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Old 11-18-2007, 05:03 AM
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Default Shamrock 20' pilothouse

Does anyone here have any real life experience with these boats such as performance numbers, ride quality,and build quality.
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Old 11-18-2007, 05:57 AM
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Default Re: Shamrock 20' pilothouse

Register and post a question or use the search feature at www.fishtheclassic.net and you will find quite a few owners and a lot of information.
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Old 11-18-2007, 06:02 AM
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Default Re: Shamrock 20' pilothouse

My uncle had one for 15 years and it was built like a tank and rode like one to,also it was very wet but was very stable at drift.it also was very good on fuel with the 302 ford and sounded good with the duel exhaust.
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Old 11-18-2007, 07:16 AM
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Default Re: Shamrock 20' pilothouse

I have a 20 foot cuddy 1981. It is loud with straight exhaust tooooo loud. They are fun to run; but slow for all the HP. They are built like $hit. Shamrock cut corners at every chance. All aluminum tanks are foamed in and the tanks are shot even in newer boats. Plus the foam holds lots of water and causes problems with the hull. Mine was delamed under the foam. The guys over at fishtheclassic will tell you how great they are; but you can find lots of threads about hull failures. I got one so I could run it aground in the bay with no worries. Don't get caught in the BS and buy it right.
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Old 11-18-2007, 03:29 PM
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Default Re: Shamrock 20' pilothouse

Quote:
CB Haws - 11/18/2007 7:16 AM

I have a 20 foot cuddy 1981. It is loud with straight exhaust tooooo loud. They are fun to run; but slow for all the HP. They are built like $hit. Shamrock cut corners at every chance. All aluminum tanks are foamed in and the tanks are shot even in newer boats. Plus the foam holds lots of water and causes problems with the hull. Mine was delamed under the foam. The guys over at fishtheclassic will tell you how great they are; but you can find lots of threads about hull failures. I got one so I could run it aground in the bay with no worries. Don't get caught in the BS and buy it right.
Man-
you are like Jekyl and Hyde!!! When you post over on FTC, you seem to love your Shammy, but when you post over here, you trash it and run the Shamrock line into the ground. Its hard to take your comments seriously when you flip flop depending on what site you are on!!

In any case the 20 pilothouse IS a solid little boat, that offers a tremendous amont of versatility and alot of function for the money. It is a large 20 footer with excellent fuel economy . The folks over on Fishtheclassic (FTC) wont catch you in any BS, they will offer you honest opinions, some bad, but mostly good.
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Old 11-18-2007, 03:41 PM
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Default Re: Shamrock 20' pilothouse

Man you really need to go back and reread the threads. The guy who runs the site has even deleted some of my comments. So much for free speech. Anyway I will stick with my comments. They were built cheap by cutting corners. They drilled holes and never put any resin on exposed wood, the motor mounts are a joke (lag screws into glassed wood with no sealent),wet foam everywhere, a plastic strut/keel, cheap stainless steel (mine is so rusted it makes me think they were using cheap China SS long ago). I always though they were built tough until I bought one!
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Old 11-18-2007, 03:45 PM
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Default Re: Shamrock 20' pilothouse

Quote:
CB Haws - 11/18/2007 7:16 AM

I have a 20 foot cuddy 1981. It is loud with straight exhaust tooooo loud. They are fun to run; but slow for all the HP. They are built like $hit. Shamrock cut corners at every chance. All aluminum tanks are foamed in and the tanks are shot even in newer boats. Plus the foam holds lots of water and causes problems with the hull. Mine was delamed under the foam. The guys over at fishtheclassic will tell you how great they are; but you can find lots of threads about hull failures. I got one so I could run it aground in the bay with no worries. Don't get caught in the BS and buy it right.
Yeah those fuel tanks are horrible, heres the one I pulled out of my 1989 Shamrock:



How bad does that look after 18 years! My oh my
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Old 11-18-2007, 03:50 PM
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Default Re: Shamrock 20' pilothouse

Quote:
CB Haws - 11/18/2007 3:41 PM

Man you really need to go back and reread the threads. The guy who runs the site has even deleted some of my comments. So much for free speech. Anyway I will stick with my comments. They were built cheap by cutting corners. They drilled holes and never put any resin on exposed wood, the motor mounts are a joke (lag screws into glassed wood with no sealent),wet foam everywhere, a plastic strut/keel, cheap stainless steel (mine is so rusted it makes me think they were using cheap China SS long ago). I always though they were built tough until I bought one!
Cutting corners like the lack of gel cote in the bilge or other hidden areas? No that cant be- theres fine finishes like that throughout.

