THE Waverley paddle steamer needs a new bow in the wake of her crash into Brodick Pier which cut short an already clipped sailing season curtailed by coronavirus.

Operators of the iconic ship are once again seeking public donations, this time for a Covid-19 Relief Appeal, in a bid to reach a total of £500,000 to plug a massive hole in income.

Waverley — the world's last seagoing paddler — smashed into the pier on Arran in September, a collision which left passengers injured and has led to legal action against her owners.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch is currently probing the crash, which the Telegraph understands is the third inquiry into incidents involving Waverley since 2004.

The accident also means that essential repairs are necessary.

A statement issued by Waverley Excursions said: "Following heavy contact with the pier at Brodick, Waverley will receive a new bow when she is dry docked next spring ahead of the 2021 season.

"The cost of repairs to the bow will be met by insurance, and not from funds raised through the Covid-19 Relief Appeal."

Around £2.3m was raised from the public and Scottish Government between 2019 and this year to save the ship and replace her boilers.

It's hoped this will keep her sailing for another 20 years.

The new Covid fund has exceeded £130,000 since it was opened a few weeks ago.

Waverley Excursions said: "The appeal must raise more than £500,000 in total, with a target of £350,000 from individuals.

"Other sources of funding are being pursued with vigour given that winter maintenance work is well under way with insufficient funds to complete it."

General manager Paul Semple said: "I am delighted with the positive response and the support Waverley is once again receiving from so many people.

"The success of our Covid-19 Appeal is vital if we are to survive the winter and sail Waverley in summer 2021.

"The impact of Covid denied us the opportunity to sail Waverley for a full season on the Firth of Clyde and around other areas of the UK.

"When the ship did sail this year, passenger numbers were strictly limited to under 30 per cent capacity, resulting in a dramatic reduction in income."

Mr Semple added: "Waverley normally carries more than 100,000 passengers annually but this season we saw less than 6,000 aboard.

"The ship needs to operate a full summer season to earn sufficient funds and cover costs.

"Waverley must be maintained to remain in operation and that maintenance comes at a high cost.

"This winter over £400,000 will be spent on routine works and dry docking."

*Donations to the appeal can be made online at or by calling 0141 243 2224 or texting STEAM followed by £10 or £20 to 70085.