Over time, quite a lot of it in my case, I’ve learned that there is a LOT of truth to that saying that “Timing is Everything”. We are certainly seeing lots of examples of this in the past few weeks and months as the Corona virus descended upon us all with such mind boggling suddenness and speed and upended travel and most other plans. Many friends and family of ours for example did not have fortunate timing and have found themselves “sheltered in place” without their family or in places they thought they were just visiting for a short while. Christine and I consider ourselves VERY fortunate in so many ways including that we managed to make it back from London England, where we had gone for the weekend for her birthday celebration on March 15th, just a day or so before travel between the UK and Turkey was suspended. Lucky us, we are together, happy, healthy and in our lovely apartment here in Antalya enjoying another weekend lockdown which has now been instituted throughout Turkey. This started last weekend and is now in effect every weekend for the foreseeable future, so from midnight Friday through midnight Sunday only those working in essential roles are allowed to be out of their homes. Not a problem and very familiar for us long time liveaboard sailors and the weather has continued to be absolutely fabulous and warming up more every day.
During the weekdays though, while schools, restaurants, parks, etc. are all closed down, we are all allowed to move about while taking the now typical precautions of facemasks when in the presence of others, keeping the 2m/6ft distance from others and using LOTS of soap in our frequent hand and face washing each time we move from one spot to the next. This policy is allowing Turkey, for now at least, to keep most businesses which are essential to the economy up and running and fortunate again for us this has included the shipbuilding industry and Naval Yachts where we are building XPM78-01 Möbius.
Slowdowns are likely inevitable though as we have been informed that there will be new policies starting next where the Turkish government is trying to reduce the number of people in the workplace by reducing the number of hours in many positions by up to 40% and staggering those people in different shifts during the workday. These new part time workers will maintain their same regular full time salaries though as the government makes up whatever pay they are loosing from their employers with these shortened hours. Interesting idea and we hope that along with the other policies here it will enable Turkey to maintain what so far is one of the better rates of new cases and deaths. Naval Yachts will be instituting these reduced daily hours for most of their office staff so we will experience some degree of slow down with Project Managers and other staff key to all the ships being built now having 40% less time. Hopefully though, with all the “hands on” members of the build teams still working full time, most of the progress can continue and for that we are also eXtremely grateful.
(all royalty free images above thanks to Dreamstime.com)
However it was a different type of timing that Mr. Gee, as we affectionately call our Gardner 6LXB engine, was so excited about this past week and prompted the title for this week’s Progress Update. As you are about to see this was very good timing indeed.
The not so good timing this week was that several key members of Team Möbius were called away to work on other boats but with all the other very talented hands on deck their great progress continued so let’s go check that out.
Mr. Gee Gardner 6LXB Timing
I am fortunate to have PDF copies of the original Gardner Overhaul, Installation and Operation manuals which go into every detail of how to disassemble, overhaul, reassemble and adjust every single part of these magnificent works of art and engineering that are Gardner diesel engines. I will use some of these to show you what I’ve been working on this week.
Timing, in the context of internal combustion engines, both gasoline and diesel, refers to the precise timing of internal components such as intake and exhaust valves and fuel injection. Each of these must occur at exactly the right time relative to where the crankshaft and pistons are.
All of this is accomplished by a series of gears and a very heavy duty timing chain and this simplified illustration shows how the timing chain represented by the thick black line, runs around the various sprockets.
This is an illustration from the Overhaul manual showing what the schematic line drawing above looks like inside Mr. Gee. The adjuster lever on the bottom Right is used to adjust the tension of the chain to its Goldilocks point of not too loose and not too tight.
This adjustment is only usually required when you are reassembling a new engine or doing a major overhaul as these four roller chains don’t stretch or wear much in even 50 years of use.
However, Mr. Gee is receiving an all new timing chain along with all new bearings so he will be good for at least another 50 years of uninterrupted service aboard Möbius.
PAUSE: Speaking of works of art and engineering, pardon me while I hit the Pause button to appreciate the quality of stunning hand drawn illustrations in these old manuals such as this one above! We just don’t see this kind of exquisitely drawn and detailed illustrations anymore and even when I am holding my oil stained paper versions in my grubby little hands their beauty shines through and never cease to amaze me.
Back to the real Mr. Gee now………..