Lack of sealant on the bolt holes in the motor mounts? Mine had sealant, not much, but some.

Wet foam everywhere? I cant find any??

Rusting SS hardware? I cant find any??

Is your boat perhaps from a salvage? She must have spent sometime in davy jones locker
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Old 11-18-2007, 03:51 PM
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Default Re: Shamrock 20' pilothouse

I gotta agree with CB. I bought a 20' pilothouse with a Perkins diesel sight unseen as a project boat. Price was right, and when I saw her delivered, figured I'd made quite the deal. Whipped her into shape, rebuilt the injector pump and headed out to sea.

Holy mama, that thing was slow, (which I should have known...and actually kinda did figuring that that little diesel was going to run at displacement speeds) but to add insult to injury it also was very wet riding. The final nail was driven when I drilled through hull bottom to install a thru hull transducer. The coupon that came out was no more than a heavy 1/8" thick, and it was ALL chopped strand mat, no roving at all.

She sure was salty lookin though.

Chuck
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Old 11-18-2007, 03:55 PM
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Default Re: Shamrock 20' pilothouse

An 1/8" thick?

Next spammer come on in!
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Old 11-18-2007, 04:13 PM
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Default Re: Shamrock 20' pilothouse

The bottom of my 1984 20cc shamrock is 1 1/2 inches thick.
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Old 11-18-2007, 08:21 PM
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Default Re: Shamrock 20' pilothouse

Once again, complaints about a 26 year old boat bought off of ebay.

No boat is perfect, but Shamrock makes a solid, heavily constructed boat. Not sure what happened to Jag's friends boat, but most are built like a brick s-house.
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Old 11-18-2007, 08:24 PM
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Default Re: Shamrock 20' pilothouse

I should also note that the 20 pilot is an original shamrock design and had a commercial following for tow comapnies and the like.
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Old 11-18-2007, 08:46 PM
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Default Re: Shamrock 20' pilothouse

Silly,

Think what you like. I'm not complaining about the boat, like I said I got a good deal on it, even sold it for a profit. But if your Shamrock has a 11/2" non cored bottom someone has beefed up the flexible flyer. And I'd really like to know what commercial towing co uses a 20' shamrock for anything beyond a harbor tug. I may even still have that coupon the hole saw removed, you really couldn't call it a plug!

Look. The original poster asked about the quality of the hull and I related my experiences. No bone to pick at all, no need for you to get your panties in a wad or your feelings hurt cause I criticized your favorite brand. If it'll make you feel better you can look at the boat I documented the build of on this forum and find fault with it. It won't bother me.

Chuck
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Old 11-18-2007, 10:51 PM
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Default Re: Shamrock 20' pilothouse

Bash shamrocks all you want..I love this boat for all the better or worse she has given me..Its nice to go 16 knots into 4 foot sea...
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Old 11-19-2007, 05:23 AM
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Default Re: Shamrock 20' pilothouse

Quote:
CB Haws - 11/18/2007 3:41 PM

Man you really need to go back and reread the threads. The guy who runs the site has even deleted some of my comments. So much for free speech.
You have no reason to expect "free speech" on a privately owned forum, especially one that you don't even have to pay to be on. Geeeez, I guess your ignorance isn't just restricted to boats.
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Old 11-19-2007, 05:28 AM
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Default Re: Shamrock 20' pilothouse

Quote:
skypoke - 11/18/2007 8:46 PM

Silly,

Think what you like. I'm not complaining about the boat, like I said I got a good deal on it, even sold it for a profit. But if your Shamrock has a 11/2" non cored bottom someone has beefed up the flexible flyer. And I'd really like to know what commercial towing co uses a 20' shamrock for anything beyond a harbor tug. I may even still have that coupon the hole saw removed, you really couldn't call it a plug!

