Sailing is life changing freedom.

Disabled sailing has empowered, motivated and enhanced the lives of people living with disabilities across the country and beyond. Although it is a relatively newer sport with a sparser history, it continues to attract people to the water and provide opportunities for challenge, excitement and freedom.

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Sailing is accessible thanks to boats that are specially designed to meet the needs of people with mobility impairments.  Other boats are easily adaptable. 

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Not all of our sailors have full use or strength of their arms or hands. In these cases, a device called an “Autohelm” can be easily fitted onto a Martin 16 sailboat. The Autohelm has a small, almost effortless joystick – similar to a video game control – that can be used to steer the boat. In addition, a windlass (winch) can also be fitted on to the boat and both sheets can then also be controlled with a touch of the fingers – left or right for steering, forward or back to ease or trim sails.

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Some sailors are able to get in and out of boats with little or no assistance.

Otherwise a very secure system with a sling and a hydraulic, mechanical or electric lift is used.

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Our sailors are children and adults with a wide range of disabilities.  Anybody can go sailing! Here are a few of their stories:

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Sailing gave me the tools, community and knowledge to learn the skills that I use today.

Peter Eagar Canadian Paralympic Team, Mobility Cup champion 2015