Rest & Recovery XPM78-01 Möbius Weekly Update 6-12 June, 2022

We have stayed for a second week here in Netsel Marina in Marmaris as this past week was a purposely slow one after Christine’s knee surgery the week before to repair a torn meniscus.  She has been very diligent in following her surgeon’s orders to rest, ice the knee regularly for the first week and slowly start putting more weight on it with short walks around the boat.  Swelling was down and feeling better each day so she took her first trip ashore in almost two weeks on Friday.  We walked a few hundred meters up the concrete docks here in Netsel Marina in Marmaris and enjoyed dinner out at a small café on the docks.  Weather has been ideal with daytime temps just over 30C/86F and cool sleeping temps around 20C/68 at night.

IMG_0934Marina life is not our cup of tea but it was just what the doctor ordered and made the most sense for a full recovery of Christine’s knee.  The marina here in Marmaris is quite large and very full of charter boats of all shapes and sizes.  We spend a lot of our time up in the SkyBridge on Möbius and this is the view off our bow where there is a constant parade of boats going in and out of the marina. 
IMG_0926Makes for great entertainment with little guys like this coming in to either pick up or drop off guests or make a very $$$$ stop at the fuel dock which was where this guy was headed.
Sailing Writer on SubStack screen grabChristine has started a new edition of her Sailing Writer newsletters using SubStack and in the latest one she published earlier this week she wrote about her whole experience of “Living the Dream” as the cruising life is often described.  You can read that HERE and also see the other newsletters she has written and subscribe to get them automatically in the future if you like.

We are also both using this time to ease our way through the transition out of full on boat building mode that we’ve been in for the past four plus years and back into cruising mode so I’ve been tackling at least one boat job a day, researching and designing new bits of kit for the boat and getting back to reading about topics that pique my curiosity such as quantum physics and some of the fascinating new thinking about time.  As one of my all time favorite teachers and mentors Richard Feynman once put it “If you think you understand quantum physics, you don’t understand quantum physics.”  and “I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics.” , which definitely includes me but I do like trying to understand it a bit a little bit better and find the whole topic just mind bogglingly interesting.

PXL_20220606_131434472One of the more satisfying jobs I got done this past week was finally buttoning up Mr. Gee by bolting on the valve rocker covers that I had polished up to give him just a wee bit more Gardner style “bling”.  I have left them off most of the time up to now as I wanted to keep a close eye on things as I put on more engine hours and one nice feature of these LXB motors is that they don’t spit any oil when the valve covers are off.  Also made it easy for me to do several valve adjustments along the way to make sure those are all just right. 
PXL_20220606_131441545.MPBut with about 40+ hours now and all going well I wanted to seal and bolt these covers on to keep out any foreign matter and to give him a bit more polished and finished look. 

What do you think?
Tomorrow I will head into some of the many marine stores in town to pick up some of the supplies I need for other boat jobs on the list such as oil for the first oil change on Mr. Gee after the last rebuild and some hardware and lines that I need for rigging the paravanes. 

Marmaris Bay sattelite shotThen on Monday afternoon we will head out of the marina which is the blue dot at the top center of this sat photo, and go over to a nice little anchorage for the night just the other side of  island you can see in the bottom left.  Christine needs to go back to the hospital in Antalya so we will cruise back over to our winter port in Finike which should take us about 10 hours and we can get an early morning start off our anchorage.
We know Finike well and it is a short drive to Antalya which makes it easy for us to provision and work on Möbius to finish the boat jobs we want done before we head out for Athens to meet up with our granddaughters and family the first week of July.

I hope all of you have June and the summer off to a good start and thanks so much for taking the time to join us on this adventure.  Please keep the comments coming in the “Join the Discussion” box below and we’ll see you here again next Sunday.


The Pressure is ON! XPM78-01 Möbius Weekly Update 30 May-5 June, 2022

Marmaris   marina at nightWe have spent this past week in the relatively small but very marine based town of Marmaris.
map-showing-marmaris-turkey-with-a-red-pin-3d-rendering-2F9749BFor orientation, here is Marmaris relative to the others nearby islands and coastline around us.
Turquoise CoastYou’ll recall this map from previous posts and we started out in Antalya where Möbius was built and have been slowly making our way West and North along the Turquoise Coast.  We spent the winter in Finike and left there to begin our cruising season back on May 17th.  As you have read in the previous weekly updates since then we have stopped in Kekova, Kaş, Fethiye, Göcek and now Marmaris.
Netsel Marina Marmaris aerial view labelledWe have spent the past week here in Netsel Marina in Marmaris and the arrow shows where Möbius is docked.
Netsel Marina Marmaris aerial view 2The city of Marmaris itself isn’t that large but as you can see the marina is literally part of the city.
Map of Setur Marinas in TurkeyNetsel is one of the 10 Setur Marinas along the Turquoise Coast that we have access to as part of our annual contract with Setur Marinas.  If you click to enlarge you can all the red Setur Marina pins.  Antalya is the most Eastern Setur Marina and then the other 9 marinas are spread out as the coastline moves West and North to Istanbul. 

Christine’s Knee Update

This is a very large and very full marina and not usually our cup of tea but as I mentioned last week, Christine had torn her meniscus in her left knee and getting that fixed became our #1 priority and Marmaris was the best place to put in to.  After several appointments with doctors in several other ports we stopped at along the way we decided that the best course of action was to go back to the same hospital in Antalya that we both had outstanding experience with while living there.  Sunday morning Christine made the 6+ hour ride on a very luxurious bus that she said was more like an airline than a bus and on Monday morning she met with the surgeon who specializes in arthroscopic knee surgery at 9:30.  After going over all the specifics of Christine’s history with this knee, their consensus was that arthroscopic surgery was the best choice.  The surgeon asked “When would you like to have the surgery done?” and when she said as soon as possible he said “OK, how about tomorrow?”.  Fifteen minutes later Christine was in a hospital bed being prepped for surgery on Tuesday.  As amazing as this might sound to many of you, this is our experience with hospitals and medical care in Turkey and makes it easy to understand why Antalya in particular is such a popular destination for medical tourism.

