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Shamrock 26

Circa 1988

Shamrock 26

This is the first time we've had a good look at Shamrock, and I'm not sure whether this example is representative of what they are building today. However, we do get a lot of questions about this builder which heretofore we've been unable to answer.

Without further ado, I'll say that this boat is basically just run-of-the-mill, ho hum, plane jane fiberglass boat. Aside from the style of the hull and the keel, there are zillions just like it. At 11 years old it's holding up okay but has its share of problems.

  • The hull sides are extremely thin.
  • The transom is plywood cored, is delaminated and rotted.
  • The transom is so swollen with water that it has distorted and buckled and delaminated the cockpit liner.
  • The exhaust system uses iron pipe, laying deep in the bilge. You can guess the outcome.
  • The exhaust piping is below the waterline, which is real helpful to the engine exhaust valves.
  • The cockpit drains are an inch above the water line and it looks like this boat has sunk at least once because of it.
  • The bottom is badly blistered.
  • The engine transmission is deep in the bilge and gets wet with about two inches of water in the  bilge, which is then thrown around by the shaft coupling. The engine was rebuilt one year ago, but has already turned into a ball of rust.

Other than that, everything is fine. But, hey, no boat is perfect. You can fix all those things. At least once.

With a single 270 hp V8 gas inboard with the builders trade name on it, and a relatively flat bottom, this boat is a flyer in calm water, but the seas on this day were a bit too much for this size boat to try it out in the ocean. Looking at the bottom, I'd consider it basically a fair weather sailor. The boat has trim tabs but doesn't need them since it trims out very flat.

Shamrock-2.JPG (31176 bytes)

There's no mystery about what might cause this boat to sink with the scuppers 1" above water line and the deck with hatch opening only 3' above water line. Of course, you're supposed to put the plugs in the drains . . . . .

Shamrock-4.JPG (54295 bytes)

The engine spark plugs are below deck level. Good luck getting them out. Note that there is no coffer dam around the engine box to keep water off of iron and steel stuff that rusts. Check out the next photo.

The keel, of course, greatly affects the steering but not adversely. It does not slide into a turn but makes perfectly level turns which is kinda interesting and fun to zig-zag around. Really different than what you're used to.

A decent size cuddy cabin is almost useable for sleep overs, but the enclosed head with a porta potty is best for what it is currently being used for: storage. No way could I get my body in there.

Shamrock-5.JPG (38949 bytes)

The buyer had been told that the engine had just been rebuilt, and was given invoices to prove it. This is what the back and underside of the engine looked like as a result of the way it was mounted. Rebuilt? In fact, the seller got screwed by the "rebuilder" who did not rebuild it. These bolts have never been touched.

Shamrock-3.JPG (42054 bytes)
Iron sections of exhaust system sitting deep in the bilge.

The motor box is one of the nicest features; it's set up with fore-n-aft seats that are nice to sit on without getting much in the way of the cockpit if you're a fishinfanatic. The batteries are cleverly installed on a frame above the engine and very easy to service. On the way down side, the engine is installed so deep in the bilge that the spark plugs are one inch from the deck with virtually no way to get them out short of lifting the engine. Speaking of clever, that's not.

All I feel inclined to say is: Nice try but no cigar.

Posted June 27, 1999

David Pascoe Power Boat Books

Buyers' Guide to Outboard Boats Surveying Fiberglass Power Boats (2E)

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David Pascoe - Biography

David Pascoe is a second generation marine surveyor in his family who began his surveying career at age 16 as an apprentice in 1965 as the era of wooden boats was drawing to a close.

Certified by the National Association of Marine Surveyors in 1972, he has conducted over 5,000 pre purchase surveys in addition to having conducted hundreds of boating accident investigations, including fires, sinkings, hull failures and machinery failure analysis.

Over forty years of knowledge and experience are brought to bear in following books. David Pascoe is the author of:

In addition to readers in the United States, boaters and boat industry professionals worldwide from nearly 80 countries have purchased David Pascoe's books, since introduction of his first book in 2001.

In 2012, David Pascoe has retired from marine surveying business at age 65.

On November 23rd, 2018, David Pascoe has passed away at age 71.

Biography - Long version


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