Another week and another month fly by in a flash it seems but we are making good progress and cutting the dock lines from here in beautiful sunny Finike Marina is getting closer with each passing day. This week also felt like summer is definately on its way with day time temp yesterday getting up to a new high of 29C/84F so we tropical birds are loving this change.
Nothing too visually exciting for this week’s Show & Tell update unfortunately but I’ll do my best to get you caught up on what all we did get done this past week of April 25-30, 2022.
Decks are Done!
One of the larger jobs that we are very thankful to have finished is that the team from Naval finished redoing all the TreadMaster on all our decks.
Despite being very high quality, the West Systems epoxy that was used to affix all the sheets of TreadMaster to the AL decks had not adhered to the AL very well so it has become both an eyesore and a tripping danger. They carefully removed each panel of TM, sanded the AL down, applied Bostik Primer and then Bostik adhesive and glued them all back down with rollers.
Apologies for not having any photos of the completed decks but you get the idea.
When my friend John was here two weeks ago we finished setting up and configuring the two WakeSpeed 500 regulators which control the two Electrodyne 250 Amp @ 24V alternators.
This upper Electrodyne is powered off of Mr. Gee’s crankshaft with a toothed “timing” belt.
The six large red cables carry the AC current from each alternator over to the Electrodyne Rectifiers which are mounted outside of the ER. Difficult to photograph this drive system I designed so this rendering of my CAD models will show it much better. Crankshaft pulley is at the bottom, sea water pump on the left and Electrodyne in the upper right. Works out eXtremely well as there is zero chance of any slippage of these toothed belts and I put in a spring loaded idler pulley (not shown in this render) which keeps the tension just right all the time. Also difficult to photograph now all the floors are in the Engine Room, the lower Electrodyne is powered directly off of the PTO or Power Take Off that is on the lower left side of Mr. Gee. An eXtremely robust and almost maintenance free setup as well. This older photo when Mr. Gee was up in the air shows how this PTO drive works. I went with these massively large and strong Electrodyne alternators in large part because they use an external Rectifier which is what you see here. The diodes in the rectifier are where the majority of the heat comes from in an alternator and heat is the enemy of electrical efficiency so keeping them out of the alternator and out of the ER really helps to increase the lifespan and efficiency of the whole charging system. Each Rectifier is then connected to one of the WakeSpeed 500 Smart Regulators and each WS500 is interconnected with the white Ethernet cable you see here.
Connecting these two WS500’s is a big part of what makes them deservedly called “smart” because they then automatically figure out how to perfectly balance the charging from each alternator which can otherwise be quite difficult and prone to errors. However, the biggest reason these WS500’s are the first truly ‘Smart’ regulators is because they use both Voltage AND Amperage do monitor the batteries and adjust the alternators to produce the just right amount of charging. With everything all wired up we started up Mr. Gee and after the initial ramp up time we were soon seeing about 220 Amps going into the 1800 Ah House Battery which was a joy to see.
Having two of these Electrodyne 250Ah alternators give us the potential for up to 12kW of electrical charging so in a way we actually do have a “generator” onboard. Unfortunately we soon noticed that some of the 24V circuit breakers were tripping when these alternators were running and I’ve spent the past few weeks trying to figure out what was causing that. Thanks to exemplary help from both Dale at Electrodyne and Neil at WakeSpeed, both of whom have been fabulous to work with from the very beginning, I was eventually able to track down the problem to an incorrectly installed aluminium bar that was used to fasten the two halves of the Electrodyne Rectifiers. One end of this AL flat bar was touching one of the AL L-brackets that hold the studs and diode in the Rectifier. Once found the fix was pretty quick and easy.
However somewhere along the way one of the WS500’s stopped working so I am now working with Neil to sort that out. In the meantime we have up to 250Ah charging capacity from the one working Electrodyne/WS500 combo and with all the solar power we have coming out of our 14 solar panels, we have no need for any of it most of the time.
Exhausting work on Tender Mobli
Most of my time this week was spent finishing off the installation of the Yanmar 4JH4 HTE 110HP engine and Castoldi 224DD jet drive in our Tender that we have named “Mobli”.
Similar to Mr. Gee and most marine engines, the Yanmar uses a wet exhaust where sea water is injected into the exhaust gas after it exits the turbocharger. This water dramatically drops the temperature of the exhaust gasses so you can use rubber and fiberglass exhaust hoses to carry the gases and water out of the boat. You can see the primary components I’m using to build the exhaust system in the photo below; water injection elbow on the Yanmar on the far Left with the Black rubber exhaust hose with the yellow stripe to carry the exhaust gas and water down to the cylindrical water muffler in the upper left. I will use the two white RFP 90 degree elbows to carry the water/gas up and out of the boat through the 76mm/3” AL pipe on the right. Like this. I am waiting for more of the SS hose clamps to arrive but this is what the finished setup will look like. Will need to fabricate and install a bracket to hold the muffler in place as well and that will complete the exhaust system.
