Our lives aboard Möbius have settled into the same pattern of working our way through the list of jobs needing to be finished before Möbius is fully sea worth and ready for us to get back to crossing oceans and eXploring the salt water world we both love so much. This work is far from “glamorous” or eXciting, just neccessary and a pattern we are accustomed to from our decades being full time live aboards and stewards of many boats before.
What IS eXtremely eXciting is the arrival of more and more members of our family of XPM style boats from the desk of our beloved Naval Architect and designer, Dennis Harjamaa who runs Artnautica Yacht Design in Auckland NZ. So let me provide a bit of background to help put this all in context.
Finding our Goldilocks NA and Designer for XPM78-01 Möbius
Back in 2016 when Christine and I got serious about switching from sail to power and designing and building our own new “Goldilocks” just right, just for us passage maker, we spent a year searching the world for our equally Goldilocks NA. There are a LOT of Naval Architects and boat design firms but what made our search so challenging was that we did not want to be just clients the designer worked FOR and end up with a boat design that was based on what the designer thought was best. Instead we wanted a designer who would work WITH us in a highly collaborative way to transform the very specific visions and specifications which we knew well from all our nautical smiles at sea. It took us almost a year and a lot of both nautical and air miles but we finally found and met up with Dennis when we had our previous boat in New Zealand and we knew right away that we had finally found our Goldilocks guy.
Winding the clock back a few years more, somewhere around 2010, after designing a lot of very successful smaller boats, Dennis set out to design the Goldilocks boat for himself and his partner Raquel to live aboard and enable them to start exploring the world by sea. What he came up with was the LRC58 which you see rendered here and hull #1 called “Koti” has been their full time home near Auckland since it launched in 2013.
Since then FIVE more LRC58’s have launched from the Aluboot yard in the Netherlands and you can read all about them HERE on the Artnautica.EU website. But wait! There’s more!!!
Not only did Dennis design the LRC58, he also built her almost single handedly! So now you are starting to understand why Dennis was and still is to this day our Goldilocks XPM designer!
The XPM Line of Boats Begins
Christine and I found the LRC name to be too generic and overused in the boating world and so we came up with the more specific eXtreme eXploration Passage Maker or XPM title to better suit this unique style of boats and therefore Möbius became hull #1 of the new XPM78 design.
We spent almost two years working with Dennis in what quickly became a collaborative work of art and engineering and resulted in the completed 3D model and drawings that were used by Naval Yachts to build XPM78-01 Möbius. This is a relatively new style of boat which do not yet have a common name or acronym but are all designed and built for a small but growing group of like minded people with a common set of priorities and use cases. They are most often a couple, sometimes with a child or two, who want to be able to have a floating home that can carry them across oceans and eXplore the most remote spots on the planet and do so with the highest degree of safety, comfort, efficiency and low maintenance. Such requirements tend to determine the overall characteristics of these boats so they are long, slender and slippery all aluminium hulls that are low to the water, self righting and efficient to run with as low amount of maintenance as possible to operate.
Since designing our XPM78-01 Möbius, more and more people have been intrigued by what Dennis calls his LRC or Long Range Cruising boats and have sought him out to design a Goldilocks version of an XPM for them and that’s what brings us to this post.
Over the years as more people became aware of our work building Möbius and chronicling it all with these weekly blog posts, Christine and I have been fielding more and more requests by people wanting to know more about these XPM boats, In spite of my Emails being even longer than my blog posts, some of these people have been brave enough to keep asking questions and receiving more and more of my novellas aka Emails as their interest grew. In several cases this has led to them coming to meet with us for lengthy tours of Möbius, Naval Yachts and the Antalya Free Zone and as you’re about to see, in several cases this ultimately led to several signing on the dotted line with Artnautica and Naval to design and build an XPM for them.
The first are an American couple, Chris and Sebrina and their son Rhys who not only endured hundreds of pages of my Emails but they also very courageously flew over to Antalya last December and we spent several days with them aboard Möbius as she was nearing the end of her build and showing them around Antalya and Naval Yachts. Apparently they liked what they saw as a few months later they had signed on with Artnautica and Naval to design and build what is now hull # 2 XPM78-02 Vanguard.
These are some relatively recent renders of how hull #2 has evolved. You can see the XPM78 family resemblance and she is based on the same models as Möbius. However Chris & Sebrina worked with Artnautica and Naval on some important modifications to make this the just right, just for them, XPM78. Keen eyed followers might notice that the Pilot House has been lengthened by about 1 from aka 1 meter which is a change that we recommended as well for all future XPM78’s. More significantly and perhaps controversial, the Pilot House has also been raised by about the same amount to enable the area underneath to become living space that includes a 3rd cabin. Some of the other key changes that Vanguard will have include:
Twin John Deer 4045 engines with double prop tunnels to keep the draft down.
electric hybrid propulsion by Praxis added to the propulsion from twin JD diesel engines
addition of a 3rd cabin
extending the PH as noted above to make the salon in particular more roomy.
raise the PH to convert what is the Basement on Möbius to all living space on Vanguard.
bulwarks wrapping around the side and bow decks
windows in the sides of the hull
Some will love those changes, others will question but all that matters is that this is what’s best for Chris, Sebrina and Rhys.
There are a growing number of designs similar to these XPM’s from other companies that have appeared in the past couple of years but almost none of these have gone on to be built. So pictures like this are a big deal IMHO!
Construction at Naval began in April and matches the way Möbius was built. A steel frame is built on the shop floor and then the hull is built upside down on top of this. For the curious, if you go back to posts here starting around April 2018 you can see when Möbius was at this same point and follow the construction from there if you’d like to look into the future of the building of Vanguard. This is the most recent photo I received from Chris which I think was taken a few weeks ago at the end of August.
I believe Chris and/or Naval will soon be creating a blog to cover this build and I’ll be sure to pass that on here for those interested.
Not to be outdone, another couple, Andrew and Lily, also from the USA have recently signed on with Artnautica and Naval to build XPM hull #3 and this one will be much larger at 85’ LOA. Covid travel restrictions have not allowed us to meet in person yet, but Christine and I have had some video calls with Andrew and Lily and they too have been subjected to my barrage of Emails as I attempt to answer all their questions. Unfortunately as you may have heard in the news, there has also been a Covid related shortage in the world’s aluminium supply so work on both XPM78-02 and XPM85-01 has been delayed but Naval has been busy getting ready for the aluminium to arrive by building the steel support structure that XPM85 will be built upon.
