Saturday, 16 March 2019

Extra Shipwrights

Since Josh left for Iceland Shuggs has been joined by Julian Grey, Mark Lane and Daniel Butlin on various days. Daniel is a volunteer work experience student from Falmouth Marine School. The crew is wondering how Shuggs is treating his helpers as Julian has already left for Thailand!
  • With the fitting of Shamrock's last ‘Shutter’ plank, her hull is now complete. Nail hole pugging and fairing of her new planks is being progressed.

  • Camber has been added to the cargo hatch coaming ends, eight new shoe-cleats have been bolted to the inside of the coaming these take the two 'drop in' hatch beams and four ends of the six fore and aft beams. Each of the six fore and aft timbers have rebates in their upper faces for the edges of the hatch-covers. The existing beams have been dropped into place along with the hatch boards. The hatch boards are being checked for fit with some trimming still required to make them flush with the coaming.



  • Oak packing pieces have been fitted to the bottom of the ‘Hawsepipes’ to enable the extending of the line of the covering boards to the ‘Stem post’.
  • Both port and starboard sides of the ‘Breasthook’ have been through bolted back into place
  • A start has been made on the caulking of the new hull plank seams.

Saturday, 2 March 2019

Shutting Up Shamrock

The latest news from a busy Cotehele Quay.

  • After a final check for size and a layer of ‘black butter’ the fitting of Shamrock's covering boards has been completed.
  • Her bulwark stanchions have been through bolted into place.
  • The sheer strake and top hull plank has been marked to insure the shutter plank nails are driven into solid wood thereby missing any existing metal fastening.
  • The starboard forward shuttering plank has been steamed, temporarily clamped into place and allowed to cool. Once released the set of the curve is clearly visible. Shutter planks are the strake of planks below the sheer strake and the last to be fitted shutting up the hull.


  • Shamrocks new deck timbers have been moved to the boat shed to dry ready for cutting and shaping.
  • ‘Nancy Belle’, with the first of her river trips due in April, has been hauled into the boat shed and is having a lick of paint and some minor alterations ready for the new season. 

Friday, 15 February 2019

Covering Boards

All Shamrock's eight new 2 in (50 mm) thick oak covering boards have been roughly shaped, thinned and temporarily screwed into place. The bulwark stanchions holes have been cut as a tight fit at the bottom with the top half being tapered out to form a caulking seam also the ends of the boards that abut one another have had their caulking seams cut. Once the inner lines of the boards have been marked the boards will be removed, faired to the lines, the outer edges rounded, before finally being fixed into place.





Monday, 4 February 2019

Goodbye Josh

Josh, one of our team of Shipwrights, is advancing his career by taking on a new project. He has been offered, and accepted, a four month contract fitting out MV Cape Race in Reykjavík, Iceland and so Wednesday 30th January was his last working day on Shamrock. The crew would like to thank him for all his hard work and wish him all the best for the future.

Josh at work.
More oak has been sourced for the covering boards as the oak originally earmarked for the job has been used for the oak seer strake. A start has been made on the covering boards with a plywood pattern used to mark out the starboard forward section before being cut roughly to shape and thickness.


Fitting of the cargo hatch coaming has been completed with the sides through bolted to their respective beams. Weather check dovetails joints have been used, instead of simple half lap joint, locking the coaming side together as well as insuring any water ingress will always run out of the joint. As usual all butted surfaces have received coating of 'black butter' before being joined.

Saturday, 26 January 2019

January Update

Shamrock's busy start to the New Year.
  • The third visit from Bob Medler, the Ships Surveyor, checking the standard of work completed to date and seeing what else needs renewing/repairing.   
  • Mass production of Shamrock's bulwark stanchions has been ongoing as all 36 of her stanchions required replacement. The new stanchions were cut from 5 in (12 cm) square oak to a height of 1 ft.4 in (41 cm) above the deck and tapered in on the inboard face to 3 in (7.5 cm) at the top, with the below deck section then cut to fit between the beamshelf and sheer strake. Only three more to go!
  • The cargo hold hatch coaming has been removed, and the new coamings of 12 ft. (3.7 m) sides of 12 in (30 cm) x 6  in (15 cm) the 11 ft. (3.4 m) ends of 11 in (28 cm) x 5 in (13 cm) cut from large bulks of larch in the boat shed. Cotehele rangers assisted in carrying the cut timber onto Shamrock where further shaping carried out. Both sides have been bolted in place with weather check dovetail having been cut on the sides and ends ready for the end coaming pieces to be fitted.
Coaming conga.

  • Plugging of old nail holes and new hull plank nail/bolt holes with ether oak or larch is continuing. The manufacture of these plugs is a very time consuming activity but fortunately it can be carried out in the boat shed.

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Review of 2018

Work has progressed on ‘Shamrock’ during 2018 and the tasks undertaken are described here in no particular order.

  • All ribs were checked, these were repaired or renewed as required. The rot found in sections of beamshelf was cut out and replacement sections fitted.
  • A number of lodging knees were found to be missing and these were renewed the remaining knees being repaired or replaced.
  • The work carried out on the beams and beam shelves necessitated the removal of the Starboard side hanging knees, these were moved to the boat shed to be stripped and painted and have been refitted. 
  • The Sluice pump, Windless, Deck Winch and main mast tabernacle have also been removed to the boat shed. 
  • All deck planks were removed and the new planks are on site and ready to be planed and fitted. 
  • The after deckhouse and fore skylight combings have been removed.
  • The Transom, Sternpost, Warping Horse, the aft deadwood and aft deck shelf have all been renewed. In addition, the aft deck shelf has been extended around the Warping Horse and Deadwood thereby providing the stern section with extra strength.
  • Delivery was taken of a new set of sails for Shamrock which have been made from ‘clipper tan’ canvas and are stowed in the boat shed awaiting fitting.
  • Both of the masts and the associated booms and gaffs, have been stripped of varnish and given a coat of ‘Woodskin’.
  • Forward end of the cargo hatch coaming has been removed and will be replaced. 
  • Five of Shamrock's beams have been renewed with an extra beam added to the fore deck, thus providing extra strength and will allow for Shamrock's deck winch to be bolted through the deck and a beam at both ends. Partner beams have also been fitted to the aftermost beam.
  • New Oak sheer strakes have been cut, shaped and fitted. Replacement hull planks have been fitted up to the last strake, this will be fitted once the bulwark stanchions are renewed. All beams and frame ends have been ‘faired’ to the sheer line.
  • The old bulwark stanchions have been put back, along with a temporary ribbon rail, as a template for the next stage of replacement.

During the summer Shamrock looked a bit of a mess but since the transom was renewed and the sheer strakes fitted she has been gradually taking on her old shape.

Thursday, 3 January 2019

Christmas Break

With Shamrock's contractors away on their Christmas break Santas little helpers (Shamrock's crew) have been busy.

Shamrock's cargo hold before
and after.