SUMMER is cancelled for historic paddle steamer the Waverley.

A problem with the ship’s boiler means it will be out of action until 2020, when it is traditionally in and out of Largs taking passengers on days out around the River Clyde.

Waverley Excursions, which owns the famous steam ship, announced that boiler repair works have over-run and those who have already booked tickets will now be offered a full refund.

The months of cancellation for the famous vessel's visits are a bodyblow to local businesses and tourist trade during peak summer months.

Tiffany Irvin, co-owner of The Fish Works in Largs, said: "It will have a definite impact.

"It brings a lot of business to Largs, and all the team here see the Waverley coming in the distance and know to get ready for the arrival of all the visitors.

"It is such an iconic attraction and people love taking photos of it too as it passes by.

"It is a shame that they have announced they are cancelling it altogether during the three months in summer when it is usually at its busiest.

"We have to hope that it is not the end of the Waverley altogether on the Clyde."

Claudio Nardini, co-owner of Nardini's at the Moorings, said: "It will have an impact as most businesses get a spin-off from its visits.

"It brings people to the town and drops them off for a good few hours.

"Sometimes the Waverley can be packed out and bring hundreds of people into Largs at any one time."

Waverley Excursions general manager Paul Semple told the News: “I am disappointed to confirm that due to extended boiler works we have had to withdraw Waverley’s sailings in May, June and July.

"For the past 11 weeks our crew and contractors have been working on the ship’s boilers but the repair has increased in complexity and cost.

"I am aware that many of our passengers will have made arrangements to sail on Waverley and I appreciate that this news will be very disappointing. I offer my personal apologies and would like to reassure our supporters that we are doing everything possible to get Waverley back on the water.

"We will make a further announcement regarding the boiler repairs once we have more information."

A plea was put out on the Waverley website for much needed funds.

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