Monday, 24 December 2018

More Plugs

Most of Shamrock's old bulwark stanchions are now back in place along with a temporary ribbon rail. A start has been made on plugging the recessed bolt/nail holes on the newly fitted hull planks. Oak plugs will need to be cut before the sheer strake can be plugged. All work on Shamrock has now stopped until the new year.

Saturday, 15 December 2018

December Update

With all the progress made in the last few weeks Shamrock is starting to look like her old self.
  • The fairing of her sheer line has been completed. 
  • All four new oak sheer strake planks have been cut to size, nailed and bolted into place. 
  • On the starboard side one more complete strake of hull planks has been completed. 

Bolted butt joint.
  • In the boat shed the next strake of larch hull planks has been cut and planed to size. Once these are fitted one more strake will be needed to seal the hull. This will be completed after the the new bulwark stanchions and covering boards have been fitted.
  • The old bulwark stanchions have been recovered with the starboard sides being temporarily fitted and the port side awaiting fitting. This will enable templates for the new covering boards to be made. 

  • Beams that are not being renewed are being stripped of paint and their old deck nail holes plugged.

Saturday, 24 November 2018

November Update

Shamrock work being progressed and completed.
  • Two 9.75 meter (32 ft) oak starboard sheer strake planks (the top line of hull planks) have been cut steamed and temporarily coach screwed into place while the wood sets. The coach screw holes will be used for the plank nails. Oak is replacing the larch used in her restoration as it is stronger, will help to stiffen Shamrock's hull and provides a solid base for the covering board nails along the top edge.
  • A larger steamer has been fabricated for steaming the larger planks.
  • The hull plank signed by visitors has been steamed, clamped, treated and nailed into place. It is the fourth plank down on the aft starboard side.
  • Shamrock's temporary cover has been extended creating room to manoeuvre the large timber planks on the port side.

  • The port sheer line has been marked out with the frames and beams being faired to the line.
  • In the boat shed all of Shamrocks rigging blocks have been stripped of varnish, given a coat of woodskin and stowed ready for use.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Last Knee Fitted

Shamrock news.

  • After fitting the double knee to Shamrock's starboard side in two sections a cut of oak was found that had a natural curve in the grain enabling the port side double knee to be cut and fitted in one piece, it was a bit heavy. 
  • With the renewal of the forward beam knees all knee replacements have now been completed, John had the honour of bolting the last one in place on the starboard side.
  • Repairs to the port side frames have been completed.
  • Port side sheer line has been marked out and the frames and beams cut to the sheer line.
  • Oak for the bulwark stanchions has been sourced from Anton Coaker English Timber, on Dartmoor. Some stanchions are also going to be cut from the good sections of Shamrock's old beams.
  • More partner beams are being fitted
One piece double knee.
John dropping the final knee into position.
Shuggs fairing Shamrock's port side.
The hunt is now on for two 30cm (1ft) x 12cm (5in) x 2.6meter (8ft 6in) air dried cuts of seasoned oak. As this is for a new main tabernacle, that takes all the power from Shamrock's main mast while under sail, it must be clean with no knots or shakes, the original has a number of shakes and also a few knots.
If anyone can help please contact the crew at:-

One of Shamrock's main tabernacle cheeks.

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

October Update

To cut down on future maintenance (varnishing) Shamrock's bowsprit, rigging blocks, masts, booms and gaffs are being stripped of varnish and coated with ‘Woodskin’.’ Woodskin’, a product combining varnish and oil, penetrates deep into wood, leaving a thin surface film that will not crack or flake. The advantages of Woodskin over varnish are: it's a lot easier to apply, scuffs and chips can be quickly repaired and simply requires a clean before applying a new coat when required. The disadvantage is that it's not quite as shiny as varnish.

John Habgood has joined Shamrock's repair team and is working with Shaune in the production and fitting of oak knees including a double knee on the starboard side. They have also been extracting the old Danish (square section) boat nails from the port side frames without damaging the existing wood. After initially driving the nails deeper into the frame, breaking the seal, most have been removed using a crowbar with a section of scaffold pole giving extra leverage. The remainder have had a section of threaded bar welded to the top and then using a tube, some drilled metal plates, some nuts and an impact wrench to draw them out. Removing the starboard side nails had been easer as most of the top section of frames has been renewed. There is a lot more working space on that side and tapered boat nails where used. With Shamrock's starboard side sheer line marked out Shuggs and Josh have faired the frame ends to the line and faired her beams to the sheer and camber to insure the new covering boards and deck planks will lay flat. They are also progressing with the repairs to her port side frames.

