Saturday, 27 August 2016

Missing Muscovy Duck

A Muscovy duck (known as Quackers) who, for the last few months has come to regard himself as a member of Shamrock's crew and expects to be regularly fed has been missing for a few days. Normally he is waiting on the grass outside the boat shed for the first crew member to arrive or if he is a bit late will ether appear in the open boat shed door or peck at the door just to let you know that he is there. On one occasion when he was later than normal he appeared on the quay and made it clear to the crew working onboard Shamrock that he wanted feeding. The crew hopes that he reappears soon or has found somewhere else where he gets fed on a regular basis.

Monday, 15 August 2016


Shamrock has two tabernacles, a main and a mizzen, into which her respective masts are fixed and have a pivot near the top so that the masts can be lowered to pass under bridges.


The main tabernacle consisted of two oak cheek boards 11.5 cm (4.5 in) thick and 25 cm (10 in) wide, of a length to stand 1.07 metre (3 ft. 6 in) above the deck and reach down 1.52 metre (5 ft) to each side of the keelson, to which they are through bolted. The upper part of the boards are through-bolted to the for­ward (for’d) main cargo hatch beam. An oak cross­ piece, or cleat rail, is bolted on the fore edges of the cheeks 0.9 metre (3 ft.) above deck level with an iron mast band above it. Both cheeks are bored through their sides for a 5 cm (2 in) diameter steel pin upon which the mast pivots.

Main tabernacle


The mizzen tabernacle is of similar construc­tion, with 10 cm (4 in) thick cheeks which stand 0.9 metre (3 ft.) above the deck. The cheeks are bolted one each side of the keelson and to the forward (for’d) side of beam No.8, which also support the forward end of the deckhouse.

Mizzen tabernacle
Base bolted to the keelson.
The crew is quite happy that no low bridges that require lowering the masts have been encountered on any of Shamrock trips to date and hope it stays that way.

Friday, 5 August 2016

Quiet Boat Shed

With skipper Shaune away recovering from his successful hand operation, the visitor season is at its peak and with “Shamrock” being open for visitors most days the only work being carried out on the boat is the occasional pumping out and salting of her bilges. Plus, of course, keeping her shipshape for the visitors. The crew has noted that the boat shed seems remarkable quiet except for the couple of occasions that Shaune has managed to get a chauffeur and made an appearance. Nevertheless, many other little jobs are getting done in and around the shed.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

No Boat Rally

Due to Shamrock's skipper Shaune recovering after a planned minor operation, Shamrock will not be making an appearance at the “Sutton Harbour Plymouth Classic Boat Rally” this year.

There is better news though, the new fire pump has arrived to assist in the re-profiling of Shamrock's dock and slipway. It will soon be put through its paces as the last couple of weeks have seen a significant deposit of mud.

New and old.
Two weeks worth of mud!

Monday, 11 July 2016

Not Quite To Plan

With the river mud building up in Shamrock's dock and on her slipway it was time to get out the fire pump and re profile (wash out) the dock and clear her slipway. The plan of action being.

Day One
Clear the mud from the slipway.

Day Two
On the morning tide float Shamrock onto the slipway, let her ground on the falling tide and then clear the mud from her dock. This had not been tried before as normally when Shamrock is on her slipway she is sat on her cradle.

Day Three
Float Shamrock back over into her dock on the morning tide ready for the days visitors.

All went according to plan until the pump decided to stop working half way through clearing the dock out on day two. Shamrock was returned to her dock on day three only when the tide is out she sits higher on the mud than planned. On the positive side it did prove that Shamrock can be left on her slipway for the odd day as long as the next days tide is high enough to float her off. While she was sat in the slipway advantage was taken of the easer access to the main mast port chainplates with them being scraped clean and painted.

Waiting for the tide to drop.
Bottom check.
Back to normal.

Friday, 1 July 2016

Rainy Days

The crews summer Shamrock painting schedule has come to halt in the last few weeks due to the return of what is becoming normal summer weather, wet, overcast and with the occasional sighting of the sun. This has meant the clinker built "Mayflower" sailing dinghy has been receiving the crews attention with the outer hull being scrapped back to bare wood and then soaked with a saline solution to help preserve her. Some of her internal structures and fittings have been removed along with a start on the scraping of the inner hull. There is also a rumour that a couple more small boats are due to appear in the boat shed ready to receive the Shaune treatment.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Memory Lane

After venturing out of Perranwell Station, in deepest Cornwall, Gloria Butterworth decided to visit Shamrock. Gloria is the daughter of the Richard Curnow who was the sole owner of Shamrock from the 2nd May 1966 to the 28th April 1973 and also the last owner to use Shamrock commercially. After being given what could be described as VIP treatment, a cup of tea in the boat shed and a tour of Shamrock, Gloria left with a few souvenirs of her visit including a section of original Shamrock deck plank. The trade wasn't entirely one sided as she supplied the crew with a photo of her father and is going see if she can find anymore Shamrock related information. She plans to visit Shamrock on a more regular basis in future as this was her first visit since Shamrock's restoration.

Richard Curnow