As we all continue to work our way through the commissioning of systems and getting XPM78-01 Möbius fully ship shape and sea worthy, it was another week of good progress but nothing too visually exciting for you I’m afraid. However, progress is being made and there were some significant accomplishments this week so come on along for this week’s Show & Tell.
Beautiful Blue Eyes
You may recall seeing these beautifully handcrafted glass “Blue Turkish “Evil Eyes” that Christine found in Antalya when I posted about them in THIS previous blog post last month. In Turkish, these are called nazar boncuğu and they are seen on almost every boat here in Turkey and many other countries. The”Evil Eye” moniker is a bit misleading as these are a GOOD thing with folklore having that they protect you from evil and bring good luck.
Hope I didn’t offend the Evil Eye for making it wear this patch while the adhesive dried overnight! I like twisting a straight line spectrum so that the two opposite ends meet so this seemed like the perfect spot to have these beautiful glass eyes cozy up to their opposite lean and mean XPM78-01 military font on the bow.
What do you think?
Stop the Bleeding!!
The major milestone/accomplishment this week for sure was getting the hydraulic steering cylinders re-machined, installed and finally working with NO leaks!
We are using Kobelt 7080 balanced cylinders that have a 3” ID with a 12” stroke cylinders and as you can see they are Beautiful Brutes. Dennis and I spent a good long time with the great engineers at Kobelt in Vancouver BC and this is the cylinder geometry that we came up with. There are two of these SS bleeder screws, one at each end which you use to bleed the air out of the system as you first fill it up or after working on the system. The threaded bleeder screw has a 4mm OD SS ball bearing underneath which when tightened easily seals of the 1000 PSI pressures that we can see in rough weather steering. However the body of these end caps is brass which is relatively soft compared to SS and so you have to tighten these the Goldilocks Just Right amount or else the SS ball deforms the brass seat which is what had happened to several of these bleeder screws when they were originally installed and hence they leaked.
Getting new end caps sent over from Vancouver would have taken too much time and money so I thought I’d try to re-machine the angled brass face at the bottom and see if I could renew the cylinder end caps this way. At the left and right ends of the bottom section drawing you can see how these bleeder screws (#11) work.
(click to enlarge any picture) Lance and Keivan who I worked with at Kobelt continued to be absolute super hero’s for me throughout the many years I’ve been working with them and were able to send me this dimensioned drawing of the bleeder screw and several other drawings for me to figure out how to re-machine the brass faces.
They also dug up that the included angle of the brass face is machined to be 1180 so I had all the info I needed to fabricate a little re-facing tool. Hard to show you but here is the little tool I came up with. It is the end of a broken 4.5mm titanium drill pit which I ground the end to a 1180 angled cone shape, a bit like a sharpening a wood pencil and then used a very thin cutting wheel chucked in my ever handy Dremel tool to cut these four groves which created the sharp “teeth” to cut the brass seats inside the end caps. The trick was to create a tool that was part cutter and part burnisher because the face of the seats need to be very flat and even all around for the SS ball to seal. I was pushing to get this all done as soon as possible so I didn’t get any photos of the process but I clamped the brass end caps in the blue vice you see in the background and then chucked my little tool bit in my drill press and carefully removed just enough brass to renew the seats yet not take off too much brass and weaken the seal.
I’ve dragged that drill press around the world with me for over 40 years and this is a good example why. And Yes! it is about to get mounted in my Workshop on Möbius for another world tour.
From there it was a relatively straight forward task of putting the cylinders back together again and remounting them to the AL tiller arm on the Rudder Post at one end and to the brass ball socket joint on the other outbound end.
Connect the hydraulic hoses, fire up the Accu-Steer HPU400 24V Hydraulic Power Units (pumps) and then bleed the whole system.steering pumps. Once I had all the air out I was eXtremely careful to tighten those bleeder screws to that Goldilocks torque and then test by running the pumps briefly up to their max 1000 PSI. …….. and ………
….. check out underneath those bleeder screws …..
……… dry! No leaks now!
* I think I heard Möbius release a soft sigh (and a few other people at Naval as well) to finally have her steering back in full working order again. And me too!
Stand Back! Free for All in the Free Zone!
While all this work was going on aboard Möbius, there was MUCH more action happening all around us every day because for the past few months there has been 400 million Euro construction project of the launching facilities at the Free Zone. Check THIS very well done time lapse VIDEO ANIMATION which does a great job of showing how the whole new harbour facility works. A very innovative idea with that cable raised platform!
The dramatically enlarged launching bays called for an equally enlarged TraveLift and so over the past 3 weeks, this tiny little 560 tonne TraveLift was being assembled right beside us and this week he sprang to life and has been an eXtremely busy boy!
With no launching facilities in the Free Zone harbour for the past 3-4 months there has been a huge backlog building up of new boats waiting to be launched and older ones waiting to be hauled out for their refits. This week those flood gates opened up and they have been launching and hauling out boats every day. Such as this classic trawler style Bering 80. This 36 meter “Phantom Phi” boat by Alia shipyard. This is a support vessel for a super yacht and these are often referred to as “Ghost” or “Phantom” boats as they are not to be seen by the superyacht they are supporting. This shot will add some perspective for you to see the relative size of the raised platform bay that they will be installing next. Check out the link to the animation above to see how this works and I think you too will be impressed. Out behind us is one of four 25m Turkish Coast Guard boats launched this week by Damen Yachts.
I have lost count now but I’d say well over 20 boats like these have launched this past week so there is never a dull moment here in the Antalya Free Zone.
And that’s the week that was April 12-17 here at Naval Yachts and aboard the Good Ship Möbius. Hope you enjoyed this brief update and I will try to have more for you in the next weekly update.
Please be sure to leave all questions and comments in the “Join the Discussion” box below and I hope you will be back for more next week.
Unbelievably, yet another month zips into the past and we’re now sailing into the second quarter of 2021. Yikes! And it was another eXtremely busy week aboard the Good Ship Möbius but alas, not so much that is very visible and so not a lot of content for this week’s Show & Tell Progress Update. However we also had some eXtremely eXciting milestones and firsts to share with you so let’s jump right into that.
The Beast Gets Some Bling!
Regular readers know that I quite like having the contrasting combination of Beauty and Beastly and Mr. Gee, our Gardner 6LXB engine is perhaps my favorite example of this combination. His “Beastly” characteristics include the fact that he weighs a svelte 1400 Kg/3086 Lb that he puts out some monster torque of 736Nm / 542 ft-lb @ 1000 RPM. His Beauty characteristics include his simplicity with a minimum of moving parts, no turbo, completely mechanical fuel injection, no glow plugs, zero electrical requirements to run and he is happy to be started with his hand crank. Being such a class act, at least in my eyes, I figured that he deserved a wee bit of eXtra class to add the finishing visual touch by carefully polishing a few of his many aluminium parts to a gleaming mirrorlike shine and I think he is quite happy.
What do you think? To get this all done quickly, I turned to our “Turkish Fixer” Alaaddin and he was his typical resourceful self in finding all the polishing wheels, polishing compound and a local polishing machine and as you can see his was quite rightly happy with the results. Thanks Alaaddin!
Möbius Mini Maiden Voyage
The eXtremely eXciting milestone event we had this past week was that Möbius took her very first “voyage” under her own power and steering! The caveats are that we only moved the boat a few hundred meters from the dock wall we had been Med moored to at Setur Marina around the corner and back into the Free Zone harbour where we tied up to the same end wall we had been at two weeks ago. No big deal you might be saying but you’d be missing the point! This was still her and our first trip under her own power so we are taking the Win!
You can check it all out in this short little video I’ve put together from one video I shot onboard and then two from ashore thanks to Dincer and Baris taking these on their smartphones. My apologies for not having the time to do a better job of creating this video with sound and more info so this is a silent movie but I hope you will still enjoy it and get a sense of how exciting this milestone was for Christine and me.
