The start of our marine based circumnavigation of this awemazing planet of ours will have to wait for a few more months but yesterday (Saturday Jan 23, 2021) marked the completion of my 68th circumnavigation of the sun and I’ve already got my 69th off to a great start.
I had a marvelous birthday yesterday by being able to do what I love most, build things with my hands, with the person I love most as well as receiving an overwhelming number of B’day best wishes from so many friends and family I am so fortunate to have in my life.
Christine and I spent the day at Naval Yachts working on our Tender and were delighted to be able to fully install our Castoldi 224 DD jet drive and Yanmar 4JH4 TE 110HP diesel inboard engine which was another great milestone for us to hit and she is now well enough done for us to load onto the Aft Deck of Möbius before we Launch. Just as we were finishing putting the Yanmar in place Dincer and Baris showed up with a delicious strawberry B’day cake which was a delightful surprise and made my day all the more special.
Team Möbius also hit several other major milestones this past week so grab your favorite beverage and comfy chair and let’s jump right into this week’s Progress Update Show & Tell.
PAINT MY BOTTOM!
Perhaps the biggest milestone this past week was the start of putting on our “bottom paint” which is the only paint there will be on Möbius as all other aluminium surfaces are being left in their beautiful Silver “raw” aluminium state for minimal maintenance and the “all business” work/commercial/military esthetic we want for the exterior of XPM78-01 Möbius.
However for the same low maintenance reasons, the situation is reversed for all the aluminium surfaces that are below the Waterline WL which will be painted with 5 coats of Epoxy Primers and then some top coasts of International InterSleek 1100SR which is a silicone based Foul Release type of Bottom Paint.
The final bit of preparation of the hull was done by Nihat who finished up with what should be the final bit of aluminium welding when he welded on the threaded attachment discs for the ten zinc anodes that will be bolted onto the hull after it is all painted.
These zinc discs are how we protect all the various dissimilar metals on Möbius which range from Stainless Steel, to Bronze to Aluminium and several others, from Galvanic Corrosion which is what occurs when two or more dissimilar metals are immersed in an electrolyte such as sea water.
Referred to as “sacrificial” anodes Zinc is one of the least “Noble” of metals and so it will ‘sacrifice’ itself by corroding first and thus protecting the other metals. As these Zincs wear away with corrosion they are easy to replace with new ones.
Zincs come in all shapes and sizes and we’ve decided to go with the more streamlined round disc shaped ones so Uğur quickly made up ten of these 80mm/” 3 diameter discs of 20mm / 3/4” thick AL and then welded them along the length of the hull.
This one will help protect the Rudder and its shaft.
BTW, the oval plate you see tacked in place near the leading edge of the Rudder is for the through hole in the Rudder which allows us to much more easily remove the prop shaft should that ever be neccessary by turning the Rudder hard over and letting the prop shaft slide through it so there is no need to remove the Rudder.
The tacked on plates covering this hole on either side allow the paint crew can cover this with Epoxy filler and create a smooth sleek shape to the Rudder for maximum performance.
Two more, one on either side, of the Keel and Prop Shaft Skeg and then six more matched pairs along the length of the hull up to just aft of the Bow Thruster tunnels at the Bow.
First order of business for the Paint Crew was to fully “tent” the bottom of the hull with plastic sheets. This is both to keep dust out from other work going on in the shipyard and keep in any overspray when they are spraying on the Bottom Paint.
The other reason for the tenting is to control the temperature and humidity of the hull which is done by this air heating system that is sealed onto the plastic tent sides.
We have been having a bit of a cold snap the past week here in Antalya with night time temps dipping down to 4C / 38F so we needed to bring the temperature of the AL hull up to < 15C / 60F for painting and filling. Getting warmer, just a few more degrees to go.
Plastic all taped down to the concrete floors to seal everything in/out and it was paint time!
Azad, standing on the Left is Naval’s Master Painter and Ali on the Right and Mehmet kneeling on the Left round out our Paint Crew who where meeting here to go over the painting application process.
You learn the hard way that it is not advisable to mix various different brands of paint so everything from the first coat of etching primer to the filler and the final InterSleek 100SR Topcoat is all from International Paints. I have had excellent success with International paint on our previous boat so I wanted to continue to “go with what you know” for critical things like Bottom Paint.
