Author Topic: PS Maid of the Loch (Paddle Steamer on Loch Lomond)  (Read 7146 times)

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Online Rob Lightbody

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PS Maid of the Loch (Paddle Steamer on Loch Lomond)
« on: Nov 18, 2011, 11:25 AM »
I've just been reading that the people in charge of the Maid of the Loch (paddle steamer on Loch Lomond, the last PS built in Britain, laid up since 1981) aim to return her to service in 2013.  My reaction is to think that this is the right plan at the wrong time... ?

http://www.maidoftheloch.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PS_Maid_of_the_Loch

Is this realistic, given fuel costs and the MAMMOTH amount of money that has been poured into Waverley to keep her legal and operational since the nineties?

They're asking for donations, but I'd want to see a very clear business plan.  From a by-stander point of view, wouldn't it be better to make her a wonderful static attraction, which is far more easily to then be profitable...

From a dreamer point of view, I'll be first in line to take a trip across the Loch on her - I just want to know that the jump from dream to reality is financially viable.
« Last Edit: Mar 21, 2018, 03:01 PM by Rob Lightbody »
Passionate about QE2's service life for 37 years and creator of this website.  Worked in IT for 27 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Offline tramscape

Re: PS Maid of the Loch
« Reply #1 on: Feb 13, 2012, 11:08 PM »
John Beveridge  Chairman of LLSC has assured recently that the assumptions of the two consultants' reports issued was it 3 years ago are still valid - indicating that maid of the Loch can cover her operating costs

The timing of the appeal for GBP 3.2 million for the In Steam for 2013 programme was going to be bad due to the unforeseen "Save the Waverley" campaign throughout 2011.  The LLSC's campaign was generously deferred until this year and formal launch is now awaited. It's not going to be 2013 now, I fear although hopes remain .....

This project has the necessary political and technical backing to make it a success. It is the mot realistic around of its type and it should be supported generously.

Gordon

www.paddlesteamers.info


Offline Alistair

Re: PS Maid of the Loch
« Reply #2 on: Feb 14, 2012, 09:32 AM »
Last time I was on Maid of the Loch was in 1973 witgh 2 friends from Norway. We sailed from Balloch to Rowardennan and back and climbed Ben Lomond in between. This was their introduction to Scotland and they were entranced. I would love to sail on her again someday soon.
Good luck with the appeal.

Alistair

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: PS Maid of the Loch
« Reply #3 on: Feb 14, 2012, 12:54 PM »
Thanks for your contributions Gordon, greatly appreciated!

I'd love to see the Maid return to service, and would be a frequent traveller on her!  I have visited her a number of times in Balloch and tried to imagine her heading across the Loch.  I'd do my utmost to help promote her, as I've done with Waverley.  I'm watching on Facebook (the Maid has a great page where you can see what the volunteers are up to) and enjoying seeing her progress.  They seem to be a great bunch involved in her.

Loch Lomond and Scotland as a whole needs her, from a tourist point of view, which is one of our most important economical activities now.  The Scottish tourist authorities, and the Scottish Government, should be fully supporting her (and Waverley, and Walter Scott). 

Having been to Lake Geneva last summer, and seen the numerous pleasure steamers on the lake, it is amazing that Scotland only has one in operation, and none on our most famuous Lake/Loch.

My concern, expressed above, is from the point of view of someone who is pessimistic about the economy over the past few years, and has watched the Waverley struggle, and has struggled himself.

In her current state, she is being made beautiful and serving a useful role (shop, bar, restaurant, functions etc) in a small way without enormous cost overheads.  This can safeguard her future, for now. 

If she returns to service, the sums involved in her breaking even, suddenly become huge, and so therefore do the risks of her making a loss.  Fuel, crew, staff, insurance, safety equipment - its a very long list I'm sure.  It needs someone with a very good business head, who does not need to love the ship (In fact it would be good for someone totally impartial to prove the sums) to ensure it will work. 
I'd love to see some detailed figures in terms of number of visitors and journeys required to make her return a profit, over how many years etc. etc.  What if there are 3 years of really bad summers, seeing as Scottish summer weather seems to be getting worse (and the Waverley people have suffered from this too).
Having all of this really clear is also how to get investors interested.

