As many of you who have been following along with the design and building of our XPM78-01 eXtreme eXploration Passage Maker named Möbius, we will be powering this boat with a rather unusual but just right engine, a Gardner 6LXB. Long story behind this and if you are curious you can read THIS ARTICLE “Mr. Geeeeeeeee is in the House” from May 6th last year that will give you some of the background about this awemazing diesel engine and some of the story behind our acquiring what we affectionately call Mr. Gee for reasons that should be quite apparent as you learn more about him.
QUESTION?? Before I go any further you may have noticed that last week’s and this post I changed the photo/text layout a bit by sizing the photos larger which gives less room for the text on the right side. As always you can click on any photo to enlarge it to full size so not sure if these larger photos and less text column is an improvement or not??? Please let me know in the “Join the Discussion” box below which layout you prefer; Medium sized photos & text or Larger photos and smaller text area?
WARNING!! Knowing my love of all things mechanical and especially Mr. Gee, I suspect my Gearhead tendencies will make this post rather long on greasy engine parts and short on shiny new aluminium and beautiful Rosewood cabinetry. However there WILL BE some coverage of all the other facets of progress this week involving aluminium, wiring, venting and the Rosewood cabinetry, so either get yourself a comfy seat and a favorite beverage or else hit the page down key to scroll through the engine mechanics a bit more rapidly to the sections that follow that catch your attention. Or for the really fast synopsis check out the video at the very bottom.
Now back to our regular programming…………………………
If you’ve read the previous article I linked to above you will know that we were able to enlist the expert help of Michael at Gardner Marine Diesel in Canterbury England who spent several months searching the Gardner world for an unrestored original marine version 6LXB and finally found one in a tugboat in the Thames River that was going to be upgraded to a Gardner 8LXB and so we were able to buy the 6LXB when it came out and was shipped over to Canterbury. Christine and I were house/pet sitting a fabulous villa for some very dear friends of ours in Albufeira Portugal for about six months so we had Mr. Gee sent by truck to Portugal so I could begin the rebuilding process to restore Mr. Gee to better than new condition. Once we had settled into our new home base here in Antalya Turkey and began the building of Möbius with Naval Yachts Mr. Gee when for his next set of truck travels and was delivered to us here and has been patiently awaiting some loving attention ever since.
A very long winded, as usual, lead in to the fact that this past week I was finally able to devote a bunch of time to the restoration of Mr. Gee and so that and the progress on many other parts of the boat will be the focus this week. So enough telling and let’s get to showing you the week that was July 8 to 12, 2019.
First, just to put things in some context here is a brief photo synopsis, with some repeating of last year’s posting, of the journey Mr. Gee has been on from my first finding him in England back in 2017 and the journey he has been on leading up to me beginning to work on him again this week here in Antalya.
Eye of the beholder I’m sure but as my fellow gearheads might be able to understand it was love at first sight! Completely original and untouched since he was first installed in the tug in the Thames in1975.
Next stop Albufeira Portugal. Mr. Gee being unloaded along with a pallet full of brand new Gardner parts to replace every part other than the aluminium and cast iron castings and crankshaft.
Proud parents with their new little baby weighing in at a mere 1100 kg as many parts have been removed for shipping and are on the other pallet.
Gardner logo proudly cast into these valve covers on the two independent heads.
Captain Christine, resplendent in her official Gardner hat (thanks Michael!) unpacking and carefully recording inventory of all the new Gardner replacement parts. Everything but the original engine castings and crankshaft will be replaced with new parts from Gardner Marine.
Now begins the first of what will be many disassembly’s of the entire engine so that everything can be cleaned, restored/replaced, polished and painted.
Quick trip to the local industrial hardware store to get this hydraulic lift, jacks and support stands to provide the power to lift these VERY heavy parts such as the cast iron cylinder block.
Pistons and connecting rods all removed and stacked up waiting to to be pressure washed.
For a sense of size and scale here is one of the connecting rods. With a total displacement of 10.45 liters each of the six cylinders is just under two liters which is is the same size or larger as many of the cars we drive daily.
Down to the bare cast aluminium crankcase and the beauty of that solid cast aluminium starts to shine through.