Seemingly fitting, this happened on Thursday which was April Fool’s Day and then on Friday we had to move to a different wall in the Free Zone harbour because a large cargo ship was coming in and needed the whole end wall, so we got to take a second even “minier” voyage from the end wall around the corner to the side wall which was an eXtremely long ways away of almost 150 meters! But still …………..
There is still some jobs that need to be completed before we can head out to sea and do a “full size” Maiden Voyage and sea trials but we hope that Naval will be able to get those done in the next few days so do stay tuned for more videos of our first “real” Sea Trial.
Thanks for joining me on this equally “mini” weekly Progress Update and please be sure to add your questions and comments in the “Join the Discussion” box below.
Alas, the milestone of moving under our own power has eluded us for another week but next week is looking very promising for Möbius’ first of many sea trials. We continue to experience a series of “installation issues” that have prevented our Kobelt hydraulic steering system and Kobelt Throttle/Pitch controls to work as they should and so without steering and propulsion we haven’t been going too far other than being towed. But the fuel economy has been fabulous!
As with last week, with less progress than usual and not much of it being very visual, I don’t have as much content as usual for this week’s Show & Tell Progress Update, but grab a comfy seat and something tasty to drink and let’s get started with what I can show you about the past week of March 22-28, 2021.
Nazar Boncuğu Keeps Us Safe!
Many of you may already be familiar with Nazar Boncuğu aka “Turkish Evil Eye” as they are the most popular tourist souvenir of all and these captivating cast glass blue eyes have found themselves being transported to homes and boats all over the world, including ours. As is the tradition, we have one right outside the front door of our apartment for the past 3+ years. When Christine and I first came to Turkey back in 2014 so Christine could do her meticulous research for her next book at the time which became Knight’s Cross, we saw these Turkish Eyes warding off evil spirts on the bows almost every fishing boat in the many harbours we visited so of course we had to have them on Möbius’ bow too!
While they can be found in shops almost everywhere, we wanted the Goldilocks Just Right version of Nazar Boncuğu and last week Christine spotted these two beauties in a specialty glass shop in Antalya and knew that these were it!
As you can see in this photo, right now our pair are basking in the sun atop one of our Ro$ewood Galley Garages where they do look resplendent with the light coming off the water, but they are destined to be securely adhered to the bow next week so do stay tuned for those shots.
Do I See Light at the End of this eXtremely Looooong and Winding Tunnel?
In many ways, this whole adventure began back in March 2015 when Christine and I were making the 3000nm passage from Majuro in the Marshall Islands, down to Suva in Fiji. We had spent almost a year in Majuro which we are very much looking forward to returning to on our previous 52ft steel sailboat Learnativity and we had an awemazing 3 week passage down to ….. . ………. Suva with stops along the way at the island nations of Kiribati and Tuvalu along the way. I had given Christine a copy of Robert Beebe’s “passagemaking bible” Voyaging Under Power and she was reading it on the passage down to Fiji and we would discuss it a lot as we sailed south. Over the course of that 2+ week passage, we both became more and more aware of just how different passagemaking under power would be compared to sailing which we both knew and loved so much.
By the time we got to Suva we had made the transition from thinking of switching from sail to power as a fun joke to being a real vision of our future. As do most adventures I think, certainly most of mine, they begin when you start following your curiosity and now, six years later, we can see that this was when the adventure of designing and building Project Goldilocks, as we called it at the time,
In those six years we have gone from a very big vision to an eXtremely big reality and the path along the way has been like most of our adventures, one that includes several storms and other challenges along the way but always worth it for the joys at the end as one adventure transitions into the next. We are not quite at the end of this latest adventure as the build continues, but we are now living more and more onboard and we grown increasingly eXcited about bringing this adventure to a close and beginning the next one back out on the ocean, eXperiencing the new storms and joys of what promises to be a very different type of voyaging under power for the first time.
Installation Issues Getting Resolved
The most recent set of “storms” for us has been a series of what I will simply refer to as “installation issues” which we have needed to resolve before we can begin to voyage under power for the first time on our first of what will be many, sea trials to shake as many gremlins out of the brand new Möbius and have as much of what is often referred to as “infant mortality” as possible before we finally leave Antalya in our wake. This less than appealing term “infant mortality” is actually quite accurate in the context of a newly built custom boat as it refers to the several cases we are sure to have where brand new equipment and a brand new boat, will have items that are DoA or have not been installed correctly and fail to work as they should. So far we have had very few new bits of kit that have been DoA on arrival but we have had a number of installation problems that have been keeping us from being able to go on our first voyage under power; our first sea trial!
This past week I have been working closely with our new electrician Ismail and along with some continuing eXemplary technical support from Lance, Keivan and Hicham at Kobelt Canada. I have been working with Lance to design our steering and control systems for about four years now all together, and I can’t say enough about all of them at Kobelt who have been up in the very early morning for them in Vancouver, late evening for me here in Antalya, in order that we can do some live video calls for a techie version of Show & Tell as we went through hydraulic setups, wiring and they could watch what the moving components were doing, hear the sounds when they mattered and really be as close to being here in person with me as is possible. As it turns out, all of the equipment from Kobelt arrived working as designed but the extensive list of items involved from hydraulic pumps, cylinders and valves to electronic controls and autopilot systems have been installed over the past 18 months and we are only now connecting all the parts together and there have been some issues along the way.
Three weeks ago the problem was that we weren’t getting pressure to the hydraulic steering cylinders, then two weeks ago we were having a long lag in time between when the Throttle or Pitch control levers were moved at one of the Helm Stations and when the lever on the Actuator box in the Engine Room moved and hence when the Throttle/Pitch cables and levers moved. This past week we have been having difficulty getting the CPP Pitch Angle Gauges at each helm to communicate the correct Pitch Angle as the Pitch Control Levers were moved Ahead/Astern. It goes as does most problem solving, you trace your way back to where you began, compare the schematics and guidelines from the manufacturers to the actual “as built” installation and you find the differences between those and fix them. Sounds simple, and it is, but it sure can take time and effort to follow these long and winding paths.
Perhaps it has been thanks to those two Turkish Evil Eyes being onboard that we have been on a solution per week schedule and the first two problems had been resolved in the previous two weeks, and I am delighted to report that as of last night (Saturday 27th March here) Ismail and I have the Pitch Angle gauges working and mounted back where they belong at each Helm Station! We have tested all this with here at the dock Mr. Gee thrumming away and our Nogva CPP churning the clear waters underneath making Möbius tug at her dock lines. Once all the other critical jobs have been finished such as finishing the deck hatches so they all close and seal properly, finishing and testing the fire hose and a still rather long punch list of other jobs, we will be *almost* good to go!
Almost, because there remains one last major and eXtremely critical system that needs to be finished before Möbius is seaworthy enough for her first sea trials; Navigation System. This involves getting the key elements of our whole Furuno Navigation system working and configured as this includes things like our Radar, AutoPilots, VHF radio, AIS (Automatic Information System) and all the related screens, computers and black boxes which controls all that navigation equipment. Good on that front is that Captain Christine has been leading her very own team of technicians which Naval has sub-contracted with to assist with getting the eXtremely multi-faceted navigation system of hardware and software all wired, inter-connected and configured.
For those interested in the details of our navigation system and to give the rest of you an idea of what all is involved, here is a quick overview of some of the individual bits of kit Christine and I have pulled together to build our Steering & Navigation system**
Viewed on any screen and remotely via Maretron N2K View
on boat networking… NMEA 2000 N2K dual backbone 2000 network throughout
Multiplexers for NMEA 0183 + RS432
Gateways via USB & IPG
Victron, and Maretron networks for monitoring
IP Cameras. Forward facing IP camera mounted on Skybridge roof
Aft Facing camera above swim step
Reolink Bullet IP camera engine room
Reolink Dome IP camera engine room
Video encoder. Axis Camera Encoder
WiFi Antenna. Microtik Groove 52 AC Wi-fi antenna
WiFi booster … WeBoost Drive Reach
Cellular antenna…….. Wilson Wide Band Omni-Directional Marine Antenna for cellular
ROUTER……. PepWave Max Transit Duo router
Network Access Storage. Synology NAS Disk Station w/ 2X 8 GB Seagate Barracuda drives
Well, you get the idea, there is a LOT of moving parts to this puzzle.
