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Supporting the preservation and operation of paddle steamers Waverley and Kingswear Castle

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Help Keep Our Ships Sailing

Help Keep Waverley Sailing

Waverley’s successful boiler refit meant she was able to return to service in 2020 subject to Covid-19 restrictions. These limited her capacity to around 35% of normal which made it impossible to achieve more than a break-even result, leaving no surplus to pay for essential maintenance and shore costs.

Fortunately, there was a magnificent response to Waverley’s Covid-19 Relief Appeal, from members and passengers as well as the Scottish Government. This has enabled the mighty paddler to return to service once more in 2021. For the moment, she is still subject to Covid-19 social distancing requirements and it remains to be seen if and when these may be relaxed.

With her earning capacity again restricted, it is highly likely that further public support will be needed to carry out the 2021-22 winter refit and drydocking. It should be noted also that both wage rates and fuel prices are materially higher than in 2020. Fares have been increased by as much as possible and careful thought has been given to the catering offering, all with a view to producing a break-even or positive result.

Please give your support to Waverley’s return in 2022. Every year there are cyclical as well annual maintenance tasks to be attended to in order to achieve the high standards rightly required by the MCA.

Help Keep Kingswear Castle Sailing

Now rapidly approaching her centenary in 2024, our river paddle steamer Kingswear Castle is in need of a three-year programme of major renewals.

The intention is to give Kingswear Castle a major rebuild to set her up for the next twenty-five years. The plan of campaign is to do work on the section of the ship from the boiler room bulkhead to the stern next winter. From the engine room bulkhead to the bow the winter after that. And then finally in the third winter the engine and boiler rooms. Attention will be given to all the steelwork, the decks and everything else as necessary in each section. The work will be done both by the Dart Company at their boatyard and also by using outside contractors as required for specialist work and so on.

The total cost is expected to be in excess of one million pounds. We have approaching half of that built up from a combination of surplus from the trading revenue when Kingswear Castle was sailing on the River Medway, plus a capital grant from the Society, together with a surplus from the annual charter fees plus other donations.

We need your help to raise the rest. All donations will be very gratefully received and will help ensure Kingswear Castle continues to operate for at least the next 25 years.

Although the Society does not operate any paddle steamers, we stand ready to assist keeping the Waverley and Kingswear Castle in service. This can involve funding renewals, refits and restoration. The Society also has an unrivalled archive of paddle steamer artefacts, photographs and paperwork. To a lesser extent, we also support other paddle steamers, including Maid of the Loch and Medway Queen.

From time to time, we make appeals for specific purposes, for example Waverley’s new boilers or Kingswear Castle’s phased refurbishment. The need for these often arises quickly and for a short time, so it is impossible to predict our needs at some point in the future.

To give the Council of Management flexibility to address the issues that arise from time to time, it can be very helpful if you make your gift available to the Society’s general purposes. This allows us to direct resources to where they are most needed, including helping Waverley and Kingswear Castle.

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 year. Your address is needed to identify you as a current UK taxpayer.

If you select the ‘Donate with a Card’ option on the next PayPal screen, please ensure that you tick the consent checkbox to allow PayPal to share your postal address with the Society see more. This is an HMRC requirement, otherwise Gift Aid cannot be claimed.

Ready to Donate?

If you wish to Donate to Waverley, Kingswear Castle or make a General Donation, please click the button below to go to the Buy Memberships & Donations page.