Well, finally finding the time to put together this quick update we have ALL been waiting for and <spoiler alert> let me just start with what you really want to know; yes, the brand new Mr. Gee version 2.0 is now fully installed and Möbius is back up and running! This update will focus on the installation of the new Mr. Gee and then I’ll do a second one in a few days with outline of where Mr. Gee has powered Möbius to since we left Kalymnos last week on Oct. 30th.
Let me just say that since finally departing our four month home port in Kalymnos, we have now put about 600 nautical smiles under our keel and I am writing this to you from Marina di Ragusa down on the SE corner of Sicily. We are waiting for the next weather window to continue our travels West and out of the Med across the North coast of Africa, and hope to leave tomorrow (Monday 7 Oct) or Tuesday so it may take me a few days to get that second travel update written and get some internet to be able to post it but do stay tuned for that. Now, back to as quick a summary as I can do about the installation of the all new Mr. Gee.
It took almost two months for the original Mr. Gee to get from Kalymnos to the Gardner works in Canterbury England but fortunately the return trip was MUCH faster and “only” took about two weeks for this sight for sore eyes turned up on the dock beside us. All still fully sealed up and just as it had been when it left Gardner Marine Diesel GMD the day after I flew back from being there for the full dynamometer testing that I outlined in a previous post. Even Barney was wondering when this abyss in the Engine Room was going to be filled up again and he was on hand to supervise the whole installation. James and Michael at GMD had kindly included the remaining epoxy paint and put that in the box on the pallet. Manufactured September 2022 so can’t get too much newer than that! After SO much time and effort, it was sure a great feeling to unwrap this all new version of Mr. Gee and get busy preparing him for the installation. If you look closely at the brass plate on the fuel injection system you can see that it is currently set up for Continuous 100% use with 150 BHP @ 1650 RPM, and as some Gardner fans say these are “Draught Horses”! I spent a few hours reinstalling a few things such as the big Electrodyne alternator that is powered by the PTO (Power Take Off) as it was easier to do while sitting out on the dock. Then I protected the polished valve covers up top with some foam and set up the two chain blocks front and rear for adjusting the angle of the engine as we lowered it in place. The crane truck arrived right on time which was also a nice change as the first time for taking the engine out, it took over a week to arrange. Didn’t take long to lift the 1200kg engine off the dock ……… …… and onto Möbius. Kind compliments of brothers Michael and John Psarompas who own Argo Oil & Tug Boat, two of the crew from the Argo Tug Boat behind us kindly came over to lend some extra hands to help lower the engine into the Engine Room and set the motor mounts onto the anxiously awaiting engine beds. As many of you know this wasn’t my first rodeo wrestling Mr. Gee into place and with these four extra hands it all went quite quickly. And the all new Mr. Gee was finally settled into his new home and mated up with the Nogva CPP Controllable Pitch Propeller gear box. It took me about two days to remount all the systems such as exhaust,the second Electrodyne alternator (top left), fuel lines, engine guard bars and then do the engine/prop shaft alignment and torquing down the engine mounts to lock it all in place.
Apologies for this quick and dirty video of the first starting of the all new Mr. Gee v2.0 but hope it adds a bit to how this all went. I gave a bit of an overview before starting up the engine and then did a bit of a walk around of the engine to show things such as the oil pressure, exhaust water flow, etc. Hope you enjoy!
Out of both curiosity and safety I decided to pump the diesel Day Tank empty and open up the bottom inspection port to see how things had faired in the almost two years since the first fill during the build. Very happy to find what you see here, aka NOTHING. The sump you see in the lower Left had been doing its job of collecting some of the bits from construction and I had been able to drain these out previously as per the design. Silver cylinder in the top Left is the Maretron pressure sensor for measuring tank level and the pickup outlet is over on the Right.
Bolted the inspection cover back on (lower left) and refilled this 660 Liter Day Tank with fresh clean diesel out of the main tanks. New engine called for new filters so installed these and bled them to get rid of any air. Also took the time to put coloured zip ties on each of the valve handles on the three fuel manifolds to help me double check that I have the right ones open or closed for different operations such as transferring fuel between the main tanks, polishing the fuel (aka cleaning), filling the Day Tank and of course the supply and return for feeding Mr. Gee when he is running. Once I had Mr. Gee and the rest of the systems on Möbius back up and running there was quite a bit of bureaucratic steps we needed to go through before we were allowed to leave. The boat had been officially “detained” by the Greek Coast Guard and they required that we hire this engineer to prove that the engine and the boat was back up and running again. All of the various officials, offices and agencies all needed to collect their “pound of flesh” and ample Euros which took longer than the actual installation of the new engine! Last but not least, we completed a quick sea trial by doing a big loop outside the harbour with the engineer aboard and we finally had the green light from him and then went through another round of approvals and payments to all the agencies in town but by end of day on 29th of October, 2022, almost four months after we first arrived, we were cleared to depart Kalymnos! We treated ourselves to one last “date night” on this lovely island of Kalymnos that had come to feel like home and reminded ourselves of just how fortunate we had been to have had the opportunity to get to know this small Greek island and so many of her wonderful inhabitants who had become so familiar and were all so kind and generous to us.