Hard to see (click to expand any photo) but I was also able to install the black rubber hose that you see running parallel to the left of the exhaust hose and muffler. This carries the cooling sea water from the housing of the Castoldi Jet drive up to the intake on the sea water pump on the left side of the Yanmar.
Last major job to complete the installation of the Yanmar/Castoldi propulsion system is the mounting of the battery and its cables to both the jet drive and the engine and I hope to get that done this coming week. That’s how I spent my last week of April 2022 and hope yours was equally productive.
Thanks for taking the time to follow along, always encouraging to know you are all out there and along for the ride with Christine and me. Thanks in advance for typing any and all comments and questions in the “Join the Discussion” box below and hope you will join us again next week as we get May off to a good start.
It was a busy week for both Christine and me but nothing too blogworthy so this week’s Möbius update will be short for a change.
I just returned to Möbius last night after spending most of the week in England. This was my first trip for 2022 and a nice change of pace for me. It has proven to take a LOT of time, energy and $$ to get parts shipped from England to us here in Turkey so I decided it was best to go pick up the new parts I needed for Mr. Gee in person from Gardner Marine Diesel and bring them back with me. To be honest, I will take just about any reason to make a trip to GMD and see Michael, James and David there so it was an easy decision. To make it even more compelling, Pegasus Airlines has very cheap flights twice a week between Antalya and London so my entire trip would cost less than the customs duties to ship the parts to me and would take at least a month, sometimes two to get here. The icing on the cake for me was the chance to get in a visit with a very good friend Robin and his wonderful wife Jayne. Robin and I first met when we were both fairly new to Autodesk back in about 1990 and have continue to grow our friendship over all those years. My thanks to Robin and Jayne for opening their home and hearts in welcoming me to stay with them and we had a delightful three days hanging out and catching up.
My outbound flight was very early in the morning so we decided to rent a car and spend the night in a fun little hotel not far from the airport and enjoyed a nice “date night” out at a great little family restaurant right across from the hotel. Christine was then able to do some shopping for groceries and other items that are much more available at the larger stores and malls in Antalya and then drive back to our small town of Finike so it all worked out very well..
We also took advantage of being back in Antalya to stop by the Free Zone and Naval Yachts to see the progress on the several new builds they have underway. XPM78-02 mv Vanguard is now looking very much like a boat now that the superstructure for the Pilot House is in place. The other build is for the larger XPM85-01 which is in the early stages of the ‘hotworks’ and after a long wait due to supply chain and other issues, all the aluminium plates and parts have been delivered. These boats are built upside down in this first stage until all the hull plating is welded in place and then the hull is flipped right way up. The upside down deck plates are first put together in the steel framework bolted to the floor and then frames and bulkheads are tacked in place. Meanwhile, over on Vanguard, Uğur and Nihat, who did most of the AL work on Möbius are now busy welding the hundreds of Al pieces in place. You can see some of the cut and rolled plates for the keels setting on the floor to the Left. XPM78-02 is based on the same design as Möbius but will have twin JD engines as you can see from the dual prop tunnels in these two photos. The aft deck will be slightly larger and the Owners have decided to build some of the furniture into the boat such as this L-shaped dining area. Large window behind it, WT door into the SuperSalon in the middle and stairs up to the SkyBridge on the Right.
Here is the view from inside the SuperSalon looking back out onto the Aft Deck.
Going up those stairs the SkyBridge is starting to take shape and more built in furniture with an other L-shaped settee at the Aft end. Peering down from the very Aft end of the FlyBridge and roof overtop of the Aft Deck you can see the same arrangement as on Möbius with the doghouse for walking into the Engine Room on the Left and matching winding stairs on both sides. Looking up and aft lets you see another view of the upside down XPM85. Back down to Deck level on Vanguard, you can see another owner driven change with the addition of these bulwarks running most of the length of the side decks.
Bulwarks run all the way up to and around the Anchor Deck and bow. Up at the Bow the “sidewinder” anchor setup is the same as we designed for Möbius along with the Samson Post in the center and nose cone in the very front. This setup has proven to work out eXtremely well on Möbius so has been replicated here on hull #2. You can see how Dennis has nicely designed the Bow and anchoring arrangements to now include the wrap around bulwarks.
Lest we should forget the Mighty Möbius, I will leave you with THIS LINK to a series of photos that Captain Christine put together while I was off in Gardner Land in the UK this past week. Christine went through some of our archives of thousands of photos over the past 6 months or so and put the ones she liked into this album. So if you’ve been Jonesing to see less of the Engine Room and all the detailed technical shots that I post and more of the interior and exterior of Möbius, click the link above and enjoy your tour through this collection. Thanks for taking time to join us here again this week and hope you’ll be back again next Sunday for the latest weekly update on what’s been going on in Möbius.World.
Special thanks to all of you who have been contributing your questions and comments in the “Join the Discussion” box below and please keep them coming!
