If you want to get from Point A to Point B and each step you take is exactly 1/2 the distance between you and Point B, how many steps will it take you to get there?
An infinite number of steps and you will never get all the way there!
However, the most important thing is that forward progress was made again this week, including two very exciting even though it too ended up being one of those half way steps. But half steps are still steps forward so we’ll take every one we can. The commissioning phase continued this week as we power up and test all our many systems and start shaking all the gremlins, both large and small, out into the open so we can deal with them. As you might imagine this often feels like we are playing the marine version of Whack-A-Mole as we get rid of one gremlin and two more pop up. The major systems we are currently bringing up to speed include the Kabola diesel boiler, the Furuno navigation system, Maretron monitoring system, Domestic Hot Water DHW system and the CPP pitch control system, to name but a few. None of this testing and problem solving creates very visual or entertaining content so again this week you get a reprieve from my typically much longer blog post so do enjoy this calm before the next storm of activity begins and let’s jump right into the week that was April 5-9, 2021.
First Guest Cabin Guest!
The biggest and best First this week by far, was the arrival of our dearest friends who flew half way around the world to spend two weeks with us as the Captain of Team Whack-A-Mole. Now THAT is a friend!
Some of you will recognize this “guest” who is really much more family as we have been friends and fellow sailors for a very long time and Christine and I have the great honour of being the godparents to all four of the children in this awemazing family.
Can you guess who this masked man is? Correct! John very generously left the rest of his family and flew all the way from Courtney British Columbia to be with us and as you can see from Captain Christine’s huge grin, we are both eXtremely eXcited to have our very first long term guest be such a very dear friend. Christine is particularly happy to have John join her in playing Whack-a-Mole with all the electronics systems such as navigation, Radar, AIS, Maretron and more. John is easily one of THE brightest people I have ever met and when it comes to resolving problems with computer networks and software he is an absolute genius so his plethora of skills has been put to VERY good use this past week.
This photo alone represents many hours of work and generated a LOT of grins onboard when John and Christine were able to get the TimeZero navigation software and the FLIR night vision camera up on both screens at the Main and Upper Helms.
As you can see it is daytime when this shot was taken but it is still fascinating to see how much the FLIR camera augments the reality that you are seeing up at the top looking out the front window at the Main Helm.
Here is a bit closer view for those interested and click to enlarge any photo to see more.
We will be maximizing John’s talents until he has to fly out at the end of this week on the 15th. Thanks SO much my friend, we literally could not have built this boat without you!
Rockin’ the Dock!
Christine and I have been sleeping aboard Möbius every night since she launched as a safety precaution just in case anything should go wrong with this newborn boat. And of course we have our two dock mates, these two Police boats which are about to head off to their new home in Oman, to help keep us safe as well. As you can see, Möbius and her two bow buddies are very close friends. We also have constant entertainment with the various “little” ships like this one that come and go on the other side of the harbour as they get loaded up with goods of all description and move on within two days or so. More ships all around us and each one quite unique and very fun to watch and learn.
Since launch we have been gradually moving out of our apartment here in Antalya and onto our new home aboard Möbius and we are now having all our meals onboard and now with John being our first Guest to sleep in the Guest Cabin. He gives the Guest Cabin two thumbs up and it has been a true treat for Christine and I to be answering all his questions and sharing our eXcitement of our new “baby” with him. As you can see in this and several of the other photos, the huge renovation of the Antalya Free Zone harbour continues all around us. And I do mean ALL around us!
Möbius can just be seen on the very far Right in this shot with the last of the major concrete pours about to go in for the huge superyacht haul out facility they are putting in here. And the Firsts that happened this week were not just onboard Möbius! We’ve been watching them build this tiny little 560 Tonne TraveLift for the past 2 months and this was her maiden voyage earlier today. We are now tied up this massive concrete dock that did not exist two weeks ago! Never a dull moment all day every day here as both construction and ship loading go on 24/7.
New eXtremely Solid Cleats!
You may recall that we had a very unusual wind situation when we were tied up next door at Setur Marina just after we launched which produced some very large swells coming directly into the harbour and marina causing all of us on the outer wall to surge back and forth for most of the day. All of the boats beside us suffered multiple snapped lines and ripped out cleats so we were fortunate enough to just have this one ripped off our our Swim Platform. Gives you an idea of the forces we were dealing with. The beauty of aluminium is that even these kinds of breakages are not very difficult to repair and we decided to “upgrade” our cleats from pipe to solid aluminium so we should be able to withstand such situations in the future. Uğur and Nihat machined the new solid AL parts and got to work inserting them into the existing pipes welded into the hull and then welded the new solid posts in place.
The new and improved cleats are done!
First Half Step Sea Trial
I gave you the best First we had this week right at the beginning with John’s arrival and saved the biggest First for the finale this week which is that we had our first Sea Trial on Tuesday!
Or first half at least. This was my first chance to bring Mr. Gee up to speed and load as we dialed in more and more pitch on the Nogva CPP prop.
We opened up the big hatch overtop of the Engine Room as the paint on Mr. Gee’s exhaust manifold burned in and produced some smoke.
Mr. Gee gave an eXcellent performance and soon had us slicing through the water at just under 10 knots barely breaking a sweat at about 1000 RPM and seemingly not much load.
However, a little bit later we had a sudden loss of oil pressure as it fell from its normal 40 PSI down to 20 so I shut him off to investigate. I wasn’t able to find any leaks or other evidence of the problem so we started back up and idled back to the dock. Hence my reference to this being a half step first sea trial.
I am now busy figuring out what caused the loss in oil pressure and will have more on that for your next week. We were super eXcited to have John be able to join us for our first Sea Trial and he was quite taken with the views and situational awareness that the 360 degrees of glass provides from the lower Main Helm in the SuperSalon. He shot this little video segment to show you .
The initial portion of the Sea Trial went eXtremely well as we brought Möbius up to just under 10 knots by slowly increasing the pitch on the Nogva CPP prop and Mr. Gee was still loafing along at about 1000 RPM. Here is a very rough video shot from the Aft Deck when we were doing about 9.6 knots. My apologies for not having time to edit this into a better quality video but hope you will enjoy coming along for the ride none the less.
** For those wondering, there is a lot of noise during this test run as we have the big overhead Engine Room hatch open as well as the ER door into the Workshop and the WT door into the interior all open.
For those of you who might care, we were also eXtremely happy with the wake we were generating at 9.6 knots and really look forward to the next sea trial when we can bring Möbius up to full speed and find out just what that speed is and what the wake is like at WOT or Wide Open Throttle. Stay tuned for that in the coming weeks.