One of the most useful original Gardner Books I have is No. 702-1 which is the full Parts Manual for the 6LXB engines. I took hundreds of photos of Mr. Gee as I disassembled every single part to begin this full restoration but even so, having these line drawings with literally every single part individually numbered, named and described is just invaluable.
As per the title at the top, these are all the various parts of the valve camshaft and chain drive sprockets and you can see how together with the illustrations and descriptive instructions in the Overhaul Manual, enable me to exactly replicate the process at the Gardner factory almost 50 years ago.
This is the front end of Mr. Gee’s camshaft which I installed a few weeks ago. The large helical gear (# 15 in the drawing above) drives the fuel injection pump and the small one #14 just visible on the Right, drives the water pump.
Every component is completely disassembled down to their individual nuts, bolts, bearings and parts which are then all cleaned and scrubbed in my parts washer. Parts such as this Timing Chain Adjuster sprocket is carefully inspected for any wear, cracks or damage. All bearings and bushings are replaced with factory new ones from Gardner Marine Diesel. Then each component is reassembled with things like new bearings such as this.
Apologies for not getting more pictures as I was installing all the gears, camshaft and sprockets and while it might not look like much when they are all in place it took several days to install and precisely position each one of these sprockets. As per the illustrations above, the timing chain wraps around five different sprockets and they must be in perfect alignment with each other. This requires that each sprocket assembly be dry fit and torqued into position so I can measure the distance from the front aluminium case surface to the machined edge of the sprocket.
Their fore/aft position must be within 0.1mm/0.004” which is adjusted using different thickness shims, think very very thin washers. Therefore you end up installing each sprocket and bearing assembly in the aluminium crankcase housing you see here, measuring, removing, disassembling, add/remove some shims, rinse and repeat until they all measure within .1mm of each other.
By Friday I finally had them all in their Goldilocks position with the timing chain temporarily installed and tensioned to test.
Next week I will finish installing the timing chain by aligning all these marks on the individual gears as per this drawing…….
….. and this one, so each are precisely aligned such that their respective components such the valves which the camshaft opens and closes, and the fuel injectors are all correctly in synch and “timed” just right.
Once that’s all done I can install the front case covers which have the outer bearings to support the ends of the Cam and Crank shafts. Stay tuned as there will be lots more of Mr. Gee’s return to factory new condition in the coming weeks.
Let’s leave Mr. Gee and wash our hands, one more time, so we can move on to check out what our head Sparkie Hilmi has been up to the days he was working on Möbius this past week.
The Yellow & Green wires are common safety Grounding wires, Blue is AC Neutral (often White in shore applications) and Brown is AC live or “hot”.
With all the Yellow-Green common Grounding wires all connected last week, Hilmi snapped the Gray connectors you see on the top here onto the metal DIN Rail mounted on the back of the cabinet.
The Blue Neutral and Brown Live wires emerge out of the slotted cable ducting at the bottom and are fed into the bottom of their respective DIN Rail connectors above.
These wires on the bottom of the cabinet all lead to the devices such as AC plug in wall receptacles, switches, pumps, etc. which Hilmi initially identified with the yellow labels you can see on the Right here as he was first pulling these nautical miles of cables through the boat.
Later he will connect a matching set of wires coming down from above where all the circuit breakers and supply side wires are located.
Now he identifies each wire with its code numbers as per the boat’s wiring schematic and temporarily zip ties the bundles together. Once all the circuits are tested and their final locations are assured, he will go back and cut the wires to their correct length to clean up the cable duct.
When every wire is in place and neatly contained within the cable duct this top cover is snapped in place to all those slotted fingers. I’ve used these slotted cable ducts in previous boats and they work eXtremely well. Easy to pop these covers off whenever you need to get at wires inside when you are maybe adding or removing wires in the future. Then it snaps back in place and creates a very safe and secure wiring.
Elsewhere such as here in the Port/Left side of the Workshop, a different type of cable trays are used to organize the cable runs such as these ones running across the ceiling from the hull side on the Left into the Engine Room on the Right.
You may recall from previous posts that Cihan had welded in these penetrations through the ER walls and Hilmi is now using those to get his cables in/out of the ER.
As with all other such penetrations in frames and bulkheads, these will be fully filled with special Class approved compound to make them fully watertight.
More of those same type of perforated cable trays down in the Basement as Hilmi was also busy this week with more AC wiring which in this case is coming out of one of the three Victron MultiPlus 240V inverters/chargers.
