Another eXtremely busy week for Christine and I as we continue to work our way through all the rigors of getting Möbius ship shape and ready to head out to sea.
I’m sure some of you must be wondering why such a seemingly simple step is taking so long? But many of you who have ever moved into a brand new home or new RV or new boat, especially custom built ones, will be able to relate to the seemingly endless list of jobs big and small that need to be looked after before your new “home” feels like it is yours and that you have worked through all the “little” things that don’t work right and all the improvements or installation of additional things be that putting in the new lawn in your newly built home.
I’ve read that many others who have gone through this process say that to get to the point where you can simply enjoy your new home and not be constantly working on it, takes about a year. From what experience I have had so far with both boats and homes that sounds about right to me. Hence Christine and I remind each other that this is a marathon not a sprint AND we enjoy* the whole process of making Möbius our full time super comfy home.
* Well most of the time anyway!
While we are seemingly busy non-stop, there isn’t much to see during this process that suits a Show & Tell so this will be a relatively short blog update (lucky you!) but let’s jump right on and catch you up on what’s been happening aboard the Good Ship Möbius this past week of May 24-30, 2021.
Wonderful Days in the Neighborhood
We continue to have stellar “Spring” weather here in Antalya though it is really more like an early arrival of summer.
Daily highs are typically in the low 30’s C / 90-95F and usually with a nice breeze to make it all very pleasant. Almost always clear blue skies, complete with the exclamation point of jet trails.
This is our immediate neighborhood here at Antalya Setur Marina.
Things have changed a bit here as our big Blue powerboat neighbor to the right in this photo finished all their jobs, launched and headed out for sea on Wednesday.
So we now have a lovely large empty space next to us and our views of the Med and the Coast Guard station are much improved when we are out having our nightly sundowner wine on the Foredeck each evening.
And we continue to enjoy our life here propped up “on the hard” though we would of course much prefer to be floating on the water and hope to be doing so by end of June at the latest.
As you will soon see, Mr. Gee is not the only one “moving up in the world” as we have had some significant new neighbors move in next door in the form of these three little guys from the Turkish Navy.
As you may have noticed in some of the aerial and satellite photos I’ve put in some recent posts, the area behind the big beautiful breakwater here on the far Western end of the Antalya coastline, contains four very different harbours within and I’ve marked up this satellite photo to help visualize.
Not the most pleasant terminology but this is an all too apt description of what commonly happens during the initial few months after moving into a new home/boat/RV etc. which is when brand new equipment fails to work. We have had our share of these already and likely more to follow in the coming months.
This is one of the latest “infants” to be DOA, our fabulous new Bosch washing machine. After going for many years without any washing machine Christine had been really looking forward to testing out this fancy (to us) new washing machine that she had so thoroughly researched and chosen. Alas, it made it part way through the first wash cycle and stopped working. As the saying goes “the lights were on but no one was home” as the big LCD panel lit up with all the controls, but none of them or the selection dial responded to her input.
Of course everything is under warrantee and Bosh is a very popular brand here in Turkey but it still took them three different calls and over three weeks to end up replacing all 3 internal circuit boards!
Even though this was MUCH sooner than expected, we know that it is always when not if equipment and appliances will need to be serviced so we have designed the boat with accessibility as a key component and so it was a relatively quick task to help these two Bosch servicemen to remove the washing machine from its cabinet, set it on the floor and allow them to open it all up and replace those 3 circuit boards.
Good news is that IT WORKED! and Christine has already put it to the test with multiple different loads of laundry and is just beaming at the “upgrade” in her onboard chores.
Electrical System Update
Many of you have been asking about how some of the various systems are performing in their early days as we start to gather more real world data and while still early, here is a preliminary update for you on how our overall electrical system has been working.
This is a very high level graphic I’ve put together to show the overall Electrical System on Möbius.
Given our use case of being in very remote locations and on anchor over 95% of the time, we are a fully “battery based boat” which in short means that we have no generator or other source of external electrical power input and so ALL our electrical power comes from our 1800Ah @ 24V 43.2kW House Battery Bank as you can see in the illustration above.
To be clear, we DO have the option of connecting to Shore Power with plug ins for these at both the Bow and Stern, however we are so rarely have access to Shore Power we consider this just an emergency backup if we were to need to go to a marina to work on components within the battery based system.