As you can tell, Christine and I are both eXtremely eXcited to reach this new milestone of our first Sea Trial even if it was cut short for now.
Hope you enjoyed this short but sweet Progress Update and please come join us again next week. And please add any and all comments and questions in the “Join the Discussion” box below.
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.
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.
Not as much progress as we would have wanted to report this week as many of Team Möbius were MIA working on other boats at Naval Yachts and also prepping one of the boats beside us for its Owner’s visit tomorrow.
However, that didn’t stop the rest of us from making good progress and we achieved several big milestones that we are very eXcited to share with you now. So get a good beverage and comfy chair of your choice and come along for this week’s Möbius.World Show & Tell.
The Captain & Mr. Gee Get Cranky!
Several years ago, when I was answering some of Christine’s typically probing questions about why Mr. Gee our Gardner 6LXB was the Goldilocks Just Right, Just for us Choice for the main (and only) engine in XPM78-01 Möbius, Christine likes to say “You had me at Hand Cranked”.
This is in reference to me mentioning that one of the Gardner’s many eXtremely appealing features is that they could be fitted with this Chain Hand Crank option.
As you can see, this kind of “crankiness” makes my Captain eXtremely happy which makes me eXXtremely happy!
Very KISSS Keep It Simple Smart Safe as you can see with a rod running along the top of of the engine with handles at both ends with an Upper Chainwheel that transfers the crank’s rotation via a Chain down to a Lower Chainwheel keyed onto the engines crankshaft. Michael and his team at Gardner Marine Diesel or GMD in Canterbury England were able to salvage all these parts off one of the many 6LXB’s they have in their inventory and sent them to me many months ago and I’ve been working on fitting them to Mr. Gee ever since.
You would think it would be a relatively quick and simple process to just clean and paint all these parts and install them on Mr. Gee …………………… but you’d be wrong! One problem was that Mr. Gee is one of the later models of 6LXB and it had this quite different Hand Crank with just one handle on the front of the engine and a different crankshaft and Chainwheel setup down on the new style crankshaft. Secondly, as you can see in this shot of the front support and Upper Chainwheel I’ve mounted onto Mr. Gee, there is no room up front for the Hand Crank handle, let alone enough room for me to get in there to crank it. So I needed to come up with a “Hybrid” Hand Crank setup that would allow me to marry the Old style with the Hand Crank Handle at the rear, to the new crankshaft end up front.
And just to put a particularly sharp point on this challenge, I also needed to drive the Jabsco Sea Water pump and one of our monster 250 Amp @24V Electrodyne alternators off the front of the crankshaft as well.
Let’s just say that the front of Mr. Gee became a very busy and challenging spot for me to sort out.
When I am doing this kind of problem solving and exploration of new design ideas I have evolved to using pieces of stiff cardboard I cut up from shipping boxes to capture the critical dimensions and sketch out my rough ideas. It is a surprisingly efficient system as I get to reuse the many cardboard boxes all our hundreds of shipments come in and the stiffness of the cardboard makes is very easy to sketch on when I’m laying under or over an engine for example with my digital Vernier calipers or tape measure in hand and recording all the critical dimensions. I then use Microsoft Office Lens utility on my Pixel4XL phone to digitize these sketches so I have a more permanent digital copy to keep and one I can print out if needed.
I don’t expect these to make much sense to anyone else but they work eXtremely well for me to record all these details and dimensions as I work my way through the different ways I come up with to solve a particular problem, create 3D models of them and ultimately machine or fabricate the parts I need and finally get them installed. After much head scratching and sketching, eventually this layout emerged as a way that I could fit both the RED Chain based Hand Crank system and the GREEN cogged timing belt system for driving the Electrodyne “Big Red #1” in the upper Right here and the Jabsco sea water pump on the far Left.
I will show you the Green cogged timing belt drive system next week and show you the Red chain based Hand Crank system now. With all the dimensions and my ideas roughed out on cardboard I then move over to Autodesk Fusion 360 to create a 3D model of all these parts where I can put my ideas to the test and see if they will actually work out. This is a quick screen grab of the model I came up with from the sketches you saw above. I won’t bore you with all the details but for orientation Mr. Gee is mostly off the screen on the far Right and the Red disk is the Lower Chainwheel on Mr. Gee’s Crankshaft running horizontally across the bottom of the screen. On the front side of this is the cogged pulley driving the rubber timing belt that goes up to the cogged wheel on the Jabsco sea water pump.
* Note: I didn’t bother to model the actual chain and sprocket teeth so you will have to imagine that being wrapped around the Red Chainwheel.
The Green and Blue disks on either side of the Red Chainwheel are two of several flanged parts I needed to machine for my Hybrid Old/New Gardner Hand Crank system.
Oh, and did I mention that the Old Gardner Hand Crank system used a different pitch of chain than the New style?
So I had GMD send me the Upper and Lower Chainwheels from the New style that would fit nicely on the New style of Crankshaft that Mr. Gee has but the third Idler Chainwheel (part #37 in the Gardner illustration up above) had to the the Old style Chain as it is part of the cast aluminium bracket that supports the Old style cranking shaft. FYI: Eventually I will design and machine a whole new Idler Chainwheel with the New style Chain pitch but for now I just mounted the Old Idler in my drill press and hand milled the teeth to get the New Chain to fit as you see here.
This is that Blue coloured Flange I pointed out AL in the rendering of the 3D Fusion 360 model above, which was quit easy to machine on a lathe out of solid aluminium round stock and then broach the keyway through the inner hole so it will be locked into the 3/8 x 3/8” key on the front end of the Crankshaft.
Now you can see how this newly machined AL Flange slides into the New style Lower Chainwheel which is now all sand blasted clean and painted Black.
All well and good but I’m sure that most of you are now asking “How the heck does this work to turn Mr. Gee’s Crankshaft Wayne?
That’s the job of the eXtra part you see here that rotates on a pin sticking out of the Chainwheel. This little part is the key to making the Hand Crank work and is called a “Ratcheting Pawl” part #3 in the Gardner Illustration above. I don’t have a milling machine (yet!), but to badly reuse The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, (for those of you old enough to remember) “We don’t need no stinkin’ milling machine” right?
Nothing that a bit of ingenuity and my handy dandy 45 year old drill press and shiny new vice can’t handle. I machined a short shaft to just fit inside the hole of AL bushing and tightened that in the vice jaws. This allowed me to slowly rotate the AL bushing into the 4 flute spiral milling cutter in my drill press so I could mill away the four recesses for the Pawl to fit into and ended up looking like this. So to Hand Crank Mr. Gee you simply reach down and rotate the Pawl counter clockwise so it engages in one of the four recesses like this.
