The below press release from WSN Chairman Nick James states clearly the current predicament of 'The Worlds Last Sea Going Paddle Steamer'. If we all do our bit . . . hovever small . . . . the appeal target is not impossible!!
3rd June 2011
The response so far to the Waverley Appeal has been tremendous and, thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we have been able to complete essential repair work to the decks of Waverley and Balmoral . More than 2,800 people have contributed - a fantastic result!
We now face another challenge, which means that we have had to increase our Appeal Target to a total of £350,000 of which more than £110,000 has been raised already. We are therefore launching a Public Appeal to make sure that Waverley and Balmoral can sail in 2012 and beyond.
Since the end of the 2010 season, there has been a 60% increase in the cost of Waverley's fuel. It now costs some £5,000 per day; every minute that the ship is steaming costs about £8.00 in fuel alone. Balmoral's fuel has gone up by 40%. Fuel for Waverley and Balmoral will cost £250,000 more in 2011 than it did in 2010, and that's assuming the price doesn't rise further.
Nearly forty years ago, Waverley was withdrawn from commercial service because the ship was too expensive to be operated even by a heavily-subsidised nationalised company. Since then, we have successfully done the impossible by keeping Waverley sailing to be enjoyed by over 5 million passengers around the UK coasts.
The challenge of meeting this sudden, massive increase in cost is big but not impossible. We are making every effort to develop our business so that even more people step aboard for a great day out, and regrettably we have had no choice but to increase fares.
In addition, your support by giving a donation is essential to help us ensure that a wonderful, unique part of the world's maritime heritage can remain alive. The ships bring pleasure to many thousands of people each year, and provide substantial cultural and economic benefits to the local communities we serve. We are totally committed to maintaining these valuable traditions.
Please help by giving as generously as you can.
Thank you for your much-appreciated support.
Nick JamesChairman, WSN