Two national charities, The Wheelyboat Trust and Young Epilepsy, have launched a new accessible powerboat at Weir Wood Reservoir in East Sussex.
More than 180 students at St Piers School and College, all of whom have learning difficulties related to epilepsy, autism and other neurological conditions, will benefit from the sensory stimulation and pleasure of being on the water as part of the school’s physical education programme.
Designed and developed by The Wheelyboat Trust, a charity dedicated to providing people with access to waterborne activities, the Coulam V20 is the most important development since the launch of the original Wheelyboat more than 30 years ago.
Its unique design with flexible seating, level deck and a watertight bow door that lowers to form a solid ramp present an extremely easy and safe access for people, who find boarding from an unstable floating pontoon particularly challenging.
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Able to reach a top speed of 30mph with a 90hp Suzuki outboard, the Coulam Wheelyboat V20 will provide a new and more exciting sensory experience to the young people with disabilities, benefitting their overall health and wellbeing.
Many of the students find focusing on one given task or even sitting still very challenging, but become instantly relaxed and take a definite interest in their surroundings as soon as they are in a boat.