This past week has been a roller coaster ride of emotions for both Christine and myself and the whole thing is difficult to articulate and yet not something that can be captured by cameras either but I’ll do my best to use my standard Show & Tell technique to bring you up to date on the latest leg of the journey of Project Goldilocks aka the design and building of XPM78-01 Möbius.
BUT, this time the land Möbius is on is OUTSIDE of the Free Zone where she has been for over 3 years during the build and now she is resting inside Setur Marina in Antalya.
It may only be a few hundred meters in reality but it is worlds apart for us.
We are quite used to living aboard a boat that is “on the hard” as it is called when you haul your boat out of the water and put her on “hard stands” to hold her up, as we have probably spent several years all together in this situation from times we were working on our previous boats.
NOTE: Back in February, when we were last here in Setur Marina for the first launching of Möbius, we met Emily & Matt who have their catamaran “Sea Odyssey” out on the hard just behind that big silver sailboat on the far Right in the photo above, so we already know some of our new neighbors.
Mountains off our Starboard/Right side and the Med on our Port so as you can see from all these photos, while not in the water where we would prefer, this isn’t too bad a place to call home for the next 1-2 months.
But wait!! I’m getting ahead of myself, so let’s go back to the beginning of this latest leg in the adventures of mv Möbius.
FREE’d at LAST!
We are always so gobsmacked, as our British friends might say, at how many of you have been following us from near the beginning of this building of XPM78-01 Möbius at Naval Yachts here in Antalya Turkey that began back with the first aluminium hull work on April 6th, 2018 which as the counter at the bottom of this blog notes was 1144 days ago! Over THREE years ago? Yikes!
The actual beginning of Project Goldilocks as we originally called this whole adventure once the crazy idea of switching from sail to power and designing and building our own boat to do it with, took hold back in 2016 and we spent the first two years working closely every day with our awemazing designer Dennis Harjamaa at Artnautica Yacht Design in Auckland New Zealand which was where we delivered our last boat Learnativity to her new owners in Whangarei NZ. Rob Westermann runs Artnautica Europe where you can check out his notes on Möbius HERE. Rob and Dennis are also now busy designing an all new LRC65 that Rob and his wife will use as their next magic floating carpet ride.
Once we had the design of XPM78-01 Möbius pretty much set in 3D models and 2D drawings, we began searching the world quite literally for the Goldilocks just right location and builder and ended up partnering with Naval Yachts who are locating within the Free Zone here in Antalya Turkey and we now have them to thank for working quite literally cheek to jowl with us to build this first iteration and our new home, Möbius.
As most of you from following these weekly updates, Möbius first “splashed” on February 20th here at Setur Marina when the Free Zone had no launching capabilities for several months during their massive rebuild of their harbour and all their launching equipment. Since then we have been working through the process of commissioning every system where you get them all up and running, adjusted and dialed in. I’ve described these past few months as being a version of Zeno’s Paradox of the Tortoise and Achilles, where you make forward progress in steps that are each one half the remaining distance. The reason this is a paradox is that as odd as it might seem, it takes an infinite number of those half steps and you never arrive at your goal because there is always one more half step to go!
The other dimension to all this is that when building a new boat, while the Owners are technically just that and they “own” the boat, they don’t take possession of the boat until it has been fully finished by the Builders and the Owners make all the final payments and accept the boat. The feelings surrounding this gradual transfer from Builders to Owners are part of what I referenced in the beginning of this post that are so difficult to articulate. We’ve been living aboard since we splashed in February and it felt great and almost unbelievable to have our visions from years previous be transformed into this very solid reality. And yet, as the commissioning process extended into more and more days, then weeks and then months, the Free Zone felt a bit like living inside the line in the Eagle’s class Hotel California “Such a lovely place. You can check out any time you like. But you can never leave!”
The Free Zone was a lovely place, Möbius is an incredible boat, but she still wasn’t ours and we couldn’t help wondering if we would indeed ever leave so we could start finally restart our new lives in our new home and get back to our old habits of traveling the world’s seas.
And then, mid afternoon on Tuesday, May 18th, we received a text from our Builders that said “Prepare to leave, you are fully cleared for export and need to leave the Free Zone this afternoon!
What ensued next was like a scene out of the Keystone Cops and perhaps video will help capture this best so Christine has quickly pulled together this video montage of being “Freed from the Free Zone” on Tuesday afternoon.
