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Old 19-05-2008, 21:54   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Olympia, Washington
Boat: None currently - looking
Posts: 5
Handicapped Access

My wife has MS and is in a wheelchair. Has anyone had experience with getting some onto a boat that is in a wheelchair? She loved to sail when she could still walk and I would like to find a way to give that back to her.

Thanks for any help you can give.

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Old 20-05-2008, 01:40   #2
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Hi Michael
would you want her to stay in the wheel chair on the boat? Are you looking at a big or little boat? For day sailing a "chair" without wheels mounted in the cockpit could keep her comfortable, and depending on her level, a seat belt arrangement would stop her from pitching forwards. With due care and a thorough check (replacement) of fittings and a serious topping lift (perhaps with a second attached at the lifting point) with a handy billy about half way along the boom and a lifting sling (same as what is used on the hoists) You should be able to lift her out of the wheel chair and into her boat chair. Fold the chair up throw it on board and a way you go. The company I work for does all sorts of disability "stuff" and we have found that there is so often not a product or done way to achieve an independence goal. We have learnt now (being doing it for 22 years) to just make it up!!! I suggest you do the same. Good quality rated gear , a healthy dose of "I AM going to do this" and some lateral thinking and I AM sure you can achieve this easily..... then you move onto the boat controls..............cheers

ps I know of fully ventilator dependent high level quads who sail. BY THEMSELVES !!

The boat is a dedicated unit called an "access liberty". The sailors are lifted in with a dockside mounted lift and the boats can be sailed with a variety of controls right up to head switch or chin joystick controls driving servos that operate the sheets and tiller. Believe me they race these boats HARD.....

Access Dinghies - About the boats
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