Sunday, 21 January 2018

Lots Of Coach Bolts

Repairs to the last of the top sections of the starboard side frames of Shamrock are nearing completion, so, the next job will be the ‘coach bolting’ of the beamshelf onto the frames. Coach bolts which were left over from Shamrock's restoration are to be used, however, the screw threads of the bolts needed to be lengthened by about 5cm (2in), not so easy. Luckily an old thread cutter, (that’s a tool not a person), has been pressed back into service making the job a bit easier and the sixty bolts required have been completed. Visitors to Cotehele Quay will have noticed that Shamrock's temporary cover now has had a large number of reinforced venting holes cut in the top and bottom of the sides. This is to allow her to dry out as originally the cover suffered from a severe condensation problem on the inside. As the old and new sections of frames need to dry out as much as possible before being sealed in by the new hull planks, the actual fitting of these planks will be one of the last jobs. In the meantime the drying out will enable the re-caulking of the deck to press ahead.

Last of the frame repairs.
Thread cutter.
Modified coach bolts.
Shamrock's vented cover.

Saturday, 6 January 2018

January Floods

With the first week in January bringing a combination of heavy rain, low pressure, gales and spring tides Cotehele Quay has seen the river flood the quay more than once in the week giving Shamrock's boat shed the appearance of being surrounded by a moat. Access to the boat shed required wellingtons or waders but at least it remained dry.

Shaune waiting for the tide to drop.
View from the road.
Who needs a launching trolly
View from the rear of the boat shed.
River bank breach.
Grey wagtail checking the detritus.

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Frame Repairs Progressing

Shamrock's frame repairs are progressing with a couple of frames only requiring a final fettling and preserving before the new beamshelf and hull planks can be fitted. While this is progressing the crew has made a start on renewing the main deck caulking with the removal of some of the existing caulking.

New frame section scarfed and bolted.
Shugs (Adrian) working on the next frame.
Shamrock's front door.
Main deck access point.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

More Wood

The planks cut from three European larch trees have arrived from Scotland and have joined the oak planks stacked and drying out in the now congested boat shed. The majority of the larch will be used for her hull planks. Shamrock's temporary working cover has been raised allowing for easer access and less cramped working conditions.

Congested Boat Shed
Raised cover
Under the cover looking forward.
Looking aft.
Starboard side.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Oak Frames

Shamrock's repairs are continuing with the ‘aftermost’ section of her starboard beamshelf being cut and shaped as well as bungs of various sizes being produced ready to stopper any old nail holes. Timber has started to arrive with 32ft (10m) planks of freshly cut oak along with slabs of seasoned oak for repairing Shamrock's frames and the production of bulwark stanchions. A start has been made on her frames with two sections being cut and shaped. The newly arrived oak planks have been moved into the boat shed and stacked for drying. This was completed using a combination of ancient and new technology, (logs and a powered grab). In preparation for any winter storms a new covering frame has been fabricated and placed on Shamrock with some stronger tarpaulins to provide cover.

Josh admiring his work.
Checking for size.
New section of frame.
Modern tech.
Ancient tech. 
Oak plank stack.
New covers.
As well as ongoing repairs to Shamrock other jobs are also continuing at Cotehele quay with new quayside ladders being constructed. These are to replace the old condemned ladders that have already been removed due to their unsafe (rotten) condition. In one instance a broken rung  caused a “mud angel” to appear. (Similar to those that can be formed in snow).The river has been cleared of all of our other boats with Nancy Belle being hauled up the boat shed slipway, cleaned and covered. The ‘Edgcumbe’, Shamrock's workboat and the pram dingy being moved to the boat yard and covered.

*”Mud angel” - the imprint left by a person falling in the mud.

Nancy Belle ready for winter.
New ladder.

Saturday, 18 November 2017


Shamrock with her hanging knees removed, missing starboard hull planks, covering boards, bulwark and sections of the beamshelf, she is beginning to look a bit scruffy and the pile of old timber is getting larger. The beamshelf is a line of thick timbers scarfed together and bolted to the upper futtock and top timbers of the frames to form a hoop inside the hull for the beams to rest on and gives Shamrock strength to keep her shape. As such the beamshelf needs to be renewed first. Four year old cut and seasoned, European larch is being used starting with the after section. Once it has been cut to size, shaped and steamed into shape it is ready to be preserved before being fitted. Her frames are being cleaned and having the old hull planking nails removed ready for the fitting of new planks. The crew is wondering just how much more of Shamrock is going to disappear?

Knees removed. 
Old bulwark and covering board timbers.
Exposed frames.
Cutting out the old beamshelf.
New section of beamshelf.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Shamrock's Expanding To-Do List

With the arrival of Penryn shipwright Adrian Grigg, plus his assistant Josh, a start has been made on Shamrock's repairs, all the rotten starboard side hull planks have been removed along with a section of the bulwark. Bob Medler of R&J Maritime Ltd has also completed a survey of Shamrock's condition. The news is not all bad as apart from the already known hull planks and false keel the extras found so far are the starboard side beamshelf, a section of covering board* and some bulwark stanchions. A few of her main frames will also need sections of rot removed and “new wood” scarf jointed into place.

* COVERING BOARD The outermost deck plank which covers the timber heads of the frames.

Missing Planks.
Split covering board.
Main frame rot.
Covered for the weekend.