As you may recall, Ali and Mehmet had spent all last week sanding down all the AL hull surfaces to remove the AL oxide that naturally forms on raw AL and they gave it all a quick light sand, wiped it all down with acetone thinners and clean white rags and Möbius was ready to have her Bottom painted!
I prefer rolling on the primer rather than spraying as I think it improves the critical initial adhesion. All the welds will be filled and sanded so as to create a completely smooth surface for minimal resistance when slithering through the sea.
So these areas received the first coat of White InterPrime 820 which is a high performance, high build epoxy primer specifically formulated for underwater Al surfaces that will have epoxy filler applied on top.
Once all the welds and other areas that will have Epoxy filter applied were covered in the White 820 primer, Ali & Mehmet rolled on the Bronze coloured InterPrime 450 which is optimized for maximum water barrier and long term anticorrosive protection.
And in just a few hours they had all the AL underwater surfaces fully covered with their first coat of Epoxy primer.
Once they had all the AL covered with the initial coat of Epoxy primers, they could start mixing up the epoxy filler and smooth that onto all the welds to create smooth hydrodynamic surfaces for the water to flow over.
Mehmet and Ali have painted and filled a LOT of boats so they are eXtremely fast and efficient at applying this first coat of filler.
This first coat provides the majority of the filler needed to smooth out all the welds and then after it is fully hardened they will take their long boards and orbital sanders to smooth out all the surfaces and add any more filler needed to make each surface perfectly smooth. Having smooth flat and curved surfaces not only makes the hull much more slippery, it also makes it easiest for us to clean when we dive the boat every few months to wipe off any growth that has formed from sitting at anchor for long periods.
In this photo we can see two good examples of this such as the exit from the Bow Thruster tunnel and the nicely coved welds between the thick Keel Bar and the hull plates on the very bottom.
Clean water flow over the CPP propeller and the Rudder are two other eXtremely important areas so all the welds and transitions receive a good coating of filler so they can be sanded into smooth gentle curves for the final paint to go on top.
Be sure to join us here next week when the sanding, filling and primer continues.
With their work done outside the boat, Nihat and Uğur moved inside to build and install the Emergency Tiller. This is another one of those bits of kit that we hope never to use but are always glad to have just in case.
I designed the whole Tiller Arm to be eXtremely simple and eXtremely robust so you can see how the Tiller Arm itself has been machined from a single solid block of aluminium which clamps around the 127mm / 5” OD AL Rudder Shaft. We extended the top of the Rudder Shaft up above the Tiller Arm and milled a large 80mm / 3” hole in it for a 2.3m / 7.5ft thick walled AL pipe to slide into.
To help support this Emergency Tiller pipe, Uğur is bolting this 20mm / 3/4” thick AL plate to the front wings of the Tiller Arm
This provides plenty of leverage to the Emergency Tiller pipe so it can provide more than enough power to turn and hole the Rudder in position in even the most demanding of rough water conditions.
Almost finished here, just need to put some holes in those two AL tabs on the front of the Tiller pipe so that we can fasten two Dyneema block and tackle setups between the end of the Tiller and the side frames of the hull to keep the Rudder in whatever position needed and to be able to steer the boat smoothly by letting one block out and pulling the other in.
We will test it out on sea trials and then stow it hoping to never need to bring it out again, but it does help us SWAN or Sleep Well At Night knowing it is there.
Mr. Gee puts his Jackets On
Mr. Gee got some attention this past week as well when I found the time to install all of the insulation jackets covering all the SS dry stack pipes of his Halyard exhaust system. This is what his dry stack looks like when it is “naked” and with the aft two of the support braces installed.
And this is what it looks like as I started dressing him up with his class Gray insulation jackets.
As they did with the whole exhaust system, Oliver and his talented team at Halyard in the UK did a fabulous job building this set of jackets that wrap the entire dry stack portion of the eXhaust to keep the heat out of the Engine Room until it has the sea water injected into it and cool everything down as it enters that large White Silencer/Water Separator just visible on the far upper Left.
This is a stack of the little mini jackets that wrap around each connection joint of the three main jackets and ensure that no heat escapes out these joints.
