Fundraising to move the Peggy to a new home |

Fundraising is underway to move a historic schooner to a purpose-built house in Castletown.

Manx National Heritage is campaigning to find £2.5million to move the 1789 Peggy and rehouse her. Another £2.5million will be requested from the government as a capital offer.

MNH wants to house the ship in a drydock outside the Castletown Nautical Museum and surround it with an enclosure.

Costs are based on concept designs, which were calculated using cost consultant estimates and recent “actual” exhibit design costs.

MNH says market testing will be undertaken when all design details have been agreed and the full cost of the project is secured.

In 2015, the schooner was moved from the cellar of the Nautical Museum in Castletown, where she was damaged by seawater, to safe storage in an industrial unit in Braddan.

The issue has given rise to numerous letters to our newspapers over the past two years.

The Peggy is the last intact rowboat and oldest schooner in the world. She is also the oldest surviving ship to have been fitted with sliding keels.

The ship is one of 200 to feature in the UK’s National Historic Fleet.

An MNH spokesperson said: “The vision for the site is ambitious but entirely appropriate if the Peggy is to be housed in a way that keeps her in stable conditions and tells the story of the Peggy, her owner George Quayle and 18th Century Isle of Man in a way that sets it apart as a world-class heritage tourist attraction adding significant value to the wider visitor economy and contributing to Treasury benefits [tax money] for the government.

The budget cost includes the design, construction and development of the new boathouse for the Peggy at the Nautical Museum, as well as the costs of conserving and redisplaying the registered buildings, the private quay at Quayle and the introduction of what MNH says it is a “modern and engaging experience for all as part of the Musée Nautique du Patrimoine tourist attraction”.

George Quayle was a prominent member of Manx society and was involved in commerce and politics.

How does the £5m compare to other projects?

l The Newport Ship, Newport, Wales was reported in 2014 as needing a minimum of £4m just to display the remains of the ship in a simple industrial building.

l In 2016, a £5 million refurbishment of the Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth was completed. This was on top of the £39million spent to preserve and display it.

l The preservation and restoration of the SS Great Britain, the world’s first iron screw-propelled ocean-going ship and its drydock including visitor facilities, was completed in 2005 at a cost of £9.5million.

l The National Maritime Museum, Cornwall was completed in 2003 at a cost of £21.5 million.

l The Cutty Sark, the world’s last tea clipper, was devastated by fire in May 2007 and a £50million restoration project was completed in 2012.

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