Our lives aboard Möbius have settled into the same pattern of working our way through the list of jobs needing to be finished before Möbius is fully sea worth and ready for us to get back to crossing oceans and eXploring the salt water world we both love so much. This work is far from “glamorous” or eXciting, just neccessary and a pattern we are accustomed to from our decades being full time live aboards and stewards of many boats before.
What IS eXtremely eXciting is the arrival of more and more members of our family of XPM style boats from the desk of our beloved Naval Architect and designer, Dennis Harjamaa who runs Artnautica Yacht Design in Auckland NZ. So let me provide a bit of background to help put this all in context.
Finding our Goldilocks NA and Designer for XPM78-01 Möbius
Back in 2016 when Christine and I got serious about switching from sail to power and designing and building our own new “Goldilocks” just right, just for us passage maker, we spent a year searching the world for our equally Goldilocks NA. There are a LOT of Naval Architects and boat design firms but what made our search so challenging was that we did not want to be just clients the designer worked FOR and end up with a boat design that was based on what the designer thought was best. Instead we wanted a designer who would work WITH us in a highly collaborative way to transform the very specific visions and specifications which we knew well from all our nautical smiles at sea. It took us almost a year and a lot of both nautical and air miles but we finally found and met up with Dennis when we had our previous boat in New Zealand and we knew right away that we had finally found our Goldilocks guy.
Winding the clock back a few years more, somewhere around 2010, after designing a lot of very successful smaller boats, Dennis set out to design the Goldilocks boat for himself and his partner Raquel to live aboard and enable them to start exploring the world by sea.
What he came up with was the LRC58 which you see rendered here and hull #1 called “Koti” has been their full time home near Auckland since it launched in 2013.
Since then FIVE more LRC58’s have launched from the Aluboot yard in the Netherlands and you can read all about them HERE on the Artnautica.EU website.
But wait! There’s more!!!
Not only did Dennis design the LRC58, he also built her almost single handedly! So now you are starting to understand why Dennis was and still is to this day our Goldilocks XPM designer!
The XPM Line of Boats Begins
Christine and I found the LRC name to be too generic and overused in the boating world and so we came up with the more specific eXtreme eXploration Passage Maker or XPM title to better suit this unique style of boats and therefore Möbius became hull #1 of the new XPM78 design.
We spent almost two years working with Dennis in what quickly became a collaborative work of art and engineering and resulted in the completed 3D model and drawings that were used by Naval Yachts to build XPM78-01 Möbius.
This is a relatively new style of boat which do not yet have a common name or acronym but are all designed and built for a small but growing group of like minded people with a common set of priorities and use cases. They are most often a couple, sometimes with a child or two, who want to be able to have a floating home that can carry them across oceans and eXplore the most remote spots on the planet and do so with the highest degree of safety, comfort, efficiency and low maintenance.
Such requirements tend to determine the overall characteristics of these boats so they are long, slender and slippery all aluminium hulls that are low to the water, self righting and efficient to run with as low amount of maintenance as possible to operate.
Since designing our XPM78-01 Möbius, more and more people have been intrigued by what Dennis calls his LRC or Long Range Cruising boats and have sought him out to design a Goldilocks version of an XPM for them and that’s what brings us to this post.
Over the years as more people became aware of our work building Möbius and chronicling it all with these weekly blog posts, Christine and I have been fielding more and more requests by people wanting to know more about these XPM boats, In spite of my Emails being even longer than my blog posts, some of these people have been brave enough to keep asking questions and receiving more and more of my novellas aka Emails as their interest grew. In several cases this has led to them coming to meet with us for lengthy tours of Möbius, Naval Yachts and the Antalya Free Zone and as you’re about to see, in several cases this ultimately led to several signing on the dotted line with Artnautica and Naval to design and build an XPM for them.
The first are an American couple, Chris and Sebrina and their son Rhys who not only endured hundreds of pages of my Emails but they also very courageously flew over to Antalya last December and we spent several days with them aboard Möbius as she was nearing the end of her build and showing them around Antalya and Naval Yachts. Apparently they liked what they saw as a few months later they had signed on with Artnautica and Naval to design and build what is now hull # 2 XPM78-02 Vanguard.
These are some relatively recent renders of how hull #2 has evolved.
You can see the XPM78 family resemblance and she is based on the same models as Möbius. However Chris & Sebrina worked with Artnautica and Naval on some important modifications to make this the just right, just for them, XPM78.
Keen eyed followers might notice that the Pilot House has been lengthened by about 1 from aka 1 meter which is a change that we recommended as well for all future XPM78’s. More significantly and perhaps controversial, the Pilot House has also been raised by about the same amount to enable the area underneath to become living space that includes a 3rd cabin.
