Key fundraiser to bring back historic paddle steamer Maid of the Loch on Loch Lomond network nearly doubles goal

An online Crowdfunder initiative that sought to raise £25,000 for Maid of the Loch has raised a total of £43,000 towards “significant and complex repairs” to its oars and hull.

Loch Lomond Steamship Company (LLSC), which takes care of the ship, hopes to have it back in service in three years.

The steamer, which turns 70 next year, is the last vessel of its type built in the UK and the largest vessel built for inland waterways.

Maid of the Loch has carried over 3 million passengers in its 28 year sailing career on Loch Lomond. Photo: Loch Lomond Steamship Company

The Glasgow-built ship has been a static landmark at Balloch Pier at the southern end of the lake for the past 16 years after being rescued from abandonment after her voyage ended in 1981, carrying over 3 million passengers.

The money raised included £15,000 from the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society (PSPS).

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Historic paddle steamer Maid of the Loch has launched a £25,000 fundraiser for ‘the most…

Jim Mitchell, director of industrial heritage at LLSC, said: “We are delighted that PSPS has provided us with £15,000.

“This will allow us to complete the restoration of the blades this year and means that when the vessel is returned to the lake in 2023, all submerged

work will be completed, including oars, hull and rudder repairs, to the standard required for passenger certification in due course.

“We hope this gives other backers the confidence to invest in Maid so we can set sail by 2025.

“Repair work is being carried out by a dedicated team of volunteers deployed on the ship.”

Tunnock Bakery owner Sir Boyd Tunnock, one of the company’s patrons, also donated to the call in addition to providing caramel wafers for his volunteers’ tea parties.

Deva’s years-long recovery effort has had its ups and downs: An attempt to pull the 430-ton ship out of the lake failed two years ago when the slipway she was sitting on was damaged and she slid back into the water. water.

The second attempt was successfully completed in July last year.

The ship, which began its 28-year voyage in 1953, was licensed to carry 1,000 passengers – the largest on Loch Lomond – with members of the royal family among day-trippers.

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