Gray cables are 240V AC and the Red/Black are DC wires connecting each inverter to the Battery Banks via the high amp DC Bus Bars.
Over on the other side are the two 120V inverter chargers which Hilmi has also now wired up.
On the Port hull across from the 240V inverters Hilmi continues to install the Blue N2K backbone cables and some of the many Maretron black boxes that will soon have all their sensors connected.
The clear covered box on the Right is one of two Power Drops which inject power into each of the two N2K backbones which are then combined into what the system will see as a single N2K backbone.
The Blue box in the upper Right corner is a Turk Multiport block that can have up to six drop cables connected.
The arc of Black, Gray, Green cables on the Left are various AC and DC cables coming out of the cable tray off to the Left along the hull side frames.
We didn’t see much of Cihan this week unfortunately as he was busy working on another boat in the yard but he did get some time to work on plumbing the Kabola KB45 diesel boiler on the far end here with the Delfin Watermaker in the middle and the Webasto BlueCool V50 Chiller in the foreground.
Day tank is hiding in the shadows at the far end of this Starboard/Right side of the Workshop.
We just found out that we have apparently have to be without Uğur and his brother Okan for the next month or more as they have been called away to assist another boat being built in the Free Zone which as run into problems.
This is the only door into the interior of the boat where you enter the SuperSalon with the Galley on the Right.
These doors from Bofor in Turkey are incredibly well made and we like them a bit more every time we work with them. All aluminium construction other than the SS handle hardware and the beautiful big glass window. Bofor custom built these to meet our requirements for fully Watertight rated doors able to withstand a full roll over.
With Uğur and Okan away, everyone else pitched in to help Nihat as needed to mount the doors in their frames and get them all aligned and then bolted in place. So Omur on the far Left and Selim on the far Right came over from their work on the Cabinetry and Hilmi whose arm is just visible in the upper middle left his wiring work to pitch in.
Installing this big heavy door required people on the inside and outside to get it perfectly aligned and marked.
Once they had the door fully fitted and all the holes carefully drilled, they removed the door from its frame and taped everything off before the did the final mounting of the frame into the Pilot House with sealant and adhesive as all the SS through bolts were tightened.
Et, Voila! This gleaming beauty is now in place!
With the door installed, Omur and Selim switched back into their Cabinetmaker mode and got to work building the Rosewood mullions to frame the new Entry door.
The built the side mullions in a L shaped section with solid edging like this.
Omur made quick work out of fitting it perfectly around the AL door post and the Galley Garages that they will soon be installing on the Galley countertops below.
Similar construction of the mullion for the other side and they soon had them both clamped in place.
Next, they turned their attention to the Galley Garages and you can see here how that Entry Door Mullion needs to fit around the AL door frame and this mitred corner of the Garage.
Putting the mating Garage in that corner by the Entry door so they can fit the door mullion you see above.
Another mitred pair of Garages at the Aft Stbd/Right corner of the Galley gets its final test fit.
And here is the last of the 3 mitred Garage corners at the Forward Stbd end of the Galley. The L shaped Settee is on the other side of the shorter Garage.
As is the case with most of the cabinetry, the Galley Garages have been built in sections or modules to facilitate moving them on/off the boat during building and finishing. Now those modules are all coming out of the Finishing Shop after receiving 4-5 coats of PU varnish that have been hand rubbed to the gleaming sheen you see here.
With all four of the Galley Garages set in place to give you a sense of how they all come together to form this Goldilocks Galley. It “just right” sized with a well contained working area with solid spots to brace your hips to in rough conditions, more storage volume than any galley or kitchen we have ever lived in and 360 degrees of views to die for surrounding you.
Here’s is an approximation of how the Galley will look as you come through the Entry door. The 80cm / 32” Bosch induction Hob or Cooktop sets atop the large square on the Right with the Bosch Speed Oven below. Double sink will be beside it in the upper Right corner.
Countertops will soon be covered with solid slabs of gorgeous Turquoise marble which is now out at the waterjet company being cut to final sizes and can’t wait to show you those in the coming weeks.
Any guesses what these are going to be?
Gold stars for any of you who guessed that they are building some molds for the fiberglass AirCon/Hot Air ducting that runs along all the window sills of the forward half of the SuperSalon windows.