Now when Christine turns that Hand Crank Handle on the Aft end of Mr. Gee as you see her doing in the opening photo, the Upper Chainwheel rotates the Chain CCW, which transfers that force down to the Lower Chainwheel which the Pawl has now locked to the Crankshaft and around goes Mr. Gee! This takes a good bit of muscle but with the compression relief levers keeping the intake valves open it isn’t too difficult to bring Mr. Gee’s massive flywheel up to speed and then you flip the compression levers back off and Mr. Gee chugs to life and begins to purrrrrr. Doesn’t get too much more KISSS or reliable than that!
Oh, and for those of you following all this, as Mr. Gee starts up you no longer need to turn the Hand Crank Handle and so the Pawl “ratchets” out of the recess back to this disengaged position such that the Chainwheel is now stationary while the AL Flange and Crankshaft spin together. To finish putting this all together, I machined a groove into the AL bushing for this spring steel circlip to fit into which keeps the Chainwheel aligned and spinning on the AL bushing. With the Lower Chainwheel assembled onto its new AL Flange, into the Engine Room I go and with a bit of TefGel 45 to help it slides just perfectly onto the keyed portion of the front end of the Crankshaft.
That modified Idler Chainwheel is in the upper Right here and it adjusts sideways in the slot you can see to the right of the Chain which you tighten down to keep the Chain Just Right Tight. Not much space in here so a bit difficult to photograph but hopefully you can now see how the whole Chain driven Hand Crank system works. And to come full circle, you now understand what put that great grin on my Beautiful Bride and Captain.
While we were cranking away on Mr. Gee, Hilmi and Ramazan were cranking away up in the SuperSalon so let’s go see what they have been up to this past week.
Ramazan has finished installing all the Ado LVT vinyl plank flooring and you may recall that Uğur, Nihat and I installed these two SS locking lift handles in the large hatch to access the Basement that is under the whole of the SuperSalon floor. Most of Ramazan’s masterfully laid down flooring is covered in protective cardboard but you can see how nicely he has fit the edges around the hatch so they are barely visible.
But what’s that I see over on the far Left here? Aha! Our 50” Samsung 4K SmarTV has arrived and will soon be mounted on a fully adjustable mounting system that fits into the recess in the now opened hinged and slotted Rosewood door.
But who’s that hiding behind that door? Of course! Hilmi and Christine are busy finishing up all the wiring for AC, DC, Ethernet and N2K that runs inside the large space behind the TV. This is also where our Boat Computer #1 will reside and Christine is anxious to start connecting it up and getting all our display screens up and running next week. While she waits for Hilmi to finish the wiring behind the 50” TV, Christine fired up Boat Computer #2 and started setting things up in the SkyBridge Helm Station. In the midst of all this, Sinan was back this week to start sewing up the Sunbrella covers like this one for that Upper Helm Station. He is also making a similar cover for the Upper Helm Chair and I will show you that next week.
Not a lot of progress on the Bottom Paint this week but they did get started on the 100mm / 4” Black Boot Stripe that makes the transition between the bare aluminium hull sides and the InterSleek 1100SR silicone Foul Release bottom paint which I have marked off for the painters here. The International Epoxy primer has now been on longer than the maximum recoat time so they needed to do a light sanding so that the International Perfection Polyurethane paint will adhere well. The laser level makes is SO must faster and easier to mark out perfectly straight and level lines for the masking tape to follow.
Next week the paint crew will hopefully be on site to spray on the Black Boot Stripe and then once it is dry they can mask it off and start applying the InterSleek Foul Release Bottom Paint. Hope to be able to show you all that next week as well.
All Donations Gratefully Received!
Why is THAT truck parking beside Möbius?? Yup! I’ve saved two of our bigger milestones for the end of this week’s Show & Tell. That’s a diesel fuel truck and Cihan is about to bring the very first drops of diesel fuel into our six integral fuel tanks! It took a lot of time but I think we came up with an eXtremely effective design for both the Fuel Fills and Vents on Möbius. With the fully sealed lid removed you have ready access to these three Fill Pipes on the Starboard/Right side and a matching set on the Port/Left side. These each connect to one of the six integral fuel tanks at the bottom of the hull with 40mm / 1 5/8” ID rubber fuel hose. Just forward of the Fuel Fills, these inverted 40mm U pipes are similarly connected by that same size rubber fuel hose to the vents on each fuel tank. Together these both worked just perfect on this first fueling test with no foaming or “spit back”. But mistakes can and will happen so we designed these Fuel Fill stations to have a large capacity spill tanks below the Fill Pipes so that any diesel that does overflow will simply run into this spill tank and drain back into the fuel tank. No mess, no fuss, no bother. When the Fuel Fill cover is in place it completely seals off all the Fill Tubes from the outside air and from any sea water on decks. The Fuel Vent pipes have this slotted cover so they stay well vented and there is a drain pipe inside to remove any seawater that might make its way through the slots. For this first load of diesel, we only took on enough fuel to do all the commissioning of diesel based equipment such as the Kabola KB45 boiler, all the fuel transfer pumps, Alfa Laval fuel centrifuge, fuel polishing system and Mr. Gee of course and then enough for the first set of sea trials. Hence, we only took on a “measly” 2150 Liters / 567 USG out of the 14,600 Liters / 3860 USG that we will take on prior to our first passage. However, as per the intro, all donations are still very much welcomed!
X marks the Spot!
OK, are you ready for the final milestone that Christine and I just completed yesterday?
Does this help you guess what we are up to? Helpful hint: It took place UP here. That’s right! Time to apply these CNC cut vinyl letters and numbers to put the XPM78-01 markings big and bold on Möbius’ Bow. All pretty simple to do. First mark off the top edge of the lettering with a straight edge and pencil. Give the area a good cleaning with 3M Scotch Brite pads and water, rinse well and then sponge on a coat of clean water with lots of liquid dish soap in it so you can slide the lettering as needed to get it perfectly aligned. Peel off the inside layer of the peel & stick lettering and press it onto the soapy wet hull and use your fingers and a plastic spreader to squeeze out all the water and get all the letters and numbers perfectly aligned and adhered to the hull. Then carefully peel off the outer layer and go over each letter with lots of pressure on soapy fingers and plastic scrapers taking special care to ensure that all edges are tightly bonded to the hull and there are no bubbles or wrinkles. Bring in some cheap labour if you must. Take your time to go over each letter and number several times. Then stand back to check out the proportions and placement.
Goldilocks!! And yes, we would be delighted to be mistaken for a military/coastguard ship in the unlikely event that anyone is considering approaching us with mal intent! Now THAT is a Bow to be proud of! And that’s a wrap for the week that was February 01-06, 2021.
