Handicap lift for kayaking

I have a friend that has a son that enjoys kayaking. He is in his late teens and quite heavy to lift from his wheel chair to his kayak. Has anyone heard of somekind of lift mounted to a dock that he could get into while still seated in his chair and move him into the boat? Even if this device was pricy, perhaps we could get the town/county to fund it somehow. I was just wondering if you guys might know of anything made specifically for this. What a great way to get more people like this to enjoy what we take for granted!!

contact groups
There are groups that take people with handicaps out for paddles and other activities. They have dealt with this. Perhaps you can contact them:

Environmental Traveling Companions http://www.etctrips.org/

Shared Adventures http://www.sharedadventures.com/DotB.htm

Disabled Adventurers
Great website, great folks, great ideas. They were endlessly helpful when I was seeking information re possible designs for an adaptive paddling rig for one of our daughters. If anyone can help you, they can, and will. Good luck with it.


West Marine will have gin pole/hoists
for launching and retieving tenders. These units come with electric winches and hand crank versions. The gin pole extends from the main base at a 45 degree angle to get you away from the boat/dock and it also is on a swiveling mount for the rtation of the pole. Using this with a bosun’s chair(canvas strap with rings on each end)to hoist the man should work well for what you want. The downside is that you have to mount it in one location. I would search Craigslist for a used unit, or search in a marine salvage yard or website for a used unit. You might get this done pretty inexpensively. I use a search end for Craigslist called www.searchtempest.com Good Luck-Bill

Adaptive docks
This isn’t a lift like you discribed in your post, but it is a handy way to make docks more accessable.

We found these docks while filming in Northern Illinois.


Mark Morrall

San Onofre experience
There are several folks who surf waveskis at San Onofre who are in wheel chairs. Some use special low wheel chairs and tow ropes to help over the sand, some use a special very low beach chair that is made from PVC pipes and big ballon wheels. Launch from a beach.


The secret is to use low sit on top kayaks that the person can maneuver themselves onto the kayak with their own arm strength and a little help from others.

There is also a group here in San Diego and up in Pismo beach that takes veterans who have been severely wounded and teaches them kayaking, I’ll try to find a link to some of my friends who are involved with this project, they have some good advice and practice.

Ask Kevin Carr
Kevin owns Chosen Valley Creating Ability http://www.creatingability.com. He’s a wizard at mechanical adaptations of all types (he also owns Chosen Valley Canoe Accessories http://www.gear4portaging.com. He has created some really amazing adaptive paddling products.


there is one
at arlington echo out door education center. locate them on the web. if you have a prob. go to aacps.org and scroll to arlington echo. the special olympics kyak team practices there.

Safety and Greg barton
I did read that greg barton had a club foot that required extensive surgery to repair his disability. Suppose kids made fun of him and that energy helped give him the drive to win 2 olympic gold medals. At www.rochesteropenwaterchallenge.com race in 2008, he did tell me that his wins were based on his “training intensity”. He worked harder than anyone else.

Suppose someone with a weak lower body tips over? The usca has a wonderful program in large canoes with outriggers on both sides

Loading Ramp
I’ve seen a few EZ-Dock (sp?) ramp systems for handicapped paddlers, but the video EZ-Dock had on their website showed a young man paddle up to the ramp and pull the kayak onto the dock - but then the paddler stood up and walked away… That didn’t seem to make sense to me. BUT - in a news article I saw, the dock incorporated a special bar/bench system so the paddler could lift himself/herself out of the kayak and scoot onto the bench - and then, scoot onto the wheelchair. A nice system, I must say. A handicapped friend of mine would LOVE to go paddling with me. I have Hobie’s trimaran sit-on-top, and I was going to let him paddle with the outriggers attached, until he felt comfortable without them. But the wall I was up against was how I could transfer him onto the kayak without having 1 or 2 other people involved. THIS could make it all happen. I’m checking into it…

See this article about a system already installed somewhere: