Fundraising appeal launched for damaged Reaper

Emergency services tried to right the vessel. Photo courtesy of HM Coastguard Angus & Mearns.
Emergency services tried to right the vessel. Photo courtesy of HM Coastguard Angus & Mearns.
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A public appeal to raise £20,000 for essential repair work on the historic Reaper has been launched by the Scottish Fisheries Museum.

The 113-year-old Fifie Herring Drifter was badly damaged after keeling over while at a boat show in Johnshaven Harbour earlier this month.

After being taken to Arbroath where the repairs will be carried out, museum bosses have set up a Just Giving page, which has already raised over £600.

Last week, Simon Hayhow, director of the museum, confirmed that the 70 foot vessel will be out of action for a least a year while the repairs are carried out. The refit, which will involve extensive work to the hull, including outer planks and inner frames, is expected to cost up to £800,000.

As well as setting up the public appeal, the museum is also in the very early process of obtaining funding from sources such as the National Lottery.

The museum director paid tribute to those who had helped since the incident on August 6.

“We’ve had fantastic support from the local community and organisers at Johnshaven and I would like to extend a great thanks to them.

“Also the boat club whose volunteers have spent hours travelling back and forth, taking out all the Reapers’ equipment, including wet mattresses. It’s been a major effort.”

The Museum Trustees, its naval architects and marine surveyors had scheduled a major 25 year refit of the Reaper for late 2017 onwards to maintain the boat’s continued seagoing capability that enables it to deliver the Museum’s outreach activities to coastal communities around Scotland and the North of England.

But after the incident at Johnshaven, the planned major refit has had to be brought forward.

If you would like to find out more or donate, go to the Just Giving page.