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.......This 23-foot internationally acclaimed one-design has a contoured, sit-in cockpit that’s 11’ 6” long and is self bailing. When the wind pipes up you sit securely on side decks contoured for security and hiking comfort. Angled seat backs and coamings are designed for comfort when heeled and recessed handhold's offer extra security. The Sonar’s sail plan is designed for efficiency and control with a full range of rig adjustments that allow the crew to easily alter sail shape to changing conditions.

CLASS ASSOCIATION.... https://www.sonar.org/

My judgment is ..... What I nice boat to sail... easily adapted for most disabilities but its sheer size and fixed keel are against it.

8/10 - As a boat for all types of disabilities - although the manufacturer does not offer options for disabled people the sheer size of the Sonar makes it easy to modify for any type of disability - I only lose the two points because you have to do it yourself.

10/10 - As a boat for experienced disabled sailors - very good it has something for everyone.

8/10 - As a training boat - it is very good but you have to have the mods to make it good for everyone.

9/10 - Ease of rigging - not difficult but it looses a point because I cant do it myself.

1/10 - Ease of transport and launching - this is a big boat, it can be moved and trailered but it needs some work.

8/10 - Controls - very good but you may need strength or power assistance.

10/10 - Quality of fittings and build - very good.

8/10 - Getting in and out - very easy but its space works against it.

10/10 - Sailing qualities - very good.

10/10 - As a club boat - very good.



There are many pro's and con's with the Sonar, its is a very good sailing boat, performs well and is a design for able-bodied people that has been adopted for use by disabled people and allows good integration of abilities. It needs a crew of 2 to 5 people, usually 3 in disabled competition, and this is good or bad depending on your view.

Would I sail one today if offered the chance?.............. yes please, nice boat.