Here is your weekly update from GreeNaval Yachts in the Antalya Free Zone on the building of our new all aluminium 24m eXtreme Passage Maker or XPM78 Möbius. June is here and the heat is on not only with regard to progress on Möbius but with the weather as well and we are now seeing temps in the low to mid 30’s most days. Usually a nice breeze and they filled and opened the pool at our apartment last week so it is all working out very well.
Similar to watching a new home or building going up there are times when the progress is very visually obvious and other time when you have to look harder to see what’s new and this week has been the later to some extent. As you’ll see in the photos to follow and the video at the end, the focus this week has been on putting in the frames, stringers and other components of the overall framework for the hull. In the mid section of the hull this involved putting in the additional baffles, stringers and margin plates around the tanks which you saw going in last week and then assembling the frames at the aft end for the Engine Room ER and Workshop.
I hope the style I’ve been using of letting the photos do most of the talking along with a bit of text is working well for you and I’d be MOST appreciative if you’d let me know how well this is working or NOT working for you by adding your comments at the bottom. I can’t promise I can accommodate all requests but I do promise to do my best to bring you along for the ride on this latest adventure of ours and what you can do to help is give me good honest feedback as to what works, what doesn’t, what to add, what to leave out, etc. Any and all suggestions welcome and I’ll so my best to follow up on as many as possible.
We’ll start wtih one quick shot of where the bow is at progress wise. The bow didn’t see much action this week but you can see it has taken shape nicely and that Frame #1 is now awaiting installation. This Frame is solid and will be fully welded al around to the hull and deck to form a fully self contained “crash bulkhead”, a term I always hesitate typing, in the extremely unlikely but always possible scenario of hitting something with the bow that was big enough and hard enough to puncture the super thick plating up there. Yet another item on the SWAN list of things which help us Sleep Well At Night.
Between Frame #1 and 4 is the very voluminous Forepeak area which will contain things like the big anchor chain bin, grey and black water tanks, VacuFlush holding tank/pump for the Main Cabin head, miscellaneous other pumps and most of our lines, fenders, inflatable kayak and other items we will store up here.
I’ve mentioned previously how we have utilised an “empty ends” design to make the boat long on the WL or water line for maximum hull speed and efficiency and yet just right sized inside for eXtremely comfortable and spacious accommodations for Christine and I and our infrequent guests. The 4m/13ft at the bow (1m crash bulkhead + 3m Forepeak) is the forward “empty end” and then moving aft as you can see here, the 5.5m/18ft long workshop and engine room plus the 1.2m/4ft swim platform creates a 6.7m/22ft aft “empty end”.
Together, these two “empty ends” take up 10.7m/35ft of the overall hull length and give us 13.3m/43.6ft for living space. This empty end design gives us the perfect the Goldilocks combination of an eXtremely efficient long hull as well as the “just right for us” amount of living space.
Uğur and Umit welded up this new head for the big hydraulic press and spent most of the first few days this week very careful bending the 12mm plate for what are technically known as “margin plates” which in our case are where the tank top level joins up with the hull plates.
I’ve flipped the 3D model upside down and taken this screen snip so you can see where these margin plates are and why they are bent. Click to enlarge and you will see that these margin plates need to be bent in order to intersect and be welded to the hull plates perpendicularly. Because almost every part of the hull below the WL is tankage we essentially have no bilge on Möbius and so these margin plates have the added benefit of becoming nice little “gutters” running down both sides of the hull to make it easy to quickly vacuum up any water or bits of debris that might find their way down to tank top level (purple in the snip). A clean ship is a safe ship and with aluminium in particular we want to make sure to keep everything is ship shape in this regard so these margin strip gutters make this much easier.
Here are some of the margin plates all bent to just the right angle and waiting to be tacked into place and then fully welded up as the hull assembly proceeds.
Many of the margin plates form part of the tank tops and have additional stiffeners and baffles welded onto them and you can see one such margin plate all cleaned up where these will soon be welded on.
as Umit and Enver are doing here.
and now Sezgin can fully weld this margin plate up.
Once welded up they move over to Muammer’s clean up table where he uses various size wire wheels and rotary burr grinders to clean up all the welds.
This cleanup is perhaps one of the most thankless yet important jobs in the build of an aluminium hull and you can begin to imagine how many kilometers of weld poor Muammer has to clean. However he is meticulous about his work and always has one of the most sincere smiles and gentle demeanor of the entire team.
Next up, the margin plates are carefully fitted in place, tacked and then welded to the frames on each end.
