Roger Sutton

People with disabilities can enjoy accessible sailing trips on a 36-foot sailing yacht, with Cowes Sailability Club 

Roger Sutton

Tristan Woods on Spirit of Scott Bader

Cowes Sailability Club has announced that it will, once again, be making places available for adults and children with disabilities on the Isle of Wight to experience sailing in Spirit of Scott Bader, a 36-foot sailing yacht.  Owned by the Disabled Sailors’ Association, the yacht is fully accessible and able to accommodate people who use wheelchairs.    

A full-day or half-day voyage on the Spirit of Scott Bader can be a real adventure for disabled adults and children who otherwise have limited opportunities to participate in water-based activities.   The experience can be incredibly exhilarating and uplifting and provides valuable opportunities for building confidence, learning new skills and meeting others. 

Last year, during 2023, Cowes Sailability Club made over 130 places available for disabled islanders, their carers and volunteers to enjoy voyages on Spirit of Scott Bader.

Tristan Woods, a young man with autism has enjoyed several trips on Spirit of Scott Bader, through membership of Cowes Sailability Club.  His mum, Joanna English, believes that these experiences brought about a noticeable improvement in his mental health and confidence.  “Being onboard has a calming effect on him, improves his ability to focus and encourages him to engage with new people,” she says.  “He particularly likes it when the sea is rough!”

Cowes Sailability Club will be welcoming Spirit of Scott Bader to Cowes for 20 sessions between May and September 2024.  Places on full-day and half-day trips are available for a small charge, and people with disabilities can be accompanied by a carer.  Anyone who is interested in booking a place or has any questions should contact Mary on [email protected]

Cowes Sailability Club charters Spirit of Scott Bader through the Gwennili Trust, an approved RYA Sailability foundation organisation.  The Gwennili Trust works with a range of partner organisations to provide offshore yacht sailing opportunities for people with disabilities, offering respite and educational opportunities.