This week’s title is a bit of a riddle for you so see if you can figure out why I’ve strung together these words to summarise the progress on XPM78-01 Möbius this past week of Nov. 30th to Dec. 5th, 2020? And Yikes! someone please tell me that it is not already December and the end of 2020?!?! While I’m sure that we are all going to be somewhat happy to see this wild ride during 2020 come to an end, I do still shake my head as to how it can be possible that another whole year has flown by?!! So now looks like it won’t be till 2021 that XPM78-01 Möbius launches but trust me, it is all hands on deck in the most literal of ways with Team Möbius as we all recommit ourselves to “git ‘er dun” mode or as our 4 year old Granddaughter is fond of exclaiming; “Let’s DO this!!”
We are now hoping, emphasis on the hope part, to actually “Splash” or Launch her before the end of February now. However, the actual Launch Date remains the same as I’ve always answered that question; “Thursday”!
I will apologise in advance that I’m going to rush through creating this week’s blog posting as it is already mid afternoon on Sunday and it has been a truly exhausting week, both literally and figuratively, which is a clue as to the riddle of the title I mentioned above.
But enough with all this preamble get yourself a favorite beverage and a comfy seat and let’s jump right into this week’s Möbius Show & Tell.
“Little Jobs that add up to be a BIG Deal!
As with most big projects, at this late stage of the build there are a LOT of different jobs getting done as we all pull together and work on the punch list of jobs remaining. Some of these are quite small and continuations of jobs that I’ve covered here extensively in the past so rather than whole sections for each of these, let’s just blast through a few such “little jobs”, all of which add up to a BIG deal BTW.
If you have had a chance to follow along over the past month or so you’ve seen the installation of these two etched glass walls that form the corner of the shower in our Master Cabin. All thanks to the incredible talents of our dear friend Sherry and if you have not read the blogs in the past month where I’ve provided all the details and links to Sherry’s other art work, I can highly recommend taking the time to do so.
This week the glass installation contractors returned to finish the silicone seals around the perimeter of each glass panel and our Cabinetmaker “Ramazan” (pronounced Ram-a-Dan” in Turkish) installed the Ro$ewood trim board that run along the top and bottom exterior edges.
A bit hard to see in this photo (click to enlarge any photo) but I thought this backlit shot helped to show you Sherry’s etched artwork and just how truly “kewl” our Shower looks.
Adding significantly we think, to the overall artistic feel and “pop” of our Master Cabin Shower and Head/Bathroom is this additional work of art & engineering, our blue hued solid tempered water glass VIGO vessel bathroom sink!
The oval shaped matching kissing cousin to this rectangular sink is just outside the door into the Head/Bathroom at our Vanity Sink area at the very front end of the Master Cabin.
Captain Christine came into the shipyard earlier this week to work on completing the assembly of our LiteMax Durapixel 43” sunlight readable monitor that goes up in the forward Starboard/Right corner of the SuperSalon. After a LOT of searching, we finally found LiteMax in , New Taipei City Taiwan and purchased all 5 of our big sunlight readable monitors from them and had them shipped to us here at Naval.
These 2 phots show how I simply attached each board to the aluminium back of the monitor with a SS machine screw that I epoxied in place.
This 43” Durapixel model is part of their “Industrial Display” product line which are used for applications such as ATMs, airport displays, etc. and the metal case on the back of these was going to take up too much space for us so we ordered it with just these 3 circuit boards that are needed for the power supply, monitor control and all the various input/output plug ins.
It was great to see Ramazan working on these templates that he will be using next week to cut out these counter surfaces that set atop each of the two Vent Boxes out on the Aft Deck to create our Outside Galley.
Ramazan will use these templates to cut each countertop from the “left overs” of Turkish Turquoise Marble that we used to build all our Galley countertops. We are totally “Gobsmacked” as my British friends might say by the looks of this Turquoise Turkish marble slab we found and were delighted that there was just enough left over to let us use them for these Outside Galley countertops.
This shot taken from just outside the WT Entry door into the SuperSalon looking towards the Aft Stbd corner of the boat will give you a better sense of the size and scale of the Outdoor Galley.
The big “hole” between them is the big access hatch into the Engine Room below which will normally be closed with its all AL hatch door which you will be seeing a bit later here.
On the Port/Left side just opposite the Galley, Ramazan was busy putting the finishing touches on the installation of our two Vitrifrigo 70 litre/18.5 USG drawer freezers.
These are the latest models from Vitrifrigo and one of their very cool features (sorry couldn’t help myself) is that you can configure them to be anything you want from slightly cooling vegetable storage fridge all the way down to a rock hard freezer at -20° C / -4° F.
Making this change could not be simpler as all you do is change the temperature setting on the digital thermostat touch screen on the front of the drawer.
We are very impressed by the quality of Vitrifrigo products with examples such as these robust all SS drawer slides, the well done HD coiled cord to connect the sliding drawer to the door mounted thermostat and the beefy rubber self closing gaskets/seals to keep all the cold in and the heat out.
Once we launch and start using these we will be able to report on our overall electrical loads for our four fridge/freezers but we expect them to be very efficient. In addition to the already very good insulation of these units themselves, we have also installed them in cabinets that have 50mm/2” of rigid foam insulation around all 4 sides and backs.
Having a total of 140L / 37USG of “freezer” space on top of 260L / 69 USG of refrigerator space is going to be true luxury for these two ex-singlehanded sailors who are used to MUCH smaller single top loader fridge/freezers where what you want is ALWAYS at the very bottom!
Last but definately not least for our run through some of these “little” jobs, Nihat has now pretty much finished his HUGEY task of putting the final finished appearance on the seeming acres of all our exterior exposed bare aluminium surfaces.
These 2 photos are of his handiwork in the Upper Helm Station in the SkyBridge.
It is currently all wrapped up in protective plastic right now but just out of view in those photos above is THIS beauty that is patiently waiting to be bolted into that Upper Helm Station!
I had put a Llebroc Helm Chair in my previous sailboat Learnativity and as a full time single handed passage maker I quite literally lived in that chair for weeks at a time on long passages so I speak with some authority when I say that these are VERY comfy helm chairs!
I purchased that first Llebroc chair back in 2006 and they have had a LOT of improvements since so we were pretty sure we wanted to “go with what we know” but we just to make sure Christine and I went to every seat manufacturer at boat shows for over 2 years and tried out all of them. We also did a number of deliveries on other boats all with different seats so we had extended opportunities to test out many other seats. But, our bottoms and backs voted VERY clearly; Llebroc was the hands down Goldilocks Helm Chairs for us.
And this is the slightly different Llebroc Bandera Series 2 helm chair we are about to install down in the Lower Helm Station. It is a bit wider and a bit lower back so it is still super comfy but doesn’t get in the way of our 360 degree views outside the SuperSalon.
When you are “conning the helm” for hours at a time you usually want to be sitting up nice and high so both chairs have over 18” of vertical “air lift” adjustment. When you are sitting up high though your feet can’t touch the floor which becomes very uncomfortable quickly so both helm chairs have these robust foot rest platforms which can be folded up out of the way when you are sitting lower.
These foot rests shipped separately from the chairs and it didn’t take me long to bolt them on with the supplied SS Allen head bolts.
I am a bit fussy, OK, some say obsessive, about coating ALL threads and especially SS ones or ones where there are dissimilar metals involved, with a good coat of TefGel hence that little white jar in the foreground. but trust me it is SO worth this extra step to have fasteners that come out as easily as they went in 20+ years ago.
And yes, you can ask me how I know!
Another great feature is that our Llebroc Helm Chairs are mounted on these Mariner 2 Sliders which provide 210mm/8” of fore/aft travel on these AL rods.
All the framing and primary parts of the chairs, pedestals and swivels are solid cast aluminium so everything is eXtremely rigid and solid.
