Good thing 2020 is a Leap Year so we get an additional day to work on Möbius here at Naval Yachts as the time goes flying by and I can barely comprehend that it is already the end of February 2020. However as you are about to see and read below, the progress is very believable and that’s all we can ask for as everyone leans in to push us ever closer to Launch Date.
We get a lot of questions about “When will you launch?” which is quite understandable, we think about it too, and I finally have an answer for you; Thursday. Not to be flip about it but the reality is that we don’t know the exact date when Möbius will be ready to dip her beautiful aluminium belly into the waters of the Med other than my second response which is; as soon as possible or ASAP. I might even borrow and tag on one of my favorite quips, apparently from Albert Einstein “and not one bit sooner”, which he apparently said in reference to simplicity as in “Everything should be made as simple as possible but not (one bit) simpler. We are all working towards the shared goal of building the best boat we can that will meet and exceed the clearly outlined fundamental principles which Christine and I have created based on our decades of full time sailing and live aboards. This is further exasperated by the fact that this is very much a “version 1.0” boat of the XPM class so most things are completely new to all of us. We are all working as hard and as efficiently as possible towards this mutual goal and so “Thursday” and ASAP, seems to be the best answer for the launch of our Goldilocks boat.
So let’s go see what Team Möbius has been up to this past week and you can decide how well it is going.
Let’s start this weekly update with our Aluminium Team of Uğur, Nihat and Okan now that they are back after almost a month away while Uğur was out with his badly broken thumb.
I’m going to be mean and hold you in suspense for a wee bit longer about what exactly this three massive AL bars are for but the wait sill soon be over in the next week of two once they start installing these in the hull. I can give you a hint that these will be very solidly welded into the hull and they will be in the Aft Deck area.
My hand will give you a better sense of their size and 50mm/2” thick mass. All the sharp corners are about to be fully rounded over including the edges of the large hole in the top.
Does that help you guess what these are?
Stay tuned, answer coming soon.
Moving on to the next quiz, any guess as to what this new AL frame is for?
Here it is mostly completed now and ready to be lifted up onto the front of the roof of Pilot House.
Now you know right?
Correct! This is the frame that will hold the front three (in Blue) solar panels which fit overtop of the angled space in the front roof area of the Pilot House.
This frame or rack will be hinged on the aft end in front of the SkyBridge windows such that it can be raised when we are at anchor such that the solar panels are horizontal or whatever angle puts them perpendicular to the sun’s rays.
Then when we are heading out on passage, the whole solar panel folds down and locks into the angled recess in the PH roof.
As you may recall seeing last week, our solar panels have arrived so I will soon be able to show you photos of them being installed in this rack on Möbius.
In our typical “Swiss Army Knife” strategy of making as many things as possible serve multiple purposes, when lifted up the hinged solar panels creates a fabulous wind tunnel to capture all the breezes blowing over our bow at anchor and direct them down through that bright Green frame you see at the end of the “wind tunnel” and then down into the SuperSalon below.
So while they were working on the PH roof, Uğur and Nihat also fabricated and installed the Green frame you see above.
The flanges of the L-bar frame will be used to mount the Mist Eliminator grills which remove most of the salt and humidity from the air flowing through and further increase the comfort of everyone inside.
And here is the fully installed frame all ready to have the Mist Eliminator grills bolted in place.
You can see how the fully EPDM insulated interior surfaces have been covered with AL foil cloth to increase the air flow down into the air plenum on the ceiling of the SuperSalon below.
The Red & Black cables will soon have their MC-4 connectors on their ends to attach to the outputs of the three Solar Panels and then run down into their individual MPPT controllers in the Basement.
I received several questions about this drawing I showed last week of the vent shut off lids we have built into all the Dorade and other vents bringing fresh air into the interior of the boat so here are a few more pictures to better answer those questions.
Consistent with my opening Einstein quote about “as simple as possible but not any simpler” or as I usually refer to it KISS Keep It Safe & Simple, you can see how that applies to these simple yet effective vent shut offs.
This is the simple to fabricate inner frame that holds the threaded rod in the center of the 100mm/4” ID vent pipes when it is welded in place.