And as you can see here, some of those moving parts are often crowded around Captain Christine at the Main Helm in this case! Yunus on the far Right is the the manager of this connection and configuration team and Erdal with the toque in the middle is the lead technician and they have been a true treat to work with. Some of the “moving parts” are blinking lights such as this set on the back of just three of our network switches in one of three “Internet Alcoves” as Christine calls them. Strange though, we have “cut the cord” more than most people ashore and Isn’t it great that we are living in a wireless world! Zooming out a bit of that alcove to show you that it really is quite small but it does have even more hardware! Another very “wireless” alcove, this one behind the 50” monitor and home of Boat Computer #1 and the Synology NAS on the Left side of the Main Helm. Out on the Aft Deck looking up at the Main Arch and the Tender Davit on the Left, to show you yet another very “wireless” area along the Arch where all of our external navigation and communication equipment resides.
One eXciting milestone this week has been seeing that 6ft Open Array antenna spinning around for the first time on our Furuno FAR 1523 Radar! My favorite Geekette, aka Capn’ Christine aka my Beautiful Bride, is a wee bit shy but I was able to at least get her hand in this shot as she tilts the two 19” LiteMax screens at the Main Helm to show how she now has TimeZero running charts on the Left and an awemazing amount of detail of the seabed below us thanks to our Furuno BBDS “Black Box Bottom Discriminating Sounder” where we can watch individual fish swimming below Möbius’ hull and details of the composition of the sea bead down to about 75 feet below the “top of the bottom”. I will leave you with this shot of the view at your eye height when sitting in the Captain’s Chair here at the Main Helm. Now, if we can just get past that sea wall …………………..
Thanks for joining us again for another week in the adventure of Project Goldilocks. Please be sure to leave any and all comments and questions in the “Join the Discussion” box below and I hope you will join us again next week for what I hope will be the report of our first sea trials! Wish us luck! We will need it!
Möbius completed her second week afloat and I’m delighted to report that we ARE still floating and not a drop of seawater inside thank you very much! Christine and I spend all day aboard working our way through the still growing punch list of jobs for us and Team Möbius from Naval Yachts to work on and we sleep aboard each night for safety’s sake as she is still so new and the probability of some surprise that could endanger the boat will be high for the first month or so until we get all the systems up and running and fully tested.
So our routine is to get up at our usual 06:30 or so, walk the dogs and drive back to our apartment to make breakfast, shower, etc. and then head back to the boat. We do the same at the end of the work day here, whenever that ends up being and drive back to the apartment for dinner and then back to the boat for the night. It is working out well as a good way for us to start to familiarize ourselves with the boat’s systems and be here to help out the rest of Team Möbius with all their tasks to complete the work remaining to fully finish this beautiful boat. We have a few more things that need to be done before Möbius is fully seaworthy and safe to take out on her first sea trial run and if things go well we hope to do that this coming week so do be sure to join us here again next week to find out if that happened and how the first test run went.
As with the previous blog posts over the past month or so, I will do my best to cover the large range of “little” jobs that have been done so this will be more of the “fly through” style Show & Tell, where I will let the photos do most of the talking and just add a few comments for context and understanding.
AND …………. there is a special Bonus Video hot off the press from Captain Christine which will fully explain the references in this week’s title so be sure to hang in to the end for that!
If you haven’t done so already, grab a tasty beverage and a comfy seat and let’s dive right into this week’s Update.
Sing it with me ….. Möbius is her Name-O…
Some of you might recall seeing Mobius’ name and her Port of Registration in the Bailiwick of Jersey in black letters several months ago, but those were just temporary stick-on vinyl letters that were required to complete the registration paperwork in Jersey. This week the CNC cut aluminium letters finally showed up and Orhan and Ali quickly had them adhered to the Aft Transom wall for Captain Christine’s approval.
These letters are made out of 10mm thick aluminium and we will paint their outer surface Black for better visibility a bit later. But it was another one of those little things that makes her feel more and more like a “real boat” as we slowly get used to the idea that “Did we actually DO this?!!!”
* For the sharp eyed curious types, the little item above the E in Jersey is the bracket for for the door latch on the WT door behind Christine.
And the vertical gravestone looking item with the donut hole in it is a fair lead for bringing lines aboard from shore or other ships and up to the big Lewmar power winch on the Aft deck.
Orhan (Left) and Ali arranged the letters on the Aft Deck so we could decide on final spacing before the mounted them. Each letter of the boat’s name must be a minimum of 150mm/ 6” high to meet the Registration requirements of Jersey and most other countries and these are 180mm high. Wood strip to line up the bottoms of each letter and some painter’s tape to keep them in place overnight while the Grey Sikaflex cured. Jersey lettering is required to be at least 100mm / 4” high and ours are 120 / 4.75” so they all easily meet the size requirements and still seem to be in good proportions with the size of the Transom and Swim Platform. Ooops! Can’t forget the umlaut as that is the proper spelling of the Möbius strip which is a big part of the whole story behind why we chose this name.
For anyone not familiar with them a Möbius strip is a surface with only one side was discovered by the German mathematician Augus Ferdinand Möbius and hence the spelling. If you have not previously played with Strip or it has been awhile, then do yourself a favor and try making one for yourself (quick How-To HERE) and playing with this seemingly impossible surface as you cut it in half and other fun experiments.
** The sharp eyed amongst you might have also noticed when my left hand appears in some of the photos here, that the the wedding rings I designed and had cast from 3D printed wax models I made are also a Möbius Strip. But that’s a whole post in itself so I’ll leave that for later.
And here is the end result.
Sorry I didn’t get a better shot after removing the painter’s tape from the two umlauts but I’ll try for one next week with a shot of the whole Aft end of Möbius.
*** For the curious, the winch handle on the Left is used to open the two dogs that keep the AL door into our HazMat locker very tight and fully watertight.
Hinged Front Solar Panel Rack
Uğur finished installing these two hinged support posts that keep the front three 345W solar panels propped up when we are at anchor and want these panels to be horizontal or parallel to the waterline for best solar performance.
