This was a week full of wonderful gifts the first of which is that Möbius now has her one and only official Captain!
Christine flew back to Florida last week in large part to finish here marathon of testing and certification with the USCG for her 100 Ton Captains License. Christine first received her 100 Ton license a few years ago in her early twenties but things have changed a wee bit in the ensuing years and this USCG license now covers many, many more topics and at great depth so this was truly a marathon of new learning and studying for many months.
After a full afternoon and evening of testing Christine passed every one of the individual qualifications with flying colours and was informed that she is now a fully certified USCG 100 Ton Captain with the “six pack” option as well which additionally entitles her to captain boats with up to six paid guests aboard. We don’t have any plans to use that, but she had this designation previously when she used to run a chartering business in the Caribbean so she figured she might as well keep it and added that to her testing and certification.
So please join me in congratulating and welcoming Captain Christine aboard her newest boat, the Good Ship Möbius. Way to go my Beautiful Bride! I could not be more proud of you nor want to serve any other Captain at sea or in love and life.
And if you promise not to tell anyone, I’ll let you in on a little secret ……………………………………………………. I get to KISS that Beautiful Captain every night before we go to sleep so yes, the rumours are true, the little Möbius Cabin Boy is sleeping with the Captain!! But don’t tell anyone OK???
But wait!! There’s more!
As if having a newly minted Captain wasn’t already enough fabulous news, we got more this week with the confirmation that three of our five children and two of our three grandkids now have their flights booked to come join us here in Antalya for American Spring Break in April! Daughter Lia, husband Brian, son Skyler and granddaughters Brynn and Blair will be here for over a week in what has become a bit of a tradition of having a family get together during this time when teacher Brian and the kids are all off school. Hard to tell just where Möbius will be or in what condition at that time but we will at least get to spend time sharing our new home with these dear family members as well as showing them this part of the world which we have come to love so dearly as well. More to come on all that as it happen but now let’s get on to the other news of the week with what has been happening with the building of the first XPM here at Naval Yachts.
Just to mix things up a bit, I’ll start with the “New Arrivals” this past week.
Any guess what Yigit knows is all wrapped up in inside this pallet full of boxes?
Uğur lent a helping hand and was just as curious. The unusual L shape of the two big boxes might give you some clues……………..
How about if I tell you each box contains one of the same thing and give you a peek inside this one to show you the colour of the Ultra Leather?
Heating up your clues with a glimpse inside the other box and its slightly different colour leather. And some of you more boat savvy people might recognize the brand logo?
That’s right! How fitting that Möbius’ Captain’s Chairs should arrive this week just in time for Captain Christine to test out on her return next week. I will hold off unboxing until she is here so will give you this example from the LLebroc company web site to give you a better idea of what the “Bandera Series 2” Captain’s Chair will look like.
We went with this higher backed and more snug fitting Tradewinds CX HB model for the Upper Helm in the SkyBridge where the motion might be more pronounced due to being up higher above the waterline. You can use your imagination to map the colours you see in the two examples above onto these chairs while you await the full unboxing with Captain Christine.
I did pull out one of the footrests which as you can see are up for the task of matching the eXtreme strength of the XPMs. I’ll show you the even more robust air adjustable pedestals when we set them up.
I had put a Llebroc helm chair on our previous boat “Learnativity” and after sailing her largely single handed for the first ten years I literally lived in that chair 24/7 on the many ocean passages I made and LOVED this chair. When Christine joined the crew in 2013 she was equally amazed at how great these chairs are to spend hours and hours in while being super comfy and super safe. We have tried out many other makes and models but always kept coming back to Llebroc and so we decided to do as we have done with much of the equipment on Möbius and go with what we know.
Another example of Llebroc helm chairs. We met up with Nick Covey at the Llebroc booth at FLIBS the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show last year and kept going back over the three days we were at the show and Nick could not have been more patient and expert in answering our non stop questions as we dug into all the details of their new chair construction, features, materials and options and then sat down with him and ordered up the two Goldilocks just right just for us chairs.
Now we can’t wait to be sitting in them aboard Möbius so stay tuned as we get to installing them.
OK, on to the next new arrival and next quiz; what’s inside these two new wooden boxes that arrived this past week?
