MPS News

Breathing Life Back Into The Heart of the Beta III Part 2

Repair and Recommissioning of a 1956 Gardner 6L3 engine.

Posted - 12th August 2014
Following on from our previous update in June the story of Beta III's Gardner 6L3 engine has moved on a step towards being fully running once more. After much head scratching it was decided to remove the engine from Beta III's engine room and move it to MPS's workshop where it can get the attention it needs. This will allow us better access and facilities to repair the engine and better access to parts of the engine room for platework replacement, blasting and painting. The first step was to lift the engine and put it onto a suitable transport cradle, so a short trip the Arc Fab Sussex (Riveted Narrowboat Co) in Lewes was in order before its trip to us.

Photos Courtesy of July 2014

Breathing Life Back Into The Heart of the Beta III

Breathing Life Back Into The Heart of the Beta III

Repair and Recommissioning of a 1956 Gardner 6L3 engine

Posted - 14th June 2014

You may of heard of the Massey Shaw (A 1935 Built Thames fireboat that has recently been restored with the aid of Lottery funding) but have you heard of the Beta III ? The Beta III was built in 1926 and is one of the Massey Shaw's sister ships. Unfortunatly the Beta III has not been as fortunate as the Massey Shaw having lost, long ago, the twin Gleniffer diesels that powered her for most of her life, along with many of the original firefighting fixtures and fittings.
During the early 1960's the Beta III was converted into a sightseeing cruiser and at this time was re-engined from twin 6 cylinder Gleniffer engines to a single Gardner 6L3. After many years sightseeing and a period as a floating bar in the 1980's, the Beta III eventually ended up in Rye, Kent with a very uncertain future. This was of course until its current owner came along and has begun the mammoth task of bringing this old lady back to life.

This is where MPS comes in. After many years of neglect the Gardner 6L3 hiding in the Beta III's engine room needed some TLC to get it back into a reliable and usable condition. Our first visit to the boat found that although not seized and appearing to have good compression some other bits were not so good. The fuel injection pump and cambox are partially seized resulting in an engine that starts, all be it only on a couple of cylinders. Over the restoration of the Beta III we will be working on the engine to get it back running smoothly. First up is the fabrication and replacement of most of the off engine systems. Bilge pump, raw water, exhaust and fuel systems. We will post updates as the work progresses.

For more information on the restoration of the Beta III see the blog here

Beta III Fireboat Blog - link to external site

New Marine Power Services Website

A new sleak look for spring 2014

Posted - 07th March 2014

Along with the start of spring 2014 comes a fresh new look for the Marine Power Services Website. Over the next few months a selection of new features and additions will be added to improve the look and general navigation of the website. This new look will coincide with a programme to increase and improve the technical information available online to our visitors.

This new website has been written to better support the ever growing use of tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices. Utilising many of the recent improvements in website software Joomla CMS, HTML5 and CSS3 are used to better support current user preferences. NOTE for users of Internet Explorer 8 or lower. HTML 5 is not supported in these outdated browsers. We have made every effort to maintain usabilty with IE8 but use of this browser or older will restrict your experience. Please consider upgrading to a newer version.

New Boatshow Display

In collaboration with the Riveted Narrowboat Company

Posted - 24th May 2013
Although MPS works on and restores many vintage engines for all sorts of different applications; boats, generators, railway locomotives, and even pumps. The last few months have seen us working on something a little bit different.
"What could it be?" I hear you ask.
Well it is a boat, at least part of one.. It is also fitted with a 1942 vintage Lister 9-1 (JP1) and is held together with rows of rivets, but none of these are fake, and to top it off it is also on four wheels.
Yes you've guessed it, In collaboration with the Riveted Narrowboat Company (RNC) based in Ringmer, East Sussex. Marine Power Services have produced a display trailer for the 2013 boat show season.
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The body of the show trailer is a representation of the engine room section of a RNC hull complete with all its rivets and removable soft patch in the engine room roof (A standard feature on their hulls). This allow for the engine, which is normally one of the major expenses of a boat purchase to be fitted at the last minute. This ensures it remains clean and undamaged during the boats fit out. Saves on the Brasso and Paintwork touch up afterwards!!.
The late part of 2012 and early 2013 was spent with the RNC producing the hull section to fit onto a road going trailer. On completion this was painted and sign written. It was at this point MPS had work to do, on a wet and miserable Saturday morning the trailer arrived with us for us to bring to Lister 9-1 to life.
This included making the timber beds to mount it, wiring the starter motor, fabricating the exhaust system, bending up, mounting and connecting the fuel and water systems. Also at some time in the past the engine had been converted to marine dry sump so the oil tank required mounting and pipework producing. Most of the on engine pipework that it arrived with was unsuitable for this installation and needed to be redone, so with this removed the pipework routes were decided and the clamps welded in place.
The engine had been out of use for some time so a little TLC was needed. The valve clearances were checked and adjusted after finding the exhaust valve clearance to be nearer 0.100" instead of 0.008" which it should be. Also the injector pump had suffered from water ingress and was seized. After a rebuild of the pump and with some fresh oil in the tank we attempted the first start. A few turns and the old Lister was off and ready for the shows of 2013.
The next appearance of the show trailer will be at the start of the 2014 season (Location to be confirmed).

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