Sailing for the disabled
Winning a gold medal. Crossing the oceans. Being in sole control of a boat at sea.
These are things that disabled sailors can achieve, just as much as the able-bodied!
We have a more in-depth article, No Barriers
(sailing for the older generation and the disabled), which covers the basics of how and why.
The International Association for Disabled Sailing
are the worldwide governing body for disabled sailing, including racing at national and Paralympic level
(for example, the World Blind Sailing Championships).
International Foundation for Disabled Sailing (IFDS)
c/o ISAF UK Ltd, Ariadne House, Town Quay, Southampton, United Kingdom, SO14 2AQ
Telephone: +44 23 80 635 111
Blind Sailing International (BSI)
Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, P.O. Box 46182, Heme Bay, Auckland, New Zealand
Telephone: +64 94 103 346
Other useful resources
We have a selection of photos showing disabled sailors racing and the various seating arrangements on various boats.
Charities that can get you on the water:
In addition to the disabled sailing associations in your country there are charities which offer a variety of opportunities to get afloat. We currently have information for a few countries only:
Can anyone sail?
You do not need to be fit or able-bodied to sail, as there are such a variety of boats to cater for everyone. If you cannot swim, do not sail alone - just make sure your instructor or companion is aware. Disabled sailors may have to travel further to find a suitably-equipped sailing venue.Read more frequently-asked questions