As you may recall from previous Weekly Updates there is a Webasto Air Handler tucked into about the midpoint of each side of the SuperSalon; 18K BTU on the Port side and 12K BTU on Starboard, and they will push air into these ducts which then have round diffusers set into the window sills to direct air either onto the glass or into the room. You’ll see how this works as it gets installed in the coming weeks but wanted to give you an early peek as they get started.
GUEST CABIN & CORRIDOR CABINETRY:
Always impressive to see the latest master craftsmanship of Omer and Muhammed so let’s go check up on what they were working on this past week in the Guest Cabin and Corridor/Ships Office areas.
Working out in the Corridor with the WT door into the Workshop behind them, they are prepping ……………….
….. this inner foundation wall panel that goes along the side of the stairs up to the SuperSalon.
We also see some of Hilmi’s electrical work with the cables for the LED overhead Corridor lights switch. The finished Rosewood lower panel is already in place and covered with protective cardboard and the finished leather covered upper panel will snap in place here with FastMounts.
On the other side of this Corridor wall they have now got the Guest Head/Bathroom pretty much all put together now. The top mounted sink will be installed above the drain hole on the Right.
Cihan has fitted the VacuFlush toilet and BioBidet and finished the plumbing connections, and Hilmi has the wiring in place for lights and the Bidet, so the VacuFlush can be removed now while the flooring is installed.
Looking straight up at the small bit of horizontal ceiling inside the Guest Head door, Omer and Muhammed have the grid all done with the female FastMount sockets installed. You can also see that Hilmi has been here previously to run al those wires in the cable trays above the ceiling grid.
If you look closely in the photo above (click to enlarge any photo) you can see how they have done the very tricky installation of this little rectangular 90 degree elbow for the extraction air vent that leads up to the extraction fan in the Wing Vent Box up on the Aft Deck.
Over in the Guest Shower across the way, we find the ceiling panel is all ready to snap into those FastMount sockets with the other half of the vent going through the ceiling with a slotted cover.
Checking inside the Guest Cabin the Pullman Berth has now been fitted with its SS pivots on either side. More evidence of Hilmi’s ongoing electrical wiring here as well as those cable trays start to fill up now..
This photo above is also a good example of the attention paid to keeping access to all systems readily available. Cable trays and AirCon ducting behind the Pullman. Domestic Hot and Cold Water manifolds behind the two rectangular openings behind the pull out Couch seat back. Fuel supply and vent hoses behind the book shelves, and one of the electrical junction boxes easy to access in the upper Left. One of the ceiling panels has also been removed from its FastMounts so there is ready access to all the wiring and plumbing in any of the ceilings onboard.
Here’s what it looks like most of the time with the Pullman Berth folded up. This will soon have its own Green/Gray leather covered panel snapped in place. Note too the slotted Rosewood AirCon/Hot Air vents spanning the width of the top of the Pullman. Christine’s Desk on the Right with the printer cubby above and drawers below.
Stepping out of the Guest Cabin and back into the Corridor, Omer is busy putting in the foundations for the finished stair treads and risers.
If you look closely you can see that the bottom two stair treads will be removable to access the bolted in AL stair plates to provide access to the plumbing and wiring running underneath.
Standing at the top of those stairs looking down the stair tread foundations have now all been glued down.
The “Ships Office” aka Wayne’s Office runs the length of the Corridor along the Stbd hull in the Upper Right of this shot. The Aft Electrical Panel we have been watching Hilmi wire is at the bottom of the stairs on the Right and one of the House/Boat computers and other electronics have their home in the cupboard on the Bottom Right.
Looking up from the photo above, we see this bit of Ro$ewood beauty that Omer has recently fitted and taped in place once Omur had the Entry Door mullion clamped in place.
Using one of the ER Vent Boxes on the Aft Deck as his temporary workbench, Omer is now working on the Rosewood wall panel that covers up the Fuel Vent & Fill boxes on the very far Right of this photo.
This wall panel has already been varnished and needs to a bit of adjustment to be finally fitted now that the Entry Door has been installed so he tapes off this corner to protect the finish as he uses the jigsaw to trim this corner.
Both wall panels now temporarily clamped in place. The two rectangular openings provide access to the Fuel Vent & Fill box hoses they cover.
