Thursday, 26 September 2019

Shamrock Below Deck

The following photos of Shamrock interior are for visitors to Cotehele Quay who can now see more of her but are still not allowed onboard and anyone else who is interested.

Aft cabin, soon to be engine room.

Cargo hold.

Fore cabin looking forward .

Fore cabin looking aft.

Fore cabin looking to the chain locker.

Chain locker.

Saturday, 21 September 2019

Phase One Complete

Bob Medler, the ships surveyor, has visited Shamrock and signed off the work completed to date, he was impressed by the high standard. This marks the completion of phase one of Shamrock's current restoration program. Restoration work has now ceased on Shamrock until the phase two funding has been released. Once approved, this will allow the commencement of the removal and replacement of the false keel and keelson. As a result, Shuggs and Mark have just completed their last working week on Shamrock until phase two, the quay will be quiet without the sounds of sawing, hammering, planning, etc. Their last week was spent, with a lot of help from Shaune, and a little help from the crew, completing the fitting of the cargo hatch coaming dog cleats. Moving the deckhouse and companionway to the boat shed ready for a new coat of paint and replacing the varnish with 'Woodskin'.  They also upcycled Shamrock's temporary cover by removing its sides, then lowering the top until it rested on the wash strake and lashed it to the bulwarks. Cutting the cover support beams to give about 20 inches (508 mm) of overhang and fitting a baton edging strip. The cover was then stretched taut and by screwing a second baton edge to the first, holding the cover taught. This layout should keep Shamrock dry while also allowing plenty of ventilation. Looks a bit like a 'Wanchai Burberry' to the crew.

The site still needs tidying, what’s left of the cover sorted with any sound lengths of timber stored and any remaining timber moved to the boat shed for the stove.

Monday, 16 September 2019

Odd Jobs.

On Shamrock the first of the cargo hatch coaming dog cleats have been fitted.

Fitting of her ‘chain-plates’ has been completed.

A total of 36 bolts, made up of a combination of new and old, have been fixed to Shamrock's port side bracing her ‘beamshelf’ and ‘hanging knees’. Some were missing and some replaced undersize bolts fitted during previous repairs.

To cap the hull bolt and nail heads, that have insufficient counterbore to hold a wooden plug, a mixture of ‘trowel on Bitumen Mastic' (black butter), P.V.A. glue and cement has been used. Once set theses will be sanded flush and given a coat of bitumen paint.

In the boat shed new ‘thumb cleats’ have been cut from an oak offcut and are undergoing their final shaping.

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Shiny Shamrock

With the fitting of the last of the chainplates delayed until an order of freshly manufactured coach bolts arrive Shamrock is being prepared to be exposed to the elements.
  • The covering boards, bulwarks, capping rails, wash strake and cargo hold coaming have all received a coat of black gloss. 
  • The starboard hull to the waterline and the transom have been coated with bitumen roofing paint. 

  • Forward companion way and after deck house coamings have been sanded and primed.
  • The decks have received two good coats of a mixture of boiled linseed oil and paraffin, rain that gets through Shamrock's cover now bead of the deck. 
  • Warping horse undercoated.   
  • Layers of old bitumen being scraped off her original port side hull planks.

Saturday, 24 August 2019


After consulting old photos, checking the location of bolt holes in the ceiling boards and groves in the old covering boards the positions of Shamrock'schainplates” has been determined and they are now in the process of being bolted in place.

Access to Shamrock's lower deck has been made a lot easer with the replacement of her repaired and freshly painted hold ladder.

The heartwood for Shamrock's new keelson and false keel has been delivered. After extending and clearing the original ‘wood store’ attached to the Northern side of the boat shed, the remaining timbers from her repairs to date have been sorted and stacked.

Saturday, 10 August 2019

Phase One

The end of phase one of Shamrock's current conservation program is approaching. The fitting of the two aft wash strake planks being the last of the large sections of timber to be completed and this means she is structurally complete. There remains only some finishing touches plus a lot of cleaning and painting to be carried out.

The false keel and keelson of Shamrock are due to be renewed in the next phase. The missing centre sections of deck planks, which were not fitted to enable access to the keelson, are being covered with plywood to insure Shamrock is water tight when her temporary cover is removed.

Caulking and tarring of all the fitted deck planks has been completed thanks to Mark.

After over 18 months of working under Shamrock's cover there has been a rare sighting of ‘Shuggs’ with a broom!

Saturday, 3 August 2019

Joe's Retired

Staff and volunteers from Cotehele said farewell to Joe Lawrence and wished him a happy retirement at the “Summer Hog Roast” on Friday 26th August. Leaving after 32 years at Cotehele Joe was presented with various gifts including a photo album of his time at Cotehele, he also cut the Shamrock themed retirement cake. As a way of saying thanks for all the work he has put into Shamrock, Shaune and his volunteers also presented Joe with a half model of Shamrock mounted on elm recovered from her old covering boards during the current conservation.


Work on the wash strake is continuing with two 32 ft. (9.75 meter) planks of European larch reduced to 1.75 inch (44 mm) x 7.5 inch (190 mm), which were steamed to shape, scarfed at the ends, clamped into place on each side capping rail and then through bolted. Two more to go!

In the boat shed the cargo hatch coaming ‘dog cleats’ have being cleaned and given a coat of galvanise paint after being recovered from the wood store.

The cargo hold access ladder has been checked and the three steal bracing rods replaced with stainless steel threaded bar, the previous ones suffering from severe corrosion.