lovely Days in the Neighborhood
We continue to be delighted and entertained by the new neighborhood we have been floating in on the end concrete wall of the harbour inside the Free Zone. However yesterday they towed us off the end wall and moved us over to one of the side walls of the harbour and put us right in front of this Green Monster “Aqua Helix”.
with a LOA of 24m and Beam of 5m we thought Möbius was long and skinny with a Length to Beam ratio of 4.8. But as you can see by this bow on shot, we don’t hold a candle to this little green fella which was built by the Damen boatyard beside us sporting a LOA of 73.4m and Beam of 11m which works out to a L/B ratio of 6.67. You can check out all the numbers and details on this FCS 7011 Crew Transfer vessel “Aqua Helix” HERE on this very well done overview from Damen Shipyards.
Captain Christine has made sure that we are comfortably clear of our very nearby new neighbor as we get an up close and personal chance to get to know this amazing boat.
* As per the brochure I linked to above, Aqua Helix is a Crew Transfer boat for wind and solar farms as well as oil drilling rigs and other situations where there are people living and working miles off shore and often in very nasty weather conditions year round.
A very different look from the sides and if you check out the brochure you will find lots of photos of the interior which is more reminiscent of an airplane or fancy ferry with seats that have built in TV access and fully recline while you zip your way at up to 40 knots out to your place of work out on the high seas. And on our opposite Starboard side we are even more friendly with this little Red & White catamaran, also built here in the Antalya Free Zone by Damen Shipyards. With her “twin axe bows”, mv Allegro is a bit different design than Aqua Helix but also a “Fast Crew Supplier” and all three of us share many similar overall attributes so it is great fun to be sandwiched between these two family relations. Earlier in the week, “Allegro” had docked right in front of us on the end wall but we both moved over to the other side of the harbour yesterday because there was a large cargo ship coming in that needed the entire end wall where we have been docked for the past 3 weeks. You can read all about Allegro HERE and when she is all finished she will head over to her new home in Germany.
Möbius is now rafted up and tied to Allegro for what we think will be the next few days but all subject to change without notice.
A you can see here looking over to our new neighborhood sandwiched between Allegro and Aqua Helix, It was a very short trip across the harbour and so our move was all done in short order. Continuing with the international theme of neighbors from different countries, we also had our first visitors aboard Möbius since she splashed when Wade and Diane drove up from Antalya for a day trip to come see us again now that we were in the water. Wade and Diane are fellow Canadians and cruisers who we met and visited on their boat sv Joana which is in the marina about 50nm east of us in Alanya. They sailed up the Red Sea last year and are spending the next year or more exploring the gorgeous coastlines of Turkey so we hope to be able to anchor with them in the next month or so. They drove up with another couple of cruisers, Erik and Pam who are also in the marina at Alanya beside Wade & Diane and we had a fun time taking them on a guided tour of Möbius and then out for a lovely lunch at a nearby restaurant right on the Med.
Möbius is Officially Flagged in the Bailiwick of Jersey!
Here is the photo I promised you last week with the Workshop door closed so you can see all of the newly mounted aluminium lettering of Möbius name and Port of Jersey. Even better, Uğur and Nihat kindly fabricated and mounted this removable AL flagpole!
They no sooner had it bolted in place when Captain Christine jumped at the chance to do the very first flag raising and signal that we are now officially part of REG or the Red Ensign Group and are very eXcited about voyaging proudly under this commonwealth flag. Here is a shot looking aft at our previous neighbors, these 23m Police boats heading over to Oman when they are all finished. While their mission is drastically different than ours, construction and systems wise we are all very much from the same family of boats.
As you can see, this photo was taken at the beginning of the week when we were back in our previous neighborhood on the end wall.
One very welcomed bit of progress this past week was seeing these White beauties come aboard and get installed.
Can you guess what these are? Probably not too hard a question for most of you who have been following for a long time, (or those who just read the sub title!) but yes, these are the wood liners for the three hatches in the Workshop such as this one which is way up high in the Doghouse over the entryway from the Swim Platform into the Workshop. I have been busier than a one armed wallpaper hangar as my Dad used to say so I will have to get you more photos when the finish these hatches next week but you can see how these wood liners slide snuggly up into the awaiting aluminium frames of the hatches welded into the deck. For those wondering, the odd shaped slots cut into the liners are to allow the tangs on the aluminium hatch handles to reach in to the aluminium blocks bolted to the inside of the frame sides. I will get better photos for you next week and show you how these hatches and latches I designed for Möbius actually work but you can get a good idea I think from this shot looking up at the two hatch handles up on the top end on this smaller 45cm x 45cm or 18 inch square hatch.
One of the big jobs upon launching a new boat is what is referred to as the “Commissioning” stage where of all the many systems that have been installed onboard are setup, adjusted, configured and tested. As you can see here in the midst of us commissioning our Kabola KB45 Ecoline “Combi” diesel boiler it isn’t always “pretty” as we track down all the bugs and gremlins which show up at this stage of starting up all these systems for the very first time. For the bigger systems such as the Kabola diesel boiler we bring in a factory authorized technician to do all the initial adjustments of commissioning and this is Ali Polat from Kalender Services adjusting the fuel pressure on the Kabola. Commissioning of some of the more complex systems require very special servicing equipment such as this gas analyzer that Ali connected to set the CO and CO2 levels in the exhaust to get them to their Goldilocks settings for perfect combustion and fuel economy.
