SHAMROCK CK200 is a 45ft Aldous smack built in 1900. SHAMROCK joined the Colchester Oyster Fishing fleet and for many years was watch boat for the Mersea and Tollesbury Oyster Fishery Co. Ltd. During the winter 1962/63 she was moored on the River Blackwater. On a particularly cold night in January 1963 she was wrecked by ice borne in on the tide.
Salvaged by Cecil Stebbins, she was rebuilt and converted to a gaff cruising yacht by Brian K Thomas from 1967-71. When offered for sale in the Old Gaffers Association Newsletter in 1980, by Tony James of Exmouth, Devon, she was described as a ‘classic smack conversion, maintained to highest standard, based on the Exe’.
From 1970-80 there was constant renewal and restoration of SHAMROCK. In 1970 she was refastened and recaulked. Over £6,000 was spent on maintenance and improvements since 1974, including new 70 HP Ford diesel, new boom, bowsprit and running rigging. As a result, SHAMROCK received an excellent survey in May 1980 and was in immaculate condition for her age. SHAMROCK was fully equipped for extensive cruising and was the winner of Class 1 South West Old Gaffers Race in 1980.
SHAMROCK is known to have formed part of the Exeter Maritime Museum collection, but in 1996 the Museum was closed and the collection dispersed. Around 2004, she was seen at Southwold needing a major rebuild, she was also reported to have been seen in a yard in Lowestoft around 2011, just opposite the International Boatbuilding Training College. In 2016 her whereabouts were reported as unknown via Facebook. Several people remained interested in her and posts confirmed she was at Lowestoft Marina, having been there for a few years. In March 2017, she was purchased and returned to Brightlingsea, with the intention to undertake a full restoration.
SHAMROCK built by Aldous & Sons in Brightlingsea
Wrecked by ice borne in on the tide on the River Blackwater
Salvaged by Cecil Stebbins then rebuilt and converted to a gaff cruising yacht by Brian K Thomas
Winner of the Class 1 South West Old Gaffers Race
Sold by Tony James of Exmouth, Devon
Part of the Exeter Maritime Museum but the museum's closure in 1996 saw the collection dispersed
Reported as being seen at Southwold needing a major rebuild
Reported to have been seen in a yard in Lowestoft, just opposite the International Boatbuilding Training College
Purchased and returned to Brightlingsea for a full restoration
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