And 2021 is off to rapid start as the first week of the year has already whipped by me in a flash. Very busy times here as we all push to finish XPM78-01 Möbius and get her in the water by the new target Launch Date of February 12th! Which BTW, is now only 33 calendar days and 25 working days from now. Yikes!!
However, as we all learn over time, deadlines are good things to help us keep our eyes on the prize and get things done so as to ensure that there is no “Slip-Sliding Away” of our Launch Date! Therefore, I am going to stick with using this fixed Launch Date to help keep the positive pressure on all of us on Team Möbius to “get ‘er done” and as my 4 year old granddaughter Blair says (with gusto!) “Let’s DO this!”
I’ll take that advise to heart with my introduction to this Weekly Progress Update and jump right into this week’s Show & Tell of what all happened aboard the Good Ship Möbius this past week of Jan 4-8, 2021
Non-Stick on the Bottom:
Continuing the very rewarding trend of late of hitting lots of different milestones of this build, work began this week on preparing the bottom of the hull for its foul release bottom paint. First step was to clear out all the equipment and materials which had been accumulating underneath the hull on the shop floor.
It helps to have a forklift of course so it didn’t take too long to move everything elsewhere at Naval Yachts and have a clear floor space under Möbius to work on.
Next up was to get rid of the short little hull support posts and replace them with these longer steel tubes that connect just under the Rub Rails and slope down to the floor where they are secured into the concrete with long lag bolts.
You’ll note too that the upper part of the hull sides have now been covered in plastic to keep their freshly sanded surfaces clean.
The two newest members of Team Möbius, Ali kneeling on the Right and Mehmet standing on the Left, get to work grinding down the welds below the waterline and removing the layer of Aluminium Oxide Al2O3that has formed since these hull plates were first welded in place over two years ago. The automatic and rapid formation of Al2O3 is one of the big benefits of building hulls from Aluminium as it is a very had and durable protective layer that prevents any further oxidization or corrosion. However Al2O3 is equally good at “protecting” the hull from paint, which is part of the reason why we are leaving all the exposed aluminium on Möbius unpainted. The one exception is below the waterline where we need to prevent marine growth from forming as this creates a lot of drag on the hull as it slides through the water.
So you need to remove all the Al2O3 before the first coat of epoxy primer goes on. This is the first round of removing the Al2O3 and then just before the first coat of primer is sprayed on, they will give it a light sanding with orbital sanders and a wipe down with Acetone to make sure the AL surfaces are completely clean and oxide free so the primer will bond well
The only item below the waterline that does not get painted is the big 1m OD beautiful Bronze Nogva CPP propeller, though later on, it too will get some special treatment to prevent fouling as even the slightest bit of grown or roughness on a propeller blade causes severe reduction in transferring power from the prop to the water.
The special tube we cut through the Rudder can now be be filled in so Uğur tacked this elliptical AL plate to block off the hole for now. Whenever we might need to pull out the prop shaft, this hole allows me to do so without having to remove the Rudder which can add a lot of time to the prop shaft Re & Re. This will get covered with some epoxy filler and sanded flush with the surface of the Rudder plates as a super slippery Rudder also helps a lot to increase the efficiency of the Rudder and Steering overall.
Another important part of the preparation for the bottom paint is taking off the upper edge of the “Boot Stripe” at the very top to make the transition from the bottom paint to the unpainted aluminium above. This is made SO much easier now that we have laser levels to use rather than the laborious process of measuring every few feet as I’ve had to do in the past to establish what you hope is a level straight line. In keeping with the “lean & mean” exterior esthetic, the Boot Stripe and the bottom paint will both be Black but the Boot Stripe will be glossy Black Polyurethane whereas the Bottom Paint will be the matt finish of the silicone based International InterSleek 1100SR
For those not so familiar with bottom paints, most boats use an Anti-Fouling type of paint which prevents micro organisms from growing on it by having various biocide chemicals such as copper, tin and now more modern toxins which try to prevent growth from forming. This has been done for centuries with many old wooden boats having their bottoms sheathed with sheets of thin copper.
Looking nice and straight to me!
Anti-Foul type bottom paint doesn’t last too long, 6 months to 2 years max, before it either wears off or looses all its anti fouling chemicals and you have to haul out, remove all the old and paint on new coats which is neither quick nor inexpensive, to say nothing of the environmental concerns.
Instead of “Anti” foul we are going to use international InterSleek 1100SR which is a Foul RELEASE type of solution which in the simplest terms is a coating of silicone fluoropolymer which is akin to the non-stick coating such as Teflon on frying pans. When I was a young boy I was struck by the idea of “Better Living Through Chemistry” and my daughter Lia is an Organic Chemist so this more modern and much more effective different kind of chemistry that creates Foul Release paint was a no-brainer for me.
