Friday, 13 July 2018

New Deck Planks

The first batch of new Cornish timber has arrived, delivered by Penryn's ‘Jo Sawmill’. The delivery consists of a large quantity of quarter sawn Douglas fir for Shamrock's new deck. This has been ‘sticked’ out and is being allowed to dry before it can be used. Quarter sawn boards have two advantages: they are more resistant against warping with changes in moisture and, while shrinkage can occur, it is less troublesome, just what Shamrock needs to keep her deck watertight.

 From Wikipedia
Quarter sawing gets its name from the fact that the log is first quartered lengthwise, resulting in wedges with a right angle ending at approximately the centre of the original log. Each quarter is then cut separately by tipping it up on its point and sawing boards successively along the axis. That results in boards with the annual rings mostly perpendicular to the faces. Quarter sawing yields boards with straight striped grain lines and greater stability than flat sawn wood. It also yields narrower boards, because the log is first quartered, which is more wasteful.

New deck planks.
Quarter sawn grain lines.

Friday, 29 June 2018

Transom Update

Closer inspection of the large 4 meter (13 ft) wide by 1 meter (3 ft) deep and 100 cm (4 in) thick oak slab of the transom revealed that it had become distorted and that along with the areas of rot and a couple of through the transom shakes means that it needs to be replaced and has already been removed. With the difficulty of resourcing such a large slab of oak the replacement is being made in two sections with care being taken to insure the stern post straps holes are kept well clear of the rebated joint. The replacement oak aft deadwood has been shaped and is ready for fitting.  With all of Shamrock's timbers exposed the amount and cuts of timber required to complete her repairs has been calculated and a large order is being prepared.

Transom distortion.
Blown out bolt hole.
Through transom shake.
Cut down transom.
Old section.
New aft deadwood.
New section.

Monday, 25 June 2018

Shamrock's New Sails

On Tuesday 19th June 2018 traditional sailmaker Patrick Selman of Gaff Sails, Falmouth, visited Cotehele Quay and delivered a new set of sails for Shamrock made from ‘clipper tan’ canvas. The new set consists of the :Mainsail, Staysail, Jib and Mizzen Sail, constructed in traditional form as a replica of Shamrock's original rig. These have been hand roped with all the eyes, reef ties and thimbles hand sewn. A bequest to the National Trust towards new sails for Shamrock from Lawrence Bordley covered a large percentage of the £36,000 total cost. Janet Bordley, representing Lawrence, along with Shamrock's skipper Shaune Blight, accepted the delivery of the sails.

To raise funds towards the cost of Shamrock's current restoration, for a small donation visitors can sign the rear of one of her new hull planks. Janet was the first to sign the plank on behalf of Lawrence. The crew is happy to report that the new sails are a lot lighter than the set they are replacing.

New set of sails for Shamrock.
Janet, Patrick & Shaune.
Thimble, eyes and rope detail.
Reef tie fleur-de-lis.
Plank signing.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Shamrock's Transom

The complete removal of Shamrock's deck planks exposed areas that had not seen the light of day since her restoration in the late 1970's, such areas as her aft oak Deadwood and the bottom section of her Warping Horse. As fresh water ingress had caused rot to both of these, they have been removed along with the Stern Post, rudder Gudgeons* along with associated ironwork and the fashion piece of her Transom. The Gudgeons and ironwork are in the process of being cleaned and painted. Rot in the top section of one of Shamrock's port frames has caused it to disintegrate and it is being replaced.

GUDGEONS. Bands of iron, steel or mixed metal which terminate in eyes, bolted to the sternpost to receive the pintle bolts of the rudder.

Aft Deadwood.
Warping Horse and Stern Post.
Fashion piece.
Rudder Gudgeons
What's left of Shamrock's Transom.
Fresh water damage. 
Disintegrate frame
Recovered bolt.

Friday, 1 June 2018

Preparing and Fitting Hull Planks

A rough guide to fitting one of Shamrock's hull planks: 

Select a suitable sized plank and then, using a prepared template of thin plywood, mark out the plank and cut roughly to size.

Place in a plastic sleeve and steam until the plank is pliable using the steam provided by couple of wallpaper strippers.

Bend to shape by clamping to the hull, roughly in place, and allow to cool so that it takes the required shape, remove and cut to correct size.

Apply Stockholm tar to the inner face and sides of the plank and cover the areas of adjacent frames, which the plank will butt against, with ‘Bitumen Mastic trowel on' (black butter). This will form a waterproof seal between the plank and frames.

Clamp into place, drill out recessed nail holes in line with the frames and drive in the nails, ensuring they are well below the plank surface.

Plug the recessed holes with prepared wooden plugs and then cut them flush to the plank.

Fair plank to the thickness and shape required once the adjoining planks have been fitted.


Monday, 28 May 2018

No Deck

With the complete removal of Shamrock's deck, port covering board and sheer strake* her port frames have been exposed revealing that although some frames will have to be repaired or renewed it is not as bad as the starboard side and only the after section of the beamshelf will need renewing. Most of the port side rot has been wet rot with only small amounts of mycelium being found. Shamrock's forward cargo hold main beam will need to be renewed as the removal of the main tabernacle has revealed substantial rot and when combined with the rot and a shake in the starboard side, that had already been noted, it means that it’s repair is not an option and it must be replaced.

*Sheer strake the top row of hull planks below the cover board.

No deck.
Looking aft.
Looking forward.
Main tabernacle.
Forward cargo hold main beam.

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Port Side

With the completion of Shamrock's starboard beamshelf and frame repairs a start has been made on her port side. Large areas on her port deck have been receiving the reciprocating saw treatment to enable the removal of the starboard cargo gate*, bulwark and stanchions. In the process more wet rot has been discovered in some wooden knees and the underside of the covering board and the full extent of the rot in the after deckhouse coaming has been exposed. Shamrocks deck winch, windlass and sluice pump have been removed to the boat shed ready to be stripped down, cleaned and repainted.

Visitors can now see the repairs to Shamrock progressing with the opening up of the front section of her cover. The moving of Shamrock's hut adjacent to the opening means the wellbeing of her 'Meet and Greet' crew has been assured and puts them close to the visitors.

 *Cargo gates, moveable sec­tion of bulwarks to facilitate loading or dis­charging cargo, situated on each side of the car­go hatch.
Missing deck!
Wooden knee.
Covering board.
Deckhouse coaming
Cargo gate.
Sluice pump.
Deck winch and windlass
Open for visitors.