First and most importantly, let me send out a big Happy Valentine’s Day wish to all of you. I hope that you and those you love treat yourselves to an extra special Valentine’s Day Sunday. Christine and I have done our best to do the same though our Valentine Möbius seemed to get the majority of the TLC and attention as you’ll see below.
Before I begin this week’s Progress Update, a brief story (I promise!) that sums up our lives right now.
When I was about 8 years old, my never ending curiosity lead me to read about one of Zeno’s paradoxes that completely dumbfounded me and led to many sleepless nights trying to wrap my head around it. That paradox has been haunting me again as we get closer and closer to finishing and launching XPM78-01 Möbius so I thought you might enjoy the story. I suspect many of you know this particular paradox often referred to as Zeno’s Paradox of the Tortoise and Achilles and you too might have also found it undeniably true but equally hard to accept at first. My eight year old self read it as a simple question;
If you want to get from Point A to Point B and each step you take is exactly 1/2 the distance between you and Point B, how many steps will it take you to get there?
An infinite number of steps and you will never get all the way there! Think about it, you’ll see the paradox.
Ahhh, I see those smiles and nods of recognition and you already know why I feel like I am living that paradox every day! Step after step, progress being made as we inch closer and closer but it feels like we’ll never get there. We WILL of course and you can read all about various “solutions” or different takes on this paradox but it does nicely sum up how Christine and I are feeling at this point.
More to the point that YOU care about and why you are reading, let’s jump into this week’s Show & Tell of the many half steps that Team Möbius DID make this past week of Feb. 8-13, 2021 and did move us closer to the finish line. And my apologies in advance for likely rushing you through this week’s Show & Tell, but it has been a very long week and it is now late Sunday evening as I’m typing this up and my vivacious Valentine awaits as does our dinner so I hope you will pardon the rush job this week.
Silicone based Foul Release Bottom Paint
If you were not able to catch up to last week’s Progress Update post “The Captain & Mr. Gee get CRANKY!” it may help to go read that over before continuing as we picked up where we left off last week wtih the preparation for the application of the International InterSleek 1100SR Foul Release paint that will cover all the underwater aluminium surfaces and keep them clean and slick by not allowing any marine growth to stick.
By the end of last week, we left the bottom paint crew having finished applying all the coats of International Epoxy Primer to the freshly sanded bare AL hull surfaces and masking off the 100mm / 4” wide glossy Black Boot Strip that makes the transition between the top of the Black InterSleek and the bare aluminium hull sides above the WL.
With the top and bottom edges of this Boot Stripe all taped off with Blue Painter’s Tape, they did a quick sand of the areas that would be sprayed with the glossy Black International Perfection polyurethane paint.
It was just before 18:30 quitting time when they got to the quick and easy part of spraying on several coats of the Black Boot Stripe. It is getting lighter here as the days get longer but still needed the help of an LED work lamp to do the spraying.
They let that dry for 24 hours and then masked it off for the big job coming next; applying the InterSleek 737 “Pink” primer coats and then the Black InterSleek final coats.
For the application of the InterSleek primer and topcoats, Naval called in the Big Guns from neighboring industrial boat builder Damen as they have a whole team of people who do nothing but InterSleek on the bottoms of the many big ships that they build and launch each year.
Given its thick consistency, InterSleek requires the use of airless spray equipment so they wheeled this bad boy over under Möbius and we brought out all the cans of InterSleek 737 Pink which is a three part A+B+C mix.
Ilyas is the Manager of Damen’s InterSleek team and started mixing this 3 part mix of 737 primer.
As per its name, an airless sprayer does not use compressed air to atomize liquid finishes out the end of a spray gun. Instead it uses hydraulic principles to push liquid paint directly from a big intake pipe set into the can of 737 Pink you see here and then out a spray gun nozzle at the other end. That big black round cylinder at the top of the airless sprayer seen here wrapped in protective plastic, is a giant rubber diaphragm that pumps up and down and pumps the liquid paint out the thing black hose you can see exiting the photo on the far Right edge by the blue pail.
This is the actual spray gun at the other end of that black hose where the highly pressurized paint flows out the small nozzle on the upper Right and ……..
…….. onto the hull like this.
As a former Automotive and Autobody teacher and antique car/motorcycle restorer, I have done my fair share of traditional spray painting but this airless spraying is more like using a very well controlled fire hose!
Möbius is 24m / 78 feet long on each side and yet
…. it took Ilyas less than 15 minutes to spray on two thick coats on all that area!
And that included details such as the Rudder and prop shaft Skeg, and …..
…… the Bow Thruster Tunnel.
The 737 Pink primer was allowed to set up for 24 hours and then it was time for …….
