Last week was another 4 day work week due to Monday being the final day of the big 4 day long Eid al-Adha holiday here in Turkey and to exacerbate the impact on XPM78-01 Möbius the push at Naval Yachts to finish and launch two other boats continues so most of Team Möbius were reassigned to help out with those two projects. However progress was made none the less as Hilmi, Selim, Christine and yours truly worked a full day yesterday (Saturday) so we turned it into a 5 day work week after all so I still have exciting progress to share with you in this week’s Show & Tell Progress Update so let’s just right into that.
Sparkies Keep the Flame Burning Aboard Möbius
Our one and only “Sparkie” aka Electrician Hilmi who is now ably assisted by the young and flinty (sorry couldn’t resist) Selim worked all four days this week and were also on the job all day Saturday with Christine and I so there has been lots of good progress on the many electrical jobs still needing to be completed.
Most of the wires and cables going into Möbius are already pulled but with literally miles of wiring in total even the remaining “little bit” is a lot. Seen here, Selim is pulling some of the remaining cables coming up through the floor from the Basement into the Main Helm for all the controls, switches and electronics there.
Further back on the Aft Port side of the SuperSalon Hilmi and Selim took on one of the more challenging wire pulls with these cables that come up through the hollow in the window I-beams to get past the glass windows and up to the Upper Helm in the SkyBridge.
A closer look peeking between some of these cables shows how these hollows in the massive 10mm / 3/8” thick aluminium I-Beams on either side of each window provide a just right channel for the cables to transit.
For those of you wondering why these I-Beams are so strong and thick, this quick render with all the outer plating removed shows how these Window I-Beams are part of each of the 23 full frames that make up the “skeleton” of the hull framing. These frames are spaced 1 meter apart and are about 4-5 times what is required by classification standards for Open Ocean class boats.
They need to be this thick and strong as they carry the full load from the superstructure of the Pilot House framing and transfer it down to the framing below.
Bonus Points: By using this I-Beam construction we also gained a built in wire chase every meter!
The cables exit the top of the I-Beam and feed into the Port side of this “doghouse” over top of the Entryway where the stairs take you from the Aft Deck down into the SuperSalon, and run up and then across to the Right side of this overhead electronics box and then ….
…….. feed into the Upper Helm through this AL penetration tube.
After we are sure all the wires are in and everything has been tested and working, all these penetrations will be filled with special sealing compound to make them fully watertight.
Below the glass windows, the cables they are pulling here come up through these two removable panels that provide access to the Fuel Fill & Vent hoses on the Port hull beside the stairs going down to the Corridor. There are cables for both AC and DC wiring at the Upper Helm as well as some N2K and ethernet wiring.
We refer to the cupboard partly visible in the very bottom Right corner as the “internet Alcove”.
Which which is the scene of more cable pulling this week, mostly consisting of the creamy white CAT-7 ethernet cables seen on the bottom Left. The black box with all the antennae on the Left is our PepWave Max Transit Duo and black boxes on the Right rear corner are three of our Ethernet switches.
The White & Green box in the Left background is an outlier here as it is the main control or “brain box” for our In-Floor Heating system.
Courtesy of Steve Mitchel who singlehandedly runs the incredibly valuable marine electronics SeaBits blog, those of you wanting to do a deep dive into some of the latest and greatest routers for maximum cellular and WiFi connectivity should be sure to check out THIS Seabits article from Steve. Christine and I are both huge fans of “Seabits Steve” as we refer to him almost daily as we anxiously await his latest posting to learn from.
FYI: We purchased our PepWave Max Transit quite awhile back so it is not the model behind this CAT 18 upgrade but still provides us with pretty awemazing connections to shoreside cellular signals and gives us a full WiFi bubble everywhere on Möbius. The PepWave Max Transit series is built for use on busses, ferries and hence the “Transit” name so these are eXtremely robust and powerful routers which form the heart of our cellular/WiFi setup on Möbius.
