Adapting a Power Boat for a Power Chair?

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Adapting a Power Boat for a Power Chair?

Postby jazzh1 » 15 Aug 2021, 12:57

Hi Guys,

Has anyone here adapted a power boat so it is accessible for a power chair, just to drive on, no hoist or switching chairs etc (just like an adapted drive from wheelchair car conversion with ramp). Something around 7 to 9 meters.

I'm not prioritising actually adapting a power boat so I can drive it, I just want to be a passenger.

After looking around online, I've only really found the Cheetah Marine boats that have conversions. https://www.cheetahmarine.co.uk/en/. These do look good for powerchairs but I would be sharing the boat with able bodied people, so they aren't too keen on the Cheetah's for a bunch of reasons.

I was thinking of adapting something more common, maybe a Merry Fisher, or a Beneteau.

https://www.jeanneau.com/en/boats/power ... 95-marlin/

https://www.beneteau.com/en

I know converted power boats aren't too common but if by chance any one here has done one, please let me know...?
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Re: Adapting a Power Boat for a Power Chair?

Postby biscuit » 15 Aug 2021, 14:50

That's problematic. First you have to manage to board the yacht with the chair Then once aboard I imagine you roll one way, then the other, you can't get it below deck and the manoeuvring space on deck is nil. And if you fall ob you're dead meat or if you can ditch the chair and swim that's good, it's just your chair sinks. I have a little Shoprider Vienna and it stayed on shore when I went sailing. But I have usable legs, with zero balance.
Might be different on a cruise liner.
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Re: Adapting a Power Boat for a Power Chair?

Postby jazzh1 » 15 Aug 2021, 16:25

"That's problematic. First you have to manage to board the yacht with the chair Then once aboard I imagine you roll one way, then the other, you can't get it below deck and the manoeuvring space on deck is nil. And if you fall ob you're dead meat or if you can ditch the chair and swim that's good, it's just your chair sinks. I have a little Shoprider Vienna and it stayed on shore when I went sailing. But I have usable legs, with zero balance."

Yeah all good points. Being around water can be a bit dodge IMO especially being a C5 quad!

Still, I think as long as the wheelchair user isn't wearing a belt but is wearing a life jacket... and the boat isn't doing mad stuff... It should be safe enough...

FYI These 2 are running accessible day trips in smaller type boats :

https://www.loughreeboattrips.com/?gcli ... poQAvD_BwE
&
https://wetwheelsfoundation.org/
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Re: Adapting a Power Boat for a Power Chair?

Postby ac06 » 15 Aug 2021, 22:44

I thought about getting a pontoon boat. Looks like it would be pretty wheelchair accessible. Maybe one day.
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Re: Adapting a Power Boat for a Power Chair?

Postby slomobile » 10 Sep 2021, 18:13

ac06 wrote:I thought about getting a pontoon boat. Looks like it would be pretty wheelchair accessible. Maybe one day.

While a pontoon is great for deck space, anything with a catamaran type split hull will not roll naturally in turns like a vee hull. Turns at speed will tend to roll you to the outside of a turn. Wave action can be worse in vee hulls without a keel, but a sufficiently heavy vessel relative to wave height mitigates that. How sensitive are you to chop? I used to live near Lake Superior where the waves were not particularly big, but ever present, and their length was about the same as most small craft making the chop brutal. In a 18ft 5.5 meter boat you ride over the crest of a wave as it rolls out beneath you dropping you 'smack' into a trough. Speed up, catch some air, and you skip crest to crest for a while. If you don't have enough top end, then the ride is a spine crunching bang, bang, bang, bang. Then turn a bit and 'thud' you drop into a trough sideways at speed trying to rip your head off. Step onto a 30ft 9 meter cruiser in the same water and you only hear a 'slap' every 3rd wave or so and the reaction on deck is much slower. I'd advise finding an experienced captain familiar with the waters you plan to sail on and get his or her advice for the best type of craft for conditions and plan your access after that.
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