Good news is that the surgery went very well and both the surgeon and Christine were very pleased so I rented a car on Wednesday morning, packed the pups and was in Antalya by noon to pick Christine up and bring her back to Möbius.  She has been confined to the boat since then which has been challenging for her but as per the title of this week’s update, one of the ways in which “The Pressure is ON” is that she has been able to put more and more pressure on the knee as she hobbles around Möbius a bit better each day.  While not something any of us would want this has been one of those good reminders of just how important our health and mobility is and as Christine soon remarked “I had no idea we had so many steps on this boat!”.

The surgeon wants to see Christine again in about two weeks so we are now thinking that it may be best to motor our way back East and get closer to Antalya for her follow up and to make sure that she has her knee well looked after.  Stay tuned for updates on where we decide to go next.

Oil Pressure is ON too!

Dual oil pressure gaugesYou may recall from the great oil pressure hunt with Mr. Gee, I had installed two oil pressure gauges after discovering that the original one had been falsely reading 20 PSI too low and causing me a LOT of angst until I discovered this.  Mr. Gee now has over 40 hours of run time and has been purring along with a steady 35 PSI of oil pressure just as a healthy Gardner 6LXB should and so one of my jobs this week was to create the more permanent setup for monitoring Mr. Gee’s oil pressure.
PXL_20220603_140942645.MPHere is the cleaned up and likely permanent setup on the four port bronze oil pressure manifold on the side of the oil filter.  Moving down from the liquid dampened oil pressure gauge on top, the other three ports are:

     1.  black pipe that takes pressurized oil over to the valve rockers on each head,

     2.  Silver fitting that takes oil pressure through a flexible hose over to an electric oil pressure sensor mounted on the opposite side of the black oil filter housing

     3.  Low Oil pressure warning switch which will also provide power to the engine hour meter anytime Mr. Gee is running
PXL_20220603_140927749.MPThe silver canister is the electric oil pressure sensor which sends its analog data over to ………
PXL_20220327_122546988  …… this Actisense EMU-1 engine monitor which converts all the analog engine data such as oil pressure, oil & coolant temperature, CPP oil temp & pressure, into digital signals and sends these onto our N2K network that is used to communicate ALL the boat’s data to the boat computers and onto any of the six monitors we have on the Upper and Lower Helm stations as well as broadcasting this wirelessly to our phones, tablets and any other monitors we chose.
PXL_20220605_125829832This is an example of the kind of dashboards that Christine is building using our Maretron N2K View software which allows us to create virtual gauges, switches, warning lights, alarms, etc.  We are slowly learning our way around this eXtremely powerful and diverse tool but we have a long ways to go and there really is no end to the different screens, gauge types, switches, alarms, lights, logs, graphs and other info we can display using this Maretron N2K View software.
Maretron N2K View Mobile Engine DataThere is also a free Maretron N2K View mobile app which we have on our phones so we can also see all this data on these screens as well.  Not something we use a lot as the larger screens provide a much more comprehensive collection of data on their larger real estate at each Helm but the phones are super handy when you are somewhere else on the boat and just want to check how things are working.  I also tend to use this while I’m working on some system somewhere else on the boat and can use my phone to show me what’s going on as I adjust things in the Engine Room or down in the Basement where most of the Victron electronics are located.  eXtremely handy and powerful and will only get more so as we learn to use these tools better over time and create all the Goldilocks displays that each of us prefer.
PXL_20220605_125902758.MPNow that we had Mr. Gee’s oil pressure on the N2K network via the EMU-1, we were able to create the virtual oil pressure gauge you see here and with a bit of tweaking we were able to configure this so that the pressure shown on this gauge matched the PSI shown on the liquid filled gauge on Mr. Gee.  Having all this data able to be displayed on any screen on the boat is a huge benefit while we are underway keeping us fully informed as to how everything on the boat is functioning.  We have a LOT of work to do to build out all the various screens we want for different contexts but this is a good start for now.

Configuring the Auto Pilots

PXL_20220605_130518956While I was in configuration mode I decided to also finish configuring our two Furuno 711C Auto Pilots.  The 711C display head you see on the bottom Left of the Main Helm provides all the data and controls for our Auto Pilots and there is a duplicate setup at the Upper Helm on the SkyBridge.  To the right of the 711C AP is the Furuno Jog Lever which is the second way we can steer the boat by simply moving that Black knob whichever way we want the rudder to move. 
The rotary switch to the Right of the Jog Lever is used to select which of the two helm stations is active.  The two silver levers on the far Right are how we control the throttle and the pitch.

Took a few hours but all of these are now working properly and next trip we will do the final tweaks to the Auto Pilot while we are underway and can dial in the actual zero rudder position.  These Furuno AP’s have the very great feature of “auto learning” and so as we use the boat more the AP system is learning the specifics of how Möbius handles, turns, rolls, etc. and uses this to dial in all the settings better and better over time.

Of course this being a boat, there were plenty of other little gremlins and “moles” to whack back down like the house water pump that I just spent the past 5 hours replacing today, but that’s how our start to yet another new month played out and I hope that yours was equally productive. 

How can it be another month already and almost half way through 2022?!?  However, with our recent reminder as to how precious time is we continue to be grateful for every day that speeds by and can only hope to have many more to come and enjoy each one as it passes.

Hope you will join us again for next week’s update and till then please be sure to add your comments in the “Join the Discussion” box below.


Back on Anchor at Last! 9-16 April 2022 Update XPM78-01 Möbius

Christine and I took some much needed time away from boat projects to spend time wtih some dear friends who flew in and stayed aboard Möbius with us.  So as you might have noticed I did not manage to get a blog post up last week and hope you enjoyed that break as well!  John and his wife Michelle and their four kids are full time live aboards on their Lagoon 500 sailing catamaran which they just crossed the Atlantic on and are now enjoying time in the Caribbean. 

