Shamrock Boats was founded in 1971 and, with the exception of a period in 1995 and 1996 when the company fell on some financial hard times and changed ownership, has built boats ever since with only one purpose in mind - fishing.
The Shamrock 260 was introduced in 1980 and, although commonly referred to a 26 footer, the actual centerline length is 25' 9". The design has what is known as a modified "V" hull shape with deep "V" shape forward that gradually flattens towards the transom. The area where the bottom and hull sides meet forms a sharp edge known as a hard chine and there is a full-length skeg keel along the bottom. Flatter sections aft provide better lift and more speed with less horsepower but can cause the boat to pound at high speed in choppy water. The full-length keel aids directional stability and protects running gear but at the cost of speed-robbing additional wetted surface.
Like all boat designs, this one is a compromise but those compromises have been made with plenty of thought and planning to produce a boat with excellent speed and handling characteristics that makes an excellent fishing boat and is trailerable to boot. This 260 model continued in production until the end of the 1999 model year when a new 260 Express model was introduced.
Many manufacturers of boats in this size range build their hulls and liners with machinery called a "chopper gun" that mixes resin with strands of fiberglass that is then sprayed into a mold. Although it is a more time consuming method, all Shamrock 260 hulls decks and component parts were hand-laid using rolled fiberglass materials and resin. The hull is molded in two halves and, depending on the deck and cabin configuration, an additional 15 to 20 individual molds are used to create the parts necessary for the completed vessel. This allows for removable components that provide easy access for replacement of machinery and tanks. It's a more expensive way to build boats but the result can often save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars when repairs become necessary.
When the two halves of the hull are joined, the keel is filled with a mixture of resin, sand and glass fiber resulting in a rock-solid appendage able to withstand substantial impact.
Although not required by regulations for a boat of this size, the Shamrock 260 is constructed with fiberglass encapsulated foam in order to provide positive flotation and the cockpit is self-draining to prevent rain water and sea spray from going into the bilge.
Kind of a signature feature of all Shamrock boats is that they are powered by direct-drive inboard engines rather than the outboard and inboard/outdrive power options offered by other manufacturers of boats in this size range. The weight to horsepower ratio of an inboard engine can't compare to that of a modern outboard. However, inboard engines do offer some distinct advantages. They can be mounted near the center of the boat for better weight distribution and they are mounted lower in the hull for a lower center of gravity. This leads to greater stability and better handling characteristics for the Shamrock 260 which is known for her predictable motion, good lateral and tracking stability and full-length keel that helps dampen roll whether trolling or at rest.
Whether you are already an avid fisherman or you're just considering taking up the sport, the Shamrock 260 is tough to beat.