Why I Started ADA Boats, Inc.

By Mike Mayes


I have always been a “water person”. Being on or in the water whether it be swimming, fishing, surfing, water skiing, SCUBA diving or just riding in a boat are my favorite things to do. My experience with boating started at about the age of four, fishing with my Dad and Grandpa. I have had “Boat Fever” for over 58 years and haven’t found a cure. Building radio control model boats lead to larger boat projects and different boating experiences.

After owning or operating all kinds of boats I can honestly say it didn’t matter what kind of boat it was, big, small, power, sail, fast, slow, they all made me smile and were my therapy for a busy world. Going to therapy, for me, was as easy as walking down to the marina or lake. Unfortunately, for 56 million Americans with disabilities, it’s not that easy.

One afternoon I stopped at a local lake that I hadn’t visited in a long time and found that the park had been renovated and a brand new ADA accessible outhouse had been installed. I was enjoying the view, thinking about my next boat project, plans in hand, and realized that anyone in a wheelchair could come here, use the outhouse and only fish this lake from a boat. I couldn’t remember ever seeing a wheelchair accessible boat and started searching the web. Nothing was built in the US. Thinking of friends and family with mobility challenges, I decided to design and build a stable, safe, electric powered, shallow draft craft that was easily boarded with a wheelchair and “Accessible” was born. Our current boat incorporates the best of “Accessible” and improvements suggested by disabled friends. For these friends and many others, ADA Boats, Inc. exists.


The Ultimate Wheelchair Accessible Watercraft

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