This one is a little more obvious with these two boxes being so clearly branded but for those not familiar this is the propulsion system for our Tender. The XPM Tender, which is being designed and built here at Naval Yachts will be all aluminium, of course! with a hull length of about 5m/16.45’ and beam of about 2m. It will have an inboard diesel engine powering a jet drive and that’s what’s in these two boxes.
Many of you will be familiar with the Yanmar name of marine engines and this is a 2 Litre 82kW/110HP four cylinder 4JH4-HTE model. Most notably for me this is a rare model that has “old school” mechanical fuel injection rather than electronic common rail. A “must have” for me for two reasons; I can maintain and repair it with tools and equipment I carry onboard and there are no electronic black box to be damaged by things such as lightning strikes.
It is turbo charged but I’m good with that based on my previous experiences and should be good for many thousands of hours of operation and serve us very well. For those wondering why we chose such a powerful engine for our Tender it is largely because we intend to have our Tender be our emergency propulsion system in the highly unlikely event that Mr. Gee our Gardner 6LXB main engine should become completely incapacitated and I was unable to get it up and running. Given that this is a Gardner, that is eXtremely unlikely but as you’ve read here many times we practice “Readiness for the Unexpected” in the design and build of XPM’s and especially our Möbius. I will have lots of details on how we will make this work in future posts.
We bought this engine and jet drive as a complete package from Denpar Marine and Selim Yalcin has been outstanding to work with putting this all together with us. It is a very complete package and about the only things we need to add is a water lift muffler and a starter battery. This is the gauge cluster that comes with the Yanmar and all the other components from alternator to cables and filters are in the crate with the engine.
Castoldi Jet drives in Italy might be less well known to you as jet drives are not as common as outboards but they have been building jet drives, both as complete Jet Tenders as well as just the Jet Drives themselves for over 50 years since 1962. They are one of the largest manufacturers of jet drives and we are eXtremely excited about how well this will power Möbius’ Tender.
As per the DD in the model name, this is a Direct Drive which helps us with our focus on KISS Keep It Safe & Simple by having a direct connection through a short cardan shaft CV joints. This section view Yigit created lets you see the whole assembly.
Castoldi designed this 224DD model to be specifically matched with and direct driven by this 110HP Yanmar which factored into our decision as well.
As drive systems go, this is a relatively simple and eXtremely tough setup. The majority of the drive itself is all solid cast aluminium with the impeller and its housing being all stainless steel.
One other very nice feature is inside the bubble wrap on the right side of the crate here which is a solid aluminium mounting frame which will be welded directly into the AL hull of the Tender and ensures a perfect match for the AL body of the jet drive itself to bolt to.
Jet drives are most popularly known for their use in recreational jet skis but they are also very commonly used in workboats and tug boats due to their phenomenal steering and 360 degree of thrust which enables them to “hold station” at any point no matter what the forces of currents or tides might be doing. For us this figures well into our both our day to day use of the Tender making it very easy to maneuver as well as acting as a tow boat or tug boat if we ever need to help out other boats in distress or ourselves.
Then there is the playful side of our Tender when we are using it to explore our surroundings, take multi day trips up rivers and estuaries and most of all having fun with our grandkids and other family and friends. Having no propeller makes this all MUCH safer and have extremely little draft so we can get into the shallowest of areas, swamps and sandy or coral strewn bays.
I look forward to showing you MUCH more about our Tender in upcoming posts but let’s get back to the progress Team Möbius made this week.
Let’s start with this handsome and fun loving guy, Cihan, our prolific plumber. He’s getting ready to plan out the installation of our wash down system with both Fresh and Salt water pump outlets on the Foredeck and Aft. We’ll show you more of that next week as the installation gets underway.
Cihan also our master of mounts and he is getting ready to create a new set of mounts for these two Johnson Aqua Jet Uno Max 5 chamber diaphragm pumps with built in 2L accumulator tanks to eliminate any pulsing and have very even flow. These provide all our house water pressure throughout the boat and we have two for redundancy. If one goes out a simple flick of a switch brings the other one online.
Here they are all mounted on their noise cancelling soft mounts and ready for plumbing and wiring. Each pump produces about 20L/min/5.2GPM at about 2.8 bar/41 PSI and should keep us with all the fresh water pressure we ever need.
