Wetwheels Foundation

Support Wetwheels Torbay

Wetwheels Torbay is our first boat in Devon and will also serve Dorset & Somerset. The boat has kindly been donated so all funds to this page will go towards subsiding trips for participants.
raised of £50,000 target
RCN 1148600, SC051304

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Wetwheels Torbay will be the 8th boat in our fleet and the first in Devon. Based in Torquay we aim to improve the quality and equality of opportunity for all disabled people by providing access to the sea. Our experiences are fully participation events, leaving disabilities at the dockside. We also have the flexibility to move around the South Devon coastline to bring our boat into other communities.

The Wetwheels experience is designed to enable every disabled person the chance to experience the excitement of powerboating. Wetwheels boats are truly unique by being fully accessible – not just giving you the chance to be a passenger, but to also take the helm as the skipper – everybody gets the chance to drive !

James Ashton with wife Joanna, sons Sam and Monty, are at the heart of the Wetwheels Torbay project. Their support and passion for Wetwheels Torbay has taken this dream, to becoming a reality with the boat now operating out of MDL Marina in Torquay.

James says:

"I grew up with the sea in my blood; I was on it, in it and under it.

From a very young age I was drawn to the sea and luckily home, on the River Teign Estuary in Devon, was within a good cast of a fishing line and is where I now live today.

Following a successful career and early retirement I thought boating and the sea were within reach of unlimited bliss.

I was keen to retire and enjoy my time afloat. Sadly, in the same month I retired I was diagnosed with MND, although I had been suffering symptoms for the previous two years.

Today I need 24-7 care from 2 carers and am permanently attached to a ventilator to keep me breathing. I can't move any muscles and only communicate with an eye gaze computer which has enabled me to write this.

However, my love of the sea has never diminished; it remains my passion and happy place. After four years of costly and time-consuming mistakes in an effort to get me on the water in various boats and against the progression of a devastating debilitating disease we move on to where I am today.

My desire was to leave a legacy so others, not ordinarily able to access the sea by boat through illness or disability could enjoy the immense pleasure it brings. With the support of my wife, Joanna and our two teenage boys, Sam and Monty I decided to donate funds to enable a new build for Wetwheels from Cheetah Catamaran. With scrutiny and guidance from my former business colleague of twenty years and friend, Russell Smart, we achieved this goal."

Thank you so much James and all the family, and we look forward to seeing the new boat sparkling in the Torbay sunshine and sharing our love for the open water with so many future generations.

About the charity

Wetwheels Foundation

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RCN 1148600, SC051304
At Wetwheels we ensure everyone can access the water with a safe, barrier-free, enriching experience. Every pound raised is vital to ensure we can welcome as many disabled people onboard as possible, with their families, friends and carers, providing life-changing experiences.

Donation summary

Total raised
+ £3,326.65 Gift Aid
Online donations
Offline donations
Direct donations
Donations via fundraisers

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