A little kick up at the stern end of the bottom paint to add a bit of flair!
When moving, nothing sticks to the hull but when we sit at anchor for weeks or months at a time, grown will still form on our InterSleek bottom BUT it all comes off with a simple wipe with a cloth or sponge so the amount of time and effort it will take us to “dive the bottom” and clean the hull will be drastically reduced from our previous boats even though Möbius has a much larger bottom surface.
Uğur looked after one more bit of preparation for the bottom painting by sculpting the Exhaust Exit pipe which is not far above the waterline and below the top of the Black Boot Stripe so it too will be painted.
I will talk more about the Foul Release and InterSleek1100 paint as we start applying it in the coming weeks, so to finish up for now let me just add that Foul Release type bottom paints and InterSleek are not well known by most boat owners but it has been the norm for large commercial and military ships since the 90’s. Based on their experience the InterSleek1100 should last for around 5 to 7+ years, so we are eXtremely anxious to see how it performs for us on Möbius. Stay tuned for the next couple of years to find out!
Non-Slip up on Top:
Just as important as keeping our bottom Non-Stick to prevent growth, we need to keep all our decks and floors up on top to be very Non-Skid to prevent us from slipping when walking around, often in bare wet feet and a energetically moving boat.
For all our decks and other exterior AL surfaces we are using what we think is the ultimate Non-Slip material called TreadMaster which has the tag line “The Original Anti Slip Deck Covering” which has lasted for more than 20 years for many of our friends.
In previous weekly updates you’ve seen the Team covering all the Main Decks and stairs with Treadmaster and this week the finished off the last remaining items such as these AL stairs from the Aft Deck down into the Workshop.
We will leave all the “Slip Sliding Away” to Simon & Garfunkel while we stay put safe with our feel solidly in place on our TreadMaster and that composite grid flooring down in the Workshop and ER thanks very much!
We left what could be the most dangerous or at least slip-prone deck for last; these narrow slopped Side Decks that flank the SkyBridge. Orkan was able to use all the left over TreadMaster from doing the Main Decks to cut out all these smaller “tiles” of TreadMaster to cover these Side Decks and here he has them all cut out and flipped over upside down ready for the AL Side Decks to be sanded and cleaned.
Faruk and Ali could now get busy mixing up the West Systems epoxy adhesive and gluing each piece of TreadMaster into its final positions on the Side Deck surfaces and squeezing out the epoxy to every edge with the HD roller you see here in the foreground.
And in the words of Jean-Louis, Voilà c’est fini!!
TreadMaster is now all done and one more milestone achieved. Well done Team Möbius!!
Much ADO about Non-Slip Inside Too!
Last week you may recall seeing Ramazan finish installing the ADO vinyl LVT flooring in the Master Cabin and he has that now all finished.
Keeping ourselves safe at sea requires that ALL our floors are very Non-Slippery and as you can perhaps make out in this photo, we chose these Ado LVT vinyl floor planks in large part due to the highly textured nature they have that is similar to old well worn woodgrain on patio or pool decks.
His final job to finish the Master Cabin was the two stairs leading up to the Port/Left side of the bed and the removable access lid beside the Shower. These are the only vinyl flooring that is glued down, the rest is all “floating” so it can expand and contract in different temperatures. Here is is using some very heavy weights to keep these pieces flat and squished onto the underlying marine plywood while the adhesive dries overnight.
Master Cabin flooring all finished, Ramazan moved onward and upward to the SuperSalon and moved everything off the floors in there and gave all the plywood base a thorough vacuuming and cleanup.
First task for the SuperSalon floor was to install the wood framing and rigid insulation on the large hinged hatch that provides access down into the cavernous Basement that lies below the AL floor of the whole SuperSalon.
After checking that each plywood floor panel was solidly screwed down, Ramazan stared to do his layout for the floor planks.
Starting with this reference line for laying down each row of planks perfectly parallel to the centerline of the boat.
Click – Click, assemble one row of planks.
Click – Click, lock that row into the previous one laid down.
Screens, Screens and more Screens!
It has something to do with these two unfilled spaces front and center at the Main Helm.
That’s right! Time to unbox and install all our beautiful big, sunlight readable, touch screen LiteMax helm monitors; two 19” here in the Main Helm and then two more 24” up on the SkyBridge Helm and then on each side of the Main Helm will be another 43” monitor on the Right and a 50” TV/Monitor on the Left.