Even when we DO have ready access to Shore Power, such as we do now up on the hard here in Setur Marina, we chose to still NOT connect to the Marina’s Shore Power grid. This is partly because electricity here at this marina is very pricey, but more so because we simply don’t need it and also want to be more fully testing out our overall electrical system in its normal state of running entirely off the House Battery Bank and charging those with “just” our large 4.5kW solar array consisting of fourteen 320 Watt panels, each with their own Victron 100/20 MPPT controller.
This is a screenshot of the Victron Connect app on my phone a few minutes ago (10:30 am Sunday 30 May, 2021) and as you can see the solar panels are having no problem at all bring the House Bank back up to 100% SoC (State of Charge) after running everything on the boat while the sun was down.
Because we are in “test mode” for the first few months we have been maxing out all systems and in the case of our electrical system this means running EVERY electrical device onboard as fully as possible.
For example, after we had fully tested the Kabola KB45 diesel boiler for about a week we shut it down and turned on the 230V 1500W electrical heating element in the Calorifier (water heater tank) which is a very big consumer.
Other electrical equipment on all four voltages (12V + 24V DC and 120V + 230V AC) we are using daily and as frequently as possible to build up the data set for maximum use includes such electrical consumers as:
- Bosh 4 burner induction “hob” cooktop with extraction fan running throughout
- Bosch Smart Oven that combines convection/grill/microwave
- Kenyon 230V BBQ grill
- 250L/hr watermaker run about ever 4-6 days
- two 130L 24V refrigerators
- two 70L 24V freezers
- 230V electric kettle & 230V espresso machine
- Bosh washing machine (now that it is working)
- At least 4 computers and at least four large monitors which are rarely turned off
- 50” TV for nightly “dinner and a movie” onboard streaming content from YouTube, Netflix, Apple TV, etc..
- a long list of internet based equipment such as routers, bridges, cellular & WiFi extenders, etc..
- VacuFlush toilets w/ Bidets
- an eXtremely extensive Maretron monitoring and control system and an equally extensive NMEA 2000/N2K network
- the usual compliment you would expect from two nautical nerds of 3 smartphones, 4 smart home (Amazon/Google/Apple) devices all of which need to be regularly charged or plugged in.
- and the usual assortment of regular living items such as lights, music, TV, sound systems, fans, etc.
With so many other systems needing our attention, the only two significant systems we have not yet tested and run extensively are the 3 zone in-floor heating system and the AC/heating system via the Webasto V50 Chiller and the four Webasto Air Handlers (5400 BTU overall) in the three cabins. We will get to those as soon as we can and all the more so as the daily temperatures start to rise up for summer into the mid 30 to 40C range typical of Antalya summers.
For the more technically minded, here is a bit larger history view of what’s been happening since we launched back on 20 Feb. 2021.
We have had a LOT of different scenarios onboard since launch and during the commissioning of all the electrical components so we have twice run the batteries down below 20% SoC and also had no battery connections several times and hence some of the very eXtreme numbers you see here. In total we have used 21,808 Amp hours with an average 24hr discharge of 417Ah and yet only required 5 total charge cycles.
During the past 3+ months since launching, we have had 230V shore power connected for about 3-4 days to test out the chargers in our 5 Victron MultiPlus Inverter/Chargers but otherwise our only source of “external” power is from the 14 solar panels. We are therefore eXtremely happy with these preliminary results and I will publish more and more such real world data as we collect it and once we are underway and back to our more typical use cases.
Mr. Gee Gets High!
Interestingly, the one bit of kit that seems to get the most attention from so many of you is our beloved Gardner 6LXB engine, which as most of you know by now, we affectionately refer to as Mr. Gee.
Unfortunately and uncharacteristically of any Gardner, Mr. Gee has a problem. He suddenly lost oil pressure on the first sea trial last month, falling from his usual 38 PSI down to about 20 PSI which is definately NOT a good thing! While I have a pretty good idea of the source of this problem, I won’t know for sure until I can do an eXtensive tear down that involves removing the huge cast AL oil pan so I can inspect the crankshaft, oil pump and bottom end bearings.
All a very straightforward BUT to get at these bottom end components I have to lift Mr. Gee about 1 meter up out of his normal home resting solidly on his 25mm thick engine beds and that is taking some time.