Dennis and Naval are still working with Andrew to finalize the design so I don’t have much more to show you yet but will bring you updates when I get them and we could not be more eXcited for Andrew & Lily as their dreams are transformed into very real aluminium. But wait! There is still MORE!!
Meanwhile, in the Netherlands
As if these new XPM builds were not enough eXcitement for one blog post, things have been equally as busy or more so over in the LRC world of Artnautica. Somewhere around 2018 Dennis was in conversation with the owner of LRC58-03 Britt which launched from the Aluboot yard in July 2017. Rob Westermann and his wife Janet have been touring the many waterways surrounding the Netherlands and their conversations with Dennis soon resulted in Rob setting up Artnautica Europe. Rob and I first met at the big METS marine trade show in Amsterdam back in 2018 and have gone on to become very good friends who have visited with us in Antalya several times. Rob is eXtremely bright and entrepreneurial and he has been a great partner with Dennis to extend and expand the LRC line of boats being built in the Netherlands as well.
Rob & Janet enjoyed their life aboard Britt so much that they decided they wanted not only more time but more boat and so began a conversation and a whole new design process that has now culminated in the LRC65 which will become the new home for them to continue to explore Europe and the world.
FYI, LRC58-03 Britt is therefore now for sale and can find out more about that and how to contact Rob HERE.
LRC65-01 Britt II
As you can imagine, Covid restrictions are doing their best to get in the way of getting LRC65-01 off the drawing board and into the build, but Rob is tenacious and very experienced so he was able to get in an order for some aluminium just as the supply was drying up and they expect to begin construction in about a month.
Dennis & Rob have created two layout versions GA 5 and GA 6 have each with different galley, settee, and helm station positions, as well as a different position of the staircase leading forward. This could be interchangeable between the two layout options. As you can see here in this rendering of the framework of LRC65, the LRC/XPM boat similarities are much more than just skin deep. Here is a similar shot of Mobius’ framework. When you peel away the outer aluminium plating, the familiar Artnautica framing signature is very clear to see.
There will be several propulsion options for the LRC65; twins of either Beta 75 or John Deere 4045 DTF 70 (80hp). The single-engine option will have a turbocharged four-cylinder, 130-160hp engine, likely supplied by SABB who make the CPP gearbox of choice and can therefore supply the whole driveline (Deutz, Iveco, and AGCO Sisu).
Phwew!!! That was quite the tour of the XPM Family Tree!
Coming around the XPM world full circle, I will leave you with this photo of the very first XPM, our beloved Möbius.
Hope you enjoyed the tour and if you have any questions or would like to consider creating your own XPM just let me know in the “Join the Discussion” box below or send me an Email to us at email@example.com
We don’t use SCEM as filters per se, we use them to keep us on track, keep our priorities straight, by reminding us of what our fundamental values are for this boat. When doing our due diligence and research on some potential piece of equipment It is all too easy to get attracted or distracted by things like cool features or just the sheer number of choices and so as we go through our decision making we are constantly circling back through SCEM to make sure these fundamental requirements are being met.
This week in this Part 2 of our decision making process, I will do my best to summarize the more specific criteria we use to ultimately make our final decisions upon. I will cover this as a series of the following questions that we ask and answer to our satisfaction at least, as we evaluate each bit of kit and then use these to make our call.
What problem is this item attempting to solve?
Is the problem/item a want or a need?
Consequences of adding this item? Domino effect?
Does it pass the Goldilocks test?
New vs Tried & True?
What problem is this item attempting to solve?
Might sound like a silly question at first but it is surprising how often answering this question provides the most help in in our evaluation of a design decision or of a given piece of equipment. Let me use our decision of what battery type to use for our House Battery Bank to illustrate but one example of how valuable this question was.
To put this question into context, keep in mind that Möbius is a completely Battery Based Boat, meaning that ALL of our onboard electrical power comes from our House Battery Bank and therefore this is one of THE most critical systems on the boat and one that in some cases our lives can depend upon. For an XPM or any true eXpedition boat that is going to be able to carry us safely and comfortably to locations across the full spectrum of eXtremes of climate and remoteness, we need to be as self sufficient as possible and so our onboard electrical power rates right up there alongside diesel fuel and fresh (potable) water as a critical requirement. An XPM type boat is designed to spend the majority of its time at anchor or at sea, in our case often for months at a time, so in all our design and equipment decisions, we assume that we will have no shore based resources such as shore power, stores, shipping, airports, etc..
Finally, for a bit more context, let me add that we have also chosen to not have an independent generator onboard so ALL of our four voltages, 12 & 24 Volt DC and 120 & 230 Volt AC, come from our House Battery Bank. Most of the time we keep our batteries charged via our 4.48kW array of 14 320W Solar Panels and when underway we have 12-14kW available from the two eXtremely robust 250A @ 28V Electrodyne alternators which Mr. Gee keeps spinning. One of the very first decisions we needed to make to chose our batteries was what type or chemistry of batteries would be the Goldilocks just right, just for us House Batteries? I’m not going to go over this in any detail here but these are the five battery types we had to chose from:
FLA; Flooded Lead Acid
AGM: Absorbed Glass Matt
Many of you and others we talked to, thought for sure that the choice was obvious; go with Lithium and we did consider them, and all the other types, very thoroughly. But it was that question of “What problem is this trying to solve” that made it clear that Lithium was not the best choice for us and that’s the story I’d like to elaborate on here a bit.
Our battery decision making started at the very beginning of our design process, around 2016, and in some ways we designed and built the boat around the House Batteries. For the first few years, we thought we would go with GEL based OPzV batteries such as this one.
These OPxV type batteries are eXtremely robust and often referred to as “traction batteries” as they are used in things like all electric forklifts in warehouses so they had good cycle life and good resistance to sulfation and other features that wold make them a good choice for Möbius.
During this time we were reading more and more about Lithium batteries and we were seeing more and more people who were choosing to go with them so we also spent a good bit of time researching the various types and makes of Lithium, primarily LiFePO4 or Lithium Iron. This relatively new type of battery was said to have a lot of amazing features with the top ones being longer lasting (more cycle life), ability to accept much higher charging rates thus take less time to charge, but perhaps the biggest feature was their much higher energy density. This means that you get much more usable Watts from the same amount of space and weight compared to what you would get from other battery types. Said another way, you could get the same amount of energy out of a much smaller size and lighter battery bank.
