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

Class Association - waiting information

My judgment is that the SV14 is not a good boat for disabled people in general and typical of a boat designed without a real understanding the whole client group.

0/10 - As a boat for all types of disabilities - difficulty getting on and off, poor seats, poor controls.

5/10 - As a boat for experienced disabled sailors - fun for a few disabilities.

3/10 - As a training boat - cant reach controls easily - very wet in heavy conditions - hinders training.

8/10 - Ease of rigging - not to bad, I only drop points because I cant do it myself.

7/10 - Ease of transport and launching - the keel removal slows things.

5/10 - Controls - are poorly designed and positioned for most disabilities.

8/10 - Quality of fittings and build - good.

1/10 - Getting in and out - the gap to the seats is difficult for almost all disabilities.

6/10 - Sailing qualities - sails ok but heel and seat comfort gets progressively worse as wind strengthens.

0/10 - As a club boat - there are many better options.


MY OPINION....... I am sad because they had a great idea with the concept of an affordable boat for disabled people and they achieved the price point but it is a boat that I would find difficult to use.

The standard set up for the boat seems to be, helm and main sheet in back seat, jib and spinnaker front seat. For me this is a worst case scenario and I cannot see an easy way to change things.