John is an eXtremely experienced sailor so having him aboard was a huge help for both Christine and I to have someone like this to bounce ideas off and join forces in our problem solving.  Even better, John and I had a few days together by ourselves while Christine flew up to Istanbul to show his daughter Genna “Christine’s Istanbul” as she has become one of its best tour guides from all her previous times there. 

DJI_0024When we all reunited on Möbius we set out for a few days and sailed up to a beautiful little anchorage off the village of Kekova and I’ll show you a bit more about that in a moment.

PXL_20220409_073355908Truth be told, we did spend some time working on boat projects as we took full advantage of tapping into John’s extensive expertise and experience to get his thoughts on several of the projects we have underway as well as some ongoing problems we are trying to sort out. John and family are huge fans of catamarans, and justly so as a family of six most often with other guests aboard but John did admit to a wee bit of Engine Room and Workshop envy while he was here.

Otherwise, not too much in the way of the usual Show & Tell for me to share with you about boat work the past two weeks although I did manage to finish installing the hydraulic steering in our Tender Mobli and this coming week I hope to get back to work on him with installation of the fuel lines, exhaust system and other items needed to be able to start Mobli up and take him out for some sea trials. 

However I may not make too much progress on that as we are going to be hauling Möbius out tomorrow morning as a haul out is included in our annual contract here at Setur Marina and so  we thought it would be smart to take advantage of the opportunity to fully inspect everything below the waterline, see how well the InterSleek foul release bottom paint has been working after a year in the water and see how the anodes/zincs are doing.  Having a slick and slippery bottom and prop will help us get a great start as we finally head back out to sea and out of the Med.

A to Z; the Zen of being at Anchor

The last time we had been on anchor with Möbius was this past June when our two Granddaughters (and their parents) spent the month with us here in Turkey so it was ear to ear grins as we fired up Mr. Gee and headed out to spend a few days with John and Genna aboard and explore a new anchorage just up the coast from us here in Finike. 

PXL_20220409_093152810This is the view as we head out of Finike Marina and some of the mountains that surround us.
PXL_20220409_093228478~2Genna was hard at work on deck as we left.
PXL_20220409_095703051.MPMeanwhile, John was too busy practicing his rendition of the scene in the movie Titanic but we all have our parts to play right?
PXL_20220409_093430385We have been using out swim ladder with a plank of wood lashed to it for our passerelle to get on/off Möbius while tied up at the marina so we just folded it up for the trip and we were off! 

This is our wake at about 7.5 knots with Mr. Gee turning about 1300 RPM.
PXL_20220410_145440483Captain Christine did all the piloting while I kept a close eye on Mr. Gee and all the systems as we continue to put on more nautical smiles and hours.
PXL_20220409_110918271 Here she has up up to about 8 knots with Mr. Gee turning about 1300 RPM and burning just a bit less than 19 L/hr or 5 USG/hr which works out to be about 2.4 L/nm or 0.63 USG/nm which we are quite happy with as we slowly break in Mr. Gee and perhaps more so ourselves on this eXtremely new and unique boat for us to sailors.
PXL_20220410_142816038This was the view off our stern as the Captain moved us up to about 8.8 knots @ 1440 RPM consuming about 20.4 L/hr 5.4 USG/hr so about 2.3 L/nm 0.61 USG/nm.  Mr. Gee is currently set for 100% or Continuous duty cycle at 150 HP @ 1650 RPM so he still has some room left to go and we will keep moving up to this as we put on more miles and collect all this kind of data to see where the sweet spot is.

For now though, we think this wake at almost 9 knots is pretty sweet!
PXL_20220409_114851572Sweeter still was this view passing the castle above the village of Kekova.
PXL_20220410_045251445as we headed for this lovely little anchorage.
PXL_20220409_122230625.MPOnly one other boat was there and we anchored a good ways back from him for some mutual privacy.
PXL_20220409_120120890Always time for one more project right?  Just before we put the anchor down John and I installed the new Mantus SS swivel between the anchor chain and our 110Kg/242lb Rocna anchor.  We had tried it without the swivel but I had overdesigned the AL anchor rollers a bit and machined a groove in them that kept the chain very snug but would not allow it to rotate at all which made bringing the anchor aboard a bit difficult at times. 
PXL_20220409_120329488I’ve been very impressed with how well Mantus makes these swivels and have complete confidence in it and will SWAN, Sleep Well at Night with this no problem. 

One more boat job checked off the list!
PXL_20220410_045233012And how much better a spot to sleep can you find than this?!
PXL_20220410_071456859Never content with just one Captain’s hat, Christine decided this was also the perfect opportunity for her to get some more air miles on our drone.
DJI_0017Which allowed her to get shots like this.  Almost surrealist as it almost looks like it is too good to be real and must be a rendering.

Click to enlarge this or any other photo to see at full resolution.
DJI_0019But this was as real as it gets with John, Christine and me enjoying this sunny day in complete silence other than the bells on the goats scrambling on the rocks ashore.
And lucky you, Christine has just quickly put together this video montage of some of her drone video and some from John’s camera as he enjoyed exploring more of Möbius.

Hope you enjoyed this more scenic blog post this week and that you will join us again next week when we will report on what we found when we hauled Möbius out after her first 14 months in the water after the initial launch.  And please do add any comments or questions in the ‘”Join the Discussion” box below.



My ER is BACK!! Möbius Update 21-26 March, 2022

I’m not sure how it happened but another week and almost another month has somehow zipped by and it feels like Spring is finally in the air as the weather begins to warm here in Southern Turkey. Still a bit of a chill at nights but they are trending upwards and the forecast is calling for that to continue.

With Mr. Gee now back on his feet we are now ramping up our efforts to make Möbius fully ship shape and ready to head out to sea as the weather improves. It is now mostly all the little things that need to be done but they do take time and at the end of many days when I look around I don’t seem to see much visual progress but I does feel good to be checking items off of the To do list.

