The launch of Mylor Sailability’s brand new wheelchair accessible boat, the Coulam Wheelyboat V20, will take place at Mylor Sailing School on the River Fal estuary in Cornwall on 3 October. Reaching speeds of over 30mph the specially designed Wheelyboat will be launched by guest of honour Peter Norfolk MBE, two times gold-winning Paralympian tennis player and GB flagbearer at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Sailing and boating are activities that most disabled people can participate in effectively given the right access, facilities and opportunities. Tracey Boyne, owner of Mylor Sailing School, recognised a significant lack of disabled access on local waters in Cornwall and 15 months ago Mylor Sailability was established to provide outdoor waterborne activities for people with impaired mobility and special educational needs.
Nominated for a National Award with the County Sports Partnership at Cornwall County Council for best new project, the charity has been successful in securing a Sport England Inspired Facilities grant of £48k for a new building, pontoon and hoist, as well as a grant in conjunction with Age UK to encourage people with disabilities over the age of 50 into sailing. The charity now helps hundreds of people from all over Cornwall with a wide range of disabilities take part in sailing.
The Coulam Wheelyboat V20 is The Wheelyboat Trust’s latest model and is the most important development since the launch of the original Wheelyboat more than 30 years ago. As well as the most versatile Wheelyboat so far, it is the first high-performance craft that The Wheelyboat Trust has designed, capable of speeds in excess of 30mph. Seating up to ten people including six wheelchair users, it will provide Mylor Sailability with its first wheelchair accessible powered craft and will fulfil a variety of essential roles from pleasure cruiser and powerboat tuition to support, safety and rescue. Its drive-from-wheelchair helm will enable disabled people to experience driving the boat themselves and attain recognised qualifications such as Powerboat level 1 and 2 certificates and Powerboat Instructor. The Wheelyboat project for Mylor Sailability cost £27,000 funded in large part by donations raised by the Trust.