Adaptive Sailing and Kayaking Update
from Executive Director, Mike Trovato
A pillar of PBCB’s mission is providing ‘Access to All’ to the recreational, educational, and therapeutic benefits of boating on Pleasant Bay. Through its Universal Access programs PBCB has traditionally been able to accommodate certain groups with limited access to sailing, ranging from blind and visually impaired sailors to youth and adults with developmental and cognitive challenges to our venerable seniors in conjunction with the area Councils on Aging.
Thanks to the generosity of our loyal donors, construction is now underway at PBCB’s waterfront on a new ADA accessible dock and curbside on a newly-designed drop-off area adjacent to it, which will greatly expand access to the water. These new upgrades will allow us to accommodate wheelchair accessibility going forward and enable individuals with physical disabilities to efficiently move from their vehicle to a sailboat or kayak and in a safe manner.
Additional accessibility enhancements to the new dock will include: two kayak launchers to facilitate adaptive paddling; and a hoyer-style lift and transfer slide box to allow anyone in need of special boarding assistance to safely transfer onto a boat.
To further advance its adaptive program, PBCB will be making appropriate sailboat and kayak seating and steering modifications to accommodate a wider range of physical disabilities and provide a better on-water experience for these participants.
PBCB will also be hosting a three-day Adaptive Sailing Instructor Workshop (conducted by US Sailing) in June which covers all aspects of creating and managing an adaptive sailing program. This course will allow some of our instructor staff to gain valuable insight about adaptive sailing programs through this knowledgeable resource.
All these additions to our campus, equipment and staff training combined will make it possible for PBCB to effectively expand its adaptive sailing and kayaking programs and provide a safe and enjoyable experience to people who may not otherwise have the opportunity to experience the freedom and excitement our sport can offer.
Either you decide to stay in the shallow end of the pool or you go out in the ocean.