Can a wheelchair get round a RIB and still leave room for seats, console, crew and boating paraphernalia?
Can a wheelchair get round a RIB and still leave room for seats, console, crew and boating paraphernalia? Yes, said Explorer Marine.
The Devon firm has designed and built this rigid inflatable for a wheelchair-bound man who wants to sail around the world.
The businessman owner suffered an accident that left him partly paralysed but regularly competes in sailing races and other activities. He wanted the RIB as a tender to his sailing catamaran Impossible Dream.
The 23ft (7m) RIB has a wide beam at 9ft 10in (2.95m) and a diesel water jet to ensure safe swimming.
The large internal space leaves room for 11 seats and a wheelchair.
Further adaptations include specially positioned instruments and controls, extra rails around the console and engine box and extra handles and ropes on the tubes so a swimmer can get in using arms only.
The tubes have been tapered and console lowered to improve visibility.
The interior floor is carpeted for safe grip and adjusted for height, to make entry possible for a wheelchair occupant.
The 164hp Hamilton diesel water jet gives a top speed of 33mph.
An Explorer spokesman said: “As its name suggests, Tender to Impossible Dream is a shore tender to a larger boat – a 65 foot sailing catamaran. The owner is an amazing man and we are pleased to have produced a very special RIB for him.”
Explorer is exhibiting on stand S2846 at The London Boat Show. For details visit www.explorermarine.co.uk
For more on the owner of the RIB, visit www.impossibledream.org.uk