This SPECIAL NEEDS CONFIGURATION BOAT was designed with the engine well in front of the helm so that a person in a wheelchair can roll on to the back of the boat and up to the helm.
The boat can be boarded from aft with a manual wheelchair, power wheelchair or tracked chair.
USA patent pending ATTY Docket No. 19060.001USU1.
Operational aspects of the boat are accessible including the helm, electronics, anchor, engine well, fuel intake and communications. Recreational aspects of the boat are accessible including fishing, kayaking and swimming.
March 21, 2019 University of Florida Department of Occupational Therapy on Newnans Lake, Gainesville, FL. Front left, Dr. Sherrilene Classen, Professor and Chair; front left, Betsey Westra, CPC. Back row from left, Dr. Christine Myers, Dr. Linda Struckmeyer and Dr. Carolyn Hanson. Matt Chatowsky at helm.
March 30, 2019 Florida State University Professor Dr. James R. Harding, center, at Apalachicola Bay in St. Marks, FL. On left, Denise Griffin and Matt Chatowsky. On right, David Jones, President of Florida Disabled Outdoors Association and Thomas Griffin, Director of Bird Dog Boats.
Bird Dog Boats participated in the Live a Day, Live Your Life event series sponsored by
a grant from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.
Narrated by Thomas Griffin, Director
We would like thank the following people who made the Bird Dog Boats program possible:
Capt. Bobby Witt, Scale Key Clam, Cedar Key, FL
Robert & Rick Coarsey, Coarsey Fiberglass, Chiefland, FL
Troy Wilson, Marine Metals, Williston, FL
David Jones, Florida Disabled Outdoors Association, Tallahassee, FL
"Helping people is truly a blessing and helping people to help
people is the way to change the world." …David Jones
Matt Chatowsky, Cedar Key, FL
"A picture is worth a thousand words, but a boat ride is worth
a thousand pictures" ... Matt Chatowshy
Carl Turk of Turk Intellectual Property Law for his pro bono package for the patent on this boat.
Mike Sechrest of Warner, Sechrest and Butts, P.A. for his pro bono package for liability releases.
Gallagher Charter Lakes for writing a comprehensive liability insurance policy that includes people with disabilities.
April 12, 2019 Bird Dog Boats was awarded the 2019 Leisure for Life Award from Florida Disabled Outdoors Association at the SportsAbility Expo in Tallahassee, FL. From left, Laurie LoRe-Gussak, Denise Griffin, Matt Chatowsky and David Jones.
Thomas Griffin in back.
Bird Dog Boats would like to thank the following organizations for providing a grant so we can take out
veterans with disabiliteis for a nice day on our boat in 2020.
Florida Disabled Outdoors Association
Disabled Sports USA
Bob Woodruff Foundation
National Football League