Winner of the prestigious MYDA award (Millenium Yacht Design Award) in the division “The boat on a human scale”, 2015 Alessandro Comuzzi’s R-30 bridges the gap between able bodied and disabled sailors by designing a sailboat conceived from the beginning to accommodate disabled sailors
R_30 is a 30ft innovative and slick boat designed both for racing and comfortable enough for fast cruising
To accommodate wheelchair bound sailors, the wheel has no spoke allowing the dis abled sailor to sit in the middle as would any able bodied driver.
I know, you are going to ask: How about when the boat heels? The wheelchair sits on a self stabilizing platform connected to a gyroscope on the mast that corrects the incline of the platform to compensate for the heel and keep the dis able bodied sailor in a comfortable position
While Comuzzi’s approach is interesting, he assumes that only the driver position needs adaptive accommodations. The deck shows a configuration where the driver can handle both the wheel and sheets, which is common on a lot of adaptive dinghies but somewhat unlikely on a 30ft or bigger boat. He also assumes that the crew if there is crew will be able bodies, not dis abled, as such, no adaptive accommodations have been made for a dis abled crew.
We need to stop thinking about adaptive boat design like we think about adaptive car driving and start thinking about adaptive sailing in terms of crew rather than single individuals
Comuzzi’s approach shows promises but still a lot has to be done to make the R_30 a truly adaptive boat allowing dis abled crews to sail together and compete in crewed races.
What are your thoughts