Assynt Crofters’ Trust launch a Coulam 16 Wheelyboat

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This year is the 25th anniversary of the Assynt Crofters’ Trust taking ownership of the beautiful North Assynt Estate in the highlands of Scotland comprising of 21,300 acres with over 200 lochs. As part of a week-long celebration, ACT launched their new Coulam 16 Wheelyboat on Loch Drumbeg. The lochs are only accessible to the fit and able-bodied and therefore ACT is launching their new Wheelyboat to be able to offer all their visitors, regardless of age or ability, the opportunity to fish and watch wildlife in this stunning setting.

The fully accessible Coulam 16 Wheelyboat was launched on Saturday 30 June, as part of a day’s fishing competition for all anglers to be involved in, either on shore, or on the boat. The purpose-built fishing boat is ingeniously modified for wheelchair access and is an essential facility on larger waters. This project is an important development as it creates opportunities for mobility impaired anglers in a remote and pristine environment fishing for wild brown trout.  Anglers will not be the only beneficiaries, however, as the Wheelyboat will also play an important role as an accessible boat for wildlife tourism.

This joint project between ACT and The Wheelyboat Trust would not have been possible without the fundraising efforts of both charities. The Wheelyboat Trust contributed almost half of the total funds and provided a total of £5,000 from grants raised from Anne Duchess of Westminster’s Charity, Christina Mary Hendrie Charitable Trust, Mr J Collins, Mrs J Howman, JTH Charitable Trust, Lord Leverhulme’s Charitable Trust, Souter Charitable Trust, Sylvia Aitken Charitable Trust and Mr K Williams.  ACT raised their contribution from Assynt Fly Fishing, Living the Dream, Pudding Boy Productions, Scottish Hydro Electric and Scottish Water.

For enquiries telephone 01571 855298.  www.theassyntcrofters.co.uk


HRH The Princess Royal officially launches 'Susan Mary'

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ollowing the handover of a Coulam Wheelyboat V20 to Lymington Sailability at 2017’s Southampton Boat Show, HRH The Princess Royal in her capacity as President of the Royal Yachting Association formally declared the Wheelyboat launched.  The ceremony took place at the Pebble Beech Restaurant, Barton on Sea, on 11 May.  Guests included Lymington Sailability members and supporters, local Councillors, project donors and representatives from RYA Sailability.

For enquiries, telephone 07979 778144 or go to www.lymingtonsailability.com.


Papercourt Sailability launches Mk III Wheelyboat

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Papercourt Sailing Club is organised with passion by the members for the members.  The club is an RYA Champion Club, a recognised RYA Training Centre and the club was the UK’s RYA Sailing Club of the Year, as well as being a Sailability Foundation Status club. Their programmes are accessible to all abilities and ages from their vibrant youth programme, which has over 150 children, to their adult training programme. All are welcome to join the Club either as a non-sailing individual or family, or without owning a boat, learn to sail at very reasonable cost, and get friendly advice about which boat to buy, with first class facilities and a wonderful safe environment in which to learn and sail. There are already six Access dinghies, designed so that they will not capsize, and these will now be complemented by the new Wheelyboat offering a different type of fully accessible boat in the fleet.

For more information about the Sailability programme at Papercourt, email sailability@papercourt-sc.org.uk.

Many thanks to Peter Snow for providing us with photos of the launch.


Coulam 16 Wheelyboat launched on Llyn Brenig

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Brenig is Welsh Water’s jewel in the crown of fisheries in North Wales attracting anglers from all over the UK but its location is particularly well-suited to anglers from Wales and the north west.  It is a stocked trout fishery renowned for its hard fighting rainbow trout that are grown on in the lake.  It is a large expanse of water with 14 miles of bank, none of which is accessible to disabled anglers who are therefore totally reliant on a Wheelyboat.  Brenig has operated a Wheelyboat continuously since 1989.  The first one was replaced in 2004 with a Mk II model and this is now having to be retired after 13 years of sterling service.

The Coulam 16 Wheelyboat joins a large fleet of standard Coulam boats and it looks and performs identically.  Its two predecessors have been aluminium craft with bow doors that lower to form a ramp and as such some disabled anglers felt self-conscious using them.  Having an accessible boat with identical capability to the rest of the fleet is important for the self-esteem of its users.  Also, disabled anglers who fish Brenig’s competitions will now be able to do so entirely on equal terms with their able-bodied counterparts.

The launch took place on 8 June and Terry Evans, regular Wheelyboat user at Brenig, formally declared the Wheelyboat launched.