So let’s jump right in and get you updated on all that happened this week that I could photograph. Oh, and stick around for the Bonus video at the end!

Monitoring Matters

Since getting Mr. Gee back up and running I’ve been spending a lot of my time doing all the “little” things on him such as getting all the various sensors wired up that measure things like oil pressure, engine oil, gearbox oil and coolant temperature.

Mr. Gee gauges and PRV If you look closely at this labelled photo (click any photo to enlarge) of the pressure and temperature senders on Mr. Gee you will notice that in addition to the analog gauges there is a second electric sensor that measures these same things.
PXL_20220327_122501031Here for example, is the Sika temperature gauge for the engine oil and on the left of it is the electric temperature sender which sends the oil temperature over to our Maretron boat monitoring system.

PXL_20220327_122434591Over on the left side of the oil filter you can see the same combination of two analog oil pressure gauges and then a third electric sender at the very bottom.
PXL_20220327_122450219Over on the right front of Mr. Gee on the coolant manifold we find the analog temperature gauge and its electric cousin on the right.

It was finicky work running all the wires for these electric sensors and finding the best route to as I like to keep them well hidden and safe from chaffing so took the better part of a day to get these installed.
PXL_20220327_122533992Then I needed to chase a multi strand cable to get all output from these sensors over to the front Port/Left side of the Workshop where these Maretron black boxes and the Actisense EMU-1 are located.
Actisense EMU-1 photoThe EMU-1 is needed to convert the signals from the electric sensors and put this data on our NMEA2000 or N2K network which runs throughout the boat and carries all the boat data.
Actisense EMU-1 network diagramThis N2K network carries all the data to and from each sensor on the boat and allows us to display all this data on any of our many monitors onboard, our phones, laptops and tablets.
Actisense EMU-1 wiring diagramThis is the wiring diagram for the analog side of things with the wires from each sender going into the EMU-1.
PXL_20220327_122546988Which now looks like this.  I will finish this job tomorrow by wiring the EMU-1 for the 24 volt power it needs.  When we next have Mr. Gee running we can then check that the pressure and temperature data is showing up on the N2K network and Christine can build the screens to display all this info.
We have done this dual analog/digital combination for most of the things we monitor on Möbius such as tank levels, water pressure, DHW temperature and many more.  It is time consuming and costly but being able to monitor and log all this data is critical to being able to run Möbius safely and efficiently and to get early warning signals of equipment or systems as soon as they start to malfunction or fail.  A big part of this is to be able to see this information from any screen anywhere on, as well as off, the boat so we find this to be well worth the effort and cost. 

Having the backup analog gauges provides redundancy should any of the digital senders fail and also enables us confirm that the N2K data is accurate.  As the recent mysterious missing oil pressure adventure proved, this double checking can prove to be eXtremely important!

My ER is Back!

PXL_20220326_141034339.MPAnother one of those little and time consuming jobs was putting the grated flooring back in the Engine Room.  We have used this composite grating in many other spaces such as the Workshop and Forepeak and it has worked out eXtremely well.  Strong, solid, oblivious to any liquids and very non skid.  Each grid has a frame surrounding it that is fabricated using aluminium L-bar which are then bolted to vertical L-bar supports welded to the frames.
PXL_20220326_141058011In the ER this grid flooring wraps all around Mr. Gee and is a huge safety factor when we ae underway and in rough seas as you always have a solid slip free floor under your feet.
PXL_20220326_141122496.MPNot difficult work, just finicky to get the jig saw puzzle of all the individual frames fit back into their spaces and then bolted to their support bars.

At least in this case the results of all my time were very easy to see and it does feel particularly great to have the Engine Room back again since I first removed it back in June of last year.

Mr. Gee Video Tour Bonus

As promised, here is the bonus video so many of you have been requesting for so long.  I don’t have the time to do any editing so this is going to be a very “uncut” and amateurish video I’m afraid but for all you Mr. .Gee fan boys and girls out there, hopefully this will hold you over until I can do a better version. 

And for those who may have missed it, here is the video that was in last week’s update of the first starting of Mr. Gee version 3.0 after fixing the recalcitrant O-rings and finding the faulty oil pressure gauge that finally solved the mystery of the disappearing oil pressure.

Hope you enjoy these “rough and ready” videos from your trusty reporter and please type your questions and comments to let me know in the “Join the Discussion” box below.



Third Time’s the Charm? Möbius Update 14-20 March, 2021

A very busy week filled with several major milestones just flew by that included some fun birthday celebrations, an eXciting birthday gift and some eXcitement in the Engine Room with Mr. Gee 3.0. 

I’ll cover them in that order so let’s jump right in and bring you up to date on the week that was the 14th through 20th of March, 2022.

Christine’s Birthday Breakfast

Captain Christine completed her latest circumnavigation of the sun and started her next one on Tuesday the 15th.  We awoke to a beautiful sunny morning with no wind so her first gift was for us to walk over to our favorite little spot on the beach here in Finike which is about a kilometer around the waterfront from the marina.

PXL_20220315_060313728.MPAs you can see they serve quite the traditional Turkish breakfast and the only problem is finding enough room on the table for all the plates!
NOTE:  If you look up at the top of the photo above Christine’s head you can see the masts of all the sailboats in the Finike Marina where Möbius is docked.

IMG_0684  This is me wondering just how many people they thought were going to be attending this birthday breakfast?  We did not manage to eat it all but we put a good dent in it.
PXL_20220315_070914563On the walk back along the beach, we stopped in to check out this little building that we had passed on all our previous trips to the restaurant.  Can you guess what this is?
PXL_20220315_070935737.MPHow about if I include this bench as a very good clue?
PXL_20220315_070821368Correct!  It is a mini library!  You pick out the book you want from the shelves here and then walk up the spiral staircase and ……………….
PXL_20220315_070909466…… read your book while sitting in this 360 degree glass reading room while taking in the view.