She'll need to attract tourists and visitors who've never heard of her, and they need to enjoy a trip on her, and they need to  want to, and be able to afford to, pay a profitable price for their journey.

Why does the official maid of the loch website offer no easy way to donate to her?  At least none that I can see.  it should be very easy with paypal, and their charity status.

The excellent paddlesteamers website mentions paying £10 per year to be a member and get a newsletter but again, I don't see any easy way to do this on the official website.

And the consultants report - is it available for potential donors to read?

And another final question that occurs to me - is the work being done just now on her interior renovations etc - work that would still be OK for a return to service?  e.g. does it comply with the relevant legislation etc.?  Or would some of it need done differently.

So many questions!
Passionate about QE2's service life for 37 years and creator of this website.  Worked in IT for 27 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Offline Stowaway2k

Re: PS Maid of the Loch
« Reply #4 on: Feb 14, 2012, 01:32 PM »
I agree with all Rob has said regarding the Maid of the Loch.

Here is my photo album

http://travel.webshots.com/album/568984333mgwUng

Offline tramscape

Re: PS Maid of the Loch
« Reply #5 on: Feb 14, 2012, 01:32 PM »
Hi Rob - I'm glad to be here - I never realised this board has so much about paddle steamers etc on it, so I'm trying to spread the word a bit - after all the number of liner enthusiasts dwarfs the paddle steamer brigade, so even if a fraction of them donated a few quid each, umpteen paddlers coud be saved !

I understand your concerns about MOL and it is a great risk, but she is equally at risk as a static ship, she just can't generate enough revenue to pay her bills long term.  The consultants reports remain privy to the LLSC directors i think, but they have been done by professionals, so we have to run with them.  On the face of it, there does not seem the demand on Loch Lomond for the required passenger numbers so there is a big marketing job tobe done

Regarding Switzerland, yes it is galling when on the big lakes there can be umpteen paddlers all in operation and plenty of large motor vessels too. The passenger numbers,if you study the companies' annual reports are staggering by our standards.... There are many reasons of course, but just because there does not appear to be a market in the UK doesn't mean there isn't one
To be continued .......
« Last Edit: Feb 14, 2012, 01:41 PM by tramscape »

Offline tramscape

Re: PS Maid of the Loch
« Reply #6 on: Feb 14, 2012, 01:39 PM »
............

The work on MOL is all done with regard to MCA requirements and they have assurances that these plus the addition work needed will allow a suitable passenger cerificate to be issued

On my QM website I have drafted a paper ..."towards a business case" for Queen Mary which gives some budgetary figures which I would be interested in peoples comments on.  It is my way of trying to show the public and private investors that it is not a totally unreasonable proposition.

The MOL will really need people to empty their piggy banks though.  I'm not sure why there is no link to becoming a Friend of maid of the Loch on the new LLSC website. I've not checked. Just write to them at Balloch and all can be sorted an give details for a Gift Aid declaration. You get a little newsletter (but not a lot more than you can read in Paddle Wheels). It was GBP 10 / year but I don't think it says, so give what you want. I give a lot more so I definitely get my newsletter on time !

Gordon      www.paddlesteamers.info
« Last Edit: Feb 14, 2012, 01:44 PM by tramscape »

Offline tramscape

PS Maid of the Loch : Appeal launched
« Reply #7 on: Mar 06, 2013, 03:22 PM »
The appeal for the final funds to restore PS Maid of the Loch to steam on loch Lomond was launched on March 5th (the 60th anniversary of her launch).  Here is the press release.  Please support this project if you would be willing - it is a realistic proposition, fully worked-out and with all the political and administrative approvals necessary.  many thanks

Maid to sail :  Loch Lomond’s paddle steamer appeal

Produced on the Clydeside at A&J Inglis shipyard - now the site of the Riverside Museum - and launched on 5th March 1953, the Maid of the Loch celebrates her 60th year on Loch Lomond.
The vessel, significant to local and national heritage, last sailed in 1981 and now sits by the banks of Loch Lomond at a site on Pier Rd in Balloch. Current owners, Loch Lomond Steamship Company - a
charitable organisation relying completely on volunteers, hope to return the Maid to her former glory with the help of a fundraising campaign

The 60th anniversary marks the launch of an appeal to raise the £3.3m required for restoration work. Being in fresh water, the Maid’s hull is in good condition but she needs a new boiler, refitting, and new
navigational and safety equipment to bring her up to date with 2013 rules and regulations.