We are very grateful to Lord Leverhulme’s Charitable Trust for helping us fund this project.

To book the Wheelyboat for a day’s fishing on Brenig, telephone 01490 420463.


Mountain Ash Fly Fishers’ Coulam 16 Wheelyboat launched on Penderyn Reservoir

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Mountain Ash Fly Fishers Association is a fly-fishing club based in the Cynon Valley in South Wales.  It was formed in 1958 and leases Penderyn Reservoir which it operates as a day ticket water for rainbow trout.  In recent years MAFFA has made a concerted effort to improve the facilities there, particularly for disabled anglers, including improvements to pathways, parking, and accessible casting platforms. These new and updated facilities enable schools, groups and organisations such as the local Scouts to try fishing for themselves. The Wheelyboat project is the final element that has transformed the reservoir into a fully accessible fishery for all to enjoy.  Also benefitting from the new Wheelyboat will be members of the Welsh Disabled Fly Fishing Team who come to Penderyn to practice.

The Wheelyboat project cost a total of £10,882.  Huge thanks to the project’s donors: Natural Resources Wales, Millennium Stadium Charitable Trust, Sport Wales and Pen-y-Cymoedd Community Fund.

To book the Wheelyboat, telephone 07547 868862 or go to www.mountainashflyfishers.yolasite.com.


Local Solutions launch V20 in Liverpool docks

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A Coulam Wheelyboat V20 was launched by not-for-profit charity Local Solutions at their Liverpool Watersports Centre on 12 April.  It is the first fully accessible powerboat at the centre, strengthening existing provisions for people with disabilities.

The Wheelyboat was officially launched by Lady Maureen Massie and is named ‘Sir Bert Massie’ after the renowned disability rights campaigner and long standing trustee of Local Solutions.   Also in attendance was the Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside, Mr Mark Blundell, and local Councillor Pam Thomas, Cabinet Member for Inclusive and Accessible City of Liverpool City Council.

Local Solutions’ Watersports Centre is in the process of developing its facilities specifically for people with disabilities to boost well-being, self-esteem and skills. The combined successful fundraising of £33,220 by Local Solutions and The Wheelyboat Trust with the support from Sport England for the new Wheelyboat has allowed the thriving centre to enrich the lives of their learning, sensory and mobility-impaired visitors with this new roll-on, roll-off accessible powerboat, which will enable them to enjoy the excitement of water sports without the need to leave their wheelchairs.

Local Solutions prides itself in being a thriving centre delivering services to support individuals, families and communities with a primary focus on those experiencing disadvantage, exclusion and vulnerability. The special features of the Wheelyboat will provide users with mobility impairments with new skillsets, as disabled users will be able to learn to operate the boat themselves, as well as achieving accredited watersports qualifications.  To find out more about the availability of the Wheelyboat telephone the watersports centre on 0151 708 9322 or go to www.liverpoolwatersports.org.uk.


Caldecotte Xperience’s V20 launch

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Caldecotte Xperience in Milton Keynes launched their Coulam Wheelyboat V20 on 15 March, the first fully accessible power boat to operate at this outdoor activity centre.  The new boat was aptly named ‘The Wheel of Opportunity’ in a competition won by local school, Great Linford Primary.

The Wheelyboat Trust’s and Action4Youth’s partnership started in 2015 when an instructor from Caldecotte Xperience saw a V20 being towed along the M1.  The instructor realised this might be the perfect vessel to fill a significant gap in provision for mobility impaired people at the centre.  After Googling the model name, the instructor contacted The Wheelyboat Trust who arranged to visit with their demonstrator for a trial run.  The V20 seen on the M1 was being towed by boatbuilder, Jim Coulam, on its way to the Southampton Boat Show.  This twist of fate led The Wheelyboat Trust and Action4Youth working together to fund the Coulam Wheelyboat V20.  The total cost of the project was £41,000 for features including folding bench seating, wheelchair anchorage for the helmsman’s seat, and a 4-wheel braked trailer, with the Wheelyboat Trust raising £10,500 towards the overall cost. Caldecotte Xperience can now enrich the lives of their learning, sensory and mobility impaired visitors with this new roll-on, roll-off access power boat, which will enable them to enjoy the excitement of water sports, without the need for them to leave their wheelchairs.  

For enquiries telephone 01908 232042 or go to www.caldecottexperience.org.uk.

 


For reports and photos of earlier Wheelyboat launches, please download our Waterwheels newsletter.