As the months and years went by, these claims were validated more and more and we saw the steady increase of Lithium Iron being the batteries of choice for more and more boats so it seemed like the choice was clear right? However when we applied our criteria and use case and asked the “What problem is Lithium trying to solve?” question, we realized that we didn’t have the same “problems” as most of these other boats such as size and weight of our House Batteries.
My earlier comment that we had designed the boat around our House Battery Bank is not that far off as we had designed the hull to take maximum advantage of the characteristics of our original consideration of OPzV batteries which were very large and very heavy. Each OPzV 2/4V cell measured 215mm/8.5” Wide x 277mm/10.9” Deep x 855mm/33.6” High and weighed 110kg/242lbs each, and we needed 24 of these! As we often do, we turned this “bug” into a feature and built four large battery compartments into the framing of the bottom of the hull such that each compartment straddled the 25mm thick x 350mm high keel bar running down the centerline of the hull. By positioning these battery compartments on the very bottom and center of the hull, we effectively turned the lead in our batteries into a proxy for some of the lead ballast we needed. This is a photo from last year of one of our four battery compartments.
The point here if you are following along with me is that for the use case and design of an XPM, the “problem” that Lithium batteries would solve with their high energy density for a given weight and size just wasn’t a problem we had; we had the room and we wanted the weight. So the search for our Goldilocks batteries continued.
For awhile we continued to think that OPzV Gel batteries were the best fit for us, however, just as we had been following the developments of Lithium batteries we had also been tracking the growing use of Carbon Foam type batteries from FireFly. They ticked all the boxes on our list of criteria, most notably these were proving to be eXtremely robust and several attempts by test labs trying to purposely destroy these batteries failed and they proved to be almost indestructible which is a huge factor for us and our use case. These Carbon Foam batteries are also able to work and charge in much lower temperatures such as those we expect to have when we are in polar regions of the world and they are one of the only battery types that don’t suffer from sulfation. and are happy, even recommended, to stay at Partial State of Charge for long periods of time which would normally be the death of most other batteries.
Near the end I found real world installations of these batteries, some of which had been in place for more than ten years and so just before placing this large order of batterie we changed and ordered 24 of these 4V L15+ size Micro Carbon Foam batteries which now make up our 43.2kW House Bank (1800Ah @ 24V) made by FireFly and they have been working flawlessly for the past six months.
Let me be clear that I am NOT saying that Lithium batteries are not a great choice for many boats, nor am I saying that Carbon Foam batteries are “the best”, I am just hoping to explain how and why we made our decision to go with Carbon Foam and why they are the Goldilocks just right, just for us choice. All thanks in part to the question we regularly ask near the beginning of our decision making process; What problem is this trying to solve?
Is the problem/item a want or a need?
We often put each item we are trying to decide on into either the Need to Have or Wish/Want to Have category. Pretty self explanatory I think, Need to Have are items that we feel are mandatory must haves in order for us to feel confident in going to sea and living full time aboard Möbius. Examples for us include things like;
our high output watermaker,
Furuno Radar and other navigation equipment,
eXtremely high amounts of acoustic & audio insulation,
comfortable Helm Chairs,
that little FLIR One thermal camera I used to find the overheated wiring a few weeks ago,
great HVAC systems
Global communication capability (right now via our Iridium GO)
and items like this.
The Want/Wish to Have category can be subdivided into groups such as;
buy as soon as the budget allows
later when it is ready for real world use (ours)
nice to have, perhaps a gift to ourselves or each other
Current examples on our Wish/Want list includes things like:
second Furuno Radar with NXT technology,
forward facing sonar when it is has been in more mainstream use and is robust enough for our use case
active stabilization, most likely Magnus Effect type
kite sail with autopilot to add to our propulsion and reduce fuel usage
Portland Pudgy, Christine’s long time wish for a small, light sailing dingy
affordable high speed internet such as that being promised by 5G and satellite based systems being developed.
We also have a third category worth mentioning which is the Don’t Want Onboard category which is sometimes the best choice. Items on this list would include things like;
anything that requires propane (too much of a pain to fill around the world)
anything that requires gasoline (too short a shelf life these days)
Consequences of adding this item?
As a good friend and fellow world sailor likes to say “Everything needs” and so we spend time trying to imagine what the needs and other consequences will be if we add this bit of kit to Möbius. Our primary prioritization of Maintenance, lack thereof, would factor into this for example and hence decisions such as;
no paint/wood/SS on the exterior,
being single fuel boat with no propane or gasoline,
but it could also be other consequences of adding this item to our boat. An XPM is complex by virtue of needing to be so self contained and as we often say Möbius is like a floating village in that we have to look after making all our own water, all our own energy, dealing with all our own waste and so on, but we do strive to apply the KISS or Keep It Simple & Safe philosophy to all our decisions by finding the simplest solution possible. Examples of this would include:
manual roll attenuation with our fully mechanical/manual Paravane A-Frames
manual Tender Davit system vs hydraulic
Gardner engine (no turbo, no electrics, low revs, etc.)
The Domino Effect is perhaps a branch of the consideration of the Consequences of any decision as I just outlined above and is when the result of a decision has follow on effects to other systems on that boat. This can work both ways; sometimes these dominos are positive ones and in other cases they are negative or undesirable consequences. For example, installing the eXtreme amount of EPDM and acoustic insulation throughout the boat has a domino effect;
stabilizes the interior temperatures and makes them more temperate in both very hot and very cold climates
this reduces the energy required to cool/heat the boat
this allows us to install smaller capacity and less expensive HVAC systems such as Air Conditioning and heating
this lowers the demand on our House Batteries and HVAC systems so they run with less loads and last longer
An example of when the Domino Effect can work the opposite direction might be the option we considered of installing fin type active stabilizers. These work extremely well to reduce the roll in many conditions when on passages but they would also introduce a Domino Effect of consequences that took them out of the running for us, such as;
their protrusion from the side of the hull reduces the safety factor when in areas with uncharted rocks, coral heads and the inevitable groundings on these.
not suitable when ice is present in polar waters
unlikely but possible if a fin is hit hard enough to create an underwater breach of the hull
are extremely complex and often top the lists of most maintenance problems we read from other global passage makers.
most require a significant hydraulic system to operate which adds yet another whole system onboard to maintain and repair.