Look. The original poster asked about the quality of the hull and I related my experiences. No
bone to pick at all, no need for you to get your panties in a wad or your feelings hurt cause I criticized your favorite brand. If it'll make you feel better you can look at the boat I documented the build of on this forum and find fault with it. It won't bother me.

Chuck
I don't wear "panties", and if I did, they're not in a bind....my comments were directed to the other guy with the 26 year old problem hull. No worries.

But just out of curiosity, what hp was your Perkins? Don't those turn pretty slow? I'm guessing that hull needs about a 170-190hp diesel to run decently. Mine has a 315hp gasser and will run 30knots WFO. (And yes, it is loud as sh_t!! and I had thought about a Sounddown upgrade. Anyway, some call them the Harley of boats.)

As for towing, I have seen plenty, but here are some examples on the web:
http://towboatuscapemay.com/Fleet.htm
http://www.cumberlandtowboat.com/id19.htm

Cheers


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Old 11-19-2007, 05:31 AM
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Default Re: Shamrock 20' pilothouse

Quote:
skypoke - 11/18/2007 11:46 PM

And I'd really like to know what commercial towing co uses a 20' shamrock for anything beyond a harbor tug.
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Old 11-19-2007, 07:07 AM
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Default RE: Shamrock 20' pilothouse

Quote:
CB Haws - 11/18/2007 3:41 PM

a plastic strut/keel
Hey CB, I ran over a submerged dock after Hurricane Isabel and jumped the whole boat out of the water. Somehow that "plastic" keel managed to come away quite literally with only a scratch. There was no hull damage, no prop damage and no rudder damage. Just scratched bottom paint (and had to hear my wife remind me that she told me to slow down).

And just for the record, my '88 still has solid motor mounts and the only wet foam was from a previous owner screwing up the trim tab installation. Plus all of the metal work is still good despite sitting unprotected in a boat slip for nine months per year for all but two years of her life. So far I would rate the build quality as very good since my boat is nearly 20 years old and in pretty much the same shape as when Shamrock built her.





As for the original question, it is a wet riding hull and it will pound in a steep chop unless you slow down. For that reason you will want tabs so you can get the bow down to cut the chop. But the worse it gets the better the hulls do. They are better in real slop than simple choppy water. With my 302 4 barrel, the most economincal cruise is around 20 knots, cruising speed is just under 30 and these keel hulls do not like being pushed above 35. I don't have fuel burn numbers because I don't track it. But it is pretty easy on fuel if you stay out of the back barrels which is around 2900 rpm and somewhere around 20 knots depending on load. She caries 52 gallons of fuel and the cruising range varies according to how you run the engine.

As I said, build quality on mine is very good. The gel coat is pretty chalky from two decades in the sun. But all of the metal and fiberglass is good. All of the fittings are either SS or bronze and have held up very well. I do have a limp deck hatch from an unsealed hole for the pull. So I need to recore that. But that is an easy enough fix. Otherwise she is a solid boat and we have had five pretty uneventful years of ownership. Mostly we have just had to fix areas of neglect from the previous owner that pretty much just left her in a slip all year with little or no maintenance.

Running them takes practice if you are coming from outboards. But the boat is a rock anchored or drifting and that alone keeps us from selling her. It is slower than an outboard. So if high speed running is what you want then this is not the boat for you. If a fishing platform that will keep you out there long after bigger boats have packed it in is what you want, then it is a good hull for you. Once you have fished off an inboard it is very hard to deal with fishing on outboards. The clean transom is hard to beat.

And believe it or not, it is pretty good shallow water boat because of the keel and the midship water intake. I fish shallows and grass beds all the time and frequently beach her. So far she has backed off of everything I have put her on. Which brings up trailering. You really want a trailer that keeps the keel down low to make launching easy and the axles should be under the engine instead of the typical outboard setup. Take the time to setup the trailer right and it is no more difficult on the ramp than any other 20' boat.