…….. the final 3 topcoats of the Black silicone based InterSleek 1100 SR which is also a 3 part mix. All mixed up and ready to be hydraulically pumped to that big spray gun in Ilyas’ hand.
While Ilyas suited up his team mates were busy rolling the Black InterSleek 1100 on all the edges of things like the Rudder and CPP Prop Skeg.
Depth and sonar transducers……
….. and deep up inside all the 5 Sea Chest tubes.
InterSleek 1100SR all mixed up and suction pipe set inside so it is all systems GO!
Difficult to capture with the camera amongst all the fumes but that gun blasts out a cone of paint that is about 1m / 39” wide
And so once again Ilyas had the first coats of Black InterSleek all sprayed on in under 15 minutes!
It is a fascinating product which looks very wet even when it is fully dry 24 hours later and to the touch it feels “sticky” and it remains that way throughout its 5-8 year expected life. You know this feeling if you have ever handled soft silicone cooking mats or the like as that is just what is now covering all of Möbius’ bottom. Go ahead and try to stick to that you little marine munchkins!
A second coat was applied the next day and once that had dried it was time to reposition all the support stands so that the area underneath them could also receive the full silicone InterSleek treatment.
Uğur was masterful at this tricky task as he positioned a new steel stand to one side of the existing ones and then hammered in new wood wedges to take up the weight of the boat enough to remove the wedges on the other stand and take it out.
And you can see what I mean about this InterSleek stuff being slick!
With the old wedges and stand out of the way we reveal these bare AL patches whose turn it is now to get the full epoxy primer and InterSleek treatment.
These patches are carefully taped off with some special “super tape” that can manage to stick to silicone and then a roller can be used to apply the epoxy primer coats like this.
Once the epoxy primer coats were fully dry, the 737 Pink silicone primer was rolled on next.
BTW, you can see that special tape quite well here.
Finally, the last 2 coats of Black InterSleek are rolled on and our bottom is done!
The Black discs you see like this one are 25mm / 1” thick AL mounting pads with a blind threaded hole where a circular Zinc anode will eventually be attached before launch.
This is how the very aft end of the hull will look for its underwater portion.
Painting the Nogva CPP Propeller
We got mixed reviews and recommendations for using the same InterSleek 1100SR to keep the CPP propeller equally as clean and slick as the rest of the hull so we opted to go with a single purpose silicone paint propeller paint called “PellerClean” which the Japanese company SeaJet created. If you would like to know more about this product and how to apply it, Matt over on the “MJ Sailing” YouTube channel that he and Jessica maintain so well, has THIS full video on their application of PellerClean on their prop last year. If you are not already subscribed to Matt and Jessica’s MJ Sailing channel we can recommend it highly as it is one of our many favorites for great boat related content.
This propeller treatment wasn’t covered by our agreement with Naval Yachts so Christine and I looked after this application. Do I really need to answer the question about why I am so madly in love with my Valentine and perfect partner for my very imperfect self?!?
The application of these very specialized silicone paint systems is very exacting so we followed them to the letter and prepped all the bronze with a 80 grit wheel to give the upcoming PellerClean Primer a good bit of “bite”.
The 2 part yellow coloured PellerClean comes in premeasured cans which you simply stir together well for about 5 minutes and then brush on.
It is very thick with a consistency similar to mayonnaise so it is a bit challenging to get all the brush marks out in the first coat.
But with each of the successive 3 coats we were able to get it well evenly applied and then let dry for 24 hours.
The clear topcoats go on next and curiously these are a single part product and after my experience with it I suspect it is pretty much pure silicone.
Another late night at the yard for us so this is all shot in the dark with just the LED work lights which really skew the phot colors so it looks very greenish here whereas the real colour is closer to a bronzy yellow but the more important part is that this is goes on smooth and slick!
I finished the 2nd coat of clear PellerClean yesterday and I’ll see what it looks like in the morning and decide whether to add a final 3rd coat.
It was not cheap but a clean propeller and bottom makes SUCH a difference in terms of boat speed and amount of power it takes to propel the boat through the water. This was very evident to us on our previous 52 foot sailboat and so now with our XPM power boat, these super slick easy to keep clean surfaces will make a huge difference in our fuel economy and increase our speed through the water. Stay tuned for those data points once we launch and start logging real world measurements.
More “Big Little Jobs” this past week:
Apologies in advance again for blasting through this but thought you would enjoy seeing some of the “little jobs” that add up to Big things which got done this past week.
Our Super Sewer Sinan, whipped up this “skirt” that wraps around the round Anchor Chain Bin and seals the top to the Hawse Pipe where the Chain comes In/Out and keeps all the muck and mud from the anchor chain, inside the Chain Bin where it is easily rinsed out through the drain in the bottom.