I might add that having gone through this Domino Effect as we considered active fin stabilization, it also helped us see that we could find a different type of active stabilization if we should ever want that, and one that eliminates most of the dominos I listed above. This would be stabilizers that use the Magnus Effect which is offered by several different manufacturers now.
Does it pass the Goldilocks test?
We essentially answer this question by virtue of having gone through all the questions and priorities I’ve already listed. Because we have highly personalized our overarching principles of SCEM and articulated much more detailed specifics of our use case, our decision making helps us ensure that we are making choices and decisions that are by definition, Goldilocks, just right, just for us.
However, this is such an important factor for us that we do keep coming back to to this “Goldilocks Test” to make sure we are avoiding the tendency to “go with the flow” of following what others are doing or “the way its always been done” and are staying true to ourselves and our preferences. I will site a more “meta” example here which is our decision in the design phase to “upsize” the length of the boat from the 18-20m / 60-65 ft that we initially imagined and then at the same time “downsize” the interior to have just 2 cabins and 2 heads.
Our decision to extend the length to 24m/78ft was driven two factors; simple physics that hull speed is a factor of Length on the Waterline and our discovery that contrary to popular opinion there is not very many restrictions on boats that are over 20 meters whereas there are some very significant changes to the rules governing ships that are over 24 meters. With our prioritization of efficiency, we pushed the length to just under 24 meters. With our infrequent use of marinas the increased docking fees do not affect us very much. Furthermore, with more and more catamarans being purchased, many marinas are changing their dock rates to be calculated based on overall area of each boat, LOA x Beam and so our slender 5m Beam reduces our overall area and we are often cheaper or about the same as much shorter but wider boats.
Our decisions to “downsize” the interior and thus reduce maintenance and costs was based on the fact that 99% of the time Christine and I are the only two people living onboard so we wanted to make the interior fit us and our needs. Our Master Cabin is very spacious and luxurious for us. Our Guest Cabin works very well when we do have guests onboard but most of the time it is a very purposefully designed Office for Christine Kling, the Captain’s nom de plume when she is working on her next book and running her growing book business. Our SuperSalon is indeed living up to that name the more we live in it. And my very full size Workshop and Engine Room is that of my dreams.
There are many other examples of how the Goldilocks Test has driven our decisions such as;
Manual Paravane system and Tender Davit that is KISS and as former sailors handling lines, winches and clutches is second hand.
Though we designed and built the cabinets, electrical and plumbing for them, we chose not to install either a Dryer or a Dishwasher as we are just not fans of either one and prefer washing and drying by hand.
I could give countless more examples of how we have applied the Goldilocks Test to almost every decision we have made during the design and the building process but I think you get the idea. We have now been living aboard Möbius since she first launched in February and we are finding that our continuous use of this Goldilocks Test has worked eXtremely well for us in designing and building Möbius and we can and do recommend it highly for almost all decisions and choices you make.
New vs Tried & True?
Christine and I are self described nerds and geeks so we have a great fondness for technology that is on that well named “bleeding edge” and we have a full compliment of devices to show for it. However, when it comes to equipment for Möbius, and especially all of it that is on that Must Have list, it must be remembered all those decisions must be made within the context that Möbius is an XPM type boat that is designed and built to live up to that acronym for eXtreme eXploration Passage Maker. So when it comes to deciding on equipment, materials, construction and design of these items, they must, all be Tried & True. To us this means equipment that has been in regular use on boats, ideally with similar use cases as ours, for several years and has stood that test of time.
Some examples of this for us include:
we delayed our decision to go with FireFly Carbon Foam batteries until after we had been able to find enough examples of these batteries being installed in other people’s boats in large numbers for many years.
We chose to go with all Furuno for navigation because it is so widely used by commercial boats in fishing fleets, government agencies and the like and hence this equipment is designed and built for continuous 24/7 use in some eXtremely harsh conditions. They also have an excellent reputation for their continued support of even their oldest equipment.
Our decision to go with a Gardner 6LXB engine that is still one of the most efficient diesel engines ever produced and is still in use in thousands of commercial boats worldwide. It is also perhaps one of the best examples of the KISS approach to design and engineering which adds to how well it passes the Tried & True test.
individual MPPT controllers for each of our 14 solar panels as this has been well proven to be the most efficient combination for both overall efficiency, least affected by shading and highest redundancy.
Let me end with a final example of the value of taking this Tried & True test for mission critical ships and equipment from no less than the US Navy! A recent article caught my eye a few weeks ago where even the us Navy has learned the folly of installing untested equipment on their ships. This link to the article USS Gerald R. Ford Problems: The Navy Admits Its Big Mistake (popularmechanics.com) provides a brief but telling story. as outlined in that article the Chief of Naval Operations, Mike Gilday, says the U.S. Navy built the aircraft carrier USS Ford with too many new technologies. such that now, the Ford is several years behind in its life cycle because of problems with many of those new technologies.
The last of the Ford’s four advanced weapon elevators, the most glaring example of the ship’s tech gone wrong, should enter service later this year.
When the Navy first built the Ford, it incorporated nearly two dozen new technologies, some of which are still giving the service headaches 4 years after the ship entered the fleet. Those delays meant the Navy only commissioned the Ford in 2017, despite laying it down in 2009. Even then, problems lingered, especially with the electromagnetic aircraft launch system (EMALS) and the advanced weapon elevators (AWEs).
The ship’s first full deployment, originally scheduled for 2018, is now set for 2022.
I think this unfortunate real world example does help to make the point that for XPM types of boats with use cases to match, all the “mission critical” equipment onboard MUST have passed the Tried & True test.
Bubble Bubble, Toil & Trouble!
Leaving you with the latest bit of kit that Captain Christine just approved and installed onboard, a fully manual sparkling water maker! Especially in these hot summer months, Christine particularly enjoys her cold sparkling water and I do too but we don’t like having to buy it in cases of plastic bottles. We have our watermaker for similar reasons for our regular drinking water. Initial tests have elicited the same smile you see here so this item has now passed the all important Captain’s Test and has been welcomed aboard. Thanks so much for making it this far if you have and I do hope that this slightly different format and content is of interest and value to most of you. Let me know either way with your comments in the “Join the Discussion” box below and I’ll be back with more for you same time next week.
Moving is the theme for this week, and more next week all of which is a VERY good thing! Albeit eXtremely short trips, literally a couple of hundred yards each, they still represent movement both progress wise and boat wise so it is all good. When I left you last week we had just moved onto one of the many brand new concrete docks not far from the infamous “end wall” dock inside the Free Zone Harbour where we have tied up several times in the past few months since we splashed on Feb. 20th but they had another big cargo ship coming into the port here so all of us tied up on the end wall needed to move to other locations so the Big Guys could come and go. I’ll show you more of that in a moment.