After a LOT of research and some help from a fellow passage maker, Peter Hayden over on “Adventures of Tanglewood” we finally tracked down the OEM manufacturer of most marine MFD’s and monitors and bought all five Helm monitors from LiteMax in New Taipei City, Taiwan.
The two 19” Main Helm monitors are LiteMax NavPixel Marine model NPD1968 and this link will give you all the technical details for those wishing to know more. The specs that mattered most to us are that these are fully sunlight readable with 1600 nits (a good phone screen is about 300 nits), AOT touch, high shock & vibration resistance, IP65 waterproof and can be powered from 9-36V DC.
Both monitors slide into this hinged plate above the Main Helm dashboard and allow us to tilt these monitors however we wish to have the best line of sight and least reflection. Captain Christine is peeling off the protective plastic layer to check out the non-reflective screens below.
Another feature we value highly is that these monitors have physical and easy to reach control knobs and buttons. Always frustrating to try to figure out how to increase the brightness as daylight arrives and you’ve had the screens turned down close to black for night time viewing.
Didn’t take us long to get the two 19” monitors mounted into the Main Helm and so we moved up to the SkyBridge where these two openings on the Upper Helm Station were begging to be filled.
First we removed the rear AL panel to give us access to the inside so we could tighten down the very well done mounting screw setup on these monitors.
We also put in a layer of thin EPDM foam rubber to fully seal each monitor into the AL Helm Station.
They fit into their openings like a glove and as you can see the big opening we had designed into this AL Helm Station provided easy access all around each monitor to secure them tightly against each frame.
These 24” monitors are LiteMax NavPixel model NPD2425 with similar specs as the one’s down below. Plenty of connection port choices on the back including the power terminals on the far Left which will be connected to our 24V DC system and then via DVI-D to our onboard boat computers.
As you might see reflected in the plastic protective covers, I took this shot with my camera at eye height when you are sitting in the SkyBridge Helm Chair so this will give you a good sense of the perspective you’ll have when conning the boat from up here with great visibility of the entire Bow and Anchor Deck up front.
When I wasn’t looking Captain Christine snapped this shot of me finishing up the installation under her watchful eye.
We are eXtremely excited to get these bad boys all powered up and connected to our boat computers but that will have to wait until next week so stay tuned for that.
Speaking of powering things up, whenever Mr. Gee is running we have up to 24kW of power from the two Electrodyne 250A @28V alternators he is spinning down in the Engine Room. Here is a peek at the cabling that Hilmi completed this week which takes the AC output from the stator windings directly to the externally mounted Electrodyne Rectifiers over on the far Right side of the Workshop.
Each of these Electrodyne beautiful brutes has two individual alternators inside and so there are six cables coming out of each alternator to carry the 3 phase AC current. So Hilmi put his hydraulic lug press to good use crimping all 12 lugs onto each cable.
That shot up above is of Big Red #2 which is driven by the PTO off the bottom Left of Mr. Gee which you can see a wee bit of in the very bottom Right of this photo.
On the Upper Left here, this is Big Red #1 which is mounted up above on this 40mm/ 1 5/8” AL plate I fabricated and bolted onto the pad on Mr. Gee’s cast aluminium crankcase just for this purpose. This will be driven by a cogged “timing belt” setup which I am busy fabricating right now and I will show you more of next week.
Here though you can see the other six cables coming out of the Junction Box atop Big Red #1 on their way over and out of the ER to connect to the Rectifiers that are staying nice and cool out in the Workshop.
Mr. Gee Gets Cagey
Those with eXtremely sharp eyes and memory might notice a new addition to Mr. Gee this week?
Keeping with our KISS or Keep It Simple Safe & Smart approach, I designed a dual purpose AL pipe “cage” to wrap around Mr. Gee to provide solid hand holds whenever you are near him while he’s running. This then also creates the perfect base for the four support rods that go from the pipes of this cage up to the exhaust dry stack system up above which I will show you more of next week.
I pulled off the 2D drawings from my Fusion 360 3D mode above, sent them over to Uğur on WhatsApp and he and Nihat got busy transforming these 2D drawings into 40mm AL pipe reality down on the shop floor.
Same technique you’ve seen us use before, Uğur and Nihat create these large radius bends by cutting a series of slots on the inside of the curve in the 40mm thick wall AL pipe, bends them and then tacks them in place.
We then test fit them in place on Mr. Gee and once tweaked into just the right fit Uğur welds the slots closed.
As you might notice on the model rendering above, each “staple” shaped rail will be bolted to AL plates that span the motor mounts we fabricated here at Naval.
Uğur could now weld on the 20mm / 3/4” thick base plates and weld all the bend slots closed.
