Friday, 30 January 2015

All Change

Mutterings from the crew as Shamrock's masts and rigging blocks maintenance plan is changed once again. The idea of using linseed oil as been dropped, looks good on application but starts to look black after a couple of months and it's back to using varnish. Both masts have now had there tops painted white and the remainder has had one coat of 50/50 white spirit varnish mix, along with all the rigging blocks. Due to the cold weather this will require a few days to dry before the next coat of the 50/50 varnish mix is applied. With both masts lying alongside one another you can really see the difference in colour between the pitch pine main mast and the Oregon pine mizzen mast.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Shroud Maintenance

On inspection of Shamrock's main shrouds it was found that the tarred "marline" used as a serving on the throat loop had worn away. After the removal of the remaining sections of serving the original parcelling beneath it was found to be sound and only required a soaking with boiled linseed oil before having a new layer of parcelling and serving applied. Parcelling is the passing round the lay of the wire of strips of old cotton sheet followed by a soaking with linseed oil. Serving is put on by laying the marline around the head and handle of a serving mallet to produce the tension necessary to bind the marline tightly around the wire as the mallet is rotated against the lay. The exposed sections of shroud wire rope have been wire brushed and the crew is waiting for a decision to be made as to what is to be use as a weather protection coating and when it is to be applied.

Serve:- bind (a rope) with thin cord to protect or strengthen it.

Note the serving mallet.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Mast Repair

One of the reasons for moving Shamrock's main mast to the boat shed was to check it for any rot. All appeared to be well until after the removal of the mast cap when a previous repair job to the top of the mast was found to have started to rot. This has now been cut out and the mast cut back to solid wood with a new piece of wood being let in. Interestingly the mast cap that was thought to be metal turned out to be of wood and has suffered no ill effect from the rotten wood beneath it.

With most of the masts, spars and rigging preparation work completed it will soon be time to get out the paint brushes. This year instead of varnishing the mast and blocks they are going to be soaked in linseed oil as this is a more traditional method of weather protection for old wooden working boats.

Repaired mast.
New main boom saddle segments. 

Friday, 9 January 2015

Back To Normal

After the Christmas break life in the boat shed is getting back to normal. Shamrock's main mast is now drying out after being scraped of all old varnish and paint, with a wheelbarrow being used as a mobile scrapings collector. The new main boom saddle has been roughed out, temporarily fitted to the shape of the mast and only requires a bit more shaping before being ready for fitting when the mast is dressed ready for raising in the spring.

In the last couple of years a few props have been added to Shamrock's forward cabin to give visitors an impression of what it would have looked like when she was a working vessel.  One of these is an imitation oil lamp, this has now been modified to take a battery operated flickering LED tea light to giving the impression that it is lit, not that it will provide much extra light.