Some of the other key changes that Vanguard will have include:
- Twin John Deer 4045 engines with double prop tunnels to keep the draft down.
- electric hybrid propulsion by Praxis added to the propulsion from twin JD diesel engines
- addition of a 3rd cabin
- extending the PH as noted above to make the salon in particular more roomy.
- raise the PH to convert what is the Basement on Möbius to all living space on Vanguard.
- bulwarks wrapping around the side and bow decks
- windows in the sides of the hull
Some will love those changes, others will question but all that matters is that this is what’s best for Chris, Sebrina and Rhys.
There are a growing number of designs similar to these XPM’s from other companies that have appeared in the past couple of years but almost none of these have gone on to be built. So pictures like this are a big deal IMHO!
Construction at Naval began in April and matches the way Möbius was built. A steel frame is built on the shop floor and then the hull is built upside down on top of this. For the curious, if you go back to posts here starting around April 2018 you can see when Möbius was at this same point and follow the construction from there if you’d like to look into the future of the building of Vanguard.
This is the most recent photo I received from Chris which I think was taken a few weeks ago at the end of August.
I believe Chris and/or Naval will soon be creating a blog to cover this build and I’ll be sure to pass that on here for those interested.
Not to be outdone, another couple, Andrew and Lily, also from the USA have recently signed on with Artnautica and Naval to build XPM hull #3 and this one will be much larger at 85’ LOA.
Covid travel restrictions have not allowed us to meet in person yet, but Christine and I have had some video calls with Andrew and Lily and they too have been subjected to my barrage of Emails as I attempt to answer all their questions.
Unfortunately as you may have heard in the news, there has also been a Covid related shortage in the world’s aluminium supply so work on both XPM78-02 and XPM85-01 has been delayed but Naval has been busy getting ready for the aluminium to arrive by building the steel support structure that XPM85 will be built upon.
Dennis and Naval are still working with Andrew to finalize the design so I don’t have much more to show you yet but will bring you updates when I get them and we could not be more eXcited for Andrew & Lily as their dreams are transformed into very real aluminium.
But wait! There is still MORE!!
Meanwhile, in the Netherlands
As if these new XPM builds were not enough eXcitement for one blog post, things have been equally as busy or more so over in the LRC world of Artnautica. Somewhere around 2018 Dennis was in conversation with the owner of LRC58-03 Britt which launched from the Aluboot yard in July 2017.
Rob Westermann and his wife Janet have been touring the many waterways surrounding the Netherlands and their conversations with Dennis soon resulted in Rob setting up Artnautica Europe. Rob and I first met at the big METS marine trade show in Amsterdam back in 2018 and have gone on to become very good friends who have visited with us in Antalya several times.
Rob is eXtremely bright and entrepreneurial and he has been a great partner with Dennis to extend and expand the LRC line of boats being built in the Netherlands as well.
Rob & Janet enjoyed their life aboard Britt so much that they decided they wanted not only more time but more boat and so began a conversation and a whole new design process that has now culminated in the LRC65 which will become the new home for them to continue to explore Europe and the world.
FYI, LRC58-03 Britt is therefore now for sale and can find out more about that and how to contact Rob HERE.
LRC65-01 Britt II
As you can imagine, Covid restrictions are doing their best to get in the way of getting LRC65-01 off the drawing board and into the build, but Rob is tenacious and very experienced so he was able to get in an order for some aluminium just as the supply was drying up and they expect to begin construction in about a month.
Dennis & Rob have created two layout versions GA 5 and GA 6 have each with different galley, settee, and helm station positions, as well as a different position of the staircase leading forward. This could be interchangeable between the two layout options.
As you can see here in this rendering of the framework of LRC65, the LRC/XPM boat similarities are much more than just skin deep.
Here is a similar shot of Mobius’ framework. When you peel away the outer aluminium plating, the familiar Artnautica framing signature is very clear to see.
There will be several propulsion options for the LRC65; twins of either Beta 75 or John Deere 4045 DTF 70 (80hp). The single-engine option will have a turbocharged four-cylinder, 130-160hp engine, likely supplied by SABB who make the CPP gearbox of choice and can therefore supply the whole driveline (Deutz, Iveco, and AGCO Sisu).
Cruise speed is 10 knots.
All the specifications for the LRC65 can be found HERE on the Artnautica.eu web site.
Phwew!!! That was quite the tour of the XPM Family Tree!
Coming around the XPM world full circle, I will leave you with this photo of the very first XPM, our beloved Möbius.
