Pioneering boat will make Norfolk coast more accessible
- Credit: Blakeney, Cley and District Royal British Legion.
A pioneering new boat set to hit the region’s water will make the coast more accessible than ever.
The first-ever wheelchair accessible powerboat for the north Norfolk coast has been unveiled and will be showcased at Creake Abbey Farmers’ Market on Saturday, August 7, from 9.30am to 1pm.
The brand-new boat, a Coulam V20 Wheelyboat – named Poppy – is set to be launched at Morston Quay this autumn. The boat will help disabled people to enjoy north Norfolk’s coastline, in a trailblazing vessel that’s also the first in the UK to be powered by electricity and petrol.
Diana Brocklebank Scott, partner and director at Creake Abbey said: “We know how much locals and visitors love exploring the coastline, nature reserves and vast beaches of north Norfolk, and from this autumn it’s brilliant to know that anyone with a mobility impairment can be a part of that too, thanks to Poppy.”
Poppy will enable anyone who is a wheelchair user or otherwise mobility impaired to independently access the shores enjoy all that this stunning area has to offer.
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Every Wheelyboat has roll-on, roll-off access, with a watertight bow door that lowers to form a ramp, enabling those in a wheelchair to board and move around easily, safely and independently.
The boat is 20 feet long and seven and a half feet wide and has an open, spacious and level cockpit that caters for seven passengers.
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It also features a drive-from-wheelchair console which allows people with even the severest of disabilities to drive the boat themselves.
Its arrival is thanks to national charity The Wheelyboat Trust, The Blakeney, Cley and District Royal British Legion and The Norfolk Charitable Trust who have joined forces to make this part of Norfolk more accessible for all.
Andy Beadsley, director of The Wheelyboat Trust explains: “Poppy is really special; not only is she the first accessible boat available on the north Norfolk coast, but she’s also the first in the country to have both electric and petrol outboards, meaning she can act as a powerboat but also a pleasure boat allowing all on board to soak up the beautiful scenery.”
To find out more about The Wheelyboat Trust, visit www.wheelyboats.org