World's last sea-going paddle steamer won't be seen on the Bristol Channel this year

Paddle Steamer Waverley will not operate in 2019 Credit: PA Images

The world's last sea-going paddle steamer, ​famous for running cruises on the Bristol Channel, has been withdrawn from service for the first time in nearly half a century.

Two million pounds is needed to get the PS Waverley back into the water. Two new boilers are needed in order for her to sail again.

This is the first time in 45 years that she has not sailed

Paul Semple, General Manager,Waverley Excursions Ltd
PS Waverley is owned by a Registered Charity Credit: PA Images

Waverley Excursions realised the ship needed two new boilers after repairs began in February.

The ship's owners, a registered charity, are now putting all their efforts into raising the money after taking the decision to take her off the water for the full year.

The ‘Save the Waverley’ appeal will shortly be launched with the aim to raise money for a 2020 return to service.

I know first-hand the fondness that the general public have for Waverley and I know this news will be upsetting.

Paul Semple, General Manager,Waverley Excursions Ltd
The appeal ‘Save the Waverley’ has been launched Credit: PA Images

Paul Semple, the general manager of Waverley Excursions Ltd, said the decision was taken in order to preserve the vessel for years to come.

He added: "We hope by replacing the boilers it will give her at least another 20 years service."

Around 8,000 tickets have already been sold for excursions in 2019. An evening cruise to mark Clevedon Pier's 150th birthday has also been cancelled.

Paul commented: "We are asking people to either donate their ticket fee to the fundraising appeal, transfer their ticket to next year or apply for a refund."

It is reported that the rest of the ship is in good condition Credit: PA Images

The Waverley was restored to her original appearance in 2003. She'll remain in dry dock at the Glasgow Science Centre until the money is raised for her return to sea.

People can donate to the appeal via the website or by texting STEAM 20 to 70085 to donate £20.