Stairways to Heaven
The weather has been Cccccccold and wet outside this week with one night time low down to zero Celsius but still lots of hot progress inside.
Most exciting of which is that little Yiğit and Mert, the new Dinç twins are now home! Dinçer kindly shared this photo of both his new twin boys and their very excited 3 year old brother Demir. Christine and I can’t wait to get our chance to snuggle these two little packages of joy! And I DO mean little as each one just barely tip the scales now at 2.5kg. However as all us parents and grandparents know, this will accelerate faster and faster as the weeks and years race by.
Not to be outdone the rest of us have been busy at Naval Yachts making more progress here on all the various projects underway. On Project GoldiLocks the focus this week has been mostly on stairs, stairs, stairs.
Stairs are one of the trickier parts to design and build as you really need to get these just right. The 3D models are great for trying out lots of different variations and getting a sense of what will fit, work and look the best but with stairs it comes down to how they feel when you are going up and down them. Is the spacing and size of each tread and riser all correct? Does your foot go naturally to the next step up or down and is it where you foot/brain expected it to be? Are the handrails where your hands naturally want them to be? And will this all work well and be safe when you are going up/down these stairs when the boat is going up and down in big seas and storms’?
So we have spent much of this week mocking up each set of stairs, trying them out as we walked up and down them and then adjusting and repeating till we got each one just right.
Time consuming but critical so let’s go check it out.
You may recall seeing the initial plate cutting for these stairs which lead down from the main door off the aft deck down into the SuperSalon. All tacked together now and lifted up onto the deck and ready to be…………………
…….. fit in place in this space here.
This quick render a bit further back from the photo above will help orient you as to how this will all look as it gets built out.
Turning to the left at the bottom of these stairs takes you down this next set of stairs into the aft Guest Cabin & Christine’s Office.
Once they have the stairs in place Nihat and Uğur quickly turn to tacking the handrails in place.
and they are ready for the trickiest of all the staircases …….
…. the circular stairs taking you from the aft deck up to the SkyBridge.
Once we had nailed down the sizes for each tread they were quickly welded up and we started figuring out the right placement radially from the vertical pole.
Uğur works amazingly quickly and accurately and he, Yiğit and Nihat were extremely patient with me and equally as determined to get each step just right.
One of the additional goals Christine and I had was to end up with a staircase which would be as see through as possible with minimal blocking of our view aft from inside the SuperSalon. As I think you’ll agree from this shot, I’m very happy with how all the design work with Dennis and now the final designs with Yiğit and the fabrication with Uğur and Nihat here at Naval Yachts has paid off.
Finally this setup got us to the Goldilocks combination of getting each tread just the right size in just the right spot with these temporary vertical supports tacked on to hold each stair in position.
Looking straight down from up in the SkyBridge shows you the final arrangement we ended up with.
Ready for the next step which was almost as tricky as the stairs themselves ………..
…………..fitting the 3D curved handrail.
Here Nihat is carefully cutting each vertical support to run through the aft corner of one tread and down to forward corner of the next one below.
The top of each of these vertical supports requires these compound angled ‘bird’s mouth” where they fit with the handrail itself and with each one requiring a slightly different set of angles it was very exacting work.
With the vertical supports ready Uğur borrowed this hydraulic pipe bender from one of the other shipyards next door and he and Nihat set about the complex task of bending the handrail into the just right spiral to go up the outer edge of each stair.
They let each end of the handrail pipe run long as they carefully used the bender to get the handrail in just the right spot along the way up and tying into each vertical support.
They used a 90 degree elbow at each end to make the transition to the vertical post at the bottom and then turn sideways to the inner wall of the SkyBridge wall up top.
Here Uğur is fitting the short vertical handrail for the other side and wrapping it around the corner of the helm station up in the SkyBridge.
and here is what it looks like from up on top with both handrails tacked in place.
This is the view you see as you look straight down the completed stairs and are ready to descend.
A circular staircase might seem to be a poor choice on a boat and would not be as safe as straight stairs. Christine and I certainly would have thought so up to a few years age when we spent time on several boats with circular staircases. Both of us noticed, especially when the boat was moving a lot, that when ascending or descending these stairs you were perfectly closed in by the safety of the curved handrails on either side of you. Even with hands full we were able to easily brace ourselves with one hip sliding easily and safely against the railing. One of those things you have to learn experientially and we have incorporated into the design of Möbius as much as possible of our experiential learning we have acquired over our many years and sea miles.
Meanwhile over in the machine shop others on Team Möbius have been busy machining these SAE 5 flanges for all the many fittings which need to be welded into each fuel and water tank.
These thicker ones have threaded holes arranged in a standardized SAE 5 pattern to accept things like the supply/return hose fittings, Maretron tank level gauges, Hart Tank Tender fittings, etc.
The tank tops are drilled out slightly larger than the inner holes and are then welded in place.
These thinner matching flanges are ready to be welded to these pickup and return pipes which then slide down one of the tank top fittings and are bolted in place with a gasket to seal them and finally an elbow fitting is threaded in to accept the hose fitting.
We will see all these various gauges and hoses being installed in the coming weeks but that’s all for this week folks, thanks for joining us.
I grabbed our trusty old GoPro camera and took a series of videos walking through the various stairs at different stages and have put them together into this time lapse summary below that will give you a good sense of how the stairs all look and give you more of a feel for the layout of the boat.
Thanks for joining us again this week and we’ll be back with next week’s update.