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.... Sailing is an amazingly liberating experience. The RS Venture Connect SCS make it possible for almost anyone – and that means a lot to us. Many boats have been modified for para sailing. We’d like to think the RS Venture Connect SCS brings a new level of designed-in, engineered adaptability. Simple, plug & play options to configure the boat for most disabilities – and change it between sessions to suit different requirements. This versatility encourages more organisations to develop para sailing programmes – it’s more cost and time efficient for existing programmes – and gives unbeatable experiences to a whole lot of sailors.

WEBSITE - https://www.rssailing.com/project/rs-venture-connect/

Any thing to do with Phil Morrison and RS is likely to be good and the Venture Connect is no exception. Well thought out quality product, easy to change configuration for different uses. On the down side it was not designed with disabled people in mind and you should realise that with the 'disabled' kit fitted you are using it outside its design parameters of up to 8 crew moving about to balance the boat. Its not easy to transport, has complicated rigging, the seats not great as you can fall out when heeled. (but its easy to fit better seats.)

8/10 - for all types of disabilities - design and quality make easy to modify for any type of disability, and RS have off the shelf options. Cant see to windward when heeled and you can fall out looses points.

9/10 - for experienced disabled sailors - very good it has something for everyone. I drop it a point because standard seats are not great in strong winds, but its easy to fit better seats.

9/10 - as a training boat - it is very good but you have to have the mods to make it good for everyone and take care in strong winds 7/10 - ease of rigging - not difficult but it looses points because it is complicated.

6/10 - Ease of transport and launching - this is a big boat, it can be moved and trailered but it needs some work.

9/10 - controls - very good but you may need strength or power assistance.

10/10 - quality of fittings and build - everything works very well and moulding is good.

7/10 - getting in and out - fairly easy but its space works against it for this.

9/10 - Sailing qualities - very good except in very strong winds as it can heel a lot.

10/10 - As a club boat - very good all rounder, and great value for money.


Would I sail one today if offered the chance?.............. yes please, in light conditions its a nice boat to sail.