Wetwheels South West - Accessible Powerboat

Updated: Mar 29

Move over Birdseye, there's a new Captain in town!

Today's blog post is a little bit impromptu, as I wasn't planning on writing about this. However, I had such a great experience on the water recently, that I couldn't let it pass without sharing!


The aim of my website is to promote disability in a positive light, hence why I've decided to document the details of this activity for my readers.

Exterior view of the boat out at sea, taken from the Wetwheels website

Who are Wetwheels?

Wetwheels are a registered charity who provide the opportunity for disabled people - including those with profound and complex disabilities - to enjoy the sea in a safe and stimulating way.


This purpose-built powerboat is fully accessible for people with reduced mobility, by providing ramped access from the jetty.

Small ramp from the jetty into the powerboat, perfect for wheelchair access
Steep ramp from the harbour down to the jetty in order to access the boat

(Mind over matter - this steep ramp from the harbour wasn't half as bad as it looks!)


Once on-board, your wheelchair is then secured with some restraints in the ground. The boat can also be driven by disabled passengers, thanks to a ramp which leads you to the steering position with adapted controls.


The boat also has space for family, friends and carers to share the experience with you.

Ross and his friend Carl sat at the back of the boat smiling, wearing their lifejackets

(Ross and his friend Carl enjoying the views from the back of the boat)


Where are they based?

The Wetwheels experience is provided by a growing network of Operators around the UK. There are currently 6 locations with accessible powerboats:


* Falmouth, South West

* Hamble, Hampshire

* Solent, Portsmouth

* Dover, South East

* Yorkshire, North East

* Jersey and the Channel Islands


For all my Cornish readers, the Wetwheels South West boat launched in Falmouth in September 2020. The beautiful and historic port of Falmouth takes you on a journey through the Penryn River, the Fal Estuary and the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

View of the sea from inside the boat, showing bright blue skies and clear water

What trips do they run?

For this particular adventure, I booked a "Captains Classic" - which is a 90minute cruise around Falmouth Bay in search of Seals and Dolphins.


For the more experienced sea-men (oi oiii), you can also book specific trips such as: private charters, seal safaris, harbour tours and fishing days.


How much does it cost?

Prices vary depending on what type of trip you book. However, I felt the "Captains Classic" was a reasonable price at £35 per person. The boat can also hold a maximum of 12 people.


Final Thoughts

Overall, I absolutely loved the experience and would definitely recommend it! Luckily the weather was also on our side, which made the whole trip even more enjoyable.


All the staff and volunteers were incredibly friendly and welcoming, sharing stories and pointing out key locations along the way.

Sea views from the back of the boat

Accessing the boat via the ramp (and being able to stay seated in my electric wheelchair) made things so much easier. This activity is living proof that a few simple adaptions can make such a huge difference. Massive thanks to Wetwheels for taking us out on their first trip of the season!


Where can I book?

For more information about Wetwheels, or to book a session at one of the locations, check out their website: www.wetwheelsfoundation.org