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  #1  
Old 08-29-2010
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Sailing solo with a disability

A friend of mine uses a wheel chair to get about. Nevertheless she wants to buy a boat (probably between 30 and 35 feet) to be able to go sailing, solo and unsupported.
She can move about on the boat but that will never be swift.

So there are quite a few obstacles to overcome. We will try to tackle them one at a time but we need to make a start.

Do you know of anyone who has done this? And I do not mean the paralysed english lady that sailed around the uk recently, she had a support team. We are looking for solo from letting go the mooring lines to reattaching them somewhere else!
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Old 08-29-2010
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Catamaran ?? See CLICKY

If that is too much money you should find an early Prout which would be easy to adapt.
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Old 08-29-2010
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Ah, no, cat has been set as not desirable... She wants to feel as normal as possible. So it is not required to have the wheelchair on deck or inside, all movement about the boat will be a combination of "walking on hands" and climbing.

Normal monohull with more or less invisible alterations.
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Old 08-29-2010
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Google "Disabled Solo Sailor". There is no shortage of information available with the click of a mouse. Whether wise is another question entirely.
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Old 08-29-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
Google "Disabled Solo Sailor". There is no shortage of information available with the click of a mouse. Whether wise is another question entirely.
Well, it seems that al I can find is about the mentioned quadraplegic lady with support team, Solo sailors with disabled boats and browsers with disabled javascript.

You are right, the question is not about "wise", that is another matter and not what this post is about...
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Old 08-29-2010
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As long as it is her idea and not someone else's....go for it.
Best of luck
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Seems like the question is more about her abilities than the boat's. And, as you know, that's not something that anybody but her can work with.

One question that would change things 'boatwise' is what kind of sailing is she looking to do? Daysail? Weekender? 7 day passages? Ocean crossings?

Also, what boat experience does she already have?

And, while I understand the desire to do everything 'normal', facts is facts. Both my father and my grandfather are in wheelchairs, and while my grandfather is a recent inductee to that club, my father has been sporting the wheels for most of two decades.

At the end of the day, he finds it useful to simply recognize that he's not of the walking variety of people, and a few changes to his environment are appropriate.

Obviously he's not her, and all of that. But if she allows herself a few conveniences, she'll find things like galley work (especially getting through the icebox), sail trimming, and navigating the companionway ladder much more challenging than it needs to be.

But, that's another issue, right? Back to the question.. what kind of sailing?
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Old 08-29-2010
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Although not quite in the same category of disability, Mike Harker is classified as a parapelegic, but he can get around using leg braces. A couple of years ago he did a circumnavigation in his Hunter 49, solo except for some passengers on three short passages. You might try to get in contact with him for some advice and suggestions. He Googles very easily.
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Old 08-29-2010
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Ah yes, there indeed is some info missing.

She is very fit and strong, very active in sports, primarily swimming and wheelchair basketball. She has been sailing since she was a kid so boat handling itself is not so much a problem as long as most of it can be done from the cockpit.

She has found that boats get too big easily.
To get about on deck wide deck/narrow cabin seems ideal (Is there a real name for that in English?), preferably without rigging.
Had a look at wileycat and freedom, wishbone rig seems a great option. Freedoms have a narrow deck and wileycat seem to have an overflowing emailbox.

The first aim is to get a boat where she can escape land for a few days, sailing on the big lake in the centre of the Netherlands. If she feels confident that may turn in to longer trips but that is not yet important and no problem if it does not go that way.

Mike Harker is a good tip, thanks so far guys!
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The San Francisco chapter of baads.org might be a place to get some info.
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