Sailors with disabilities love sports and recreation as much as anybody. But I never thought about how a trimaran can be such an ideal watercraft … one uniquely qualified to assist disabled sailors.
Disabled sailors are using trimarans (in increasing numbers) to enjoy fast sailing, participate in multihull sailing competitions and have just plain ole’ good fun. Ted Dexter, of Duck Flat Wooden Boats in Australia, opened my eyes to this benefit, which is offered by certain trimarans.
Ted is the proprietor of Duck Flats, which is a business that builds boats, sells boat plans, boat parts, teaches sailing classes, and offers just about does anything else a person would need to acquire a boat in order to go sailing.
I thought that I was simply going to talk to Ted about designer John Marples’ Seaclipper 10 (3M) trimaran and the Seaclipper 16 (5M) trimaran when I called him. These 2 sailboats were among those on my list that I wanted to include in my book about small trimarans. Ted was the go-to guy to get the scoop on these boats because Duck Flat Wooden Boats sells these Seaclipper plans for home builders … which you can see by clicking on the link.
Ted told me these small trimaran sailboats are popular with just about everyone who discovers them. But they’ve proven to be especially popular among paraplegics, including Australia’s Paralympic basketball team.
As Ted talked about the way the Seaclipper trimarans are designed, it made perfect sense.
So I began to wonder if anyone else out there was promoting trimarans so disabled sailors can find out more about them. It turns out there are at least a couple of others … in Europe.
You can see more pictures of the Challenger small trimaran here.
There is also a World Multihull Sailing Championship for the Disabled.
After some more Internet searching, there appears to be a a number of production sailboats being adapted for sailors with physical challenges. You can view a demo of one particular trimaran sailboat on YouTube.
For more basic information, US Sailing has set up a section of their website specifically dedicated to helping sailors with disabilities find information and resources related to the sport of sailing at their website.