Ali ran into some problems finishing this today (Sunday) and had to fly back to Istanbul this afternoon so he has left the gas analyzer with me and I will get online with the technicians at Kobelt HQ in the Netherlands and complete the commissioning of the Kabola.
This Kabola diesel boiler will be our primary source of all hot water applications onboard XPM78-01 Möbius providing the just right temperature water to not only our DHW or Domestic Hot Water for showers and sinks, but also heated water for our in-floor heating and the Heat side of our HVAC or Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning system where it will heat up the interior air by blowing it across little radiators inside the four heat exchanger fan coils in our three Cabins.
These new Ecoline Kabola boilers have reached the pinnacle of efficiency fuel economy and emissions wise but they are also built like tanks and as you know by now, that “Beauty and the Beast” combination always gets my attention and business. This shot of the insides of the boiler assembly itself will give you a bit of an example of this. The grey tube on the far Right is where the diesel injector lies and burns with a totally blue flame and then all the hot air circulates through all the pipes you see here with the heating fluid captured inside as part of the closed loop between the boiler and the Calorifier that holds all our hot water for DHW, in-floor heating and hot air heating. Another inner workings shot for you of the Left side of the Kabola where the waterworks all happen. The heating fluid circulation pump is the Silver/Black item in the far lower Right and the Copper and SS tubing route the fluid (water and antifreeze) though the two separate coils of heat exchangers inside the Kabola with the upper primary one providing the heat inside the Calorifier and the secondary lower one providing the hot water for the Webasto fan coils inside each Cabin for backup interior heat. In spite of all the other demands on my time I was able to carve out enough to get the Media or “sand” filter set up and filled. This is the very first filter that the sea water goes through on its way to the Delvin 200 liter/hr watermaker and these things are truly awemazing in terms of their filtration capabilities. Even as “just” a regular sand filter such as those used in most swimming pools these are incredible filters but I give this filter some superpowers by using Zeolite in place of regular silicone sand. If this is new to you and you’re interested in knowing more, here is the Zeolite product description that does a good job of describing the properties and capabilities of Zeolite;
What Is ZeoSand? ZeoSand is a high purity natural zeolite that has a unique three dimensional honeycomb structure. Natural zeolites were formed millions of years ago by alkaline salt water altering volcanic ash. ZeoSand is a new type zeolite that has a huge surface area and a natural ammonium ion trapping capacity. The same natural zeolite in ZeoSand is also used as a soil amendment and feed additive.
Why Does ZeoSand Give Superior Clarity? The sandpaper rough surface has 1 to 15 micron pore spaces that trap smaller particles than sand; thus, water clarity is improved. A cubic foot of ZeoSand has the surface area of 100 football fields – 100 times greater than sand. ZeoSand’s huge surface area holds more dirt than sand; therefore, the time between backwashes can be increased. How Does ZeoSand Control Chloramines? ZeoSand traps and holds ammonium ions through a molecular sieving or water softening action. Sand does not trap ammonium ions. Less ammonia means reduced eye-burning chloramines. Since chloramines are lower, chemical shock treatments are not needed as often. A twenty five pound bag of ZeoSand will trap about half a pound of ammonium ions. How Is ZeoSand Used? Typically, one 25 pound bag of ZeoSand replaces a 50 pound bag of sand. ZeoSand weighs 55 pounds per cubic foot compared to sand that weighs 100 pounds per cubic foot. To install, remove all of the sand from the filter, and repair any damaged parts. Fill the filter half way with water and slowly pour the ZeoSand into the filter. Backwash until the backwash water is clear; this will take several minutes. Turn the filter off for two minutes and let the ZeoSand settle. Backwash for an additional two minutes, and check to be sure the backwash water is clear. If the backwash water is clear, turn the multiport valve to filter and start the pump. How Long Does ZeoSand Last? Under normal conditions, ZeoSand will need to be replaced about as often as sand. After filter use, ZeoSand may be added to your garden or potted plants as a soil conditioner. ZeoSand may be discarded as a non hazardous waste
See what I mean?
As you can see in the photo above I first put in a layer of 1/2 – 3/4” crushed rock which covered these six Black intake bodies which sit on the very bottom of the Blue filter body which is where the filtered salt water goes up to the top of the filter into the 6-way valve, and then poured in about 20kg of Zeolite “sand” to fill up the rest of this blue filter body. Then I followed the instructions you see here to fully rinse and clean out the initial filling of Zeolite prior to using it to filter the sea water going into the Watermaker. Many of you will recognize this 6-way valve on top of the Blue Zeolite/sand filter and it makes it easy for me to change from filtering to back flushing the Zeolite every few months to remove all the little nasties that the Zeolite has removed and send them all back out to sea and make live eXtremely easy for the other two finer paper filters on our watermaker so that they last up to a year rather than just a few weeks.