The bulk of the insulation value comes from that White fluffy material you can see running the length of these inside surfaces and with a thin SS mesh sewn in to keep it all in place. Then thick canvas like material is sewn into each end of each jacket so that each joint is very tight and no air can flow in or out.
The outer jacket material is very soft and supple to your hand yet fully fireproof and adds another layer of insulation. Cords are sewn into packets along both outer edges so that you can cinch each jacket up tight where it wraps around the jacket underneath.
Double D-Rings on the center straps make it easy to wrap the jacket around the pipe and cinch them down tightly around the circumference of each pipe and pull the straps tight.
I started by wrapping the first long vertical jacket on the far Right here followed by the second short curved jacket that butts up to the vertical one around the elbow to make the transition to the long horizontal jacket I have partly fastened in place here.
With all three of the longer jackets all strapped down I now wrap one of these narrower jackets around each joint where the inner jackets meet to fully seal in all those joints. You can see the first narrow jacket fully cinched down around the end of the vertical jacket and the bottom of the elbow and I’m about to wrap the next one around the joint between the horizontal jacket and the elbow jacket.
Very much a KISSS Keep It Simple Safe & Smart system which I am very pleased with. Keeps most of the heat inside the exhaust system and out of the Engine Room, Safe to be around such hot components with little danger of grabbing or falling against such eXtremely hot parts and easy to remove to check or do maintenance. Well done Halyard!
CPP PITCH GAUGE SENDER
Hilmi also spent some time in the ER this past week installing this bronze Kobelt Pitch sensor on the Nogva CPP Gearbox.
Very similar to a Rudder angle sensor, the Bronze arm with the spacers taped onto will be connected to the lever on the Nogva that changes the Pitch of the CPP prop blades. This data is then sent out that Black cable and up to the CPP Pitch gauges at each Helm station as well as being put onto the boat data network that we can view on any screen from our phones and tablets up to the big boat monitors.
HOUSE BATTERY BANKS FINISHED
Hilmi and I also spent some time in the Basement and were able to finish the four House Battery Banks under the floors down there. Each bank consists of four FireFly Carbon Foam 4V @ 450Ah batteries wired in Series to create a 24V @ 450Ah bank. Each of these four banks are wired directly into the main DC High Amperage Distribution Panel above them.
The bottom six 4V batteries are Bank #1 located in the Aft most battery compartment which is under the floor and goes down to the very bottom of the hull along each side of the 25mm thick Keel Bar that runs the length of the boat. Each compartment is sealed in with 6mm AL floor plates and rubber gaskets.
Starting to tidy up all the wiring in Bank #2 at the bottom and #3 on top. Red/Black cables are the positive and negative cables each 250mm2 which is about 4/0 AWG size to ensure that we have no less than 2% voltage drop in any of these cables.
The Gray wires connect a variety of temperature sensors to each battery bank so we can monitor the temperature of each individual bank as well as the ambient temperature of the Battery Compartments which are vented in/out with thermostatically controlled fans. The temperature data is not only for our eyes but is also fed directly to the Victron BMV 712C Smart Shunt battery monitors which is in turn used to set the charging rates from any of the five MultiPlus Inverter/Chargers so that their battery charging is fully optimized.
Last to be worked on Bank #4 we are about to connect up the large cables and sensors gives you a less obscured view of the thick Copper positive cable take off with the T-Class fuse that the cable bolts to and the Victron battery temperature sensor under the bolt to the positive terminal of the battery.
Back up in Banks @ & 3 the cables are all now fully secured with zip ties and you can see the simple battery hold down system we came up with by cutting those shaped blocks of composite foam that wedge each battery firmly in place when the gasketed lid is bolted down.
After one last check of the BMV battery monitors and double checked all the connections, the penetration in the top center section atop all the battery compartments could be filled with special fireproof filler to fully seal the compartments and firmly hold each wire and cable in place.
Stepping back a bit to show you the lid being bolted down over Banks #2 & 3 and that now sealed penetration with all the big Red/Black cables coming out of the Battery Compartments and directly into the High Amp DC Distribution box on the upper Left. One of two 120V MultiPlus Inverter/Chargers seen on the Right, three more 240V MultiPlus’ are on the opposite side.
Möbius is now all powered up which is yet another big milestone for us.
