Saturday, 5 August 2017

Track Laying

No sooner had the job of clearing Shamrock's slipway of accumulated mud had been completed, than a lorry appeared with some second hand “rail chairs”, “fishplates”, “steel clips” and “rails” ready for laying. The clips should hold the rails more securely than the wooden wedges used on the old track. A few tricks on how to make the job of fitting of the remaining tracks where picked up during laying of the two topmost sections of the track. Shaune was heard muttering something about being a boat-builder not a railway navvy!




Two down four to go.
The new door fitted between the after cabin and the cargo hold has had a latch made and fitted that is more in keeping with Shamrock's existing door latches.


Space is getting a bit tight in the boat shed!


Sunday, 16 July 2017

Repair Preparations

Preparations for Shamrock's forthcoming repairs and engine fitting have started with the replacement of two missing planks from the bulkhead (dividing wall) between the after cabin, which is due to become the engine room and her cargo hold. As the engine room will need to be secured the bulkhead access hatch has had a door fitted and this will also serve as an escape hatch. Vent holes will need to be drilled in the bulkhead to assist in the airflow through Shamrock.

Cargo hold bulkhead before
and after.
Removing her anchor and chain was made a lot easer than normal by taking advantage of a mid morning high tide and floating Shamrock to the head of her dock allowing the anchor to be dropped onto the dock and the chain flaked almost straight into the cart. Although once loaded the cart was not exactly easy to move!


Monday, 26 June 2017

Evolving Mainsheet

After her restoration Shamrock's running rigging mainsheet consisted of 4 cm (1.5 in) manila rope with a 23 cm (9 in) double block and a 23 cm (9 in) single block with becket and a bulls-eye.

Original layout.
During the 1980s’ this was changed to two 23 cm (9 in) triple blocks, one with a becket and the bulls-eye resulting in more rope being required and such a complicated layout that the crew would have to use a model of the blocks to assist in the mainsheet reeving procedure. When not in use long bights of mainsheet rope were draped over the mizzen sail cover.

Shamrock rigged with triple blocks.
Model triple block.
As the manila running rigging ropes are in the process of being replaced with Polyhemp, the opportunity is being taken to simplify the mainsheet by using only two 23 cm (9 in) double blocks, one with a becket and no bulls-eye which also means one of the deck eyebolts can be removed and a lot less rope is required. This layout also enables greater control of the main sheet with the bight running from the lower block and making it easier to deploy the mainsail to starboard or port. Replacement blocks have already been selected and are in the process of being renovated.
Renovated double block with becket.
Bullseye.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Shamrock's Slipway

With the delivery of the new rails for Shamrock's slipway due, the crew has used the time preparing the old rail chairs ready for re-use. This has mainly consisted of removing the old rusted-in securing screws with the aid of a large hammer and the clearing of any rust from the seat area. Replacement “Coach Bolts” are also being cut ready for the securing of the chairs to the sleepers.



Swans

After  two years of failing to raise any young, the pair of swans that normally nest in the mill creek gave Cotehele a miss this year. With their recent reappearance, along with five cygnets, the new nesting site they used, believed to be between Cotehele and Halton Quay, has obviously been a success.


Saturday, 27 May 2017

Limber Holes

To enable water to be pumped out of Shamrock the frame floors have draining channels (limber holes) cut out of their under sides, to port and starboard of the centre line, to enable water to flow freely on each side of the keelson to the pump well. Some vessels have a light chain run­ning through the limber holes from forward to aft. These chains, when pulled back and forth occasionally, keep the ’Limber’ holes free of any blockage. Any blockages on Shamrock have to be cleared by hand by the crew. To allow ac­cess to the limber holes the thick limber planks are bolted parallel to and 150 mm (6 in) out from the keelson, thus leaving a gap on each side of it. When the hold is empty it is a good policy to leave the gaps uncovered to allow air to circulate and ventilate the frame spaces. Note: due to the number of visitors this is not practical on Shamrock as they would be a hazard. When cargo is to be loaded, the gaps are covered with portable limber boards, which seat on to spacing blocks placed on the frames so that they lie flush with the surface of the limber planks. The thick limber planks, like the Beamshelf, provide extra longitudinal strength within the hull. In Shamrock the planks are of 100 mm (4 in) thick Douglas Fir and just under 254 mm (10 in) wide. Their outer edges are bevel­led along their length to match up with the ceil­ing planks in the bottom of the hold.


Saturday, 13 May 2017

Shamrock Repairs

Second hand railway line with all the bits required to replace Shamrock's slipway tracks have been obtained from Bodmin & Wenford Railway. As the line is in 18m (60ft) lengths it needs to be cut in half for transporting and physically lifting into place, also new bolt holes need to be drilled in the cut ends. This is going to delay putting the line down until the beginning of August with the major repairs to Shamrock now scheduled for the autumn.

Shamrock is Not so Lonely

On Sunday 7th May after 13 years inside Mashfords boatyard the Lynher barge floated on the Tamar meaning that Shamrock is no longer the 'only fully restored Tamar Sailing Barge in the world'. The crew hopes that the two barges can meet up at an event sometime in the future.

Shamrock's Workboat

With the painting and salting of Shamrock's workboat completed she is finally ready to be rowed to her river mooring for the summer.