Can you guess what these Black rubber beauties are for? Correct! These are the Fenders that wrap around the upper edge of our 6m AL Tender. Our Tender is as much of a “working boat” as is Möbius and as I’ve outlined in several previous posts our Tender will be part “tug boat” and be able to push/pull Möbius if ever neccessary or enable us to assist other boats that get themselves into difficult situations or need towing. Therefore we wanted to have an eXtremely strong and yet flexible fender system the same as proper tug boats have and that’s what you are seeing here. Indeed we ordered these from a Turkish company that specializes in manufacturing these rubber beauties for boats up to 200 meters as well as the fenders you see in commercial ports and docks. I ordered the larger ones in the photo above, which are about 200mm/8” tall to wrap around the whole top edge of the Tender and then these smaller ones you see here which are about 120mm/5” While the rubber is relatively hard, the hollow construction makes these 1.5 meter / 60” lengths quite flexible and so the technique that Uğur and I worked out was to start up at the bow and clamp the first length centered on the flat section of the bow and then bend it around the corners to run down both sides. On commercial tug boats they use the holes you see going through these rubber fenders to bolt the fenders to the hull. However, I have this obsession about not having ANY penetrations of my aluminium hulls and so instead, we used this Bostik industrial adhesive which the manufacturer recommended to glue the fenders directly to the AL hull. It worked like a charm!
We would start by sanding and scrubbing both the AL and the rubber surface where the fenders will be glued and then wiped them both clean with Acetone and then Uğur applied a generous bead of the Bostik adhesive. We went through all the shops at Naval and rounded up over 100 clamps and used these to clamp the rubber fenders to the AL hull surfaces. That first length of rubber fender that wrapped around the bow was the most challenging and then it was on to the much easier job of gluing the other 1.5m lengths down both sides.
Rinse and repeat! The butt joints where two fenders meet up were easy to do as we just put on a good bead of adhesive and then one of us would push them together tightly while the other set up the clamps to the hull. We cut some 10mm / 3/8” thick rubber to match the shape of the ends of each fender where they ended at the aft end to seal them off. We had both sides done in about 3 hours and …… ……. moved on to the smaller fenders to wrap around the Aft dive platform overtop of the Castoldi jet drive. This only took two lengths of rubber and it was an easy shape with a large radius corner on each side so this went quickly. Looking a bit like a porcupine but the fenders were all glued on and we just needed to wait for a few days for the adhesive to fully cure before taking off all those clamps. As you can see it was worth the wait! Having spent over a year all together designing this beauty, I am eXtremely happy with the way it has turned out and think it will be the Goldilocks Tender for Möbius. The combination of the swim platform and the rubber fenders keep the Castoldi 224DD jet drive eXtremely well protected. She looks all the part and very much the slightly smaller partner for her mothership Möbius don’t you think?
But WAIT!! There’s MORE!!!!!!!
I decided to double down on the TLC for our Tender and so once the fenders were all done I moved on to the last two bits to fully finish this mini Möbius.
First up was designing and building a pair of chocks that will hold the Tender securely in place on the Aft Deck when the Tender is onboard Möbius when we are underway and where we stow the Tender every night. Alaaddin, who we call our “Turkish Fixer” because he fixes all our problems and he was able to find a local carpenter who would build these teak chocks for us which started with this lovely plank. He soon had that plank all planed and cut into the individual pieces that make up this pair of chocks. All glued up now. A few days later the suitably happy Alaaddin delivered the finished chocks to me at the shipyard. And just like Cinderella’s slipper, the fit was Goldilocks perfect! And the Tender was ready for her maiden voyage, on land as she emerged from Naval Yachts and headed out into the sunshine for the first time.
But WAIT!! There’s still MORE!!!!!!!
More TLC for the Tender To Möbius
I meant it when I said that I was going to double down on the TLC doses for our Tender and so the second item was designing and making a nice Sunbrella cover made to protect her from the UV and rain when she is waiting for us on the Aft Deck. Naval has a very talented and very FAST upholstery craftsman and so I turned to Sinan to help me design and build this lovely cover and two days later he called me to come check it out!
Sinan and I decided to add one little extra feature with two of these grommeted tabs that we can pull up with small strings going up to the Davit above that will prevent rain from pooling in the middle of the large horizontal areas of the Tender cover.
And as I believe Porky the Pig used to say; “Th …. th ……th …..that’s all folks”!
I am one pooped pirate after yet another 7 day work week and it is another late Sunday night over here and posting this blog post is between me and dinner so I’ll sign off for now. Thank you all for following along and joining us on this journey that is nearing an end one of these days!
As always, even though I am woefully tardy in responding to many of your comments, PLEASE do add your comments, questions and suggests in the Join the Discussion box below and I hope you will be back again next Sunday for the latest Progress Update on Project Goldilocks, aka XPM78-01 Möbius
A VERY busy week here onboard the Good Ship Möbius as everyone on Team Möbius moves into the final stage of the build completing all the installations of equipment and beginning the commissioning of all these systems by their factory representatives and others. Due to a major reconstruction project of the harbour inside the Free Zone * which removed all the previous launching facilities, Naval needed to launch us quite a bit sooner than expected by transporting Möbius overland to the nearby Setur Marina. So in addition to the usual post launch commissioning of systems, we all continue to work our way through the Punch List of jobs needing to be completed in order to get Möbius into seaworthy condition to begin taking her out for sea trials. To say that we are all eXtremely busy would be the understatement of the year! But. for Christine and me, we are even more eXtremely eXcited to be back where we belong, home onboard a boat that floats.
