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Pontoon Boating

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  • Pontoon Boating

    Has anyone with paraplegia and a manual wheelchair have luck with pontoon boats without having to be lifted or any other major tricks? I want to rent one for the weekend but worry my husband wont be able to transfer in or wheel on. But it looks a lot easier then other boats, that's for sure.
    - Moody

  • #2
    I have had great luck renting pontoons at reservoirs. Floating piers worked best as they gave me an almost level surface to board and exit the boat. To be safe, you still need a spotter. I'm a C7 complete. I've had problems with fixed pier heights when the water level changes over the course of the day. For example, I left when the boat and pier were level and returned with a one foot differential.

    The lakes I like best are:
    Lake Anna, VA
    Smith Mountain Lake, VA (the best by a mile)
    Summersville Lake, WV


    • #3
      I use a pontoon boat all the time for enjoyment and fishing. Just wheel on. Most docks are the height of the pontoon. I also bring a short 5' ramp just in case we stop somewhere and can't get tight to the dock. He will love a pontoon boat. Great Time!


      • #4
        I live on a lake and have an accessible pontoon. I use a 20 foot dock which has a crank to adjust height for lake levels. At the end of the dock there is a threshold ramp which we flip over to bridge the small gap between dock and boat. The bow of the boat matches up to the dock with one pontoon on either side. I tie the boat with 2 ropes on the bow and 2 side ropes which go from the side of the boat to a 2nd dock about 10 feet west of the boat. I can tie off the boat and raise and lower the dock without assistance. I have used the same set up since 1979 and it works well, because I have to dock the boat by maneuvering one pontoon to either side of the dock I don't go out when the wind is blowing strongly. Living lakeside works well for a gimp, you have great views all year and can set things up so you can recreate. For many years I had a series of amphibious ATV's (2 Max ATV's and an Argo) I would just drive these into the water and fish. I set them up with oarlocks so I could row them. They are great in winter as they float if you go through the ice.


        • #5
          I would make sure to check the boat out first, I've notice some of the openings in the guard rails may not be wide enough for a chair to fit thru. We've rented house boats also but one year we had to remove the sliding door because the opening was to narrow. But that wasn't a problem, July on Lake Shasta is plenty hot.


          • #6
            Agree that the floating docks make things easier with water levels. Could you get the pontoon gate measurements from the rental company? You may want to ask about the seating configuration and how wide the aisle is in the pontoon. Pontoon configurations vary so much. If they have a floating dock just a small ramp is all you need for the transition to roll onto the deck.

            This is our daughter on our old pontoon on the Mississippi River with her service dog. Note that we pulled the chair out on the front deck, also if we pull the small table she can back up into the aisle. We have a different pontoon now but I don't have any pics right now. (Also, that white mat in the front of the boat is what we used that day for a ramp. It is a thick piece of plastic that our older daughter used to practice her slapshot ha.)

            Good luck and have fun!
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