Wetwheels on a crest of a wave as construction starts on special new boat

Work has started on the Wetwheels Yorkshire boat.
Work has started on the Wetwheels Yorkshire boat.

Plans to bring a specially designed powerboat to allow disabled people to experience life at sea continue to progress well.

Wetwheels Yorkshire has successfully raised the amount required to begin construction of a specially designed power catamaran, which will arrive in May.

Wetwheels Yorkshire Chairman Peter Richardson said: “Having seen the truly inspirational work carried out by our founder, Geoff Holt MBE. an award-winning paraplegic yachtsman and disability sports ambassador, and the boats on the South Coast, my team and I, along with our sponsors and our patron, Barry Dodd CBE, Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire, have been determined to establish our own facility for the benefit of the local community.”

The boat is now expected to be ready for action by June. The experience is designed to be truly inclusive, helping to improve aspirations and increase confidence.

Beneficiaries are active participants, rather than simply passengers, with every person on board, regardless of impairment, being offered the opportunity to take the helm and steer the boat.

The Whitby-based boat will be the fifth in the UK and the first located in the North of England.

The charity was conceived and founded by disabled yachtsman, Geoff Holt MBE.

Their first boat, Wetwheels Solent, based in Portsmouth, made her debut in 2011.

This was followed by Wetwheels Jersey in 2013, and Wetwheels Hamble was launched in May 2016.

In just five years we have taken thousands of disabled people on voyages of discovery. Research by the charity suggests that more than 80% of Wetwheels’ participants have never previously been out to sea. When asked why, the reason given is that the opportunity had not existed before. The Wetwheels Foundation is a registered charity and delivered trips to almost 4,000 people last year.

The Yorkshire boat is currently being constructed at Cheetah Marine, based on the Isle of Wight.

Visit www.wetwheelfoundation.org and www.wetwheelsyorkshire.com.