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New Wheelyboat Launched at Lake of Menteith

29.10.13

Coulam Wheelyboat for Menteith

Photo l to r:  Jim Curry (Chairman, Lame Ducks Angling Club, Danny Peet (Trustee, The Wheelyboat Trust), Douglas Fraser (Menteith Bailiff), Iain MacGregor (angler), Anne McGuire (shadow Minister for Disabled People), Ossie Smith (Lame Ducks Angling Club), Fraser Renwick (Secretary, Scottish Disabled Fly Fishing Association).

The Angling Trust is very pleased to share the news from The Wheelyboat Trust that a wheelchair accessible Coulam 16 Wheelyboat specially designed for disabled anglers was formally launched at the Lake of Menteith on Friday, 25th October by the Rt Hon Anne McGuire MP.  The Wheelyboat is named ‘Christopher Robin’ in memory of the late Christopher Graves from Galloway whose legacy left to The Wheelyboat Trust funded the Wheelyboat.  Mr Graves’ bequest is also marked with a plaque in the boat inscribed ‘in order that nobody be deprived of the joy of fishing’.

The 700 acre Lake of Menteith is a SSSI and has a rich heritage and history.  It is also one of Scotland’s finest trout fisheries.  Its new Wheelyboat joins a fleet of 30 fishing boats and an older Mk II Wheelyboat.  

The development of the Coulam 16 Wheelyboat by The Wheelyboat Trust and J M Coulam Boatbuilders stemmed from the fundamental desire of disabled anglers to have the same opportunities to fish that able-bodied anglers take for granted.  It is based on an existing and popular reservoir fishing boat and has been adapted to provide disabled anglers with step free access on board via an external ramp onto a hydraulic platform located in the boat.  The deck is open and level throughout and the disabled angler can sit at the bow or the stern and helm the boat as well if desired. 

The Lake of Menteith’s new Wheelyboat is proving very popular with disabled anglers.  For bookings and enquiries contact fishery manager Quint Glen on 01877 385664 or go to www.menteith-fisheries.co.uk

More information
  • The need for accessible boats is due to the inaccessible nature of reservoirs, lakes, ponds and rivers to wheelchair users and others with mobility problems: the banks are often steep and unmade and where there is access it may be limited and offer little opportunity for disabled anglers to fish the water effectively.  
  • Fluctuating water levels make the problems of access even worse. Standard boats have not been designed to accommodate wheelchair users and are very difficult to get into.  Once on board the disabled angler is totally reliant on a boat partner.
  • Whichever Wheelyboat model is preferred (there are four of them – two purpose-built fishing boats and two multi-purpose models including a 12 seater trip boat), Wheelyboats overcome all the difficulties.  They make the entire water accessible, are simplicity itself to board and the flat deck provides access throughout thus giving the disabled user the dignity of their own independence.  In short, Wheelyboats enable disabled people to participate in waterborne activities alongside and on equal terms with their able-bodied counterparts.
  • Fishing has many charms and where suitable facilities are provided it is an activity that most disabled people can participate in very effectively.
  • The Lake of Menteith’s 700 acres is set in the magnificent scenery of the Trossachs.  Tuition for newcomers to fly fishing is available on site.
  • The Wheelyboat Trust is a registered charity that promotes and provides wheelchair accessible Wheelyboats to fisheries and other waters all over the UK.  It has supplied 157 Wheelyboats since it began work in 1985.  Its role is to help and encourage venues open to the public acquire Wheelyboats for their disabled visitors and to help groups and organisations acquire Wheelyboats for their own use.

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