Double knee.

Ready for the covering board.
Shuggs fairing the last starboard frame. 

Monday, 8 October 2018

Beams & Knees

Shamrock's conservation work has been progressing well over the past few weeks with the following oak items cut fashioned and fitted.
  • Forward cargo hatch coaming main beam.
  • Extra forward beam. While not only providing extra strength this will also allow Shamrock's deck winch to be bolted through the deck and a beam at both ends. It was originally bolted through the deck and beam at one end with the other end through the deck and a loose reinforcing plank beneath.
  • One aft beam. 
  • Aft deck shelf.
  • Aft deck shelf extended around warping horse and deadwood. This will prevent the deck moving around the deadwood and warping horse uprights helping to maintain a watertight seal.
  • Transom knees.
  • Aft beam knees.
A total of four beams ended up being cut from the naturally curved oak tree originally acquired for the main beam.

New aft beam.
New forward beams.
Aft deck shelf and extension.
New knees.

Monday, 17 September 2018

Two In One Out

With the two new beams bolted firmly in place, and using two heavy duty cargo straps to hold Shamrock's sides in place, the forward cargo hold coaming and the main beam beneath it have been removed. The two cargo straps, one forward and one aft of the main beam, are fitted across Shamrock and secured around a frame and the beamshelf at both ends. A large plank of oak from a tree with a natural curve has been sourced and the new main beam has been cut from it. There is enough oak left over to cut out a second beam that is earmarked for the next beam forward of the main beam.

New forward beam fitted.
Removing the main beam.
Aft securing strap.
Well secured.
Marking out the main beam.

Monday, 10 September 2018

New Beams

The shaping, steaming and temporary clamping into place of the last section of starboard beamshelf has enabled the cutting and temporary fitting of Shamrock's aftermost deck beam. To get the correct deck camber a plywood template has been produced taking the curve from her cargo hatch after beam. Two partner beams have also been cut with tenons at one end that are to be mortised into the new beam while the other ends are to be bolted to the new deadwood adding extra rigidity to Shamrock's stern. Sections for her after deck shelf have been temporarily fitted to the transom and one of the forward beams that needs replacing has been cut and shaped ready for fitting. These new sections will need to be removed and given a protective coating before they are finally bolted in place.

Last section of beamshelf
Josh beam shaping.
New aft beam in position.
Partner beams.
Deck shelf.
New forward beam.

Friday, 31 August 2018

Warping Horse

With the new warping horse in place followers of Shamrock may notice the new top beam has a pronounced curve when compared with one fitted in the late 1970’s restoration. This is intentional. Details of this form, for the warping horse, were found amongst a collection of old photos of Shamrock operating in and around Falmouth. Amongst these there is one photo of her under motor/sail, taken from astern, showing her original warping horse complete with curve. Shamrock's top gudgeon has been fitted and checked for alignment. The rotten rear port section of beamshelf has been removed and a replacement is being fashioned. Thanks to Richard Trebilcock for the historic photos.

New warping horse.
Shamrock off Falmouth
Top gudgeon.
Checking alignment.

Monday, 20 August 2018


Six inch (15 cm) high draught figures, spaced 1ft (30 cm) apart from the underside of the keel have been carved in Shamrock's new sternpost. This is now bolted in place and the bottom two rudder gudgeons have been fitted. The top gudgeon has had an extra steel strap welded on its inside edge ensuring that once fitted the ruder pintle drops freely through all three gudgeon eyes. Oak for the new warping horse has been cut to size, using the old warping horse as a template, with shallow groves being cut on the inboard face of the new transom ready to receive the uprights. Lengths of galvanised treaded bar with a nut welded on one end have been used for the through bolting of the transom planks. Through bolting is achieved by drilling through the section to be attached with a drill the same diameter as the bar and then counter sink ensuring the nut will not be proud and there is sufficient space for a socket. The receiving plank is drilled undersize, once the plank butts have received a layer of black butter, an impact gun is used to screw the bar into the receiving plank.
New and old sternpost.
Sternpost fitted.
Botton gudgeons.
Ready for the uprights.
New warping horse timbers.
Old warping horse.