Cowes Sailability Club has purchased a replacement patrol boat thanks to funding from the National Lottery and WightAID.
Just in time for the start of the 2018 sailing season, Cowes Sailability Club has received the keys to its new patrol boat, purchased with funding from the National Lottery, through the Big Lottery Fund, and WightAID. The rigid inflatable boat (RIB) will play a vital role in helping the club to ensure the safety of people with disabilities and learning difficulties during sailing and boating trips.
“Our previous patrol boat had started to develop mechanical issues that were uneconomical to repair, and we simply cannot operate without one,” says Cowes Sailability Club volunteer Simon Atwell. “We are incredibly grateful to the Big Lottery Fund and WightAID for enabling us to purchase a replacement patrol boat in time for the summer that will meet our needs not only this year, but for many years to come.”
“The patrol boat really is vital,” adds Barry Myland, Secretary of Cowes Sailability Club. “Whenever we take people with disabilities and learning difficulties onto the water in our sailing boats, trained volunteers are on hand nearby in our patrol boat to help ensure that everyone has a safe and thoroughly enjoyable experience.”
Cowes Sailability Club was awarded £7,150 from The Big Lottery Fund, the organisation that distributes money from players of the National Lottery. It also received a further £2,000 from WightAID, a local charity that distributes grants to Isle of Wight charities and organisations. Money is donated from businesses, individuals and raised through fundraising, which WightAID then immediately administers within its monthly grant rounds. These donations enabled the club to purchase the patrol boat and also buy essential safety, radio and operating equipment to fit the new boat out appropriately.
Like its predecessor, the new patrol boat has been named Zebedee. At a length of 5.6 metres, it can seat 6 people and offers more storage and larger fuel capacity. It has a 100 horsepower, 4 stroke engine, making it highly capable of towing Cowes Sailability Club’s other boats if the need arises.
From left to right: Cowes Sailability Club volunteers Simon Atwell and Mick Young collecting the keys to the RIB from previous owner Bob Duncan