Just a few of the reasons we love living here for the past 8 months.

Birthday eBike!

Alba Fold2Christine has been researching eBikes for at least a year and so it seemed like the perfect birthday gift.  The one she decided on is made in Turkey by Alba and she chose their 2022 Fold2 model
Fold2 gearsIt is quite impressive with 8 speed Shimano Altus chain shifter and then 5 power assist levels from the 36V/7.8Ah Li-Ion Battery Pack that gives her an average range of 50km.

Fold2 computerSports this easy to read screen and even has a USB port to charge her phone when she is out riding around town.
PXL_20220318_120103130The box arrived at the marina from the factory in the center of Turkey in 3 days and came almost completely assembled, just needed to have the seat and handlebars set up.

Made with all aluminium construction which we obviously prefer and keeps the weight down to just 19.5kg / 43lbs which is very good for a folding eBike.
PXL_20220318_120738452.MPIt was cold and a bit wet outside when the box arrived so we moved it inside the Workshop and quickly went through the unboxing.
PXL_20220318_125820553et Voila! 
PXL_20220319_094407044A VERY happy B’day girl was soon zipping up and down the concrete dock behind us at up to 26 km/hr!!!

She has since been out to the market twice and now has about 20 km on it and she says the battery still says full so she is very pleased that all her research paid off.  Happy Birthday my Captain!

Guess what?  As Mr. Gee Turns is a Trilogy!

Meanwhile, I was making good progress with Mr. Gee as I come to find out that the mystery series I’ve been writing here on the ever elusive oil pressure is a actually a trilogy!  Who knew?  All along I had thought there was just one dastardly plot to foil me but it turns out that there were three different stories to be told here.  I now believe that I am finally ready to write the final episode in this three part series so read on to see how this all ends. 

PXL_20220312_103532735When I left off last week I had just completed checking out the drive gears for the oil pump and confirmed that they were all working properly.  All my testing and evidence suggested that the oil pump, which I had recently replaced with a new one, was working properly and putting out good volume and pressure.

Mr. Gee gauges and PRVThis past week I renewed my focus on the second scenario of there being an internal oil leak that was still eluding me and could explain the lack of oil pressure.
In what I now realize was the second book in this trilogy, I had found and fixed the problem with the rubber O-rings so I was very sure that these were now sealing well and if there was a leak it had to be somewhere else internally.  With Mr. Gee still up in the air with his oil pan/sump still off it wasn’t possible to run the oil pump so I decided to build a little tank that I could fill with oil and pressurize to simulate the output of the oil pump.  Last weekend, in one of our many calls my dear friend Greg and I came up with a series of tests and this was one of them. 

Turns out that great minds do think alike as Gary, one of our fabulous followers, left a comment here on the blog with the same suggestion a few days later.  Thanks Gary!

PXL_20220314_122632658.MPMaking the most of what I’ve got available and in true McIvor fashion, this yellow 5 liter jug had quite thick and sturdy walls that I thought would work to turn into a pressure oil tank with two modifications.  First I needed an outlet in the bottom where I could hook up a hose to carry the pressurized oil from the tank to Mr. Gee so I drilled and tapped, aka threaded, a hole in the bottom end.
PXL_20220314_140603089This allowed me to thread in this brass fitting for the ball valve and hose barb to attach to.  The threads did not reach all the way to the top of the hex surface of the fitting so I mixed up some epoxy filler and liberally coated the threads before putting it in place and hoped that it  would be good enough to stay sealed when under pressure.
PXL_20220314_140621812For the pressure, I kidnapped a Schrader valve from a poor unsuspecting bicycle tube in our spares department and threaded the black cap on the jug and screwed this in place with some epoxy to seal it as well.
PXL_20220314_132732033Now I needed a way of getting the pressurized oil into Mr. Gee so I fabricated a little flanged adapter that I could bolt on in place of the copper pipe that carries the oil from the oil pump up to the Pressure Relief Valve or PRV that you can see in the labeled photo above.
PXL_20220314_140529494A bit more epoxy sealer and I had this bronze hose barb threaded into and sealed to the flange.
PXL_20220314_141420107.MPWhich I now bolted to the bottom of the PRV where the pressurized oil from the oil pump on Mr. Gee would have normally been attached.
PXL_20220315_111154113Next I fitted one end of a reinforced hose to the fitting on the PRV and the other end to the fitting on the yellow tank.
PXL_20220315_111141014The final actor in this scene was my trusty bicycle pump which attached to the Schrader valve and enabled me to pressurize the oil in the jug.  Well, Christine actually did all the pumping as I was positioned under Mr. Gee with my flashlight watching the crankshaft area for any signs of oil coming out where it should not.

PXL_20220301_135529398It was not the most conclusive test as there was of course oil coming out of each of the main and con rod bearings as there should be so oil was dripping down everywhere.  But after thoroughly checking from all angles as Christine kept the oil pressurized, I could not see oil coming out anywhere that it shouldn’t be.
adding 2nd oil pressure gaugeThat was all the testing I could do at this point but just for good measure I decided to add a second oil pressure gauge to the same junction block on the left side of the oil filter. 
Both of these are brand new gauges and the one on the bottom is the one that has been on Mr. Gee since the very first rebuild and had been working reliably.  Once again, great minds thinking alike as two days later two other helpful followers, Gary and “Sail Free Spirit” added their comments here asking if it might be possible that the oil pressure gauge wasn’t working?   Thanks guys.

Didn’t seem likely as it had been working fine and reading properly for all the times Mr. Gee has been running, about 20 hours in total, but still worth checking right?

PXL_20220303_124112209Finally time to put Mr. Gee back together again and lower him down onto his engine beds one more time.  Not my first rodeo doing this so I’m getting pretty fast and only takes me a couple of hours now.

