After being washed out, Nancy Belle is now stored in the boat shed where she is starting to look a different boat. All her seats, the after deck, forward and after bulkheads have been removed, painting her will now be a lot easier. Any patches of wet wood are being allowed to dry out before the decision is taken on exactly what is to be replaced, this will be in addition to the couple of ribs already known about. After someone mentioned the word 'varnish’ to Shaune, her gunwales are being striped back to bare wood in preparation for a coat of varnish, that’s in addition to some of Shamrock's blocks already in the process of being varnished.
With the days drawing in Shamrock's winter preparations have continued with the main and mizzen sails, booms, gaffs and some blocks removed. Removal of the mast blocks has been delayed until the wind dies down. The most physical job to date involved removing the anchor and all the 61 plus meters (200ft) of anchor chain.
Most of the gear removed from Shamrock has been stowed in the boat shed, due to a rip in the sail cover the mizzen sail did need to be dried before being folded and stowed. The anchor chain has been flaked out on the floor and the anchor placed on top. A section of workbench has been set-aside as a block cleaning and varnishing area. Items that have not got a stowage space and are not in need of immediate maintenance have been moved to the wood store. The shed has also been tided and rearranged ready for Nancy Belle.
Anchor and chain.
Ready for Nancy Belle
As the first winter storms have arrived Nancy Belle has been moved from her river mooring onto Shamrock's slipway. When the tide is right and the crew available she will be hauled onto the boat shed slipway. Finally after she has been washed out she will be moved into the boat shed ready for a few repairs and another coat of paint. Shaune has also been muttering something about moving the waterline down as it has been to high since the new lighter engine was fitted.
Life in the boat shed is now beginning to return to normal after a week of being used for the Halloween activities on the quay. It looked a bit of a mess after all the pumpkin carving, mask and broom making, The crew is not sure who enjoyed it the most, adults or children. These activities, being so close, resulted in a large number of visitors on board during that week.
Winter working has started with the removal of Shamrock's life rings, navigation sidelight boards, cabin furniture and anything else that is easily removed. The cargo hatch vents have been fitted and a temporary winter gangway manufactured. Due to the recent wet weather the sails have been left for a dryer day.
One of the winter tasks is to list what is required to fit an engine in Shamrock. It is planned to install one either: early in the 2016 season, or during the winter of 2016-17. A decision also has to be made as to where the work is to be carried out. If the work is to be done on the slipway at Cotehele Quay then either, new slipway rails need to be fitted or the old sleepers removed, which is proving harder than expected, and the holes filled with concrete. If this option is taken then a new set of different style wheels will need to be purchased for the cradle.