It has been very fun and surprising to have so many of you tell me that you anxiously await each weekly Möbius Progress Update and all the more of you finding the ongoing story of Mr. Gee and getting to the bottom of what caused him to suddenly loose most of his oil pressure while out on the first sea trial to be so fascinating. Usually it is Captain Christine who is in charge of writing mysteries and intrigue when she is writing all her best selling marine murder mystery novels under her nom de plume of Christine Kling, so rather surprising that I find myself apparently writing my own “mystery novels” given my brevity challenged NeveraSentenceWhenaParagraphWillDo style!
To be sure, “As Mr. Gee Turns” will continue to be a long running series and this week’s update won’t be the final chapter/novella but many of you will be very happy to know that I have finally dismantled Mr. Gee enough now to have found the source of the sudden drop in oil pressure and a reasonable assessment of the damage done and what will now be required to get him back to better than new condition. So go grab your favorite beverage and comfy seat and come join me on this week’s Show & Tell Möbius update for the week of May 31-June 5, 2021.
In what may be THE biggest milestone of this almost four year long Project Goldilocks, we had the official finale of the building of XPM78-01 Möbius courtesy of Dincer and Baris Dinc at Naval Yachts this past Friday, June 4, 2021. We were not able to get everyone who had worked on Möbius over the years but Dincer did his best to get most and we had a lovely little celebration up on the rooftop of Naval Yachts. Christine and I created a design for some black T-shirts with the names of pretty much everyone who had ever worked on Möbius and all our great suppliers and you can see the back of one of these with the person on the Right here. I can’t seem to find the final version which has a LOT more names on it but this will give you an idea of what the shirts looked like.
We will be doing our best to get one of these one of a kind T-shirts out to all those who where not able to attend the celebration on Friday. Here you can see the fronts of the T-shirts nicely modeled by Dincer on the Right and Yusuf (originally our head Electrician) on the Right. Dincer very kindly had this eXtremely special XPM78-01 Möbius cake made up and the insides were even better than the outside if you can believe that!
New Navy Neighbors
And before we dive into the whole story about Mr. Gee’s hole, check out our newest neighbor who pulled into the harbour next to us! Last week I showed you the three smaller vessels from the Turkish Navy fleet and this week their bigger brother arrived. Made for great entertainment for Christine and me on our nightly sundowner glass of wine on the foredeck. For those interested in knowing more about the Turkish Navy, my super sleuth Christine dug up THIS Wikipedia list of all the currently active ships and submarines in the Turkish Navy. According to Wikipedia, as of January 2021, the Turkish navy operates a wide variety of ships, including; 16 frigates, 10 corvettes, 12 submarines and various other ships.
Mr. Gee is not the Only One Left Hanging!
May of you wrote to me (thanks!) to tell me that I kept leaving you hanging as to the root of Mr. Gee’s sudden loss of oil pressure and when we ended last week’s update, Mr. Gee was also left quite literally hanging in his Engine Room like this.
Picking up where we left off last week, once I had Mr. Gee securely and safely raised up about 1 meter above his engine beds, I began the laborious process of dismantling him in search of what had gone so terribly wrong for the oil pressure to have suddenly dropped from its usual 38 PSI down to just under 20 PSI This cutaway illustration of the Gardner 6LXB lubrication system (click any photo to enlarge) might help you follow along with all the different parts that need to be removed and let you see what all needs to be removed to strip a 6LXB “naked”.
It turned out, getting to the bottom of the Mr. Gee’s problem was going to require me to dig all the way down to Mr. Gee’s bottom end, right down to his massive crankshaft.
I felt a bit like Ruby (one of our boat dogs) digging furiously for the ever elusive crabs she has acquired a delicacy for as they burrow deeper and deeper into the sand below. This meant pretty much completely dismantling Mr. Gee Humpty Dumpty style and my center workbench in my Workshop soon started filling up with all the bits and bobs as I removed more and more of them from Mr. Gee. Here I am pulling off Mr. Gee’s tiny little flywheel that weighs a mere 230 Kg / 507 Lbs. Who knew that my Garhauer 6:1 block and tackle with 10mm Dyneema line for raising and lowering the Tender Davit, would come in so handy! With the flywheel and all its housings removed, I could now remove the over 40 bolts securing this cast aluminium oil sump/pan and pry it loose from the cast Al crankcase above. I would estimate that this cast oil sump weighs about 45 Kg/100 Lbs, so I tied a loop of line around the bottom of the front end of the oil sump to keep it suspended and enlisted the help of Captain Christine to help me slide this monster out from under Mr. Gee, out the ER door and out onto the Aft Deck.
With the oil sump out of the way I could start the process of removing all the pistons and connecting rods. Suspending Mr. Gee such that I could remove all the pistons and the crankshaft is a bit tricky. The front end is easy because the big motor mount brackets can be left in place so I have attached a loop of Dyneema line that goes to the overhead chain block and then I put in two more loops that wrapped around each motor mount as a safety backup and this left the area underneath the crankcase completely open. However the 2 motor mounts on the Aft end need to be removed along with the split cast AL flywheel housings and there just isn’t much left to tie onto that is strong enough to hold the 1000 Kg / 2200 Lb. engine.