Cihan installing two more of these 24V Johnson Viking 16 diaphragm pumps on the WT Bulkhead in the Basement with the Master Cabin on the other side.
One of the running jokes on the Team is that for a boat with “no bilges” we sure have a lot of bilge pumps! 16 to be exact.
This is in reference to the characteristic of having all our floors being tank tops and hence other than under the engine there aren’t really any bilge areas. Rather we have “gutters” running down both sides of the hull where the tank tops angle down to join the hull at a 90 degree angle for maximum strength such as you can see in this example by the steps going up from the Corridor in the Guest Cabin area.
They will likely almost never see water but each one still needs its own bilge pump as they do not run through from Cabin to Cabin area.
This shot looking forward towards the bow from the aft end of the Master Cabin is a good example of Cihan’s plumbing prowess everywhere you look. Hull sides now filling up with plumbing carrying everything from Fresh, Black and Gray water, fuel, vent lines, Bilge water, hot water and now the floors are filling up with their runs of the Red PEX tubing for the in-floor heating. Finished wall partitions now going up for the Shower and Head in the upper Left.
Same story back in the Guest Cabin now that all its cabinetry has been taken back to the Cabinet shop on their way to the Finishing Department.
Some of that PEX tubing snaking its way through the Master Shower floor with manifolds for hot and cold water on the hull sides on the Right. Vertical Black pipes in the Yellow collars are for the drains from the Shower and Head floors we saw a few weeks ago with the nifty “smart water sensor” in the little Yellow manifold just visible on the middle far Right which connects to a diaphragm pump in the Forepeak.
I got a few questions about how the in-floor heating PEX lines were fitting into the rigid foam board insulation with the 10mm / 3/8” marine plywood atop so I grabbed this close up to show how that looks. You’ve previously seen how they used a hand router to easily create the U-shaped grooves in the foam, then lined those grooves with aluminium tape and pressed the PEX into place. The plywood flooring goes atop all this and traps the PEX in the grooves so it can help transfer the heat to the vinyl finish floor.
Simple to install and use and provides THE best heating of a home we know of. My toes are tingling in anticipation already!
These are the Supply and Return PEX lines as they enter and leave the Master Cabin into the Basement where they connect to the little circulation pump and in-floor water manifold.
More of Cihan’s pump mounting. This is one of the circulation pump for the Webasto BlueCool chiller. This is located under the workbench on your Right as you enter the Workshop from the Swim Platform.
If you were wondering what that wood disc is in the photo above it is this mock up of the 75L/20USG IsoTherm Calorifier which is essentially our Hot Water Tank.
The real unit has not yet arrived so we’ve been using this wood mock up to position it under the Stbd/Right side Workbench.
Chiller on the Workbench above, Watermaker in front, water pressure pumps in front of Calorifier and Day Tank at the far end.
Okan seen here along with Cihan and Nihat have fabricated this hanging mount setup to tuck the Calorifier nicely up out of the way and with no danger of any water reaching it from the shelf below.
Last but not least for this week, Cihan is also responsible for plumbing the Webasto Air Handlers which have either chilled or hot water piped to them with a large fan blowing air through the liquid to air heat exchanger, like the radiator in your car, which then flows through air ducts to warm up or cool down the room.
Yigit seems to have Cihan scratching his head as we work through the best locations for the two air handlers up here in the SuperSalon.
We decided the one on the Stbd/Right side will work best here in the big area created by the side decks outside those big picture windows. This still allows me plenty of room to be able to get inside this area through this big opening behind the Dinette seat whenever I need to service or work on any of the plumbing or wiring running through this area.
Can you guess what this example of their work is?
Help if I show you where those Red & Black cables lead to next?
Correct! These are the 6mm2 / 10 AWG cables connecting the 14 Solar Panels to the 14 MPPT SmartSolar controllers in the Basement. The cables run through this welded in place penetration and will be sealed with special class rated watertight foam just before we launch. Cables then run along the upper roof area as in the first photo and then down through the flexible conduit in the I-beam window mullions and down into the Basement.
The cables in the photo above will soon plug into the three 320W panels that lay on that hinged frame atop the front roof area of the Pilot House in front of the SkyBridge. When we are anchored, this Solar Panel filled frame will be raised to be horizontal using the hinge on the edge along the SkyBridge window glass to create a massive wind tunnel bringing fresh air through that large vent you see to the left of the wiring in the photo above.