Thanks for the memories and Bye Bye Kalymnos! We feel SO privileged to have had this extended time to get to know you.
As many of you may have seen in your various news feeds, Friday August 26th is/was International Dog Day. Based on my observations of our dogs, it seems to me that EVERY day is pretty much Dog Day, but apparently the 26th makes it official. Ruby is our 14 year old “Spoodle”, a mix of Cocker Spaniel + Poodle and Barney is our 10 year old Yorkshire “Terror” as Christine affectionately calls him. They have been with us from the very beginning of their respective lives as well as ours as a couple.
As you can see, they have become quite the couple themselves. Happy International Dog Day to all the dogs in our lives!
Going to the Dogs is a bad thing?
I’ve always been curious about the origin of all the various sayings we have in our language and years ago I was quite surprised when I looked up “it’s a dog’s life” and found it defined as “a difficult, boring, and unhappy life” and that “going to the dogs apparently means “: to become ruined : to change to a much worse condition,The economy is going to the dogs.” All my experiences with dogs had been quite the opposite and as you can see in the photos above, Ruby and Barney certainly seem to have a life that many would envy.
However, I must admit that of late things aboard Möbius do seem to fit the dictionary definition of “going to the dogs” with the various problems that have cropped up with our FireFly batteries, Kabola diesel water heater and the list goes on. Latest addition this week was finding that the Bow Thruster was not working and I’ll use that example to highlight my contrarian perspective wherein I regard all these as challenges to be taken on and resolved and that in the end they turn out to be good things.
That’s not a Bug! That’s a Feature!!
Another common phrase we often hear is that when life deals you lemons, make lemonade. Along similar lines, one of the more profound and transformative concepts I synthesized during my decades working with software and technology, was that rather than “problems”, such challenges present me with the opportunity “to transform bugs into features”. I have come to realise that it is largely a matter of perspective. If you look at things differently, things look different. In addition to the new understanding and skills I learn by fixing things and resolving these challenges, they also present me with the opportunity to improve and make things better after they are fixed than they were originally. The problem with the Bow Thruster “challenge” this week is the most recent example I can use to illustrate how I apply this “bugs into features” approach.
After spending time with my multimeter tracing all the wiring for the Bow Thruster, the issue turned out to be caused by very poor electrical design by the manufacturer, in my opinion, for the way the fuse and wires from the controller joy sticks at both helm stations, are placed and connected to the Bow Thruster motor in the Forepeak. The four wire connector on the Left and the 5Amp ATC fuse on the Right are located on the outside of the 24V motor of the Bow Thruster and thus completely exposed to the damp and often salty air in the Forepeak.
Not surprisingly then, these exposed copper connections had suffered from severe corrosion.
This is the four wire connector with the 24V positive connection being completely corroded and making no connection to the Red wire it joins. The ATC fuse holder and the 5A fuse itself were in even worse condition. Compared to the new Orange fuse on the far Left, you can see that both of the spade terminals on the factory fuse have completely corroded into dust.
Not much surprise then that the Bow Thruster wasn’t working. Quite surprising and disappointing to me to find such an obvious design fault in what is otherwise a very high quality bit of kit, and it made no sense to just clean up the fuse holder and redo the four wire connectors as the same thing would just repeat itself, presenting me with the “opportunity” to not just fix the problem but to improve the whole wiring setup.
My apologies that I forgot to take photos as I was working and hope these generic images will still help you understand what I did to transform these bugs into features.
I carry a good supply of these sealed ATC in-line fuse holders for just these kinds of situations and so I replaced the original factory Black plastic built in fuse holder on the Bow Thruster with one of these. I also extended the wire length so that the fuse holder was located up higher in a more protected spot which also provides better access if/when this fuse ever blows and needs to be replaced.
√ Fuse now fixed and working
√ Sealed fuse holder
√ Better protected location
√ Easier to access for future fuse replacements
For the four wire connector, I replaced it entirely with new wires that I spliced directly to the wires on the Bow Thruster using these crimped butt splice connectors that have adhesive lined heat shrink coating that completely seals the connection.
√ No more exposed connections
√ No more corrosion
Hope this helps illustrate my perspective on how to transform bugs into features.
With the above as context, I have a much bigger and much better example of my latest transformation; Mr. Gee 2.0! Here is a brief (consider the source) overview of what’s been happening with Mr. Gee lately.
