Sunday, 20 May 2018

Port Side

With the completion of Shamrock's starboard beamshelf and frame repairs a start has been made on her port side. Large areas on her port deck have been receiving the reciprocating saw treatment to enable the removal of the starboard cargo gate*, bulwark and stanchions. In the process more wet rot has been discovered in some wooden knees and the underside of the covering board and the full extent of the rot in the after deckhouse coaming has been exposed. Shamrocks deck winch, windlass and sluice pump have been removed to the boat shed ready to be stripped down, cleaned and repainted.

Visitors can now see the repairs to Shamrock progressing with the opening up of the front section of her cover. The moving of Shamrock's hut adjacent to the opening means the wellbeing of her 'Meet and Greet' crew has been assured and puts them close to the visitors.

 *Cargo gates, moveable sec­tion of bulwarks to facilitate loading or dis­charging cargo, situated on each side of the car­go hatch.
Missing deck!
Wooden knee.
Covering board.
Deckhouse coaming
Cargo gate.
Sluice pump.
Deck winch and windlass
Open for visitors.

Saturday, 5 May 2018

May Update

The renewal of Shamrock's starboard beamshelf has been completed with the cutting and fitting of the forward section. The first hull plank has been cut from a 9.75 meter (32ft) plank, steamed shaped and fitted. With the high cost of galvanised boat nails the crew have been employed in recycling a large quantity of old nails that where recovered during the removal of Shamrock's hull planks. These have been straightened, cleaned and finally had a coat of galvanise paint.

Beamshelf section bing checked for size and fit.
Beamshelf complete.
Shaped hull plank.
The last boat nail
Hammered home.
First hull plank in place.
Old nails.
Mass production.

Monday, 23 April 2018

Readying Nancy Belle

After a week in the boat shed having quick lick of paint and some varnish Nancy Belle is now back in the water ready for the seasons 'Nancy Belle boat trips'. Before the first trip the arduous task of surveying the river had to be endured with warm sunny weather and a spring tide Nancy Belle ventured to the highest tidal reaches of the Tamar with no unknown sunken trees or other navigational hazards being found.

Approaching Morwellham
Gunnislake weir

Friday, 13 April 2018

Almost Empty Boat Shed

With shipwrights Shugs and Josh away completing another job, the crew has taken the opportunity to clear out soggy shavings and scraps of timber from around under and in Shamrock and also a general tidying of the area ready for visitors. It's planned to build a scaffold walkway under her cover allowing visitors to see Shamrock's repairs progressing. The wood that has been drying in the boat shed has now been moved out onto the quay allowing it to dry naturally and freeing up space in the boat shed. Some of that free space has already been taken up by ‘Nancy Belle’ ready for a quick coat of paint before her river trips start. She was due to be painted on the boat shed slipway but the weather had other ideas, too wet or too cold.

Clean and tidy.
Will it dry?
Lots of space.

Friday, 30 March 2018

Cornish Oak

As Shamrock spent the majority of her working life plying her trade in the Truro - Falmouth area it seems only fitting that some of the large slabs of Oak being used in her repair have been sourced from the Tregothnan estate that is situated alongside the confluence of the Fal and Truro rivers. These Sessile Oaks where planted in 1880 and cut approximately three years ago having survived the mass tree felling of the Second Word war due to their remote location. The Oak slabs have been used in the repair/replacement of Shamrock's starboard lodging knees and frames. Shamrock's starboard frame repairs are now complete also the third new section of beamshelf has been bolted into place along with that sections beams and hanging knees.   

Cornish Oak.
Completed frame repairs.
Hanging knee installation.
Beamshelf through bolted scarf.
Shamrock's new river view.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Shamrock Repairs March Update

The discovery that the forward section of the starboard beamshelf had been renewed in the past with an undersized section, was only loosely bolted to the frames and not attached to the Breasthook*. This has resulted in it being removed and a new section is being cut ready for fitting. It has also been found that there is no evidence of the starboard side beam ends ever being secured to the beamshelf. To correct this, the beams are now being through bolted onto the new beamshelf as it is fitted. More areas of rot have been discovered in some of the main beams, one of them being a section of beam behind the main mast tabernacle. This beam also supports the forward end of the cargo hatch combing and will need more investigation. Most of Shamrock's starboard side deck planks have been removed with the chain locker seeing the light of day for the first time since her restoration. With the amount of water ingress found between the deck planks and beams it has been decided to remove all the deck planking to allow all the beams to be checked, repaired or renewed as necessary and allowed to dry out before fitting new deck planks. Shamrock's windlass and deck winch have been unbolted and moved to the side ready to be removed to the boat shed once space is available. One bit of good news is that to date only one small section of rot has been found in the ceiling planks. Most of Shamrock's starboard side frame repairs have been completed and her lines are looking pleasing to the eye.

*BREASTHOOK A grown timber crook or wrought-iron knee used either as a tie to bind the Stempost, Beamshelf, Hawse or frame tim­bers of the bow together.

Breasthook port side.
Breasthook starboard side, no bolts.
Beam rot behind main tabernacle.
Rotten ceiling plank. 
Missing deck.
New short beam.
Repaired frames.

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Chainsaw Mill

With repairs to Shamrock's frames and knees continuing, time has been taken to split a 13.3cm (5.25in) thick and about 7.6m (25ft) long plank of larch into two planks. To complete the cut a rather lethal looking chain saw mill was used, even this required three persons to use it, one to operate the chainsaw, one to push the mill along the plank and one to keep driving in wedges along the cut to prevent the chainsaw becoming stuck between the two sections of plank. The larger 8.2cm (3.25in) plank is to be used as the last section of beamshelf and has been marked out ready for shaping. Away from Shamrock the first of the two new quay ladders has been bolted into place and Nancy Belle's deck boards are receiving a fresh coat of paint ready for the river trips in the forthcoming season. On an eco-friendly note, the wood used for the ladders has been sourced from two larch trees which came from the Cotehele estate.

Chainsaw mill.
Starting the cut.
A long way to go.
New ladder.