No problem, I just grabbed a pair of my adjustable jack stands (doesn’t every boat carry these??!) and built up a platform that spanned across the two engine beds using some square steel tubing I carry as well. With the tops of these jack stands resting on the wide flat AL surface that the oil sump bolts to, I had full access now to the full bottom end of the crankshaft and the bottom of each cylinder’s connecting rod. For my growing Gardner fan base, the following two illustrations from some of the original Gardner factory manuals which I am SO fortunate to have copies of, will help you see more clearly what’s going on inside a Gardner 6LXB like Mr. Gee. The con rod bearings are half shells that are clamped by four large bolts on each con rod. Removing the four nuts allowed me to slide the bottom half of the con rod off crankshaft and then you can push the whole piston & con rod assembly up and out of the top of the cylinder.
Here is the full piston & connecting rod assembly from cylinder #1 sitting upside down on my workbench.
As you push the con rod/piston assembly up out the top of the cylinder block, you need to be eXtremely careful not to let the hardened threads on con rod bolts hit the crankshaft journals as they can ruin this very accurately ground surface.
So to prevent this I slid protective sleeves I made from some spare PEX tubing onto of the 4 threaded ends and then used a long stout length of wood to push the whole assembly up till the piston cleared the to of the cylinder block. With pretty much everything except the crankshaft now removed, that center workbench continues to fill up with more and more parts as I get down to the very bottom of Mr. Gee and find the culprit responsible for his low oil pressure problem.
The Whole Truth about the Hole
As my awemazing author wife has taught me, a good mystery writer keeps their audience in suspense until the very end and we are getting close to that point now so here is the big finale so many of you have been so patiently awaiting all these past weeks.
As the more observant and mechanically inclined will have noticed, the clues have been revealing themselves throughout this Update and the crime is a nasty one. These are the two bearing half shells that came out of Cylinder #1 and this is NOT what you want to see in any con rod bearings let alone those with less than 5 hours of run time since new!
To help explain, this illustration of the Tri-metal bearings used on Gardner and still in most modern combustion engines, shows why that copper you see in the photo above is an eXtremely bad thing. Even though I caught it early, that drop in oil pressure meant that there was not enough lubrication between these bearing surfaces and the journals on the crankshaft and so they started to wear very rapidly with each huge push on each piston as the diesel fuel was compressed and then fired. If you’ve been following this “murder mystery” for awhile now, you may recall that when the oil pressure dropped I also noticed a slight knocking noise and a bit of burning oil smoke rising up from cylinder #1 and I already had a suspicion as to why, but more on that later. In this and the photo above, I have lined up all the bearing shells in order with #1 on the far Right/Bottom all the way over to #6 on the far Left/Top.
In addition to seeing a bit of copper having been worn through, the additional clue is that Cylinder #1 has the most wear and then it gets progressively less as you move aft. Let me zoom in to show this more clearly.
This are the bearing shells from Cylinder #1 and you can see that that the upper half which is on the Right here has the most wear because this is what takes all the force with the piston is at Top Dead Center or TDC where the fuel first fires and thee massive thrust pushes this shell against the crankshaft journal. Here is #3 cylinder, still an eXtreme amount of wear for such new bearings but much less than Cylinder #1. Finally at the far aft end of the crankshaft, this is what the bearing shells from Cylinder #6 look like, with again way too much wear but by far the least of all six.
OK, but Who Dun’ It Wayne??
Like in the game of Clue, was it Colonel Mustard with a dagger in the Conservatory? Or was it Miss Scarlet with a Lead Pipe in the Billiard Room?
Sorry! None of the above.
It was Wacky Wayne with a Hole in #1 Crankshaft Oil Tube!
You are going to have to wait yet one more week for the full story, but here’s the lead in. See those dotted lines in this partial view of the front end of a Gardner 6LXB crankshaft? Those are steel tubes that carry oil pressure from the Main Bearing #2 here, up to the connecting rod journals of each cylinder. I won’t be able to show this to you very well until next week when I get the whole crankshaft out, but I was able to stick my phone up into the crankshaft at Cylinder #1 and here is what that steel oil tube looks like in real life.
As Perry Mason might have said, let me draw the Jury’s attention to the area circled in Red……. Zooming in as best I can with the crankshaft still inside Mr. Gee’s crankcase, here is a bit better view of the perpetrator of this heinous crime again circled in Red. I can hear you whining already but yes, that’s as far as I can take you this week and you will just have to look over all these clues at the crime scene above and come up with your own solution as to what the hole story is. (sorry I couldn’t resist)
I will leave all you junior detectives to have some fun with this for now and please join me next week, same time, same station, same channel, for yet another gripping episode of As Mr. Gee Turns.
Hope to see you here again next week and do be sure to write your best guesses in the “Join the Discussion” box below as to the Whole Story of the Hole and we can compare notes next week.
This past week has been a roller coaster ride of emotions for both Christine and myself and the whole thing is difficult to articulate and yet not something that can be captured by cameras either but I’ll do my best to use my standard Show & Tell technique to bring you up to date on the latest leg of the journey of Project Goldilocks aka the design and building of XPM78-01 Möbius.