The other even more eXciting moves, yes plural, are hopefullly happening this coming week. On Tuesday we will be moving Möbius out of the Free Zone harbour for the last time and taking her around the corner to Setur Marina where she will officially begin her life as XPM78-01 Möbius. Not sure how long we will be there, basically as long as it takes for Christine and I to get her fully seaworthy and ready to cut the dock lines and head out to sea. I will chronicle all of that here in future weekly Progress Updates so you will get to see what all is involved as it happens.
But WAIT! There’s MORE!!! What could possibly top having Möbius start her own life with us? Easy, because the other big “move” which I am even more eXcited about is that my Beautiful Bride, aka Captain Christine flies back into my arms on Thursday night! She’s been away in Florida having a whirlwind of a time with all her family and friends back there in the Fort Lauderdale area and especially enjoying her much needed Gramma time with our grandson Liam. So it’s been great for her to get away from this non-stop boat work, and even more so jettison out of “Wayne’s World” for two weeks but I miss her terribly and can’t wait to meet her coming out the exit doors at AYT, Antalya Intnl Airport on Thursday.
And as you can see, I’m not the only one who has been missing the Captain.
For those who may not have met them yet, Ruby the Wonderdog is the mass of Black curls on the Left and Barney, aka The Barnes, our Yorkshire Terror at her side. Other than the past 3 years while we’ve been dirt dwellers during the build of Möbius, both of these guys have spent all their lives on boats, and a fair number of planes, trains and automobiles. 14 years worth for Ruby and 9 for Barney so they have a LOT of miles under their paws and more to come soon.
So it is easy to see why “moving” is the theme this week and next and now let’s move on to Showing & Telling you more about all the moves and other progress here on the Good Ship Möbius during the week that was April 19-23, 2021.
As with most posts for the past two months, the primary activity aboard Möbius is the commissioning of all the many bits of kit that make up our many systems. Not too eXciting to watch quite frankly but eXtremely important to do and get everything right, working and tested. Sometimes we do this virtually, with the technician from the manufacturer coming aboard via the internet and truly eXciting scenes like this one! Ismail, our electrician, and I are talking with Alex from Victron who is in his office in Istanbul and we have him patched in via a shared desktop on my laptop on the Left which is in turn connected by ethernet cable to the Victron network aboard Möbius, and via WhatsApp on my smaller computer for text and voice. Together we are able to run and test all the Victron equipment such as the 5 MultiPlus Inverter/Chargers, Isolation Transformer, MPPT controllers and so on. Took us about 5 hours but we were able to get everything configured and they are now all good to go.
Similar virtual commissioning going on with our Kabola KB45 diesel boiler, though it was not so cooperative and we still have more to do to finish the commissioning and testing so we can finally have hot water aboard! Part of the remaining work with the Kabola is getting this Grundfos Alpha2 circulation pump installed, filled with antifreeze solution and bled. This circulates the hot water for one of the heat exchangers which transfer their heat to our domestic hot water. Commissioning also often involves some good Houdini skills such as Ismail up on top is demonstrating as they try to get the Kabola lifted up and put into it AL frame bolted to the Workshop shelf it lives on.
Mr. Gee gits ‘er dun!
While he is ailing and I have not had a spare moment to investigate the cause of his sudden loss of oil pressure on the first sea trials a few weeks ago, Mr. Gee was able to power the move here within the Free Zone harbour with no problem.
This was Mr. Gee’s oil pressure at start-up, right around 30 PSI, which for a Gardner is not much below the 38 PSI he normally runs at, however as the oil warms up it drops down to around 20 PSI so there is definately something very wrong that I need to get to the bottom of as soon as we are over in Setur Marina and I can make the time to start digging into the source of the problem. Unfortunately I am relatively certain that I know what the problem is and it is not good news nor a quick fix. But I will leave all that until I have time to find out for sure what’s going on which means a significant dismantling I’m sure. Stay tuned for more on all that starting next week.
New Neighbors and Neighborhood
You may recall seeing this birds eye view from the last move we did from Setur over to the Free Zone harbour and this aerial view of the Free Zone Harbour on the bottom Left and Setur Marina on the bottom Right will give you a bester sense of the move this week.
Last week were at position #1 on the End Dock Wall and this week we are now back over at position #2 where we were about a month ago.
Next week’s move has us going from #2 over to #3 in Setur although we don’t know just where we will be in Setur just yet. We are Med Moored in our new home this week, which means there are lines off our Bow as you can see here, which extend out to a massive weight at the bottom of the harbour with all these lines firmly attached. On your way in, you pick up the float that is on the end of one of these lines and bring it aboard while you back down with your stern to the dock. Like this. It takes a bit of getting used to this style of docking but the key advantage, at least to the marina, is that each boat only takes up its width on the dock rather than its length if you were to be side tied. So you can have a LOT more boats docked on any given length of dock. This is the norm in the Mediterranean and hence the name Med Mooring. If you look closely at the bottom of this photo you will see how we are able to use our swim ladder for a passerelle or “gang plank” for getting on/off the boat. You can’t really see it but there are massive black rubber fenders or bumpers all along the edge of the concrete dock and that’s what the end of the now horizontal swim ladder rests on. Works well and makes getting on/off the boat quite quick and easy. This is our new Starboard side neighbor, a brand new Bering 77 “Veronika” which just launched. There was some good press coverage of the launch that you can see HERE if you’re interested in knowing more. If this boat looks vaguely familiar, there is a good reason for that as you saw this boat two weeks ago when I was showing you the “Launch Fest” going on here when the new 560 Ton TraveLift started working after more then 4 months with no launching capabilities here. Based on hull length, Veronika is just one foot less than Möbius at 78 feet, however these shots are a great example of how length of any boat tells you so very little about the boat itself or provides any real comparison. This is a much more traditional “Trawler” and so you can perhaps understand why I hesitate when people ask me if an XPM such as our XPM78-01 Möbius is a Trawler?
For a quick comparison, Veronika’s basic measurements first followed by those of Möbius:
Displacement: 165 metric tons vs Möbius’ 45
Beam: 7.3m/24 ft vs 5.0m/16.4 ft
Cruise Speed: 8 kts vs 10-11 kts
Range: 4000nm vs 8000
Accommodation: 6cabins, 6heads + up to 4crew vs Möbius 2cabins, 2 heads and no crew thanks very much.
