Waverley Update

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

Waverley Update

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Paddle steamer Waverley sailed from her berth at Glasgow during the late afternoon on Monday June 28 to Largs, arriving at 1900, prior to her first cruise of the season on June 29.

Waverley departed Largs at 1215 on Tuesday June 29 for her first cruise of the season to Loch Long and Loch Goil, calling at Dunoon, Kilcreggan and Blairmore both ways.

Wednesday June 30 saw Waverley sail as per timetable — ex Largs at 1145 to Rothesay, through the Kyles of Bute to Tighnabruaich to Tarbert with a cruise up Loch Fyne to abeam of Ardrishaig and to off the Otter Narrows.

Thursday July 1 was once again as per timetable ex Greenock at 1050 calling at Kilcreggan, Largs, Keppel Pier Millport, and over to Brodick followed by a cruise to Pladda and Round Holy Isle with a reverse itinerary on the way back.

Waverley‘s Friday cruise is ex Glasgow at 1000 with a cruise to Dunoon and Rothesay and a sail along the Bute coast.

It is noteworthy that Saturday cruises this year, do not call at Rothesay. On Saturday July 3 Waverley departed Glasgow at 1000 then to Greenock, Dunoon with final destination being Tighnabruaich with a reverse itinerary on the way back.

Sunday July 4 saw the paddler leave Glasgow at 1000 for a cruise to Largs and Rothesay and a cruise up Loch Striven. The ship turned just short of the end of the loch opposite Cnoc Madaidh, close to where the road from Colintraive drops down to the loch side.

Waverley was not timetabled on Monday July 5 but nevertheless operated a special cruise in recognition of the fundraising effort for the recent highly successful Boiler Appeal. The non-landing cruise departed Greenock at 1315 cruising down firth, rounding Toward Point, paddling into the East Kyle and through the Narrows, then down the West Kyle, viewing Tighnabruaich, Auchenlochan and turning off Kames.

For the rest of the week Waverley operated much to the published timetable but it was noted on Sunday July 11 that her Round Bute Cruise operated clockwise around the island cruising inside Inchmarnock. Due to the Rothesay ferry being delayed (Bute lost two mid-day round trips) Waverley continued past Rothesay to Ascog on her evening call while waiting for the late running ferry to clear the berth.

Approaching Dunoon on Friday July 16 on the cruise to Rothesay thence Kilchattan Bay, Waverley suffered minor technical difficulties which caused her to stop briefly to remedy the issue before berthing at the Cowal resort. The consequent loss of time, and the need for further investigation at Rothesay, caused cancellation of the short cruise along the Bute coast. Further short cruises to Kilchattan Bay, an extension of the Friday excursion on selected dates, are programmed for August 6 and 20.

A correspondent notes that there are many positives to take from the first fortnight of operation of the ship including the splendid turnout of the ship both externally and onboard, the efficient, timely and safe operation of the vessel, the happy, helpful and professional crew, the much improved catering and the ‘can do’ attitude of everybody involved with the company. An example of what can be achieved even in these Covid times.

On a boiling hot and sunny Glasgow Fair Monday (July 19) Waverley headed for the north of Arran with calls at Lochranza. Around 1330 a minor technical issue with one of the boilers caused a slight reduction in speed – despite this the mighty paddler arrived back at Largs bang on time. Due to this a slightly shorter but equally interesting cruise down the Kilbrannan Sound, turning off Imachar Point was substituted from Lochranza.

Thanks are due to the Editor of Cruising Monthly for permission to reproduce the notes above.

The total number of passenger journeys recorded in July was 16,299 across 26 days.

Unfortunately, Waverley had to have a few days off service following a failure in her windlass, the steam driven winch mounted on her bow. The failure occurred late on 26 July and paddler was repaired alongside Pacific Quay.

Crane removing the windlass shaft, 27 July.|Waverley Excursions

The failed shaft was lifted off and taken to a specialist engineering firm in Falkirk the following day. It was stripped down, and the causes of the failure were ascertained. Overtime working ensued while a replacement was manufactured.

Workboat bringing the new shaft, 29 July.|Waverley Excursions

This was returned to the ship via Clydebank where it was loaded on a workboat fitted with a crane to lift it back on board the Waverley. Reassembly and testing followed on 30 July enabling the steamer to resume her timetable on the Saturday.

Windlass fixed with shiny new bit.|Waverley Excursions

The first two days of August saw Waverley visit Tighnabruaich on the 1st and Campbeltown on the 2nd.

Waverley in the western Kyle of Bute.|Greg Beecroft
Waverley passing the old pier cottage and the remains of the pier at Kames.|Greg Beecroft
Waverley passing Colintraive.|Greg Beecroft
Waverley in Campbeltown Loch.|Greg Beecroft
Waverley at the mouth of Campbeltown Loch.|Greg Beecroft
Waverley alongside at Campbeltown.|Greg Beecroft