Several months ago, after Mr. Gee had about fifty hours of run time, I began to hear a metallic “ticking” noise when he was running. It wasn’t very loud and sounded very similar to when there is too much clearance between the end of an exhaust or intake valve and the rocker arm. I had previously done the recommended valve adjustment after about the first five hours of running and all the metal parts have been through multiple heating and cooling cycles. Shortly after hearing this new ticking sound I checked the valve clearances again and found them all to be spot on but the ticking noise continued.
After that I kept my ear attuned to the ticking and it seemed to stay the same, not changing or getting any louder so I thought it was perhaps just a normal Gardner sound and just kept listening closely on every engine room inspection while we were underway. I do one of these ER inspections every hour or two when we are underway and record all other engine data such as RPM, fuel consumption, SOG (boat speed over ground), oil temperature and pressure, coolant temperature, Exhaust Gas Temperature EGT and temperatures at various parts of the engine and the air in the Engine Room. Reviewing this spreadsheet allows me to see what all these readings should be and makes it easy to spot any changes.
Everything stayed the same until we about ten hours into making our way from the Greek island of Rhodes to Athens on the mainland. I began to notice some increased temperatures in the area of the cylinder heads by cylinder #3. All the other temperatures of oil and water and metal parts elsewhere remained the same but I also noticed that the ticking noise was getting louder. More like a slight metal on metal knocking sound. Always hard to tell with sounds inside an Engine Room if this is just your imagination or if the sound really is changing but I shut the engine down and did a much closer inspection of every part of the engine but found no visible signs of any leaks or other changes. So I restarted Mr. Gee and we continued.
You know where this is going! Sure enough the heat around the exhaust and intake ports of cylinder #3 continued to rise, the ticking noise got louder and the engine ran more unevenly. Not a condition that could be allowed to continue and so we rerouted ourselves to the closest island of Kalymnos where I would be able to take on this latest challenge and figure out how to transform this bug into a feature. This would have to wait for a month or so because we now had our granddaughters and family onboard followed by some other dear friends so not much time to work on Mr. Gee.
Eventually though, I was able to do some deeper testing and dismantled the engine enough to find that the exhaust and intake valves on cylinder #3 were defective and no longer sealing on their valve seats and hence not getting cooled down. Valves, the exhaust in particular, live in a very nasty high heat environment and they mostly are cooled when they are tightly closed and can transfer their heat through the valve seat. If they don’t seal tight they don’t work as a valve bringing the air/fuel mix into the cylinder, sealing it completely on the compression and then power strokes and then letting all the burned mixture out the exhaust port. And without the contact to the valve seat, they rapidly start to overheat and would eventually likely crack. I am very fortunate to have some of the best experts there are when it comes to diesel engines and Gardner’s in particular. I have the Mr. Gardner himself, Michael at Gardner Marine Diesel GMD, the home of Mr. Gee and all Gardner engines and my long time friend Greg who I’ve known since we were in University and trade school together and who is the best expert on diesel engines I know. I spent a LOT of time texting and talking with Greg and Michael and they were both eXtremely generous with their time and patience. After going through all the possible scenarios and reviewing all the data and photos of what I was able to see, the problem and the solution became quite clear.
I had begun the restoration of Mr. Gee when Christine and I were house/pet sitting for some dear friends in Portugal and had a machine shop there do all the machining of the cylinder heads and block and install the new valve seats, valve guides and cylinder liners. Michael at GMD remembered this and he noted that installing new valve seats in these LXB engines is quite particular and he has seen problems in the past when other machine shops have installed new valve seats and valve guides, so this cast some doubt on whether these had all been installed correctly by the machine shop in Portugal. While we won’t know for sure until a more detailed examination of the valves, seats and heads improperly installed valve seats became the most likely suspects as to what was causing the problems with Mr. Gee and making that ticking noise.
It was possible I could remove the cylinder heads, order in new valves and seats and find a machine ship in Athens or somewhere to properly install all new valve seats and guides, but this would not be easy to arrange and would not be a shop that had experience working on Gardner engines so we quickly ruled out this option. To be completely sure that all the valves, seats and guides on Mr. Gee were 100% correctly installed, this work needed to be done at the Gardner works at GMD. Our attention thus turned to how best to do this?
30 Horses Gallop into the Scene…..
I should also note at this point, that I have been having a completely separate conversation with Michael all this year about converting Mr. Gee from the 150HP @1650 RPM he is currently at, to the 180HP @ 1800 RPM option which the 6LXB can be configured for. The 150HP setup is a Continuous or 100% duty cycle which means the engine can be run at this speed and HP 24/7 which many 6LXB’s are. The 180HP version has a lower duty cycle which means that you can run them safely at full power and RPM for shorter periods of time and then continue at lower RPM. Almost all diesel engines have this range of RPM/HP they can be configured for and on mechanical fuel injection engines such as the Gardner LXB, this involves physically changing the fuel injection pump setup to inject a higher volume of diesel fuel on each intake stroke and adjusting timing of the injectors and valve advance. Not that difficult but requires specialized tools, equipment and expertise from Gardner than what I am comfortable doing.
