|Prince Power 61 a special vessel|
Designers and boat yards build vessels for able-bodied and healthy persons. It is noteworthy, though,
that a significant part of our society, not that strong, young and healthy, also desires to live their lives
to the full. That and the the designer's disability have laid the foundation for the design.
The basic assumption for the boat design was: to design a large vessel of "B" category (sea-going)
which, from the start to the finish of a voyage, could be operated by a disabled person, so that the
today's heroes could continue their passion tomorrow.
The fundamental requirements:- access within a deck,
- access between storeys,
- a special wheelchair for a disabled person,
- the wheelchair docking stations,
- magnetic routes for the wheelchair,
- functionality of rooms and equipment,
- automatic escape routes.
The main problem faced by the disabled persons is the limited ability to move around. Therefore in
order to enable them to steer a yacht it is necessary to design its interior in a manner that renders it
possible for them to access any place on the yacht.
The yacht Prince Power 61 is a four-storey vessel. Access between storeys is is possible with the use of
three lifts and a hoist. The hoist uses a remote control. Lifts are equipped with automatic controls.
Two lifts are installed onto staircase railings and one (leading to a sauna) is a hydraulic device. The
main device of the access system is an electric wheelchair with independent drives for each wheel.
Each wheel can be steered around its axis and that makes the wheelchair move in any direction. It is a
crucial feature, as sometimes the wheelchair must be able to move sideways. The wheelchair is
equipped with a rescue transponder and an inflatable raft for evacuation onto the water.
The deck is equipped with magnetic paths used by the wheelchair. Owing to that it is controlled by a
computer. All you need to do is press a key on the wheelchair keyboard with a specific destination
assigned to it. That is an important facilitation as a sea-going yacht may be subject to violent rocking.
Once the wheelchair reaches its destination it starts automatic docking, which in turn continually
controls the wheelchair position and, if necessary, adjusts it. While docking the wheelchair batteries
are charged automatically.
Within each storey any obstacle has been removed. Distances between pieces of furniture, width of
doorways and access routes as well as access to furniture is adapted to the size and manoeuvrability
of the wheelchair. There are systems of grab-rails fitted in respective rooms to enable a disabled
person unassisted existence.
It is possible to fit a vessel with four such wheelchairs and a system of collision-free traction.
The yacht is equipped with an automatic evacuation system in case of an emergency. Once the alarm
is enabled a disabled person is automatically taken to an exit onto the stern landing, and an inflatable
raft is automatically deployed.