However, for this aging sailor’s badly damaged spine, THIS Is my favorite feature, the manual pump adjusted Lumbar back support! You have to use one of these to appreciate just how awemazing and once again, yes you can ask me how I know?!!
Even though it is just temporarily in place and there is much to be finished around it, this Helm Chair will be seeing a LOT of use by both of us as we get back to sailing the world from either our upper or lower helm stations.
One of Ugur’s “little jobs” this past week was installing all the big thick EPDM rubber gaskets in all the three big all aluminium hatches on Möbius. This is the biggest of the three hatches, the one overtop of the Engine Room.
Even though they only have one job, keeping these hatches completely watertight no matter what forces of sea water is crashing on deck and trying their bet to get through, these gaskets are eXtremely critical.
One of these hatches is this one up at the Bow sealing off the whole Forepeak area below and there will undoubtedly be times when we “bury the nose” into some huge wave so you can imagine the water pressure that these seals need to keep out.
It took me a bit of time to run the calculations and scenarios needed to chose the Goldilocks “just right” Durometer hardness for these seals. They need to be hard or stiff enough to seal well enough to keep out all that water pressure and yet they need to be soft enough to “squish” just the right amount when you close them and “dog” them down with their big beefy latches which I will show you in a bit below.
To add to the challenge the width and thickness of each of these hatch gaskets/seals needed to be different to match their construction. This EPDM gasket on the ER Hatch is 40mm / 1.6” wide by 25mm / 1” thick and this shot shows how Uğur has done a nice job of gluing this seal in place and holding it to bend around the short radius on each corner with some temporary blocks. This way he could install each seal as one long piece with just one butt joint about half way along the length of the ER Hatch.
All of these EPDM seals are firmly glued in place with Sikaflex industrial adhesive so they should serve us well for many, many years.
HATCH DOGS & HANDLES
?? have you twigged to the riddle of this week’s title yet??
Of course those EPDM hatch seals can be as fabulous as you like, they are not going to do much sealing if they are not eXtremely well dogged down when closed so that they get that Goldilocks Just Right pressure to squish the Just Right about to form the Just Right watertight seal.
And THAT is what these bits of boat jewelry are for!
This is one of 14 Bofor Dog Locks & Handles which Uğur spent much of his time installing this past week.
Bofor is one of our favorite Turkish companies we have found while building Möbius and you may remember that name as we also turned to Bofor for all our WT Doors on Möbius.
BTW, the “Brass roller” indicated here is a typo and as you can see in the photos the roller is actually Black Delrin so no concerns about having Brass and Aluminium touching each other which is a corrosion No-No.
This dimensioned drawing above and this illustrations below will give you a good idea of how these Dogs and Handles work and the quality of their construction.
One example of the eXquisite quality of these Bofor products are the SS ball bearings that enable us to dog down these big hatches with tremendous clamping force and yet be smooth as butter when doing so.
In addition to being very good looking, these flush mount Dogs are also super practical as we open them with the same winch handles we use for our winches using this rather universal “star pattern” SS fitting.
Simple 1/4 turn to close or open.
Here is how the four flush mount Dogs look on the Forepeak Hatch which Uğur has now completed and reinstalled on its hinges and dogged down to check for fit.
This is what those four Dogs and their anodized aluminium Handles look like from the inside when the Forepeak Hatch is open for business.
A bit closer look for those of you interested in a more detailed look at how these Dogs and Handles work.
The Dogs on the ER Hatch are too high to reach so they only have the “Dog” portion and not the Handles but they operate the same way from up above using a winch handle.
Simple though them may be, installing these Bofor Dogs & Handles takes great care and attention to mount them in just the right position.
The process begins with Uğur carefully laying out the location of the through holes for the body of each one has just the right amount of purchase on the AL frames underneath for that Delrin roller to rotate on.
The body of the Dog Lock is then inserted into the hole and the AL collar in the foreground is threaded onto it from the underside.
Down inside the Engine Room there was another bit of detail for Uğur to look after which was that the AlucoBond panelling inside the ER was in the way of the dogs.
