A Historic Ship or Boat as a Home the Benefits and the Challenges?

Event Date:
Start at 7:00 PM
March 22, 2021

Using a historic vessel to provide living space provides a valuable contribution to its cost of upkeep and is a source of display and interest along the riverbank and towpath. In 2020 many came to see the benefits of a more outdoor life and interest in waterborne living is high. Communities of such vessels can share service costs and maintain moorings. The ability to take the vessel out and keep it running helps keep many old vessels in working order. However not all port or local authorities are sympathetic and in some areas good moorings are difficult to come by. Over time regular lobbying and campaigning has been necessary to maintain and expand this option and organisations such as The Residential Boat Owners Association and the Dutch Barge Association play a key role. Scott and Hilary will outline the benefits, challenges of this aspect of maintaining a historic vessel.

Scott Pereira is Hon. Secretary of the The Maritime Heritage Trust and a founder member of Heritage Afloat, the umbrella organisation for ship and boat preservation societies created in 1993. He is a hospital consultant and active hobby preservationist as co-owner, with Hilary Pereira, of ‘Lilian’(1916) a 30 metre gentleman’s motor yacht which they have restored and taken to sea since 1980. He has lived on mobile ‘heritage’ residential boats for 45 years, initially on canal narrow boat ‘Alcor’(1934), then on steam inspection launch ‘Sabrina’(1870), and is a past chairman of the Residential Boat Owners Association. Hilary represents the River Thames Society on planning issues and is Chairman of the Upper Tideway Branch.

The Maritime Heritage Trust MHT is the national membership body for the maritime preservation sector and is the direct descendant of The Maritime Trust created in 1969 under the patronage of Prince Philip. The UK has great working examples of historic ships and boats – traditional sail, steamers, classic boats of all sizes and fine maritime buildings. Individual owners and small voluntary groups keep most of these vessels working and The Maritime Heritage Trust supports them. The Trust campaigns nationwide for a better deal for historic ships, and to keep them working, gives advice and support to individual preservation projects and represents the UK in the European Maritime Heritage organisation, to help keep historic ships sailing internationally. Our current projects include the Heritage Harbours campaign (joint with National Historic Ships).