Latest Appeal News

Sign up to our e-newsletter to be the first to receive the latest appeal news.


On 22nd January Waverley’s iconic funnels were removed to allow access to the boiler room below. The aft funnel was first to be lifted free from the ship before being gently lowered on to the quayside. This is the first time the ship has been without her funnels since they were installed in 2000.

The next stage of the dismantling work will involve the removal of the deck above the boiler room before the boilers and electrical generators are removed.


Waverley Arrives at Shipyard for her £2.3 million Boiler REFIT

Waverley was towed from Glasgow to Greenock on Tuesday 14th January for her boiler refit to begin. She is now berthed in the James Watt Dock at Dales Marine Services shipyard.

Waverley’s twin iconic funnels will soon be removed to allow access to the Boiler Room. Both boilers will then be removed in addition to the electrical generators which will be replaced as part of the project to return Waverley to steam for the 2020 summer season.


The fundraising appeal to save paddle steamer Waverley has reached its £2.3 million target just seven months after it was announced that the famous steamship would not operate in 2019.

The Boiler Refit Appeal has attracted donations from over 8,000 individuals with support from the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society, several trusts and £1 million from the Scottish Government. Arnold Clark and the Swire Charitable Trust have both just confirmed their support taking the appeal to its target.

Eddie Hawthorne, CEO & Group Managing Director for Arnold Clark, made the following statement: “I’m delighted that we’re able to contribute £50,000 towards the restoration of the Waverley. Arnold Clark understands how significant the ship and its heritage is to Glasgow and we were keen to help towards the £2.3m fundraising target. I’m looking forward to seeing the Waverley on her way back ‘Doon the Watter’ soon.’

Waverley’s new boilers are currently being built by Cochran Ltd in Annan and are due to be completed in February. The work required on the ship will involve the removal of the iconic twin funnels to allow access to the boiler room. Waverley Excursions General Manager, Paul Semple, commented, “Thanks to the fantastic generosity of so many people and organisations we are now able to push ‘full ahead’ with Waverley’s boiler refit which will be the most substantial refit since her rebuild was completed back in 2003. I would like to thank everyone who has donated to the appeal and supported our efforts to save the last seagoing paddle steamer in the world.”

Waverley is owned by a registered charity and operated on a not-for-profit basis. The recent appeal for cash has been the most successful in the ship’s preservation career but ongoing support will be required given the annual cost of dry docking and refit. Mr Semple further commented “The trustees of the Waverley charity believe that ongoing charitable giving must now form a greater part of Waverley’s long-term operational survival to ensure she remains in service. We are deeply grateful to all those who have helped this year, and in the months and years ahead, will ask those who care and who are able to help, to add Waverley to their permanent thoughts.”

Waverley will be moved from Glasgow to Greenock, under tow in January, where the major “open-heart surgery” will take place. The full works are expected to take around four months to complete allowing Waverley to undertake her regular cruises around the west of Scotland, the Mersey, Bristol Channel, South Coast and the Thames in 2020.


Thanks to continuing support our Boiler Refit Appeal to Save Waverley has now reached £2.2 million. Donations continued to flow after the announcement of £1 million from the Scottish Government back in September. Several charitable trusts have now also contributed to the appeal as well as other organisations taking the running total to within £100,000 of the appeal target.

Waverley will move to Greenock in January to allow work to begin which will see her return to steam for summer 2020. The boiler refit will be the largest refit undertaken since the Heritage Rebuild was concluded in 2003.

The installation of new boilers and electrical equipment will rejuvenate Waverley technically, but she will always require a level of support beyond operating revenue to ensure she continues to sail for many more years to come.

Over £1,110 raised by 8 yEAR OLD xANDER

Xander Sclater from Dunoon visited Waverley on Friday 1st November to hand over the money he raised towards the Boiler Refit Appeal from his 5-mile sponsored cycle ride. Xander handed over £1,116 to Waverley’s General Manager and was given a certificate and some Waverley goodies as a small thank you for his efforts.


The running total for the Boiler Refit Appeal has now passed the £2 million milestone thanks to the continued generosity of many individuals.

Since the appeal was officially launched in June donations have been received from over 7,500 individuals. Several trusts and foundations have also contributed to take the total raised so far to within £300,000 of the £2.3 million target.

Applications have now been submitted to over forty trusts and foundations to help ensure that the target is achieved.


Scottish Government Announce £1 Million Funding for Paddle Steamer Waverley


The Culture Secretary, Fiona Hyslop, has announced that the Scottish Government will support Paddle Steamer Waverley’s return to service with £1 million being provided for essential boiler replacement works required to save the historic ship.

Ms Hyslop said: “The Waverley has delighted generations of locals and visitors throughout its 70-year history and I am pleased to be able to announce this significant financial commitment to help the historic paddle steamer set sail once again.”