I’ll start with the ending which is that Möbius is now ALL OURS and we are back on the hard, aka land, having hauled Möbius out to complete some of the jobs remaining to make her fully sea worthy.
BUT, this time the land Möbius is on is OUTSIDE of the Free Zone where she has been for over 3 years during the build and now she is resting inside Setur Marina in Antalya.
I’ve marked up the sat photo above and the photo from Setur here, to show you our big move to Freedom.
It may only be a few hundred meters in reality but it is worlds apart for us. We are quite used to living aboard a boat that is “on the hard” as it is called when you haul your boat out of the water and put her on “hard stands” to hold her up, as we have probably spent several years all together in this situation from times we were working on our previous boats. NOTE: Back in February, when we were last here in Setur Marina for the first launching of Möbius, we met Emily & Matt who have their catamaran “Sea Odyssey” out on the hard just behind that big silver sailboat on the far Right in the photo above, so we already know some of our new neighbors.
Mountains off our Starboard/Right side and the Med on our Port so as you can see from all these photos, while not in the water where we would prefer, this isn’t too bad a place to call home for the next 1-2 months.
But wait!! I’m getting ahead of myself, so let’s go back to the beginning of this latest leg in the adventures of mv Möbius.
FREE’d at LAST!
We are always so gobsmacked, as our British friends might say, at how many of you have been following us from near the beginning of this building of XPM78-01 Möbius at Naval Yachts here in Antalya Turkey that began back with the first aluminium hull work on April 6th, 2018 which as the counter at the bottom of this blog notes was 1144 days ago! Over THREE years ago? Yikes!
The actual beginning of Project Goldilocks as we originally called this whole adventure once the crazy idea of switching from sail to power and designing and building our own boat to do it with, took hold back in 2016 and we spent the first two years working closely every day with our awemazing designer Dennis Harjamaa at Artnautica Yacht Design in Auckland New Zealand which was where we delivered our last boat Learnativity to her new owners in Whangarei NZ. Rob Westermann runs Artnautica Europe where you can check out his notes on Möbius HERE. Rob and Dennis are also now busy designing an all new LRC65 that Rob and his wife will use as their next magic floating carpet ride.
Once we had the design of XPM78-01 Möbius pretty much set in 3D models and 2D drawings, we began searching the world quite literally for the Goldilocks just right location and builder and ended up partnering with Naval Yachts who are locating within the Free Zone here in Antalya Turkey and we now have them to thank for working quite literally cheek to jowl with us to build this first iteration and our new home, Möbius.
As most of you from following these weekly updates, Möbius first “splashed” on February 20th here at Setur Marina when the Free Zone had no launching capabilities for several months during their massive rebuild of their harbour and all their launching equipment. Since then we have been working through the process of commissioning every system where you get them all up and running, adjusted and dialed in. I’ve described these past few months as being a version of Zeno’s Paradox of the Tortoise and Achilles, where you make forward progress in steps that are each one half the remaining distance. The reason this is a paradox is that as odd as it might seem, it takes an infinite number of those half steps and you never arrive at your goal because there is always one more half step to go!
The other dimension to all this is that when building a new boat, while the Owners are technically just that and they “own” the boat, they don’t take possession of the boat until it has been fully finished by the Builders and the Owners make all the final payments and accept the boat. The feelings surrounding this gradual transfer from Builders to Owners are part of what I referenced in the beginning of this post that are so difficult to articulate. We’ve been living aboard since we splashed in February and it felt great and almost unbelievable to have our visions from years previous be transformed into this very solid reality. And yet, as the commissioning process extended into more and more days, then weeks and then months, the Free Zone felt a bit like living inside the line in the Eagle’s class Hotel California“Such a lovely place. You can check out any time you like. But you can never leave!”
The Free Zone was a lovely place, Möbius is an incredible boat, but she still wasn’t ours and we couldn’t help wondering if we would indeed ever leave so we could start finally restart our new lives in our new home and get back to our old habits of traveling the world’s seas.
And then, mid afternoon on Tuesday, May 18th, we received a text from our Builders that said “Prepare to leave, you are fully cleared for export and need to leave the Free Zone this afternoon!
What ensued next was like a scene out of the Keystone Cops and perhaps video will help capture this best so Christine has quickly pulled together this video montage of being “Freed from the Free Zone” on Tuesday afternoon.
That whole scene remains a blur but by late Tuesday afternoon, we ended up here, tied alongside the TraveLift bay where Möbius would get plucked out of the water by the 200Ton TraveLift and set down inside the hard stand area at Setur Marina! I sent off a quick text to Matt & Emily to say “You won’t believe it but ….” and they met us at the dock and helped us tie Möbius to the dock.
That was all 5 days ago now and It still has not quite sunk in for me that this has all happened and is real. But that is an eXcellent problem to have and I’m working on it!
