Shamrock CK200 45ft Aldous built 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, 1967-71. When offered for sale in the Old Gaffers Association Newsletter, 1980, by Tony James of Exmouth, Devon, she was described as a ‘classic smack conversion, maintained to highest standard, based on the Exe’:

Constant renewal and restoration 1970/80. Over £6,000 spent on maintenance and improvements since 1974, inc. new 70 hp Ford diesel, new boom, bowsprit, running rigging. Excellent survey May 1980. Refastened and recaulked 1970. Immaculate condition for her age. Fully equipped for extansive cruising. Winner Class 1, 1980, South West Old Gaffers Race.

She 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 within a few miles of Brightlingsea, with the intention to undertake a full restoration.

Shamrock using previous reg no CK174
Mary Amelia & Shamrock
SHAMROCK CK200 in Thornfleet. Peter French. After 1963 dredging stopped in Thornfleet.
Smack SHAMROCK CK200 in Thornfleet Summer 1954. Taken from WATERLILY CK309 by John Rowley. Shaver Mills in white boots.
There is a model of the SHAMROCK in the National Museum of Scotland – model built by Mr Lance Foster of Kelvedon.
Tollesbury – smacks CK104 BLUEBELL, CK431 ADC, ?, CK200 SHAMROCK.