* You can learn all about this huge and fascinating project by watching THIS VIDEO ANIMATION which does a great job of showing how the whole new harbour facility will work.
I hope you will accept my apologies in advance for another hurried weekly Möbius Update as I blast through as much of all the different jobs that we have all worked on this past week. So grab your favorite beverage and chair and join me for this week’s Show & Tell.
Let me start with a quick snapshot leading up to this adventure that began over 5 years ago.
After two years of intense collaborative design work with our AbFab Naval Architect Dennis at Artnautica Yacht Design, the building of XPM78-01 Möbius began at Naval Yachts on April 6, 2018. 1053 days of build time later, as most of you have likely seen in last week’s posting HERE, she finally left that temporary womb last Friday for a watery delivery into her permanent home with Mother Ocean last Saturday. As I write this blog post from the SkyBridge of our beloved Möbius, we have just finished our first week afloat tied up to the concrete dock wall inside the Antalya Free Zone Harbour.
And I am VERY happy, though not surprised, to report that ALL the sea water has remained where it belongs OUTSIDE of Möbius and our bilges only hold the remnants of construction dust and debris.
Looking all the world to me like two tugs that escaped from a children’s animation story, these two almost new tugs are our most immediate neighbors. Tied up less than a meter in front of Möbius’ Bow.
These two tugs have crew aboard 24/7 as they are responsible for bringing every cargo ship into and out of the commercial side of the Harbour such as this recent little visitor, the 180m 36k Ton Argo B, who left about 04:30 this morning after loading up with several thousand “Big Bags” of industrial dry goods. These two tugs are also the Fire Boats for the Harbour. And last night, they surprised and delighted us by bringing over a home made pizza just out of their oven! Can’t think of a better example of why we LOVE living with these awemazing people of Turkey. Tied up almost as closely to our Stern is this first of four Police boats which are being built by Ares Yachts here in the Free Zone for the government of Oman. These are a bit longer than us at about 26m but share many of the same basic attributes as our XPM-78 with all aluminum construction and built like the proverbial tank. We even have the same jet propulsion system though in our case just with our Tender and a single not these massive twin jet drives driven by two equally massive MAN diesel engines. One item that we do not share, YET! with these boats is that mount for a 50 cal machine gun. But rest assured that once I get my 3D printer setup one of my first projects will be to create a realistic enough looking plastic replica to produce a silhouette that will add to our “don’t mess with me!” look to any onlookers thinking of approaching us with mal intent! I took this shot of our neighborhood early this morning after the Argo B had left and the tugs were back in front of us. The weather has been truly spectacular for the past two weeks with daytime highs reaching 24C/77F and gloriously sunny clear blue skies with very little wind. Not a bad place to spend our first week afloat.
For safety of such a new and incomplete boat, Christine and I are sleeping aboard each night and then going back to our apartment for breakfast and dinner and then we will move aboard full time once all the sea trials are done.
One of the projects I did not have enough time to show you last week was the completion of our rather unique “Sidewinder” anchor roller assembly that Dennis and I came up with so let me show that to you now. I decided to make the two anchor rollers out of solid aluminium and didn’t take me long to design a 3D model of this in Autodesk Fusion 360 and create the 2D dimensioned drawings to machine them from. Aluminium is a dream to work with and the in house machine shop has a very good sized lathe that was easily able to machine the two anchor rollers out of a single blank of 200mm/8” OD aluminium round stock. I wanted to keep the anchor and the chain electrically isolated from the hull to reduce any corrosion problems and was able to do so with two details. One is this Black Delrin bushing which we press fit into each roller with a nice rolling fit for the 40mm/1.6” SS pin that each roller spins on. The second isolating detail was to machine these Teflon discs that get separate the sides of the rollers from the inside cheeks of the anchor roller assembly welded into the hull. Then a large SS end cap bolts on either end of the SS pin on the outside. Here is what that all looks like when assembled. For safety and quiet when pounding into big seas we very specifically designed the whole roller assembly to exactly match the shape of this 125kg/275lb Rocna anchor by obtaining a 3D model from Rocna to design with. The way our design works is that those flared out bottom edges you see in the photo above have been designed such that they exactly match up with the inside of the flukes of the Rocna when pulled aboard and thus the Rocna becomes one with the hull and will not budge no matter what Mother Nature throws at us. This creates not only a very tough and strong anchor mounting setup but also one that does not make any noise due to movement between the anchor and the roller assembly which is so common on many other boats we have run. So Nihat, Uğur and I spent quite a few hours with the anchor raised on a chain block that allowed us to get the position of the anchor just right and then layout the centers for each SS roller pin. Front pin and roller have been mounted here and we are laying out the location for the 2nd Aft roller. Uğur and I came up with this idea of building an extended 40mm carbide hole saw so that he could drill both cheeks in one go and keep the two holes for the SS roller pin on the same centerline. We lucked out finding the head of a 40mm carbide hole saw with its shank broken off and Uğur TIG welded a 200mm/8” long piece of 13mm/ 1/2” OD rod to it that we could chuck in my Milwaukee drill. Worked like a charm! With the rollers both installed we tested it all out with the 13mm / 1/2” chain and the Maxwell VWC4000 Windlass and did a bit of tweaking of the rollers final shape to capture the chain nicely so it stays aligned as the chain goes Out/In and doesn’t twist. Did not take us long to get to the Goldilocks Just Right point and “Rocky” was in his new home as solid as his name. Uğur and Nihat both gave it their thumbs up and so we knew it was good to go!
