Keep the Kyles Afloat!

by Scottish Maritime Museum in Irvine, Scotland, United Kingdom

We did it
On 22nd December 2020 we successfully raised £39,835 ( + est. £366.25 Gift Aid ) with 59 supporters in 28 days

To repair, repaint and re-interpret the ship "Kyles" - the oldest Clyde built vessel still afloat

by Scottish Maritime Museum in Irvine, Scotland, United Kingdom

 New stretch target

If we reach our extra target, we will undertake surveys and repairs to Kyles engine and investigate running Kyles under its own power. 

Who We Are

The Scottish Maritime Museum was established in 1982 to care for and promote Scotland's maritime heritage. Based in two museums in Irvine and Dumbarton we look after objects from the last 200 years of Scottish shipbuilding. It's our job to make them accessible and to bring their stories to life. 

Among our thousands of artefacts and photographs are over 30 vessels - you can view 3D scans of some of them here


MV Kyles

Since  1983 we have cared for a great many ships and boats, but we are privileged to care for the vessel Kyles, the oldest floating Clyde-built vessel in the UK.

1606140002_22094386462_d5a1f70920_o.jpgAt 148 years, Kyles is older than The Falls of Clyde, the Glenlee or the Sir Walter Scott. 2022 marks Kyle’s 150th year, and we need your help to get this rare survivor back into ship-shape and ready for the next 150.

Built in 1872 in Paisley in the west of Scotland, Kyles is unusual in that the name never changed, even after going through 24 owners! Starting out  as a cargo coaster, Kyles has been a fishing tender, a sand dredger, and a tanker all across the UK, sailing out from the Firth of Clyde, Newcastle upon Tyne, South Wales, the Bristol Channel and now is enjoying retirement here in Irvine, back in the west of Scotland.


How You Can Help

Kyles has survived by adapting and changing, and now we want to ensure the future for the vessel by carrying out essential maintenance work, allowing Kyles to bring joy to our visitors for years to come.


You can see from the video that parts of the Kyles are in need of repair. Your support will allow us to repaint Kyles inside and out, undertake essential repairs, and re-interpret the vessel and restore the cabins to how they would have looked before the vessel arrived at the maritime museum in the early 80s. We want to improve our offering to schools and visitors, and bring to life the Kyles' long history. With your support we will be able to give visitors and schools a real of how life was inside an old iron hulled coaster, a hard life of storms, sea biscuits and seasickness.



This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£250 or more

0 of 4 claimed

Private film screening inside a ship!

We will turn the hold of our 1940s puffer "Spartan" into a cinema for you and your friends (within Covid rules) for a private screening of your favourite film

£5 or more

A wee thank you

You'll have our thanks and gratitude!

£10 or more

All our love (and a fridge magnet)

We will send you a postcard with our thanks, plus a snazzy magnet featuring Kyles to pop on your fridge

£20 or more

Guided tour of the Kyles

Free entry to the Scottish Maritime Museum including a guided tour of the Kyles, once Coronavirus restrictions have lifted.

£1,000 or more

2 of 5 claimed

Your name on Kyles forever

Your name will go on a brass plaque in the wheelhouse of Kyles naming you as a major sponsor in the restoration works and invited to the unveiling.

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