Thank you all SO much for taking the time to join us here and we hope you will be back again next week. In the interim please be sure to put your questions and comments in the “Join the Discussion” box below.
As Launch Date looms larger and sooner the theme of checking off all the “little Big” jobs on the punch list continues although we still have a few “Big” jobs such as painting the bottom with foul release paint which continued as well this past week so without any further ado let’s jump right in to see all those jobs both little and BIG that Team Möbius looked after this week of January 25-30, 2021.
One of the “little Big” jobs that we completed this past week is getting the propeller shaft fully aligned with the output flange on the Nogva Gearbox and hence this week’s title.
In this photo the dark Burgundy is the Aft Output end of the Nogva Gearbox and the bright Red is the flange on the propeller shaft which continues through the Tides Marine shaft seal system and out of the boat through the large AL prop shaft tube which is hidden here by the Blue Tides Marine silicone bellows hose. This dimensioned drawing of the complete Nogva CPP or controlled Pitch Propeller, shaft, seal and flange will help orient things a bit.
Here I have gone below the boat rotate the CPP prop back and forth while pushing it hard forward so that the two flanges meet. A few months back we had spent quite a bit of time getting this alignment close as we installed the anti-vibration mounts on the Gardner and the Nogva and you read about that HERE, so now it was time for the fine and final adjustment to get these two flanges perfectly aligned. As you may recall from previous posts the two flanges need to be eXtremely closely aligned both concentrically as per the illustration on the Left and also laterally as shown on the Right. Maximum deviation we are allowed is up to 0.005mm / 0.002in (human hair is about 0.05mm diameter) and ideally we are going for zero. Needing such perfection I called on my Perfect Partner, aka Captain Christine to assist and although she is prone to laying down on the job (sorry, couldn’t resist) she was a huge help and made this task go much faster. We check the alignment by inserting a thin feeler gauge, which is the silver strip you see here, that is a tight sliding fit into the space between the faces of these two flanges and see what the gap is at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock. Any difference in size of the gap at these locations tells us how far it is out either horizontally at 3 & 6 o’clock or vertically at 12 and 6. Adding to the challenge the prop shaft needs to be supported in its perfectly centered position which my red hydraulic bottle jack is looking after. Mr. Gee, our Gardner 6LXB is solidly bolted up to the Nogva Gearbox so they are essentially an eXtremely solid single unit that is supported by six anti-vibration mounts such as the Silver one you can see on the Stbd. side of the Nogva Gearbox on the far Right in this photo. You can see the large vertical threaded part of these mounts with the large supporting hex nut on the bottom and smaller locking nut on the top. To align the flanges vertically I need to turn the large nuts at the very front of Mr. Gee or these back two on the Nogva, Up/Down to move the Nogva flange until the gap is zero all the way around.
The process then is for me to go around the four Front/Rear mounts and turn those big nuts Up/Down while Christine moved the feeler gauges around the circumference of the flanges and called out the differences in the gap to me.
With Christine laying down in the space behind the Aft end of the ER Enclosure overtop of the Tides Marine seal at the bottom, there wasn’t enough room to take a photo but this previous shot shows what she was doing as she reached in with the feeler gauges to check the gap and call out the differences to me. Doing this all by myself was very time consuming so now you see what I called in the Big Boss to help out!
It still took us almost 2 hours but in the end we got the gap down to zero such that both flanges were touching all the way around. With these two flanges now fully aligned we could insert the 8 hardened Grade 8 bolts through both flanges and torque them down to 120NM and the alignment was done!
White grease is TefGel 45 to prevent any corrosion and ensure that these nuts are just as easy to undo after many years on the job when we need to remove the prop shaft or the Nogva/Gardner for some reason in the distant future. Many of these “little Big” jobs are like dominos in that as getting one done lets you do the next. So with the flanges aligned and mounts all torqued down I could now finish installing the Tides Marine SureSeal system. This is an eXtremely critical bit of kit as this is responsible for keeping the prop shaft cutlass bearing lubricated with a flow of fresh sea water AND keeping that sea water OUT of the boat! Here is what the real deal looks like now fully installed. The Blue silicone “Articulating hose” in the illustration above, is double clamped onto the Stern or Prop Shaft Tube at the bottom and onto the Black SureSeal housing at the top.
The way this works is that inside the SureSeal are two stationary rubber lip seals with the 65mm OD Prop Shaft rotating inside them that keeps the water sea water inside the Prop Shaft Tube from being able to get past and into the boat.
We keep a VERY close eye on that Blue silicone hose over the years as if it were to ever rupture we would have an eXtremely large volume of water flooding into the boat!
FYI, The Black ring at the top is the very handy holder for a second set of replacement lip seals which you can change out with the boat still in the water as you don’t have to remove the Prop Shaft to replace them; just pry the old ones forward, cut them off and slide the new ones into place.
Last part of installing the SureSeal system is to provide a pressurized flow of fresh sea water into the Prop Shaft Tube which travels down the tube and lubricates the Cutlass bearing which supports the Prop Shaft as it exits the boat.
One of the reasons I chose to locate the Silver Heat Exchanger you see in the Upper Right was to be able to tap into its drain plug on the salt water side and use this as the source of pressurized salt water for the SureSeal. Nice short hose run and Cihan had that all hooked up in no time. The second Red hose on the Left goes up along the Aft wall of the ER with a ball valve on the end of it so that I can check the salt water flow rate when we first start up and from time to time afterwards and ensure that there is at least 4L/min / 1USG/min when the engine is idling. Both those little Big jobs checked off the list and this is what the finished result looks like when peering down into the space Christine has now vacated on the outside of the Aft wall of the ER. Silver Gardner Coolant Heat Exchanger bottom right, Tides Marine SureSeal middle Left and Red Prop Flange middle Right and the Red Nogva Gearbox Oil Heat Exchanger at the top.
To keep the ER air tight a 6mm AL plate is bolted with a gasket over top and covered wtih the same composite grid floor plates as the rest of the Workshop and ER. Cihan checked off another Big little job by plumbing the Sea Water and Engine Coolant water lines up at the forward Starboard/Right corner of Mr. Gee and the ER. It is pretty busy up there so I’ve labelled some of this plumbing to help you make sense of it. Can be a bit confusing as there are three fluids running around here; Sea Water that comes in via the Sea Chest just visible on the far middle Right here and through the Strainer and Manifold on its way to the Jabsco Impeller Pump and then out of that Pump and into the Engine Oil Heat Exchanger where it runs Aft exiting out and into that Silver Sea Water Heat Exchanger you saw up above in the SureSeal installation sequence.
Hope you got all that because YES children that WILL be on the Test on Friday!
