On Sunday 3rd June 1973 Waverley was taken out of service in order to undertake a repair to her boiler.
She made her first trip of the 1973 season, her last operational summer in the ownership of Caledonian MacBrayne, on Easter Monday 23rd April filling in on the ferry service between Largs and Millport and continued to operate on ferry services at busy times throughout the summer as well as undertaking several charters.
Her main summer advertised excursion programme for 1973 was scheduled to begin on Saturday 26th May with trips entirely on Categorised Waters and not to sea as then defined by the Board of Trade (BOT) and as set out by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) today in MSN 1776. These plying limits on a Class IV Passenger Certificate allowed her to sail on the Clyde and around Bute as well as on to Tarbet and beyond up Loch Fyne and were not (and still are not) subject to any BOT/MCA weather restrictions as opposed to her sea-going Class III certificates which were (and still are) very much weather dependant. Vessels plying on Categorised Waters are also outside the many sea-going requirements for domestic passenger ships including the costly implementation of STCW.
On Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays Waverley was scheduled to run an afternoon cruise from Gourock, Dunoon and Largs around Bute.
On Tuesdays and Wednesdays the Round Bute trip was extended into a day trip by adding a cruise up Loch Long after the Round Bute cruise on Tuesdays and before it on Wednesdays
On Fridays she was set to sail from Gourock, Dunoon and Largs through the Kyles of Bute to Tarbert with a cruise up Loch Fyne
On some Saturdays she was rostered to run the afternoon cruise to Tignabruaich although she was sometimes replaced on this service by a Maid with her greater passenger capacity being put to better use on one of the ferry services.
However, on Sunday 3rd June 1973 Waverley was out of service for her boiler repair.
Kingswear Castle returned to service in 2023 after the first part of a major rebuild which is designed to set her up for the next 25 years running on the River Dart. The Paddle Steamer Kingswear Castle Trust is now fund raising for the second phase of the rebuild. You can read more about the rebuilds and how you can help if you can here.
This article was first published on 3rd June 2021.