Accessible Boating and Sailing
For many people, boating is more than a way of relaxing or competitive tendencies, it's the chance to meet other people and build bonds over common tasks regardless of individual ability. Boating is a team activity and well suited to this purpose. There are a number of organisations who assist people with disabilities.
Jubilee Sailing Trust Ltd
A registered charity that owns and operates Lord Nelson and Tenacious, the only two tall ships in the world designed and built to enable people of all physical abilities to sail side-by-side as equals.
Wetwheels is a 9m fast power catamaran available for individual and group charters. Wetwheels provides disabled powerboating facilities for those with disabilities, including wheelchair users.
Active Nation UK Ltd
With over 25 years of experience in operation, a talented team of instructors, and a hugely impressive array of boats and equipment, Southampton Water Activities Centre is the perfect place to indulge your passion for life on the water. Our expert team are in place to help you Discover, Explore or Excel all that there is to love about sailing and powerboating.
Andrew Simpson Sailing Centre Ltd
Inspired by double Olympic medallist Andrew “Bart” Simpson, the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation helps young people to develop the personal skills that will improve their ability to succeed in life and to improve access to jobs and careers within the maritime sector.
Boat Building Academy Ltd
The Boat Building Academy is a not-for-profit company providing full-time, highly practical skills training with the emphasis on ‘hands-on’ learning. The school was founded in 1997 by Commander Tim Gedge, who is still a Director.
Scottish Boatbuilding School
River Thames Boat Project
We offer educational, therapeutic and recreational cruises and activities on the River Thames for the young; for older people; and people of all ages with a disability or mental health condition.
We provide, on call, a 24-hour lifeboat search and rescue service around the UK and Ireland, and a seasonal lifeguard service. With our lifeboats, lifeguards, safety advice and flood rescue, we are committed to saving lives.
United Kingdom Sailing Academy (UKSA)
We’re a youth charity that uses sailing and watersports as a catalyst to transform young people’s lives. Our inspirational youth development and maritime training courses equip young people with new work skills and life skills that start at sea.
The Wheelyboat Trust
The Wheelyboat Trust is a registered charity dedicated to providing mobility impaired people with the opportunity and freedom to enjoy waters large and small all over the UK in our wheelchair accessible Wheelyboats. Our role is to help and encourage venues open to the public to acquire Wheelyboats for their mobility impaired visitors and to help groups and organisations acquire Wheelyboats for their own use.
Tall Ships Youth Trust
The Tall Ships Youth Trust, formerly The Sail Training Association, is a registered charity founded in 1956 that is dedicated to the personal development of young people through the crewing of ocean going sail training vessels. It is the UK’s oldest and largest sail training charity for young people aged 12-25.
Queenborough Harbour Trust C.I.C.
The Queenborough Harbour Trust is a not for profits organisation representing the interests of the local community and maritime users both resident and from further afield.
National Coastwatch Institution
The National Coastwatch Institution (NCI) is an entirely voluntary organisation keeping a visual watch along UK shores. Each station assists in the protection and preservation of life at sea and around the UK coastline.
Famous disabled sailors
Here are some well known and inspirational disabled sailing ambassadors. Why not find out more about them and their passion for boating:
Geoff Holt became an inspiration to many when he completed his ‘Personal Everest’ challenge. Geoff sailed 1,445 miles, solo, around Great Britain in a fragile 15-foot dinghy in 2007. Hailed an extraordinary, courageous achievement, Geoff is a passionate, talented yachtsman who uses a wheelchair.
Paralysed from the chest down after a swimming accident, Geoff secured another place in the history books when he become the first quadriplegic sailor to sail across the Atlantic in January 2010. As someone once joked, Geoff Holt is now the most admired disabled sailor since Nelson!
On 31st August 2009 Hilary Lister became the first disabled woman to sail solo around Britain, in a series of day sails starting from Dover in June 2008 and restarting from Plymouth on 21st May 2009.
Hilary sailed clockwise along the coasts of Cornwall, Wales, the east coast of Ireland, Scotland, The Caledonian Canal, the east coast of England and home to the finish line in Dover.