Framing in the aft end of the hull is where the most visible progress was made this week and these are some of the tops/bottoms of the aft frames being prepped for the 12mm flat bar stiffeners you can see here being bent to shape.
The large radius you see on these Frames #21 & 22 are where the prop tunnel plates will be welded.
Frame #20 was the first to receive its bottom portion which has now been tacked in place. The hole at the top is where the prop shaft log tube will slide through and be welded in place later.
And now those parts we saw earlier have been tacked in place for the aft two Frames #21 & 22.
This quick screen snip will hopefully help your AI Augmented Imagination visualise where how the prop tunnel fits into the hull. This area of the hull will be eXtremely strong when all that robust framework is covered with all that green 12mm and purple 10mm hull plating is welded in.
You can also see why we sometimes refer to this as a “sailor’s motorboat” hull with the way the stern tucks in so much as it moves aft on the waterline and create this eXtremely efficient very slender hull which helps the wake release easily and create minimal wake as we cruise around the world.
The all important Engine Room or ER is also located in this aft are of the boat making this not quite such an “empty” end and we need an even more eXtreme bit of plating to create the beds where the monstrous Mr. G, our Gardner 6LXB engine and the Nogva CPP servo gearbox will mount. For that we are using 25mm/1” thick plate and this is one half of the lengthwise running engine beds.
My trusty thumb provides some relative reference.
And I must add, how can you not LOVE the look of unpainted aluminium??!!
Moving over to the other half of each engine bed we find this slab of 25mm AL which has its forward end tapered down where it will butt up against and be welded to the vertical bulkhead forming the front wall of the ER and Workshop More on why in a moment.
Each bed is fabricated from two lengths of 25mm plate welded perpendicular to each other to create both an eXtremely strong solid bed for the Gardner and CPP gearbox mounts as well as to provide as much mass as possible so as to reduce vibration and noise transfer into the hull. By tapering the transition where the massive beds attach to the bulkhead the transfer of the absorbed vibrations is reduced even further.
Yet another example of the level of detail which Dennis has built into the design of our hull. As you are seeing our choice of calling this the eXtreme eXploration Passage Maker XPM style is quite literally true not Wayne’s hyperbole!
Here are the fabricated beds lifted in place and being lined up with the respective frames. You can see how the aft end is also thinned down where it attaches to the frame to further reduce the transfer of any vibration and noise from the Gardner and the CPP gearbox when we are underway.
Adding yet more strength and stiffness to this area of the hull, the sides of these engine beds are further reinforced with the inner walls of the two big 1500L water tanks which you see Enver and Umit fitting into place here.
Soon looking like this when viewed from the other side.
Moving forward to about midships, you can see how the equally beefy framing for the future active stabilisers has been tacked in place. We don’t think we will ever install these as we are going with passive paravane stabilisers instead we think it is smart to “future proof” the boat wherever we can and so building this in now is much smarter, faster and cheaper than trying to retrofit years from now for us or a future owner several decades from now.
Evidence of Sezgin’s non stop welding keep showing up everywhere. Here he has completed the welds in these top mitred corners and flat bars of the frames.
More evidence of Sezgin’s craftsmanship when you notice all these kilometers of weld he has added to all the baffles and stringer joints. .
It’s no wonder Sezgin is such a masterful welder when you start to imagine what his lifetime length of welds would add up to! He has many many years of welding up ships and we could not be more delighted to have him applying all that mastery to Möbius.
Stepping back to give you a shot from the stern at the end of this week so you can see how the hull continues to come into view and makes the transition from the virtual 3D model to an eXtremely real hull.
and here is your reward for making it through another week with us, a sped up video compilation of the week.
Hope you enjoy and we’d love to hear your reactions, comments, questions and suggestions so don’t be shy about going to the VERY bottom of this post and type in the “Join the Discussion!” box.
Really enjoying following your build. Its coming along quickly. And I’ve been following the Artnautica Yacht design for many years, and also the Dashew builds. One day I may also move in this direction, though right now I’m more of a sailor.
Can I ask you what you think the approximate $ budget range for a more cost-effective boat like the one you’re building would be? Obviously the sky is the limit – but for someone who is cost conscious, can’t afford a Dashew FPB and wants a boat like this based on the Artnautica design of this size – what full build out cost are you thinking would be a reasonable budget range?
