The Hansa Class UK has two Hansa boats with a full range of seating and servo controls that are available to be demonstrated at sailing clubs and other organisations. These are provided to help any group that is contemplating providing sailing to people with disabilities or are providing sailability opportunities and wish to develop to involve people with very limited mobility. More details of this project are laid out below.
Sailing is a fantastically liberating sport for people with disabilities. The feeling of independence, fulfilment and excitement that it provides, gives a real boost to morale and general well-being.
Advances in the equipment that is available to help people with disabilities to sail, has meant that even those with the most severe disabilities can enjoy the experience. However, getting started can be a problem because of the investment required for the specific equipment to meet an individuals needs. Sailability groups around the country do have a lot of expertise, and equipment, but it is not practical for them all to purchase equipment unless they have someone at their group with a specific need. This is a bit of a “chicken and egg” situation; but the Hansa Class UK, with the help of the Bruce Wake Trust and the RYA, has implemented a project that will help.
Two boats have been especially adapted to meet the needs of those with more severe disabilities. There is a 303 wide for those who would prefer the comfort of sailing with someone else to build their confidence, and we have a 2.3 for the budding solo sailor. Supportive seating is an issue for many, so we have developed a variety of flexible seating options that can be tailored to the individuals needs. We also have a variety of options for controls; such as a joystick or sip-puff controls that can be used for helming, and for controlling the sails.
These boats are available for disabled sailing groups to borrow when they have an individual with a specific need that is not being met by the equipment that they have available. It is also the intention that volunteers and organisers become more aware of what is now possible to enable those with more severe disabilities to sail.
If you have a need, or would like more information contact Steve on firstname.lastname@example.org or tele 01536 330477
Many thanks to “The Bruce Wake Trust”, and “RYA Sailability”, who have provided funding for this project. The Bruce Wake Trust was established to encourage and assist the provision of leisure activities for People with disabilities. They are also providers of riverboat cruises on the Severn, Avon and the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal. For more information, their web site is: http://www.brucewaketrust.co.uk