Driving Big Red #2
Over on the opposite Port/Left side of Mr. Gee I finally have the drive system for our second Electrodyne 250Ah @ 24V alternator all designed and the adapters all machined so time to get them all installed. You may recall this photo from THIS previous blog post about installing what I call Big Red #2 and how I intended to drive it from the PTO or Power Take Off on the Gardner using a Jack Shaft I had from a previous job. This is a quick screen shot from my Fusion 360 design for the adapters at either end of the Red JackShaft. Green cylinder on the far Left is the Output shaft from the Gardner PTO, Purple is the AL adaptor to couple the Jackshaft to the PTO and at the far Right in Gold is the steel multi V-belt drive pulley that came with the Electrodyne which I will machine with four threaded holes to bolt the other end of the Red Jackshaft to.
Note: Jackshaft simplified here to just a rod with flanges at either end.
This is the PTO from the Gardner with that Purple aluminium adaptor in the rendering above now pushed onto the Green PTO Output shaft and secured with four round hex head through bolts.
The Red Flange on the front U-joint end of the JackShaft barely visible on the Right will bolt to that AL adaptor with four more M6 SS bolts. This is the Aft end of the JackShaft where this U-joint will be similarly bolted to that steel 8V pulley on Big Red #2. The day came to an end at this point yesterday so not quite finished but this shot will show you how the whole JackShaft will connect the power from the PTO back to Big Red #2. This monster Electrodyne alternator could absorb as much as 10HP at full 250 amps of output which the gear driven PTO can put out easily and this Cardan or Jack Shaft should be more than up to the task.
Stay tuned for more though folks on the final installation of Big Red #2 next week AND just wait till you see the sweet setup I’ve come up with to drive Big Red #1 using a cogged timing belt setup that is now almost done.
Well Sand My Bottom!
Also not quite done but work continued this past week on getting the bottom underwater portion of the hull all primed and filled in preparation for applying the silicone based Foul Release paint, International InterSleek 1100SR.
You can see some of the filled welds around the Prop Tunnel above and ….. the filleted edges around the AL threaded mounting disk for the Zinc on the Rudder. The circle on the Right is the filled in through hole we put in the Rudder to make it possible to remove the Prop Shaft without having to drop the Rudder. Because we hope to not need to remove the Prop Shaft for many years this hole is filled in to provide a fully flush curved surface on the Rudder sides to maximize a smooth laminar flow of water over the Rudder. Sanding the first coat of epoxy filler on the Keel and Prop Tunnel into smooth large radius coves. ….. and the Aft Depth Sounder transducer. …. and one of the 5 Sea Chests. By end of the week they had the last of the 5 coats of International epoxy primer rolled as you can see around the Bow Thruster Tunnel, another smaller Sea Chest intake and Zinc mounting disk up near the bow. Final coat of epoxy primer being rolled on Aft and we’ll see the application of the InterSleek 1100SR next week.
Grand Dame of Dyneema!
Lest you should think that The Captain only lays down on the job, this will prove that she sometimes sits! But Christine has become and expert Dyneema splicer after doing so many as she installs all the Lifelines around the Main Deck. This are the AL Stanchions with their Lifelines now in place on the Aft end of the Port/Left side. The Tender will come On/Off this side so these 3 LifeLines have Pelican Hooks that are easy to release so we can then pull up the Stanchions and roll up the whole setup and stow when the Tender is aboard. Closer view of how these Pelican Hooks and Thimbles work. You start to appreciate how Christine’s Dyneema splicing expertise has developed so quickly when you start to count up all the splices required for each LifeLine in the system we’ve come up with. On the far Right is an endless loop that wraps around the AL Stanchion through a small AL D-ring to keep it in place and a SS Thimble captured on the end. Last step of this will be to lash the loop around the SS Thimble closed so that when it is undone the Thimble can’t come out.
Looking down the LifeLines to the Left you can see another splice at the Left end of the Pelican Hook and then further Aft/Left two more around these Black anodized Donuts or Rings you can see further to the Left. Christine leaves a gap of about 80-100mm / 3-4” between these two rings and then wraps multiple lashings between them to tension the life lines. And of course each of these Rings require yet another splice!
Hilmi and Ramazan continued their work inside Möbius this past week and we also find more of Captain Christine’s fingerprints up here at the Main Helm where she and Hilmi have been working to install and connect Boat Computer #1 you see here on the Port/Left side of the Main Helm Chair. Its ultimate home will be inside this space behind the 50” Monitor on the outside and this AC/Heating Air Handler inside. This space is normally covered by this hinged Rosewood back with a recess for the adjustable mounting system for the 50” monitor that doubles as both our movie watching entertainment screen when on anchor and then one of 4 screens for boat data and navigation when underway. Down in the Guest Cabin Ramazan is completing the last of the Ado LVT vinyl plank flooring. While the smallest by surface area it has ELEVEN removeable sections above the bolt on tank access hatches below so this area is taking the most time.
Pull out Bed in the Upper Left and Christine’s Office desk on the Right. Six of those removable floor sections all weighted down while the adhesive dries. Removable floor sections?
What removable floor sections? Ramzan then stepped up his game (sorry) by moving up to install the vinyl flooring on the steps leading up from the SuperSalon to the Aft Deck.
Another tricky and time consuming bit of detail as each step has one of these handrail posts he needs to go around. Which, as you can see, he had no trouble doing eXtremely well! And that’s a wrap for the week that was January 25-30, 2021. Yikes! The first month of 2021 gone already???
Well at least it puts us another week closer to LAUNCH so as with “being shafted” that is all a very good thing.
Thanks for joining us for yet another episode here at Möbius.World. REALLY appreciate and value you doing so and please feel encouraged to add your comments and questions in the “Join the Discussion” box below.
The start of our marine based circumnavigation of this awemazing planet of ours will have to wait for a few more months but yesterday (Saturday Jan 23, 2021) marked the completion of my 68th circumnavigation of the sun and I’ve already got my 69th off to a great start.
I had a marvelous birthday yesterday by being able to do what I love most, build things with my hands, with the person I love most as well as receiving an overwhelming number of B’day best wishes from so many friends and family I am so fortunate to have in my life.
Christine and I spent the day at Naval Yachts working on our Tender and were delighted to be able to fully install our Castoldi 224 DD jet drive and Yanmar 4JH4 TE 110HP diesel inboard engine which was another great milestone for us to hit and she is now well enough done for us to load onto the Aft Deck of Möbius before we Launch. Just as we were finishing putting the Yanmar in place Dincer and Baris showed up with a delicious strawberry B’day cake which was a delightful surprise and made my day all the more special.
Team Möbius also hit several other major milestones this past week so grab your favorite beverage and comfy chair and let’s jump right into this week’s Progress Update Show & Tell.