Waverley was withdrawn from service earlier this year when it was determined that her boilers would need replacing if the iconic steamship was to sail again. An appeal to raise the £2.3 million required to return Waverley to full operation was launched in June.

Paul Semple, Waverley’s General Manager, commented: “We are delighted that the Scottish Government has allocated this level of funding towards Waverley recognising the ship’s heritage value and the economic benefit she brings to many coastal communities. This funding together with the donations received from thousands of individuals takes our running appeal total to £1.9 million. However, we urgently need to secure a further £400,000 through donations, corporate funding and grants to ensure we can carry out all the work required to have Waverley back for next summer.”

If further funding is secured Waverley will return to service for 2020 which has been designated as the Year of Coasts and Waters. Passengers on Waverley will be able to experience Scotland from a different perspective viewing vast areas of the Firth of Clyde and the west coast.

Mr Semple further added: “Waverley can offer a truly unique coastal cruising experience aboard a real steamship. All involved with Waverley are determined to keep her alive. I would urge those who share in our vision to preserve a piece of the past for future generations to enjoy, to join the Government in helping to return the last seagoing paddle steamer in the world to service.”

A decision on the £250,000 application for Waverley to the National Lottery Heritage Fund is expected by November.

Appeal Total Reaches £850,000

Following an increase in public support our Boiler Refit Appeal has now exceeded £850,000. Over five thousand people have donated since the news broke in May that Waverley would not operate in 2019. However, with an appeal target of £2.3 million further funds are urgently required to ensure Waverley returns to service for the 2020 summer season.

View our recent appeal video update for further details.

Actor Timothy West adds his support to saving Waverley

Timothy West and his wife, Prunella Scales, have sailed on Waverley regularly throughout her preservation period. Both are Patrons for the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society (PSPS). The famous couple are known to millions for their Great Canal Journeys series which screened on Channel 4 from 2014 until June this year.

Tim stated, “It’s summer, but there’s no Waverley for once, and that’s hard. The possibility, though, that we just might never again be able to enjoy being at sea aboard this unique, celebrated, graceful vessel, watching the dynamic pulsing of her engines and listening to the gentle beat of her paddles, is a quite unbearable thought.”

Latest Appeal Update Video – Aug 27



Three new Caterpillar generators have been ordered for Waverley thanks to the on-going support for our appeal. Additionally we have also ordered the new Main Electrical Switch Board. Operations Director, Alasdair Macmillan, stated “By installing new generators and other equipment during the Boiler Refit we are ensuring that Waverley continues to operate for many more years to come.” The new generators will be built and ready for delivery by early 2020.


The Friends of Wemyss Bay Station made a £1,000 donation to the Boiler Refit Appeal. Sheena Inglis, who is the bookshop manager, passed the cheque over with other committee members giving their support. Sheena commented, “Waverley is the last of the Clyde Steamers and needs everyone’s support to get her back sailing Doon the Watter.”

First Equipment Removals from BOILER rOOM

On Friday 16th August the first components were ‘airlifted’ from the boiler room with WMB Heavy Haulage proving a crane at no cost to Waverley. A section of the fidley deck had been cut open to allow access. The components removed will be transported to Cochran’s in Annan where the new boilers are being built.


Waverley appeal reaches half million milestone 

Donations to save the Paddle Steamer Waverley have now exceed £500,000 following the iconic steamship’s withdrawal from service earlier this summer. The major appeal which was officially launched in June aims to raise the £2.3 million needed to reboiler Waverley and return her to service in 2020.

Waverley’s General Manager, Paul Semple, said “Thanks to the fantastic public response to our Save The Waverley Boiler Refit Appeal we have reached a key milestone in our fundraising campaign. To date over 4,000 individuals have donated with some of our core supporters giving a ‘once in a lifetime donation’ knowing that we urgently need funds to secure Waverley’s future. In addition, we have received offers of help from several organisations and companies, but we will need further help to get Waverley’s paddles turning again.”

Several fundraising events have taken place in the various towns and villages which Waverley serves. Locals and visitors from Millport on the Isle of Cumbrae showed great support to 4-year-old Ethan Pringle last weekend by donating over £1,600 when he undertook the 10-mile trip round the island in his wheelchair to collect funds for Waverley. Ethan having commented “The Waverley is broken. We need to fix it.”


Mr Semple added “With the new boilers already on order we must increase our efforts to secure further funding to allow our plans to progress which will see Waverley undergo major surgery commencing in January. I am exceptionally grateful to everyone who has come forward to help us Save The Waverley and with continued support she will sail again. We simply can’t allow her to remain static. She is the sole survivor and I know so many people are willing her to succeed.”

Waverley is currently berthed in Glasgow where preparation works are on-going by her engineers and loyal band of volunteers. Earlier this week the first section of deck was cut open to enable some large components in the ship’s boiler room, which are already dismantled, to be lifted free.