I had originally thought about having Sinan put in a clear plastic window so we could see inside the Chain Bin to see how the chain was moving In/Out but instead we went with this KISSS Velcro slit which you can open up anytime and peer inside.
Sinan attached the Skirt to the outside of the top of the Chain Bin with snap fasteners so it is also quick and easy to do the Full Monty and take the whole skirt off (but you can keep your hat on!)
The cylindrical tops of these Tiller Rudder Stops were back from the machine shop with their M16 threads for the SS bolt and locking nut that provide adjustment so Uğur was able to finish welding these up and we will show you them being mounted next week.
Ramazan was busy much of this past week up in the Master Cabin and here is is fitting the FastMount fasteners for the access panel below the seat in the Master Shower. This provides full access for all the plumbing and water manifolds hidden away inside the base of the Shower Seat.
Which the Captain is particularly looking forward to and testing out here.
Just outside the Shower, Ramazan has now installed the mirrors on this cabinet above the Vanity Sink at the very forward end of the Master Cabin.
As well as these mirrors on the doors of the cabinets above the sink inside the Master Head/Bathroom.
Overhead dropped ceiling above our bed is reflected in the mirror here so you may need to look twice to figure out that this is the full length mirror that Ramazan is mounting to the inside of the Shower/Head door now laying on top of the bed.
From the outside looking in I find Ramzan up at the Main Helm taping off the Rosewood Window Sills as he installs all 21 of the HVAC air vents on all the SuperSalon windows.
We were able to track down these very well made rotating adjustable air diffusers that are made for use in many different makes of cars and trucks and are the Goldilocks solution for bringing the hot or cold air from our AC/Heating system into the SuperSalon.
Same as the ones you would be familiar with in your car, these rotate and can be closed shut as in the photo above or tilted open at different angles. This will give us full adjustment to the air coming in to direct it into the room or up onto the windows for some defroster like function.
The largest front and center window in front of the Main Helm gets 3 of these vents.
And all the other windows have 2 diffusers.
Captain Christine has jumped feet first into the deep end of the electronics systems on Möbius and had a very busy week working with things like our PepWave cellular/WiFi router which I will cover in another post focussed on all of our electronics.
We had just enough of this gorgeous Turkish Turquoise marble from our inside Galley to use in our Outdoor Galley countertops as well and that all got mounted this past week.
We didn’t have quite enough to do all the countertops in single slabs but we are SO in love with this marble that we created the tops out of several pieces.
The system I came up with started with 6mm AL plates that are through bolted to the Vent Boxes underneath and then the marble is permanently adhered to these AL plates with industrial SikaFlex.
This allows me to remove the whole countertop for future access by unbolting these AL plates and provided a super solid backing for all the marble pieces.
First slab with the cut-out for the SS sink all glued in and ready for the 2nd piece.
To be set into the SikaFlex much like how you would lay ceramic tiles.
This will give you a sense of how our Outside Galley is shaping up and next week the marble team will be in to finish sealing and polishing the tops and edges. I can smell the salmon cooking on the BBQ already!
Möbius Goes to the Dogs!
Saving a bit of the best for the last, our two dogs, 14 year old Ruby the Wonderdog in Black and 9 year old Barney The Yorkshire Terror were onboard for the first time with Captain Christine so they could check out what will soon be their new floating home too.
Like us, they have both spent most of their lives as boat dogs and so are awaiting the move onto their new boat/home as anxiously as we are.
Barney is a rather “excitable boy” who can sometimes get a wee bit too excited at the edges of our boats so the bottom Dyneema lifeline that Christine now has all finished is at a custom “Barney height” so he got to measure up to that.
And down in the Master Cabin we have what we refer to as The Barney Bed, where Mr. Actionallnightlong, will be able to sleep and practice is nightly training for the Olympics all by himself!
And THAT folks is going to have to be a wrap for tonight as I am Wayyyyyyyyy past my time limit and bedtime and dinner still awaits.
Thanks SO much for taking the time to join us here again this week and just because it is taking me much longer than I would like to answer them, PLEASE keep adding your questions and comments in the “Join the Discussion” box below.
See you here again next week as we take yet another of our infinite half steps forward.
I always think about golf with this “getting closer” thing … on your average par 4 you go 400 yards in 2 shots … then 20 feet in 2 putts. After 2 shots … you feel 99% there … but the last 1% is still 2 more shots !
I’m not a golfer but sounds like the same “dance” as the 1/2 distance remaining polka we’ve been dancing too here.
