Sailing For Wheelchair Users

A boat aimed at giving wheelchair users experience of sailing was launched by the Woolverstone Project at the beginning of October.

The Coulam Wheelyboat V20 is the first wheelchair-accessible craft in the charity’s large fleet of boats adapted for people with disabilities. Designed and partly funded by The Wheelyboat Trust, the V20 accommodates up to six wheelchairs and even enables wheelchair users to drive the boat themselves, making it a fantastic new asset for the project that focuses on providing sailing opportunities and tuition to those with disabilities. Apart from pleasure trips, the Woolverstone Project will be able for the first time to offer disabled people the opportunity to attain qualifications such as Powerboat Level 1 and 2 certificates and Powerboat Instructor.

The plans however do not stop there. Being the only Wheelyboat in Suffolk, the craft will be used to benefit a much wider range of community groups across Suffolk, Essex and South Norfolk. Providing as many people as possible with the opportunity and freedom to participate in waterborne activities is the main aim of both The Wheelyboat Trust and the Woolverstone Project. The unique design of the V20 with flexible seating, a level deck and a watertight bow door that lowers to form a ramp means easy access not only for wheelchair users but anyone with impaired mobility, young and old.

John Wilkinson, chair of trustees of the Woolverstone Project, said: 

“The Coulam Wheelyboat V20 was simply the perfect choice for us. The boat offers exactly what we were missing in our fleet and we can now provide new opportunities for people with disabilities to experience the freedom and joy of being out on the water.”

Both the Woolverstone Project and the Wheelyboat Trust rely on the support of individuals, companies and charitable organisations to fund their activities. Donations can be made in a variety of ways, including online at: www.woolverstoneproject.org.uk/support-us/donating-to-us // www.wheelyboats.org/donate.html.

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