Click to enlarge this (or any other) photo and see if you can find the hidden Hilmi?
On the Right you can see the Red & Black solar cables he is running down through the conduit in the window mullions and then down into the Basement.
Having 14 Solar Panels in three different banks up on top and all connected to their own MPPT controller results in seeing these Red & Black cables everywhere you looked this week. Such as these ones laying on the Galley countertops by the stairs up to the Aft Deck.
And these ones over on the Starboard/Right side ……..
……….. and these ones coming down from the Arch into the ceiling of the Guest Cabin and running forward into the Basement.
This is the penetration tube through the ceiling where these Solar Cables exit out the bottom of the Arch tubes and then run along the White cable trays you can see in the background here.
Peeking through the oval penetration tube before the cables went in, you can see the base of one of the Arch tubes above and the slot through which the cables run.
And of course EVERYTHING insulated with at least 50mm/2” of the ubiquitous Black EPDM foam.
Similar oval AL penetration tubes in the SuperSalon floor/Basement ceiling are filling up with all the cables which need to run In/Out of the Basement which is Grand Central for …..
……. our Electrical System.
This is what Grand Central Electrical Station looked like early in the week as they ran the Solar Cables and started to build the “Blue Wall” that where most of the bright Blue Victron boxes will mount.
One of the primary reasons we designed the XPM78 with this cavernous Basement area which is 1.2m / 4’ high running under the entire area of the SuperSalon floor, is to provide plenty of room for mounting most of the Electrical System components.
One of the great benefits of building in aluminium is that we can easily weld in walls such as this one they are building overtop of the two big House Battery Banks that you see Hilmi on the Right standing in.
As you can see this open mounting system provides lots of room for spacing each of these high heat producing devices well apart from each other and providing plenty of air flow around all six sides of each box.
Here is a shot of two of the three big Victron MultiPlus 240V 5000W 120A Inverter/Chargers on the other side of the wall.
Each one of these devices has its own thermostatically controlled fan pulling air in from the bottom and out through those two slots on each side and same on the back. The whole Basement is similarly ventilated with thermostatically controlled fans to ensure that all the Basement residents keep their cool which is eXtremely important as heat dramatically and negatively affects their performance and they will shut down all together if they get too hot as many other boat builders and owners have discovered the hard way.
More Blue Boxes will be moving into this neighborhood soon as will the central DC and AC Distribution Panels with their respective high amp switches, fuses and circuit breakers.
On the other side of the mounting wall above we are also using the WT Bulkhead just in front of it to weld in these five black rubber covered AL brackets for an additional mounting surface for all 14 of the Victron 100/20 SmartSolar MPPT controllers and their junction box. With each Solar Panel having its own dedicated MPPT controller keeps each panel independent from the others to minimize the effects of shading on any one panel and maximise overall solar output.
A simple AL plate provides both some protection for some of the many bilge pump lines running behind it and a large open surface for easy mounting and future access to all the MPPT controllers and junction box. This AL plate is not only the perfect surface for easy mounting it serves double duty as we often do by providing a giant heat sink for all the heat coming from the heat sinks in each MPPT controller.
A justifiably happy Hilmi with his handiwork surrounding him as he puts in all three of the 240V MultiPlus Inverter/Chargers on the Right and begins mounting the top row of the smaller SmartSolar MPPT Controllers on the plate on the Left.
12 of the 14 MPPT controllers now mounted with their accompanying cable trays ready to receive their respective Red & Black Solar Cables and then the cabling to connect the output from each MPPT controller to the central bus bars and circuits breakers in the junction box in the middle.
Maybe we will call this Blues Ville? But trust me, I will be singing anything but the Blues when I’m working in this area over the years and have this glorious amount of space and easy access to every hose, wire and device.
My fellow boat owners will appreciate just how rare and precious this is. It also adds to very real benefits of faster installation time, reduced maintenance time and costs, better cooling, easy spotting of problems, leaks, etc. What’s not to love?
WORKSHOP & ER PANELING:
The Alucobond Brothers, aka Yigit and Okan finished fitting the aluminium/composite AlucoBond sheets that cover all the EPDM foam insulation in the walls and ceilings of the Workshop and Engine Room. Once they are all fitted they will be taken out while they finish putting in penetrations and other work in the ER & Workshop so they are using sprung in place plywood sticks to hold the ceiling panels in place for now.