At the bottom of the stairs in the Corridor where my “Clean room” workbench and office reside, Hilmi and Selim have mounted these two Furuno 711C AutoPilot FAP-7002 Processor Black Boxes. The small Red unit Right of center is our ActiSense NGW-1 NMEA2000 Gateway and the little Blue box above is another Multi-Port 4 port box for N2K drop cables coming off the central N2K backbone.
Continuing our tour of the Port/Left side hull, if you look up to your Right as you go through the WT door at the end of the Corridor and enter the Workshop, you will see that Hilmi has now pretty much finished making all the connections for the N2K network cables including Multi-Port boxes such as the Blue/Purple one here on the far Left, Maretron Black Boxes for sensors from Maretron fuel & water tanks and other monitoring sensors.
The two boxes on the far Right are the larger ActiSense EMU-1 box which puts the old analog data from Mr. Gee onto our N2K network so we can monitor and log things like temperature, pressure and levels of engine oil, water and CPP oil and RPM,
And finally for this week, if we go up front of the SuperSalon and down the stairs into the Master Cabin we find that Hilmi & Selim have been busy installing the indirect LED lights in the stair nosing and under each toe kick area.
Looks like this when standing on the stairs heading into the Master Cabin.
And like this up at the very front where the Vanity sink sits on the far Left and the full wall full of cabinets along the Port side of the hull.
All lights on Möbius are LED and all interior lights, direct and indirect are all on dimmers so the lighting can always be adjust to get it Just Right for any situation.
FYI; The colour of this indirect lighting looks very Green in all my photos which I think is due to them mixing with the big work lights illuminating all the rooms but they are all soft white in reality and have a very pleasing visual effect as well as a big safety factor.
Hydraulic Steering Tanks:
Upon reading the manufacturer’s requirements and doing some math, a new main tank for the Kobelt hydraulic steering oil was required to meet their minimum 45L/12 USG capacity, so I fired up Autodesk’s Fusion 360 and came up with this design for a slightly oversize 53L / 14 USG tank that was the Goldilocks size and shape to fit just right overtop of the two Accu-Steer HPU400 steering pumps at the Aft end of the Workshop.
Uğur and Nihat were able to steal away from those other boats for a few hours on Thursday and Friday so I had the dimensioned drawings ready and waiting for them to quickly fabricate this rectangular tank and a small cylindrical header tank for the Kobelt manual hydraulic steering pump at the Main Helm.
I KISS’ed the design (Keep It Simple & Safe) to make it quick and easy to build and Nihat and Uğur are an excellent team and they had the tanks fabricated in no time.
These two “holey” inner plates we see Uğur welding here, provide baffles to reduce the free surface effect caused when any tank or a compartment is partially filled, the motion of the liquid due to the ship’s rolling and pitching motions would reduce the stability of the ship.
Nihat helping me do a quick test fit and determine the just right location for the tank and its mounts overtop of the two Kobelt Accu-Steer HPU400 hydraulic pumps and their respective hoses and valves underneath.
I was able to design this filler pipe to just fit into the cavity behind the AlucoBond wall panelling on the hinge side of the WT door where it will be easy to access but well out of the way as you walk in/out.
Uğur fabricated and welded these 15mm / 5/8” thick bosses or pads to add enough thickness for the pipe threads for the hydraulic fittings for the supply and return lines.
I added these two short pipes inside where the two supply fittings go to keep any dirt or debris that might sneak into the tank from getting out.
There are also oil filters on the supply lines to keep the hydraulic oil meticulously clean so this is just some added protection for the extremely small tolerances of the hydraulic pumps and cylinders.
After a VERY thorough cleaning up of all the interior of the tank, Uğur could finish the tank by welding the top on.
Those are slot welds he is laying down here which go through to the top edges of the baffle plates.
Kobelt requires a small header tank for their manual hydraulic steering pumps which is what we have at the Main Helm as an emergency backup should the double hydraulic AutoPilot systems ever both go down. So I designed this very simple 1.5L tank that was just the right size and shape to fit out of the way underneath the Dashboard of the Main Helm.
