by David Pascoe
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.
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 . . . . .
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.
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.
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