I also need to remove both of the heads so I can check out the pistons and valves and this will also put Mr. Gee on a serious weight reduction program making the job of raising him up one meter a bit easier.
As I remove these various bits and bobs I put them out on one of my workbenches in the Workshop right outside of the ER, which now has the appropriate dual meaning of Engine Room and Emergency Room!
Running through the dismantling process quickly for you, off come the valve rockers, pushrods and cylinder head bolts.
Off comes one of the cast iron cylinder heads which weigh in at a svelte 65kg/145lb. (ask me how I know?!)
This is what Mr. Gee looks like when he goes “topless”!
All looks good so far as I confirm that there has not been any contact between the valves and the piston tops. Whew!
Workbench continues to fill up even though I’ve already moved all the intake and exhaust manifolds elsewhere.
Down to a mere shadow of his former self, Mr. Gee is all ready to move UP in life. Or at least 1 meter up inside the ER.
I carry a 2 ton hydraulic hoist as quite reasonably I would argue EVERY serious XPM or eXpedition/eXploration boat should and in particular mine is a modular hoist which then also gives me these eXtremely strong cross members to span the overhead ER hatch (previously removed) frame and provide the overhead “sky hooks” aka attachment points for the two chain hoists that I also carry. (of course!)
I’m a big fan of synthetic rope, Dyneema or AmSteel in particular as it is much stronger than the SS wire of the same size and MUCH easier to handle. In addition to using Dyneema for all our Lifelines, Davit and Paravane rigging, etc. I also us this for lifting and hoisting eXtreme loads and have used this throughout the entire rebuilding of Mr. Gee. (he likes that the Dyneema is very gentle on his “skin”)
In this situation I am using multiple loops of Dyneema to hang the chain hoist in the foreground as well as wraps around the front and rear ends of Mr. Gee where the hoist hooks will attach to him.
My plan is to leave the Nogva CPP gearbox in place and then take the weight of Mr. Gee every so slightly so I can then slide him forward with his feet still resting on the AL Engine Beds. To do so I’ve removed all the bolts fastening the four engine mounts to the beds and then positioned the two chain hoists forward of where they would be vertically centered so that as I lift him up, Mr. Gee will be pulled forward and come away from the Nogva case.
At least that’s my theory and I’m sticking to it!
Worked just as planned and if you look closely you can see that Mr. Gee’s silver AL flywheel housing has slid about 50mm/2” forward and now separated from the Burgundy Nogva gearbox.
Now it was a simple matter of alternating between lifting with the front and the rear chain hoists to until I had Mr. Gee up about 1 meter above the engine beds and with plenty of space for me to get underneath and remove the oil pan, crankshaft and piston/connecting rod assemblies.
With Mr. Gee now floating right where I need him, I built a super solid cross member using more of the rectangular steel components from my hydraulic hoist and then built up a support platform out of solid wood blocks so I could lower him down for stability and safety while I did the first part of the disassembly which involves removing the two halves of the flywheel housing, rear motor mounts, and the massive flywheel itself.
And YES! I have also put four more sets of Dyneema loops, one at each of Mr. Gee’s corners, to add a backup safety system in the unlikely event that any of the main supports should break or fail.
Here is the view as of today looking down from on deck through the ER hatch opening. Blue lighting is due to the large blue plastic tarp I have setup on deck in the unlikely event we should get any rain and to keep the marina dust out.
Sadly, I must leave many of you with your questions, and mine too, still unanswered as to just what has caused that drop in oil pressure and just what I’m going to need to get Mr. Gee back to thrumming away endlessly and effortlessly in his comfy ER home.
You can rest assured that NO ONE is more anxious to get to the bottom of this than I am and I’m pretty confident that I will be able to share all of that with you in next week progress update Show & Tell.
Sorry to keep you hanging like this and thanks very much for continuing to join us in this latest leg of Project Goldilocks as we get XPM78-01 Möbius ready to head out to sea.
I would also be most appreciative if you could help me feel a bit less like I’m talking in an empty room by adding your questions, comments and suggestions in the “Join the Discussion” box below. I don’t always manage to answer your questions as quickly as I would like but I will continue to do my very best and please do know that I definately read and benefit from every one.
I hope to see you here again next week,
Good Luck with the low oil pressure problem repair!!
