new boat project
For the past forty years we have been taking people out on the Hamble River in canoes, kayaks and wheelchair accessible motorboats. In recent years demand for accessible boats has increased and we have been lucky to have two motorboats available. However the older of the two, which we bought fifteen years ago, needs replacing.
Our newest boat is still going strong, a Wheelyboat named in honour of James Male, whose parents raised the funds (alongside the Wheelyboat Trust) in memory of their son who was lost at sea.
But we need a second boat.
In looking at a replacement we are taking the opportunity to build on what we have learned as well as looking to the future. The ideal boat for our use is a catamaran hull to provide stability, an open deck to allow easy access for wheelchairs, an electric motor to reduce noise and pollution, a remote steering block so that anyone on the boat could steer from anywhere (avoiding the need for musical chairs) and side loading for access from our pontoon.
We have been discussing our needs with local boat builders, as what we want is not an off-the-shelf option, and Aluminium Marine Consultants of Cowes on the Isle of Wight have been enthusiastic in taking our ideas and making them into solid plan.
The cost of the boat is £40,000 and our aim is to have it on the water by 1st April 2020. This is an optimistic target but we’re nothing if not optimistic! We will be rolling out our appeal in the next few weeks. If you think you can help get the ball rolling let us know.