For comparison sake, I’m looking at aluminum sailboats and catamarans like the Ovni, Boreal, Garcia – sailboats, and the new aluminum cats by same companies. The sailboats (45 to 50 ft) are in the $500 to $700K range, and the new Aluminum Sail Cats are in the $1 million range. I’m curious as to how costly a power boat built in the same manner you are building and at that size, might cost. I think Dennis said before that the Artnautica 58 LRC was about $500K US from Dickey boats.
Thanks for any feedback.
Hi Brian and sorry for taking so long to get back to you. Custom boats of any kind are difficult to nail down costs for because each is so different and it is difficult to do a true apples to apples comparison. The sailboats you mention are a bit less customized though they too have lots of options as well. And coming up with a true “sail away” cost is challenging as there are so many things you need, let alone want, to have aboard before setting out on long distance passagemaking as I understand from your website is your goal. So I will do my best to provide some additional information for you from what I know and hopefully this will help you in your search for the just right boat for you and your family.
I’m sure you have some form of this done already but writing out a detailed listing of your overarching requirements and articulating your priorities, preferences and use cases is extremely helpful and valuable. You can see what Christine and I did in this regard in the post “Project Goldilocks” to see one example though far from any ideal. As I mentioned in the post I find that a pyramid type approach works well with the overarching mission at the top and then cascading down in ever widening layers with the key principles, characteristics, use case, etc. flowing from there. The top “mission statement” where you boil it all down to a few words in a single phrase or sentence that captures the essence of the just right boat for you, is particularly challenging to get it down to such a small statement so give it time but it is well worth the effort.
Quite possibly even more important is a similarly detailed description of what I refer to as your use case scenario which covers how, where, when you will use the boat provides you with an invaluable check list to evaluate each of your decisions or boats you are considering. Are you wanting to do world ocean crossings in this boat or will most of your uses be coastal cruising? Will this be your full time home or more of an extended vacation boat? How remote do you want to go in terms of access to services and goods ashore? How often will you be in marinas vs anchoring out on your own? What are your realistic sleep/eat/entertain numbers for 90+ percent of the time?
As I’m sure you are already painfully aware there is no perfect or best boat but there is a boat which is as close to “just right, just for you” as you can get and that’s what you are looking for or trying to design and build. But you can’t do this if you are not clear in what makes a boat “just right, just for you”.
Some of the other key factors in determining cost for you to consider include:
• Think about the pros and cons of new build vs used and if new build then also evaluate a more “production” boat vs a fully custom one.
• If you’re looking building a custom boat, what shipyards and locations are workable for you? Labour, cost of living and other factors have a huge impact on the cost of designing and building a new boat so you will want to both make yourself aware of what yards and designers are out there and then decide what will work for you. In our case we were quite willing to go most anywhere at first and did a truly world wide search for both designers and builders. We spent a LOT of time on this, several years, and met with or had video/phone calls and lots of Emails with those we found that sounded promising. Knowing that the build process would be a minimum of 18 months if we had a builder do it all and up to 5 years if we did most of the work ourselves, and that we wanted to be part of the build every day, we also factored in where WE would want to live for the whole build phase. Your situation will be different of course so just figure out what will both work well for you and what your limits and preferences are.
• Decide how much of the overall work, building in particular, you want to do, if any.
• Decide what level of completeness and finish you are willing to accept before you start using the boat.
• Create an equipment list spreadsheet to both help you with the decision making process of what equipment to select as well as what will make the cut and go on the boat and what you will hold off on or not have at time of launch at least. Along with the generic purpose such as water maker, boiler, inverter, batteries, etc. and their makes, models, weights and location on the boat, include current prices you can get online or from others to start to get a send of the total cost of all this equipment. It adds up fast so make sure you are sitting down each time you scroll down to the sum total box!
I’m sure you have done most of all of this already and apologies if this sounds condescending but these are things we’ve learned over many years of sailing the world on many boats and wanted to pass on in the hopes it might help with your deliberations and decisions.
One of the additional challenges in your decisions will be to find a way to compare the various boats you will consider. Length for example is not a very helpful or meaningful determinate as 2 boats of the same LOA can be extremely different boats. A typical 50ft sailboat is not going to compare very well to a 50ft trawler on just about any level. Cats would be in another category all together comparison wise and hull type for power boats in particular will make a big difference; displacement or semi or planning hull? How many decks or levels? Volume would be more helpful, especially in terms of living space, storage, etc. And of course volume is a cubic measurement so as length goes up, the volume is cubed so the difference between an LRC58 and our XPM78 is enormous. As you may have read in my previous postings we went with this eXtreme (to us) WL length to optimize hull speed and efficiency because those are top priorities for us and then we scaled down the interior for savings of weight and costs by going with an “empty ends” approach leaving the bow and aft ends for non living spaces and having two very spacious cabins whereas most others would have likely had at least 3 and more likely 4 or 5 cabins and this puts the weight and more so the costs up a lot.
