The project to renovate the pleasure boat, which has been moored at Balloch Pier since its last outing on the water in 1981, has been awarded funding of £950,000 by the Scottish Government.
Supporters of the paddle steamer need to raise £5.5m to bring her back into use for cruises and functions.
The Loch Lomond Steamship Company, which owns the paddle steamer, said getting the fundings was a “major milestone” in getting the Maid back on the open water.
Chairman John Beveridge said: “It is absolutely wonderful news and a complete game changer for The Maid’s full restoration.
“This takes us significantly closer to reaching our £5.5m target, but we still have a way to go.”
The Loch Lomond Steam Ship Company took over the vessel in 1996 and set about renovating it. Around £2m has been spent on the boat to date.