'Possibilities' - an Accessible Live-aboard Motor Yacht for America's Great Loop
An annually repeating Adventure.
Will provide opportunities for Cruising portions of America's Great Loop to mobility impaired, disabled, elderly, and terminally ill wheelchair users to whom this type of adventure would otherwise seem out of reach or impossible. Candidates include the alarmingly growing number of Veterans diagnosed with ALS, Quadriplegics and Paraplegics from Spinal Cord Injury, Muscular Dystrophy, Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy, Stroke, Parkinson's, etc.
Come aboard for 1 to 4 Weeks anywhere along the route. A new adventure around every bend!
Where is Possibilities?
Map is automatically updated when we have Mobile signal and are logged into the OnCourse App
When I first read about "America's Great Loop" in January 2017, I thought how neat that would be and that I would love to do it someday but then I remind myself, hold on your again a power wheelchair, and of how it would be nearly impossible for someone in a wheelchair. I mean realistically.... and I kept asking myself questions, challenges of what would actually be required to make it happen. This didn't happen overnight, it happened over 6-8 months but those questions eventually materialized into six major challenges that I would research until I found a solution to overcome each problem one by one and then decided the whole proposition might actually be possible!
- Safely Boarding / Deboarding in a Wheelchair on ALL Dock Heights
- Elevator Access to Flybridge and Lower-Level Berths
- Controls for a Captain with Paralyzed Hands
- Wheelchair Dinghy
- Find a Vessel without Steps
- Staying Connected to the Internet - How do you stay connected to the Internet to run a business living on a boat?
- Navigating the Bureaucracy of Residency, Domicile, and Disability Services while Traveling Out of State - Wouldn't it be nice if you only had to worry about the challenges of circumnavigating 6000 miles of the Eastern continental United States and Canada in a boat? And not how to survive more challenging bureaucracies that would rather you stayed in a nursing home and never ever ever left it, because then their paperwork is easier! As a mobility impaired disabled wheelchair user requiring Home Care, how do you leave the state for a period of time while maintaining access to absolutely fundamentally required home care?
Perseverance, perseverance, perseverance.
After more than 1 year, Mark Felling, Director of Inclusive Adventures, a Quadriplegic Wheelchair User himself with 14 years experience assessing and designing assistive technology and independent living solutions for the most mobility impaired disabled individuals with customers worldwide. A labor of love and passion, Mark has identified 3 very unique vessels with the potential to truly Broaden Horizons. Each vessel has its own character, history, advantages and disadvantages. During this search a sailboat completely custom-built for a wheelchair user who captained it independently was identified that is capable of sailing anywhere, or even around the world! We would love to make this a possibility to provide accessible sailing experiences along the East Coast of the United States, throughout the Caribbean and Central America, with possibilities for Mediterranean and South American adventures but need a significant sponsor(s) to acquire this vessel that is singularly unique throughout the world before she falls into disrepair as the current owner is aging, and an affordable place to keep her!
At 5000 miles for the most direct route or 8000+ miles with sidetrips, this circumnavigation of Eastern North America is the longest continuous inland waterway in the world! It includes The Great Lakes, the Illinois, Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, and Missouri Rivers, the Gulf Coast, Florida Keys, Cuba & the Bahamas, then up the Intracoastal Waterway from Florida to New York, up the Hudson and through the Erie Canal to the St. Lawrence Seaway and Canada's 175-year-old culturally and visually rich Heritage Canals.
Possibilities I has been Acquired!!
Made possible by a VERY generous donation from Jim & Mary Pat Willis and a personal loan, plus both financial and logistical support and sponsorship from Broadened Horizons Inc. and staff that made it possible for us to get up and running and make this all a reality!
We need your help!
- Huge thanks to Ryan Blenker, Bill Dennis, Mathew Sterrett, and Emily Bassett for hard work unloading Uhaul, painting Antifouling, and countless other little things.
- Thanks to Dennis Pluckebaum and Staff for help with haul out and mounting hydraulic wheelchair bus lift.
