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

My judgment is this is one of the ultimate performance sail boats, the Formula One of dinghies??? ...

8/10 - As a boat for all types of disabilities - it is a great boat for all types of disability, it only loses a point for me because it might be a problem for people with respirators and the like - you could sail on it but you would only be able to go out in light conditions.

10/10 - As a boat for experienced disabled sailors - easy to sail, tricky to sail well, very rewarding to skill and knowledge.

7/10 - As a training boat - in a league of its own at all levels, some restrictions on conditions/disabilities.

8/10 - Ease of rigging - easy if you leave the mast on, the main block needs care and experience.

7/10 - Ease of transport and launching - its wide but ok... the real problem is the mast... its huge and needs care and technique to put up and down and its safer with 2 able-bodied people.

10/10 - Controls - light, responsive and good quality.

9/10 - Quality of fittings and build - good tough stuff.

10/10 - Getting in and out - very easy.

10/10 - Sailing qualities - very very good.

9/10 - As a club boat - it takes up a bit of space but is very rewarding and very popular at the clubs I know, cheap and reliable to maintain.


MY OPINION.......is that this boat can be sailed by almost any disability with or without the Mike Strahle designed 'trap seats', but you need to be prepared to get wet and may be get back onto the boat if/when it falls over.

Popular almost everywhere in the world, inexpensive thrill rides.

I have often raced them in the USA and for a while sailed mine in the UK, the Weta came along and spoiled me. I am told that RYA Sailability were given 5,000 worth of trap seats for use in the UK but I have never seen them.

Would I sail one today if offered the chance?.............. yes please, and I love to race them.