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Old 16-09-2014, 17:24   #1
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Accessibility on board.

I have a family member in his late twenties who is confined to a wheelchair. In his earlier years before his condition worsened, he was an avid sailor and we would go out together often. We went to sailing classes together and he has a natural affinity for the water. Since his recent years his boating experiences have been few and far between. He had minimal motor function, no balance, and can no longer stand or use his legs. He still loves sailing, but my family does not have a sailboat that is conducive to his condition. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to make a sailboat more accessible to him? I would like to find something that is able to do long weekends or even short cruises. Are there any makers that build or would do an affordable custom design that? I know this is a shot in the dark, but I would love to get him back on the water.

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Old 16-09-2014, 18:09   #2
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Re: Accessibility on board.

I applaud your efforts, but I would really recommend against trying this yourself. Boats are tricky to modify, and depending on exactly what your friends disability is the modifications might wind up not working anyway.

I would really recommend getting in touch with Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating | The Joy of Sailing they are based out of Annapolis and work to make sailing accessible to the disabled.

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Old 16-09-2014, 18:58   #3
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Re: Accessibility on board.

My brother's in a wheelchair fairly mobile though and he sails with The Disabled Sailing Association of Alberta. He has his own Hobie but needs crew to sail that one. I realize they are a bit far from you but perusing their (bad) website might give you some ideas.

I've never seen it but he's mentioned they have Martin 16s that have a sip-and-puff system that allow quadriplegics to sail...
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