Customising a Beneteau Oceanis 48 for Disabled Sailors
As soon as Pride of Man III arrived at the end of July, work began to make the boat suitable for purpose. First we removed the standard companionway entrance and replaced it with an electric wheelchair stair lift. The lift is a completely bespoke piece of equipment designed by Ainslie Hunt, HYS Project Manager and HYS General Manager Malcolm Hearnden. The design was then manufactured and produced by our in-house team of experts, who in addition, removed the standard cockpit table and refitted it with a sliding mechanism to allow improved access for wheelchair users. Further customisation included the installation of additional grab rails and entry to the aft heads compartment was widened to allow crew members with restricted mobility easier access. While the basic mechanics of sailing remain the same, the entire project has been all about increased manoeuvrability and allowing people to sail completely unhindered by physical limitations.