Short length of 120mm OD aluminium pipe worked out just right.
Simple plate ends welded on to create the tank.
Minutes later, Uğur had it all welded up and ready for Cihan our Master Plumber to cut the NPT pipe threads in the supply and return pipes on the side. The larger 50mm pipe on the top is to fill this tank and check fluid levels.
Both tanks now ready to be mounted next week.
One other small job they knocked off in a few minutes this week was welding these two hinges for the frame …..
…….. that holds the three solar panels on the front roof of the Pilot House.
This is how this front solar bank looks from the Foredeck when it is in the Passage Making mode. (Aft panel removed here for welding the hinges you see above)
Using a short wooden support to show about how this Forward solar bank pivots on those aft hinges so the panels are horizontal or the optimal angle to keep them close to perpendicular to the sun.
But wait! There’s more …………………….
Look what is at the Aft end of this wind tunnel formed by the bank of solar panels when they are propped up! Yup, that’s a large mist eliminator grill that feeds directly into the big air plenum ……
in the ceiling of the center of the SuperSalon with these five vent tubes which will have adjustable diffusers in them to control and direct the air flow. As you can imagine, given the size of this “wind tunnel” formed when this bank of solar panels is propped up while we are anchored, even the slightest breeze will produce plenty of clean fresh air into the SuperSalon.
But wait! There’s more! ……………….
There are an additional five vents with diffusers up at the very front as well directly overtop of the Main Helm. If you look closely (click to enlarge any photo) you will be able to see a series of slots cut into the overhang of the roof immediately in front of the center window where the negatively raked windows create a high pressure area which feeds fresh breezes into this forward set of air vents.
As I’ve pointe out previously, ventilation is such a critical factor for a comfortable and safe passage maker that we literally started designing the ventilation system and then built the boat around that. This is the result and we will always be very well ventilated.
I received quite a few questions in the past asking for details on the solar panels we sourced directly from the manufacturer, Lightech Solar in China so here are shots of the labels with all those details for you.
The front 3 panels are the 295 Pmax Watts and the other 11 panels are the 320 Pmax Watt panels.
Cables each have MC4 connectors which we will soon connect using MC4 in-line fuses.
One other bit of progress this week was that Orhan, our Teak specialist, finished building the three removable floor panels that go in the Master & Guest showers and the Master Bathroom/Head.
The bottom surfaces of these lift out floors will be fiberglass to reduce any mold forming in this wet area.
Similar to the way he does solid Teak decking on other yachts, Orhan cuts these grooves along the edges of the individual Teak boards and then fills these with Black Sikaflex caulking.
A task made MUCH faster and easier using this pneumatic powered caulking gun!
He was only able to get these first three grooves in one floor panel by end of the work day on Friday but once he has all the grooves caulked the whole panel will be sanded down flat and flush. We don’t allow any teak or any other woods or paint or stainless on the exterior in order to minimize maintenance but we thought this little bit of nautical teak “decking” would work work well in our showers.
Mr. Gee’s Coats of Many Colours
As I’m about to show you, it was a bit of the “three steps forward, two steps back” waltz with Mr. Gee and myself this week but that’s still one step of forward progress right?
One of the steps forward was getting the massive cast aluminium oil “pan” or Sump all put together and installed on Mr. Gee. In addition to being eXtremely strong and weighing in at a svelte 45kg / 100 Lbs (my best guess as I can just barely lift it by myself) this baby holds 30 Liters/ 8 USG of engine oil in this deep sump at the aft end of the Gardner 6LXB.
I had previously given this a very thorough cleaning with the sandblaster and then flushed, cleaned and painted it with silicone based aluminium heat paint. Last step was to now reinstall the wire screens you see resting on the far end.
These wire mesh grates bolt to this grid and would catch any large particles that might somehow fall into the sump and prevent them from getting down into the oil in sump before it is pumped out through all the oil galleries in the engine.
Note the same kind of baffling here to reduce that Free Surface Effect mentioned in building the hydraulic tanks.
