He is the disabled sailor who took on the Atlantic alone.

And now he has set his sights even higher.

Geoff Holt, who was awarded an MBE in 2010 for services to disabled sailing, plans to circumnavigate the globe in an unprecedented endeavour.

The 49 year old who lives in Wallington, Fareham, explained the inspiration behind his Accessible Oceans project: “I’ve done a lot of sailing adventures and I’m very keen to make our oceans more accessible. I’m quite familiar with people who sail on lakes and rivers, but the opportunities for disabled people on oceans around the world are very few.

“I propose to sail around the world in a wheelchair on a yacht for three reasons; to promote yacht recreation, vocation and therapy.

"I've been lucky enough to sail the oceans several times and I know how special it is. I'm conscious that disabled people are excluded so this will redress that - it's a global problem.

"At each of the stopover points we will promote the project and meet disabled people around the world.

"Fifteen per cent of the world’s population have a disability but I could count on one hand the number of publicly available boats capable to taking a wheelchair user to sea, be that for a holiday, for therapy or even to inspire them to make a career in the marine sector. My Accessible Oceans project will identify key hubs around the world where we will locate adapted boats so disabled people can enjoy what non-disabled sailors enjoy already."

The 27,000 mile journey will start and finish in Monaco, taking in some of the world's most dangerous waters. With around 12 stops along the way, Geoff’s wife Elaine and son Tim, 13, will be able to visit. "We are used to him going away, and Tim takes everything in his stride but of course we both want him to succeed in everything he does," Elaine said. Geoff added: "Obviously we'll miss each other like every other family would but they know it's something I've wanted to do for a very long time."

The boat he will use is a 65ft trimaran with three hulls. “It’s specially designed and customised for me to sail and live in. I’ll be in the wheelchair during the day but can be lifted into bed.

“All the ropes and electronics come into a central point where I can push a button to control them.”

The Neel 65 will be built by a French company in La Rochelle and will cost a whopping 1.3million Euros. It will have four cabins, with Geoff’s cabin on deck level for safety and ease of access. Because it has three hulls it will lean less than a standard yacht, but Geoff’s wheelchair is the same one he uses on land.

The plan is to sail without any support vessels, but with two carers on board who will cater for Geoff’s very particular needs. They will be carers first, trained in spinal injury care, and sailors second.

Although Geoff did attempt to raise cash for the trip in 2014 he was unsuccessful. This time however he is being given a helping hand by no other than Prince Albert of Monaco, who agreed to be the patron after hearing Geoff speak. The project command centre will be based at the prestigious Yacht Club de Monaco and will host the start and finish of the voyage.

Founder of Easyjet Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou has also pledged to help through his Stelios Philanthropic Organisation.

But despite this impressive support, there is still a shortfall in the funding, with two million Euros still to raise.

“Trying to find a sponsor in the UK is very difficult,” he said. “The Brits tend not to sponsor disabled things so much but in France in particular they understand sailing a lot more and are keen to get behind it. So unfortunately it won’t be a British project.

"In the UK its a lot harder to get funding for disabled sports altogether. There are lots of sponsors in the sailing world but disabled sailing is always reliant on charity and I find that a bit distasteful. I don't see why corporations who will sponsor mainstream sailing won't sponsor disabled sailing.

"My project offers everything a commercial sponsor will want and people aren't interested because of disability.

"I'm throwing down the gauntlet to say if the French can do it, why can't we in Britain?

"This is a unique opportunity to be associated with a Project that will touch the hearts and minds of people of all nationalities. It is a story of overcoming adversity, changing people’s perceptions of disability whilst making a practical difference that will benefit disabled people around the world."

Sailing round the world singlehandedly is a feat for any ordinary sailor, but for Geoff, who is paralysed from the chest down, it will be particularly tough.

“Being stuck in a wheelchair is quite challenging, especially when a boat is moving. It's the constant motion which makes it difficult to rest, eat and move about. Tiredness will also play a huge part, as will sleep deprivation,” Geoff said. “When I’m in my wheelchair for long periods of time I have to elevate my feet and lie down from time to time. It makes me ill. But I know what I’m getting into and what it involves.

"It's endless navigation and communication. You've got to make the boat steer in a certain direction, know how to sail and look out for other ships - that's 24 hours a day."

Despite having sworn never to attempt another trip like his unassisted Atlantic Ocean crossing in 2010, Geoff said: "I can do a great deal of good if I manage this. It will leave an enormous legacy and I will rest happy knowing I can achieve it for other people - I can't do any more than that."

Geoff aims to set off in October 2017. The trip will take 14 months.