Fundraising to buy new boilers for The Waverley paddle steamer to get it back on Scotland’s rivers and seas is well underway.
This year was the first time the vessel has been withdrawn from service in 45 years due to mechanical problems.
Waverley is the last sea-going paddle steamer in the world and was famously gifted for £1 in 1974 and saved for the nation.
Work on the 73-year-old ship’s boilers has been ongoing since February, as it was hoped repairs could be carried out in time for the launch of its summer sailings – but it was revealed that she would be unable to sail, and now a £2.3 million fundraising campaign is underway to replace the boilers and save the famous vessel.
Based in Glasgow on the River Clyde, the Waverley traditionally sails along the river, stopping off at various destinations on the west coast.
Two new steam boilers have been ordered for Paddle Steamer Waverley following the decision to withdraw the iconic steamship from service.
Waverley Excursions general manager, Paul Semple, said: ‘Thanks to the initial donations received towards our Boiler Refit Appeal we have placed an order and paid the deposit for two new boilers to be built for Waverley. This is just the first vital step in returning Waverley to steam and I am extremely grateful to everyone who has donated to the appeal so far as they have allowed us to progress plans quickly. The new boilers will be manufactured by Cochran Ltd. and at their Newbie Works in Annan for delivery early in 2020.’
Several other components in the boiler room including electrical generators will also be replaced as part of the major investment in Waverley to ensure that she can sail on for at least another twenty years. The work required to remove the ship’s famous red, white and black funnels as well as a large section of deck will take several months to complete if funding can be secured.
Mr Semple added: ‘We will only be able to install the new boilers if we continue to receive further donations and support from a variety of sources. The response to the appeal so far has demonstrated that many people around the UK and beyond wish to see the last sea-going paddle steamer saved.
‘Our vision is to see a rejuvenated Waverley return next season and cruise from over 60 ports and piers around Great Britain allowing tens of thousands access to a truly unique piece of maritime heritage. However, we will require ongoing help and support to achieve that vision.’
Waverley is owned by a registered charity and regularly visits several areas of the UK including the Firth of Clyde, Western Isles, Bristol Channel, South Coast and Thames visiting over 60 ports and piers.
Since being sold to the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society, she has carried more than five million passengers.
Click HERE to back the charity appeal.or by calling 0141 243 2224 or by texting STEAM £20 TO 70085. All donations made directly to Waverley Excursions will be recorded on a Donor Wall on board Waverley.