Another key decision for you to make which will influence the overall cost of your new boat will be whether you are going with an existing design or having a boat designed for you. I read that design fees are typically estimated to be around 10% of the price of the fully finished boat and for building the completed hull is typically about 20-25% of the overall build costs and our experience so far says these are good rough estimates, with emphasis on the rough.
Trying to stay focused on your primary question about determining the overall costs of building boats like these, it would also be helpful for you to go through all the various big components of a boat like the one you are looking for and see which costs are affected by location or from one builder to the other. I think you’ll find that in the end there is not much variation in the majority of costs to BUILD THE SAME BOAT in terms of quality, design, type and equipment.
For example, assuming that you are comparing like to like in terms of quality and name brands, and again you are building the SAME boat, we have found that the costs of the following will stay about the same:
• All the manufactured items you will need from pumps to anchors to engines
• All the basic materials needed to build a boat from aluminum plate to pipe to glass to plywood to upholstery to wiring and plumbing
• All the electronic and electrical items from navigational equipment to switches to appliances
• All the marine items from lines to fenders to hoses
You get the idea.
The advantage of understanding this is that you can figure out what these items will total for a given boat and how much you need to budget for them and that number is going to hold pretty much constant so you can now take that out of your deliberations. What you can and should do is devote a huge amount of time to finding great deals, find ways to reduce shipping costs, reduce your “must have” lists, etc. but in the end, no matter where or who builds a boat, all these items come from the same basic list of manufacturers and their prices don’t change much from one country or builder to the other. So for these items the only way to reduce costs is to either eliminate items on your list and scale back the makes and models on your list.
So this is like reducing down a complex math equation as what I’m suggesting is that you can take all of the above items out of the equation in terms of figuring out what will influence your overall project cost. What you are then left with is pretty much down to where and with whom you are going to build this boat. Not unlike they say in real estate, it all comes down to “location, location, location” when it comes to what will change the cost of building the same boat; who is the builder and where are they located. In our experience, in terms of what influences the cost of building a new boat, it all comes down to the cost of living in that area, the cost of equally skilled labour and the builder’s name and reputation.
You have obviously discovered Dennis’ LRC58 line of boats and based on what little information I have on your situation but knowing these boats quite well I think they could suit you very well. With four boats now built and the 5th starting construction they are also much more of a known quantity. I’m not sure of their new costs as they are now being built by different yards in different countries but I recall Dickey Boats in NZ advertising a finished LRC58 for around NZ$850 I think. This was several years ago and exchange rates vary widely but at today’s FX that would be about US$600 which seems to be in the same ballpark at least as the aluminium sailboats you mentioned in the 45-50ft range and 58 feet is quite a bit larger. Or if something very unique in the form of a very modern hybrid electric cruiser would suit your needs, GreeNaval Yachts has a tremendous deal right now on a new GN47 http://www.greenaval.com/index.html for just 385k Euro which would be about US$450. Two very different boats built in two very different countries but of equal quality and value I would say and I think these boats provide you with the best answer to your question about the costs of a power boat in this size range.
Looking at boats which you seem to be gravitating to such as the LRC’s and FPB’s you can already see the huge differentials in price and equipment. I should also point out that I think 55-60 feet is about as “small” as you would want to go to have an ocean crossing passagemaker that would be a safe and comfortable home for you and your family. So already there is not too much comparison between the 45-50ft sailboats you mentioned and the LRC58 or FPB64 and therefore they can’t be compared cost wise. The FPB’s were at the high end of not just price but also with equipment and quite understandably so I would say. In my opinion I think that the FPB64’s which “retailed” at US$3.25m when they were still being made was a very good deal when compared to a similar Nordhaven/Selene/Flemming as the FPB’s were not only extremely well built in NZ but they were extraordinarily well equipped with spares of literally every critical system in the boat down to a spare propeller and a full compliment of tools and accessories for maintaining and using these boats. There are several used FPB64’s on the market with asking prices seeming to range from US$2.5 to 1.65 so that might give you some additional sense of the market pricing on these boats.
Hope this has been somewhat helpful to you and your family Brian and if you have more specific questions I’d be glad to answer them as best I can or feel free to Email me directly as well.