Not pictured but you can see in the drawing above, there will be a simple knob on the bottom of this threaded rod and a round plate on the top so to close these vents you just reach up inside and turn the knob to bring the rubber lined lid down and sealed against the vent pipe.
Given the build in water shedding design of Dorade vents we will only need to do this in eXtremely severe seas when we think there might be a chance of a roll over. Hopefully that ends up being NEVER! But you also never know.
Jumping down below, Uğur and Nihat picked up on their work to install the Prop Shaft removal tube in the Rudder which just came back from the waterjet company next door who cut the complex angled hole for this pipe.
Here it is from the other side where the prop shaft would slice through when being removed
This is one of the many examples of us applying the lessons learned from decades of sailing the world. When, never if, you need to remove your prop shaft it adds an appreciable amount of time and work if you need to first remove the rudder and then replace it when you’ve got the prop shaft back in. Simple in theory, this hole through the Rudder nicely solves that problem by making the eliminating the need to remove the Rudder. As is often the case though, executing on this simple solution is quite complex.
The high amperage carried by the 24V amp cables requires doubling up two 70mm2 cables and as you can see Victron provides for this with dual positive and negative bus bars inside each inverter charger.
We find that connections overall are particularly well thought out in Victron equipment. All the AC and data wiring comes up through WT cable glands in the bottom of the cabinet and the slots for the larger DC cables are well insulated with nylon inserts all around. This kind of attention to detail makes it so much easier to access in the future and to connect initially.
Hilmi has a good selection of special tools for thigs such as this hydraulic cable lug swaging tool. I have a similar one I carry onboard as well for whenever I need to make up new cables.
Fully tined lugs on the ends of all the DC cables provide an eXcellent resistance free connection BUT only if you create a perfect connection between the copper wire of the cable and the inside of the lug. These tools make that much easier and I have yet to have a bad connection inside lugs I’ve installed so we are aiming to continue that trend on Möbius.
We also need Hilmi at 100% because this is only one small collection of the many electrical devices that are piling up in our store room and a new shipment arrives on Monday!
Seen here are some of the many Maretron black boxes for monitoring systems throughout the boat, the FLIR night camera in the top Left and some of the OGM nav lights on the right.
Mr. GEE our Gardner 6LXB Single Engine
I wasn’t able to give Mr. Gee as much of my time as I would have liked this past week but he did get some TLC such as this newly machine flywheel which just returned from the neighboring machine shop.
The massive flywheel needed two modifications the first of which is machining the recess your see here with the 8 M14 threaded holes where the AL SAE14 flange I’m holding up will be bolted on. This AL flange has a series of rounded “teeth” on its inner surface where the rubber flexible coupling slides into and transfers all the power from Mr. Gee’s crankshaft to the Nogva CPP Servo Gearbox and propeller.
They machined this inner recess such that the SAE14 AL flange is a slight press fit onto the flywheel to ensure both parts are eXactly concentric and spinning on center with no vibration.
The second job was to machine this outer recess on the outside edge of the flywheel.
This recess is needed so that the flywheel clears the inside of this aluminium housing that surrounds the flywheel and bolts to the Gardner engine block.
You can see the clearance that has been created for the inner edge of the flywheel housing and then there is a similar clearance underneath those threaded holes between my fingers.
I also started to ready the many aluminium parts that bolt to the outside of Mr. Gee such as this water manifold on the Starboard side of the block that I’m holding and the coolant overflow tank in the upper Right and the water manifold below my arm on the bottom Left.
All these parts will be sand blasted and many of them will be polished to a gleaming shine to help create the work of art and engineering that is Mr. Gee.
One of the many unique features of our Gardner 6LXB which makes it so incredibly strong and long lasting are these threaded through rods which extend from side to side at the bottom of the massive cast AL crankcase.
Each pair of rods extend through each aluminium crankshaft bearing cap and creates an unbelievably strong and solid “bottom end” to this engine. This degree of solidity eliminates any vibration or flexing of the crankshaft and provides a truly rock solid base for it to spin freely in for another fifty years.
One last part I worked on this past week was a new spacer for the camshaft. This part establishes the just right amount of lengthwise play of the camshaft which is supposed to be .004-006” but over the many years of non stop spinning in his former life, this had grown to .009” when I tested it so I drew up this quick hand sketch for Yunus, which is Turkish for Dolphin BTW, in our Machine Shop so he can make a new one. I will show you that when I’m installing it next week or so.
