Posted on Tuesday 7 March 2023
As an ARNO member myself I write to let you know about Wetwheels Hamble and what we can offer ARNO members. While our offer may be more appropriate for those in Hampshire there are other Wetwheels boats around the country. We are also running special Armed Forces Day trips for Veterans on 24th June.
Wetwheels Hamble is part of the Wetwheels Foundation which is a charity and has 7 boats around the south and eastern coast. As the name suggests Wetwheels Hamble is based in Hamble but also runs out of Ocean Village in Southampton.
Our aim is to provide barrier free boating for all disabled people as we believe for someone with a disability, mental ill-health or mobility problem being at sea offers unparalleled freedoms.
Our boat is 10m catamaran with 2x 325 hp engines skippered and crewed by fully trained and experienced people.
The boat itself is very stable and can be used for leisurely trips (experiences) up the river or more exhilarating speedy rides – whatever guests want.
The boat is fully accessible and we can take up to three wheelchairs and 10 guests in total. On our longer trips there is the opportunity for everyone on board to drive if they wish.
We have about 50 volunteers all trained and DBS checked of course and together we create new memories and enhance old ones.
We can take trips booked by clubs or groups or direct from individuals so that people with disabilities can take their families and friends afloat.
We have found our trips as well as being great fun, build confidence, stimulate mental wellbeing.
So, a little more about the trips:
We will meet you on the quayside (Mercury Yacht Harbour Hamble or Ocean Village Southampton) and fit you with a lifejacket which must be worn by all. We will then get you on the boat. If you can walk unaided fine, if not we can assist or provide a wheelchair to get you to the boat. For those in wheelchairs we have a small bridge which makes access easy.
Wheelchairs are strapped down for security and the Skipper will give the safety briefing and detail what we plan to do. We then move off, initially at slow speed out of the marina, then up to 6 knots along the river Itchen or Hamble. Once out of the river we can power up to 20 knots or more if guests wish to.
Our water-based adventurous activity experiences are delivered by experienced volunteers who ensure each person can share experiences, challenge their self-perceptions, extend their horizons, take mental respite, and discover new opportunities.
Our guests feel the breeze on their faces, sea spray in their hair and the movement of the waves, often for the first time. For 90 minutes or so their disability is left on the shore and their carers can relax and laugh with them too as stress melts away.
By building confidence, we overcome attitudinal barriers that may prevent disabled people from undertaking more of the activities they would like to do and address mental ill health.
Well-Being experiences assist those with mental health issues to take the opportunity to reset and leave their problems on the quayside for a moment. This has proved highly successful.
We can run ½ day or full day trips so can get to Lymington/Yarmouth with ease. We run fishing trips, bird watching, Birthday parties, sight seeing, memorials and sea ceremonies. In essence, whatever the request we can usually do it.
The Taster trip is an amazing £15 a head or £150 for the whole boat. Full Experience trips cost £275 for the boat.
For Armed Forces Day (24th June) we plan to run special trips for Veterans out of Hamble. We try and keep our costs as low as possible and we are seeking funding to reduce the Armed Forces Day trips even further.
If I can provide any further information on what we do I would be pleased to do so or you can book direct on line https://bookeo.com/wetwheelshamble or by calling Suez on 07733944321