So what to look for:

A rusty oil pan is very bad because it requires pulling the engine to repair.

Some older boats came with galvanized pipe in the exhaust. And that is a sinking waiting to happen because it corrodes from the inside out. But replacing the exhaust hose or adding mufflers is the first thing you want to do with a used Shamrock anyway because of the submerged exhaust system. That is the area you need to be serious about.

Rotten gas tanks if they were totally encased in foam. Mine were not and are still fine. But replacement is not outrageously expensive and you can inspect or replace the tanks through two deck hatches so that may or may not be a deal breaker. Suppliers and prices are available at the link I gave earlier.

Obviously check for rotten wood in the engine beds, soft decks and all the usual stuff like that you want to watch for in used boats. A rusty engine may look bad. But with an iron block engine that may not mean a thing.

These boats tend to get worked and fished hard. That is especially true of the pilothouse models. So watch for signs of abuse. But they are also typically owned by people that are not new to boats. So, if it looks squared away, then it probably is.

A rewired boat is a plus because old wiring is a breakdown waiting to happen and old Shamrocks were not always the best wired boats out there. The wiring in my dash was daisy chained so I rewired it and added bus bars. The engine wiring is still original and has never given me trouble.

Check to see if it has points ignition. A relatively inexpensive upgrade to a breakerless ignition is a good idea if it does.

A fresh water cooled engine is very nice to have if you are in a cold climate. You can easily plumb a heater into the system and you don't have to drain the engine when it freezes out.



Plus: A repower will not break the bank, maintenance is simple, parts are cheap and everything is accessible without having to cut the deck, drill holes or add inspection plates. They are rock solid drifting and anchored. So no puking over the side when fishing in rough seas. Despite what CB says, I would say build quality on the many hulls I have looked at has been good.

Minus: The boat is a wet ride and it pounds if you insist on running fast through a chop. They are not very fast compared to similar horsepower in an I/O or outboard. If you are an outboard guy, then there is a learning curve to running the boat.



That is about all the real world experience I am up for typing.
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Old 11-19-2007, 08:40 AM
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Default RE: Shamrock 20' pilothouse

Where do I begin,

83 20ft P/H Perkins 4cyl

Not the fastest I've owned, but one of the most stable platforms I have ever had. Wet? Well yes, a little, but I'm on the WATER, not in the desert.

I'm in no hurry to get anywhere. Period. I time my trips and rely on a steady 15mph rate of travel.

I take mine to both Fresh water and Salt. People freak at the lake when I launch and they see the keel. When I turn the key, that lil Perkins fires on the first crank. No smoke. Freaks some of them out. I can launch and recover her by myself in about 5 minutes.

When I first got her she had fuel delivery problems. Cut the tanks open, inspected them, cleaned them out. Replaced 43 ft of fuel lines and modified the fuel switches and racor. Added a racor vaccum gauge. Now she runs like my Tissot.

1900 rpm gets me 15-16mph and about 2gls per hour.

I've come back from Catalina to the 22nd St landing in the quarteing snot and had water coming over the rails and running all three bilge pumps and plugs out the self bailing deck, water over the P/H! Closed the doors, hunkered down and drove her home.

A little tight in the engine compartment at times when changing oil filter and draining oil but I can still do it.

A little on the loud side, but I love the sound of that perkins.

I've been slapped around by the ocean like a red headed step child in this baby and in my opinion,,,

She's built like a brick sh*t House. i've Been out 40, 60 miles (butterfly) and never hesitate to leave the shorline behind.

In short,
I love my Shamrock.
Reliable.
Steady.
Fearless.
and the wife thinks it's a "cute" boat.

Love em or hate em, bash em all you want, I'm 50 and this is my LAST boat.

And since it sits in my driveway, and I use it 4-5 times per week, MY opinion, based on my experience's, is what counts to ME.


Get Sum



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