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ARLINGTON, WASH., COMPANY, GENERAL MARINE, LAUNCHES FIRST BOAT DESIGNED FOR MOBILITY-IMPAIRED PEOPLE

 ARLINGTON, WASH., COMPANY, GENERAL MARINE, LAUNCHES FIRST BOAT
 DESIGNED FOR MOBILITY-IMPAIRED PEOPLE
 /ADVANCE/ ARLINGTON, Wash., June 24 /PRNewswire/ -- The wishful thoughts of a young boy with Muscular Dystrophy and the personal interests of two families come together this Wednesday, June 24, to launch the first power cruiser ever designed specifically for people with mobility impairments, General Marine Co. Inc. said today.
 The new model 4200 Corsair cruiser built by General Marine Co. Inc. of Arlington will be launched at 11 a.m. from moorage at ABC Charters in Anacortes.
 The boat is owned by Bud and Sue Myers and Royal and Joan Penewel. Both families have relatives and/or friends with disabilities. Myers and Penewell became interested in a cruiser designed for the physically disabled after talking with ABC Charters. They recognized the opportunity to reach a new market and, at the same time, provide a recreational opportunity that had been missing for the disabled.
 Coincidentally, General Marine President Bob Manning became intrigued with the idea last January at the Seattle Boat Show. According to Manning, "A father came up to us and asked if his son could go aboard our standard Corsair 4200. The youngster was in a wheelchair, so we lifted him into the cabin. You should have seen his face light up. This was an opportunity he had never experienced before."
 Although Manning had had inquiries in the past, the Penewels and Myers were the first to come forward and say "let's do it."
 General Marine laid the hull for the 42-foot cruiser back in March. The design features a single-level interior that has been modified to meet the needs of people in wheelchairs. The head has been re-designed with a wider door, more space, support bars and other elements needed to meet the needs of the mobility-impaired individual. The galley, lounge areas and other interior treatments also have been redone to accommodate people with physical challenges while still maintaining comfort and use.
 The cruiser includes a complete stateroom in the fo'c's'le for a crew and several unique safety features that make it particularly seaworthy. These include five dry compartments and a double hull for extreme safety. The unique hull design also develops a stable ride at speeds in excess of 20 knots.
 Manning and other company personnel interviewed people with disabilities and conferred with groups involved with the disabled in order to determine how to modify space in the original 4200 Corsair so that the cruiser is wheelchair-accessible.
 Using this input, General Marine designed a special dock ramp that attaches to the deck for easy loading. They have also installed a hydraulic lift that raises and lowers a wheelchair into the main cabin.
 "Manning and the owners of this boat have no idea what their vision will accomplish," according to Rich Walsh, president and executive director of the Resource Center for the Handicapped in Mountlake Terrace. Walsh, a paraplegic, and the center are nationally recognized for their work in vocational rehabilitation, training and counseling.
 "Recreation is the equalizer for all of us, disabled and able- bodied alike. This new boat, equipped as it is for the needs of the mobility-impaired, opens a segment of the boating world that simply was not there before for people with disabilities. It will allow these individuals to get out there and enjoy life along with their able-bodied counterparts and provide them with the inspiration they need to become self-sufficient," Walsh said. He and his four daughters will highlight the official party launching the new General Marine Corsair 4200.
 Walsh pointed out that there are direct correlations between recreational opportunities and work as it relates to people with disabilities. "It has to do with mainstreaming. For example, of the disabled who continue to participate in recreation, 70 percent are employed. Of those who do not, only 20 percent work," he stated.
 Manning, Myers and Penewel share Walsh's vision about serving the disabled. They believe the new 4200 will be welcomed by former boaters who have become injured or those with physically impaired family members.
 -0- 6/24/92/1400
 NOTE TO EDITORS: To reach ABC Charters: Take I-5 north five miles past Mt. Vernon to Highway 20. Go west on Highway 20, following signs to Anacortes. Once in Anacortes, turn right on Commercial Avenue. Go to 12th Avenue and turn left approximately 3-1/2 miles to three-way stop. Continue straight to Skyline Drive. Turn left into the marina and proceed to ABC Charters at 1905 Skyline Way. Phone number at ABC is 206-293-9533.
 /CONTACT: Burton R. Green of B.R. Green & Company, 206-367-7467, for General Marine; or Robert Manning of General Marine, 800-647-2882/ CO: General Marine Co. Inc. ST: Washington IN: MAR SU: PDT


LM-SC -- SE008 -- 2894 06/23/92 14:04 EDT
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Date:Jun 23, 1992
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