In our trips this year, about 80 hours total run time, we have been finding that the Goldilocks or sweet spot for the best combination of loads, EGT, speed and fuel economy is about 1400-1500 RPM so why am I interested running Mr. Gee at up to 1800 RPM? Simply put, I would like to have the option to call on those additional 30 HP, a 20% increase, in an emergency situation when that extra power could mean the difference between getting out of a situation vs loosing the boat. One example of such a situation is when you are at anchor and find yourself on a lee shore when the conditions change unexpectedly such that there are high winds and seas trying to push the boat onto the shore. Of course this always seems to happen at O’dark thirty and you are in the dark with every second counting, so being able to start your engine and call on every pony the engine has can make all the difference.
Lest this should sound a bit farfetched to some of you, just this past week we were vividly reminded of how fast and unexpected this type of lee shore situation can develop when a very high wind storm swept over the island of Corsica in France. You may have seen this in video on the news you watched and seen these winds gusting up to 224 km/h (140mph) pushing hundreds of boats onto the shore.
I had therefore wanted to do this conversion to the 180HP setup before we start venturing out on our longer passages and later in the season and was going to remove the fuel injection system from Mr. Gee and ship to GMD to do the conversion and then ship back so I could install it and we could continue our travels. The trick was going to be when and where to do this as Möbius would need to stay in one place while the fuel injection was off being reconfigured. Now that we found ourselves with such a rare and ideal side tie dock arrangement we serendipitously stumbled upon here in Kalymnos, this latest challenge with Mr. Gee’s valves and the repowering all seemed to converge into a perfect storm kind of situation and here is how this all came together.
Go BIG or Don’t Go!
As long time sailors, we have come to understand how critical it is that you have complete confidence in your boat before you go to sea. When you find yourself in those rare but inevitable situations where things have become very nasty and every decision is critical, having ANY doubts about your boat, or yourself, can be crippling and life threatening. Mother Nature can be an eXtremely effective teacher and you soon learn the hard truth about how critical such confidences is and that if you don’t have full confidence, then you don’t go to sea.
Given the high dependency we have on Mr. Gee for our propulsion and the fundamental requirement to have eXtreme confidence in all the critical systems on Möbius, it was not difficult for Christine and I to decide that we needed to go “all in” on this situation and transform all these “bugs” into features resulting from us doing everything possible to ensure that Möbius is the most seaworthy boat we could create.
I’m sure you can see where this is all headed. Rather than send just the fuel injection system to GMD to convert it to the 180HP version, go Big and send all of Mr. Gee to GMD. Michael made this decision even easier by kindly offering to do a full exchange of Mr. Gee for a new 6LXB that they would put together at the Gardner Works there at GMD. We send them Mr. Gee, they send us a new 6LXB we will now refer to as “Mr. Gee two point O” or Mr. Gee 2.0 They will transfer over a few of the external bits such as the items I have already polished such as the rocker covers, GMD side covers and the custom brackets I’ve designed and built for things like the sea water pump and hand crank system but these can all be done right after Mr. Gee 1.0 arrives at GMD and after the new Mr. Gee 2.0 has been built.
Michael will also put the new engine on the Gardner dynamometer where they can run it through its paces, do the initial break in and create a full HP/Torque/Fuel graph directly from the readings on the dyno. I don’t have a photo of their dyno yet but this one will give you a rough idea. The engine is mounted to the dyno with flywheel connected to the measuring devices that read horsepower, torque, fuel consumption, etc. and plot this out onto a graph. This will add to our confidence that we know for sure what these outputs are and will make it a relatively straight forward process for me to lower the new Mr. Gee 2.0 into the ER, connect him to all the mounts, Nogva CPP, hoses for coolant and exhaust and electrical and we will be able to get back out to sea and set our sights on destinations West. I hope that all of the above does not come across as me being flippant or suggesting this was all easy or without a good share of sadness and frustration along the way. It was all of those things and I do have thoughts about “Why me?” from time to time. But as I’ve often found with the big decisions in life, these were also very clearly Goldilocks decisions being just right, just for us and in that sense they were easy to make. The harder part has been dealing with all the time and logistics it has taken to do all this from a small remote island in the middle of one of the busiest and most disrupted summers in the EU and now waiting for the new Mr. Gee to get back here.
Out with the Old
As you might imagine it was rather hectic here going through all this testing, making the arrangements with the local crane truck to remove Mr. Gee 1.0, securing him to the pallet and arranging to get him trucked from Kalymnos to Athens and then onto two more ferries to get him all the way to the GMD in Canterbury in England, so I don’t have too many photos but here is a quick summary of all that.
