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.