That whole scene remains a blur but by late Tuesday afternoon, we ended up here, tied alongside the TraveLift bay where Möbius would get plucked out of the water by the 200Ton TraveLift and set down inside the hard stand area at Setur Marina!
I sent off a quick text to Matt & Emily to say “You won’t believe it but ….” and they met us at the dock and helped us tie Möbius to the dock.
That was all 5 days ago now and It still has not quite sunk in for me that this has all happened and is real. But that is an eXcellent problem to have and I’m working on it!
Moving Möbius into her New Home
This is the same TraveLift that first launched us back in February so the operators quickly had us plucked out of the water and wheeled her over to …….
… this freshly vacated spot just a few meters away from the TraveLift bay and just a few boats over from Matt & Emily on Sea Odyssey.
With all four sets of wheels on the TraveLift able to turn it makes it easy for them to move Möbius into this spot ……..
…… and set her down on her keel.
You can see another reason we designed the Rub Rails the way we did as they make for the perfect spot for the hard stands to be wedged underneath.
This obviates the need for the more traditional stands which go down much lower up against the bottom paint and create a whole new set of problems.
Very Slick Bottom you have there Miss Möbius!
One of the good things about hauling out again is that we got the chance to check out how well the new Foul Release paint was doing its job.
The hull had been in the water for three months without moving so this was a good test, and as you can see in this photo (click to enlarge any photo)the InterSleek 1100SR silicone based bottom paint had worked even better than I had hoped.
This will give you a bit of a Before & After shot where I had gently wiped the corner spot in the foreground here with a sponge and every bit of the algae and growth wiped clean.
A few minutes with my sponge and I had the CPP prop blades, the Skeg and the Rudder wiped spotlessly clean. Even what growth there was you can see on the sides of the hull in the upper Left were minimal and came off with a gentle wipe of the sponge.
And looked like this a few minutes later.
There is a lot of surface area on a 24m/78 ft long hull so it did take us a couple of hours to do it all but this was the result and I’ve gotta say that I wouldn’t have believed it if I had not seen it for myself.
* For those of you interested in this Foul Release as opposed to Anti-Foul bottom paint, I wrote about this in more detail HERE in this Weekly Progress Update from Feb 8-13, 2021
It is still early in its life of course, which we expect to be 5-10 years before needing to be recoated, but based on this initial experience I am just blown away by how well this silicone based bottom paint works and can not say enough good things about it at this point. Stay tuned for “Bottoms Up (dates)” over the next few years.
Open Sesame Mr. Gee!
Many of you have been asking for more details about Mr. Gee and his sudden loss of oil pressure on the last sea trial. Now that we are out of the Free Zone and very solidly setup, that is my #1 priority and so yesterday I started to dismantling Mr. Gee to track down the culprit and fully fix the problem.
I’ve oft been asked why the hatch overtop of the Engine Room is so big and now you know the answer.
To make it easy to access the entire engine and CPP gearbox and be able to lift it all out as one assembly if/whenever needed over the lifespan of the boat which is measured in decades.
At this point I am still hoping that it won’t be neccessary to completely remove Mr. Gee and the Nogva CPP but with the hatch removed it makes working in the ER very well lit and ventilated even in the mid 30C/95F weather we are already having here.
You can also see why I designed the ER to be as wide as it is which makes accessing everything a piece of cake compared to most other boats I have ever worked on.
While I don’t know if I will need to remove the engine, I do need to remove the large cast AL oil pan and to do that I need to lift Mr. Gee about 1m/40” up from where he sits here.
So I first need to remove many of the parts up on the front such as the cast AL water reservoir and the whole cogged belt system I made to drive the upper Electrodyne alternator on one side and the sea water pump on the other.
I also need to remove both heads to check out the valves and pistons and to do that I need to remove everything attached to the heads such as all the valve train, exhaust and intake manifolds, fuel lines, etc.
So my next few days are a process of removing all these parts and here are the ones I removed yesterday. Cast AL water holding tank on the middle Left, Fuel filter and valves in the lower Left and water manifolds on the Right.
That workbench will soon be filled with a lot more parts as I get to the bottom of the problem and fix it properly so stay tuned for more episodes of “As Mr. Gee Turns”
As I rest my weary little body each evening of this process, I’m going to be dreaming of the day when Möbius is back in this spot with Mr. Gee thrumming away as we back out of the slip and head off into the blue horizons that await us.
Thanks as always for taking the time to join Christine and I on this grand adventure and don’t forget to add your questions and comments in the “Join the Discussion” box below.
Hope to see you here again next week.