The other key reason for propping up these 3 Solar Panels on this hinged rack is to create the giant wind tunnel which captures even the slightest breezes coming over out bow when at anchor and funnels it through the large Black vertical mist eliminator grill you can see at the far end. After having most of the salty humidity removed by the Mist Eliminator grills this fresh air then fills a large plenum box above the ceiling in the center of the SuperSalon and is controlled via 5 diffusers in the ceiling panel which provides eXtremely good fresh air flow throughout the SuperSalon. In the raised position, the hinged posts fit into one of these Delrin sockets and are secured by the SS bolt. The tops of the posts are captured in this bracket with another SS Allen head bolt providing the hinge pin. When we want to get ready to head back out to see, or in high winds, we just lift the panel up a few inches and the ball ends of the posts can slide aft as they fold down with the hinged rack. Another one of the “Big little jobs” that got going this week was making the last 3 wooden liners that wrap around the inside AL surfaces of the 10 glass covered hatches on Möbius. Seven of these wood liners have been done for many months now as they are all made out of Ro$ewood and were done when the rest of the Rosewood interior was being made. These last three on the Aft Deck which bring lots of light and fresh air into my Workshop will be appropriately made from laminated marine wood and then painted White. Here you can see how these wood frames are a snug fit inside the 10mm thick AL frames of the hatches. Once each liner had been fully test fitted they were taken back to the Naval shipyard to finish them which included the two small cut-outs you can see in this photo for where the latches for the hatch handles will go. The top edge of these wooden liners need help create the groove and support surface for the edge seals that ring each hatch and make them completely watertight no matter what Mother Nature and Mother Ocean throw at us, so they were cut and fitted as part of the hatch installation. Trim-Lok is a very cool company that discovered after LOTS of research for the Goldilocks hatch seals. Trim-Lok was great to work with via their excellent web site which allows you to design your own edge seals using their “Hatch Seal Product Builder” site so last year I had designed these edge seals as part of my overall design of the hatches themselves. You can see how these edge seals have two connected parts to them, the U shaped rubber channel pointing to the Right here is lined with aluminium U-shaped “staples” which allow the edge to stay flexible as it wraps around the tight corner radius at each corner of the Hatch Frame and still grips the 10mm AL edge. The upper part on the Left here is the “bulb”, a hollow tube of EPDM rubber that provides the “squish” and the actual seal against the underside of the hatch lid and keeps all the water outside where it belongs. This is one of the Rosewood liners that goes into the Guest Shower, if you will please pardon the mess of construction debris, you can see how the top edge of the wood liners form both the inner groove where the edge seal fits over the AL frame and how the flat top surfaces of both the AL frame and the wood liner provide a very solid surface for the bottom of the EPDM bulb to be sandwiched and squished tight when the top of the bulb is pushed down by the closed hatch lid. Here is a closer shot during one of the test fittings so you can see how these seals work.
This attention to such details and my decision to design my own hatches is all part of my overall obsession about keeping all the water on the OUTSIDE of the boat! Our past experiences and that of most other sailors, has taught us that hatches are one of the prime culprits and most annoying of leaks on a boat so we set out to build some Goldilocks Just Right hatches that establish a strong fully watertight seal when closed and will stay that way for at least the next 10 years. *** Check back in with me here in 2031 for an update on how well these worked. For now though we are delighted with how well our hatches have turned out and in the coming week or so I will be able to show you the final step; mounting the custom designed hatch handles and latches.
STEERING our Course to Freedom
We left off last week with the beginning of the installation of the emergency manual steering wheel in the Main Helm and we finished that this week. We regard this as an “emergency” or backup steering system as we have several layers of fault tolerance designed into our primary Kobelt steering system with dual redundant double acting hydraulic steering cylinders and dual redundant Accu-Steer HPU 400 24 volt hydraulic steering pumps.
A the very bottom here, you can see how the SS adaptor we machined bolts to the Vetus steering wheel and then slides over the SS shaft coming out of the Bronze Kobelt 7012 manual hydraulic steering pump above.
The majority of the time this wheel will be taken off and stored somewhere nearby the Helm by simply loosening those two SS machine screws that clamp the wheel adaptor to the pump shaft. The elbow coming out of the top of the pump goes over to a 1 liter AL header tank we fabricated here and is mounted inside the triangular upper storage area on the Stbd/Right side of the Main Helm and keeps a steady “head” of hydraulic oil to feed this pump. When you turn the steering wheel the pump forces hydraulic oil out one of the two valves on the rear of the pump where you see the two red handled ball valves here, and those hoses go all the way back to the cylinders attached through the Tiler Arm to the Rudder Shaft and the boat turns. Way back in the Workshop we have been setting up and commissioning the two Accu-Steer HPU400 pumps, also owned by Kobelt, and this is a shot looking straight down at the Blue anodized AL manifold housing of the Stbd side HPU400. These are 2Speed pumps so the two silver cylinders in the middle here are where you adjust the High/Low Speeds but this is rarely needs any adjustment.
We have custom designed this whole steering system with Lance Lidstone and Keivan Ashouei and they have continued to provide us with outstanding support and assistance throughout the installation and now the setting up and commissioning of our whole steering system.
FYI, at maximum conditions these pumps are set to put out 1000 PSI of hydraulic pressure that gives us much more than we need under even the most severe scenarios. Just the way we like it and have designed all the systems onboard Möbius.
Keivan has been especially helpful via WhatsApp video calls at very early Am times for him and late PM for me. when we had a few problems with the initial settings on some of the control valves which one of the installers on this end had changed from the factory pre-set positions without me knowing but it was an easy fix once we identified it.
We also had a bit of a setback when one of our more “burly” installers got a bit too aggressive when tightening down the SS bleeder screws, one of which you can see at the top of this cylinder. These bleeder screws push a small SS check ball down against a seat machined as a chamfer in the brass end caps and if you don’t follow the Kobelt Installation Instructions (harrumph, harrumph!) and overtighten the bleeders more than the maximum 5 ft.lbs torque, they score a groove into the SS check ball as you can on this one.
Difficult to photograph but if you look closely and click to enlarge this photo (works on all photos in all blog Post s BTW) you will be able to see the groove cut into this SS check ball by the SS bleeder screw.
But as luck would have it and with the help of our “Turkish Fixer” Alaaddin, we were able to find a ball bearing that had the exact same 3.8mm diameter steel balls in it and by cutting this bearing open was able to end up with 7 brand new SS check balls!
To make matters much worse though, this excess force and force the SS ball into the soft brass seat damaging it as well. Easy to tell when this happens as the bleeder screw now leaks! Even more difficult to photograph this but if you enlarge and look closely at the bottom of this threaded port for the bleeder screw, you will see how you can badly deformed the brass seat is here. The solution I came up with was to remove the brass end caps as you see me doing here and then try to make a little tool that would cut a new seat in the brass and put it back to the original 118 degree angled chamfer. I was too busy making this custom tool bit and machining the new seat to take any photos but the good news is that it all seemed to work well and I was able to machine new seats on all four end caps.
Tune in next week to find out if this all really does work when we reassemble all the cylinders and put all 1000 PSI into them and see if we have any leaks.
Wish us luck! One of the other BIG little jobs that Ramazan checked off this past week was the installation of our 10 different fire extinguishers that are spread throughout the whole boat. We have doubled up on these as well with the one of the Right here being the traditional style most of you would be familiar with. Then we have doubled up with these rather new and totally awemazing fire extinguishers from Maus in Sweden. If you have not heard of these before please do check out the link above to the UK Maus site which has some very compelling video sequences showing how and how well these puppies work!
OK, I’ve saved THE BEST for last this week and hope you too will find it worth the wait. This is of course the reference to this week’s title and have you already guessed what this is all about?
NO! It is not in reference to the fact that Captain Christine says I bear a certain resemblance to Gene Wilder in this infamous scene from the fun movie Young Frankenstein.
Will this clue help you guess?
Hint; you are looking at the two high amp 24V cables going into Mr. Gee’s starter. How about this clue?
Yes, that is Mr. Gee’s engine coolant water temperature gauge.
Hint: check out the temperature even if it is a bit blurry. Obvious right??!!!!!
Ahhhh, heck, why don’t you just watch the fun even by playing the short little video clip below that Christine just finished putting together as that will be MUCH better than my belaboured and boring explanation.
Click PLAY below and enjoy!
That’s right! He’s ALIVE!!!!!!!
After a gestation period of almost 5 years and a LOT of work along the way to fully restore this 1971 Gardner 6LXB marine engine to his original if not better than factory new condition, Mr. Gee has been “reborn” and his newest “Birth Day” is now March 6th, 2021.
It all went down just as you see in the video above. After topping Mr. Gee up with fresh water, oil, diesel fuel, saltwater cooling heat exchangers and priming his fuel injection system, he lit up on first crank, first time! I’m not even going to start telling you more as I won’t be able to stop myself from going on and on and on, even more than I usually do if that is within the realm of believability. Instead I’ll just let you enjoy the video as I go join my Beautiful Bride and Captain Christine as we enjoy this MAJOR Milestone for us and we toast Mr. Gee’s Birth Day and wish that he will start up first time every time during his next lifetime and ours.
