Two wheels and two hulls - Wetwheels update
Cheetah Marine have been working closely with disabled yachtsman Geoff Holt MBE to build a purpose built powerboat which Geoff can operate solely from his wheelchair. 'Wetwheels' will be making her debut at the PSP Southampton Boatshow. As well as being Geoff's new toy and family boat, 'Wetwheels' is designed to allow all disabled people, including wheelchair users, to have the opportunity to experience the thrill of powerboating.
'Wetwheels' is a 9 metre Cheetah Catamaran and is designed with a side-opening door, a raised helming position and various wheelchair tie-down points plus state of the art Raymarine electronics.
Geoff Holt comments; 'This may seem a departure from sailing for me but that’s not the case. I've owned powerboats of various sizes for the past ten years. I still love sailing but if it’s one thing I’ve noticed in my 20 years involvement with disabled sailing, it’s the getting afloat which gives the enjoyment, sailing does not have exclusivity on that. There are countless opportunities for disabled people to go sailing, but very few to get out on a powerboat, have a whizz around the harbour or go to fishing, and to come ashore dry without the normal rigmarole associated with the end of a sailing trip.'
'I’ve been saving up for some time to buy my ideal boat but, when the moment came, I realised I wanted my boat to be used by other disabled people so they could share my enjoyment. Having looked at all the options, I concluded there could only be one class of boat up to the task, and that was the Cheetah Catamaran as it combined seaworthiness and safety with ample space for wheelchairs. Wetwheels will be MCA coded category 2 for up to 10 persons giving peace of mind to all who use her.'
Although conceived, designed and purchased by Geoff Holt, the project has been made possible with the generous support and sponsorship from several members of the marine industry including Cheetah Marine, Suzuki and Raymarine.
Sean Strevens, Cheetah Marine, comments 'We have built many wheelchair accessible Cheetahs but ‘Wetwheels’ is the largest we have designed to be driven by the wheelchair user. Geoff is keen that she is used to take other people with disabilities afloat and naturally safety is of paramount importance. We were delighted when Geoff approached us with this project and we both agreed that the 9 metre hull will provide outstanding stability, space and comfort for the wheelchair user'
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