PAINT MY BOTTOM!
Perhaps the biggest milestone this past week was the start of putting on our “bottom paint” which is the only paint there will be on Möbius as all other aluminium surfaces are being left in their beautiful Silver “raw” aluminium state for minimal maintenance and the “all business” work/commercial/military esthetic we want for the exterior of XPM78-01 Möbius.
However for the same low maintenance reasons, the situation is reversed for all the aluminium surfaces that are below the Waterline WL which will be painted with 5 coats of Epoxy Primers and then some top coasts of International InterSleek 1100SR which is a silicone based Foul Release type of Bottom Paint.
The final bit of preparation of the hull was done by Nihat who finished up with what should be the final bit of aluminium welding when he welded on the threaded attachment discs for the ten zinc anodes that will be bolted onto the hull after it is all painted.
These zinc discs are how we protect all the various dissimilar metals on Möbius which range from Stainless Steel, to Bronze to Aluminium and several others, from Galvanic Corrosion which is what occurs when two or more dissimilar metals are immersed in an electrolyte such as sea water. Referred to as “sacrificial” anodes Zinc is one of the least “Noble” of metals and so it will ‘sacrifice’ itself by corroding first and thus protecting the other metals. As these Zincs wear away with corrosion they are easy to replace with new ones. Zincs come in all shapes and sizes and we’ve decided to go with the more streamlined round disc shaped ones so Uğur quickly made up ten of these 80mm/” 3 diameter discs of 20mm / 3/4” thick AL and then welded them along the length of the hull.
This one will help protect the Rudder and its shaft.
BTW, the oval plate you see tacked in place near the leading edge of the Rudder is for the through hole in the Rudder which allows us to much more easily remove the prop shaft should that ever be neccessary by turning the Rudder hard over and letting the prop shaft slide through it so there is no need to remove the Rudder.
The tacked on plates covering this hole on either side allow the paint crew can cover this with Epoxy filler and create a smooth sleek shape to the Rudder for maximum performance. Two more, one on either side, of the Keel and Prop Shaft Skeg and then six more matched pairs along the length of the hull up to just aft of the Bow Thruster tunnels at the Bow. First order of business for the Paint Crew was to fully “tent” the bottom of the hull with plastic sheets. This is both to keep dust out from other work going on in the shipyard and keep in any overspray when they are spraying on the Bottom Paint. The other reason for the tenting is to control the temperature and humidity of the hull which is done by this air heating system that is sealed onto the plastic tent sides. We have been having a bit of a cold snap the past week here in Antalya with night time temps dipping down to 4C / 38F so we needed to bring the temperature of the AL hull up to < 15C / 60F for painting and filling. Getting warmer, just a few more degrees to go. Plastic all taped down to the concrete floors to seal everything in/out and it was paint time! Azad, standing on the Left is Naval’s Master Painter and Ali on the Right and Mehmet kneeling on the Left round out our Paint Crew who where meeting here to go over the painting application process. You learn the hard way that it is not advisable to mix various different brands of paint so everything from the first coat of etching primer to the filler and the final InterSleek 100SR Topcoat is all from International Paints. I have had excellent success with International paint on our previous boat so I wanted to continue to “go with what you know” for critical things like Bottom Paint. As you may recall, Ali and Mehmet had spent all last week sanding down all the AL hull surfaces to remove the AL oxide that naturally forms on raw AL and they gave it all a quick light sand, wiped it all down with acetone thinners and clean white rags and Möbius was ready to have her Bottom painted!
I prefer rolling on the primer rather than spraying as I think it improves the critical initial adhesion. All the welds will be filled and sanded so as to create a completely smooth surface for minimal resistance when slithering through the sea. So these areas received the first coat of White InterPrime 820 which is a high performance, high build epoxy primer specifically formulated for underwater Al surfaces that will have epoxy filler applied on top. Once all the welds and other areas that will have Epoxy filter applied were covered in the White 820 primer, Ali & Mehmet rolled on the Bronze coloured InterPrime 450 which is optimized for maximum water barrier and long term anticorrosive protection. And in just a few hours they had all the AL underwater surfaces fully covered with their first coat of Epoxy primer. Once they had all the AL covered with the initial coat of Epoxy primers, they could start mixing up the epoxy filler and smooth that onto all the welds to create smooth hydrodynamic surfaces for the water to flow over. Mehmet and Ali have painted and filled a LOT of boats so they are eXtremely fast and efficient at applying this first coat of filler. This first coat provides the majority of the filler needed to smooth out all the welds and then after it is fully hardened they will take their long boards and orbital sanders to smooth out all the surfaces and add any more filler needed to make each surface perfectly smooth. Having smooth flat and curved surfaces not only makes the hull much more slippery, it also makes it easiest for us to clean when we dive the boat every few months to wipe off any growth that has formed from sitting at anchor for long periods. In this photo we can see two good examples of this such as the exit from the Bow Thruster tunnel and the nicely coved welds between the thick Keel Bar and the hull plates on the very bottom. Clean water flow over the CPP propeller and the Rudder are two other eXtremely important areas so all the welds and transitions receive a good coating of filler so they can be sanded into smooth gentle curves for the final paint to go on top.
Be sure to join us here next week when the sanding, filling and primer continues.
With their work done outside the boat, Nihat and Uğur moved inside to build and install the Emergency Tiller. This is another one of those bits of kit that we hope never to use but are always glad to have just in case. I designed the whole Tiller Arm to be eXtremely simple and eXtremely robust so you can see how the Tiller Arm itself has been machined from a single solid block of aluminium which clamps around the 127mm / 5” OD AL Rudder Shaft. We extended the top of the Rudder Shaft up above the Tiller Arm and milled a large 80mm / 3” hole in it for a 2.3m / 7.5ft thick walled AL pipe to slide into. To help support this Emergency Tiller pipe, Uğur is bolting this 20mm / 3/4” thick AL plate to the front wings of the Tiller Arm This provides plenty of leverage to the Emergency Tiller pipe so it can provide more than enough power to turn and hole the Rudder in position in even the most demanding of rough water conditions. Almost finished here, just need to put some holes in those two AL tabs on the front of the Tiller pipe so that we can fasten two Dyneema block and tackle setups between the end of the Tiller and the side frames of the hull to keep the Rudder in whatever position needed and to be able to steer the boat smoothly by letting one block out and pulling the other in.
We will test it out on sea trials and then stow it hoping to never need to bring it out again, but it does help us SWAN or Sleep Well At Night knowing it is there.