Moving Möbius into her New Home
This is the same TraveLift that first launched us back in February so the operators quickly had us plucked out of the water and wheeled her over to ……. … this freshly vacated spot just a few meters away from the TraveLift bay and just a few boats over from Matt & Emily on Sea Odyssey. With all four sets of wheels on the TraveLift able to turn it makes it easy for them to move Möbius into this spot …….. …… and set her down on her keel. You can see another reason we designed the Rub Rails the way we did as they make for the perfect spot for the hard stands to be wedged underneath. This obviates the need for the more traditional stands which go down much lower up against the bottom paint and create a whole new set of problems.
KISS at its finest; Keep It Smart & Simple. So this is Möbius’ new Home Base for the next month or two.
Very Slick Bottom you have there Miss Möbius!
One of the good things about hauling out again is that we got the chance to check out how well the new Foul Release paint was doing its job. The hull had been in the water for three months without moving so this was a good test, and as you can see in this photo (click to enlarge any photo)the InterSleek 1100SR silicone based bottom paint had worked even better than I had hoped.
This will give you a bit of a Before & After shot where I had gently wiped the corner spot in the foreground here with a sponge and every bit of the algae and growth wiped clean. A few minutes with my sponge and I had the CPP prop blades, the Skeg and the Rudder wiped spotlessly clean. Even what growth there was you can see on the sides of the hull in the upper Left were minimal and came off with a gentle wipe of the sponge. And looked like this a few minutes later. There is a lot of surface area on a 24m/78 ft long hull so it did take us a couple of hours to do it all but this was the result and I’ve gotta say that I wouldn’t have believed it if I had not seen it for myself. * For those of you interested in this Foul Release as opposed to Anti-Foul bottom paint, I wrote about this in more detail HERE in this Weekly Progress Update from Feb 8-13, 2021
It is still early in its life of course, which we expect to be 5-10 years before needing to be recoated, but based on this initial experience I am just blown away by how well this silicone based bottom paint works and can not say enough good things about it at this point. Stay tuned for “Bottoms Up (dates)” over the next few years.
Open Sesame Mr. Gee!
Many of you have been asking for more details about Mr. Gee and his sudden loss of oil pressure on the last sea trial. Now that we are out of the Free Zone and very solidly setup, that is my #1 priority and so yesterday I started to dismantling Mr. Gee to track down the culprit and fully fix the problem.
I’ve oft been asked why the hatch overtop of the Engine Room is so big and now you know the answer. To make it easy to access the entire engine and CPP gearbox and be able to lift it all out as one assembly if/whenever needed over the lifespan of the boat which is measured in decades.
At this point I am still hoping that it won’t be neccessary to completely remove Mr. Gee and the Nogva CPP but with the hatch removed it makes working in the ER very well lit and ventilated even in the mid 30C/95F weather we are already having here. You can also see why I designed the ER to be as wide as it is which makes accessing everything a piece of cake compared to most other boats I have ever worked on.
While I don’t know if I will need to remove the engine, I do need to remove the large cast AL oil pan and to do that I need to lift Mr. Gee about 1m/40” up from where he sits here. So I first need to remove many of the parts up on the front such as the cast AL water reservoir and the whole cogged belt system I made to drive the upper Electrodyne alternator on one side and the sea water pump on the other. I also need to remove both heads to check out the valves and pistons and to do that I need to remove everything attached to the heads such as all the valve train, exhaust and intake manifolds, fuel lines, etc. So my next few days are a process of removing all these parts and here are the ones I removed yesterday. Cast AL water holding tank on the middle Left, Fuel filter and valves in the lower Left and water manifolds on the Right.
That workbench will soon be filled with a lot more parts as I get to the bottom of the problem and fix it properly so stay tuned for more episodes of “As Mr. Gee Turns” As I rest my weary little body each evening of this process, I’m going to be dreaming of the day when Möbius is back in this spot with Mr. Gee thrumming away as we back out of the slip and head off into the blue horizons that await us. Thanks as always for taking the time to join Christine and I on this grand adventure and don’t forget to add your questions and comments in the “Join the Discussion” box below.
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.
It is Monday August 3rd here in Antalya Turkey and everyone is enjoying the last of this big four day Kurban Bayrami Holiday weekend. Tomorrow is also our anniversary so Christine and I decided to join in and take a much needed break from boat building so we rented a car and drove East along the coast to the lovely town of Alanya for two nights away. It has been a fabulous break and we are now back and I’ll do my best to get this week’s XPM78-01 Möbius Progress Update off to you at last with apologies for the delay.
This will be a shorter update due to both having only four working days last week and also due to the launch of the GreeNaval 60 hybrid boat “Mega-Guard”. This was a long overdue milestone for both Naval Yachts and Mario the owner as this build began a few months before Möbius so this launch has been three years in the making and it was all hands on deck at Naval Yachts to splash Mega-Guard this past Wednesday. I’ve got some photos of that big event as well as this weekly update on the progress aboard Möbius so let’s jump right in.
