Saturday, 23 May 2015

Shamrock's Slipway Track

During the preparation for the start of Shamrock's restoration in 1974 the current 100 ft (30.5 m) slipway was dugout, wooden railway sleepers bedded 4 in (10 cm) deep at 4 ft (1.2 m) centres and then two 4 in x 4in (10 cm x 10 cm) timber guides were coach-screwed to each sleeper for the length of the slipway to act as rails for Shamrock's wooden restoration cradle. At sometime between the end of the restoration in 1979 and 1982 the wooden rails where replaced with steel railway rails and have remained in place ever since. These rails have gradually distorted over the years to the point where Shamrock's current metal cradle jams during the hauling out and lowering operations so the decision has been made to renew them. With the aid of some large 'Birmingham screwdrivers' (hammers), spanners and chisels this job has now started with the removal of the first couple of sections of track. All the crew can say is that its going to be a long hard job.

One down, lots to go!

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Edgcumbe Repair

After a couple of years without any maintenance Shamrock's workboat Edgcumbe was beginning to look a bit shabby and her after seat was rotting away. With the fitting of a redesigned after seat, renewal of the remaining seats and a coat of paint on the seats, gunnels and internal hull she is looking smart again.

Shaune's top boating tip.

Nancy Belle is normally moored mid river and one of Edgcumbe's tasks is to act as her tender. This has resulted in the crew being advised to keep hold of Edgcumbe's painter when boarding or alighting Nancy Belle as opposed to tying her alongside. Then if the worst happens and you do fall in and are swept away by the current the tender goes with you ready to be climbed back onto or used as a large buoyancy aid. This obviously applies to any craft being used as a tender.

Painter, a rope attached to the bow of a boat.

Friday, 8 May 2015

Natural Fibre Ropes

As Shamrock is an historic ship, natural hemp fibre ropes are used in her rigging. This may be authentic but it does mean that they need renewing more regularly than man-made fibre ropes would and they also shrink when wet. Shrinkage can lead to problems especially during a period of wet weather following a dry spell. This happened last weekend when despite the rigging being loosened off before the rain arrived, the staysail topping lift snapped under the tension caused by shrinkage resulting in the staysail boom ending up on the deck. A repair was quickly effected with a thimble eye spliced into one end of a new rope, a quick trip up the mast to thread the other end through its block and finally raising the staysail boom back to its stowed position.