Next step forward was to wrestle the now fully assembled Sump off my workbench and in place underneath Mr. Gee.
FYI: It is averaging about 38C/100F most days here now so I consider this “dance step” to be part of my weigh loss campaign to keep my girlish figure!
Gardner specifies RTV High Temp silicone for this joint and it is my preferred gasket making compound so that’s what I used to seal this Oil Bump to Crankcase joint.
You can see the wire mesh grates installed inside and the oil pump pickup pipe extending down through a special spring loaded fitting on the upper Right. The taped off holes are for the bronze pipes for pickups, dipstick tube, etc..
I used two hydraulic jacks underneath the Oil Sump to help me raise it slowly into place which is a bit tricky as there are ten studs and the oil pickup tube that all have to align just right but I soon had the Sump back where it belonged and Mr. Gee’s once again had his bottom end all covered up, so he was happy too. 42 bolts and studs later with some Loctite thread locker and the Oil Sump was all torqued up to just right tightness.
The “2 steps back” part of this week’s dance with Mr. Gee began when I took on repainting all of his cast aluminium parts. Several months ago as you may remember seeing in previous posts, I had painted all these cast aluminium parts with some special high heat silicone paint that is basically aluminium powder suspended in clear liquid silicone.
It seemed to work eXtremely well in terms of coverage and the look of “real aluminium”. However I discovered too late that the aluminium is a bit too “real” and that even when fully cured the surface is raw aluminium dust so every time you touch it your fingers are covered wtih a light coating of the aluminium and the surfaces do not clean up well.
No problem he thought, just apply a good coat or two of clear epoxy and you will end up with a nice smooth, shiny, impervious outer “shell”. In the time since though some areas had been banged up or had to be sanded down for mounts and other work so I needed to reapply another coat of this aluminium paint.
No problem right? The clear coat had worked well going on top of the aluminium paint so you would think that doing the reverse, putting the aluminium paint on top of some of the clear should be no problem right?
Soon after applying the new coat of aluminium silicone paint, this began to happen! For some reason the new coat of aluminium silicone paint reacted where the clear epoxy was. Yikes! Talk about two steps back!
No going back now so I resigned myself to the laborious task of immediately removing most of the paint on these very uneven surfaces and repainting them all over again. The paint was fresh enough that I found I could blast much of it off using a very high pressure compressed air nozzle which got me about a third of the way and then I had to resort to other weapons of mass reduction such as wire wheels, grinding disks and LOTS of hand sanding.
Oh, and did I happen to mention that is was a 40C/104F day?
So back to my weight loss regime and two days later I had masked off the upper cast iron cylinder block and heads and shot poor Mr. Gee with another full coat of aluminium silicone paint.
3 steps forward in that it looked pretty good.as you see here. But 2 steps back on closer inspection!
If you click to enlarge and zoom in on the far Left side here you will see that Mr. Gee has some rather wrinkly skin. Seems that I didn’t do quite as good a job of removing ALL that clear coat.
However I was out of time now and so hopefully Mr. Gee and the Gardner Gods will forgive me for this less than ideal paint job and I proceeded to finish the whole paint job.
I needed to put on a second coat of the Burgundy epoxy paint on the upper cast iron cylinder block and heads so I removed all the masking I had put on them while doing the aluminium paint dance and then masked off all the bottom aluminium parts and gave the previous Burgundy paint a light hand sanding.
Fortunately this dance went very well as it was now working with familiar all epoxy paints and soon had Mr. Gee’ fully fitted with his new Burgundy coat.
I still needed to do something about that new coat of “raw aluminium” paint or else Mr. Gee was not going to stay looking too dapper for too long so I turned to a clear coat I had lots of good experience with, AlexSeal Premium Topcoat 501 Clear and did some extensive experimentation by applying coats to some test pieces I had sprayed with the aluminium silicone paint.
Enough with the 2 steps backwards!