Gee, I wonder why it doesn’t take me too long to disconnect everything and get Mr. Gee ready to be lifted up? Oh yeah, lots of practice! I enlisted the help of two local men to help extract Mr. Gee from the Engine Room and ….. ….. then over to the concreted dock we are side tied to. All the openings sealed and taped off and engine strapped onto the shipping pallet. Shipping labels attached under Shrink wrap to keep him clean and protected for his long journey home to GMD. And just a few hours ago, I received this photo of Mr. Gee in the storage warehouse of the trucking company outside of London waiting to be make the final leg of his journey over to GMD in Canterbury on Tuesday as Monday is a national “Summer Bank Holiday” in the UK.
Don’t even think about asking me how long this whole journey has taken! Let’s just say that all you’ve been hearing about disruptions to supply chains and shipping, record high tourist traffic this summer in Europe and how the whole EU tends to take their holidays in the month of August, is so very very true. Leaving me with a very sadly empty Engine Room and a lot of greasy hand prints to clean off the walls.
She continues to be very self disciplined with her daily physio routines after her knee operation and been taking full advantage of her “Freedom Machine” aka her eBike, to explore this fascinating island we have been living on since July and finding new beaches for her in the water exercises. Click the link above to see all her photos and explanation of how this island is literally a dynamite place to be!
Back to where I started this posting, I will let Barney send us off into a new week as he wistfully enjoys another sundowner and contemplates what it truly means to live a dog’s life Thanks for joining me again this week and hope you’ll be back for more next week. I will!
A day late in getting out this weekly update and I will keep it short but it has been both a very busy and successful week as we get closer and closer to our “throw off the dock lines” day. Lots and lots of jobs on the “Must be done before departure” list have been getting checked off and if all goes well today we hope to leave tomorrow!
Christine has been busy with electronics and computer related jobs onboard getting all six of our monitors working properly with the Upper and Lower Helm computers, getting internet connectivity sorted out for when we are underway and going up the coast of Turkey towards Marmaris and just playing that always fun version of Whack-a-Mole as each new “Mole” pops up. I’ve been busy getting the Tender and the Davit system ready to launch and yesterday we both worked on bringing 500kg/1100lbs of lead pellets aboard that are now safely ensconced inside the watertight coffer dams on either side which are there for the potential future addition of active stabilizers. But I’m getting ahead of myself so let’s jump in with a quick Show & Tell of what all we’ve been working on this past week.
Our workload has been reduced a bit with the addition of a new member of Möbius’ Crew, this little turtle who is one of many we regularly see around Möbius and inside the Finike marina. Turns out he just LOVES eating the green grassy growth that is already starting to appear along our black boot stripe and is a real pain to scrub off. As you may recall we hauled out a few weeks ago and gave our InterSleek “Foul Release” silicone based bottom paint a close inspection and found it to be just fabulous with almost no growth at all after almost a full year in the water with very little movement. However the black boot stripe above the bottom paint and waterline is a different story and this area which is kept constantly wet as the water moves up and down the hull a bit and is getting lots of sunshine all day long is the perfect garden for the “green slime” and grass like plants that grow here. No big deal for the boat really, just annoying and so we were delighted to find that we now had this new crewmember who likes nothing more than to munch away on the grass. Thanks buddy, we can use all the help we can get. Not sure about getting his visa for leaving Finike and Turkey but we’ll see.
As I mentioned earlier I got a good workout yesterday carrying 500 kg of these tiny lead pellets which we had purchased last year and have been sitting in a Bulk Bag on the dock behind Möbius. Christine worked on the dock to transfer about 40kg/88lbs of pellets into thick plastic bags that were then double bagged inside some heavy duty bulk bags which I then carried onto Möbius and down into the Basement under the SuperSalon. I had previously unbolted and removed the watertight cover plates over the two coffer dams on either side about midship on the hull which we had built just in case we decide in the future to add active stabilizers, most likely Magnus Effect type to help reduce roll more than our paravanes do. For now though, these watertight compartments made the ideal spot to put these lead pellets and improve the comfort of the ride by slowing down our otherwise “snappy” roll resistance. Working with Dennis our NA, we set up one of the design criteria for the hull to have a roll period that would have slightly less than the theoretically ideal roll period which is the time a ship takes from upright position to going to a particular angle on port side and then going to a angle on starboard side and then again returning back to upright position (zero list position) during natural rolling. We did this way so that we could dial in the Goldilocks roll period after the boat was built and fully loaded up to our actual weight/displacement. A shorter or faster roll rate provides more safety of returning the boat to upright but this faster or “snappier” motion can induce some nausea for some people and make crossings in rolly conditions less comfortable for the crew. Slowing down the roll is relatively easy to do by adding some weight/ballast that is further outboard and higher up than the centerline ballast, whereas speeding it up is very difficult once the boat is built. Hence we purposely went for a slightly faster roll period in the hull design knowing that we can then add some lead in the best locations once we have the boat in the water and in her natural trim and weight. So we will now operate Möbius with this additional 500kg of lead in the coffer dams which puts it well outboard of center and a bit higher up at just below the waterline, and se how this slightly slower roll rate feels and works for us. If we want to make further adjustments either way we can either remove or add more lead.