In addition to this, Loch Lomond Steamship Company is drawing up plans for considerable supporting infrastructure at the site, worth another £1.6M, which will create new jobs and greatly enhance the
visitor experience at Loch Lomond, particularly for the Balloch area. The total project is worth £4.9M.
Phil Preston, Chairman of the Loch Lomond Steamship Company and resident in Cardross, said “Our charity was established in 1996 to save this historic ship from being broken up. Since then our
dedicated volunteers have spent over 72,000 hours on her restoration. We have already raised and reinvested £1.7M in her, and on rebuilding the 1902 Balloch Steam Slipway complex. Our aim has
always been to get her into steam operation again to create new jobs, preserve Scotland's historic heritage, and give visitors added value to their visitor experience".

John Beveridge, Founder of the LLSC, added "Maid of the Loch is unique, the last paddle steamer built in Britain, constructed in Glasgow but assembled on the shores of the loch, and the last of her kind.
She has given pleasure to millions, cruising on this loch. We aim to make the Maid a true icon for Scotland, keep our proud engineering and cruising heritage alive, and give visitors a unique experience of
Loch Lomond".

Among the many supporters of the restoration project is Miss Jean Inglis, one of the last family members of A&J Inglis ship builders. Miss Inglis said "I am delighted to fully support this appeal to restore the Maid, she is a truly beautiful ship and, as the slogan says, "Maid" to sail on Loch Lomond", she added. "It would be wonderful to see her paddling by the bonnie banks again".

To commemorate the 60th Anniversary local primary schools have been asked to participate in a competition to draw a picture of Maid of the Loch The winner will receive £100 in Amazon (or art
material) vouchers and their drawing will be framed and displayed on board. Results of the competition will be announced in May.
If you would like to show your support you can make a donation to the Maid of the Loch appeal by visiting www.maidoftheloch.com or alternatively you contact 01389 711865

Notes to Editors:

1. Maid of the Loch was built in 1953. She was constructed in the A&J Inglis yard at Pointhouse on the Clyde (now the site of the Riverside Museum); transported in bits to Balloch at Loch
Lomond; and re-assembled on the slipway at Balloch. She was launched on 5th March 1953 and had her maiden voyage on 25 May. She has carried Queen Salote of Tonga in 1953, and
HM The Queen on two occasions, in 1965 and 1971. The Maid was taken out of service in 1981 and has been moored at Balloch Pier ever since
2. The Maid has been owned by the Loch Lomond Steamship Company, a charity registered in Scotland, since 1996. It has no paid staff; all Directors and volunteers give their time free
3. The aim is to "Return the Maid to steam operation on the loch as soon as funding permits"; and the project includes building an all-year-round visitor centre at Balloch Pier to support the
ship, and make improvements to the loch piers
4. LLSC have rebuilt the Balloch Steam Slipway (on budget) and which we were honoured when it was officially opened by The Princess Royal in 2006, and also rebuilt Balloch Pier
5. There is a pool of around 30 volunteers, and a "Supporters Club" of over 400 people
6. Tests have been carried out on the Maid's hull and it has been found to be in good condition; all compartments from bow to stern have been refurbished; and we have approval in
principle from the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (the body that will certify the ship's seaworthiness) that the Maid can sail again
7. Maid of the Loch is part of the National Historic Fleet and one of only 200 vessels to be designated as being of regional and national importance to the UK

Offline Clydebuilt1971

Loch Lomond Paddle Steamer "Maid of The Loch"
« Reply #8 on: Aug 18, 2015, 01:58 PM »
Built in 1952 at A&J Inglis Shipyard, Pointhouse, Glasgow - Maid of The Loch was the last paddlesteamer built in the UK. She was built for service on Loch Lomond in the West of Scotland.