This final clear coat of Clear Premium Topcoat 501 over top of both the Burgundy epoxy and the aluminium silicone paints worked GREAT, matching my experience using AlexSeal for almost 20 years now. Live and learn, Go with what you know!
I also prepped these other aluminium parts such as the intake manifold, coolant water header tank and many other bits and bobs by sandblasting, priming and then painting them all with the aluminium silicone paint so they were all ready for their final coat of clear AlexSeal in one final Last Dance for this week.
I wanted to do as much clear coating as possible so I also took the time to prep all these other parts, some cast aluminium such as the cooling water manifolds, thermostat housing AND ………….
These solid cast bronze beauties which are the two halves of Mr. Gee’s engine oil cooling heat exchanger.
Call me crazy, (and you’d right), but these start out as dull clunky Beasts and then after some thorough sand blasting and lots of wire wheeling, transform into some of the most Beautiful engine parts I’ve ever seen.
Oh, and I ran out of time this week so I did not even get to all the bronze and copper pipes and tubes which connect to these Bronze Beauties and other parts of Mr. Gee so you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!
Stay tuned for more of my dances with Mr. Gee and hopefully more steps forward than back in the weeks to come.
Oh, and for those of you still waiting for an explanation of that reference to “Mr. Gee’s standing ovation on all four feet” check out this photo and several others above and see that the answer has been staring right at you…………
Yup, Mr. Gee is now standing on his very own on all four of his anti-vibration engine feet! How else was he going to be able to dance with me???????
OK, till next week, this is your XPM78-01 Möbius cub reporter signing off with thanks for taking the time to join us for this week’s Show & Tell. See you again next week I hope and PLEASE be encouraged to write your comments and questions in the “Join the Discussion” box below.
Excellent progress. Thanks for taking the time to chronicle the week.
Thanks Wade & Diane, hope things are going well with you and all the new work you are staring on with Joana. Also happy to get your Email that you were able to successfully order the West Systems epoxy and dispensers you needed.
And we remain hopeful that you will come for a visit with us next month. Just sayin’ …………………….
Sorry to hear about the re-work of the paint. Must have been frustrating.
I have been using only LED bulbs for several years now in our home. I only use Daylight for working rooms and soft white for decorative lighting like the front of our backyard workshop coach lights and Gazebo soffit lights. I find that the Daylight color bulbs appear t be brighter with the same lumen rating. I suspect it may be related to ours being mostly used to sunlight.
Yes, I know that you and other DIY and “maker” minded people could “feel my pain” Elton. 🙂 However, all part of “living the dream” and as per my dancing metaphor, the “three steps forward, one step back polka” is still one step of positive forward progress so it is all good and all so well worth it in the end. I remain disappointed that I wasn’t able to get Mr. Gee’s paint job up to the level I so much wanted to give to him, but I do need to remind myself that this is purely cosmetic and perhaps a wee bit OCD, and as my daugther Lia taught me to say “I’m so over that now” and moving on to getting Mr. Gee fully assembled and running and installed on XPM78-01 Möbius.
LED lighting has truly been a revolution in boats, perhaps even more so than homes given that we need to generate all our own electrical energy so we are 100% “off the grid”. And over the last 20 years or so the progress and evolution of LED technology has been astounding and we are taking full advantage of all that progress with the LED equipment we are now installing on Möbius. As I noted in the blog, I think the colour change between my photos and reality is mostly due to the fact that the other lighting on the boat right now are all high output industrial work lighting, though some of those too are massive LED floodlights. So we will have to wait and see how well future photos match the reality once we launch and have Möbius out in the real world with real sunlight, just as you noted.
Thanks as always for joining us here Elton and for being one of our most supportive and contributing followers. MUCH appreciated!
Hi Wayne … very very early on in your blog posts … you mentioned there was a Louisiana boatyard listed as a place that could build your Mobius … do you happen to recall which yard that was?
Wow, good memory Andrew and much better than mine! 😉
I will need to go dig through my notes and old Emails to come up with the yards we talked to so if you would please, send me an Email to email@example.com to remind me and I can follow up with you better that way.