Another job and details I did not have time to post last week prior to the launch was the finishing of the silicone based International InterSleek 1100SR Foul Release bottom paint and the zinc anodes so let me go back and show you that.
Once the super slick, slippery and shiny silicone InterSleek was fully dry the last few underwater details could be attended to such as mounting the Red plastic prop on the Vetus 220kgf 300mm/12” Extended Run Time Bow Thruster. Which is capped off with its own Zinc to reduce any problems with corrosion due to the mix of dissimilar metals involved with its construction of Bronze, SS and AL. In keeping with our Darth Vader, lean & mean look, we decided to make the 100mm/4” Boot Stripe that makes the transition between the top of the Black InterSleek and the bare AL hull, be gloss Black as well and we are eXtremely happy with the result that emerged as the masking tape came off to reveal the final look. The final detail for the underwater portion of the hull was mounting the ten 125mm / 5” diameter Zinc anodes which keeps all the metal bits that are in contact with seawater all at the same potential voltage and eliminates the battery effect that would eat away at our precious Stainless Steel, AL and Bronze components. Being near the bottom of the Noble scale of metals, Zinc is what will erode instead and makes it easy to replace the zincs every few years when they get too worn away. We designed a very simple mounting system for the Zincs and Uğur had previously welded 80mm discs of 20mm / 3/4” thick AL to the hull with an M16 thread in the center for the SS M16 bolt that he is fastening this Zinc on the Rudder with. To ensure a good electrical connection for many years between the Zinc and the AL mounting disc, we coated those surfaces and the bolt with dielectric grease and then I followed along after Uğur and covered the SS bolt heads with some clear silicone to make it all the easier to remove and replace these zincs in a couple of years. I usually do this while the boat is in the water using my Hookah or Snuba system so these little details all help to make that job go quick and easy. With all these preparations of the below the waterline areas of the hull and everything removed from underneath, Möbius was ready for the arrival of “Big Bird” the yellow 72 wheel boat mover to arrive the next morning and carry her overland to the marina for launching.
TILLER ARM DETAILS:
Another few details that we needed to look after before Launch Day were for the all important steering system and the Tiller Arm in particular. Similar to the Bow Rollers, last year I had designed this typically over engineered Tiller Arm in Fusion 360 and had it CNC milled out of a single block of aluminum. Here is a shot from almost a year ago when we first mounted the finished Tiller Arm to the 127mm / 5” OD solid AL Rudder Post. And here is a more recent shot of what it looks like with the two double acting Kobelt hydraulic steering cylinders in place. Such a massive Tiller Arm being powered by equally as beefy twin hydraulic cylinders, produces a LOT of force and so there needs to be some eXtremely strong and solid Tiller Arm Stops built in to stop the Tiller Arm when it goes hard over to each side. Fusion 360 to the rescue yet again to help me quickly design these Stops which Uğur and Nihat quickly fabricated and were ready to mount. After carefully testing out the Just Right position for each stop, they were able to drill the four holes in the AL Rudder Shelf and bolt down one Stop in either side of the Tiller Arm body. The SS bolt and lock nut allow us to adjust the final Stop position of the Tiller Arm once we are in the water and have the steering all working. I like to practice and live well by what I call “Readiness for the UneXpected” and in the case of our steering system that meant having multiple layers of fault tolerance for the Steering System. This starts with twin independent Kobelt 7080 hydraulic steering cylinders sized so that either one can fully steer the boat in the most adverse sea conditions.
Then two independent Kobelt Accu-Steer HPU400 24V hydraulic Power Pack pumps, two independent Furuno 711C AutoPilots plus two independent Furuno Jog Levers. This gives us eight levels of fault tolerance to go through.
And if ALL of that should uneXpectedly fail, then we have this Kobelt manual hydraulic Steering Pump …………… ……….. that we can slide this Emergency Steering wheel onto and steer the boat the “old fashioned” way. And if ALL of that should somehow uneXpectedly fail we have THIS final layer of fault tolerance for our steering system; a completely independent and manual Emergency Tiller Arm. Can’t get too much more KISSS or Keep It Simple Smart & Safe than this; a 2m/6.5ft length of 80mm thick walled AL pipe that slides through the 20mm/ 3/4” thick plate we see Uğur bolting to the Tiller Arm body and then the pipe slides through a matching hole bored through the top of the Rudder Post. We attach a block and tackle setup on each side of the end of the Emergency Tiller which fasten to shackles mounted on stringers on the adjacent hull sides which allows us to move and lock the Rudder in any position we want.
