Wheelchairs on Water - the Wheelyboat project

To support disabled sailing for wheelchair users at Castle Semple Loch Gryffe Valley Rotary purchased a special powered Wheelyboat to enabled those in wheelchairs to get out onto the water.


Gryffe Valley Rotary has worked in recent years with Muirshiel Country Park to develop sailing for the disabled on Castle Semple Loch. Providing a hoist to lift sailors from a wheelchair into a boat helped Castle Semple to gain Centre of Excellence status under the RYA Sailability Scheme (the first in Scotland). Last year, a specially adapted dinghy for disabled sailors was procured, which was formally handed over by the Princess Royal. All the feedback from disabled children and adults who have been able to get out of their wheelchairs onto the water has been extremely positive an experience that the able-bodied can take for granted.

We recognised that there remains a group of disabled people who are unable to leave their wheelchairs and are thus unable to get out in a boat. The solution is a special motor launch with a ramp - a Wheelyboat - which enables wheelchairs to move directly onto the boat and hence onto the water. Gryffe Valley Rotary has worked hard with the support of The Wheelyboat Trust to assemble from a range of sources the not inconsiderable funds necessary to purchase such a boat, complete with outboard engine and launching trolley.

The boat was launched by Olympic sailor Shirley Robertson and is now in regular use. Groups wishing to take advantage of this facility should contact Clyde Muirsheil Park at castle Semple Loch or the Rotary Club.

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