Ethan’s Push for Waverley

On Sunday 4th August Ethan Pringle – Aged 4 – was pushed round the Isle of Cumbrae in his wheelchair by Jane Forrest to raise funds for Waverley. Ethan’s wheel chair was decorated appropriated for the epic journey. Ethan’s older brother Jamie also joined in and wheeled himself round in his own wheelchair.

Ethan saw great support from locals and many others who heard of his efforts to help get Waverley “fixed”. The appeal total will be confirmed shortly.

New Boilers Ordered for the Iconic Paddle Steamer Waverley

Two new steam boilers have been ordered for Paddle Steamer Waverley following the decision two months ago to withdraw the iconic steamship from service. Following the shock announcement that Waverley needs new boilers to sail again a major appeal was officially launched in June to raise the required £2.3million.

Waverley Excursions General Manager, Paul Semple, commented “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 further 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 U.K. 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.”


On Saturday 6th July the Tighnabruaich Pier Association held a Pier Heritage Day in support of Waverley.

During the afternoon Graeme Hogg, Chairman of Tighnabruaich Pier Association, presented Waverley’s General Manager, Paul Semple, with a cheque for £6,750!

Graeme commented “Without Waverley there is no future for the pier as the two need each other to survive”. The donation amounts to the Tighnabruaich Pier Association giving around half of its funds to the Save The Waverley Boiler Refit Appeal – a marvellous gesture.

In thanking the Tighnabruaich Pier Association, Paul acknowledged the strong community support and spoke of the powerful message that such a magnificent donation conveys in that Waverley brings benefit to the many communities that she serves.

The total amount raised as a result of the event will be around £8,000 as proceeds from the sale of souvenirs and the boat trips will all be passed to Waverley.

A magnificent effort and our sincere thanks to all in Tighnabruaich.


Click the headline above to view the article from the Greenock Telegraph on how pupils from St Patrick’s in Greenock helped raise money for Waverley’s Boiler Refit Appeal.


Support for Waverley Appeal from Scotland’s First Minister

On Thursday 20th June our appeal to Save The Waverley was raised at First Minister’s Questions by Neil Bibby MSP (West of Scotland).

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP stated “The Waverley is, of course, a tremendous asset and a great national treasure; we should all want to see it preserved and continue for many years to come. I know that there is a fundraising campaign under way and I undertake that the Scottish Government will be happy to speak to the people involved in that and in efforts to fix the Waverley, to make sure that the Government is doing everything that we can to support their efforts. The relevant minister will be happy to write to the member to update him on progress in due course.”


Save The Waverley Boiler Refit Appeal Launch – 15th June 2019

The official appeal launch took place at Waverley’s berth on Saturday 15th June. A press release was then published which is printed below.

£2.3 Million Appeal Launched to Save Paddle Steamer Waverley

An appeal to raise £2.3 million was launched today to return the Waverley to service in 2020, ensuring that a unique piece of Britain’s maritime heritage stays alive. Among the crowds at Glasgow’s Pacific Quay were politicians, mariners, enthusiasts and the general public — all determined to show support for the famous paddle steamer.


Waverley’s 2019 season was cancelled last month, following the discovery of major problems with the ship’s 20-year old boilers. Since then, individuals have started to respond with over £100,000 already donated. The Waverley Facebook page recording over a million hits when the news broke.

“We’re heartened by the support so far — it’s clear that huge numbers of people around Britain and around the world want to see Waverley sail again” said Paul Semple, who heads the team which operates the ship. “But the financial challenge which faces Waverley remains very significant, and we urgently need more funds to let us place the orders and then carry out the work over the next nine months.”

The sheer scale of what is required has been likened to a kind of marine ‘open heart surgery’. The iconic red, white and black twin funnels will be lifted off, and large sections of decking removed to allow the boilers and other equipment to be lifted out. The replacements are expected to extend Waverley’s operational life by a further 20 to 25 years.


The Waverley company has taken recent weeks to make a detailed and costed plan, and now it’s all about raising the funds to make it happen. “There’s a real determination not to allow Waverley to become a static relic. She was built to sail, and that’s what so many people want to see again. Waverley’s truly unique status as the world’s last seagoing paddle steamer mustn’t be taken for granted. Not for the first time, the future of the ship hangs in the balance. Once again, it’s time to save the Waverley.”


Click here to read the fantastic article on why Waverley must be saved.

“She reserves the best, however, for when she is in full flow, as the unrelenting rhythm of her paddles scoop through the sea, an unstoppable force of industrial ingenuity thrashing ever forward through the years.”

“We can, and should, rattle some cages to save an icon of Scotland’s maritime heritage, but it is a battle that will be easier won by remembering the Waverley is no museum piece. Her beauty lies in her function. She wears her blood, sweat, and oil with pride.”