A VERY busy week here onboard the Good Ship Möbius as everyone on Team Möbius moves into the final stage of the build completing all the installations of equipment and beginning the commissioning of all these systems by their factory representatives and others. Due to a major reconstruction project of the harbour inside the Free Zone * which removed all the previous launching facilities, Naval needed to launch us quite a bit sooner than expected by transporting Möbius overland to the nearby Setur Marina. So in addition to the usual post launch commissioning of systems, we all continue to work our way through the Punch List of jobs needing to be completed in order to get Möbius into seaworthy condition to begin taking her out for sea trials. To say that we are all eXtremely busy would be the understatement of the year! But. for Christine and me, we are even more eXtremely eXcited to be back where we belong, home onboard a boat that floats.
* You can learn all about this huge and fascinating project by watching THIS VIDEO ANIMATION which does a great job of showing how the whole new harbour facility will work.
I hope you will accept my apologies in advance for another hurried weekly Möbius Update as I blast through as much of all the different jobs that we have all worked on this past week. So grab your favorite beverage and chair and join me for this week’s Show & Tell.
Let me start with a quick snapshot leading up to this adventure that began over 5 years ago.
After two years of intense collaborative design work with our AbFab Naval Architect Dennis at Artnautica Yacht Design, the building of XPM78-01 Möbius began at Naval Yachts on April 6, 2018. 1053 days of build time later, as most of you have likely seen in last week’s posting HERE, she finally left that temporary womb last Friday for a watery delivery into her permanent home with Mother Ocean last Saturday. As I write this blog post from the SkyBridge of our beloved Möbius, we have just finished our first week afloat tied up to the concrete dock wall inside the Antalya Free Zone Harbour.
And I am VERY happy, though not surprised, to report that ALL the sea water has remained where it belongs OUTSIDE of Möbius and our bilges only hold the remnants of construction dust and debris.
Looking all the world to me like two tugs that escaped from a children’s animation story, these two almost new tugs are our most immediate neighbors. Tied up less than a meter in front of Möbius’ Bow.
These two tugs have crew aboard 24/7 as they are responsible for bringing every cargo ship into and out of the commercial side of the Harbour such as this recent little visitor, the 180m 36k Ton Argo B, who left about 04:30 this morning after loading up with several thousand “Big Bags” of industrial dry goods. These two tugs are also the Fire Boats for the Harbour. And last night, they surprised and delighted us by bringing over a home made pizza just out of their oven! Can’t think of a better example of why we LOVE living with these awemazing people of Turkey. Tied up almost as closely to our Stern is this first of four Police boats which are being built by Ares Yachts here in the Free Zone for the government of Oman. These are a bit longer than us at about 26m but share many of the same basic attributes as our XPM-78 with all aluminum construction and built like the proverbial tank. We even have the same jet propulsion system though in our case just with our Tender and a single not these massive twin jet drives driven by two equally massive MAN diesel engines. One item that we do not share, YET! with these boats is that mount for a 50 cal machine gun. But rest assured that once I get my 3D printer setup one of my first projects will be to create a realistic enough looking plastic replica to produce a silhouette that will add to our “don’t mess with me!” look to any onlookers thinking of approaching us with mal intent! I took this shot of our neighborhood early this morning after the Argo B had left and the tugs were back in front of us. The weather has been truly spectacular for the past two weeks with daytime highs reaching 24C/77F and gloriously sunny clear blue skies with very little wind. Not a bad place to spend our first week afloat.
For safety of such a new and incomplete boat, Christine and I are sleeping aboard each night and then going back to our apartment for breakfast and dinner and then we will move aboard full time once all the sea trials are done.
One of the projects I did not have enough time to show you last week was the completion of our rather unique “Sidewinder” anchor roller assembly that Dennis and I came up with so let me show that to you now. I decided to make the two anchor rollers out of solid aluminium and didn’t take me long to design a 3D model of this in Autodesk Fusion 360 and create the 2D dimensioned drawings to machine them from. Aluminium is a dream to work with and the in house machine shop has a very good sized lathe that was easily able to machine the two anchor rollers out of a single blank of 200mm/8” OD aluminium round stock. I wanted to keep the anchor and the chain electrically isolated from the hull to reduce any corrosion problems and was able to do so with two details. One is this Black Delrin bushing which we press fit into each roller with a nice rolling fit for the 40mm/1.6” SS pin that each roller spins on. The second isolating detail was to machine these Teflon discs that get separate the sides of the rollers from the inside cheeks of the anchor roller assembly welded into the hull. Then a large SS end cap bolts on either end of the SS pin on the outside. Here is what that all looks like when assembled. For safety and quiet when pounding into big seas we very specifically designed the whole roller assembly to exactly match the shape of this 125kg/275lb Rocna anchor by obtaining a 3D model from Rocna to design with. The way our design works is that those flared out bottom edges you see in the photo above have been designed such that they exactly match up with the inside of the flukes of the Rocna when pulled aboard and thus the Rocna becomes one with the hull and will not budge no matter what Mother Nature throws at us. This creates not only a very tough and strong anchor mounting setup but also one that does not make any noise due to movement between the anchor and the roller assembly which is so common on many other boats we have run. So Nihat, Uğur and I spent quite a few hours with the anchor raised on a chain block that allowed us to get the position of the anchor just right and then layout the centers for each SS roller pin. Front pin and roller have been mounted here and we are laying out the location for the 2nd Aft roller. Uğur and I came up with this idea of building an extended 40mm carbide hole saw so that he could drill both cheeks in one go and keep the two holes for the SS roller pin on the same centerline. We lucked out finding the head of a 40mm carbide hole saw with its shank broken off and Uğur TIG welded a 200mm/8” long piece of 13mm/ 1/2” OD rod to it that we could chuck in my Milwaukee drill. Worked like a charm! With the rollers both installed we tested it all out with the 13mm / 1/2” chain and the Maxwell VWC4000 Windlass and did a bit of tweaking of the rollers final shape to capture the chain nicely so it stays aligned as the chain goes Out/In and doesn’t twist. Did not take us long to get to the Goldilocks Just Right point and “Rocky” was in his new home as solid as his name. Uğur and Nihat both gave it their thumbs up and so we knew it was good to go!
Another job and details I did not have time to post last week prior to the launch was the finishing of the silicone based International InterSleek 1100SR Foul Release bottom paint and the zinc anodes so let me go back and show you that.
Once the super slick, slippery and shiny silicone InterSleek was fully dry the last few underwater details could be attended to such as mounting the Red plastic prop on the Vetus 220kgf 300mm/12” Extended Run Time Bow Thruster. Which is capped off with its own Zinc to reduce any problems with corrosion due to the mix of dissimilar metals involved with its construction of Bronze, SS and AL. In keeping with our Darth Vader, lean & mean look, we decided to make the 100mm/4” Boot Stripe that makes the transition between the top of the Black InterSleek and the bare AL hull, be gloss Black as well and we are eXtremely happy with the result that emerged as the masking tape came off to reveal the final look. The final detail for the underwater portion of the hull was mounting the ten 125mm / 5” diameter Zinc anodes which keeps all the metal bits that are in contact with seawater all at the same potential voltage and eliminates the battery effect that would eat away at our precious Stainless Steel, AL and Bronze components. Being near the bottom of the Noble scale of metals, Zinc is what will erode instead and makes it easy to replace the zincs every few years when they get too worn away. We designed a very simple mounting system for the Zincs and Uğur had previously welded 80mm discs of 20mm / 3/4” thick AL to the hull with an M16 thread in the center for the SS M16 bolt that he is fastening this Zinc on the Rudder with. To ensure a good electrical connection for many years between the Zinc and the AL mounting disc, we coated those surfaces and the bolt with dielectric grease and then I followed along after Uğur and covered the SS bolt heads with some clear silicone to make it all the easier to remove and replace these zincs in a couple of years. I usually do this while the boat is in the water using my Hookah or Snuba system so these little details all help to make that job go quick and easy. With all these preparations of the below the waterline areas of the hull and everything removed from underneath, Möbius was ready for the arrival of “Big Bird” the yellow 72 wheel boat mover to arrive the next morning and carry her overland to the marina for launching.
