Image: Karl Midlane

Sussex-based charity The Wheelyboat Trust has launched its 200thwheelchair accessible powerboat, a Coulam Wheelyboat V17.

The Wheelyboat was officially handed over by The Wheelyboat Trust to its new owners, SEAS @ Conway Centre – an outdoor activity centre in Anglesey. SEAS is a group that provides disabled people of all ages in North Wales with accessible sailing and boating opportunities as part of the RYA’s national Sailability programme.
Named Phil Braden after the late RYA Cymru Wales Chief Executive who passed away earlier this year, the new vessel will be based on the Menai Straits, enabling disabled users of the Conway Centre to enjoy water-based activities.
Andy Beadsley, Director of The Wheelyboat Trust says: “In March this project featured onBBC Countryfile, showcasing the fantastic work of The Wheelyboat Trust and the Conway Centre. We showed presenter Steve Brown, who is also a wheelchair user, how versatile our Wheelyboats are, and how they give disabled users the same opportunities as able-bodied people. I’m delighted that our latest model of Wheelyboat – which is also our 200th Wheelyboat – will be based in Anglesey, as it will open so many more doors to disabled users in this area than ever before.”
Like all Wheelyboat models, the Coulam Wheelyboat V17 enables disabled people, and wheelchair users in particular, to take part in a myriad waterborne activities. The roll-on, roll-off bow door, large open cockpit and drive-from-wheelchair helm provide a huge amount of freedom and independence.
Jon Gamon, Chief Instructor of SEAS @ Conway Centre, says: “The arrival of the Coulam WheelyboatV17 will mark an enormous leap forward in the capability of the SEAS group to deliver inclusive activities. Not only will this vessel enable our disabled volunteers to take a more integral role in the delivery of sessions, but it will also allow new activities such as paddle sports and fishing to be tried – something we’re very excited about.”

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