Within five years we see a magnificent working ship,
"Jewel of the Nation’s fleet".
Bringing a boat back to its original historical condition is only part of the journey. We feel that to re-construct the past is interesting and important as a cultural landmark, a symbol of an age and an insight into our recent heritage. However, to inhabit a position of contemporary relevance, the vessel must embody a function and beauty which relates to our own time, and into the future.
For this to be realized, on a working level, Vigilant would need to comply with contemporary passenger carrying regulations, and use the potential for entertainment and pageantry for which she was built.
For this kind of contemporary / historic fusion there is some small precedence. Examples such as Waverley, Kingswear Castle and Shieldhall, give passengers a true experience of being out on the open water in a steam ship. Restored steam railways give a present experience of a past time. We are looking to make good use of what Vigilant is, today.
Whilst retaining a genuine period boiler we feel that pollution from coal or oil is not acceptable. We are interested in the potential of fueling Vigilant’s steam engines on alternative energy, whether Bio-methane, hydrogen, electricity, or wood. We are open to explore the possibilities for the future of steam power.
Unlike many preserved "workhorses" such as tugs and cargo ships, we feel that Vigilant is perfectly suited for parades, regattas, national events (like the Olympics), port tours, business charters, royal occasions, public and private functions. Being suited for such activities is vitally important for Vigilant's future. The public will have access and she can earn her own maintenance revenue.
For these reasons Medway Maritime Trust has chosen Vigilant as its benchmark restoration project.
For a more detailed look at specifications, engine and build, and historical detail, click HERE.