Laid up in 1981 by her then owners Caledonian MacBrayne after a number of years of loss making and then subsequently vandalised she was taken over by a volunteer organisation called Loch Lomond Steamship Co and in the ensuing years they have worked tirelessly to restore the ship to a point where she is open to the public and can host functions and weddings etc.

In 2006 LLSC secured Heritage Lottery funding to restore the steam powered slipway which was used to remove the Maid and her predecessors from the loch for overhaul etc. This attraction is now open regularly throughout the spring and summer months so visitors can see the steam engine and winch in action.

However it has always been LLSC's prime objective to restore Maid of The Loch to active service on the loch once again and in recent years they have been following the path forged by the owners of ps Waverley (Waverley Steam Navigation Co) who secured Heritage Lottery funding between 2000 and 2003 to fully restore their ship to as built 1947 condition but complying with current regulations.

At last I am delighted to report that LLSC have been successful in securing £3.8m of Heritage Lottery funding to get the old ship back into service. They have to secure a further £1.7m of partner funding to release the HLF money but I'm confident that potential investors or sponsors can be found now that the the HLF backing has been secured.

That sail on Loch Lomond that was a dream a matter of years ago could be a reality once more!!

Article is here:

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/13609425.Full_steam_ahead_as_historic_Loch_Lomond_ship_secures_major_cash_boost/

More info on Maid of the Loch here:

http://www.maidoftheloch.org/
This has been the year for HLF funding for old ships - tug Daniel Adamson is currently being restored, Balmoral was given a grant to allow her to return to service and now Maid of The Loch.

Are we in the UK at last waking up to our maritime heritage!!

Congrats to all involved!!

Gav  8)



Offline June Ingram

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Re: PS Maid of the Loch (Paddle Steamer on Loch Lomond)
« Reply #9 on: Aug 18, 2015, 05:39 PM »
Wonderful news, Gav ! and great that 3 ships have been given a reprieve.  Maid of the Loch is a pretty ship !

June   :)
QE2 - the ship for all of time, a ship of timeless beauty !

Offline No 736

Re: PS Maid of the Loch (Paddle Steamer on Loch Lomond)
« Reply #10 on: Aug 18, 2015, 10:04 PM »
Fantastic news and congratulations to all involved.

My son George has been waiting a while for this as you can see.

Well good things come to those who wait!
« Last Edit: Aug 19, 2015, 05:03 PM by No 736 »

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: PS Maid of the Loch (Paddle Steamer on Loch Lomond)
« Reply #11 on: Aug 19, 2015, 10:54 AM »
Good to hear about the Heritage Lottery funding and good news for LLSC who have worked hard to secure the funding.  Wishing them success in finding the £1.7 million in partner funding. 
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: PS Maid of the Loch (Paddle Steamer on Loch Lomond)
« Reply #12 on: Aug 19, 2015, 11:53 AM »
Given how difficult it seems to be to get Waverley to make money, especially when fuel prices are high and weather is poor, will the maid be able to run at a profit?  Making money is the best way yo r guarantee survival...
Passionate about QE2's service life for 37 years and creator of this website.  Worked in IT for 27 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Offline Clydebuilt1971

Re: PS Maid of the Loch (Paddle Steamer on Loch Lomond)
« Reply #13 on: Aug 19, 2015, 12:29 PM »
Given how difficult it seems to be to get Waverley to make money, especially when fuel prices are high and weather is poor, will the maid be able to run at a profit?  Making money is the best way yo r guarantee survival...

That is the big question Rob but then Waverley could be more commercially viable if her operating company made the most of opportunities presented to them. It is fair to say that operating a classic excursion vessel in today's climate is a challenge but I wouldn't necessarily use WEL as a model example as they have a bad habit of making it difficult for themselves from time to time!

