When you first step in to a small dinghy or sail away single-handed, it is an emotional experience...
Our aim is to get you on the water no matter what your disability - to learn to sail in a safe environment, to simply enjoy yourself in the company of others, or to develop your competitive skills - to give you a sense of freedom...
You may have no sight; be confined to a wheelchair; have a learning difficulty, but whatever your disability, we will try and get you out on the water.
You may be a potential volunteer wondering if you can help... you have sailed before... or never been near a boat... either way, we would welcome you and promise you an enriching experience, and plenty of humour and fun with everyone involved, be they other volunteers or disabled sailors.
The first step..... get in touch with us
Wealden Sailability was formed in July 2008 and until June 2011 operated at Bough Beech Reservoir under the name of Bough Beech Sailability. In June 2011 the name was changed as a result of moving to Chipstead Sailing Club where we operate as a group member. We are a registered charity and member of the RYA Sailability scheme. The charity is organised and run entirely by volunteers and we welcome everyone no matter what their disability. Our philosophy is to encourage our sailors to develop their sailing skills so that they may aim towards achieving personal goals, which may be simply to enjoy the freedom of being on the water, or to progress to taking full control and sailing solo, or even to learning to race.
The aims of the charity are:
a. To provide or assist in the provision of facilities for recreation or other leisure time occupation for people with disabilities with the object of improving their condition of life in particular but not exclusively by:
i. coaching, recreation, and, where appropriate, competitive opportunities in sailing for disabled people in the local community and from such other areas as may be determined from time to time.
ii. providing an introductory methodology whereby disabled sailors might be accommodated within the normal operations of a sailing Club
When do we sail?
We sail from mid April to mid October on a Tuesday. Check out the News page for any announcements.
Who can sail with us?
We know that if you have any disability, then life can be more restricted than for others, so we try to overcome some of the limitations to outdoor activities. Our main ethos is:
We try to cater for anyone and everyone with a disability.
We have no restriction on age or disability.
Talk to us. If at first we do not have a solution to a problem, we will try to find one Ė new ideas are always welcome.
If you need to be accompanied on the water, then that is not a problem. We are happy to involve carers and our own instructors are happy to help out where needed.
What do you need to bring?
Outdoor clothing, suitable for the weather.
A change of clothing and footwear, (in case you get wet).
Waterproof over-clothing (there may be rain and there will probably be spray).
Suitable footwear. Trainers, or similar, that you donít mind getting wet.
Sunscreen, (if its hot and sunny).
Food and Drink
A hat, cap or hood, that wonít blow off, to keep your head warm if its cold.
We will provide.
We will try to develop each individualís potential and get you to a level where you can sail on your own.
We can provide RYA accredited training.
Anyone on the pontoon or on the water must wear an appropriate buoyancy aid.
There will always be someone present with 1st Aid Training
A Safety Boat will always be launched before any disabled sailor goes out sailing. It will have a competent driver and crew who will keep you out of trouble and help you if you get into any difficulty.
Facilities and Equipment.
There is wheelchair access to all parts of the Clubhouse and onto the pontoon.
There is a hoist available if needed, for assisting people into and out of boats.
It costs nothing to come down and try for the first time.
If you like it, and wish to come again, then we have to charge a small fee to cover our operating costs and to help to buy more boats and equipment. This is currently £5 per person per half day session. If the dinghy being used is an Access 303 (which can take two people), then this charge can include a sailor and their companion carer.