As we showed last week, one of the great features of using AlucoBond is that you can put in a small V-shaped kerf on the back side and then bend the board along that line to create a vey smooth and strong bend of whatever angle you need. So that is how they have bent this ceiling panel to wrap around the huge ER Hatch opening in the Aft Deck. Makes for a very strong, safe and easy to clean surface throughout notoriously difficult to keep clean ER walls in most boats.
RUDDER & TILLER ARM:
The Rudder received lots of TLC from the team this week as they installed it with its Jefa roller bearings and began the critical fitting of the Rudder Post and Tiller Arm up in the Workshop.
These hand cranked jacks supported the large heavy Rudder and enabled precise vertical adjustment of the position of the Rudder Post to the Tiller Arm and Steering gear.
Which is what is going on here with the humongous 127mm/5” solid AL Rudder Post now in position supported top and bottom by Jefa Self Aligning roller bearings which you saw a few weeks ago.
The largest White flange here is the top of the Upper Jefa self aligning roller bearing where its lip sits atop the machined edge of the welded in Rudder Tube. On top of that is a special White ball bearing ring Jefa provided to look after the vertical thrust forces. Then the Black anodised AL collar will slide all the way down and be locked in place to the Rudder Post with the SS set screws you can see on its outer circumference.
The two vertical pins are upside down here but they are where the Heim joints on the ends of the hydraulic Kobelt cylinders will attach.
Down on the bottom end where the Rudder Post fits into the Rudder Tube, there is a 6cm/2.5” thick Delrin bushing to provide a smooth slippery surface whenever forces want to push the rudder upwards.
A simple job for our in-house machine shop to turn from this big block of White Delrin.
And create this White Beauty to fit snuggly into the Rudder Tube. There will be two large radius grooves cut into the outer circumference to provide a space for the special adhesive that will be pumped through small holes drilled through the 10mm / 3/8” thick AL walls of the Rudder Tube.
The lower Jefa roller bearing rests atop this Delfin bushing and is adhered to the Rudder Tube with the same method of pumped in adhesive which once set makes for a solid single assembly.
Now we need to be able to rotate that massive Rudder through its full 90 degrees of lock to lock travel so we unboxed one of the two 24V Kobelt Accu-Steer HPU400 Hydraulic Power Units and double checked all the geometry and dimensions for mounting them on a shelf above the top of the Rudder Post. Lots more details on that as the installation happens next week.
GUEST CABIN CABINETRY:
As a reminder, here is how the Guest Cabin is laid out. The couch pulls out to make a Queen bed and the Pullman Berth folds down from the upper Right area to make a good adult sized single bed. Plenty of bookshelves and storage when Captain Christine is using this for her Office with her desk along the Aft wall on the far Right with plenty of storage areas built into its far end.
In spite of appearances to the contrary on board, the cabinetry for the Guest Cabin is coming along wonderfully with Omer over in Naval’s Cabinetry Shop next door so let’s go check in with Omer.
Here is is working on the Desktop in Christine’s Office in the Guest Cabin. The rectangular opening will provide access to the Webasto Air Handler that mounts inside a cabinet at the far end of Christine’s desk up against the Stbd/Right hull.
To keep this super solid and yet light he has built this with these boxed frames laminated from that same super lightweight marine plywood made from Poplar. Once both top and bottom are skinned with 16mm plywood this lightweight assembly becomes incredibly solid and stays perfectly flat.
In the foreground is the cabinet riser that sits atop the outboard end of Christine’s Desk and covers up that rectangular access hatch to the Air Handler which Omer is working on in the background. Not something I should need to access very often but we put a high value on easy access so we design in features such as this.
Of course all the lower surfaces are coated with Ro$ewood and Omer is an true artisan and craftsman when it comes to creating works of art with his veneering skills. This starts with him selecting the just right set of matching flitches of Rosewood veneer, cutting and matching the pieces together to create the most beautiful flow of the swirling grain and then taping these in place on the outer surface.
Once ready, the bottom surface is coated with thermal reacting glue and put into the heated veneer press to clamp the veneer to the underlying plywood and then back to his workbench as you see here for machining the solid wood edges and joinery.
