Wind is the first essential for sailors but technology can supplement Mother Nature in a big way with adapted sailboats and special equipment. For instance, a trimaran named the Challenger was designed to go with a minimum of body movement. The newly developed Slatts-22 from Hydro-Flight of Seattle provides hydrofoil-assisted sailing that doesn't require the helmsman or passenger to change positions during tacking and rudder pedals are easily modified with hand controls.
The Freedom Independence is another good choice for adapted sailing. Organizations, such as Shake-A-Leg in Newport, R.I., support integrated sailing, involving both disabled and non-disabled sailors. They'd be happy to add you to their crew! The popularity of sailing years ago led enthusiasts to organize an annual national and international regatta each year.
Sailing classes show you the ropes—and other equipment, while you make new friends.
Products and Services
Blind Sailing International
Membership in BSI can consist of a team or teams representing blind sailors of that country or state. Affiliation or association with the national sailing authority is encouraged.
Disabled Sports USA
Disabled Sports USA offers nation-wide network of community-based chapters, offering a variety of recreation programs. Each chapter sets its own agenda and activities. These may include one or more of the following: snow skiing; water sports (such as water skiing, sailing, kayaking, and rafting); cycling; climbing; horseback riding; golf; and social activities.
The International Association for Disabled Sailing
IFDS promotes all types of sailing for people with all types and degrees of disability.
The Disabled Sailing Association of Ontario
DSAO is dedicated to providing people living with a disability the opportunity to learn about and enjoy sailing.
Able Sail Ontario
Links to clubs and sailing schools and programs for people with disabilities in Ontario.
Hosts Maine's Special Olympic Sailing weekly during the summer months.
Large list of accessible sailing programs. There's one there for you.
Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors
BAAD is an organization that strives to make all aspects of sailing accessible. It is open to people with disabilities and their families, friends, caregivers and assistants.
Sail to Prevail The National Disabled Sailing Program (Formerly Shake-a-Leg)
Adapted sailing and other recreational activities since 1982; special events, day trips and trainings.
Special thanks to Jeffrey A. Jones and Michael C. Paciorek for technical information, and resources excerpted from their book, "Sports and Recreation for the Disabled."