This one at the far Aft end of the ER Hatch also needed to clear this clear water hose which is the drain from the six holes in the “gutter” around the full perimeter of the ER Hatch. We can’t have water dripping on Mr. Gee when we open his hatch now can we??!!
But didn’t take Uğur too long to cut out the AlucoBond paneling where the Dogs need to be able to swing as they close to grab onto the AL frame you can see here.
Last but not least was this vertical mounted Hatch/Door on the HazMat locker on the Aft Swim Platform. We will often have some big following seas which can sometimes break and really “poop” the whole Swim Platform and Aft Deck so equally robust seals are needed here as well.
The star of the show this past week in terms of exciting milestones for Christine and I to see when some of the newest members of Team Möbius started installing the TreadMaster that will cover any and all exterior aluminium plates where we walk.
The decks are the most obvious but this same TreadMaster will go onto all stair treads, tops of hatches, around winches and the floors of the SkyBridge and the Tender.
TreadMaster is made in the UK and has been a standard non-slip surface on boats since 1990. It is quite a fascinating material as it is eXtremely soft and flexible as you can see here so it can perfectly follow most any surface. Yet at the same time it is also eXtremely tough and we have been on boats with TreadMaster decks that are over 20 years old and still working well.
I took this close up shot to show you how the non-skid works with all these sharp edged diamonds cut about half way through the 5mm thick Treadmaster material.
Tools of the Trade for applying Treadmaster include lots of West Systems epoxy with colloidal filler to get just the right “peanut butter consistency”, some V-notched spreaders and a very skookum roller for squeezing out the epoxy to just the right thickness.
Let run through a rapid-fire set of photos to show you the overall process we came up with for installing all our TreadMaster on Möbius.
First they glue down registration strips of thin plywood that are 20mm / 3/4” wide, the width of the gap we wanted between each piece of TreadMaster.
Each corner of each sheet has a 30mm / 1.2” radius that is cut with a special cutter I made up out of a short length of 60mm SS pipe with a 90 degree section of the edge sharpened with my Dremel tool. This made quick work out of the hundreds of corners that needed to be cut and kept them all the same. These rounded corners prevent any lifting that a sharp 90 degree corner would likely experience and looks great to boot.
Once each sheet is cut and dry-fitted, it is removed and the underlying AL deck plate is given a light sand with some 120-180 grit sandpaper to remove the oxidized layer that natural forms and protects raw aluminium surfaces. This is a very desirable trait of aluminium that naturally protects all our AL surfaces but adhesive does not stick as well to the oxide layer so it needs to be removed to expose “fresh” clean AL for the adhesive epoxy to bond to.
Last bit of prep is to thoroughly clean the whole AL surface with clean cloths soaked in Acetone.
Time to mix up the epoxy adhesive now!
West Systems makes this very quick and easy with their pump system; One pump of Resin + one pump of Hardener and you are good to go! Such a brilliant system!
TreadMaster’s detailed installation instructions specify a “peanut butter” consistency and explicitly caution against one of ketchup, mayonnaise or yogurt. To do so requires the addition of High Density 406 Colloidal Silicone filler mixed at a ratio of 1:1 by volume with the mixed epoxy.
Thorough stirring produces the just right Peanut Butter, smooth and creamy, not “Chunky” thank you very much and it is ready to be applied to the shiny clean AL deck surface.
The peanut butter can be applied to either the TreadMaster or the AL deck but we found that it worked best to apply to the cleaned AL surfaces because you could really force the epoxy to stick to the entire surface right up to the edges and know for sure there were not missed spots
Now the V-notched spreaders come into play and provided an easy fool proof way of getting the just right thickness of the epoxy mix across the entire surface.
Now those fast glued registration guides come into play as the previously cut piece of TreadMaster now easily set into the just right position by simply pushing the piece up against the edges of these guides.
The piece can then be quickly set in place by hand making sure that the edges in particular are all perfectly referenced against their respective guides.
Now that hefty multi roller tool comes into its own by allowing you to put your full weight onto it as you rapidly roll out from the center to each edge thereby ensuring that all the epoxy is firmly and evenly squished and …….
