Hopes are rising that the Waverley will sail again after a fund to repair the famous paddle steamer passed the £2 million landmark.

The owners of the world's last remaining ocean-going paddle steamer need another £300,000 to meet the fundraising target.

The 70-year old ship, much-loved for trips 'doon the watter' in the Clyde and up the Argyll coast, was unable to sail last season. 

However the appeal by the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society (PSPS), which operatest the historic vessel, was boosted by £1m from the Scottish Government last month.

Read more: Fund to save the Waverley gathers steam with £1m boost

An update on the charity's website described hitting the £2m mark as a "fantastic result in just a few months". 

The update for supporters said more than 7,500 individuals had contributed to the boiler fund since the appeal was launched in June: "The running total for Waverley's Boiler Refit Appeal has now passed the £2m milestone thanks to the continued generosity of PSPS members and many other individuals.

"Along with £1m of support from the Scottish government several trusts and foundations have also contributed to take the total raised so far to within £300,000 of the £2.3m target."

The Waverley is listed as a vessel of "pre-eminent national significance" as part of the National Historic Fleet.

Read more: Dream of refloating the Maid of the Loch lives on

But it urgently requires new two new boilers  to produce steam to drive then engine that turns the massive paddle wheels. The PSPS had warned that the ship might never sail again, and while celebrating the appeal's progress, the charity called for a final push to hit the target. 

"Waverley needs your support now. All donations, large or small, will help ensure this iconic ship steams again," the website says.