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A historic ship or boat as a home

- the benefits and the challenges?

Monday, 22 March 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.


  • Online with Zoom 19:00 - 20:30


  • Creating community and individual benefits using historic boats and ships

    Creating community and individual benefits using historic boats and ships

    Hear from projects across the UK on how to deliver life changing benefits for individuals and communities through historic vessel activities

    Online Zoom Event 19:30 - 21:00

    This webinar will examine the positive impact that maritime heritage can have for the wider community and the life-changing experiences that engagement with historic vessels can bring to individuals through volunteering, skills training, educational initiatives or well-being opportunities. It will share details of projects and outreach work aimed at integrating people with heritage.
    This will inform a panel question and answer session to stimulate group discussion, offering the audience useful examples and case studies to draw on.

Recent Events

  • Passengers on historic ships

    Passengers on historic ships

    John Megoran looks at the post pandemic challenges facing historic passenger vessel operators around the UK and  at possible solutions.

  • A historic ship or boat as a home

    A historic ship or boat as a home

    Scott and Hilary Pereira  (Swedish motor yacht Lilian) talk about the potential for residential use to help sustain historic craft. 

  • What EMH does for us

    What EMH does for us

    Get the inside story on how we get on with our seafaring neighbours and help in our time of need - with David Morgan and Thomas Hoppe.

  • Heritage Barge Days at ExCel

    Heritage Barge Days at ExCel

    As part of Newham Heritage Month the Thames sailing barge Blue Mermaid - will be visiting the ExCel centre in the Royal Docks and will be welcoming visitors aboard.

  • Cowes and Isle of Wight

    Cowes and Isle of Wight

    A flexible programme, joint visit with Association of Yachting Historians on 24/25 September (join on either day) led by Brian Corbett (MHT Trustee, OGA , MHT and OGA Rep. European Maritime Heritage (EMH) and Association of Yachting Historians)

  • Time for a new approach on saving historic vessels?

    Time for a new approach on saving historic vessels?

    What future for our historic ships?

    Preserving ships and boats has always been in the “too difficult” box; despite some real successes, over the last 20 years we have seen continuing losses of historic warships, small steamers and sailing vessels. While some operating vessels have benefitted from “staycation” in the last 2 years, others have struggled to run at all. 

    How sustainable are some of our current approaches to preserving and operating historic vessels?

  • Getting On Board?

    Getting On Board?

    Online Zoom Event 19:30 - 21:00

    How can historic vessels draw in new people and stay relevant, reaching out beyond existing supporters, using social media, online promotion and community “offer”, and convert that into supporters, visitors, volunteers or contributors?

    It’s still an experimental area and no one has all the answers. This discussion will share views on different techniques through presentations, a speaker panel with time for questions from attendees.