For generations of locals and visitors to Anstruther, The Reaper has been a familiar sight.
It is this affinity for the 1903 Fifie Lugsail Herring Drifter, which the Scottish Fisheries Museum hopes will encourage support for a new crowdfunding appeal, launched last month.
A sizeable restoration, including a new mast, had to be carried out back in 2004, made possible thanks to funds from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
But after 115 years and a particularly bad incident in 2016 – when she was blown over in Johnshaven Harbour – a major restoration project was launched last year to bring her back to her best.
The work will be carried out in three phases, with phase one complete and phase two already underway at Rosyth Docks, thanks to much-needed funding from the Scottish Government.
Babcock, which is carrying out the work, said: “We are pleased with the progress that has been made on Reaper and look forward to continuing this important work for the Scottish Fisheries Museum.”
It is expected phase 2 will be completed in June or July 2019, when she will be brought back to Anstruther, ready for phase 3, which is where the crowdfunder comes in.
The museum hopes to raise £25,000 from public donations to go towards this final stage, fitting her out below deck, and giving anyone the chance to be part of The Reaper’s long history.
Read more: Iconic Reaper damaged at Johnshaven Harbour
“It’s something we haven’t done before, so thought we’d give it a try,” said Simon Hayhow, director of development at the museum. “And we’re looking at offer ing people who donate an incentive as well, like a visit to the boat when she’s completed.”
He added: “The whole project could take us over £1 million, so the crowdfunder is just an element of that, and our first target is to get her back in the sea and out of Babcock’s.”
Ian Goodyear, director of operations at the museum, said the restoration was “very much” a partnership between them, Babcock and the Scottish Government, which had provided “vital” funding as part of its commitment to cultural heritage in Scotland.
To be one of the crowdfunders, click HERE.
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