Thursday, 26 September 2013

More Jobs!

A job that was omitted from the last blog is the construction of a new gangway. This job is already under way in the boat shed and is now awaiting some new wheels and the stanchions to be removed from the existing gangway, at the end of the season.

One visitor to the boat shed also suggested that Shaune should make a cat-o-nine-tails. Something to do with keeping all the volunteers in order!

After last week's photo of Shamrock sat on the mud in the afternoon sun, this week's shows her afloat in the morning sun.

While on the subject of photo's here's one of the mud buggy. Lovely lines for keeping the mud out.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Winter Working

As Shamrock basks in the autumn sun, winter working plans are being discussed.

During the winter Shamrock normally sits on her cradle at the top of the slipway with her winter cover on, this cover is very low and restrictive. So this years plan is to leave her in the dock, remove the rigging and some of the spars and leave at least the main mast standing. The idea behind this is to use the masts and possibly the booms to support a higher cover over the deck to enable wet weather working without being on your knees.
The list of planned jobs seems to be growing and as with all Shamrock's plans a lot depends upon the weather.

Shamrock Jobs

  • Remove the after deckhouse* to the boat shed for repair and painting.
  • Remove the forward hatch cover** to the boat shed for painting.
  • Remove the existing caulking from the hold side decks and the after deck. Replace any rotten planks from these decks and then re-caulk them. Easily said but not so easily done.
  • Grease/oil the stay wires.
  • Later or in the spring get out the mud buggy*** and paint the hull to the mud line.  
* Referred to as skylight/ companion-way in Shamrock's restoration book.
** Referred to as fore skylight/ companion-way.
** Mud buggy, a large open top rectangular wooden box that's lowered into the mud alongside Shamrock and used work from. Top job.

Nancy Belle Jobs.

  • Either secure at the top of the boat shed slipway or take into the boat shed.
  • Remove deck boards and engine.
  • Paint the bilges, refit and realign the engine.
  • Make new soundproofed engine cover.
  • Clean and paint the hull. 

One thing we can be sure of is that these lists will be changing.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

All Quiet on Shamrock

Regular followers of this blog may be wondering why there has been no mention of any maintenance activity (painting) on Shamrock over the summer period. This is mainly due to the fact that she has been open for visitors on most week days and as we have found out visitors and wet paint don't mix very well.
The plus side of this is meeting lots of very interesting visitors from all walks of life and some inquisitive children who think it's great that they can walk below deck while the adults have to stoop. Either that or walk into one of the very low beams.
As plans are already being drawn up for winter working we are sure this lack of activity will soon come to an end.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Bonus Trip

Due to the success of the Nancy Belle river trips a bonus trip has been organised for Sunday 15th September. Don't all rush to the phone to book a place though as this and tomorrows, Thursday 12th, trips are already fully booked.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Early Owners and Masters

A list of known Shamrock's owners and masters from before the 1970's restoration.
This information was originally researched and compiled by Alan Viner of the National Maritime Museum.
Date Owner(s) Shares Master
4th September
Tom Williams
Lighterman of Torpoint
64 Tom Williams
27th May
Tom Williams
Fred Williams
Lighterman of Torpoint
Fred Williams
First Registry of vessel closed July 14th 1919. – Registered anew after structural alterations and the addition of a motor as a sailing vessel with an auxiliary motor.
3rd October
William Betty
William Betty
St Germans
Robert Telford
Merchant Saltash



James Garland
20th January
William Betty
Robert Telford

James Garland
15th February
Ethel Steed
Widow of St Germans
64 Richard Hoskins
4th May
Steed Bros.
Notter River
64 Richard Hoskins
23 June
Charles Dunn
Company Secretary
Arthur Russell
Accountant of
Ethel Steed
Widow of


William Trebilcock

1st November
West of England Road
Metal Company
64 William Trebilcock
17th July
E. Richardson

21st July Costal
Prospecting Co
64 Ernest Stephens
Second registry of vessel closed 6th August 1963. – After the installation of two diesel engines registered anew as a twin screw motor ship.
2 May
Richard Curnow
Engineer of

28th April
Robert Fildew
Driver of

11th February
The National Trust

For the purposes of registration, a ship is divided into 64 shares; most maritime nations (the United States being an exception) follow this custom.

Why 64 Shares?
As normal there appears to be more than one explanation.
The three that follow seem to be the most popular.

1. The fact that ships traditionally had 64 ribs

2. Under Queen Victoria ship owners were taxed 36% and left with the remaining 64%.

3. Or maybe it's part of the easy maths way to divide up a unit
Originating in the earliest trading days when the owner wanted to split the risks of voyaging between his financial friends. No decimal or % business in them there days!
All the "sixty-fourth" shares were sold off and could be split again by the new purchasers, but so long as all the fractions added up to 1, the risks were properly shared out.

On a lighter note

This week has seen the arrival in the boat shed of one of Rob Roy sailing canoe's direct descendants.