Cihan our Master Plumber was busy as always throughout the boat so let’s go see what he’s been up to this past week starting up on the anchor platform on the Bow where he is installing these two wash down outlets.
One is for Fresh water the other for Salt.
We first experienced these beautifully made SS and plastic quick connect fittings on a boat we were delivering a few years ago and were so impressed by how well they worked we tracked some down for our four deck wash fittings; these two at the Anchor Platform on the Bow and then two on the Aft Deck.
As you might know I am loathe to allow ANY penetrations of the deck plating but I’m happy to make an exception to these two in the Forepeak area. As you can see they are very well sealed and even if/when they do leak many years from now the water would go straight down into the bilge area below.
At the very opposite end of the boat, Cihan was also hard at work installing the complex network of pipes, fittings, mixing valves and manifolds for the hot water system. You are peeking underneath the Starboard/Right side workbench at the very aft end of the Workshop where the IsoTherm Calorifier/Hot Water Tank is located.
This is one of two manifolds in the hot water system which provides hot water for both our DHW Domestic Hot Water for sinks and showers as well as for our in-floor heating system that runs through all the interior floors on the boat.
I will have more of Cihan’s craftsmanship in the coming weeks as he completes this system.
MASTER CABIN SHOWER:
Let’s go back up to the front of the boat and catch up with the new Composite Team who have been busy glassing all the walls, floor and ceiling of the Master Cabin Shower. In the past few weeks you have seen them complete the initial glassing by applying a layer of fiberglass resign and cloth to all the plywood surfaces. Next they cut out these 3mm/ 1/8” thick composite panels with White gelcoat outer surfaces.
The shapes are rather complex with no right angles anywhere to be found so they built templates inside the Shower and use these to cut each panel to match the shape of each area,
Then they apply a layer or thickened resin and press each panel into place with bars and clamps.and clean up any squeeze out.
It all goes quite quickly as the panels cover relatively large areas. The two rectangles on top Right are where the two mirrored upper cabinets will mount and the two lower ones are for the lower cabinet with the sink on top. The cut outs provide access to the plumbing and electrical systems behind.
The two etched glass shower wall panels will complete the corner closest to you.
The “Shower Tower” mounts on the diagonally angled wall on the Left and the seat with its own access door is on the Right with the grinder on top.
At the other end of the Master Cabin, Omur, Selim and Şevki are finishing up the cabinetry for the bed area. All the White dots on the headboard and dropped ceiling are the female FastMount clips where each of the upholstered panels will snap in place.
Zooming out you can see more of these FastMount clips on the end and side walls now ready for their Ultra Leather upholstered panels.
Speaking of which, here is a sneak peek into the Upholstery Shop of some of the wall panels having their foam and Green/Gray Ultra Leather applied. We’ll have much more of this to show you in the coming weeks.
Looking up above the dropped ceiling we can see that it has now been solidly attached to the overhead AL frames of the hull with three AL L-brackets and now White epoxy coated spacers are attached for the ceiling grid to mount to.
And off to the Starboard/Right side of the Dropped Ceiling the solid Rosewood header above the Master Cabin door has been fitted.
Moving up to the SuperSalon it has been pretty much gutted this week as all the cabinetry has been fully fitted and has been taken over to the Finishing Shop where about five coats of Polyurethane varnish are applied and rubbed out to a beautiful satin lustre.
With all the cabinets gone, Selim on the Left is now busy putting in all the pink rigid foam insulation as he preps the floor for cutting in all the U shaped grooves for the 15mm/ 5/8” PEX tubing for the in-floor heating.
At the Aft end of the SuperSalon where the Galley is, Selim is also now able t install all the 4 layer acoustic insulation panels in these White stepped inner surfaces that make the transition from the Galley countertops to the Guest Cabin below.
Up at the front of the SuperSalon, the Main Helm station is being completed with both wiring and cabinetry being installed.
The angled Helm Dashboard with two 20” monitors is in the center with a large triangular storage area on the Left and angled wall on the Right with the forward electrical panel below.