My feeling is that MoTL will not be run as an everyday excursion vessel (as Waverley currently is) but maybe will be operated more on the basis of ss Shieldhall where she is only operated on certain dates and for certain events.
Also perhaps it will be more viable to have tie ins with the likes of Cameron House and other venues in the area. Being landlocked obviously restricts opportunities!

The state of the piers around Loch Lomond could also be an issue as they have not really been used for steamer operations since MoTL was withdrawn in 1981 (apart from the Countess Fiona - ex Clyde vessel Countess of Breadalbane - who operated for time after the Maid stopped) so may therefore require extensive works to permit calls to resume.

For the HLF to pledge this money there has to be a viable business plan in place so it will no doubt all come out in due course.

Gav


Offline tramscape

Re: PS Maid of the Loch (Paddle Steamer on Loch Lomond)
« Reply #14 on: Aug 19, 2015, 09:58 PM »
The two independent consultants' reports commissioned by LLSC indicated viability and presumably the HLF have agreed with them ..... but those reports IIRC are a few years old now

I may be wrong, but I believe that the original LLSC business plan was based on "full-time" operation and also part of the "case" presented to the HLF involved job creation (presumably directly within LLSC as well as indirectly)

I'm not so sure that the HLF would be so keen if there were no job creation involved......

The "Shieldhall model" mentioned in the previous  post would, all other things being equal, seem the most suitable way of operating a historic ship as that is the more common way throughout Europe for ships not operated as part of their traditional "commercial" fleets  - but of course, without the lottery millions, the Maid wouldn't be going anywhere!

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: PS Maid of the Loch (Paddle Steamer on Loch Lomond)
« Reply #15 on: Mar 21, 2018, 03:02 PM »
Major funding for Balloch-based Maid of the Loch

A project to renovate the 1950s Loch Lomond paddle steamer the Maid of the Loch has been awarded funding of £950,000.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-43450390
Passionate about QE2's service life for 37 years and creator of this website.  Worked in IT for 27 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Offline June Ingram

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Re: PS Maid of the Loch (Paddle Steamer on Loch Lomond)
« Reply #16 on: Mar 21, 2018, 07:43 PM »
Great news !  :)
QE2 - the ship for all of time, a ship of timeless beauty !

Offline Clydebuilt1971

Re: PS Maid of the Loch (Paddle Steamer on Loch Lomond)
« Reply #17 on: Mar 22, 2018, 12:17 PM »
Major funding for Balloch-based Maid of the Loch

A project to renovate the 1950s Loch Lomond paddle steamer the Maid of the Loch has been awarded funding of £950,000.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-43450390

Great news indeed - A potential TQS get together venue for the future perhaps?

Gav

Offline June Ingram

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Re: PS Maid of the Loch (Paddle Steamer on Loch Lomond)
« Reply #18 on: Mar 22, 2018, 12:26 PM »
Most definitely !  Wish I lived in Scotland !   :)
QE2 - the ship for all of time, a ship of timeless beauty !

Offline Clydebuilt1971

Re: PS Maid of the Loch (Paddle Steamer on Loch Lomond)
« Reply #19 on: Mar 22, 2018, 01:54 PM »
Whilst we're on the subject here are a few photos taken of her in 2008.

Those of you who have been on Waverley will see the lineage from a main engine point of view - unsurprising given both vessels' engines came from the same builder - Rankine & Blackmore, Eagle Foundry, Baker Street, Greenock.

Main difference? Waverley's are triple expansion (ie 3 cylinders) giving 2100ihp. MoTL's are compound (2 cylinder) giving 1100ihp.

(1) View from the port bridge wing.
(2) View aft from starboard bridge wing.
(3) View fwd from aft end of bridge deck.
(4) Main Engine view towards engine block from crank (high pressure cyl)
(5) Main Engine view towards engine block from crank (low pressure cyl)
(6) Condenser and Reversing Gear (excuse blurriness)
« Last Edit: Mar 23, 2018, 08:34 AM by Clydebuilt1971 »