TILLER ARM DETAILS:
Another few details that we needed to look after before Launch Day were for the all important steering system and the Tiller Arm in particular. Similar to the Bow Rollers, last year I had designed this typically over engineered Tiller Arm in Fusion 360 and had it CNC milled out of a single block of aluminum. Here is a shot from almost a year ago when we first mounted the finished Tiller Arm to the 127mm / 5” OD solid AL Rudder Post. And here is a more recent shot of what it looks like with the two double acting Kobelt hydraulic steering cylinders in place. Such a massive Tiller Arm being powered by equally as beefy twin hydraulic cylinders, produces a LOT of force and so there needs to be some eXtremely strong and solid Tiller Arm Stops built in to stop the Tiller Arm when it goes hard over to each side. Fusion 360 to the rescue yet again to help me quickly design these Stops which Uğur and Nihat quickly fabricated and were ready to mount. After carefully testing out the Just Right position for each stop, they were able to drill the four holes in the AL Rudder Shelf and bolt down one Stop in either side of the Tiller Arm body. The SS bolt and lock nut allow us to adjust the final Stop position of the Tiller Arm once we are in the water and have the steering all working. I like to practice and live well by what I call “Readiness for the UneXpected” and in the case of our steering system that meant having multiple layers of fault tolerance for the Steering System. This starts with twin independent Kobelt 7080 hydraulic steering cylinders sized so that either one can fully steer the boat in the most adverse sea conditions.
Then two independent Kobelt Accu-Steer HPU400 24V hydraulic Power Pack pumps, two independent Furuno 711C AutoPilots plus two independent Furuno Jog Levers. This gives us eight levels of fault tolerance to go through.
And if ALL of that should uneXpectedly fail, then we have this Kobelt manual hydraulic Steering Pump …………… ……….. that we can slide this Emergency Steering wheel onto and steer the boat the “old fashioned” way. And if ALL of that should somehow uneXpectedly fail we have THIS final layer of fault tolerance for our steering system; a completely independent and manual Emergency Tiller Arm. Can’t get too much more KISSS or Keep It Simple Smart & Safe than this; a 2m/6.5ft length of 80mm thick walled AL pipe that slides through the 20mm/ 3/4” thick plate we see Uğur bolting to the Tiller Arm body and then the pipe slides through a matching hole bored through the top of the Rudder Post. We attach a block and tackle setup on each side of the end of the Emergency Tiller which fasten to shackles mounted on stringers on the adjacent hull sides which allows us to move and lock the Rudder in any position we want.
Yes, I do know that it works and Yes, you can ask me how I know that!
Miscellaneous Work on Deck
Finishing up this blog post is between me and another very late dinner so I’m going to speed through a series of other jobs that got done this first week in the water. Turkish Turquoise Marble countertops got installed atop both Vent Boxes on the Aft Deck to create our Outdoor Galley. SS sink plumbed. And installed in the Starboard/Right side Vent Box. Plumbing connections all ready to connect to the sink; Red & Blue PEX lines with shut off valves for the Hot/Cold water to the sink faucet, Brass elbow for the sink’s drain and small Blue tube with the Black elbow to drain the water extracted by the Mist Eliminator grills in the Engine Room supply air duct. Orhan with his home made adaptor for his pneumatic caulking gun …….. ……. to get into some hard to reach spots around the Pilot House windows like these. Uğur prepping the nylon insert mounts for the Passarella on the Swim Platform and another on the Port side gate. Ever the ingenious one on Team ,Uğur came up with this brilliant DIY solution for mounting our Fire Hose in the HazMat Locker; an empty plastic spool of MIG welder wire!
Which will rotate on this pipe mounted on the side of the HazMat Locker. With the Black Fire Nozzle mounted alongside. Any wonder why I just love working with this guy who has been with us from the very first day of the build?!!! More Uğur Goodness, on Saturday no less, as we designed and built this simple setup for propping the front 3 Solar Panels mounted on this hinged frame up in the horizontal position when we are on anchor.
This horizontal position not only helps out with solar power production but you can see the demister grill across the far end of what now becomes a giant wind tunnel to capture all the fresh breezes blowing over our bow at anchor and funnel them down into the SuperSalon. Two SS pipes that are hinged to the bottom of the Solar Panel frame and will fit into these Black Delrin collars Uğur machined which were then glued down to the aluminium floor with a SS set screw to lock them in place.
When we are ready to convert to passage making mode and head out to sea, you simply lift the panels up a few inches and the two support rods slide aft as the panel is lowered down and locked into place.
Our Sparkie Hilmi always has a long list of electrical jobs that need his attention and this past week was certainly no exception. With almost 150 circuit breakers on XPM78-01 Möbius to safely look after all our 12 & 24 Volt DC circuits and our all our 120V & 240V AC circuits, it was quite the design challenge to figure out where and how to place all these.
We ended up with two primary circuit breaker panels; this one on the angled short wall on the Stbd/Right side of the Main Helm Station. And this larger one in the Corridor at the bottom of the stairs leading down from the SuperSalon to the Guest Cabin, Ships Office and Workshop/Engine Room. After months and months of preparation, Hilmi was finally able to bring it all together this past week by attaching these Black AL panel fronts with all the engraved labels onto the hinged access doors into each of these Circuit Breaker panels.
Next week the hinged glass doors are due to arrive which will finish off these critical component of the electrical system on Möbius.
The double paned 16mm thick glass window finally got installed in the Engine Room door this week which is a critical component to completely closing in the Engine Room in the case of a fire. And the gas lift cylinders have now all been installed on the Glass Deck Hatches which I designed and Naval built in house. Now just need to finish installing the rubber edge seals and the AL hatch handles and the deck is totally watertight!
I can’t possibly do justice to explain the amount of work that Christine has done this past week alone on getting all our navigation and electronics in both Helm Stations all setup and working.
Nor can I articulate how much I LOVE my Captain! What I can do though is to leave you with this shot from early this morning that does capture for me just how well we have succeeded in designing and building our new home with all of Team Möbius to meet the goal we set out over 5 years ago to blend in perfectly when in a commercial dock as apposed to a ‘yachty’ marina. And with that I am going to hit the “Publish” button on this latest Möbius Weekly Progress Update and look forward to bringing you more Show & Tell of this coming week’s progress that begins first thing tomorrow morning.
One year ago, Christine and I returned from a brief trip over to the UK for her Birthday (March 15th) just as the whole Corona 19 pandemic was ramping up and caught us squarely in the vortex. Given our ages, let’s just say rapidly approaching 70, every day since we have been playing a kind of Russian Roulette by going into the shipyard to work on Möbius and so we are eXtremely eXcited that tomorrow morning at 11am we are going to get our Covid 19 vaccine shots!
Of course, this doesn’t put an end to anything really but sure will help with our upcoming travel plans, for which we shall be eternally grateful to this country we have called home for almost four years now and that love a wee bit more every day. Thank you Turkey for allowing these two salt water turkies to enjoy your beautiful country and people!
As you read this week’s Progress Update below you will understand what I am referencing in this week’s title as to how we solved the most recent challenge in the building of XPM78-01 Möbius by going under rather than over the problem. Unfortunately on Friday (did it matter that it was the 13th?) we were hit by a much different and much more challenging problem which there is just no getting over, around or under, when several workers at Naval Yachts tested positive and there was no choice but to shut the whole company for the next 17 days and do all the contact tracing and testing of all those employees who have been in direct contact. If all goes well Naval, and certainly Christine and I, hope to reopen on November 30th. I’m sure you join us in wishing everyone involved the very best wishes and that there are no serious health consequences for any of us here.