Yes, I do know that it works and Yes, you can ask me how I know that!
Miscellaneous Work on Deck
Finishing up this blog post is between me and another very late dinner so I’m going to speed through a series of other jobs that got done this first week in the water. Turkish Turquoise Marble countertops got installed atop both Vent Boxes on the Aft Deck to create our Outdoor Galley. SS sink plumbed. And installed in the Starboard/Right side Vent Box. Plumbing connections all ready to connect to the sink; Red & Blue PEX lines with shut off valves for the Hot/Cold water to the sink faucet, Brass elbow for the sink’s drain and small Blue tube with the Black elbow to drain the water extracted by the Mist Eliminator grills in the Engine Room supply air duct. Orhan with his home made adaptor for his pneumatic caulking gun …….. ……. to get into some hard to reach spots around the Pilot House windows like these. Uğur prepping the nylon insert mounts for the Passarella on the Swim Platform and another on the Port side gate. Ever the ingenious one on Team ,Uğur came up with this brilliant DIY solution for mounting our Fire Hose in the HazMat Locker; an empty plastic spool of MIG welder wire!
Which will rotate on this pipe mounted on the side of the HazMat Locker. With the Black Fire Nozzle mounted alongside. Any wonder why I just love working with this guy who has been with us from the very first day of the build?!!! More Uğur Goodness, on Saturday no less, as we designed and built this simple setup for propping the front 3 Solar Panels mounted on this hinged frame up in the horizontal position when we are on anchor.
This horizontal position not only helps out with solar power production but you can see the demister grill across the far end of what now becomes a giant wind tunnel to capture all the fresh breezes blowing over our bow at anchor and funnel them down into the SuperSalon. Two SS pipes that are hinged to the bottom of the Solar Panel frame and will fit into these Black Delrin collars Uğur machined which were then glued down to the aluminium floor with a SS set screw to lock them in place.
When we are ready to convert to passage making mode and head out to sea, you simply lift the panels up a few inches and the two support rods slide aft as the panel is lowered down and locked into place.
Our Sparkie Hilmi always has a long list of electrical jobs that need his attention and this past week was certainly no exception. With almost 150 circuit breakers on XPM78-01 Möbius to safely look after all our 12 & 24 Volt DC circuits and our all our 120V & 240V AC circuits, it was quite the design challenge to figure out where and how to place all these.
We ended up with two primary circuit breaker panels; this one on the angled short wall on the Stbd/Right side of the Main Helm Station. And this larger one in the Corridor at the bottom of the stairs leading down from the SuperSalon to the Guest Cabin, Ships Office and Workshop/Engine Room. After months and months of preparation, Hilmi was finally able to bring it all together this past week by attaching these Black AL panel fronts with all the engraved labels onto the hinged access doors into each of these Circuit Breaker panels.
Next week the hinged glass doors are due to arrive which will finish off these critical component of the electrical system on Möbius.
The double paned 16mm thick glass window finally got installed in the Engine Room door this week which is a critical component to completely closing in the Engine Room in the case of a fire. And the gas lift cylinders have now all been installed on the Glass Deck Hatches which I designed and Naval built in house. Now just need to finish installing the rubber edge seals and the AL hatch handles and the deck is totally watertight!
I can’t possibly do justice to explain the amount of work that Christine has done this past week alone on getting all our navigation and electronics in both Helm Stations all setup and working.
Nor can I articulate how much I LOVE my Captain! What I can do though is to leave you with this shot from early this morning that does capture for me just how well we have succeeded in designing and building our new home with all of Team Möbius to meet the goal we set out over 5 years ago to blend in perfectly when in a commercial dock as apposed to a ‘yachty’ marina. And with that I am going to hit the “Publish” button on this latest Möbius Weekly Progress Update and look forward to bringing you more Show & Tell of this coming week’s progress that begins first thing tomorrow morning.
One year ago, Christine and I returned from a brief trip over to the UK for her Birthday (March 15th) just as the whole Corona 19 pandemic was ramping up and caught us squarely in the vortex. Given our ages, let’s just say rapidly approaching 70, every day since we have been playing a kind of Russian Roulette by going into the shipyard to work on Möbius and so we are eXtremely eXcited that tomorrow morning at 11am we are going to get our Covid 19 vaccine shots!
Of course, this doesn’t put an end to anything really but sure will help with our upcoming travel plans, for which we shall be eternally grateful to this country we have called home for almost four years now and that love a wee bit more every day. Thank you Turkey for allowing these two salt water turkies to enjoy your beautiful country and people!
Team Möbius continue to rack up the milestones and this week we hit the jackpot that inspired the riddle in the title of this post; What dance step rhymes with Cash (and LOTS of it!)
Does this photo taken on Thursday afternoon give you some clues?
Hint: Something is missing? How about this one?
Hint: Opening door? Still not sure?
Hint: What just appeared underneath? Bingo! “Big Bird” the 72 Wheel Yellow Boat Mover has arrived at Naval Yachts because ……………..
LAUNCH DAY HAS ARRIVED!!
Don’t worry if you have not yet solved the riddle as to what dance step rhymes with “Cash”, hang in there and all will be revealed and be clear by the end.
