Saturday, 22 June 2019

Lower Hull Planks

Mark has spent the last few weeks in the mud under Shamrock renewing the caulking of any suspect bottom hull plank seams. He has also power washed and scraped these planks ready for a coat of bitumen paint, none of them easy jobs.

Shamrock has been out of the water since October 2017 and needs to be back in the water to prevent her ‘below the waterline’ elm hull planks completely drying out. As her false keel and keelson still need to be replaced, the centre section, approximately 4 ft. (1.2 m) of deck planks, are not going to be replaced until after this work is completed. The newly laid deck planks are being cleaned of 'black butter' (bituminous mastic), sanded and the inboard edges braced ready for caulking. Once caulked the centre gap will have a temporary watertight cover fitted. Shamrock will then be floated off her cradle and returned to her dock. While Shamrock is soaking, the cradle will be modified ready for her to be hauled out later in the year. Work can then be started to complete the second phase of her current conservation work.

To make Shamrock's hull more pleasing to the eye, Shaune, the perfectionist, has started hardening the seams of the upper hull planks using a hot iron.

Saturday, 8 June 2019

Chief Plugger

Joe Lawrence, who has recently handed over his role as Cotehele Head Ranger, is now working on Shamrock until his retirement at the end of July. Joe who pushed for Shamrock's current conservation program, sources most of the wood and materials required and is also currently assisting in the cutting, fitting and paring of the hundreds of wooden plugs. These are required for Shamrock's deck and hull planks.
  • To stiffen the deckhouse side decks, four support straps have been fitted between the ‘beamshelf’ and the deckhouse coaming support beams. These are slightly larger than the side deck straps, and to allow for the deck camber the outer ends are ‘tenon-jointed’ into the ‘beamshelf’ and the inner ends dropped into shoes fixed to the coaming support beam.

  • After being moved back onboard the forward companionway and aft deckhouse have been fitted to their respective coamings.

  • Another twelve deck planks have been cut, shaped and are in the process of having their underside painted.
  • The extension on Shamrock's temporary cover is now down, with the main structure due to be removed within the next few weeks.
  • Painting of Shamrock has been in abeyance for over a year, due to all the work being carried out, so the crew have started priming the covering boards, bulwark stanchions and capping rails. This is the first stage of some protracted ‘Paintbrush’ activity.