Out with the 44 year old cylinder dry liners and in with brand new ones and top all surface ground back to like new.
Cast iron cylinder heads also sporting their freshly ground surfaces along with new valves, valve guides, seats and springs.
Time is up as Christine and I need to start our several month trek in our trusty Galloper, seen in the background here (thanks John & Michelle!) over to Rhodes to pick up their Lagoon 500 sailing cat and deliver take it over to Antalya for them, or so we thought at the time.
Mr. Gee and Mr. Crane had become intimate friends so they insisted on traveling together and
….. were soon all swaddled in shrink wrap to await their next adventure being trucked to Antalya Turkey.
Several months later Mr. Gee and all his parts arrives into the Antalya Free Zone.
And is carefully put to bed inside Naval Yachts to await the next stage of the restoration process.
Fast forwarding to this past week with Mr. Gee up in his 2nd floor workshop courtesy of Naval Yachts the next disassembly begins to pick up where we left off in Portugal with the cleaning and restoring.
Second tear down goes much faster and I soon have him stripped down into his basic parts.
With all the internal parts removed it is time to put all the castings back together so the entire exterior can be sealed up and ready to head off to be sandblasted back to bare cast iron and aluminium.
One slight problem some of you may have caught in the text above; Mr. Gee is up on the 2nd floor and the long extension crane can’t get into the shipyard building right now with so many boats in the way so how to get him back down to ground level?
No problem! Yiğit on the left and Uğur lend their keen minds and strength and we take out the window frame, raise the forklift up outside and lift Mr. Gee onto the pallet.
Uğur shows off his many talents with masterful forklifting and we soon have Mr. Gee back on the ground, heads set in place and aluminium plates bolted over all the exterior holes to keep the sand out.
One of the great benefits of having so many shipbuilders in the Free Zone is that they can all share some of the larger bits of equipment like boat movers and in our case sand blasters. Turns out that Damen, the huge German shipbuilding company with about 5 different buildings here in the Free Zone, were blasting a large steel hull and agreed to let us drop off Mr. Gee for a good blasting with Garnet based sand to really get rid of every bit of his 44 years of accumulating dirt, grease and oil.
Doors closed and a few hours later we went back to find a very naked Mr. Gee sheepishly awaiting our return.
WOW!! Talk about clean! And now back to Naval Yachts for the next round of the process.
Naval has their own cabinet style sand blaster which I will soon be using to clean the hundreds of smaller parts but we took advantage of the big sand blasting rig to clean up things like the engine mounts you see on the pallet as well a the cast iron exhaust manifold standing up in the center here and the cast bronze engine oil cooler to the right.
Such a prime example of a bygone era of engines and engineering, this solid bronze engine oil cooler is probably my most favorite part on our Gardner 6LXB. I’ll show and tell you more as I take this all apart to clean and restore the interior cooler in the coming weeks.
And speaking of prime examples, check out the inside of this elbow on the exhaust manifold. THIS is what true thermal efficiency looks like in a diesel engine! This is the amount of carbon “buildup” after FOURTY FOUR YEARS of solid work almost every day in the tug boat this came out of. Nothing new for a Gardner and there is almost no equal when it comes to such overall thermal efficiency and a big part of why Mr. Gee is the just right engine for our Möbius.
Sandblasting is awesome when it comes to getting metal parts absolutely clean but they are so clean that they begin to rust or oxidize in the outside air almost immediately so you need to get them painted FAST!
Yiğit was able to source some super tough high heat silicone based primer that is good for up to 600C / 1122F
While I waited for the primer to arrive I used compressed air to get rid of any lingering sand, filled up my spray gun and spent the next few hours giving all the parts two good coats of this special primer. Mr. Gee and I are both feeling MUCH better now and looking forward to the next stage of the restoration so stay tuned for much more.
Meanwhile back inside Naval Yachts Uğur, Nihat and Sezgin were busy finishing up the welding of the Bow Thruster tube and the Sea Chest tubes in the Forepeak. The remainder of the weld around the concave fillet is next up to be ground fair and smooth.
I thought this shot will help show just how lean and mean the underwater bow section of the hull is as it is only about 400mm / 16” wide at the bottom of the bow thruster tube which is already about 2.5 m / 8.2 ft. aft of the front of the bow stem bar. Should slice through the water like a knife!
