Even thought the crewed charter industry is amazingly diversifies, the are some groups which have not been vowed by the industry and one of them are certainly wheelchair users.
Then at the resent boat show in Marmaris, Turkey I come across this amazing yacht – WellAbled – which is designed for people in wheelchairs! As a former RN and with a background in rehabilitating stroke victims, I stepped on-board and was totally impressed by what I saw.
WellAbled is a 19 meter motor yacht designed for an owner who is a quadriplegic himself. So I was thrilled to discover she was every bit as functional as she should be.
Access from the dock is by an adjustable gangway and you can go anywhere on the yacht in a wheelchair. The mail salon and bridge are easy to navigate and the lift will also take you to the fly-bridge where you can enjoy the jacuzzi or stretch out and sunbath.
However, it was the lower deck which surprised me the most. I’m only 5’3 and had to duck, but somebody in a wheelchair would have no problems and that is what it is all about, isn’t it?
The Queen size master cabin actually two single beds, each with independent electronic multi-positioning capable of raising and lowering head, torso and legs. The bed adjustments, the air conditioning, the 500 channel cable TV and the lighting (4 mood settings) are all controlled by an iPad.
The en-suite bathroom also had everything you would need and the extra-width vertical rolling doors send your thoughts right back to “Star Trek”. There is one more cabin designed for a wheelchair user and a cabin for a helper if necessary.
But that wasn’t all. The swim platform can be lowered from deck level to one meter below the water line, which makes it easy to access the water…and get back on-board again.
WellAbled is available for charter to anybody and is currently based in Turkey, which will give you the opportunity to enjoy this country’s immense hospitality at the same time.