Features such as grooves for the indirect LED floor lighting and my infamous Blue Horizon Line need are machined next with tools such as this small handheld router.
These are all parts which make up the settee in the Guest Cabin which pulls out into a Queen Bed. The pull out end of the bed is on the far Left here and the interlocking slats which allow the bottom of the couch/bed to slide in and out are stacked on the Right.
I have used this sliding “fingers” style in several beds I’ve made for my homes over the years and it works extremely well and lasts forever so seemed to be the just right choice for this multipurpose couch and bed onboard Möbius.
MASTER CABIN CABINETRY:
Back onboard XPM78-01 Omur and his team have gone on to the next stage for this room where they are now bringing all the cabinetry components back from the Finishing Shop with their expertly applied 5 coats of Poly Urethan varnish and being assembled and attached to their respective foundations on the floor, ceiling and walls.
This early rendering of the Master Cabin will help you visualise this Master Cabin. You are standing in the entryway door looking diagonally forward to the glass walled Shower in the far Port/Left side hull.
Standing in the shower looking Aft along that same diagonal you see the raised King Bed with all its drawer storage underneath, closets and bureau of drawers on the Left and entry door in the far Left corner leading up the stairs to the SuperSalon.
Celal has just finished setting the hanging closet at the bottom of those stairs.
Omur and Selim now begin to put all the jig saw pieces together as they assemble all the other Master Cabin cabinetry. They have the Bureau of Drawers in place on the far Right and are here working on the bottom of the closet cabinetry that goes in front of it.
Doesn’t take them long to put the puzzle pieces back together but it is a bit tricky sliding this into place on its base.
But that too goes well as they fit the bottoms of the vertical dividers into their respective set of biscuits which have been inserted into the base of the closets.
The module for the stacked Washer & Dryer slides in next.
Horizontal divider where the ubiquitous Rosewood handhold and Blue Horizon Line will attach is set into its slots.
Working his way counter clockwise around the room Omur preps the foundations for the Vanity Sink that sets up against the WT Bulkhead with the Forepeak locker on the other side.
Next set of puzzle pieces that make up the Vanity Sink base cabinet and upper Medicine Cabinet.
Both of those cabinets now in place and Omur is taping off the corner surfaces to protect them from the squeeze out of the sealant between them for any spills around the sink which rests atop that Ro$ewood surface.
Carcasses all in place now ready for their drawers and doors and …….
……… just to wet your appetite for what is to come this is the sink that will be mounted in there. Just wait till you see what this looks like in contrast to all its Rosewood and leather surroundings!
On to the next set of cabinetry, the big Master Bed platform, flipped on its side here starts to go together.
Headboard rises all the way up to the ceiling where there will be a large overhead dropped ceiling box that you’ll see next week. However you can already get a sense of how much storage space there is under the bed alone.
Looking aft overtop the bed shows how some of the storage will be in large open spaces such as the Birch lined one on the Left and then much more in the twelve drawers which go into the Rosewood lined cabinets at the base of the bed facing the Shower and along the sides of the walkway past the bed on the Right.
Leaving you with one of the thousands of little details of the interior and evidence of Hilmi’s handiwork, this is the 24V power wires for the indirect floor lighting from a continuous strip of LED lights set into a groove in the underside of the overhang of the cabinets from the toe kick frame.
And th-thh-thhhhhh That’s all for this week folks!
Hope you enjoyed this latest update on the building of the Good Ship Möbius aka XPM78-01. We sure appreciate having you join us and we are particularly grateful for all the comments, suggestions and questions you send in so don’t be shy and please add your latest contributions in the “Join the Discussion” box below.
Captain Christine will be back on Thursday night so just four more sleeps for me to wait! Not that I’m keeping track or anything.
Oh, and just to let you know in case it delays next week’s update post, we are going to fly to Dusseldorf for the huge “Das Boot” boat show there next weekend. So if any of you happen to be attending this big event please do be in touch and we can try to meet up.
We decided to go partly as a treat to each other for a break from all the non-stop action here and also to pick up more parts and equipment for Möbius to bring back with us on the plane. We get back on Monday afternoon so we’ll show you what new arrivals we have brought back with us and have Captain Christine unbox those Helm Chairs for you so do stay tuned for all that and more.