A question about yacht design

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by eitanwaks, Jun 5, 2008.

  1. eitanwaks
    Joined: Nov 2005
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    Location: Israel

    eitanwaks Junior Member

    Hi,
    about a year ago I posted a question here about wheelchair accessible yachts. I only found one design that is wheelchair accessible however, it is prohibitively expensive at €200,000. This is their website: http://www.velaetica.it/

    I have two questions:
    1. Is there anybody out there that would like to help me design a yacht that is wheelchair accessible? (I am a mechanical engineer but have no experience in yacht design, however I have [unfortunately] a lot of experience with wheelchair accessibility issues)

    2. Is it possible to buy a used yacht and then redesigned interior, and maybe some of the deck to make it accessible? Would this be cheaper?

    Thanks for the help,
    Eitan Waks
     
  2. the1much
    Joined: Jul 2007
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    Location: maine

    the1much hippie dreams

    yes,,,,,in fact,,that would be the good step to take,,,,,especially for people who cant afford a new boat,,,,you can "retro-fit" existing yachts,,,,and from what you learn from ya first "retro-fit" you can apply that to a "new design",,and market both.,,,,i'm pretty sure your not gonna believe it actually would be!
    ,,,,but wait for the "experts" ta chime in,,,im sure their have more "in depth" thoughts bout it,,hehe ;)
     
  3. the1much
    Joined: Jul 2007
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    the1much hippie dreams

    build 1 that would fit this wheelchair,,,i bet theres a big demand on the "double decker"chair ;)
    and again i wanna say i think you got a great idea :)
     

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  4. TeddyDiver
    Joined: Dec 2007
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    TeddyDiver Gollywobbler

    While waiting the experts I drop a line.. Dealing with smaller vessels it could be easier to use some kind of built-in bosun chair type arrangement instead of reeling the actual wheel chairs on board.. and a lot cheaper..
     
  5. eitanwaks
    Joined: Nov 2005
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    Location: Israel

    eitanwaks Junior Member

    TeddyDiver,
    that would be a great idea for a small vessel however what I wanted to design a yacht that is anywhere from 36 feet and up. I also want it to be comfortable not only for me in my wheelchair, but for friends that are wheelchair-bound as well. I am trying to get the Israeli veterans organization involved with this project (I am an Israeli veteran). In addition, one of my dreams is to travel around the world with a yacht. Thanks for your input anyway.

    the1much,
    nice picture with that double-decker :D . But on a more serious note, I would probably outfit the yacht for manual wheelchairs because they are more compact (usually) and because it would be more universal. In addition, I suppose it would be easier to get into and out of the yacht with a manual wheelchair.


    Still waiting for more replies. I would love to get as much information as possible.
     
  6. Ike
    Joined: Apr 2006
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    Ike Senior Member

    Interesting question. Back in the late 70's and early 80's there were several companies building boats for people in wheelchairs. If my memory serves me (it doesn't always) Boston Whaler had a boat with a deck level door in the side that folded down and became a ramp, a gangway if you will, for a wheelchair. There was some sort of arrangement for anchoring the chair at the helm of the boat.

    A wise man once said, there is an engineering solution for everything. As was said, start with a boat you like and then modify it to fit your needs. Then expand what you learn into a new design.
     
  7. eitanwaks
    Joined: Nov 2005
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    Location: Israel

    eitanwaks Junior Member

    Ike,
    thanks for your reply. I'll try to find whatever information I can find on Boston whaler. I just recently started on my skippers license. In fact, I haven't really started rather, I met up with a school and went on one of their yachts for an hour or two around the bay. It was a lot of fun, like always, especially considering that I was starting to learn for the skippers license. The problem was, that I could not fit the wheelchair on the boat. Especially behind the steering wheel (I don't know the technical term in English).

    As for anchoring the wheelchair, that is not a problem. There are so many great solutions from the world of automobiles that I can easily borrow one. Whether it be a electronic tiedown mechanism, straps, there are any other of the great solutions available.

    About engineering, I'm pretty good problem solver myself however, my field of expertise is not nautical design. I would love to get as much input as I can.

    In fact, if there's anybody out there that would like to take this as a project of theirs (especially students ;) ) that would be great!
     
  8. Nordic Cat
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    Nordic Cat Senior Member

  9. eitanwaks
    Joined: Nov 2005
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    Location: Israel

    eitanwaks Junior Member

    Nordic cat,
    thanks for the link. It is very informative.
     
  10. tinhorn
    Joined: Jan 2008
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    tinhorn Senior Member

    The last few times I've flown, I noticed extremely narrow wheelchairs in the airplane's exit ramp. Seems the wheels were smaller, so I bet they were shorter (front to back), too. Might give you a little more space, but I have no idea at what cost in comfort.
     

  11. eitanwaks
    Joined: Nov 2005
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    Location: Israel

    eitanwaks Junior Member

    tinhorn,
    thanks for the suggestion however those little tricks are extremely uncomfortable. In addition, it is almost impossible to move about by yourself on one of those (on airplanes they have someone to push you down the aisle). Not only that, but they are very unstable. All in all, not something that I would like to be in for a long period of time.
     
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