I filled him up with oil and connected the starter motor so I could use that to crank him over for a few seconds and check to see if there was any movement on the oil pressure gauges.  Both needles moved so it was looking promising and I continued connecting water and exhaust hoses and everything needed to start.
PXL_20220316_145612593As usual, Mr. Gee fired up on the first spin of his crankshaft but my heart sank as I looked at the oil pressure gauge I was holding in my hand!  Only 16 PSI when it should be 35!! 

But hang on a minute! 

What’s up with the second gauge behind it?  It IS reading 35 PSI,  a difference of almost 20 PSI!  WTF!?!?
PXL_20220316_140922650Now the question became which gauge was correct?  Interesting challenge.  Fortunately I happen to have no less than 10 other pressure gauges on board, several used ones from back in my mechanic and hot rod days and some brand new liquid filled ones I use for providing pressures of oil, water and fuel throughout the boat. 

As you can see here, now things got eXtremely curious!  Here I have THREE different gauges attached and THREE DIFFERENT readings; 45, 34 and 30 PSI. 
PXL_20220316_142814153.MPAfter testing 7 different gauges, I finally got two that read the same!  The one on top is one of the new liquid filled gauges that I use throughout the boat and have at least 10 on hand.  They have all proven to be very accurate and each one of those read the same when attached to Mr. Gee.  The smaller black Gardner gauge below is a previously unused new Gardner gauge that I had for a spare.

PXL_20220316_142839951In this photo, Mr. Gee is running at about 1000 RPM and the PRV adjuster on the far Right is adjusted to proper Gardner specs with 5 threads showing above the lock nut.

Holy jumpin’ gauge needles Batman!  We have proper oil pressure!!!!

I have since permanently mounted these two gauges to Mr. Gee just in case one should decide to go MIA in the future and I got busy getting Mr. Gee fully installed and ready to head out to sea.

Such as checking and adjusting all the intake and exhaust valve clearances to be 0.004 and 0.008’” respectively.
PXL_20220318_102558204Finish mounting the SS support rods for the overhead wet exhaust system.

Connect all the AC power cables to the two Electrodyne alternators.
PXL_20220318_102604510Reconnect and precisely align the Nogva CPP output flange to the propeller flange and then torque them all down.
And with all that done Mr. Gee is now running like his famous self and oil pressure is holding steady at 35 PSI! 

So here at last is the video that so many of us have been waiting so long for:

I am putting together a longer video tour of Mr. Gee that so many of you have been asking for and hope to get that posted later this week.  We are experiencing excruciatingly slow upload speed right now for some reason but hope to have those fixed soon.

In putting all the evidence together now, here is what seems to have played out.  Rather than a single problem causing the oil pressure to drop, it seems that there were three completely separate problems that shared the common thread of low oil pressure. 

Series #1 Massive Overloading.  In the first episode an inept captain who had been hired to do the first sea trials, had pushed both throttle and pitch levers to their maximum position and left them there causing massive overloading on a brand new engine.  This lead to rapid wear on the main bearings and caused the oil pressure to drop. 

Series #2 Too Tolerant O-Rings.  After the second rebuild to fix the damage caused by the massive overloading all seemed to be well and the engine ran with full oil pressure for the first 7 hours of sea trials.  Then it started to drop off slowly again.  After tearing down the engine once again, I discovered that the O-rings sealing the crankshaft main bearing oil pipework had been damaged on installation because O-rings with maximum sectional diameter happened to be installed in grooves with minimum depth such that there was more rubber than space and the O-rings were pinched and sliced open when they were installed.  After about 7 hours of run time these damaged O-rings began to leak which caused the oil pressure to drop once again.

Series #3  Faulty Oil Pressure Gauge  In this week’s final episode of the trilogy, for reasons that remain unclear at this time, the oil pressure gauge that had been working fine, continued to show pressure but as was in fact showing 20 PSI less than the actual oil pressure.  Over adjusting the PRV had been successful at raising the oil pressure so that this faulty gauge would show 35 PSI but what I went on to discover with a second gauges was that in fact the actual oil pressure was about 55 PSI!  The oil pressure had been correct 35 PSI with the PRV adjusted as it should be with about 5 threads showing, but because the gauge was just off by about 20 PSI it was only reading 15.  Truth is always stranger than fiction right??

This latest situation with the new Gardner oil pressure gauge working fine for many months and then suddenly giving a false reading that was 20 PSI lower than the actual pressure present remains a mystery to me.  I guess this is another example of how assumptions can always bite you in the #$ss and that I probably should have tried swapping out the gauge sooner.  Having had the gauge be reading correctly right up until it didn’t took me by surprise as normally these mechanical oil pressure gauges either work or they don’t.  I’ve not previously experienced this sudden change in the pressure reported by the gauge itself when the actual oil pressure stays the same, but I am now!

Hardy Orzikowski on the Wika blog has a very thorough and well written article called “8 Common Reasons For Pressure Gauge Failure”  and that offers some insights into what might have happened with the gauge on Mr. Gee. 

As you can see these mechanical gauges are very simple and not too much to go wrong with them but obviously its possible.  I may open up the one that failed to see what I can find inside but so far nothing appears to be amiss, all clean and it does work, just all of a sudden not giving the correct reading.  For those of you with some thoughts on this please put them in the ‘Join the Discussion’ box at the bottom.
While I won’t feel like this final episode is completely finished until I put 20-50 hours of sea trials on Mr. Gee 3.0 but right now both Christine and I are feeling the best we have in many months as this mystery series seemed to be unending.

There are a LOT of lessons to be learned here and I will be processing all this for some time.  And while it has been an eXtremely long and winding road, it has not only lead to what appears to be a very happy ending, it has also reminded me just how fortunate I am to have such a supportive Captain and such awemazing friends, family and followers who have been there throughout this entire trilogy.  Thanks and I am eXtremely grateful to ALL of you!