- Huge thanks to Bruce Carter and Friends, Ebony, Linda at Reliable, Steven Murphy, Bill Callahan
Budget for May 2018 to Sept. 2019
- Safe Boarding - $22,600
- COMPLETED - Hydraulic Commercial ADA Wheelchair Bus Lift installed on Starboard Helm Door $600 + $1500 Install
- Cut Doors into Transom Providing Level Access with Wheelchair Ramp to Floating Docks & future Transom Elevator $1500 - CUT OPEN, DESIGNED, Install Pending
- Four Custom Wheelchair Ramps - DESIGNED with Roll-a-Ramp $5000 + $1000 Install - Sponsor Pending
- $15,000-$35,000 for the Transom Swim Platform Elevator - Partial Sponsor Pending
- 10'x7.5' Solar Electric Rotomold Dingy Barge - 4000lb Boyancy
- Remodel Interior for Wheelchair Friendliness - $7550
- Vinyl Plank Flooring $825 + $1000 install
- Widen Bathroom & Bunk Room Doorways to 30 inches $300
- Remove Bathtub, move Toilet, Tile Floors and Walls for Wheelchair Roll-in Shower, and Roll-under Sink $3500
- Custom Cabinetry for Transforming Desk to Bed Bunk, Extra Cuddy-Cabin Bunk, & Clothing Storage $2000
- Custom Fold-up Dining Table & Helm Computer Workstation $300
- Install Long Range Wi-Fi & 4g LTE Antenna's on Flybridge Arc
- Install Ring Solar Security Cameras facing Fore and Aft
- Upgrade Controls for Inclusive Operation by a Wheeklchair Captain / Skipper - $41,200
- Hydraulic Rudder Steering with Wireless Remote (50% Sponsored by Octopus)
- $1500 to add Autopilot (requires hydraulic steering)
- $3000 + $2000 Install to upgrade to Electronic Throttle controls
- $15,000 to add a Bow Thruster for easier, safer handling when Docking
- $5000 to add Dockmate, Astel, or Yacht Controller Wireless Joystick Controls for a Wheelchair Skipper - Sponsor Pending
- $10,000 + $2000 to add a Stern Thruster for easier, safer handling when Docking - Partial Sponsor Pending
- Energy Independance when Anchoring Out - $10,000-$20,000 (Diesel Fuel & Marina Fees Saved = $10,000 /100 days /yr)
- Convert All Lighting Circuits to 12 VDC LEDs $300
- And 10 kWh-26 kWh Lithium-Ion Power Storage - Tesla (but won't allow/support) so maybe Import $4000-$10,000
- Add 3-5kw of Solar Panels - $200-$400 per panel -12-16 panels, + Install & Controllers $6000
- Electrician Labor $4000
- Operations - 1 Yr - $53,075
- Administration - Legal, Software and other Professional Fees - $2000
- $24,000 in deisel / year to complete 1 full loop (~6000 miles)
- $10,000 - $15,000 in Marina Fees to ensure Guest comfort per year per loop
- $4000 Deisel Engines Maintenance - Tachs, Oil Changes, Impellers, Coolant Hoses, Filters
- $2850 Insurance
- $750 Coast Guard Registration
- $175 BoatUS Emergency Towing Plan
- $500 Spares - Filters, Impellers, etc.
- $300 8 Alluminum Alloy Hull Annodes
- $3500 AntiFouling Bottom Paint / 2 yrs
Total Budget for 2018 $131,225 USD
Bigger Possibilities - with fingers crossed...
Details pending ... If we can get her, we may need a live-aboard captain to keep Possibilities cruising so a Mobility-Impaired person and 2 guests could join her as guest crew throughout the year for a 1 month bucket list experience! Shorter 1 or two week cruises could be possible during certain portions of The Great Loop.
Other Wheelchair Modifiable Liveaboards
The following vessels may not all be easy to set up for wheelchair users, but they are possible, some more than others.