Get your wheelchair on a boat


I had a great time the 4th of July weekend up at my aunt and uncle’s cottage in northern WI. Although their cottage was not particularly accessible (30+ steps down to the lake!) they did make arrangements for me to board their pontoon boat at a neighbor’s shoreline. The door off the front of their boat was much more than 30 inches wide so they just pulled straight up to the shore and we used the 7 foot folding wheelchair ramp that I carry in my car just for these occasions. The ramp bridged the gap from the land to the boat very easily and sturdily. It took less than 2 minutes and I was on board.

This is just one way to get yourself onto a boat. There are also many other options. In the past I have abandoned my wheelchair on the shoreline and been lifted via a fork lift onto a boat. I have also been carried onto a deep sea fishing boat as well as another family member’s pontoon boat one time when we didn’t have ramps available. My point is that if you would like to get on a boat but can’t physically climb on the boat yourself, you can still do it with a little help.

If you would like to own a boat, maybe you would want to get a custom ramp built. There are several companies out there who make custom wheelchair ramps for boats. Just search google and you can easily find them. I haven’t ever bought one so I can’t endorse one particular company over another. But anything is possible!

The time spent on the lake was relaxing, fun, and a great change of scenery. I could have easily said “No” to the extra steps they were proposing to get me on the boat but it turned out to be very, very easy.

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