SHOWER TEAK FLOORS ARE IN
This is the Shower in the Guest Cabin showing off its beautiful new Teak floor. If you look closely (click to enlarge any photo) you can see how the edges are relieved with a 15mm/5/8” gap away from the walls which is here the water falls down to the shower pan below and then out the drain into the Grey Water tanks.
Each floor section is removable for cleaning and maintenance.
Same design up in the Master Head.
With a second floor panel in the connected Shower.
All coming together very nicely if I do say so myself and the combination of materials and colours are very pleasing to our eyes and seem to be able to keep up with those artfully etched glass walls.
Last bit of Teak is the permanently affixed panel that goes on top of the seat in the Master Shower to help keep you from slipping when sitting so Ali got right to work at that.
Ali and Orkan do all the Teak deck work at Naval so they too have LOTS of practice and make this all happen very quickly.
SUPERSALON SUPERING ALONG
Up in the SuperSalon, Nihat and Uğur finished mounting the Llebroc Main Helm Chair to the now finished Ado LVT vinyl floor.
In eXtreme sea conditions the forces on these pedestal bases can be high in the eXtreme so they are bolted through 60mm / 2.5” thick solid laminated blocking under the flooring and thru the Aluminium floors into 15mm thick AL reinforcement plates in the ceiling of the Basement.
I took this shot while briefly sitting in the fully mounted Helm Chair with the camera lens held at eye height to give you an idea of the view forward from the Main Helm. It is a bit cluttered up there on the Bow right now as Christine is finishing off all the Dyneema lifelines and Uğur is putting in the Dorade Cowls, but you can still see how much visibility we have when conning the boat from this Main Helm Station.
And here is one of the silicone cowls on the four Dorade boxes on the front deck. These ensure that we always have plenty of fresh air circulating in our Master Cabin even in rough breaking seas when we would not be able to have the hatches open. Ventilation on an XMP type of boat is critical for two of our four priorities; Comfort and Safety.
Each White/Red silicone cowl can also be rotated 360 degrees by just loosening that notched Gray ring at the base and then tightening it back down. Any water that gets into the cowl simply flows out those slots in the bottom of the AL Dorade Box and none can get down the 100mm / 4” AL vent pipes going down into the Master Cabin.
Uğur and I worked together to install the locking latches in the large hinged hatch in the SuperSalon that gives you access to the Basement below. Ramazon had finished laying down all the LVT vinyl flooring so we could now cut out the recesses for the two SS locking latches for lifting up and locking down this big hatch.
We were running a bit short handed so we had to call in this foreign help and he worked out so-so.
I just love my little Milwaukee 18V router and it made short work of routing out the recesses in the vinyl flooring and underlying plywood for the SS latches to fit into and be flush with the flooring.
It was a bit tricky as the recesses needed to be multiple depths for the different steps in the base of the SS latches as you can see here.
We cut out little cardboard temples you can see in these photos and used them mark out the floor and then I could carefully sneak the router up to those lines.
On the underside of the Hatch these SS levers turn to engage into slots on the frame and ensure that the hatch stays fully closed and could not fly open if we were to ever roll over.
TENDER is READY to GO ONBOARD Möbius
As I mentioned in the intro, Christine and I spent the day yesterday (Saturday Jan 23, 2021) at the shipyard as we wanted to get the Tender ready to be loaded onto the Aft Deck of Möbius just before the boat mover takes Möbius over to be launched. Uğur and Nihat had finished the hull last month and now we needed to get the jet drive installed and the Yanmar engine in place before lifting the Tender onto the Aft Deck.
Earlier in the week the Fenders we had ordered over a month ago showed up and are great to have so we can install them soon. It took a lot of searching but we finally found a Turkish company making these very industrial grade rubber fenders for bit Pilot Boats, Tugs and docks which were just what we were looking for.
If you look closely in the rendering above you can see how we have designed these fenders to wrap all around the upper edge of the hull which will enable us to easily rub up against rough docks and concrete walls as well as use the Tender as we intend to as a “tug” for moving Möbius around or helping out other boats.
Not sure when I will have time to install these but I’ll show you when it does happen.
I will likely install a row of these on the stern of Möbius as well so we would be able to similarly push up against a rough concrete wall with no damage or concerns.