To be clear and not cause any undue concern on your part, as good fortune would have it, neither Christine or myself have had any direct contact with any of these workers for the past two weeks. Furthermore, we have always been very self disciplined with our precautions of wearing masks any time there is any possibility of being in a place with others or where others have been recently such as the elevators in our apartment. We are both quite naturally introverts and previous single handed sailors so it has been relatively easy for us to keep to ourselves and staying as much as possible. And we are both quite fit and healthy, especially for two sixty somethings so I am pleased to let you know that we both feel very fit, healthy and happy and are doing everything we can to stay that way.
This may be as my kids used to say “TMI Dad!!”, as in Too Much Information to share, but the value of these kinds of blogs come in large part through their openness, transparency and honesty so I felt the need to share this brief insight into what is going on here and why there will not be much progress to report on for the remainder of this month of November. Hopefully all will go well and Naval will reopen on Nov. 30th with all of us healthy so we can hit the ground running and get Möbius finished and launched ASAP.
Now back to our regular programming as I think they used to say on radio and TV, as I do have several fun and exciting things to update you on from aboard the good ship Möbius for the week that was November10th through 13th.
I think it is quite true that laughter is the best medicine so let me start by sharing this fun cartoon, courtesy of the appropriately named Bizarrow Comics who focuses on such topics as Pirates, Cowboys, Snowmen, Doctors, well you get the idea.
This was one of their Daily Comics this past week and it must have been making the rounds on the internet as several of you sent this to us right about the same time Christine and I were both seeing it. Thanks Matt et al!
How appropriate and fun for us right?
Getting Under Mr. Gee
Let’s move on to the reference in this week’s title to a problem that we were able to solve by going under rather than over it. To put it in context, this was part of Hussein and I working on the alignment of the whole “propulsion” unit formed by Mr. Gee being bolted to the Nogva CPP Servo Gearbox which in turn is bolted to the big 65mm / 2.6” SS prop shaft which has the big bronze 1 meter / 39.4” four bladed CPP prop on its far end.
That is a long description that is hard to track and I have received quite a few questions and comments about both the Nogva CPP (Controllable Pitch Propeller) and this whole alignment process so for those interested, let me break it down and provide more details.
Here is my very rough sketch from over a year ago when we were figuring out the exact dimensions for installing the aluminium Nogva Prop Log which is the “pipe” you see over on the far Left here. I’m hoping that this will give you the big picture view that helps to show how this Propulsion System is one solid mass from the front of the Gardner in Blue on the far Right, through the Nogva Servo Gearbox in Brown in the middle with the two flanges connecting to the Fwd/Right end of the prop shaft and over through the Prop Log, out through the end of the skeg where the CPP propeller in Green sits.
Here is the dimensioned drawing from the Nogva engineers I worked with to design this custom CPP system for Möbius. It shows how the Propeller Shaft runs inside the larger inside diameter Prop Log Tube This is the drawing above with some of the many dimensions I was pulling off of the actual installation at the time so I could double check that my 3D model of all this was exactly the same dimensions as the real deal.
No need for you to pay any attention to all these dimensions but I thought that this front to back view might be helpful for those trying to visualise this whole setup and see the relationships between all the individual parts. Next up, let’s take a look at the six anti-vibration “feet” or mounts where Mr. Gee and the Nogva CPP are attached to the 25mm/1” thick engine beds running the full length of both sides of the Engine Room. I have never had enough time to create a full 3D model of Mr. Gee so you will have to use your imagination in the blank space to the Left of the Red Nogva Servo Gearbox, but hopefully this quick render of my Fusion 360 model will help you see how these six feet connect the whole Propulsion System to the Hull. I initially created this 3D model when I was designing these custom brackets that bolt to Mr. Gee’ thick cast AL crankcase and create the eXtremely strong and rigid attachment points for the vertical threaded adjustment rods on each foot/mount. Front mount is on the Left, Rear on the Right and both of these feet/mounts are the same anti-vibration models with thick rubber isolation blocks inside. This is what those Front & Rear anti-vibration mounts look like and of course Mr. Gee requires the MMXL version! Back in the real world inside the Engine Room, this is Mr. Gee’s Front Port/Left foot after we have lifted the whole Propulsion System up with big chain hoists to drill the holes for the M16 Grade 8 bolts that will hold each mount solidly to the Engine Beds in precisely the right location Fore/Aft and Left/Right. Here is a closer view of the mounting bracket I designed to be welded into the underside of the two Engine Beds and how these two different style of feet connect the Nogva CPP Servo Gearbox to the Engine Beds and Hull. Also a good shot of the output flange on the Aft end which is what need to get so precisely aligned with the matching flange on the forward end of the Prop Shaft. Here is what these highly specialised feet/mounts on the Nogva look like in the manufacturers catalogue before I purchased them. These start out being the same as any other feet/mounts by providing the rubber isolation that separates the upper body with the threaded rod from the metal base that bolts to the Engine Beds. However if you look closely you will see that there are also two large diameter SS pins going side to side across the Base through the elongated oval shaped rubber isolation block. Here is a bit closer view one of those two Nogva feet in my hand to try and show you those two pins and the rubber isolation block. Why are the Nogva mounts different than Mr. Gee’s some of you have asked. Because in addition to providing the anti-vibration connection to the Engine Beds these also deal with the very significant THRUST forces which would otherwise be trying to push/pull the whole Propulsion System fore and aft as the propeller “bites” into the water and pushes the boat forward or reverse. The Nogva Servo Gearbox is built to be mounted solidly to a hull with no anti-vibration mounts in large commercial vessels so it also has its own thrust bearing setup inside to fully deal with all these eXtreme Thrust forces. However with one of our first principles being Comfort, the addition of these specialised thrust feet/mounts will help eliminate the transmission of vibration and noise to the hull and make for an eXtremely smooth and quiet boat when underway.
This is what the real deal looks like as we were drilling the mounting bolt holes in the Engine Beds, hence all the AL chips.
Good shot of the custom Rear brackets bolted to Mr. Gee on the Left side and the underslung bracket for the Nogva feet/mounts over on the Right. Putting it all together, this shows you the whole Port/Left side of the Propulsion System with all three mounting brackets and their feet/mounts.
But hang on a minute …………………………………………
………………………… what the heck is that underneath Mr. Gee?!?!?!?!?!?
Let’s zoom in a bit closer to find out……………… Aha! So THAT is what this week’s title is referring to about “ When you can’t get Over it; Get Under it!”.
So what was the problem that required raising the whole Propulsion up in the air and me spending all day Thursday up close and personal with Mr. Gee’s underbelly?
Well, as Murphy’s Law would have it, when Hussein drilled those two holes for the middle two feet on the Aft end of Mr. Gee, they turned out to be right on top of a 15mm thick vertical AL stringer running down the length of each Engine Bed. Ugh! This meant that while the threaded ends of the mounting bolts could go through there was no space for the washers and nuts underneath!!! Grrrrrrrrr
Going back to this render you can see that 15mm vertical stringer underneath the Front foot/mount where it was NOT a problem as the mounting bolts are further off centerline but if you follow that stringer Aft/Right you can see how it runs right through the centerline of the two bolts in the Aft Foot/Mount on Mr. Gee and hence this problem.
The solution? A rectangular slot was going to need to be cut into the stringer where it was welded to the underside of the Engine Bed to create enough space for the thick washers and nuts to slide into.
We tried to solve this problem by going Over the Engine Beds but as you can perhaps see, there wasn’t enough room to get in there with drills, Dremel tools, chisels and files. We could have used a plasma gun but it would have spewed molten aluminium all over the Engine Room so that was a non-starter.
*someone* was going to need to go at this problem from the UNDER side. As you may recall from seeing Hussein in some previous posts and down below, there as simply no way HE was going to fit in there, so guess who was elected??? No recount needed by the way!