Great post as always. Thank you Wayne for sharing this adventure. How do you find make the decision between Propspeed and Pellerclean ? We know what you mean about the clean bottom and prop making such a difference – despite being data loving engineers we had not really noticed how much slower Fluenta had become when we were in Fiji last time. We redid our antifouling and props at Vuda before heading up the Aleutians and it made such a difference in the light air and slow motoring across the horse latitudes.
Our PropSpeed/PellerClean decision was a bit of a coin toss as I think they are very similar and seem to have the same success rate based on my research with those using both products. In our case we were able to get the SeaJet PellerClean delivered much sooner and was cheaper so that’s what we went with. We will be able to let you know in a year or so how this has held up. I did entertain leaving the props bare for the first year to get a baseline for my data logging but I decided it was worth giving that up in favor of having the cleaner and sleeker prop blades from the beginning.
Glad you got such a good performance bump with the PropSpeed treatment on your prop.
BTW, our decision to go with the International InterSleek silicone based “Foul Release” bottom paint has similar rationale to the props. As I understand it, silicone is the basis for both PropSpeed/PellerClean/InterSleek and so we think of it as having “PropSpeed” on our entire hull. We will have to wait and see what our performance is like after a few sea trials but our hope is that in addition to a very clean bottom we also have a very “smooth, slick and slippery” bottom and I’ve read that some of the big ships have seen up to 1 knot increase in their SOG after putting on a silicone based bottom paint. Very much looking forward to seeing what the real world testing tells us because as they say “The proof is in the pudding!”
Hello, can you tell me how soft and durable is this Intersleek coating? Can you drive your fingernail through like you can with propspeed? How has this coating held up till now? Thanks.
Hi George and my apologies for not seeing this question from you while we were away for our two month roadtrip around North America to get some long overdue time there visiting with family, friends and grandchildren.
Regarding the consistency of the International InterSleek SR1100 foul release bottom paint that we have on Möbius, it is very much as you speculated, similar to that of PropSpeed and pretty much all other silicon based coatings that I’m aware of. While it is relatively soft compared to say epoxy or polyurethane, it is also very durable based on our experience with it for the past 11+ months since launching Möbius. We hauled out briefly after the boat had been in the water for about 4.5 months and were extremely impressed at both how little growth there was after sitting unmoved for those months and how easily it all came off with a simple wipe of a sponge or cloth. No scraping required at all.
I have not since been able to dive on the hull to inspect it in the water but based on the surfaces I have been able to inspect for the first half a meter or so below the waterline, we remain very pleased at the same situation of very little growth at all and that what there is it all comes off with a wipe of a sponge or cloth. Thus it seems to be holding up eXtremely well at this point and we can only hope this continues for many years to come.
Hi Wayne, Happy Valentine’s Day to you, Christine, Ruby and Barney! Möbius is coming along beautifully!
Wow! I really am behind with my responses aren’t I Kathie! So a very belated but no less heartfelt Happy Valentine’s Day to you too!
We’re doing our best to keep making forward progress with Möbius and we’re getting their, however painfully slowly it feels right now.
Your propeller has been designed and manufactured to generate maximum thrust from the available engine power. Several coats of primer/anti-fouling do add a few millimeters to the outside of the blades and therefore alter their hydrodynamic profile. Has this been taken into account by you or the designer?
Anti-fouling my propellers did degrade their design performance rather noticeable and I now leave them bare (and have to clean them regularly).
You used an epoxy based mixture to glue the Treadmaster to the deck. Epoxy, however, does have a weakness when exposed to intense sunlight UV – it is said to become unstable. How has this concern been addressed?
I am looking forward to your electronics tech talk.
Best regards, Markus
Hi Markus, great questions. We discussed the use of prop paint with Nogva and they said that they have many clients, albeit most of them on MUCH larger ships, do paint their props and most of them use a similar or same silicone based “Foul Release” type of product which seems to work well. Your points are well taken with regard to the paint altering the dimensions to some degree that may reduce their effectiveness but then you also need to factor in the fact that the prop blades also stay cleaner and slicker longer so my sense is that the net/net is a positive gain in overall performance.
Re the epoxy we used for the Treadmaster, we consulted with TreadMaster and West Systems and they both felt that the mix we used had a degree of UV resistance to it and we also have extremely small area of epoxy that is actually exposed to UV so we don’t think this will be a problem. We have also talked directly with a number of other boat owners with TreadMaster on their decks, several for more than 20 years with little to no degradation of the adhesion to their decks so we think that ours should do as well or better. Time will tell!
And yes, I am way overdue for more Tech Talks in general and on our electronics in particular, and unfortunately I can’t promise it is coming anytime soon as I’m just so totally consumed right now with getting all those electronics up and running. But that is adding to the value of what I’ll be able to share with you when I do get that written and posted so do stay tuned.