More good timing for Möbius is that we had almost all the equipment already deliverd before the Corona virus started to disrupt shipping and cargo deliveries. Even still the majority of suppliers in the EU are still operating and shipping is largely still operational so we are still able to get the supplies needed for the build.
Any guesses what this latest new arrival from Italy is for?
This White brute weighs in at 15Kg/33lbs and is one of two 24V gear pumps that power our diesel fuel transfer and filtering system. These all bronze Feit gear pumps with 316 SS shafts deliver a very steady 20L / 5.3USG per minute and are eXtremely reliable and bullet proof.
They also self priming and have a built in bypass valve so they can maintain a steady 5 Bar/73 PSI pressure with no danger of over pressurizing the system.
Our fuel system is one of the most critical systems on the boat so for full redundancy we have two of these Feit gear pumps plumbed in parallel with ……
……… a matching pair of 2 stage FleetGuard filters on each line like this. If either pump or filter stops working it only takes the turn of two ball valves to put the second one in service.
FYI, for those who might want to know those two black Walbro pumps in the above photo are in addition to the Feit gear pumps. I’ve put these in my previous boats because they make filling new filters and bleeding the fuel system and injectors very quick and easy. Ask me how I know!
I will go into the FleetGuard fuel filtration system I’ve designed for Möbius in future articles but in the meantime the best explanation for why I’m going with FleetGuard 2 Stage filtration rather than the more common Racor 900 or 1000 systems can be found in THIS article “Marine Fuel Filtration” by Tony at SeaBoard Marine. Do be warned before you click on that link though that Tony writes excellent articles on boat systems in general so you may be there for awhile.
Along with all the fuel manifold ball valves, the Feit gear pumps allow us to transfer fuel from any tank to any other tank to redistribute the fuel for better weight balance or to just run the fuel in any one tank through the 2 stage FleetGuard filtration system.
However, for the absolute ultimate in clean fuel we have the King of Clean, an Alfa Laval MIB303 centrifugal separator that can turn the dirtiest fuel crystal clear while requiring no filters to do so. If you are unfamiliar with these centrifugal separator type systems, Steve D’Antonio did his usual great job of explaining all about them in THIS “Centrifugal Filtration” article in Professional BoatBuilder and THIS one “The Spin On Centrifugal Separation” in PassageMaker magazine, well worth the read and much better writing than mine!
“The advantages of centrifugal separators are many. As previously mentioned, they require no replaceable filter elements, they have few moving parts, and the only regular service they require is periodic replacement of O-rings and, for non-self-cleaning models, removal of “sludge,” which they can hold a great deal of (more than most conventional filters). Additionally, their ability to remove even the finest particles, as well as water in its molecular form, from fuel is undisputed. Centrifugal separators can even be used to remove soot from a diesel engine’s crankcase oil.”
Of course this all comes at a price so as Steve goes on to say;
“What’s not to like about centrifugal separators? By now, you may have guessed: the price tag. These units require precise machining and robust construction, and that comes at a cost. The smallest Alfa Laval separator that would be suited for diesel fuel polishing, the MAB 102B, lists for about $8,500, while the unit mentioned above, the MIB 303, sells for $10,000 to $12,750, depending on the configuration. Thus, questions arise: Is it worth the expense? Is a centrifugal separator that much better, more effective, and less trouble than a conventional filter? I believe the answer to both questions may be yes, depending on your needs.”
But in the end I’m in complete agreement with Steve’s parting remarks:
“Where filtration/separation technology is concerned, centrifuges often are considered the last word in removing dirt and water with the greatest reliability and the least amount of difficulty and equipment maintenance. If you have especially large fuel tanks, if you travel to locations where fuel may be of lower quality than usual, or if you simply want a bulletproof polishing system, then the centrifugal separator may be for you. It’s worth noting that because these systems are used primarily in commercial applications, such as ocean-going ships and power plants, they are especially long-lived and reliable. Many units are still in service after 30 or 50 years of operation.”
And now you know what we have an Alfa Laval MIB303 on Möbius.
If you are going to build an eXtreme eXploration Passage Maker and go to eXtremely remote places, then you really do need to have an eXtremely good fuel filtration/polishing system onboard, or two or three!
And that’s the week that was April 13 to 17, 2020. Nothing is a given these days but hopefully I’ll be back again next week with the latest progress update on XPM78-01 Möbius. Until then please stay healthy and happy as those are the two best things any of us can do at any time.