Glen Trombley’s first ideas about providing Alaska residents with accessible outdoor activities came from the desire to share his father and older brother’s goal of building a special needs fishing lodge back in the early 90s. A wheelchair limited a family friend’s ability to take part in the outdoor activities available in Alaska. Trombley was a twenty year old college student at the time.
It would be many years later when Trombley, with the help and support from several very close friends and family, was able to begin work on The Dip Ship, a specially designed, wheelchair accessible pontoon boat.
The Dip Ship allows Alaska residents with disabilities that affect mobility to enjoy and appreciate the great Alaskan outdoors, and also allows families to spend time together on the water.
Trombley was born and raised in Alaska and has been hunting and fishing as long as he can remember. Living in Alaska has impressed upon him many things, the most important is an appreciation of Alaska’s natual resources and beauty.
“I go to the grocery store like everyone else, but my freezer is never empty,” said Trombley. “It’s always full with salmon, halibut, moose, caribou…”
He believes that everyone, even those with physical disabilities, should be able to participate in Alaskan traditions. All Alaska residents should be able to hunt and fish to fill their freezer.
Trombley explains, “To fish in Alaska you normally need a boat and lots of other gear, without that you might be out of luck. The boat is designed to be a fairly quick and easy way to harvest fish for your family.”
So quick and easy, because along with providing the boat and all the gear, Trombley and his crew will clean and fillet your fish for you at no extra charge.
The Dip Ship is a fully customized 28 foot by 8 foot wheelchair accessible pontoon boat with a flat, non-skid surface.
It was built to be the same height as the average dock which makes boarding more comfortable for those who need assistance to walk or have poor balance. Aluminum ramps are attached to allow for wheelchair access. Once onboard, wheelchairs are strapped onto a safety track while on the water.
“We provide mobility in a safe environment which is very important,” Trombley said.
The Dip Ship is ideal for any group or family – not just those who have to think about accessibility. It can comfortably fish up to six passengers. Trombley offers several discounts including a veteran discount, specials for parents with kids under 14, and discounted rates for fishing Monday-Thursday or booking the boat as a complete party. All charters come with free filleting.
Gabriella Schilling is a participant in our internship program created for high school students interested in writing and journalism.