A charitable trust has launched a “Save Our Steamship” appeal with £400,000 needed for repairs of the Sir Walter Scott Steamship.
The 121-year-old steamer requires a new boiler and other significant repairs, having not sailed on Loch Katrine since it was condemned in January 2020 – after an annual inspection found hairline cracks in the boiler.
Coronavirus lockdowns and restrictions during that time have hampered any progress in the repairs or even funds to help restore the steamer.
It launched in 1900 and was named after the novelist and poet whose Lady of the Lake poem is said to have put Loch Katrine and the Trossachs on the map.
Funds must be secured by the end of this year for work to begin in time to allow the ship, which can carry 220 passengers, to resume sailing next summer.
James Fraser, Steamship Trust CEO, said: “Our efforts to restore the steamship have been severely hampered by the impact of Covid-19 lockdowns which meant we have not been able to generate enough trading income to repair and restore the steamship to full sailing.
“Sadly, as a result of the prolonged cessation of sailings, the steamship has rapidly deteriorated and this is a situation we are anxious to reverse quickly as there is a real danger of us losing the boat permanently.
“Many generations of visitors have had enormous pleasure sailing on the historic Sir Water Scott Steamship.
“We have to act now to make sure that current and future generations will be able to enjoy cruises on this national maritime heritage treasure.”
Financial support can be given on the www.saveoursteamship.com website.