Being in small pellet form makes it easy to fill any size and shape spot we want and we are keeping them in these double bags for now so we can change if needed. Once we think we have the ballast and roll period at the just right, just for us Goldilocks point, then I will remove remove the bags of lead pellets, coat the aluminium with epoxy resin and then pour the lead pellets back into these spaces. Then I will pour some thickened epoxy over the top surface to fully encase the lead with the hull and keep it fully sealed to prevent any water from mixing with it which could set up some dissimilar metal corrosion.
As you might imagine this was a job that we were both very happy to check off the list and while we were certainly pooped at the end of the day we had big smiles on our faces and treated ourself to a “date night” of sorts and went out for dinner at the little café here in the marina.
Finishing the Tender Console
The other much larger job that got checked off the ToDo list this week was getting our tender we’ve named Möbli launched off the Aft Deck and into the water for the first time.
I spent the first few days of last week finishing up the last of the wiring that connects the Yanmar 4JH4 HTE 110HP engine to the Castoldi 224DD jet drive and the control panel and gauges for both in the center console. This Yanmar/Castoldi combination is a purposely matched pair and the two companies created a very complete kit package that provided all the custom wiring harnesses to plug into both the engine and the jet drive and connect these into the supplied instrument panel that is now mounted in the console. Most of these connections were done with very high quality quick connect watertight fittings but there were a few wires that I needed to look after to connect to the 12V AGM battery. A bit time consuming but not too difficult and this is how it looks so far. I’m very happy with how this has turned out so far and will work on getting the Standard Horizon VHF and Vesper AIS wired up after we launch and test Möbli out.
One more detail was to install the fuel filler cap in the cover of the 80 liter fuel tank up in the bow. I had previously installed the rubber fuel lines that run under the floor and back to the Yanmar so now I just needed to remove the cover plate, drill the hole for the filler cap and bolt that back down. Put in 15 liters of diesel for now and she should now be ready to start up for the first time.
First though, we need to get Möbli into the water so there is sea water supply for the engine’s heat exchangers for engine oil and fresh water coolant and for the wet exhaust system.
Most of you will have seen in some previous updates a few weeks ago that I had all the rigging for raising and lowering the Tender inside the Davit Arch as well as rotating the Arch itself to launch the Tender over the Port side. A pair of triple blocks provide a 6:1 mechanical advantage for the Tender Lifting lines that go to the winch you see here on the vertical leg of the Davit Arch. Inside the Tender at each corner there is a welded in attachment point where the Lift Line snaps into. Then there is a separate set of rigging that controls the pivoting of the Arch itself so that it moves the Tender sideways off the deck clear of the rub rails and then the Lift Lines are let out to lower the Tender down into the water. This Pivot Control Line of PCL leads through 3 blocks and then over to the bit Lewmar 65 electric winch which allows you to rotate the Arch out and back in. With that all hooked up it was launch time and little Möbli was soon testing out the waters beside Möbius. She sits pretty much right on the waterline predicted in the 3D model which was good to confirm and put the exhaust pipe a bit more than 150mm above the water. I could then hop in and start it up and was delighted when the Yanmar fired up at the first touch of the start button. Must have been taking lessons from Mr. Gee!
So an eXtremely big milestone for us and puts us in position to head out to sea in the next few days. Of course these are boats and so there are always those pesky little Moles that pop up and need to be whacked down. Two popped up with the Tender; there is a small pinhole leak where the Castoldi bolts up to the bottom of the hull and then the larger issue is some problems with the Davit Arch setup that will take more time to “whack” down. The leak is very minor and slow but to be safe I didn’t want to take it out for a test run but I was able to run the engine for about 20 minutes and test out the steering and bucket controls on the jet drive while Möbli was tied up to Möbius and get the oil and coolant up to operating temperature. All of that checked out perfectly; ran well, oil pressure and temperature were right one, steering and bucket control which is how a jet drive directs the thrust of the jet to move the boat forward, reverse and sideways. So VERY pleased with how the Tender turned out and can’t wait for that first test drive which will hopefully be in a few weeks.
For now though, the Tender is back in the chocks on the Aft Deck and all lashed down and covered ready for us to head out to sea.
Christine is working on a video collage of building and launching the Tender so watch for that to go live here in the next few days.
We still have a few small jobs to get done but right now it is looking good that we will be able to finally throw off those dock lines some time tomorrow and leave Finike in our wake as we start working our way up the Turquoise coast towards Marmaris. As usual we are on The No Plan Plan so we will take our time and enjoy stopping wherever calls our name as we motor up this beautiful coastline. We think we will use Marmaris as our jumping off point to check out of Turkey and head over the explore some of the Greek islands in June. Then we have our two granddaughters, with their pesky parents who seem to insist on coming along (just kidding Lia & Brian!) flying in to spend most of the month of July with us so that’s the ultimate prize that is driving us forward from here and a BIG part of what we have build Möbius for so we can’t wait for their return to join us aboard and make more memories together as we explore Greece and perhaps Italy.
