Wetwheels in Torbay

Wetwheels is delighted to be visiting Torquay as we prepare for the arrival of a new boat at its forever home in this beautiful location, late autumn 2023. 

Wetwheels South West, based in Falmouth and supported by Sport England, will be spending time in the marina to raise awareness and promote Devon’s very first barrier-free powerboat, and to invite disabled people to access and enjoy the open sea, many for the first time.

We are also hosting a relaxed event for those interested in helping to run the boat on 13th May commencing from 10am – please email neil.wilson@wetwheelsfoundation.org for more information and to register.

Having already given more than 50,000 disabled people the exhilarating opportunity to spend time on the water, the charity is expanding to meet an increasing need and demand. The new boat has been kindly supported by The Ashton family:

“As I approach my 61st birthday, I have suffered from Motor Neuron Disease for the last 7 years. My passion since a toddler has been the sea. Whether on, in or under it. Boating has been a way of life. When I declined with MND I struggled to get on a boat and once the full effects of the disease took over it seemed boating was over. But after a lot of research and wasted attempts we found a suitable Cheetah Marine Catamaran. It proved so successful my mission was to bring accessible boating to Torbay. With the support of my wife Joanna, two sons and the diligent guidance of a trusted friend Russell we were finally in a position to donate a new build WetWheels boat to operate from Torbay.” James Ashton 

Founder Geoff Holt MBE DL, picks up the story:

“I myself am a severely disabled yachtsman adventurer and I founded Wetwheels in 2011 shortly after I became the first severely disabled person to circumnavigate Great Britain and then sail unassisted across the Atlantic Ocean. 

We ensure full wheelchair access to the boat - including a ramp to the steering position and adapted steering controls. All are active participants, rather than simply passengers, with the opportunity to steer the vessel and learn seamanship alongside peers, friends and families. A Wetwheels experience challenges self-perceptions, extends horizons and opens up new opportunities. 

Wetwheels Torbay, our 8th boat, has been made possible by James and his family, and Russell his friend and colleague. As well as meeting the local community, we will also take this opportunity to express our deep thanks and appreciation for the support we have received to make this dream a reality.”