Join Date: Oct 2011
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my first post, questions regarding ASA certification and disabilities
first I would like introduce myself. My name is Eitan Waks, and I am 29 years old. In fact, I will be 30 in about a month. I think it's been at least two or three years since I've been thinking about sailing in a serious manner. several weeks ago I began sailing a small dinghy and found it very enjoyable. I always envied the beautiful yachts sailing alongside.
I currently work as a mechanical engineer in high output stressful environment. I've decided that in 3 to 5 years from now I will begin cruising the world. I can't see myself continuing in this manner for long (8:30 AM until 8:30 PM is common). Therefore, about a week ago I decided that cruising is definitely my future.
In addition to being a mechanical engineer, I am also handicapped. When I was 20 years old I was injured during the Army. I broke my C 4/5 vertebrae in my neck. As a result, I was paralyzed from the neck down. Over the years I have regained some function of my arms. I can use both my arms however I have limited to no control over my fingers. I am providing all this information because of the following question.
Although I'm currently enjoying sailing on an accessible 18 foot sailboat (18 foot Scud) with the wonderful help of the local sailing school and the veterans Association, I would like to sail on a sailboat in which I can travel. In order to feel confident I would like to take courses. Either ASA or RYA (hopefully eventually the 106/108 or the RYA equivalent). The problem is, I can't handling the ropes by myself, complete a man overboard, etc.
Should I be taking these courses (101, 103, 104, 105) considering my disability?
by the way, I have only found one yacht that is currently accessible and available for charter. I plan to charter a yacht and acquire private lessons from an accredited school in the Mediterranean. (I live in Israel)
eventually, I would like to purchase a used 45-55 foot yacht and make her accessible for my needs, both sailing (electric winches, etc.) and accommodation (completely wheelchair accessible below deck). Out of curiosity, what would be a ballpark range for the cost of such a project? (I don't need anything luxurious, just a safe hull and to make it accessible).
By the way, I will always have someone to help me. I don't plan on sailing alone, ever.
Thank you for all the great help, I am enjoying reading this forum.