As always, thanks for taking time to join us here and please keep those comments and questions coming by typing them into the “Join the Discussion” box below and with luck I’ll be sending the next update from some beautiful anchorage between here and Marmaris.
First and foremost my best and biggest wishes to all the Moms out there! Every day should be Mother’s Day in my opinion so I hope this is just an extra special day for all of you extra special people.
The past week has been filled with a litany of little jobs for the most part and nothing too visual to show you so I’ll keep this short so as not to take up much time on Mother’s Day or better yet, don’t bother reading till later this week.
Christine and I are inching closer and closer to the day when we finally throw off the dock lines here at Setur Marina in Finike and begin our adventures making our way up the Turkish coast a bit and then start making our way West across the Med this summer. If all goes well we hope to take off in about two weeks as we whittle the To List down more each day. Thanks to the help of the great people at Electrodyne and WakeSpeed I think we have found the causes of the one alternator and regulator that are not working properly and have the new parts being put together to be shipped out next week. With us about to become “moving targets” with no fixed address I will need to figure out how and where best to get these parts delivered to us but after so many years out sailing the world this is a very common problem for us and we always manage to find a way to get boat parts and boat united.
One of the big things I need to get done before we take off is getting our Tender “Mobli” finished and running and also be able to test out launching and retrieving him with our Davit Arch system. So in addition to working on some of the remaining To Do items such as tracking down some new gremlins in our Shore Power setup, I have been trying to stay focused on getting Mobli finished. Last week you saw me finish installing the wet exhaust system and I’m waiting the arrival of two more hose clamps to finish that completely and that leaves just the electrical wiring to be fully completed. So as per the title, wiring was the focus this week. Christine has been my trusted parts finder and delivery person tracking down the parts and supplies I need to complete the work on the Tender. She has taking taking full advantage of her fabulous new eBike to pick up parts available here in our little town of Finike or take the 2 hour bus ride down to the big city of Antalya to bring back parts from there. One of those items was a 12 volt AGM battery and battery box which I now have solidly mounted on this shelf I created using some leftover composite grid that we used for the flooring in the ER, Workshop and Forepeak.
I had several of these large Red Battery Switches from Blue Sea left over from building Möbius and so I installed two of these. that This under seat area is easy to access, fully protected, easy to lock up and keeps the weight well centered so this seemed like the best location for the battery. I installed the second battery switch in the Engine Bay on the opposite side of the AL bulkhead under the seat. This isn’t really necessary but provides a very secure anti-theft device when turned off and the Engine Bed lid is locked. We would not likely need to use it very often so it will just be left on most of the time but will be good to have if we ever need to leave the Tender ashore for long periods of times or we are unsure of the security ashore. The primary 12V positive 1/0 size Red cable goes from this switch under the Yanmar engine and connects directly to …. … this stud on the starter solenoid. A bit tight to get to but it is now on and well tightened. The other smaller Red AWG 8 gauge cable comes off the same switch and goes back to the jet drive along with the other wiring for the jet drive and the two Black hydraulic hoses for steering the jet drive. The steering is also hydraulic but is manually powered by turning the steering wheel. The hydraulic pump that raises and lowers the jet drive’s bucket is electric so that Red cable goes to this 50 Amp breaker which feeds power to the pump behind it. There is also the same size Black negative cable that runs from the engine ground to the bronze stud you can see in the center of this shot. Some nylon zip ties help keep all the wiring and hydraulic hoses in place and well protected and with that the wiring inside the Engine Bay is now pretty much complete. Just need to add engine oil, coolant and hydraulic fluid and this should be ready to fire up as soon as we launch the Tender and have it in the water needed for the wet exhaust and heat exchangers. Next week I will move back to the console to finish connecting the Castoldi jet drive wire harness to the Yanmar harness. That leaves me with these 8 wires that connect to the ignition and starter switches and the bucket position gauge which I hope to get done next week. Depending on if I get the remaining parts in time and finish all the wiring, we may be able to launch Mobli over the side next week and fire him up so be sure to tune in again next week to see all that. Thanks as always for joining us again this week and be sure to leave your questions and comments in the “Join the Discussion” box below. They are all VERY much appreciated!
Now, let’s all get back to reminding all the Moms in our lives how awemazing they are!
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.
Christine and I took some much needed time away from boat projects to spend time wtih some dear friends who flew in and stayed aboard Möbius with us. So as you might have noticed I did not manage to get a blog post up last week and hope you enjoyed that break as well! John and his wife Michelle and their four kids are full time live aboards on their Lagoon 500 sailing catamaran which they just crossed the Atlantic on and are now enjoying time in the Caribbean.