Mr. Gee puts his Jackets On
Mr. Gee got some attention this past week as well when I found the time to install all of the insulation jackets covering all the SS dry stack pipes of his Halyard exhaust system. This is what his dry stack looks like when it is “naked” and with the aft two of the support braces installed. And this is what it looks like as I started dressing him up with his class Gray insulation jackets.
As they did with the whole exhaust system, Oliver and his talented team at Halyard in the UK did a fabulous job building this set of jackets that wrap the entire dry stack portion of the eXhaust to keep the heat out of the Engine Room until it has the sea water injected into it and cool everything down as it enters that large White Silencer/Water Separator just visible on the far upper Left.
This is a stack of the little mini jackets that wrap around each connection joint of the three main jackets and ensure that no heat escapes out these joints.
The bulk of the insulation value comes from that White fluffy material you can see running the length of these inside surfaces and with a thin SS mesh sewn in to keep it all in place. Then thick canvas like material is sewn into each end of each jacket so that each joint is very tight and no air can flow in or out. The outer jacket material is very soft and supple to your hand yet fully fireproof and adds another layer of insulation. Cords are sewn into packets along both outer edges so that you can cinch each jacket up tight where it wraps around the jacket underneath.
Double D-Rings on the center straps make it easy to wrap the jacket around the pipe and cinch them down tightly around the circumference of each pipe and pull the straps tight. I started by wrapping the first long vertical jacket on the far Right here followed by the second short curved jacket that butts up to the vertical one around the elbow to make the transition to the long horizontal jacket I have partly fastened in place here.
With all three of the longer jackets all strapped down I now wrap one of these narrower jackets around each joint where the inner jackets meet to fully seal in all those joints. You can see the first narrow jacket fully cinched down around the end of the vertical jacket and the bottom of the elbow and I’m about to wrap the next one around the joint between the horizontal jacket and the elbow jacket. Very much a KISSS Keep It Simple Safe & Smart system which I am very pleased with. Keeps most of the heat inside the exhaust system and out of the Engine Room, Safe to be around such hot components with little danger of grabbing or falling against such eXtremely hot parts and easy to remove to check or do maintenance. Well done Halyard!
CPP PITCH GAUGE SENDER
Hilmi also spent some time in the ER this past week installing this bronze Kobelt Pitch sensor on the Nogva CPP Gearbox. Very similar to a Rudder angle sensor, the Bronze arm with the spacers taped onto will be connected to the lever on the Nogva that changes the Pitch of the CPP prop blades. This data is then sent out that Black cable and up to the CPP Pitch gauges at each Helm station as well as being put onto the boat data network that we can view on any screen from our phones and tablets up to the big boat monitors.
HOUSE BATTERY BANKS FINISHED
Hilmi and I also spent some time in the Basement and were able to finish the four House Battery Banks under the floors down there. Each bank consists of four FireFly Carbon Foam 4V @ 450Ah batteries wired in Series to create a 24V @ 450Ah bank. Each of these four banks are wired directly into the main DC High Amperage Distribution Panel above them.
The bottom six 4V batteries are Bank #1 located in the Aft most battery compartment which is under the floor and goes down to the very bottom of the hull along each side of the 25mm thick Keel Bar that runs the length of the boat. Each compartment is sealed in with 6mm AL floor plates and rubber gaskets. Starting to tidy up all the wiring in Bank #2 at the bottom and #3 on top. Red/Black cables are the positive and negative cables each 250mm2 which is about 4/0 AWG size to ensure that we have no less than 2% voltage drop in any of these cables.
The Gray wires connect a variety of temperature sensors to each battery bank so we can monitor the temperature of each individual bank as well as the ambient temperature of the Battery Compartments which are vented in/out with thermostatically controlled fans. The temperature data is not only for our eyes but is also fed directly to the Victron BMV 712C Smart Shunt battery monitors which is in turn used to set the charging rates from any of the five MultiPlus Inverter/Chargers so that their battery charging is fully optimized. Last to be worked on Bank #4 we are about to connect up the large cables and sensors gives you a less obscured view of the thick Copper positive cable take off with the T-Class fuse that the cable bolts to and the Victron battery temperature sensor under the bolt to the positive terminal of the battery. Back up in Banks @ & 3 the cables are all now fully secured with zip ties and you can see the simple battery hold down system we came up with by cutting those shaped blocks of composite foam that wedge each battery firmly in place when the gasketed lid is bolted down. After one last check of the BMV battery monitors and double checked all the connections, the penetration in the top center section atop all the battery compartments could be filled with special fireproof filler to fully seal the compartments and firmly hold each wire and cable in place. Stepping back a bit to show you the lid being bolted down over Banks #2 & 3 and that now sealed penetration with all the big Red/Black cables coming out of the Battery Compartments and directly into the High Amp DC Distribution box on the upper Left. One of two 120V MultiPlus Inverter/Chargers seen on the Right, three more 240V MultiPlus’ are on the opposite side.
Möbius is now all powered up which is yet another big milestone for us.
SHOWER TEAK FLOORS ARE IN
Orkan and Ali finished building the three sections of Teak flooring for both Showers and moved them onto the boat this past week.
This is the Shower in the Guest Cabin showing off its beautiful new Teak floor. If you look closely (click to enlarge any photo) you can see how the edges are relieved with a 15mm/5/8” gap away from the walls which is here the water falls down to the shower pan below and then out the drain into the Grey Water tanks.
Each floor section is removable for cleaning and maintenance. Same design up in the Master Head. With a second floor panel in the connected Shower. All coming together very nicely if I do say so myself and the combination of materials and colours are very pleasing to our eyes and seem to be able to keep up with those artfully etched glass walls. Last bit of Teak is the permanently affixed panel that goes on top of the seat in the Master Shower to help keep you from slipping when sitting so Ali got right to work at that. Ali and Orkan do all the Teak deck work at Naval so they too have LOTS of practice and make this all happen very quickly.
SUPERSALON SUPERING ALONG
Up in the SuperSalon, Nihat and Uğur finished mounting the Llebroc Main Helm Chair to the now finished Ado LVT vinyl floor. In eXtreme sea conditions the forces on these pedestal bases can be high in the eXtreme so they are bolted through 60mm / 2.5” thick solid laminated blocking under the flooring and thru the Aluminium floors into 15mm thick AL reinforcement plates in the ceiling of the Basement. I took this shot while briefly sitting in the fully mounted Helm Chair with the camera lens held at eye height to give you an idea of the view forward from the Main Helm. It is a bit cluttered up there on the Bow right now as Christine is finishing off all the Dyneema lifelines and Uğur is putting in the Dorade Cowls, but you can still see how much visibility we have when conning the boat from this Main Helm Station. And here is one of the silicone cowls on the four Dorade boxes on the front deck. These ensure that we always have plenty of fresh air circulating in our Master Cabin even in rough breaking seas when we would not be able to have the hatches open. Ventilation on an XMP type of boat is critical for two of our four priorities; Comfort and Safety.
