14 October 2019

The 'Adventure' begins - Cotswold Canals Trust Wheelchair Accessible Trip Boat

Construction has now commenced on the Trusts new electric powered trip boat, a 54ft x 10ft semi-trad craft and this increase in size will allow better access and manoeuvrability for wheelchair users.  

She is powered by 2 x electric motors linked to a single prop. A large solar Photo Voltaic (PV) array on the roof will charge the batteries.  There is also a plug in power option.  It is anticipated, dependant on final choice of batteries, to have a cruising range of around 8 hours.  A recharging point will be installed at CCT's Saul Junction mooring site.  The design includes the ability to remotely monitor battery condition and systems.  In fact it even has the ability to turn on the heating, while plugged into shore power, well in advance of a charter or indeed to keep 'frost proof' during the winter months.  

The boat is designed to carry 12 passengers with a crew of 3 to 4 and will incorporate a wheelchair lift at the bow.  She will initially enter service on the Gloucester-Sharpness Canal, but will move to the Stroudwater Canal as soon as possible after the completion of the Stroudwater Navigation restoration project.
Ortomarine, based nearby in Worcestershire, will be fitting out the boat, a modified design of the excellent 'Pamala May' which operates on the Droitwich Canal.  The hull, is being fabricated in the UK by Tyler-Wilson in Sheffield.
The internal general arrangement is shown in the illustration below (click to enlarge).

We are very grateful to the organisation, Trusts and individuals who made this project possible and for their patience whilst we finalised the design and the funding arrangements.

A progress continues, look out for updates.