John is an eXtremely experienced sailor so having him aboard was a huge help for both Christine and I to have someone like this to bounce ideas off and join forces in our problem solving. Even better, John and I had a few days together by ourselves while Christine flew up to Istanbul to show his daughter Genna “Christine’s Istanbul” as she has become one of its best tour guides from all her previous times there.
When we all reunited on Möbius we set out for a few days and sailed up to a beautiful little anchorage off the village of Kekova and I’ll show you a bit more about that in a moment.
Truth be told, we did spend some time working on boat projects as we took full advantage of tapping into John’s extensive expertise and experience to get his thoughts on several of the projects we have underway as well as some ongoing problems we are trying to sort out. John and family are huge fans of catamarans, and justly so as a family of six most often with other guests aboard but John did admit to a wee bit of Engine Room and Workshop envy while he was here.
Otherwise, not too much in the way of the usual Show & Tell for me to share with you about boat work the past two weeks although I did manage to finish installing the hydraulic steering in our Tender Mobli and this coming week I hope to get back to work on him with installation of the fuel lines, exhaust system and other items needed to be able to start Mobli up and take him out for some sea trials.
However I may not make too much progress on that as we are going to be hauling Möbius out tomorrow morning as a haul out is included in our annual contract here at Setur Marina and so we thought it would be smart to take advantage of the opportunity to fully inspect everything below the waterline, see how well the InterSleek foul release bottom paint has been working after a year in the water and see how the anodes/zincs are doing. Having a slick and slippery bottom and prop will help us get a great start as we finally head back out to sea and out of the Med.
A to Z; the Zen of being at Anchor
The last time we had been on anchor with Möbius was this past June when our two Granddaughters (and their parents) spent the month with us here in Turkey so it was ear to ear grins as we fired up Mr. Gee and headed out to spend a few days with John and Genna aboard and explore a new anchorage just up the coast from us here in Finike.
This is the view as we head out of Finike Marina and some of the mountains that surround us. Genna was hard at work on deck as we left. Meanwhile, John was too busy practicing his rendition of the scene in the movie Titanic but we all have our parts to play right? We have been using out swim ladder with a plank of wood lashed to it for our passerelle to get on/off Möbius while tied up at the marina so we just folded it up for the trip and we were off!
This is our wake at about 7.5 knots with Mr. Gee turning about 1300 RPM. Captain Christine did all the piloting while I kept a close eye on Mr. Gee and all the systems as we continue to put on more nautical smiles and hours. Here she has up up to about 8 knots with Mr. Gee turning about 1300 RPM and burning just a bit less than 19 L/hr or 5 USG/hr which works out to be about 2.4 L/nm or 0.63 USG/nm which we are quite happy with as we slowly break in Mr. Gee and perhaps more so ourselves on this eXtremely new and unique boat for us to sailors. This was the view off our stern as the Captain moved us up to about 8.8 knots @ 1440 RPM consuming about 20.4 L/hr 5.4 USG/hr so about 2.3 L/nm 0.61 USG/nm. Mr. Gee is currently set for 100% or Continuous duty cycle at 150 HP @ 1650 RPM so he still has some room left to go and we will keep moving up to this as we put on more miles and collect all this kind of data to see where the sweet spot is.
For now though, we think this wake at almost 9 knots is pretty sweet! Sweeter still was this view passing the castle above the village of Kekova. as we headed for this lovely little anchorage. Only one other boat was there and we anchored a good ways back from him for some mutual privacy. Always time for one more project right? Just before we put the anchor down John and I installed the new Mantus SS swivel between the anchor chain and our 110Kg/242lb Rocna anchor. We had tried it without the swivel but I had overdesigned the AL anchor rollers a bit and machined a groove in them that kept the chain very snug but would not allow it to rotate at all which made bringing the anchor aboard a bit difficult at times. I’ve been very impressed with how well Mantus makes these swivels and have complete confidence in it and will SWAN, Sleep Well at Night with this no problem.
One more boat job checked off the list! And how much better a spot to sleep can you find than this?! Never content with just one Captain’s hat, Christine decided this was also the perfect opportunity for her to get some more air miles on our drone. Which allowed her to get shots like this. Almost surrealist as it almost looks like it is too good to be real and must be a rendering.
Click to enlarge this or any other photo to see at full resolution. But this was as real as it gets with John, Christine and me enjoying this sunny day in complete silence other than the bells on the goats scrambling on the rocks ashore. And lucky you, Christine has just quickly put together this video montage of some of her drone video and some from John’s camera as he enjoyed exploring more of Möbius.
Hope you enjoyed this more scenic blog post this week and that you will join us again next week when we will report on what we found when we hauled Möbius out after her first 14 months in the water after the initial launch. And please do add any comments or questions in the ‘”Join the Discussion” box below.