All the big shipyard doors are opened up full width and Big Bird slides under the all cleared out space (the “what’s missing?” hint above) below Möbius and the countdown to launch begins! Captain Christine is up on Deck doing last minute prep and clean up and the Owner’s Rep is standing around as usual, getting up close and personal with Big Bird. All the while Möbius is being her typical good natured and patient self as she awaits the her big moment to shine in the brilliant sunny day we were gifted with for the big launch. You may recall from previous moves over the years, Big Bird has a series of swiveling hydraulic lift pads along both sides So they are now being readied to lift our girl off her support stands and struts for one last time. Or so we thought at this stage of the “dance”, stay tuned for more on that. The silicone InterSleek 1100SR bottom paint is quite soft and new so they cut up squares of carpeting ….. and slid them in between the hull and the wood lift pads to prevent the rough wood faces of the hydraulic lift pads from damaging this fresh paint. With all the Lift Pads in position 20 hydraulic pistons easily lift Miss Möbius up off her perch and all the support stands underneath can finally be removed for good. The Captain does one final check and packs her bag with cameras and champagne and is ready for the long and winding walk to the temporary new launch site that is much further away as you are about to see. The BIG Day has finally arrived and Möbius takes her first step away from her home of the past 3 years at Naval Yachts and heads for her new home; Mother Ocean. You can almost hear the shipyard and all the other boats saying “Good Luck Miss Möbius, we’ll miss you!” as she makes the turn onto the road that leads over to the inner harbour inside the Antalya Free Zone. She graciously poses in front of the home she is about to leave as she heads out to make her own life at sea eXploring that Big Beautiful World of Water that awaits.
Oh, the places you will go Miss Möbius!!
Three of the pivotal people responsible for building Möbius join in the Big walk. And Möbius’ adopted parents join the parade as well. Rounding the first of several sharp corners is a piece of cake for Big Bird when you have 72 wheels that can all steer! This massive construction of the whole inner harbour of the Free Zone which has ripped out all the launching facilities and necessitated that we take an overland route to Setur Marina and launch all the boats from the Free Zone shipyards there for the next few months. In spite of this major disruption this major construction project of the whole Free Zone port is fascinating and you would probably enjoy watching THIS VIDEO ANIMATION which does a great job of showing how the whole new harbour facility works.
It would normally be quite a shock and surprise to see a ship floating by outside your office window but here in the Antalya Free Zone it is a common and almost everyday occurrence so no one gives it much mind. However, given the uniqueness of the XPM boats and Möbius’ gleaming aluminium silver sides, she definately turned a LOT of heads on her trip to the sea. Normally this is where the Free Zone ends and there is a very large and intimidating gate here topped with concertina wires and lots of security cams but we were given special permission and so they opened up the gate, took down lots of big power cables above and we rolled on through. We took this rare opportunity to do what you are supposed to do with all newly born creatures and introduce them to as many of the other inhabitants of the brave new world they have just arrived in.
Not a bad backdrop! One more 90 degree corner which was no problem for us but ………. ….. startled a few of the truck, car and bus drivers who suddenly found themselves sharing the road with a 24 meter / 78 foot long boat!
Not your average traffic jam! The long and winding road trip eventually led us to this road on the back side of the repair yard section of Setur Marina and the final 90 degree turn to the home stretch to the new launch site. Uğur, who has been with us the longest is particularly happy to see this big day finally arrive, took the opportunity to climb aboard and have his own scene right out of the movie Titanic perched up at the bow as he rode the final land based home stretch. We’ve arrived!
Big Bird rolls to a stop right in front of …..,, …… Möbius’ very handsome date who has been patiently awaiting her arrival. Like walking the Bride down the isle, Big Bird carefully escorts Möbius down the path underneath the turquoise arches of this 200 Ton Travel Lift. There are four of these cabled lift points on each side of the Travel Lift which are now carefully lowered to the ground. Where the looped ends of the thick wide webbing that forms a sling that goes underneath Möbius belly, are pinned to the lift bars. To protect Möbius’ fresh silicone Foul Release bottom paint, the slings have all been covered with soft padding. And then each sling is threaded overtop of Big Bird’s side rails, under Möbius’ belly and connected up to the lift bar on the opposite side. Up go the lifting slings as the weight transfers from Big Bird’s lift pads and they can now all be removed. Transfer complete! Big Bird backs out and heads back to the barn while the Travel Lift carries Möbius …….. ……. the final few meters to the water’s edge. Sccreeeeeeeechhhhhh!!!!!! HOLD IT!!!
Not so fast there Miss Möbius, there are official vows and a ceremony needing to take place before you get your first taste of Mother Ocean’s tasty salt water! Travel Lift obliges and backs up just enough for Christine, Baris and myself to say a few words, announce that “We christen you Möbius” and break that champagne bottle over her hefty keel bar.
Note to those concerned, Christine had carefully wrapped the champagne bottle in silicone mesh so no glass shards were spilled.
The not recorded funny part is that this took two tries as the thick glass of the champagne bottle won the first smash on the keel bar and took this second try which you can see in THIS short video clip which I have also embedded below.
But here at last is Möbius first kiss with Mother Ocean.