More finish welding getting all these fuel tank vent elbows and the vent pipes for the Black and Gray water tanks fully welded in place.
And right behind the Fuel Vent Box the Fill Box has its prototype lid test fit with its rubber gasket to check that it all fits and is watertight.
Down on the shop floor one of two plates that will be bolted to the ceiling to create the large air plenum for all the fresh air flowing into the SuperSalon, is having the 120mm / 5” duct pipes prepped for welding. One of these plates goes above the Main Helm station and the other goes over the center of the SuperSalon and each of the 5 ducts will have an adjustable diffuser set inside to spread out and control the flow of fresh ocean air.
Similar vent ducts are also being welded through Aft Deck which will be covered by the large Vent Boxes overtop to divert more fresh air down into the Guest Cabin and its shower.
These duct pipes extend down inside and the ceiling panels will fit around each one and then have the white diffuser snapped in place to complete the finished ceiling vent.
The nautical miles of hoses and cables continues to flow into the Basement as …..
….. Hilmi and his new intern put in more cable trays ….
…. and then start to fill them with the beginning of the long runs of cables, 24 volt DC in this case …..
…… and fuel hoses in this case.
The penetrations through the SuperSalon floor above the Basement are also starting to fill up with the cables that lead up to the SuperSalon and Helm stations as well as going up to the SkyBridge and its Helm station.
Winding over to the Cabinetry shop which many of you say is your favorite, we find Omur on the left and Selim ripping some Rosewood strips for the solid edging that goes around each door and drawer…….
…… which end up looking like this prior to heading over to the big veneer press to have the Rosewood surfaces applied.
First solid edged doors are test fit into their respective locations on this set of wardrobes in the Master Cabin to ensure that all their edges are precisely parallel and even.
A day later with the veneer all applied and edges rounded another test fit to check that the grain patterns also line up as per Omur’s expert eye.
Ignoring the blue tape holding them in place you can start to get a sense of how fabulous these cabinets will look once the boys in the finishing shop have applied all the clear satin polyurethane to really make that Rosewood grain pop.
As per this construction drawing, the top doors above the aquamarine coloured handgrip/horizon line will be covered with a light gray leather to complete the look.
While I have the shop drawings out some of you have been asking for more details on how the handrail and Horizon Line detail will work and this section drawing of the row of wardrobes with the inset detail in the lower right should clarify. The Hand Hold/Horizon Line are part of the cabinetry and then the upper and lower doors close shut onto it.
This is what the partially finished hand hold / Horizon Line assembly looks like.
Without the doors in place, here is what the Rosewood hand hold works like this.
This plan view of the whole Master Cabin should help you visualise how all the various cabinets are laid out. Our King bed is at the bottom with the entrance door to the right. Full height wardrobe to the far right of that door and then moving forward there is the Bureau of Drawers in red with the 3D Möbius strip sculpture set back from the long row of wardrobes we’ve been seeing built above. The top right two spaces in blue are where a washer and dryer will go and then the vanity sink in the center up against the WT bulkhead with the Forepeak on the other side. Toilet/Head in the upper left corner with the adjoining glass walled shower. Not shown are the 3 stairs at the top left corner of the bed which takes you up to the raised floor alongside the whole left side of the bed and the Port hull wall.
Shifting over to the large bureau of drawers for the Master Cabin this closeup shows what I refer to as the “quilted” style with these radiused edges wherever two Rosewood components meet. These are small details which require more time and effort but they all combine to really add that touch of craftsmanship to the whole room and are easily worth the investment and help make this our Goldilocks “just right, just for us” boat.
I didn’t manage to juggle the video cam with all the work on Mr. Gee too well but here is a video synopsis of most of the other areas where great progress was made this week. Hope you enjoy.
Thanks as always for choosing to join us and spend your valuable time following along with the progress on motor vessel Möbius the very first XPM78-01 to be built here at Naval Yachts.
We’d be most appreciative of any and all comments, ideas and suggestions you have so please click on the “Join the Discussion” box below and type them in. I WILL answer all of them though it may take me a few days to get to them all.
See you next week!