The charity appeal to save the Waverley paddle steamer has now exceeded £850,000.

More than 5,000 people have handed over money since the news broke in May that the historic Clyde-built vessel would not operate in 2019 because it needed new boilers.

Waverley Excursions general manager Paul Semple has thanked the public for their generosity but warned that more cash is needed to ensure it returns to service for the 2020 summer season.

The appeal target is £2.3million and Mr Semple said: “The continued support for the Boiler Refit Appeal has been heartening.

“We are receiving support from across the UK and beyond, with many donations being made in memory of someone. We are delighted the total raised so far is over £850,000, but time is tight if we are to reach our target and have Waverley back in service for next summer.

“I would like to sincerely thank everyone who has donated so far because this has given us the confidence to order the boilers and electrical equipment required.

“The Paddle Steamer Preservation Society has continued to support our efforts and recently made a grant of moe than £150,000 to the appeal. With so many people donating there is clearly strong support for this special ship.”

Work is progressing on board Waverley, with volunteers assisting in the task of removing components from the boiler room following the decision to withdraw the ship from service and fit new boilers.

If further funds can be secured the work to recommission the world’s last seagoing paddle steamer will begin in earnest in January.

Mr Semple commented further, “All involved with this project are totally focused on the fact that Waverley must sail again and can’t remain static. Our aim is to keep Waverley alive, but to achieve that aim we will need further support.”

The charity that owns Waverley has applied for funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

with a decision expected by November. Donations can be made to the appeal at or by calling 0141 243 2224 or by texting STEAM £20 to 70085.