Iconic paddle Steamer Waverley has been withdrawn from service and will not operate any of her sailing programme for the first time in 45 years.
An appeal has been launched to save the ship, which has been a regular and popular visitor to the Island. The Waverley is the last seagoing passenger-carrying steamer in the world and regularly drops off and picks up visitors from IW destinations such as Yarmouth and Ryde. Work on the ship’s boilers has been ongoing since February and, following extensive consultation and investigation, it has been concluded that the boilers must be replaced if Waverley is to have a future and sail in 2020.
Waverley Excursions General Manager, Paul Semple, commented: “The whole Waverley team is deeply disappointed that we are unable to repair the ship’s boilers and operate this season despite every effort being made to overcome the challenges presented.
“I know first-hand the fondness that the general public have for Waverley, and I know this news will be disappointing for the tens of thousands of passengers who would have sailed with us this year around the U.K..
“The Registered Charity which owns Waverley will shortly launch an appeal to save the ship and ensure she sails again. The cost of the required works is significant but if every passenger who would have sailed this year was able to donate the cost of a ticket towards the appeal, then we will be able to return Waverley to steam next year. More than ever, we need support to preserve this iconic vessel as the last sea-going paddle steamer in the world.”
The cost of replacing the boilers on the 73-year-old vessel is estimated to be £2million. The Waverley was sold to the charity, Waverley Steam Navigation Company, in 1974 for the sum of just £1.
Donations can be made now by visiting waverleyexcursions.co.uk or calling 0141 243 2224.