Hope you enjoyed the tour and if you have any questions or would like to consider creating your own XPM just let me know in the “Join the Discussion” box below or send me an Email to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Good write up Wayne, covers all the bases I know of! We took the accommodation on XPM-002 up 300mm to fit the additional cabin in by also dropping the tank top internally, then hid it behind a low bulwark for the visuals. Stability is pretty similar. When my boating friends ask what it is, I tell them, “think of a yacht with the keel cut off and no mast”. That seems to give them a reasonable picture. I helped deliver a 58 foot, 2000Hp Italian boat recently Hilton Head SC to Ft Lauderdale FL. Refilled the tanks twice in 600 miles, planing hulls are also pretty uncomfortable at 10 knots so no choice but to gun it. Vanguard will be a very different experience we hope.
Thanks for the kind comments Chris, much appreciated and both Christine and I are excitedly awaiting more photos and updates from you and Sebrina as XPM78-02 Vanguard progresses.
Thanks for the correction that the PH was raised 300mm and the tank tops lowered in order to accommodate the living volume you wanted.
I look forward to being able to share with you and all the others here how the ride and sea handling of these XPM78 hulls works out there in the real world at sea. Unfortunately we won’t be able to do much of that until we get going early next year but as soon as I have logged more of that real world data I will be posting it here.
Hi Wayne ! I look forward to your post every week, and start feeling antsy if it’s late ! no pressure though !
You have been an inspiration to many I think.
A word about Dennis and Artnautica … he is a true pleasure to work with. He thinks thru changes and all the ripple affects, like playing chess with a boat design. He not only designed the boat he is living on, but also built it himself, the whole nine yards from cut files to welding to interior. So it’s safe to say he knows the nuances of design decisions and trade offs. As an added bonus I think the designs are quite stunning.
I feel bad saying it, but I really hope you and Christine are still in the area when we finally make it over for a visit. But if you do break out of the med, we will see you out there somewhere.
Hi Andrew (and Lili), very nice of you to add your comments here. As per my response to Chris below we are very much looking forward to watching as your XPM85-01 starts to progress. Must be frustrating for you to have to wait out the aluminium shortage of late and hopefully that is being resolved as we speak.
Also great to get your experiences of working with Dennis and Artnautica. He was a true gift for Christine and I to find such a Goldilocks NA to work with. Like you and as outlined in the post, his experience in not only designing the initial LRC58 but then also building #1 himself created an exponential increase in his ability to work with us in such a collaborative way with such a range of first hand experience. As you noted, a very rare combination and one that we are forever grateful.
No sadness needed as we too very much hope that we will be able to meet up with you in person here in the Antalya area. As you likely know, we took out an annual contract with Setur Marinas and have Finike as our home base, so we will have Möbius here through at least March of next year would be my best guesstimate. We are heading back to North America in a couple of weeks to spend 2 months 10,000 mile roadtrip to see friends, family, kids and grandkids and then will be back here first of December. Once we get back we will dive back into the ever present 2Do list and get Möbius fully sea worthy with as many sea trials based out of Finike as weather will allow. We will wait for a good window for both weather and Covid restrictions and then finally cut the dock lines and heat out of Turkish waters. That could be as early as March but perhaps April more realistically and all of this dependent on weather, Covid and Mr. Murphy! So keep us posted as to your travel plans and hopefully we can host you both aboard Möbius sometime next year before we take off.
I wish I had the skill to build a web site to encompass the whole tree which to me includes all of Steve Dashew’s power boats. Maybe a series of concentric circles is better as there is in my mind’s eye a core and then variations which spread out into some look alike that are posers and some that don’t quite look alike but are the “real” thing
From a definition from Dashew looong ago
“Able to cruise offshore at 8 knots or better with a top cruise speed of 10 knots.
Fuel efficient at that speed—two to four times better than trawlers currently available.
As safe offshore as a well-found sailboat.”
A “family tree” web site would be a real treasure indeed John! Depends on how you define this “family” of course but I know that for me it predates the Dashew/Circa FPB boats and the initial roots for me at least were the pilot boats that were typically being built in Asia but most destined for the North American market. Those where what caught my attention and imagination back in the early 2000’s when I first started getting into sailing, though my interest was more for their engineering and pragmatic design as I was pursuing voyaging by sail at the time and not power. My initial interest and curiosity in the Pilot Boats continued unabated and when I sailed into the Marshall Islands in 2010 I ended up having at least one of these brand new Pilot Boats anchored beside me as the stopped in to fuel up or take a break in their trip from the factory in Asia to the US or Canada. The flow of these boats continued every year I found myself returning to Majuro for cyclone season and more from 2010-2015 so I had the great privilege of being invited aboard these boats by their captains and they were all super accommodating in putting up with my machine gun stream of questions. I learned a LOT from these guys and their boats and looking back I can now see that this is largely where my Goldilocks boat ideas first germinated. As you would know the Dashews launched their prototype FPB 83 Wind Horse in May 2005 and having been following their previous sailing adventures it definately resonated with me when they made the surprising to many decision to switch from sail to power. The design principles you quoted from them clearly ring true for these types of boats and continue to hold true throughout all these types of boats I think. I have summarized this the set of four founding “pillars” or priorities for us in designing and building XPM78-01 Möbius which I’ve written about extensively here using the SCEM acronym for Safety Comfort Efficiency Maintainability and I think Steve had the same or very similar set of priorities throughout the lifespan of the FPB series.
