It would cost at least £10m to restore The Carrick
One of Britain's most historic ships could be dismantled because too much money is needed to restore it.
The 140-year-old clipper, The Carrick, has been rotting away on the quayside at the Scottish Maritime Museum in Irvine, Ayrshire, for 15 years.
Along with the Cutty Sark, it is one of the last clippers in the world but at least £10m is needed to repair it.
The council would have to give permission for it to be demolished as it is classed as a listed building.
The move follows a long fight to save the vessel.
'It's a tragedy'
The Carrick, originally named the City of Adelaide, was built in Sunderland in 1864 to carry people emigrating to southern Australia.
The ship was built in 1864 to transport people to Australia
It was used as an isolation hospital in Southampton, then a navy training ship and clubhouse for the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve in Glasgow.
It was also rescued after sinking in the Clyde.
Experts said that so much of the structure would need to be replaced that it would amount to building a modern-day replica.
The museum is now planning to ask North Ayrshire Council for permission to demolish the vessel.
Former Education Minister Sam Galbraith, who is a museum trustee, said: "It's a tragedy. The money isn't there to rebuild the ship."
However, the trustees have said they would ensure that the process was fully documented and that pieces of The Carrick would be preserved for future display.