The world’s last sea-going paddle steamer has been taken out of service after cruising British waters for nearly 50 years.
The beautiful PS Waverley is in need of a major overhaul and requires two new boilers, but the refurb will cost £two million.
Charity owners, Waverley Excursions, are putting all their efforts into raising the money after taking the decision to take her off the water for the full year.
The ‘Save the Waverley’ appeal will shortly be launched with the aim to raise money for a 2020 return to service.
Paul Semple, the general manager of Waverley Excursions Ltd, said: “This is the first time in 45 years that she has not sailed.
“I know first-hand the fondness that the general public have for Waverley and I know this news will be upsetting.”
He said that the decision was being taken so the vessel would be preserved for years to come.
Mr Semple added: “We hope by replacing the boilers it will give her at least another 20 years service.”
The charity had already sold around 8,000 tickets for excursions in 2019 before making the decision to take the Waverley out of service.
Mr Semple said: “We are asking people to either donate their ticket fee to the fundraising appeal, transfer their ticket to next year or apply for a refund.”
Built in 1946, Waverley has been recognised by the government as “a vessel of pre-eminent national importance”.
She now operates passenger excursions around the British Coast, with trips on the Bristol Channel, South Coast, the River Thames and the Clyde.
The steamer, which was restored in 2003, will stay in dry dock a the Glasgow Science Centre until the funds are raised for her to return to sea.
People can donate to the appeal via the website or by texting STEAM 20 to 70085 to donate £20.
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