… that you get the same amount of squeeze-out around all the edges
Any uneven amount of squeeze-out can be easily seen and fixed with some added thumb pressure.
And then the ultimate tool, your finger, forms the just right coved surface on the epoxy as it makes the transition from the AL deck to the TreadMaster edge.
The fast glued registration guides can be quickly popped off with light tap with a chisel and you can now go over the entire edge of the finished sheet.
Rinse and Repeat 100 times and you’re all done!
Orkan, who is also Naval’s “Teak Deck Guy” was in charge of doing all cutting each sheet of TreadMaster to their Goldilocks Just Right size with their appropriate radiused corners and here he has got the Stbd/Right side Deck all covered with dry-fitted TreadMaster.
He was in with me on Saturday, along with Faruk and Ramazan to take advantage of this quieter and dust free time in the shipyard and here is cutting and fitting the sheets on the Port/Left side of the Aft Deck.
Meanwhile, Faruk on the Left and Ramazan teamed up to glue down all the Port side sheets on the Foredeck.
As the winter darkness came on and it was quitting time on Saturday, Orkan had finished most of the Port side of the Aft Deck and we were all VERY pleased with how quickly and how well this whole process had worked.
Next week should see all the rest of the TreadMaster applied though it becomes slower as you do the smaller areas such as stair treads and such but I will show you all that next week.
CHAIN BIN FULLNESS
Somehow amidst all that went on this week I was able to finish putting Big Red 1 & 2 together, our two 250A @ 28V Electrodyne alternators and get them all painted and ready to install But I’ve promised several of you to cover them in quite a bit of detail so I’ll do that next week. But I was also able to build and install the neat grid in the Chain Bin and put all 100m / 330 feet of our 13mm anchor chain so let me finish up with a quick overview of all that.
I began by giving the Chain Bin a much needed thorough cleaning after sitting open down in the Forepeak for almost a year now, and then attaching a length of 1/2” Dyneema line to the D-ring welded to the bottom of the Chain Bin.
This red Dyneema line runs up through the vertical AL pipe and out the 90 degree hawse pipe in the Maxwell VWC 4000 windlass where I spliced it into the bitter end of the 13mm anchor chain. The purpose of this line is that if we ever got into a situation where we had to “cut and run” due to severe conditions mixed with an anchor that we can’t get up for some reason, then we would let out all our anchor chain and bring up this Dyneema tail onto the anchor deck where we could quickly cut it with a sharp knife. No time in such situations to be undoing shackles or going down into the Chain Bin to do this.
For some time now, I’d been mulling over the best way to keep as much separation between the galvanized anchor chain and the aluminium Chain Bin as they are a bit far apart on the Noble scale of metals which can cause some corrosion. I had one of those fun Aha! moments when I realized that the composite grid material that we were using for the flooring in the ER, Forepeak and Workshop would be the Goldilocks solution!
We had a bunch of scrap pieces left over from doing those floors so I traced out two half circles the diameter of the inside of the Chain Bin with my trusty Milwaukee “Hacksall” and soon had the two part, for ease of installation into the Chain Bin, all cut out. I then thought that water and much might get trapped a bit inside all those square grids so out came my Milwaukee angle grinder with a nice thick grinding wheel and made a quick pass down the middle of each row of square grids.
et Voilà! The Goldilocks Chain Bin bottom was born!
Now time to get back up on the Anchor Deck and thread all 100 meters of that colour depth coded 13mm anchor chain into its new home down below.
And THIS folks, is the result and what 100 meters of perfectly cone shaped anchor chain looks like inside a Goldilocks Chain Bin!
OK, I’ve got lots more to Show & Tell but I’m exhausted and it is now 9pm and my personal chef par excellence, aka my Captain Christine, has been patiently keeping dinner warm so I’m going to end it here for this week and pick up where I left off.
Thanks for joining and as always, PLEASE add your questions and comments in the “Join the Discussion” box below.
Till next week,