Oooooops! Not so fast there Captain! Mr. Murphy has different plans for you today!
Immediately upon splashing into the water and while still in the slings, you spend a few minutes below checking all through hulls and other possible sources of leaks to make sure that everything is sealed and all the salt water is where it is supposed to be; OUTSIDE the boat! As we did so we found a small leak on the Rudder Shaft tube and so we made the call to haul her back out and set her back on land while we tracked down and fixed the leak. Hence the less than excited faces on all of us in the video below as came back out of the water and onto the hard for the night.
Poor Möbius! So close yet so far and yet another example of that paradox of trying to get to your destination by taking steps that are half the distance remaining which means that you get closer and closer but never fully arrive!
The Travel Lift set us back down in front of the launch pad and she was once again blocked up for the night. Later that evening I discovered the source of this leak which fortunately this turned out to be a set of 6 holes that had been drilled into the Rudder tube for injecting Sikaflex around the outer races when they were installing the Jefa Rudder roller bearings for the Rudder Shaft. This happened back in October 2019 while I was back in the US and Canada visiting family so I wasn’t aware of this procedure and the SS plugs had not been threaded into these holes so they were weeping upon entry into the water. A relatively quick and easy fix and I re-tapped/threaded these 6 holes to clean out the threads thoroughly, Uğur & Nihat ran into town to get six M12 x 10mm SS socket head bolts and I mixed up a batch of good ole’ JB Weld to fill the holes and coat the threads and torqued the 6 bolts up tight and we were done before 10pm.
!Next morning, Saturday 20 Feb, 2021 we arose to what was surely the perfect Launch Day with even more sunny and brilliantly Blue skies and NO wind And it was time to back the Travel Lift overtop of us and put those slings back underneath to lift us up and take us those final 10 meters to the water’s edge! Lowering back down so Möbius could have here second kiss with Moher Ocean. Once in we again checked throughout the boat for any sign of seawater inside such as around this Sea Chest in the Forepeak and my first glimpse of the sea below. Not a drop to be found onboard so a quick check of where the real waterline ended up at the stern and we were good to cast off and be gone. We gave the thumbs up to the Travel Lift operator and the slings were fully lowered and he backed away. Due to several complications Möbius did not have a working steering system and the oil for the Nogva CPP gearbox has still not arrived but all the arrangements for getting out of the Free Zone, taking down the power lines, Travel Lift apointment, etc. had been made long in advance so we launched anyway and that meant we had to be towed back to the harbour inside the Free Zone which is why this tug showed up and threw us this line. Fortunately we had thought of these kinds of scenarios well in advance and had designed this Samson post and nose cone for just this purpose and the tow rope was quickly set and we were off. The Free Zone harbour is literally around the corner that is on the Left side where that Blue & White tug is tied up so it was a very quick trip and with no wind it all worked out just perfectly. The large green boat in the center is inside the Free Zone which then becomes the container port on the Right with all the cranes. Rounding that corner on the Left with the Green boat now off on our Starboard side to the Right we can see the slot they have opened up for us to tie up in between the end of the Red tugboat on the Left and the Grey bow of the first of four Arabian Police boats you can see lined up along the same wall. Naval had arranged for a second second small tug to help maneuver the stern and push us into our slot sideways. Because as you can see, the open space was only about a meter longer than our 24 meter overall length so It was a pretty tight fit and they needed to push us in sideways to fit. With the help of some of the great guys on Bozcay IV and III, we got the first line ashore and it was all very quick and easy from there in these windless conditions. Now the second tug on our stern could push us sideways into the wall with just enough room to spare off the bow of the first Police boat. Viewed from up in the SkyBridge, this is Möbius’ first contact with a dock. Stern lines secured and we were soon all tied up for the first time! When Christine and I were first drawing up our design criteria and use cases, one of the things we wrote down was that we wanted to fit right into being docked in a working harbour and stick out like a sore thumb in a “yachty” marina.
So how well do you think we have met that criteria with these as our neighbors astern……… ….. and these two up front? Still lots to do as the real work begins but enough time for a quick snack and celebration with the two founders of our builder Naval Yachts; Baris on the far Left and his brother Dincer on the right.
The rest of the afternoon was equally as Goldilocks time as we enjoyed this stunningly sunny 17C/62F weather being entertained by our two new bow neighbors as they brought this little fella “Lucky Star” in to get loaded up.
Then it was just the Captain and I, and of course Ruby and Barney so it was at last time to celebrate with an unbroken bottle of champagne that we had at last made it to that ever elusive Launch Date!
Peanuts, a box cutter and champagne, what could be more Goldilocks; Just Right, Just for Us?!!! While we never doubted that we would make it we did often wonder just when this day would arrive but that has all made this milestone all the sweeter to experience. We still have LOTS of work to do to get our beloved Möbius fully finished and ship shape so we can head out for those infinite horizons and get back to eXploring this awemazing world of ours.
Oh, almost forgot! If you are still wondering about that riddle, it was the 2-step Splash Dance!
I’ll be back to cover all of that starting with next week’s Progress Update but for now we’ll be sleeping aboard to keep an eye on this new launched beauty and start learning all she has to teach us.