With the Propulsion System firmly blocked up on all four corners I could pull out some of my Houdini moves and slither into this space with my headlamp and use various WMD, Weapons of Mass Deletion, to cut a rectangular slot in the vertical stringer under the four bolt holes. I was one pooped Pirate when I finally got home to my Captain at the end of the day but it worked as planned and there was now plenty of room for the nuts and washers for the bolts for these two middle feet/mounts to thread into. Whew!
Going back in time a bit, in order to lift the whole Propulsion System up in the air so I could get underneath to cut those four slots, Hussein, Nihat and I had rigged up these two lengths of square steel tubing that Nihat had welded large D-rings to the middle underside and spanned the big hatch in the Aft Deck. We then hooked a large chain hoist onto each D-ring and connected their bottom hooks to straps around the front end of Mr. Gee and the built in lifting eye on the Nogva.
It all worked very well and also gave us a very safe and precise way just barely to take the weight off of the six feet/mounts so we could move them in their Goldilocks Just Right locations as we fully align the two flanges which is the next step in this process.
ALIGNING the PROPULSION SYSTEM:
This is the first part of the alignment challenge: get that male threaded end of the CPP Pitch Push/Pull rod coming out of the center of the Prop Shaft, PERFECTLY aligned with the female threaded Pitch Piston protruding out of the center of the output flange on the Nogva Servo Gearbox.
The prop shaft and pitch rod are fixed in position so they can’t move Up/Down or Left/Right, they both just rotate concentric with each other. So the alignment has to happen by changing the angle of the Propulsion System.
It is a slow and exacting process where we slide the feet/mounts to adjust the Left/Right position of the centre of the Nogva Pitch Piston/Flange and then adjust those big adjustment nuts on the vertical threaded rods on each of the six feet to change the angle of the Propulsion System and move the centre of the Pitch Piston/Flange Up/Down in the process.
It took several hours going back and forth from measuring and checking the Aft end here and then into the ER to tweak the six big adjustment nuts but as you can see here, we eventually hit the Goldilocks Jackpot and had the Push/Pull Pitch rod dead on center and ready to be threaded into the Pitch Piston. It was slow going turning the Pitch Piston with a wrench on those two flats so the bulb finally went on for me and I blocked the end of the wrench in position and then went outside and down to the Propeller and kept pressure pushing it forward while I rotated the bit 4 blade prop as if it were some eXtremely long bolt and that worked perfectly. The last bit of precision is to get the length of that exposed threaded section of the Push/Pull rod above, to be precisely 7.5mm away from the aft end of the hex locknut as per the Nogva installation Manual you see here. It can actually be between 5-10mm so I set it at the middle of this range at 7.5mm and torqued the locknut down to 100nm.
* for those curious, “Servo bevegelse 50mm” is Norwegian for “Servo Travel = 50mm”. 25mm on each side of “neutral” or Zero Pitch.
With the Pitch Push/Pull rod all centred and locked in place I could now put on the two split halves of this Red Prop Flange and start the second phase of the alignment process. This has two components to it; getting the mating flange surfaces precisely parallel to each other and also getting the two flanges equally perfectly aligned with each other axially. These two figures from the Nogva installation manual shows these two alignments very clearly and as you can see it needs to be eXtremely precise, no more than 0.05mm / .002”. FYI, this is the thickness of THIN human hair. This will all be sounding very familiar if you were with me two weeks ago when Hussein and I when through the exact same process in order to find the precise location of the base of each foot/mount so we could mark out the location of the holes for their respective bolts. This is a photo from that previous alignment and when we, hopefully, all get back to work on Nov. 30th we will do as Hussein is doing here and use thin feeler gauges to measure and ensure that the gap around the full circumference of where these two flanges mate, is exactly the same. I.e., they are perfectly parallel. To get there we go through the same adjustment procedure I outlined for getting the Pitch Push/Pull rod center aligned by sliding the feet Left/Right and/or turning the threaded adjustment nuts Up/Down.
I know this is not riveting stuff for almost any of you but this is such a critical part of having a smooth quiet Propulsion System that it gives me tremendous joy and satisfaction. Fortunately it is also not a process you need to go through very often so well worth the investment in time now.
FINISHING the EXTERIOR of the ALUMINIUM HULL
Nihat was the only member of Team Möbius on hand this four day week but he is one of our most relentless workers so he finished all his work on the Port/Left side of the hull and moved around the Bow to pick up where Uğur had left off last week.
You can see the multi stage process quite well in this shot. First the welds along each butt joint of the hull plates needs to be ground flat and flush such as you see running along Fore/Aft just below Nihat’s belt line. Then any work marks on the surface of the plate need to be ground off which leaves a finish like the one on the far Left here. This nose on shot of the Bow shows the Start/End of this whole process with Nihat just getting started on the Left side of this photo (Stbd/Right side of the hull) which is in contrast with the surface finish on the opposite side that he has fully finished with a random orbital sander. Here is a shot looking straight onto that same finished surface. The Waterline is about 200mm/8” above the weld at the bottom so that does not get fully ground down flush as this will all be covered wtih epoxy primer and International InterSleek 1100 foul release “Bottom Paint”, so we can use filler to get all the surfaces below the Waterline flat and smooth prior to painting these surfaces.
You Made this Bed; Now Lay in it!
None of our interior crew was available this week but the big memory foam mattress has been cut to size and the cover sewn up for over a month now and it was going to be much easier to get it onboard before they put in all the glass windows around the Pilot House/Super Salon so I was able to get a strapping young worker from the boat next to us helm me wrestle the mattress aboard.
As is often the case with boat beds, their sides are no parallel and this was the case with the Right side here as it runs parallel with the side walls that curve in with the hull. But Sinan our master upholsterer was able to quick cut the foam with his special electric knife and then resew the cut edge of the very nice mattress cover so it all fits in like a glove. It was actually much easier than I thought it might be. This is 30cm / 12” thick memory foam so we were able to bend it and flex it just enough to get it through the Entryway WT Door into the SuperSalon and then down that spiraling stairway into the Master Cabin in the background on the Left.
Captain Christine has not been able to be onboard for over a week so it will have to now wait until after Nov. 30th for her to come test it out.
When you get out of that Bed, Test out this Helm Chair!
For similar reasons I wanted to get both our big Llebroc Helm Chairs aboard before the glass company arrives next week to install all the SuperSalon glass windows and all the plexiglass windows around the whole upper SkyBridge.
We also moved the slightly different and just as cool Llebroc Bandera Series 2 Helm Chair into the Super Salon Helm Station but I didn’t get a chance to take any photos so you’ll have to wait till we get back onboard for me to show you that beauty.
It felt very good for me to be finally moving things like these Helm Chairs onboard to their final resting place as it makes the Launching of Möbius feel that much closer and real. I had the same feeling when I was also moving these three 18 litre/5 USG cans of hydraulic steering oil onboard on Friday. This will soon be filling up our 55L hydraulic steering oil tank that feeds our whole Kobelt steering system and I’ll show you that as it happens.
Next up were these three cans with almost 60 liters / 15 USG or one of my favorite engine oils; Shell Rimula R4X 15W-40. In addition to being a top quality engine oil I have found this to be one of the easiest brands to find most anywhere in the world as this is also commonly specified by the big diesel engine companies for use in tractors, trucks, cranes, etc. that are needed and used most everywhere.
I also moved all our anti-freeze onboard but didn’t get any photos, which I’m sure you are all so sad about. Not!!
And that’s all from your intrepid cub reporter here in Antalya Turkey for the week that was November 10 through 13th, 2020. Hope you enjoyed this week’s abbreviated posting and I will be back with more next week.
Please do keep your questions and comments coming by typing them into the “Join the Discussion” box below. They are eXtremely helpful and meaningful to both Christine and myself and MUCH appreciated. Thanks!