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.

Sunday, 21 July 2019

July Update

Shamrock's latest progress report.

Fore deck and both side decks caulked and tarred. Aft port side caulking and tarring started after being cleaned and sanded.

Cargo hatch.
Two lines of a combination of old and new steal rubbing strips fitted to inner faces of both sides. Old hatch boards fitted, checked and adjusted as required.

Where the bulwark stanchions slot through the covering boards, especially the cargo gate stanchions, was an area where water leaked into Shamrock resulting in the large amount of the wet rot found during the current restoration. To insure a better seal, after caulking and tarring the slots, Shaune has made moulds, poured tar around them building up the seal above deck level and finally rounded the edges off with a hot knife. Completed: fitting, plugging and priming of the starboard bulwark side planks. The port side planks are currently in the process of being fitted.

Three out of the four of the cavils have been fitted. Oak stern fairleads now completed. Work has started on the wash strakes with the both fore sections being cut from oak these will have the fairleads cut into them replacing the stag horns and matching the stern fairleads.

Sunday, 7 July 2019

Stop Press

A recent survey of Shamrock's, below the waterline hull, revealed that it's still sound, so the decision has been made to complete the current restoration before floating her off. Shaune and Shuggs had a successful day at an Exford timber merchant checking on reclaimed ‘Greenheart’ wood for the replacement of Shamrock's oak false keel and keelson. Greenheart is an extremely dense durable timber and is one of the few timbers which has a long lifespan when used in a marine environment, making it perfect for Shamrock. The reclaimed greenheart originated from Portsmouth dockyard.

Oak stern fairleads are being cut to replace her existing stag horns as an early photo of Shamrock alongside in Penryn confirms she originally had wooden fairleads.

Mark has now escaped from under Shamrock and is busy sanding, caulking and tarring her decks, he has completed the foredeck and made a start on the starboard side deck.

Paying the seam.
The crew has been busy cleaning Shamrock's oak cavils ready for refitting, priming her bulwark stanchions, covering boards, capping rails and hatch coamings.