We started by disassembling my hydraulic hoist up in my workshop at Naval and moved it down to the shipyard so we could use it to lift our Castoldi 224 DD jet drive and Yanmar 4JH4 TE 110HP diesel inboard engine into the Tender.
I designed the hinged lid on top of the Engine Bay in the Tender so it would go well over center when fully raised but we tied it on just to be safe as we had to lift the Tender up quite a bit to be able to get the jet drive in from underneath.
Always great to have a fully rigid and solid aluminium boat hull and so it was a piece of cake to wrap a length of webbing around the Swim Platform and attach the end of the hoist to this to life the whole aft end of the Tender off the floor. This hoist is just SO handy to have and I’ll be taking it with us when we go as it all comes apart and stores very small.
Equally handy and coming with us are these jack stands which I’ve had for probably 30+ years and worked just fine to prop the Tender up above the floor so we could slide the Castoldi jet drive home from underneath.
We had done a dry fit of the Jet Drive into the Tender when we were building the hull and then stored it, upside down here, it the wood crate it had been shipped in. Now it was time to flip him over and get him permanently installed and sealed into the hull.
”Are you SURE you know what you’re doing?!” asked the Captain which is not a new phrase from her as you might imagine.
Yet another super handy tool is my little car floor jack and it worked well to balance the Jet Drive on and then jack up into the Castoldi supplied AL frame that had been welded into the bottom of the hull.
We first did one last dry fit just to make doubly sure that all the holes I had drilled in the thick transom plate and the bottom flange in the hull and then lowered it back down to clean all the mating surfaces with Acetone.
Then squeezed on a good bead of Sikaflex 291i structural adhesive on all the mating surfaces.
Then slide it home one last time and insert the SS bolts
and torque them all down.
With the Jet Drive now all bolted in place we could now install the two cylinders on either side. Port/Left side is the cylinder that moves the jet nozzle and steers the boat.
Starboard/Right cylinder moves this bucket that sits overtop of the flow of water coming out of the jet and redirects in whatever direction you wish to go forward, reverse or sideways.
The whole installation went very smoothly and the Jet Drive was now fully in place.
Next up………….. unboxing and installing our four cylinder Yanmar 4JH4 TE 110HP diesel inboard engine that has never even been out of the box he shipped in.
After some initial concerns that the motor in our Tender would be three times more powerful than the Yanmar in her last 33’ Caliber sailboat, the Captain seems to be warming to the driving force in our Tender.
It took some work to find the model I wanted which s this one with all direct mechanical fuel injection rather than ECU controlled common rail but thanks to the super helpful Yanmar dealer at Denpar Marine here, this is just what I wanted.
I have used this same hoist to lift all of Mr. Gee’s 1200Kg / 2650 lbs many times during his full factory rebuild so lifting the mere 217Kg/ 478lb Yanmar was a piece of cake.
We rolled the Yanmar around to the Stbd side and then under the hull and it dropped right onto the 25mm / 1” thick AL engine beds welded into the hull.
With so many other priorities on our plates this will be good enough for now to just have the Yanmar sitting on the Engine Beds and I’ll get back to bolting the motor mounts in properly later.
This engine and jet drive are a matched pair that Castoldi put together so it came as a very complete system that I am very pleased with.
This is a Direct Drive jet drive so there is a short cardon shaft (drive shaft) that connects the output shaft from the Yanmar to the input of the Castoldi which makes alignment and connection all very simple and this is all work that I can do after we launch and have the Tender on the Aft Deck of Möbius.
But for now, this closes the door on our Tender and she is now all ready for the crane to lift it onto the Aft Deck of Möbius just before the boat mover shows up to carry Möbius over to the harbour and LAUNCH!!!
Can’t let myself be distracted by that excitement yet as there is still SO MUCH to do before she is ready to launch but there is definitely light at the end of this looooooong and winding tunnel!
So do stay tuned for the big finale folks, it IS getting closer and closer and we would be delighted to take you along with us over the finish line! I’m sure that many of you are feeling like this journey would never end and we sincerely thank you for sticking with us and for all your contributions of questions and suggestions that have been so helpful along the way and PLEASE do keep them coming by typing them into the “Join the Discussion” box below and I look forward to seeing you here again next week.