Very interested in what is happening to Mr. Gee as I am currently starting to assemble our own Mr. Gee in Lund, BC. Canada. Been following your progress since you started, hopefully it’s something minor like a stuck oil relief valve. Shouldn’t have caused any major damage as you still had some oil pressure. Hoping for the best.
It looks like the support poles wedged under the rub rail … are each located under a stantion or cleat? Is there a hold/notch in the top of the pole that is aligned with the bit of stantion poking beneath the rub rail? I have actually been worrying about the support poles sliding out !
What a job! Your perseverance, attention to detail and knowledge are amazing. Good luck next week I hope your prognostications are correct and you can move swiftly, but safely to the rebuild.
You’re not in an empty room ! We appreciate you very much. I really enjoy all of your posts…especially everything about Mr. Gee. I can’t believe your abilities…to pull that baby and do all of that. It would be a job in a perfect shop, but in an engine room, that’s a lot of skill and effort.
Hooray for clean clothes at the push of some buttons! So glad it was easily fixed! Pretzeled up here in Florida in the hopes Mr. Gee’s fix is coming soon! Hugs to you both.
Well its sad to see you taking the new boat apart already – that must be very frustrating. Lets hope the engine problem is quickly diagnosed. Why did you think the pistons might have hit the valve gear?
You’re not in an empty room. I’m reading with interest every week. I can only assume that your drop in oil pressure is something due to the oil pump, or oil circulation system (associated with a spring to maintain pressure?). The pressure drop happens when the oil warms up, right? I’d have a look at the oil circulation system and any pressure valves and springs. You’re the best guy to track this down.
Correct order of repairs- clothes wash then oil pressure
You’re doing the right thing, cycling everything, to weed out infant mortality. These complex boats aren’t “Toyotas”….. If the Washer is the only thing that fails, consider yourself extremely lucky!
We’re as anxious as you are in see you out cruising .good luck with Mr Gee. Warren
Hello Wayne. Greetings from Ontario, Canada. I have been passively with you since shortly after you layed the keel. Every Sunday waiting for your post and your achievements for the week. Being on the hard, I am sure, gives you a chance to push every system to that Goldilocks level even the hiccup with Mr. Gee. Your electrical system seems outstanding. Look forward to hearing of the next tweek and and the final splash. Cheers Stan (a retired “boater” and educator)
Your posts are some of the first I read when notified. Great job detailing the many varied steps in commissioning a one-off vessel with which you are so intimately familiar.
Thanks for bringing us along!
Hi praise from you that’s for sure and I just hope I can live up to it. Thanks for the feedback that my posts are of value and entertainment for you and hope to have you continue to join us in this grand adventure. Thanks!
As usual, the posts are very informative!
Meant to post right after reading but we have been too busy. 🙁
Which is kinda ironic because I sure wish you would fix what is wrong with the Mr G and let us know what was the problem. 🙂 Me thinks that the CoM(Crew of Mobious) want Mr. G fixe more than I but it is driving me nuts wanting to know the cause. 🙂
The power production and power usage information is GOLD. Thank you.
One of the interesting things about the LRC boats is the amount of solar power panels one can install. The numbers I have been looking at, and what your data confirms, is that even with not the most energy efficient equipment, the amount of solar power production exceeds usage. It is a game changer that opens up other equipment choices.
Thanks for the info.
Yes, when we were designing the XPM, solar powered battery based boat was one of the basic starting points and we are very pleased with the real world results so far. Other than a few days when we did plug into some 230V shore power to test out inverter/chargers and such, we have been completely battery based since launching in February and it is all working out well so far. We are back out of the water as you know in Setur Marina but we have still not plugged into any shore power, in part to more fully test out all our electrical systems. We are also going out of our way to use as much electrical consumers as possible so we are leaving all our systems on all the time, running the 230V water heater element, doing LOTS of washing machine loads, all 4 fridge/freezers, etc. so we are going through about 400+ Ah per day and the 14 solar panels bring the 1800 Ah 24V Carbon Foam House batteries back to 100% almost every day and usually by noon or so. Of course we are in a good location and time of year here in Antalya so solar production is quite good but we’ll be cruising Turkey’s coastlines for the rest of this year and through the winter so we’ll get a better sense of year round production rates that way. We are also logging all of this in various ways, most particularly via the Victron VRM site and I will share some of those graphs in an upcoming post to give you more details.
Glad you are finding the data and posts to be of value, please let me know any ways to improve on this.