Each White/Red silicone cowl can also be rotated 360 degrees by just loosening that notched Gray ring at the base and then tightening it back down. Any water that gets into the cowl simply flows out those slots in the bottom of the AL Dorade Box and none can get down the 100mm / 4” AL vent pipes going down into the Master Cabin. Uğur and I worked together to install the locking latches in the large hinged hatch in the SuperSalon that gives you access to the Basement below. Ramazon had finished laying down all the LVT vinyl flooring so we could now cut out the recesses for the two SS locking latches for lifting up and locking down this big hatch.
We were running a bit short handed so we had to call in this foreign help and he worked out so-so. I just love my little Milwaukee 18V router and it made short work of routing out the recesses in the vinyl flooring and underlying plywood for the SS latches to fit into and be flush with the flooring. It was a bit tricky as the recesses needed to be multiple depths for the different steps in the base of the SS latches as you can see here.
We cut out little cardboard temples you can see in these photos and used them mark out the floor and then I could carefully sneak the router up to those lines. On the underside of the Hatch these SS levers turn to engage into slots on the frame and ensure that the hatch stays fully closed and could not fly open if we were to ever roll over.
TENDER is READY to GO ONBOARD Möbius
As I mentioned in the intro, Christine and I spent the day yesterday (Saturday Jan 23, 2021) at the shipyard as we wanted to get the Tender ready to be loaded onto the Aft Deck of Möbius just before the boat mover takes Möbius over to be launched. Uğur and Nihat had finished the hull last month and now we needed to get the jet drive installed and the Yanmar engine in place before lifting the Tender onto the Aft Deck. Earlier in the week the Fenders we had ordered over a month ago showed up and are great to have so we can install them soon. It took a lot of searching but we finally found a Turkish company making these very industrial grade rubber fenders for bit Pilot Boats, Tugs and docks which were just what we were looking for.
If you look closely in the rendering above you can see how we have designed these fenders to wrap all around the upper edge of the hull which will enable us to easily rub up against rough docks and concrete walls as well as use the Tender as we intend to as a “tug” for moving Möbius around or helping out other boats.
Not sure when I will have time to install these but I’ll show you when it does happen.
I will likely install a row of these on the stern of Möbius as well so we would be able to similarly push up against a rough concrete wall with no damage or concerns. We started by disassembling my hydraulic hoist up in my workshop at Naval and moved it down to the shipyard so we could use it to lift our Castoldi 224 DD jet drive and Yanmar 4JH4 TE 110HP diesel inboard engine into the Tender. I designed the hinged lid on top of the Engine Bay in the Tender so it would go well over center when fully raised but we tied it on just to be safe as we had to lift the Tender up quite a bit to be able to get the jet drive in from underneath. Always great to have a fully rigid and solid aluminium boat hull and so it was a piece of cake to wrap a length of webbing around the Swim Platform and attach the end of the hoist to this to life the whole aft end of the Tender off the floor. This hoist is just SO handy to have and I’ll be taking it with us when we go as it all comes apart and stores very small. Equally handy and coming with us are these jack stands which I’ve had for probably 30+ years and worked just fine to prop the Tender up above the floor so we could slide the Castoldi jet drive home from underneath. We had done a dry fit of the Jet Drive into the Tender when we were building the hull and then stored it, upside down here, it the wood crate it had been shipped in. Now it was time to flip him over and get him permanently installed and sealed into the hull. ”Are you SURE you know what you’re doing?!” asked the Captain which is not a new phrase from her as you might imagine.
Yet another super handy tool is my little car floor jack and it worked well to balance the Jet Drive on and then jack up into the Castoldi supplied AL frame that had been welded into the bottom of the hull. We first did one last dry fit just to make doubly sure that all the holes I had drilled in the thick transom plate and the bottom flange in the hull and then lowered it back down to clean all the mating surfaces with Acetone. Then squeezed on a good bead of Sikaflex 291i structural adhesive on all the mating surfaces. Then slide it home one last time and insert the SS bolts and torque them all down. With the Jet Drive now all bolted in place we could now install the two cylinders on either side. Port/Left side is the cylinder that moves the jet nozzle and steers the boat. Starboard/Right cylinder moves this bucket that sits overtop of the flow of water coming out of the jet and redirects in whatever direction you wish to go forward, reverse or sideways. The whole installation went very smoothly and the Jet Drive was now fully in place. Next up………….. unboxing and installing our four cylinder Yanmar 4JH4 TE 110HP diesel inboard engine that has never even been out of the box he shipped in. After some initial concerns that the motor in our Tender would be three times more powerful than the Yanmar in her last 33’ Caliber sailboat, the Captain seems to be warming to the driving force in our Tender. It took some work to find the model I wanted which s this one with all direct mechanical fuel injection rather than ECU controlled common rail but thanks to the super helpful Yanmar dealer at Denpar Marine here, this is just what I wanted. I have used this same hoist to lift all of Mr. Gee’s 1200Kg / 2650 lbs many times during his full factory rebuild so lifting the mere 217Kg/ 478lb Yanmar was a piece of cake. We rolled the Yanmar around to the Stbd side and then under the hull and it dropped right onto the 25mm / 1” thick AL engine beds welded into the hull.
The Yanmar has landed!
With so many other priorities on our plates this will be good enough for now to just have the Yanmar sitting on the Engine Beds and I’ll get back to bolting the motor mounts in properly later.
This engine and jet drive are a matched pair that Castoldi put together so it came as a very complete system that I am very pleased with.
This is a Direct Drive jet drive so there is a short cardon shaft (drive shaft) that connects the output shaft from the Yanmar to the input of the Castoldi which makes alignment and connection all very simple and this is all work that I can do after we launch and have the Tender on the Aft Deck of Möbius. But for now, this closes the door on our Tender and she is now all ready for the crane to lift it onto the Aft Deck of Möbius just before the boat mover shows up to carry Möbius over to the harbour and LAUNCH!!!
Can’t let myself be distracted by that excitement yet as there is still SO MUCH to do before she is ready to launch but there is definitely light at the end of this looooooong and winding tunnel!
So do stay tuned for the big finale folks, it IS getting closer and closer and we would be delighted to take you along with us over the finish line! I’m sure that many of you are feeling like this journey would never end and we sincerely thank you for sticking with us and for all your contributions of questions and suggestions that have been so helpful along the way and PLEASE do keep them coming by typing them into the “Join the Discussion” box below and I look forward to seeing you here again next week.