Hope you will all stick around for the fun part of enjoying the flip side of when you make it through a big storm at sea with how much better you appreciate the sunsets that follow.  My sincere thanks to ALL of you who have been on the adventure with me and I’ll continue to do my best to bring you more interesting and entertaining content on topics other than oil pressure!!!



Thrill of Defeat, Agony of Victory Möbius Update 7-12 March 2022

Brrrrrrr, it is back to feeling a bit wintery here in Finike the past few days as night time temps suddenly dropped down from 12C / 54F to 1C / 34F last night.  Not that cold for many of you and my Canadian friends in particular but for us tropical wimps, this qualifies as cccccccold.  Good reminders to us why we went so far overboard with insulation on Möbius and makes us eXtremely grateful for our heated floors and heated mattress pads.  Most of the other live aboards here in Finike Marina are on fiberglass production boats which have little to no insulation which reminds us all the more just how fortunate we are.
Finike Marina snowy mountainsThe other great thing about the weather here of late is how clear the skies and the air are.  The colder temps have also added to the snowfall frosting on the taller mountains that create the dramatic backdrop you see here.  Fills me with joy every time I look up from my screen as I put this blog update together for you here on this sunny Sunday afternoon.

What’s up with this week’s title?

A bit of background for those who might not recognize the reference I’ve played with for this week’s title.  While I’ve never been into sports very much, I do recall being with my Dad as a young boy while he was watching Wide World of Sports on the TV so I became familiar with what became the infamous opening to what was went on to become one of the longest running sports shows ever from its start in 1961. 

For those who may not have seen this or its been a long time, below is a clip of the opening from YouTube.

I don’t know if they continued to use this opening throughout the long run of ABC’s Wide World of Sports but it ran for many, many years and the opening line of “The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat”  played overtop of the same set of sports clips every week for years.  Pity the poor ski jumper who had to watch this one nasty fall of his over and over and over again.

I’m not sure but I think this may also have been the catalyst for the similarly inverted saying of ‘”Snatching failure from the jaws of victory’” which would have worked as well, but I’m going with the iconic WWS version for this week.

I’ve taken a bit of literary license with this quote by inverting it and here’s why.  I was reminded this week how some of the best experiences in our lives come out of some of what we thought at the time were the worst ones.  in this most recent example the past few weeks have been very frustrating as my search for the root cause of the dropping oil pressure on Mr. Gee seems to always be just beyond my grasp.  As all you regular followers of this mystery novel know, time and again I find what seems sure to be the problem and fix it, only to watch the oil pressure elude me yet again.  So I’ve been feeling the “agony of defeat” quite frequently of late.

But on Wednesday morning, while catching up to all the overnight Emails I came across one from a long time follower of the Möbius blog which opened with this;

Good morning Wayne & Christine, I’m  a boat addicted person that lives part time up and down the Queensland coast on my own steel Yacht/Money pit. Love my Yacht ANAWAI dearly for she is not only an adventurous mobile home but an ongoing Engineering Project that gives me great satisfaction. Sounds like ???…..

Monday mornings have become a thing to look forward to over the last three years as your MOBIUS adventures unfold. Your opportunity to choose and use a Gardener just leaves my blue with envy. Sometimes I take a cup of coffee and just look up the Mr. G parts of your posts. So rest assured that when I proffer the comments that follow I’m firmly on Team Mobius.

My Engineering career has made me a devotee of the humble and yet sophisticated O-ring. As youngster deep down Oil wells and later underwater marine seals and Industrial Hydraulic designs have had my finger prints on them. I live in Adelaide but the big hundred kilowatt machines have been built in Vancouver BC. A good reason to visit your home town. This career does not make me an expert but rather a devotee of the design principles laid out in the Parker O-Ring design manual. 

O-ring flange seal inside pressure PH designFrom there, Stewart went on to provide me with his very thoughtful ideas on the problems I had been experiencing with the O-rings on Mr. Gee and attached a plethora of detailed specifications and best practices for O-ring design and installation. 
Thus began a very deep dive into O-rings and we were soon Emailing and texting each other and sending photos and attachments back and forth across the dateline that separated us with the cause that united us. 

o-ring 3 types drawing from StewStew also drafted up some of our conversation which is super helpful and definately my kind of guy!
As of this morning we are still at it and believing that we have resolved the O-ring issues we have now moved on to our possible culprits I need to apprehend in the ongoing dastardly oil pressure caper which unfortunately continues. 
How fortunate am I to have someone with such expertise to so generously reach out and give me so much of his time?!

And Stew now joins the other alumni of Team Möbius such as my University buddy Greg who is my top mechanic minded friend of all time along with Michael, James and David at Gardner Marine Diesel, who have been sharing their expertise and time equally generously with me for several months now.  You can therefore understand how the inverted version of that opening TV line seemed to describe this past week so well as I reveled in the joys and thrills of defeat to have people like this rally around me while I am simultaneously experiencing the agony of victory that continues to elude me.  The latter might not be what I’d wish for but the former makes me SO much richer.

Picking up where we left off…..

At the end of last week’s update, I left you with Mr. Gee hanging in the ER ready to be lowered onto his awaiting engine beds and closed out the blog with this;

As is my habit every time I start Mr. Gee, I will use the hand crank first to spin him up for a few minutes and check that there is oil pressure registering on the gauge.  This ensures that all the oil galleries and bearings are full of oil prior to starting and reduces the chances of premature wear in the first few seconds after start up.

On Monday morning I soon had Mr. Gee back on his feet and as described above, I used the hand crank to spin him over for a few minutes to get all the oil galleries filled with oil while intently watching the needle on the oil pressure gauge.  Sure enough, just before I huffed my last puff, the needle moved up to about 10 PSI.  Yayyy, we’ve got some oil pressure!!!  Checked oil level and other vitals and then I used the 24 volt starter to turn Mr. Gee over with the compression release levers still on and fuel still off and again watched the oil pressure needle which soon registered about 12 PSI so things continued to look promising. 

