Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Oak Lodging Knees

Shamrock has ten deck beams with oak ‘lodging knees’ mounted horizontally between beam and Shamrock's side providing horizontal stiffness and ‘hanging knees’ to provide vertical stiffness as well as preventing her sides sagging. With the two new after sections of beamshelf bolted into place there was relief all round when with the fitting of the first three ‘hanging knees’ it was found that Shamrock had kept her shape. With her side now held firmly in place the remaining ‘hanging knee’ has been removed along with the last section of the beamshelf that is due for replacement. The removal of this part of the beamshelf exposed substantial amounts of rot in various sections of beams and frames. Also revealed was damage to a lodging knee that has split on the line of a through bolt hole. (Yet another job of repair or renewal). Rot had already been discovered in the ‘lodging knee’ attached to the cargo hold ‘after’ coaming support beam, and has been repaired with a new section of oak scarfed into place. In preparation for the final stages of repair, a large nail punch has been manufactured ready to be used when the hull planks are fitted.

Hanging knees and beamshelf in place.
Rotton lodging knee.
Exposed beam.
Broken knee.
More rot.
Repaired lodging knee.
Shugs mass production of lodging knees.
Checking for size.
More shaping required
Homemade nail punch.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Missing Deck Planks

With the quay starting to look like a paddy field, work is still continuing on Shamrock with the fitting of the after two sections of the beamshelf. A third beamshelf section still needs to be manufactured once the last remains of the existing section are removed. Six of the seven hanging knees have been moved to the boat shed for cleaning and painting with the seventh to follow once it has been removed. To enable the refitting of these knees the starboard side deck planks, up to the side of the cargo hatch coaming, have been removed to expose the half beams to which the top of the knees are through bolted. Some of the beams have started to rot due to the ingress of water through the deck plank seams and will need to be replaced or repaired. With the removal of the deck planks the amount of old caulking to be removed has been greatly reduced, much to the relief of the crew. The after cabin, soon to be the engine room, has had its two bunks removed in preparation for the fitting of the propeller shaft, engine and subsidiary equipment.

Missing deck planks.
Two new sections of beamshelf bolted in place.
This section is still to be removed, note the mycelium around the scarf.
Hanging knees.
Beam rot exposed after removal of hanging knees.
Remains of Shamrock's after bunks.

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Lots Of Coach Bolts

Repairs to the last of the top sections of the starboard side frames of Shamrock are nearing completion, so, the next job will be the ‘coach bolting’ of the beamshelf onto the frames. Coach bolts which were left over from Shamrock's restoration are to be used, however, the screw threads of the bolts needed to be lengthened by about 5cm (2in), not so easy. Luckily an old thread cutter, (that’s a tool not a person), has been pressed back into service making the job a bit easier and the sixty bolts required have been completed. Visitors to Cotehele Quay will have noticed that Shamrock's temporary cover now has had a large number of reinforced venting holes cut in the top and bottom of the sides. This is to allow her to dry out as originally the cover suffered from a severe condensation problem on the inside. As the old and new sections of frames need to dry out as much as possible before being sealed in by the new hull planks, the actual fitting of these planks will be one of the last jobs. In the meantime the drying out will enable the re-caulking of the deck to press ahead.

Last of the frame repairs.
Thread cutter.
Modified coach bolts.
Shamrock's vented cover.

Saturday, 6 January 2018

January Floods

With the first week in January bringing a combination of heavy rain, low pressure, gales and spring tides Cotehele Quay has seen the river flood the quay more than once in the week giving Shamrock's boat shed the appearance of being surrounded by a moat. Access to the boat shed required wellingtons or waders but at least it remained dry.

Shaune waiting for the tide to drop.
View from the road.
Who needs a launching trolly
View from the rear of the boat shed.
River bank breach.
Grey wagtail checking the detritus.

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Frame Repairs Progressing

Shamrock's frame repairs are progressing with a couple of frames only requiring a final fettling and preserving before the new beamshelf and hull planks can be fitted. While this is progressing the crew has made a start on renewing the main deck caulking with the removal of some of the existing caulking.

New frame section scarfed and bolted.
Shugs (Adrian) working on the next frame.
Shamrock's front door.
Main deck access point.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

More Wood

The planks cut from three European larch trees have arrived from Scotland and have joined the oak planks stacked and drying out in the now congested boat shed. The majority of the larch will be used for her hull planks. Shamrock's temporary working cover has been raised allowing for easer access and less cramped working conditions.

Congested Boat Shed
Raised cover
Under the cover looking forward.
Looking aft.
Starboard side.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Oak Frames

Shamrock's repairs are continuing with the ‘aftermost’ section of her starboard beamshelf being cut and shaped as well as bungs of various sizes being produced ready to stopper any old nail holes. Timber has started to arrive with 32ft (10m) planks of freshly cut oak along with slabs of seasoned oak for repairing Shamrock's frames and the production of bulwark stanchions. A start has been made on her frames with two sections being cut and shaped. The newly arrived oak planks have been moved into the boat shed and stacked for drying. This was completed using a combination of ancient and new technology, (logs and a powered grab). In preparation for any winter storms a new covering frame has been fabricated and placed on Shamrock with some stronger tarpaulins to provide cover.

Josh admiring his work.
Checking for size.
New section of frame.
Modern tech.
Ancient tech. 
Oak plank stack.
New covers.
As well as ongoing repairs to Shamrock other jobs are also continuing at Cotehele quay with new quayside ladders being constructed. These are to replace the old condemned ladders that have already been removed due to their unsafe (rotten) condition. In one instance a broken rung  caused a “mud angel” to appear. (Similar to those that can be formed in snow).The river has been cleared of all of our other boats with Nancy Belle being hauled up the boat shed slipway, cleaned and covered. The ‘Edgcumbe’, Shamrock's workboat and the pram dingy being moved to the boat yard and covered.

*”Mud angel” - the imprint left by a person falling in the mud.

Nancy Belle ready for winter.
New ladder.