Nihat picks up with his angle grinder and quickly cleans up all the welds to create smooth soft curves.
That gives Uğur time to go back into the ER and drill and tap all the threaded holes in the Engine Mount plates so the finished staples can be bolted in place.
Uğur and Nihat were only available Monday and Tuesday this week so this is where they left off and will pick up again tomorrow (Monday) morning to bolt in the longitudinal pipes and start fabricating the support rods that attach to the four AL tabs you can see they have now welded to the tops of each stable rails and will connect to the SS dry stack exhaust pipes you can see here.
We’ve Been Hosed!
Our eXtremely productive plumber Cihan was also with us for Monday and Tuesday and he made great progress plumbing in a lot of hoses and other items so let’s check that out.
This is outside the Aft Stbd/Right corner of the Engine Room Enclosure with the plate removed that covers the far end where the prop shaft enters the ER and connects to the Nogva CPP Servo Reduction Gearbox via the Blue (purple looking here) dripless Tides Marine shaft seal.
Up above and off to the far Right side of the prop shaft, you can just see the silver coloured AL heat exchanger with the bronze elbow which is what Cihan is now plumbing with this white hose.
This is the heat exchanger that cools down the fresh water/antifreeze mix that circulates through the inside of Mr. Gee and that is what this white hose carries to/from Mr. Gee and the heat exchanger.
If you look at the black composite end plate on this heat exchanger you can see that Cihan has already connected the hose that carries the cool sea water from the Sea Chest in the ER.
Inside the ER on the Right side of Mr. Gee you can now see where two of the white sea hoses connect to Mr. Gee. The top hose in this photo will carry fresh water coolant from the integrated water pump on Mr. Gee and the bottom hose carries sea water out of the long Bronze Engine Oil Heat Exchanger back to the Coolant Heat exchanger we saw in the photos above.
My apologies for not having time to draw up some better illustrations to explain how these heat exchangers all interconnect but for now this photo will show you two of the pumps in this system. The round aluminium pump in the center of the photo above is the integral Garner centrifugal water pump which pumps fresh water/antifreeze coolant back from that silver AL heat exchanger we saw earlier.
The Bronze Jabsco pump on the Right is one that I am in the process of mounting and it is the impeller pump that pulls sea water from the ER Supply Sea Chest into the “IN” labelled port and then out of this pump into that bronze elbow with the Blue painters tape up above. This sea water then runs the length of that Bronze Engine Oil Heat Exchanger bolted to the side of Mr. Gee and exits via the white hose you can see two photos up from here and goes down to that silver AL heat exchanger we saw at the beginning.
The longer white hose in this photo carries Mr. Gee’s fresh coolant back to that silver AL Heat Exchanger.
Clear as mud to most of you and a pathetic job by this former mechanics teacher but best I can do for now folks.
The other new addition this past week was Cihan’s installation of this Blue Beauty which is the big “sand” filter which removes most of the sea critters and debris from the salt water supply for the Delfin 200L/min watermaker.
This is not found in most boats and are normally used in large swimming pool installations, but I long ago discovered that these are the “secret” to extending the life of the other two sea water filters on the watermaker last for months rather than weeks. This filter is filled with a special kind of sand known as Zeolite and it is the first line of defense to filter out the sea water being pumped out of the Sea Chest into the watermaker.
There is a six way valve on top which you use to change between running the seat water through the filter and back flushing it in reverse once in a while to fully clean out all the debris that has been collected by the Zeolite sand. Simple, easy and eXtremely effective.
Super simple in design and to use and plumb with just three ports: Top Right SS hose barb is where sea water is pumped into the filter by the low pressure high volume 24V pump connected to the Sea Chest. Bottom Right is where the cleaned sea water exits and is pumped over to the two standard filters behind the watermaker. Far Left with the SS elbow is where the dirty back flushed water exits and goes out the exiting sea chest in the ER.
In the background on the wall behind the white watermaker housing on the bottom Right, you can see the three other WM filters; the pair on the Left are the Primary/Secondary sea water filters and the one off to the Right is a carbon filter to remove any harmful chemicals in the fresh water you use for back flushing the WM at the end of a run.
As usual of late I’ve got more photos to show you than I have time and dinner is once again waiting with my eXtremely patient and beautiful Bride on this Sunday evening so I’m going to call this a wrap for now and do my best to cover more next week.
Thanks for joining me on this first posting of 2021 and I hope it helps in some small way to get your new year off to a good start. How about if YOU start your New Year off by adding your comments and questions in the “Join the Discussion” box below? They are all true gifts to me and much appreciated!
See you next week.