Mr. Gee gauges and PRVWith these initial tests complete and oil pressure showing, I could now finish making the reconnections for coolant, exhaust and other systems and Mr. Gee was at last ready to be fired up. 

First step prior to starting is to use the starter motor to be sure that all the critical bearings have oil in them so I hit the starter button and watched as the engine turned over for a few seconds but the oil pressure needle did not move this time.  What!?!?  How’s that possible?  It was just there!  Tried again several more times but nada.  Very strange and new behavior not seen before.

Oil Filter exploded illustrationTo investigate further I started to adjust the oil Pressure Relief Valve or PRV on the Right side of the oil filter housing which you can see in the photo above and the illustration on the Left here.  The PRV acts as a pressure regulator to keep the oil pressure at the required 35 PSI @ 1000 RPM and the oil at 60C/140F.  Typically this is used to fine tune the oil pressure when the engine is running and lock in the oil pressure at 35PSI.  Turning the adjuster down creates more spring pressure which puts more downward force on the valve which reduces the amount of oil that bypasses the PRV and exits out the back in this illustration and flows by gravity to lubricate other parts such as the fuel injection pump and timing chain before draining back into the sump. 

Given the lack of oil pressure now, I started to adjust the PRV down in steps of several turns each and then cranked the engine with the starter motor.  it took several times but eventually I was able to get the oil pressure to finally come up so I now knew that the oil pump, which is also brand new BTW, was at least working.  I turned the PRV one further bit till it was bottomed out and hit the start button and this ‘pegged’ the oil pressure gauge as the pressure shot up briefly to at least 80 PSI or more.

Gardner 6LXB LUBRICATION System colored diagramI knew more now, but things were obviously not right yet and I did not want to take the risk of starting the engine in this state.  This color coded illustration of the lube oil systems on a 6LXB will help you visualize things.
While I could get the oil pressure up to 35 PSI by over adjusting the PRV, this reduces the volume of oil bypassing the PRV and going on to lubricate the fuel injection pump and timing chain so this is not a condition that can continue.  Back to the agony of defeat for now!

PXL_20220308_114446494.MPYou may recall from previous posts that as part of my earlier efforts to resolve the dropping oil pressure situation I had replaced the PRV with a new one just to be sure this was not part of the problem but now seemed worth double checking so I removed the PRV.

You can compare these photos to the exploded illustration above and see that the piston like valve is at the bottom, spring in the middle and threaded adjuster at the top.
PXL_20220308_114551593This close up of the PRV itself shows how it works.  The oil pressure coming directly from the oil pump enters the PRV at the bottom and right below this valve.  In the illustration above you can see how this pressurized oil makes a left turn out and into the filter body just below the bottom of the valve. 
By design and as with most oil pumps, there is more volume than is required for the crankshaft bearings, valves, etc. on the pressurized side so this valve gets pushed up to allow some of the volume of oil to bypass the valve through the two elongated slots you see here.  When the pressure of the spring is just right, it allows the valve to ‘bleed off’ enough of the excess oil to keep the oil pressure below the valve at the required 35 PSI.  A very simple pressure regulator.

Everything checked out fine, no dirt or sticking, so does not seem like this is the source of any problems and has just been useful in my detective work to help solve this recalcitrant mystery.  By adjusting this PRV I was able to confirm that the pump was at lest working and capable of producing enough volume to bring the pressure way past what is required, BUT this only happens when I restrict the bypass volume so there are just two scenarios now;

  1. The oil pump is not producing as much volume as it should to provide enough oil for both the pressurized side for the crankshaft and valves, and for the non pressurized bypass side for the fuel injector pump etc..
  2. The pump is working properly and there is an internal leak that is allowing oil to escape which reduces the oil pressure when the PRV is in its normal position.

To find out which one of these scenarios is happening I have lifted Mr. Gee back up and removed the oil pan, oil pump and its drive gears and spent most of this week inspecting and testing these. 

As the hunt for the culprit continues to intensify, we are now moving into the “anything is possible” phase and asking all the “stupid questions” which often turn out to put you on the right track in the end.  One of the remote possibilities asks if the gears that drive the oil pump off of the camshaft could possibly be slipping?

Valve Camshaft   Chain Drive parts Plate 6in the upper Right corner of this illustration, part #11 is the drive gear that is press fitted onto the rear cam lobe body on the camshaft. 
oil pump drive shaftThis is the smaller gear that meshes with the gear on the camshaft and wile difficult to do, I was able to unbolt this cover #1 from the side of the crankcase and gain access to both gears.
PXL_20220312_103532735Here is what that smaller driven gear looks like.  The larger drive gear on the camshaft is inside on the far Right.

To test both gears I locked their respective shafts in place while using a pry bar and a torque wrench to apply as much torque to each gear as possible and see I could make either of them turn on the outside chance that one of these was slipping and not driving the oil pump properly.  Good news and bad was that they both checked out and did not budge, so I put them all back together.
This and the fact that I am able to get lots of oil pressure out of the pump by overadjusting the PRV would seem to eliminate scenario #1 so I am now moving on to scenario #2, an internal leak somewhere that is still haunting Mr. Gee’s innards. This is the original scenario that led me to find the problem with the O-rings which was very promising and clearly a problem that needed to be solved in any case. However with the new smaller O-rings and new deeper grooved fittings, that problem has been resolved but apparently another is lurking inside of Mr. Gee and that’s what the focus of all my attention now.

So I will be back to work again in the Engine Room tomorrow morning to implement the latest round of testing that the detective division of Team Möbius have put together over the weekend and with any luck this will lead us to finding and fixing the underlying problem so stay tuned for that.  

Well detective fans, that’s a wrap for the week that was March 7 to 12, 2022 and where I will leave you for now.  if you have some new ideas or some of those “right stupid questions” please type those into the “Join the Discussion” box below with my thanks and I hope you’ll be back for the next episode of “As Mr. Gee Turns”

– Wayne