Boat mods for the Handicapped?

Discussion in 'Boat Modification Journal' started by DANZIG, Jan 10, 2009.

  1. DANZIG

    DANZIG New Member

    Messages:
    6,672
    State:
    West Virginia
    Hate to put it that way, but thought it would make clear what this thread is about.

    This post,, http://www.catfish1.com/forums/showthread.php?t=100562

    Got me to thinking that it might be good to have a thread about modifications and/or boats 'n' gear suited for folks with physical challenges and/or special needs.
    All of us are getting older, some of us have "troubles", and there are many wounded Vets returning from the wars.

    What can we come up with??
     
  2. Katmandeux

    Katmandeux New Member

    Messages:
    1,618
    State:
    Checotah, Oklahoma
    First, I am going to assume that "handicapped" implies that the individual's ability to survive in an emergent situation, and to assist in his/her own rescue is compromised to some degree.

    That said, our definition of seaworthiness has to be ratcheted up, given the consequences of a capsize. Ditto, our parameters of acceptable weather and sea conditions.

    We need to take load capacity ratings much more seriously than the wink and a nod that many seem to give them, and in general, be better, more knowledgable skippers.

    It's obviously a sliding scale, but many, perhaps most, handicapped folk should not sail solo, and some craft are simply not suitable, no matter how they are modified.

    Sorry for the stream of conciousness style...I'm not much of a writer.
     

  3. DANZIG

    DANZIG New Member

    Messages:
    6,672
    State:
    West Virginia
    "First, I am going to assume that "handicapped" implies that the individual's ability to survive in an emergent situation, and to assist in his/her own rescue is compromised to some degree."


    Not to be excluded, but not exclusively.

    Just any thing that makes it easier, and/or safer, for the folks that might need an "accommodation".

    Such as the fellow who started the thread that got me thinking about this subject. He was asking about adding some rails to his jon boat.
     
  4. CountryHart

    CountryHart New Member

    Messages:
    10,914
    State:
    missouri
    I like this post. Got a buddie paralized from waist down who fished and frog hunted with me alot. I would pick him up and put him in the boat. He wore a life jacket but could still swim like a duck. Peanut would tell ya he wasn't handicapped, just couldn't walk anymore.
    For a pontoon, i don't see why ya couldn't build a ramp to get a wheelchair on and secure it. Like Dave said, extra caution needs to be exercised even if your on an ocean going barge.
     
  5. DANZIG

    DANZIG New Member

    Messages:
    6,672
    State:
    West Virginia
    Shamelessly stolen from the other thread. Thanks fishnfwl!!:big_smile:


    "Michale, also being disABLED, I know just what you are talking and yes they will work great, only advise I would add Is to get into the boat and have a couple buds move them so you get them right where you are wanting and needing them. will be one of the best things you will ever add to your boat, hard enough standing up some days but gets a little "iffy" in the boat when the chop is on, I also added a super nice high back bucket seat from a 2 door car, $20 at salvage yard and $20 for a water proof seat cover, makes setting all day a breeze. I also have a buddy up by Spooner Wisconsin that had rails added to a tracker and then later on we put a slide bar on each side that he can hold on to and walk front to back in the middle of the boat and when not in use they simply just lay flat along the sides.... Do it right you'll be glad ya did, take some pics to post, only thing I/we did not do.
    Randy "
     
  6. plainsman

    plainsman New Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    7,187
    State:
    minnesota
    I'd need more information about what kind of boat, but I was thinkin maybe a ramp to push a wheel chair onto the boat, then a flat spot to park it. Maybe some kind of lockdown for the chair so it don't roll all over the place or even tip over.

    A good sturdy rod holder for someone who can't use two arms and hands but can still crank a reel.

    A good comfortable swivel chair with a quick release seat belt.

    A flat deck to make moving a wheel chair easier.

    Maybe I can come up with some more with more specific information about the boat. I figure depends on the persons handicap, they oughta know or have an idea what they need to make a good day on the water.
     
  7. Katmandeux

    Katmandeux New Member

    Messages:
    1,618
    State:
    Checotah, Oklahoma
    A couple of things are obvious...first, they have to be hell for stout. Second, they have to be high enough to stop someone from going overboard. Too low, and they're just tripping hazards.

    What's not so obvious is this: if someone leans on such a rail to, for instance, boat a fish, a considerable tipping moment is created. A wide, heavy boat is required to resist that moment.

    Something else...jons have very good initial stability, and next to no secondary stability, meaning, once they start to tip, they can go pretty quickly.

    I'm no marine architect, so I can't say what will work, and what won't, but I think it's safe to say that rails on small boats have the potential to provide more hazard than benefit. Procede with caution.
     
  8. DANZIG

    DANZIG New Member

    Messages:
    6,672
    State:
    West Virginia
    Is that all we can come up with??
     
  9. katfish ken

    katfish ken New Member

    Messages:
    4,092
    State:
    Paintsvill
    There are a lot of people that are less than a 100% able when in a boat. I am handicap in the fact that I cannot swim but it doesn't keep me from getting in a boat.Where is my life jacket??:crazy: I all but gave away a 14" jon boat because it was to narrow for my liking. If a boat doesn't have at least a 72" beam at top you don't catch me in it. Some times a rail system would be good for kids as well.
     
  10. thunderchicken

    thunderchicken New Member

    Messages:
    769
    State:
    Yuma Az
    Ok here goes. I have used a wheelchair in the past and currently use crutches and am on my second boat so I have a little experience in this area. I do what works for me. I think everyone has to look and at their situation and determine what is best. My first boat was a pontoon and if you have help launching then they are really cool. You can roll a wheelchair right up to the door and roll right in or if on crutches just step on board. The floor is flat with wide open spaces. The handrails are a safety measure as well as excellent platforms for rod holders , gear storage, or securing a wheelchair in rough water conditions. My present boat is a tracker crappie model that I got for the ease of entry. The low bow makes it easy to launch, walk up to the bow, and sit down, turn my legs around and slide along the side to the seats. The disadvantage to this type of boat is the same as all flatbottom boats, i.e., they are not real steady in choppy water and trying to stand up and move around once you are underway is a no no. I almost fell overboard the first time I put it in the water because of this. Wear your lifejacket! A deep vee is a much more stable platform and if I ever get another boat will probably be my choice. I hope I have addressed some of your concerns. By determining what your needs are, most of the time some sort of accomodation is attainable. Tight lines.
     
  11. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    I realize that different people have different opinions, so I really hate to say that anybody's flat wrong about something, but this is one of those times. A deep-V is NOT a more stable platform than a flatbottom boat. A deep-V will roll a lot more than a flatbottom when at rest. And it will tip more when you lean over the side. A deep-V is great for powering through rough water, though, while a flatbottom will beat your fillings out. If anybody's wondering about a tri-hull, it falls into the same category as a flatbottom.
     
  12. katfish ken

    katfish ken New Member

    Messages:
    4,092
    State:
    Paintsvill
    I have a back problem and was thinking of getting a deep-v but have about desided on a mod-v john