Trust adds a fully accessible trip boat to its fleet

Published: Thursday, 01 October 2020

THE Wey & Arun Canal Trust has added a fully accessible trip boat to its fleet.

This is a boat specially built to take disabled passengers and carers on canal cruises.

In memory of grandfather

The purchase of the secondhand boat has been made thanks to a generous donation from supporter Peter Grove in memory of his great grandfather Walter Grove, who was master carpenter on the Wey Navigation from 1885-1930.

Flexible seating means that up to five wheelchairs can be accommodated in comfort, making the pleasure of cruising the canal accessible to a greater number of adults and children.

The boat was supplied and refurbished by The Wheelyboat Trust, a charity set up in 1984 to remove barriers to water-based activities and allow mobility, learning and sensory impaired people of all ages independent access to activities such as power boating, nature watching, pleasure boating and angling.


The Wheelyboat Trust director Andy Beadsley tells of the benefits of getting disabled people out on the waterways:

“There are lots of health and wellbeing advantages to being out in the open air and on the water.  We’ve worked with many disability groups, SEN schools and charities, and we’re delighted to be able to work with the Wey & Arun Canal Trust on this project now too.”

The aluminium Mark III craft was originally built in 2007 and has been refurbished to give it many more years of service. An outboard motor, seating and a bimini canopy (generously provided by the Ernest Kleinwort Charitable Trust) will be fitted over the winter months and it is hoped the boat will be in service next spring.

Wey & Arun Canal Trust Director John Reynolds added:

“We’re sure trips onboard the Wheelyboat will bring immense pleasure to many people and we look forward to being able to offer cruises along the Wey & Arun Canal on the Wheelyboat in 2021.”  The photograph shows John Reynolds and Andy Beadsley with the boat.