Also … in your early “Hull of a Curve” video … how did the yard form/shape those giant aluminum plates?? I saw these line patterns on the outside, was there some sort of form used?
Good question with a fun answer Andrew in that the process and machines used for this date back almost 100 years or so I think to the very early days of working with sheet metal. The process is known as “wheeling”, sometimes “English Wheeling” and if you do a search on those terms you will find plenty of articles, photos and YouTube videos on the process. I know of it from my days many moons ago of restoring antique cars and building custom motorcycles where I used an English Wheel machine to form complex curved sheet metal for things like fuel tanks and body parts. It is one of those “works of art and engineering” that I find so fascinating and to the best of my knowledge this process remains a totally manual human process and one that has not been able to be automated yet.
Having said all that, it is best to keep such “non developable surfaces“, to a minimum as they do require this additional and time consuming wheeling. For those unfamiliar with the terminology, a developable surface is one that can be cut or unfolded into a flat sheet or paper such as a cylinder or cone whereas a Non-developable Surface is one that cannot be “flattened” such as a globe. As you noted, we did decide to include some areas of the hull on XPM78-01 Möbius which were non developable surfaces to get the hull shape and performance we wanted and we felt this was worth the extra cost of having them wheeled. Frankly, it was not very much additional cost compared to the total cost of all the CNC cut aluminium plates required to build the hull and we think it was well worth it for the end result.
I think you will find the videos and photos you will find a a quick search on Wheeling or English Wheeling and I’ve put an initial link above to get you started but let me know if this leads to any further questions.
Wheeling was my first guess, but then I saw those lines across the plate in one of the videos, and the lines were across the short end, whereas the wheeling I thought would be lengthwise, so that got me thinking maybe there was some cool turkish way !
Timestamp 1:12 on this video shows one plate being lifted with ground lines at the frames (I think), the plate on the ground has a tighter band of lines? maybe those are the wheel going across the plate?
I have read all the blog posts, and just found the youtube channel, so spent most of yesterday watching those one by one. You all are creating a true treasure, not just the boat, but the memories, and documented “biography” of the construction process. Exposing details upon details upon details of things that typically just taken for granted.
whoops meant to post this link instead of an interesting house in FL !
Hi Andrew. All the CNC cutting and wheeling was done up near Istanbul before they were all shipped to us here in Antalya so unfortunately I wasn’t able to be on hand to watch the whole process. However from watching other aluminium hull plate wheeling and that which I’ve done myself on sheet steel and aluminium, the wheeling often uses a lot of different angles of attack to get the right shape. In the case of our hull plate the curves are not too radical or severely “non-developable” so the wheeling would have been more in the same direction and a bit closer to rolling than wheeling I would think.
In any case it is a fascinating example to me of one of those areas which just has not (yet) been able to be automated and is still a largely human skilled process. The big industrial versions certainly have lots of power augmentation to wield the big heavy plates around, but the process of wheeling to get the right shape is as much skill/art as it is science/engineering.
Thanks for the kind and generous words about the blog as a resource. While it does take me a full day a week to do each one, I enjoy the process, learn from it and appreciate the opportunity to give back to others given how much I learn from all the other boat builders who choose to openly share their work. Good too to know that the level of detail I often go into is not too over the top which I always wonder about. However I always figure that the reader/watcher is in control and can fast forward or scroll down if they want to jump over some of the content to get to what they want and like. I also do my best but can certainly do better at trying to divide each post up with clear sub headings along the way to make it easier for you to find the sections you want.
In any case, please keep this kind of feedback coming to help me understand what is working and what is not, what you would find more useful and less and so on.
Oh … and in this era of CNC plasma cutters and robot welders and computer controlled everything … is english wheeling still mainly just experience and roll-measure-roll-measure?
had to read this several times 🙂 and check the math !
“three steps forward, one step back polka” is still one step of positive forward progress
Good catch Andrew! Clearly math is not my strength but I will take those net 2 steps forward in this particular polka dance step.