Like you I don’t have the time nor skill to develop such a family tree website but my curiosity in such functionally designed and build world passagemakers continues unabated and I continue to find and follow more and more examples of them. So I will to do my best to write posts like this one as I continue to learn more about both our own XPM boats and others in this same family tree. Hope you will continue as well and we can both contribute to put these boats on the family tree radar for others to see as well.
Amazing boats out there! And amazing website!
Are there similar concepts (fast efficient hulls, low maintenance, safe under extreme conditions, etc.) but in a more conventional style?
Thanks for the kind comments Nacho and glad you are enjoying the ride along with us.
I’m not quite sure how to best answer your question “Are there similar concepts (fast efficient hulls, low maintenance, safe under extreme conditions, etc.) but in a more conventional style?” but my quick response is that in a way you have answered the question within the question and the answer is no by your very definition. It is my contention that in design, if you start with a set of the same basic design principles or parameters and have these for an equally common audience and use cases, then pretty much any designers will come up with very similar designs. You summarized some of the key concepts very well in your question “… fast efficient hulls, low maintenance, safe under extreme conditions, etc.) and I will posit that designs based on these same set of criteria will tend to share a common look and feel. This is true in the design of anything I think, and in the case of boats such as the XPM, when you look at the growing number of other boats that are based on the same sets of parameters you can see a strong similarity. For example, pull up some images of boats such as the Circa 24, Arksen 85, FPB70 and I think you will see the “family resemblance” quite clearly. As soon as you penetrate that initial viewpoint though and look more closely you will also start to see the differenced within each of these boats, changes of emphasis on one principle vs another and so on.
I’m also not sure what you have in mind when you say “…. in a more conventional style.” but I’m guessing that you mean the more traditional trawler style with examples such as Nordhavn, Bering, Flemming, Selene and a long long list of others? While these traditional trawlers do share some of the same basic principles, most notably ocean crossing capability, they are designed and built for a very different audience and different set of principles. It is not a question of “which is best” nor a question of quality, it is the key question of what are the owner’s characteristics, how, when and where will they cruise, what are their priorities, etc. In my opinion these are ALL great boats and what really matters for any owner is that their boat is a great fit for them and their use case and life style.
I have mentioned one good comparison along these lines a few posts in the past year to boats built by Bering Yachts and if you look back at some of the posts when we had a brand new Bering 77 “Veronika” beside us in the harbour inside the Antalya Free Zone back in April-June time frame so you might want to look at those posts to see Veronika and Möbius side by side. You might want to look at some of the IMA well done YouTube videos covering Veronika both by Bering Yachts and by a couple’s YT channel “NautiStyle” to get into more of the details and see how this is is a very high quality boat that is definately in the passage making “Exploration” group and may be an example of what you had in mind with your question?
I think that these traditional trawlers within the Exploration group bear a lot of similarities to the XPM style boats but they are also fundamentally different in areas such as self righting, operated by a couple with no crew needed, KISS based systems and low maintenancec, etc.
Perhaps I can best finish by purposely using the oxymoronic phrase “very similar and very different” to summarize these two types of boats and reemphasize that the most important thing to do when contemplating designing and building a new boat is to make sure that you know and have written down what your fundamental priorities are, how, when and where you will use the boat, your use cases are and that you make all your decisions on what will make this the just right, just for you, Goldilocks boat.
I suspect that this “answer” is about as clear as mud, but I hope that helps you in your quest for your Goldilocks boat. I would encourage others to chime in here with their perspectives on this question so we can all learn.
Many thanks for your thorough answer, Wayne. By “style” I meant the way it looks. And I now that I think of it, it makes sense that when you add up the characteristics that I summarized, it leads you to roughly the same “style”. By the way, yes I meant the classic trawler style like Nordhavn, Kadey Krogen, etc.
Again, thanks for your time. While many of the technical solutions you mention are not applicable to me (I sail the Chesapeake Bay on fair weather weekends and I stay in marinas because I have a toddler), the clarity of your concepts certainly is.
Thanks for the clarification regarding your previous question about styles of trawlers and other boats. Glad my perspective that designs that adhere to the same set of requirements and first principles, end up having a common look or style to them, makes sense to you as well.
I also appreciate you adding that you find these more technical articles to be of interest and value to you and others who may not share the same need to apply them directly themselves and to their boats. This is the kind of feedback which is super helpful in guiding me when I am deciding on topics to address, how much depth to go into, etc.