Historic clipper too expensive to restore

One of the world’s last remaining clippers may be demolished because it is too costly to restore.

The Carrick, a 140-year-old British clipper, has spent the last 15 years in decline on the dock of the Scottish Maritime Museum in Irvine, Ayrshire. At least £10m is now needed to repair it, and experts say that so much of the structure would need to be replaced that it would amount to building a modern-day replica.

The museum lacks the necessary funds to restore the ship and, despite a long fight to save the vessel, is now planning to ask North Ayrshire Council for permission to dismantle it – the council’s permission is required as the ship is classed as a listed building.

Formerly named The City of Adelaide, the historic vessel was built in Sunderland in 1864 to ship emigrants to southern Australia. It was later used as a navy training ship and clubhouse for the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve in Glasgow, and later still was rescued after sinking in the Clyde.

One of the museum’s trustees, Sam Galbraith, said of the situation: ‘It’s a tragedy. The money isn’t there to rebuild the ship.’

If the plans to dismantle the ship are given the go-ahead, the museum’s trustees have promised to document the process and preserve some parts of the ship for display.