The GreeNaval 60 or GN60 is an all aluminium 60’/18.25m diesel electric hybrid yacht which has 2x 370 HP Volvo Penta diesel engines and 2x 150 kW electric motors. GN60, which offers 16knot cruise speed with diesel option can achieve 11,5knot cruise speed with electric motors. This GN60 brochure will give you more photos and details if you are interested in learning more about the GN60. Getting her first full shot of sunshine on her bow as Mega-Guard emerges from the Naval Yachts shipyard this past Wednesday. She is setting atop one of three such boat moving machines that are on call within the Antalya Free Zone and as you can see this one can take much longer and larger boats onto its all hydraulic controlled bed. Looking out of my first floor Workshop/Office inside the shipyard this is the view from the other end as the boat mover starts the several block trip over to the launching equipment at the launching basin within the Free Zone. While the boat mover goes slowly it takes less than 30 minutes to make the trip from Naval Yachts to the launching basin. Next, the big Blue Travel Lift straddles the boat mover and lifts the GN60 up within its slings and moves her over to the launching basin. Where she gets slowly lowered down into the sea water for the first time.
And what do you know? She floats!
Mega-Guard is all the more special being the new prototype and test bed for Praxis Automation Technology based in the Netherlands. Praxis technology is usually found in very large shipping and other commercial vessels but they are now offering equipment for smaller boats in the 18-40m and recreational range so they wanted to have this real world testing and demonstration laboratory and she leaves Antalya on Thursday bound for Rotterdam and then on to Praxis HQ in Leiderdorp NL. We wish Mario and Praxis our very best and hope to be anchored with them in the near future.
One of the key features that makes this vinyl flooring the Goldilocks just right flooring for XPM78-01 Möbius is that it has a significant amount of texture on the top surface which I’d describe as similar in appearance and texture to that of well weathered wood. This a critical safety factor for us to ensure that even when walking with wet bare feet there is no slippage. This LVT or Luxury Vinyl Tile as Ado refers to it is primarily aimed at very high traffic scenarios such as airports, shopping malls and the like and it is also 100% waterproof, fireproof and extremely quiet when walked upon.
It is also specifically designed and engineered to be used overtop of In-Floor heating systems such as the ones we have installed in Möbius. The Flooring team chose this area in the Head/Bathroom of the Guest Cabin to begin to cut and fit the individual planks of LVT and are just getting started but this will give you a good idea of how these interlocking “click-lock” planks are laid down.
In order to access the integral fuel and water tanks below all our floors, there are aluminium tank access plates bolted down throughout such as the one you can see here in the middle of the photo partly obscured by the Rosewood sink cabinet. The flooring overtop each of these hatches will be removable and will be secured by a special SS twist lock device to ensure that these access squares can not fly out in the unlikely event of a full roll over. Directly across from the Head is the Guest Shower and it is having its all composite based flooring installed which is the same material as all the walls and ceiling so everything is fully bonded and sealed.
Same style of lift out section to get at the tank access lids below the shower floor.
The aluminum suction tool in the foreground is how we lift out flooring hatches, wall panels and the like and works eXtremely well. No unsightly handles required, simple, quick and easy to use. Once the flooring was fully cured the pre-installed drain was routed out for the SS drain fitting to be installed flush with the floor which slopes down to this point. The finished floor in both showers will be made of inlaid Teak as this has that just right amount of underfoot non-skid texture and is naturally waterproof. These are two of the three sections of flooring for the Guest and Main showers and there will be a third matching one for the adjoining Head/Bathroom floor in the Master Cabin. Same construction technique as is used for installing all teak decks on yachts, each individual Teak plank is cut, fit and glued to a template underneath and then once the whole panel is laid up, the template is removed and the teak panel is attached to a composite/fiberglass panel underneath. The grooves between each Teak plank allow for expansion and flex and will be filled with a Black rubber like waterproof filler and then the whole panel is sanded flat. These are the two floor panels for the Master Cabin. The longer one in the foreground will become the floor in the Master Cabin Head and the one in the back will be the floor in the Master Shower.
You will be able to see this in great detail in the upcoming Weekly Progress Updates as these floor panels are built and installed so say tuned for more.
Finishing the Corridor:
Just outside the Guest Head Omur has been busy deftly applying the finishing touches to the cabinetry in the Corridor area. This is a very busy area where you make your way down the stairs from the SuperSalon above to get to either the Guest Cabin or the Workshop & Engine Room.
This past week Omur finished installing the “hockey stick” shaped Rosewood BHL or Blue Horizon Line which provides a safe, secure and eXtremely Beautiful handrail when you are transiting these stairs. Biscuits are used to join the Rosewood sections of the BHL Handrail to the wall panels to ensure they are up for several decades of hand traffic.
The ubiquitous aquamarine epoxy strip spans the space between the upper and lower halves of the BHL. And with a bit of ingenious clamping techniques Omur soon has the bottom section glued in place. I’ve peeled back a bit of the protective cardboard and tape coverings to show you how the two halves of the BHL Handhold terminate up at the top of the stairs. Omur has also been finishing off the cabinetry on the opposite side of the stairs where the tall Electrical Panel sits part way down the stairs and then my long skinny Office desk and storage area runs along the Port/Left side of the Hull. Here is what the Corridor area looks like viewed from the stairs looking aft through the WT Bulkhead door into the Workshop. Seen through that WT Workshop door you can just make out the Blue/Green leather covered Corridor wall panels on the Right side and the Office desktop and drawers on the Left.