Take a moment to study the differences between Möbius and Veronika and you will quickly see that other than being about the same length, they share almost nothing else in comparison.
You can find the whole set of specs on the Bering 77 HERE if you’d like to learn more and see more photos. Just so we are clear, it is not a question of which one is “best”, they both are, just depends on your use cases and taste. There’s a boat out there for everyone and every use case. We are just SO eXcited that thanks to Dennis at Artnautica and everyone at Naval Yachts we now have our Goldilocks Just Right, Just for Us, boat! And that’s a wrap for this past week folks. Lots of activity, just not much visual results to show you but hope you continue to enjoy coming along on this ride with us and that you will be back again for more next week.
In the meantime, please do leave any and all questions and comments in the “Join the Discussion” box below. While I am atrociously behind in responding to your most recent comments, they add a HUGE value to this blog and for Christine and myself and I am eXtremely appreciative of each one so thanks for that!
As we all continue to work our way through the commissioning of systems and getting XPM78-01 Möbius fully ship shape and sea worthy, it was another week of good progress but nothing too visually exciting for you I’m afraid. However, progress is being made and there were some significant accomplishments this week so come on along for this week’s Show & Tell.
Beautiful Blue Eyes
You may recall seeing these beautifully handcrafted glass “Blue Turkish “Evil Eyes” that Christine found in Antalya when I posted about them in THIS previous blog post last month. In Turkish, these are called nazar boncuğu and they are seen on almost every boat here in Turkey and many other countries. The”Evil Eye” moniker is a bit misleading as these are a GOOD thing with folklore having that they protect you from evil and bring good luck.
Hope I didn’t offend the Evil Eye for making it wear this patch while the adhesive dried overnight! I like twisting a straight line spectrum so that the two opposite ends meet so this seemed like the perfect spot to have these beautiful glass eyes cozy up to their opposite lean and mean XPM78-01 military font on the bow.
What do you think?
Stop the Bleeding!!
The major milestone/accomplishment this week for sure was getting the hydraulic steering cylinders re-machined, installed and finally working with NO leaks!
We are using Kobelt 7080 balanced cylinders that have a 3” ID with a 12” stroke cylinders and as you can see they are Beautiful Brutes. Dennis and I spent a good long time with the great engineers at Kobelt in Vancouver BC and this is the cylinder geometry that we came up with. There are two of these SS bleeder screws, one at each end which you use to bleed the air out of the system as you first fill it up or after working on the system. The threaded bleeder screw has a 4mm OD SS ball bearing underneath which when tightened easily seals of the 1000 PSI pressures that we can see in rough weather steering. However the body of these end caps is brass which is relatively soft compared to SS and so you have to tighten these the Goldilocks Just Right amount or else the SS ball deforms the brass seat which is what had happened to several of these bleeder screws when they were originally installed and hence they leaked.
Getting new end caps sent over from Vancouver would have taken too much time and money so I thought I’d try to re-machine the angled brass face at the bottom and see if I could renew the cylinder end caps this way. At the left and right ends of the bottom section drawing you can see how these bleeder screws (#11) work.
(click to enlarge any picture) Lance and Keivan who I worked with at Kobelt continued to be absolute super hero’s for me throughout the many years I’ve been working with them and were able to send me this dimensioned drawing of the bleeder screw and several other drawings for me to figure out how to re-machine the brass faces.
They also dug up that the included angle of the brass face is machined to be 1180 so I had all the info I needed to fabricate a little re-facing tool. Hard to show you but here is the little tool I came up with. It is the end of a broken 4.5mm titanium drill pit which I ground the end to a 1180 angled cone shape, a bit like a sharpening a wood pencil and then used a very thin cutting wheel chucked in my ever handy Dremel tool to cut these four groves which created the sharp “teeth” to cut the brass seats inside the end caps. The trick was to create a tool that was part cutter and part burnisher because the face of the seats need to be very flat and even all around for the SS ball to seal. I was pushing to get this all done as soon as possible so I didn’t get any photos of the process but I clamped the brass end caps in the blue vice you see in the background and then chucked my little tool bit in my drill press and carefully removed just enough brass to renew the seats yet not take off too much brass and weaken the seal.
I’ve dragged that drill press around the world with me for over 40 years and this is a good example why. And Yes! it is about to get mounted in my Workshop on Möbius for another world tour.
From there it was a relatively straight forward task of putting the cylinders back together again and remounting them to the AL tiller arm on the Rudder Post at one end and to the brass ball socket joint on the other outbound end.
Connect the hydraulic hoses, fire up the Accu-Steer HPU400 24V Hydraulic Power Units (pumps) and then bleed the whole system.steering pumps. Once I had all the air out I was eXtremely careful to tighten those bleeder screws to that Goldilocks torque and then test by running the pumps briefly up to their max 1000 PSI. …….. and ………
….. check out underneath those bleeder screws …..
……… dry! No leaks now!
* I think I heard Möbius release a soft sigh (and a few other people at Naval as well) to finally have her steering back in full working order again. And me too!
Stand Back! Free for All in the Free Zone!
While all this work was going on aboard Möbius, there was MUCH more action happening all around us every day because for the past few months there has been 400 million Euro construction project of the launching facilities at the Free Zone. Check THIS very well done time lapse VIDEO ANIMATION which does a great job of showing how the whole new harbour facility works. A very innovative idea with that cable raised platform!
The dramatically enlarged launching bays called for an equally enlarged TraveLift and so over the past 3 weeks, this tiny little 560 tonne TraveLift was being assembled right beside us and this week he sprang to life and has been an eXtremely busy boy!
With no launching facilities in the Free Zone harbour for the past 3-4 months there has been a huge backlog building up of new boats waiting to be launched and older ones waiting to be hauled out for their refits. This week those flood gates opened up and they have been launching and hauling out boats every day. Such as this classic trawler style Bering 80. This 36 meter “Phantom Phi” boat by Alia shipyard. This is a support vessel for a super yacht and these are often referred to as “Ghost” or “Phantom” boats as they are not to be seen by the superyacht they are supporting. This shot will add some perspective for you to see the relative size of the raised platform bay that they will be installing next. Check out the link to the animation above to see how this works and I think you too will be impressed. Out behind us is one of four 25m Turkish Coast Guard boats launched this week by Damen Yachts.