Before heading to the Finishing Shop the Cabinetry makes a stopover in the Cabinetry Shop so Omur and Selim can do the final sanding and preparation for final finishing. Here Omur is cleaning up and sanding the inner surfaces of the opening where one of the two Fridges will eventually be installed. All five surfaces of these Fridge and Freezer walls will be lined with 50mm / 2” of rigid foam to insulate their already highly insulated Vitrifrigo boxes.
Selim and Omur add some of the details to the SuperSalon cabinetry such as cutting in all the ventilation grooves into the back panel where the 50” SmarTV will mount.
These vents are needed to provide a ready source of fresh air for the Port/Left Air Handler that is housed in the area behind and to the Left of this TV panel as well as one of our House Computers which is behind this hinged TV panel.
The multi directional TV mount will sit flush inside the rectangular box in this panel so unfortunately you won’t see this work of art too often, but when we do ………………………….
Elsewhere in the Cabinetry Shop, Omur and Selim are also finishing up more details such as this door in the outside panel of the Galley Counter that runs alongside the stairs leading up to the Aft Deck entrance door.
Both the door and its outer frame are made of solid Rosewood so that’s what you see them fitting in these phots.
With all the grain fully matched of course!
Never one to be outdone in the friendly competition between our two Cabinetry Teams, Omer has been hard at work finishing things up in the Guest Cabin.
His latest project has been installing the ceiling grid that provides the foundation for mounting all the ceiling panels, lights, ducts and hatch trim.
The combination of 12mm/ 1/2” lightweight Poplar marine plywood and all the lightening cut outs keeps this grid very light yet very strong.
Down on the ground, Omer has also been installing the same 12mm marine plywood on the floors.
Each of these access ports in all areas of the boat will have their own fully finished floor covers that can be lifted out if needed but will normally be largely invisible. Each one of these removable floor panels have specially made SS threaded hold down hardware to prevent these hatches from coming loose in the unlikely event of a full roll over.
The floors of the Corridor outside the Guest Cabin get the same floor treatment.
BUT, can you spot the most exciting new development hiding in plain sight in this photo????
Hint, it was a multi team project and Omer is working on part of it here and …..
That’s right! The first of our shiny new WT Bofor doors is being installed!!
Nihat is threading the SS bolts through from the Workshop side of the Corridor with Omer helping on the other side.
Which looks like this when they are finished and it is closed.
And like this when open with Uğur nicely framed as he cleans up some of the Sikaflex adhesive used to seal the door to the aluminium bulkhead.
This is the only WT door on the interior so it is powder coated White. Bofor custom built this door to eXceed all requirements for strength and water tightness even if the boat were to be completely flooded on one side.
The other two WT doors are external doors, the main entrance from the Aft Deck into the SuperSalon and the door into the Workshop from the Swim Platform and they also exceed all requirements several times and but are left in raw aluminum.
As you can imagine things are really piling up in the Finishing Shop as all the cabinetry is taken off the boat and brought to them for the final preparation and then spraying of the PU varnish.
Just the first coat on this Freezer cabinet but looking good already!
The Ro$ewood doesn’t get all the attention as these Beech tops of the Dinette seats can attest.
and size doesn’t matter either as all parts large and small, such as this bit of transition trim where the Fridge cabinet meet up against the window glass.
Each piece spends quite a bit of time in various parts of the Finishing shop as they have to be carefully sanded down between each of the 5 coats to get all surfaces fully filled and flat for the final coat.
This is the top of the Fridge cabinet after its 3rd coat.
Once they have all been fully finished and polished they are carefully bundled up in lots of bubble wrap as they await their final move to their new home inside Möbius.
It is a special cast resin based composite that is used for things like walkways in harsh industrial plants such as chemical production. Also used on some high traffic walkways on bridges, marinas and parts. Easy to cut to shape and able to support thousands of kilos/pounds so very rigid.
You will see much more of this as we start installing it and we are super eXcited about this great new solution for flooring in these critical work areas inside Möbius. These allow us to still see all the way below and each floor panel will be removable for access as needed.
Whew! Another busy week here at Naval Yachts and as I said at the beginning you can see that the progress continues unabated as we head for that Thursday Launch Date!
Thanks for joining us again this week and please join the team by adding your questions and comments in the “Join the Discussion” box below.
See you here again next week I hope.