If you have your orientation down you will know that the Guest shower is behind the foreground wall on the Right and the Guest Head is behind the wall after that.
Up those stairs and on the Right is the Galley and over in the finishing shop they are finishing all the Rosewood fronts for the many drawers in the Galley, some of which you see here. More here …………………… …… and more here.
Yes we have a LOT of drawers in the Galley and can’t wait to start filling them with food, plates, utensils and our extensive collection of kitchen tools. Once they are all hand rubbed and polished, all these drawer fronts are brought onboard Möbius to be installed. Which is what Omur is busy doing here to some of the drawers under the side “peninsula” of the Galley. And pretty soon they all look like this bank of drawers on the opposite peninsula behind the Dinette Settee.
Temporary Blue painters tape handles for now and just wait till you see what these look like when their permanent SS latches are installed.
As always, the handiwork of Hilmi and Selim can be found throughout the boat as our two Sparkies aka Electricians, continue to install the wiring and start connecting all the various electrical components together.
This is the inside of the control panel of the 40k BTU Webasto BlueCool V50 chiller. Hilmi has removed the outer cover to make the internal connections to the boats wiring. A few steps away inside the Engine Room Enclosure, the helpfully tall Selim is busy pulling wires into the ER through the penetrations you can see (click to enlarge) up near the ceiling and then securing each wire to the cable trays mounted on the Alucobond covered ER walls. Those cable trays continue to run forward behind the exit manifold on this Sea Chest at the front Port end of the ER. Meanwhile, Hilmi has been busy running more cables across the Front of the ER for things like the High Water pump out valves, Grey Water pumps and various tank level monitors.
FYI, Hilmi is sitting where the front end of Mr. Gee our Gardner 6LXB engine will soon call home. Right here. The two inner facing Engine Bed extensions are where the front engine feet or motor mounts will set and be bolted in place.
Engine Room Hatch Hinges:
Uğur and Nihat didn’t get much time to work on Möbius again this week as they were busy getting Mega-Guard finished and launched but they did get time to make some progress with things such as these hinges for the big Engine Room Hatch which forms almost the entire ceiling of the ER. These hinges are one of the latest examples of the overarching KISS or Keep It Safe & Simple approach we try to use throughout XPM78-01 Möbius. Uğur is very handy on the metal lathe so he quickly turned out these three hinges by drilling out three lengths of sold aluminium round bar to accept the 10mm / 3/8” SS pin he machined.
After leveling this big ER Hatch with the surrounding deck and centering the Hatch in its frame Uğur tacks the ER Hatch in place and welds on the three parts of each hinge to the Deck and Hatch. Removing the tack welds the door swings open easily and is locked in the open position using pin locks to the Vent Box on the Right here.
For those wondering why this ER Hatch is so huge, we designed it such that the complete propulsion package, the Gardner 6LXB mated to the Nogva CPP Servo Gearbox, can be lowered in/out of the ER as one single large assembly.
That won’t happen very often but WILL happen often is that I can open up this big ER Hatch whenever I am down working in the ER and have all that fresh air and natural light pouring in which will make working in there all the more of a treat.
SkyBridge Solar Panels:
However the most exciting bit of progress Nihat and Uğur made the past week was this!
If you were with us last week you will remember that we had lowered the roof frame over the SkyBridge to its hunkered down position that we will use for going up canals with low bridges or when leaving the boat in locations during hurricane seasons. Part of the reason for lowering the roof was to make it easier to install the eight 340 Watt Solar Panels which also form the waterproof roof. I chose to use Sikaflex 292i which is their strongest industrial adhesive to bond the aluminium frames of each panel to the rectangular aluminium tubing that the SkyBridge Roof frame is built from. Prep is always the key to a long lasting bond so all the AL surfaces were cleaned first with a wire wheel and then wiped down with Sikaflex thinner. Then an even bead of 292i is laid down. and each Solar Panel is then carefully set in place. We used a laser level and straight edges to ensure that each panel when in just the right position before being pressed tightly down to squeeze out the Sikaflex on all sides. The tops and side of each panel were also bonded to each other using 292i to create a very well sealed and fully waterproof roof. Using this eXtremely strong adhesive eliminates the need for any mechanical fasteners and made for a very fast installation and met with Uğur ‘s satisfaction as you can see.
In addition to these eight roof top panels, there are three more in a hinged frame on the front and three more on a sliding frame aft for a total of 14 panels with a combined total output of 4.4kWP I did manage to make a bit more progress on Mr. Gee but I’ll keep you waiting and save that for next week’s Progress Update.
Thanks for joining us and special thanks to all those who add their comments, questions and suggestions in the “Join the Discussion” box below and I hope more of you will do the same and add to the richness of this blog.
This coming week will also be shortened down to just four days but hopefully we will have most of Team Möbius back working with us now that Mega-Guard is launched. See again then.