Disabled users will also be able to learn to drive the boat under the Powerability scheme at the Centre's RYA Training School.
The wheelchair-adapted powerboat has been named the 'Sir Bert Massie' after the renowned disability rights campaigner and trustee of the charitiy. It was officially launched by his wife, Lady Maureen Massie.
Local Solutions are working with the Wheelyboat Trust to enrich the lives of their learning, sensory and mobility-impaired visitors. The new roll-on, roll-off access powerboat will enable them to enjoy the excitement of water sports without the need to leave their chairs. It offers flexible seating, an open level deck and a watertight bow door that lowers to form a solid ramp for extremely easy and safe wheelchair-friendly access.
Andy Beadsley, Director of The Wheelyboat Trust says, “Our Wheelyboats are designed to provide all people with access to the water, giving disabled people confidence and the equal opportunity to experience freedom and enjoyment on the water. The launch of this boat by Local Solutions at the Liverpool Watersports Centre will allow disabled visitors to not only have access to the water, but also gain powerboating tuition and qualifications for the first time, so this launch is particularly special.”
The Liverpool Watersports Centre is already enjoyed by many tourists and won the ‘Small Venue of the Year’ award at the LCR Tourism awards in 2017.
Visitors with mobility restrictions will now be able to enjoy pleasure boating and historical tours of the famous Liverpool docks from the water, as well as taking part in power boat training.
Jon Hannaway, manager at Liverpool Watersports Centre says, “We’re committed to extending our activities and provision, to make watersports accessible to everyone. Having the Wheelyboat means we can offer so much more for people with disabilities, everything from pleasure boating, tours of the docks to gaining qualifications.
"Taking part in watersports is so good for your physical and mental health and this is just the first part of our campaign to extend the activities we have available."