Waverley paddle steamer finds new masts in Perthshire

mast logs 2

Niche marketing officer, Douglas Halliday, with the two 17m logs


One of Scotland’s most famous ships is to be re-masted, thanks to Forestry Enterprise Scotland.

The Waverley paddle steamer, the last sea-going paddle steamer in the world, is to take a break from plying the UK’s inshore waters to have the two new masts fitted.

Sourced in Faskally Wood – home of the Enchanted Forest - by Forest Enterprise Scotland’s niche marketing adviser, Douglas Halliday, the trees were felled in August 2015. They are now being transported to Mackay's Boatyard in Arbroath to be shaped  and fashioned before being transported onwards to Glasgow for fitting to the Waverley.

Doug Halliday, for the Commission’s team in Tay, said;

“The two new masts are being fitted as part of a major re-fit for the Waverley.

“We sourced some Douglas Fir in Faskally Forest, near Pitlochry that were planted in the 1960s and so were a good enough size. The logs that will be heading to the yard are 17m long! 

“This is quite an unusual request but not entirely new to us. We have had approaches in the past, including the possibility of finding a mast for a replica Viking long ship, but it’s a great feeling when we are given the go-ahead to cut some suitable trees.”

The team at Mackay’s Boatyard will work on the Waverly masts for around three weeks, using traditional boat building tools, such as an adze, to remove the bark and plane the logs. The procedure is finished off with a planer and long base sander. 

Paul Simpson from Mackay’s boat builders, said.

“We are delighted to be involved with this project and we are looking forward to working with the team at the Waverley.”

Once the work is completed, the Waverley will once again grace Britain’s coastal waters bringing a nostalgic glimpse of sea-faring splendour to thousands of tourists, trippers and aficionados of the glory days of steam travel.

Notes to editors

  1. Forestry Commission Scotland is part of the Scottish Government's Environment and Forestry Directorate.
  2. Forest Enterprise Scotland is an agency of Forestry Commission Scotland and manages the National Forest Estate on behalf of Scottish Ministers.
  3. Tha Coimisean na Coilltearachd Alba na phàirt de Bhuidheann-Stiùiridh na h-Àrainneachd is Coilltearachd aig Riaghaltas na h-Alba. Tha e an urra ri riaghladh agus cumail maoineachadh is comhairle ri coilltearachd ann an Alba. Tha Iomairt Choilltean na h-Alba na fo-bhuidheann aig Coimisean na Coilltearachd Alba a tha a’ ruith Oighreachd na Coille Nàiseanta.
  4. Media enquiries to Paul Munro, Forestry Commission Scotland press office, 0300 067 6507 / 07785 527590 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.