Making Your Vessel Accessible for the Disabled

Making Your Vessel Accessible for the Disabled
By Urban Miyares, Co-Founder, Challenged America Program

“Urban – My wife now has MS and uses a wheelchair. How can I make our 30 foot sailboat more wheelchair friendly so she can continue to be active as crew and enjoy being on the water? Jim L.”

Over the years we’ve received many such requests, from both sail and power boat owners wanting to make their vessels more accessible and accommodating for themselves and others with disabilities. As a matter of fact, just in the past couple of weeks I’ve had 3 such requests – which prompted me to write this blog.

If you have a physical, mobility or sensory challenge (whether permanent or temporary) or diagnosed with a hidden medical condition, you’ll immediately discover how unfriendly most boats are. Their design is not accommodating to the disabled. However you can make your sail or power boat more welcoming and comfortable to crew members and passengers with impairments.
Following is but a beginning outline to help guide you in making your vessel more accessible to those with physical challenges. Continue reading

The Dash to Chula Vista 2013

Planning is underway for the 2nd DASH to Chula Vista – a 2 day regatta hosted by Chula Visa Yacht Club. On Saturday, April 13, our Martin 16s will race 8 miles from Harbor Island to Chula Vista Marina. Then we’ll race back on Sunday.

More details to come, but if you’d like to participate as a sailor, companion or volunteer, please . We need volunteers to prepare for the event, solicit raffle items, assist at the docks and on chase boats, and be Martin 16 companion sailors.

Sailing is free, donations are welcome and help us keep the program free. To make a secure, tax deductible donation, click here

Click here to view photo galleries from the 2012 Dash to Chula Vista

New donation, a beautifully restored Erickson 35

She has been at the Challenged America docks for a little over a week.  This 1971 Erickson 35 has been beautifully restored by her previous owner.  The woods are beautifully varnished, engine rebuilt all new deck hardware, including new Anderson winches.

Erickson 35 drawings

“Dash To Chula Vista Race” – April 21-22, 2012

Prepared for a Different Type of Martin 16 Race? Get ready Martin 16 sailors, novice and experienced alike, April 21 & 22 will be the first “Dash To Chula Vista” Race, hosted by Chula Vista Yacht Club.

Starting from our new location on Harbor Island, and (Leg One) finish at the Chula Vista Yacht Club, on Saturday April 21 – where a Welcoming Party will be waiting for you, complete with food, beverage and fun. Then, leave your Martin 16s behind and motor back to the Challenged America dock on Harbor Island…rest at home…and then return, the next day (April 22) to Challenged America and we’ll take you to Chula Vista YC (or you can drive), for the start of Leg Two, from the Chula Vista YC to the finish line at Challenged America on Harbor Island.

A great opportunity to experience a distance race from the North Bay to the South Bay, and learn so much more about sailing and your Martin 16. This will be a fun event for everyone, sailors, family members and friends. Sponsors are welcome and needed.

Notice will be sent to all on the Challenged America Newsletter list, once arrangements have been made…but mark your calendars today for the “Dash To Chula Vista” Race.