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Re: Handicapped Access to Salon?
Gary—his mobility is a moving target since this is a progressive disease. Right now he can walk a few steps with braces and a cane and somewhat longer distances with braces and a walker (we call it his Lamborghini). Beyond that he uses a manual wheelchair. His main mobility challenge now is lifting his foot, particularly the front of the foot, more than an inch or two. The standard step rise is about seven inches so we’ve built some inserts for our home steps to reduce the rise and we’re looking at ramps/lifts to help him manage at home. At the moment he does have the full use of his upper body and since the doctor has promised us this is a slower than normal progression of the disease, we’re hoping to keep the upper body for a number of years.
One of the blessings of a sailboat is that there are plenty of handholds, so he’s using them to aid his balance in the cockpit and salon. A swimming pool lift would be great but there’s not a whole lot of room in a 30-ft Catalina to start mounting lift systems. Ideally we’d like to come up with a more compact option, but it would also be ideal if it’s something he can use without assistance. My husband knows a whole lot more about the mechanical stuff than I do so he’s looking at your suggestions. We probably need to get the specs on all the lift options and start measuring the available space. Maybe there’s more space than I thought? I’m concerned about weight on the boom and I take it from your reply that you would be concerned as well.