I have lost count now but I’d say well over 20 boats like these have launched this past week so there is never a dull moment here in the Antalya Free Zone.
And that’s the week that was April 12-17 here at Naval Yachts and aboard the Good Ship Möbius. Hope you enjoyed this brief update and I will try to have more for you in the next weekly update.
Please be sure to leave all questions and comments in the “Join the Discussion” box below and I hope you will be back for more next week.
Unbelievably, yet another month zips into the past and we’re now sailing into the second quarter of 2021. Yikes! And it was another eXtremely busy week aboard the Good Ship Möbius but alas, not so much that is very visible and so not a lot of content for this week’s Show & Tell Progress Update. However we also had some eXtremely eXciting milestones and firsts to share with you so let’s jump right into that.
The Beast Gets Some Bling!
Regular readers know that I quite like having the contrasting combination of Beauty and Beastly and Mr. Gee, our Gardner 6LXB engine is perhaps my favorite example of this combination. His “Beastly” characteristics include the fact that he weighs a svelte 1400 Kg/3086 Lb that he puts out some monster torque of 736Nm / 542 ft-lb @ 1000 RPM. His Beauty characteristics include his simplicity with a minimum of moving parts, no turbo, completely mechanical fuel injection, no glow plugs, zero electrical requirements to run and he is happy to be started with his hand crank. Being such a class act, at least in my eyes, I figured that he deserved a wee bit of eXtra class to add the finishing visual touch by carefully polishing a few of his many aluminium parts to a gleaming mirrorlike shine and I think he is quite happy.
What do you think? To get this all done quickly, I turned to our “Turkish Fixer” Alaaddin and he was his typical resourceful self in finding all the polishing wheels, polishing compound and a local polishing machine and as you can see his was quite rightly happy with the results. Thanks Alaaddin!
Möbius Mini Maiden Voyage
The eXtremely eXciting milestone event we had this past week was that Möbius took her very first “voyage” under her own power and steering! The caveats are that we only moved the boat a few hundred meters from the dock wall we had been Med moored to at Setur Marina around the corner and back into the Free Zone harbour where we tied up to the same end wall we had been at two weeks ago. No big deal you might be saying but you’d be missing the point! This was still her and our first trip under her own power so we are taking the Win!
You can check it all out in this short little video I’ve put together from one video I shot onboard and then two from ashore thanks to Dincer and Baris taking these on their smartphones. My apologies for not having the time to do a better job of creating this video with sound and more info so this is a silent movie but I hope you will still enjoy it and get a sense of how exciting this milestone was for Christine and me.
Seemingly fitting, this happened on Thursday which was April Fool’s Day and then on Friday we had to move to a different wall in the Free Zone harbour because a large cargo ship was coming in and needed the whole end wall, so we got to take a second even “minier” voyage from the end wall around the corner to the side wall which was an eXtremely long ways away of almost 150 meters! But still …………..
There is still some jobs that need to be completed before we can head out to sea and do a “full size” Maiden Voyage and sea trials but we hope that Naval will be able to get those done in the next few days so do stay tuned for more videos of our first “real” Sea Trial.
Thanks for joining me on this equally “mini” weekly Progress Update and please be sure to add your questions and comments in the “Join the Discussion” box below.
Alas, the milestone of moving under our own power has eluded us for another week but next week is looking very promising for Möbius’ first of many sea trials. We continue to experience a series of “installation issues” that have prevented our Kobelt hydraulic steering system and Kobelt Throttle/Pitch controls to work as they should and so without steering and propulsion we haven’t been going too far other than being towed. But the fuel economy has been fabulous!
As with last week, with less progress than usual and not much of it being very visual, I don’t have as much content as usual for this week’s Show & Tell Progress Update, but grab a comfy seat and something tasty to drink and let’s get started with what I can show you about the past week of March 22-28, 2021.
Nazar Boncuğu Keeps Us Safe!
Many of you may already be familiar with Nazar Boncuğu aka “Turkish Evil Eye” as they are the most popular tourist souvenir of all and these captivating cast glass blue eyes have found themselves being transported to homes and boats all over the world, including ours. As is the tradition, we have one right outside the front door of our apartment for the past 3+ years. When Christine and I first came to Turkey back in 2014 so Christine could do her meticulous research for her next book at the time which became Knight’s Cross, we saw these Turkish Eyes warding off evil spirts on the bows almost every fishing boat in the many harbours we visited so of course we had to have them on Möbius’ bow too!
While they can be found in shops almost everywhere, we wanted the Goldilocks Just Right version of Nazar Boncuğu and last week Christine spotted these two beauties in a specialty glass shop in Antalya and knew that these were it!
As you can see in this photo, right now our pair are basking in the sun atop one of our Ro$ewood Galley Garages where they do look resplendent with the light coming off the water, but they are destined to be securely adhered to the bow next week so do stay tuned for those shots.
Do I See Light at the End of this eXtremely Looooong and Winding Tunnel?
In many ways, this whole adventure began back in March 2015 when Christine and I were making the 3000nm passage from Majuro in the Marshall Islands, down to Suva in Fiji. We had spent almost a year in Majuro which we are very much looking forward to returning to on our previous 52ft steel sailboat Learnativity and we had an awemazing 3 week passage down to ….. . ………. Suva with stops along the way at the island nations of Kiribati and Tuvalu along the way. I had given Christine a copy of Robert Beebe’s “passagemaking bible” Voyaging Under Power and she was reading it on the passage down to Fiji and we would discuss it a lot as we sailed south. Over the course of that 2+ week passage, we both became more and more aware of just how different passagemaking under power would be compared to sailing which we both knew and loved so much.
By the time we got to Suva we had made the transition from thinking of switching from sail to power as a fun joke to being a real vision of our future. As do most adventures I think, certainly most of mine, they begin when you start following your curiosity and now, six years later, we can see that this was when the adventure of designing and building Project Goldilocks, as we called it at the time,
In those six years we have gone from a very big vision to an eXtremely big reality and the path along the way has been like most of our adventures, one that includes several storms and other challenges along the way but always worth it for the joys at the end as one adventure transitions into the next. We are not quite at the end of this latest adventure as the build continues, but we are now living more and more onboard and we grown increasingly eXcited about bringing this adventure to a close and beginning the next one back out on the ocean, eXperiencing the new storms and joys of what promises to be a very different type of voyaging under power for the first time.
Installation Issues Getting Resolved
The most recent set of “storms” for us has been a series of what I will simply refer to as “installation issues” which we have needed to resolve before we can begin to voyage under power for the first time on our first of what will be many, sea trials to shake as many gremlins out of the brand new Möbius and have as much of what is often referred to as “infant mortality” as possible before we finally leave Antalya in our wake. This less than appealing term “infant mortality” is actually quite accurate in the context of a newly built custom boat as it refers to the several cases we are sure to have where brand new equipment and a brand new boat, will have items that are DoA or have not been installed correctly and fail to work as they should. So far we have had very few new bits of kit that have been DoA on arrival but we have had a number of installation problems that have been keeping us from being able to go on our first voyage under power; our first sea trial!
This past week I have been working closely with our new electrician Ismail and along with some continuing eXemplary technical support from Lance, Keivan and Hicham at Kobelt Canada. I have been working with Lance to design our steering and control systems for about four years now all together, and I can’t say enough about all of them at Kobelt who have been up in the very early morning for them in Vancouver, late evening for me here in Antalya, in order that we can do some live video calls for a techie version of Show & Tell as we went through hydraulic setups, wiring and they could watch what the moving components were doing, hear the sounds when they mattered and really be as close to being here in person with me as is possible. As it turns out, all of the equipment from Kobelt arrived working as designed but the extensive list of items involved from hydraulic pumps, cylinders and valves to electronic controls and autopilot systems have been installed over the past 18 months and we are only now connecting all the parts together and there have been some issues along the way.
Three weeks ago the problem was that we weren’t getting pressure to the hydraulic steering cylinders, then two weeks ago we were having a long lag in time between when the Throttle or Pitch control levers were moved at one of the Helm Stations and when the lever on the Actuator box in the Engine Room moved and hence when the Throttle/Pitch cables and levers moved. This past week we have been having difficulty getting the CPP Pitch Angle Gauges at each helm to communicate the correct Pitch Angle as the Pitch Control Levers were moved Ahead/Astern. It goes as does most problem solving, you trace your way back to where you began, compare the schematics and guidelines from the manufacturers to the actual “as built” installation and you find the differences between those and fix them. Sounds simple, and it is, but it sure can take time and effort to follow these long and winding paths.
Perhaps it has been thanks to those two Turkish Evil Eyes being onboard that we have been on a solution per week schedule and the first two problems had been resolved in the previous two weeks, and I am delighted to report that as of last night (Saturday 27th March here) Ismail and I have the Pitch Angle gauges working and mounted back where they belong at each Helm Station! We have tested all this with here at the dock Mr. Gee thrumming away and our Nogva CPP churning the clear waters underneath making Möbius tug at her dock lines. Once all the other critical jobs have been finished such as finishing the deck hatches so they all close and seal properly, finishing and testing the fire hose and a still rather long punch list of other jobs, we will be *almost* good to go!
Almost, because there remains one last major and eXtremely critical system that needs to be finished before Möbius is seaworthy enough for her first sea trials; Navigation System. This involves getting the key elements of our whole Furuno Navigation system working and configured as this includes things like our Radar, AutoPilots, VHF radio, AIS (Automatic Information System) and all the related screens, computers and black boxes which controls all that navigation equipment. Good on that front is that Captain Christine has been leading her very own team of technicians which Naval has sub-contracted with to assist with getting the eXtremely multi-faceted navigation system of hardware and software all wired, inter-connected and configured.
For those interested in the details of our navigation system and to give the rest of you an idea of what all is involved, here is a quick overview of some of the individual bits of kit Christine and I have pulled together to build our Steering & Navigation system**
Viewed on any screen and remotely via Maretron N2K View
on boat networking… NMEA 2000 N2K dual backbone 2000 network throughout
Multiplexers for NMEA 0183 + RS432
Gateways via USB & IPG
Victron, and Maretron networks for monitoring
IP Cameras. Forward facing IP camera mounted on Skybridge roof
Aft Facing camera above swim step
Reolink Bullet IP camera engine room
Reolink Dome IP camera engine room
Video encoder. Axis Camera Encoder
WiFi Antenna. Microtik Groove 52 AC Wi-fi antenna
WiFi booster … WeBoost Drive Reach
Cellular antenna…….. Wilson Wide Band Omni-Directional Marine Antenna for cellular
ROUTER……. PepWave Max Transit Duo router
Network Access Storage. Synology NAS Disk Station w/ 2X 8 GB Seagate Barracuda drives
Well, you get the idea, there is a LOT of moving parts to this puzzle.
And as you can see here, some of those moving parts are often crowded around Captain Christine at the Main Helm in this case! Yunus on the far Right is the the manager of this connection and configuration team and Erdal with the toque in the middle is the lead technician and they have been a true treat to work with. Some of the “moving parts” are blinking lights such as this set on the back of just three of our network switches in one of three “Internet Alcoves” as Christine calls them. Strange though, we have “cut the cord” more than most people ashore and Isn’t it great that we are living in a wireless world! Zooming out a bit of that alcove to show you that it really is quite small but it does have even more hardware! Another very “wireless” alcove, this one behind the 50” monitor and home of Boat Computer #1 and the Synology NAS on the Left side of the Main Helm. Out on the Aft Deck looking up at the Main Arch and the Tender Davit on the Left, to show you yet another very “wireless” area along the Arch where all of our external navigation and communication equipment resides.
One eXciting milestone this week has been seeing that 6ft Open Array antenna spinning around for the first time on our Furuno FAR 1523 Radar! My favorite Geekette, aka Capn’ Christine aka my Beautiful Bride, is a wee bit shy but I was able to at least get her hand in this shot as she tilts the two 19” LiteMax screens at the Main Helm to show how she now has TimeZero running charts on the Left and an awemazing amount of detail of the seabed below us thanks to our Furuno BBDS “Black Box Bottom Discriminating Sounder” where we can watch individual fish swimming below Möbius’ hull and details of the composition of the sea bead down to about 75 feet below the “top of the bottom”. I will leave you with this shot of the view at your eye height when sitting in the Captain’s Chair here at the Main Helm. Now, if we can just get past that sea wall …………………..
Thanks for joining us again for another week in the adventure of Project Goldilocks. Please be sure to leave any and all comments and questions in the “Join the Discussion” box below and I hope you will join us again next week for what I hope will be the report of our first sea trials! Wish us luck! We will need it!