Here at Sail Birmingham we firmly believe that sailing should be available and accessible to all regardless of addtional needs. We work in partnership with the Royal Yachting Association and their Sailabiltiy team to provide opportunities and equipment to facilitate sailing sessions for those with additional needs.
We have a small fleet of specially designed boats that have several differences to a standard sailing dinghy - it doesn't make it any less fun (in fact it means participants can concentrate on having more fun).
- Forward facing seats - our 2 person boats allow one or two people to sail in the same boat without the need to be mobile within the boat.
- Simplified controls - A simple joystick provides the steering
- 1 control for the sail - no need to spend time looking at how to trim the sail perfectly
- Super stable - a huge lead weight under the boat virtually eliminates the possibility of capsize
It's not just the boats that need to be accessible - we have a purpose built stable pontoon that has a wheelchair accessible ramp so that people can access the boats from the shore easily without needing to get wet. To get the participants into the boats we have, if needed, a hoist that allows transfers from a wheelchair on the pontoon straight down into the boats - we use this oftern with more able users too with balance problems.
Within our club house currently only the ground floor is accessible to those with mobility needs, on this floor there is:
- Wheelchair accessible toilet
- Wheelchair accessible shower
- 2 Large group changing rooms, although not wheelchair accessible these have standard doors with benches and showers in each
Thanks to a recent grant we are in the process of enabling the 2nd floor to be accessed by wheelchairs and those with mobility needs by installing an external lift. This will allow access for all to our galley (kitchen), lounge area and large meeting/club room (not forgetting the amazing views across the reservoir!)
Last updated 11:58 on 14 November 2019