Despite the delays caused by the coronavirus lockdown, Paddle Steamer Waverley made her triumphant return to service following her boiler refit on 22nd August to a warm reception from passengers and the local communities she visited.
Waverley’s return was highly symbolic, demonstrating she was back in steam with new boilers. The short season gave an opportunity for those who supported the Boiler Refit Appeal to step aboard a rejuvenated paddler!
However, with ongoing COVID-19 restrictions passenger numbers were reduced to less than 30% of her normal capacity. Despite most sailings being “sold out” sailing revenue just covered fuel and crew costs. There was no surplus generated to meet any costs for the coming winter period.
By mid-May 2021 the Waverley COVID-19 Relief Appeal had successfully raised £350,000 enabling the ship to undertake her annual dry docking. She is now being prepared to enter service towards the end of June.
However, passenger capacity is likely to be capped at 35% of normal if social distancing requirements remain in place with a consequential impact on Waverley’s revenue. Waverley will therefore require ongoing support to help reduce and meet operating costs.
All donations received by post or online can be recognised on a Virtual Donor Wall on the Waverley Excursions website. Donations can be made and recorded on behalf of someone else.
Your support will make a massive difference to Waverley now and help make sure she sails in 2021 and beyond.
Thank you – We appreciate every donation to keep the World’s last seagoing paddle steamer sailing.
Four Ways to Donate
- Donate online below
- Text STEAM followed by £10 or £20 to 70085
- Call 0141 243 2224
- Download, print and post this form (or use the one included with Paddle Wheels)
Waverley’s Return to Service
Waverley’s return to service was a hard-won victory against the odds given the delays caused by the coronavirus lockdown. In late-July the fires were lit for the first time in the new boilers, steam pressure was raised, the engine was warmed through and finally the paddles turned for the first time in 22 months.
All this was achieved thanks to the support of so many individuals and organisations including the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society, whose members contributed a staggering £350,000 to the Waverley Boiler Refit Appeal.
Following sea trials in mid-August, bookings opened and in a matter of days several sailings were sold out; such is the attraction and allure of Waverley which demands our continued support.
Winter Refit 2020-21
Despite new boilers and electrical systems, work is required on Waverley this winter to allow her to carry passengers next summer. Annual survey items must be completed, including dry docking, hull painting, the servicing of fire fighting and navigation equipment, as well as numerous other tasks.
Cyclical work is required on the main engine and steel work is needed in the paddleboxes. The anticipated cost of essential work on the ship will be in the region of £400,000. Funding this and other winter costs is of immediate concern. Without support now, work can’t begin on Waverley.
COVID-19 Relief Appeal
Waverley needs essential funds to survive the winter period. The COVID-19 Relief Appeal is now open to raise the money to get Waverley back in steam in 2021.
All donations will be very gratefully received and will help ensure Waverley operates next summer.
If You Are a UK Taxpayer – Make Your Donation Go Further
If you are a UK taxpayer you can boost your donation by 25p of Gift Aid for every £1 you donate. Gift Aid is reclaimed by the Society from the tax you pay for the current tax year. Your address is needed to identify you as a current UK taxpayer.
If You Are Not a UK Taxpayer
You can still donate to Waverley’s COVID-19 Relief Appeal, without Gift Aid, by clicking on this button.