Sailability have a go sailing

Sailability, Sailing is a sport that allows everybody, regardless of ability or disability to take part on a level playing field. There are many opportunities to get on the water for recreation or competition in boats that can be adapted to suit anybody. Have a go our contact details are below

Follow these links for more information

Learn to Sail disability suppliment- how the YNZ LTS dinghy syllabus can be changed to accomodate sailors with a physical disability.


Paralympic sailing - including information on Classification and the YNZ Development Programme and class progression guide


Inclusion Resources- a toolkit for clubs in providing inclusive programming and delivering sailing for people with a disability


Yachting New Zealand has formed a Committee for Sailors with a Disability that is responsible for ensuring that New Zealanders in this community have the chance to participate at all levels from grass roots up to  international competition.  Blind Sailing and Sailability organizations maintain their independence in this committee and share their expert knowledge to be spread nationally. For more information contact your Yachting New Zealand Regional Support Officer listed below.


I have a disability- How can I go sailing?

Sailing is a sport that can be made possible for anybody. For people with a physical disability, boats can be modified to meet the individual needs of the sailor, whether that be with an electronic servo system (similar to using a power wheelchair) or just the standard accessible dinghies with centreline seats and joystick steering. If you can’t get yourself into the boat, there are lifting systems that can help you in and out. Visually Impaired and blind sailors can use buoys with sound signals to let sailors know their location on the water.

Are there opportunities to race and participate in Regattas?

Yes. Once you have completed learn to sail and have the basic skills of steering and controlling the sails, you can start to enter regattas. There are a handful of events in NZ each year, and many more opportunities overseas as you progress.

Can the boats flip?

The ‘Hansa’ dinghies used in most NZ Sailability learn to sail courses are designed so that they cannot flip. This is done by placing lead in the centreboard or keel, so that no matter how hard the wind blows, the boat can’t tip over.

What other safety measures are in place?

When sailing, participants must wear a suitable life jacket/PFD and should be supervised by a safety power boat on the water too. While the choice of what style life jacket/PFD is often dependant on the type of sailing and an individual’s preference, more care must be taken with the choice for persons with a disability.

It is strongly recommended that individuals test their own life jackets to check their suitability, and that manufacturer's recommendations are followed, particularly in regard to servicing inflatable life jackets. Each accessible sailing programme will organize to have a Yachting New Zealand qualified instructor or coach, and a first aid officer on site. Weather conditions are always closely observed, if it is too windy sailing will be cancelled.

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