View Full Version : Wheelchairs and houseboats

08-19-2012, 07:19 PM
Capnmorgan asked about wheelchair houseboaters on the old forum. I can't respond to that thread, so I thought I would start a new one to share what limited knowledge I have.

My wife has been in a wheelchair for almost 19 years. We had a 28ft pontoon houseboat when she had her accident, and after having the deck gates and the front door widen, we realized that was one form of entertainment we could still continue.

We've tried a few other houseboats since then and some worked better than others. We tried an old Stardust houseboat that was split level. Wheelchairs don't do well with split level. I made an 8' ramp to wheel her down to the lower level, but it wasn't very convenient.

Our latest boat is a 58' Playcraft single level pontoon houseboat. We had to take out a couple of closets to make the hallway wider and widen the bathroom door, and those modifications give her access to most of the boat. Of course, the top deck is not accessible. I would like to get some sort of elevator or crane to hoist her topside, but that gets pretty expensive.

The other thing you need to watch for is accessibility of the dock. The lakes in Arkansas are often surrounded by hills and sometimes there just isn't a practical way to make ramp down to the water level.

08-19-2012, 09:49 PM
Thanks for moving this to the new forum I have been meaning to do it. My idea for the upper deck would be a boom pole I have seen them on some boats used to lift the dingy on and off. I can make a small platform to get on and a remote wench to lift myself up and down. I will make something work cause I plan to spend most of my time up there whenever I get my boat.

08-20-2012, 05:57 PM
Please post some pictures when you get it working.

08-20-2012, 06:51 PM
May be a while I need to get a boat first lol

08-28-2012, 07:17 PM
They are called davits. They come in sizes from small ones to lift your PWC (or anything smaller) to big ones in pairs for hauling aboard boats. But it is quite common to see small ones used to lift people on board boats with high freeboard.