The charity celebrated its 30th anniversary last month by launching a new Suzuki-powered bow-loading vessel on the Thames

The Wheelyboat Trust expanded onto the Thames last month with a special event on 25 July to mark its 30th anniversary.

The charity, which provides boating experiences for disabled people, launched a brand new Coulam V20 – the first bow-loading GRP boat in its fleet.

Long-term partner Suzuki was on hand to provide a DF40A outboard to power the vessel, and Wheelyboat Trust director Andy Beadsley (pictured above) was one of the first to board Rivertime II.

“Being a wheelchair user myself, I understand how important it is for disabled people to take part in activities alongside and on equal terms with everybody else,” he said.

“Wheelyboats overcome the problems of access to waterborne activities and give disabled people like me freedom and independence on the water.”

The drop-front design of Rivertime II allows for wheelchair accessibility, and the Coulam boat is rated to 1000kg, meaning eight adults can easily be accommodated.

Following a successful launch on the Thames at Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre, Berkshire, The Wheelyboat Trust has more ambitious plans for Rivertime II.

With a DF60 outboard also donated by Suzuki, the charity is looking into conducting sea trials and offshore demonstrations in the near future. Maybe they’ll even have to rechristen it Seatime.