Wheelchair Accessible Yachts, Suitable Dinghies and other Equipment of Interest to Disabled Sailing

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Report by wheelchair user Mike Wood, who has a spinal injury at C6/7, paralysed from chest down with partial use of hands, good triceps and biceps and some lats. Dinghy sailing since 1988 and yacht sailing since 1995 Mike designs, modifies and builds yachts and dinghies for disabled people and has a sailing program that provides over 2000 sailing places a year for disabled people.

Email....       mikewood@disabledsailing.org

QUOTE FROM WEBSITE.......The 2.4 Metre originated from Stockholm in 1983 by local yacht designers who used the "R Metre" rule to create a single-handed keelboat the 2.4mR. It is a thoroughbred racer that has the complexity of a sophisticated keelboat, without the high costs, and the fingertip feeling of a dinghy. As a sister to the bigger 6m, 8m and 12m yachts, she possesses the typical powerful Metre boat sailing style.

Since the helmsperson sits down in the boat facing forward with all the trim controls within arms reach, the sailing is not physically demanding and racing is done in one open class with men, women, young and old, able and disabled sailors racing together. Because the crew weight is always close to its centre of gravity, the 2.4mR is insensitive to differences in size of the helmsperson. Instead, 2.4mR racing focuses on sophisticated sail trim, tactics and strategy.

Class Association http://www.inter24metre.org/

My judgment is that this is a very good boat to learn the finer points of sailing, it will forgive mistakes but reward your experiments. Not great for all types of disability and its low freeboard and boom can present problems.

7/10 - As a boat for all types of disabilities - its small size, low freeboard and boom hamper some disabilities but it can be fitted with a number mods to allow various disabilities to sail, the single seat is its best and worst asset.

9/10 - As a boat for experienced disabled sailors - the amount of controls and endless tuning available make this one of the best - a spinnaker is needed to make it a 10 for me.

7/10 - As a training boat - as a basic trainer it is too complicated and a single seat - as a serious sailors training boat it is superb.

8/10 - Ease of rigging - not difficult but needs a bit of knowledge to set up properly.

6/10 - Ease of transport and launching - needs fairly deep water to launch and recover but not really difficult.

10/10 - Controls - very comprehensive, everything you want and more, but remember you only have to use the ones you want.

8/10 - Quality of fittings and build - the later models are good quality with good fittings.

8/10 - Getting in and out - the deep and narrow cockpit hinder things a little.

8/10 - Sailing qualities - not great in rough conditions but the only thing more you could ask is a spinnaker.

6/10 - As a club boat - its single seat and controls that need maintenance detract from its appeal but clubs that have them report good usage.



I do not particularly like the 2.4 probably because of the seating, freeboard and boom, but I am not a really serious sailor and the 2.4 is a very serious sailing boat and allows proper integrated.

It was not designed as a boat for disabled people so it is not good for all types of disability, but it is an important boat because it allows many disabled people to compete on a equal basis with able-bodied people.

Getting in and out is a little tricky because of the deep narrow cockpit and the standard seat does not give a great deal of support, but this can be easily remedied with foam or cushions.

Once in, the controls look daunting until you realise that you only use the ones you understand or want. When you are seated comfortably all the controls fall to hand and are easy to use.

It sails very well indeed and is responsive to the slightest adjustment. It is not particularly stable and moves about quite quickly in winds above 8 to 10 kts. You have to watch you head on the boom and you are likely to get wet.

To sum up, its a very good boat, if you have a little experience its very interesting, if you are a good sailor its very rewarding.

Would I sail one today if offered the chance?.............. in the right conditions, yes please.