SAILABILITY - Supporting sailing for persons with a disability




Sailability is a world-wide organisation,which supports and facilitates sailing activities for everybody regardless of ability.

Sailability Australia is a program of Australian Sailing, which is a member of World Para Sailing.

Sailability South Australia  Inc.

Sailability was established in South Australia in 1994 with the support of Yachting South Australia and SPARC Disability Foundation. In 1998 the organisation became incorporated. The Committee meets monthly throughout the year.

Membership of Sailability SA supports the activities of SA's Sailability Clubs and covers insurance for sailors and volunteers and members receive newsletters each year.

Sailability SA has Hansa dinghies available to assist new groups interested in starting a program.

Sailability SA promotes and facilitates participation in sailing activities for persons with a disability.

Sailors are encouraged to join Sailability SA Inc for $40 from 1st July to 30th June to cover administration costs and newsletters.

Adelaide Sailing Club
Barcoo Road, West Beach 

Deirdre Schahinger: 0404 033 327

Adelaide Sailing Club is situated at West Beach behind the sand dunes at the end of Barcoo Road. Sailability days are on Sundays once a month during the summer sailing season. The Hansa dinghies are launched from the private pontoon to the south of the public boat ramp at the end of Barcoo Road. There is a hoist on the pontoon to assist people in and out of the boats and umbrellas on the deck to keep wheelchairs out of the sun. Sailability days start from midday and finish at about 4.00pm depending on the weather.

The fully accessible clubhouse is open for lunch on Sundays and if the weather is too windy Sailability members and visitors usually go to the bar and tell tall stories.

As well as the four double-handed 3.03 metre Hansa dinghies, Sailability SA has two racing Libertys one with optional electric controls for those sailors who wish to sail independently.  On Sailability days an Australian Sailing accredited sailing instructor is available to coach independent sailors. All visitors go sailing with an experienced sailor.
Goolwa Regatta Yacht Club 
Barrage Road, Goolwa

Brian Southcott: 0408 553 210

Our club has 8 Hansa 303 dinghies, 2 Hansa class Libertys and a Day Sailer. Regular sailing day are held on Saturdays 11monthsof the year, with some of the best sailing in the winter. Sailing starts at 9.30am and finishes at about 3pm. Lunch is available at the fully accessible club house for sailors, carers and family friends.

The 303 dinghies are usually used with 2 on board and is the boat for beginners as they sail with an experienced sailing volunteer. We have cranes and slings for people requiring assistance to board the boats. Once on board the boats proceed to out on to the River Murray for a pleasant cruise. As sailors progress they may wish to use the single handed Libertys for their cruise. Cruising and training are the norm before lunch. After lunch a course is set and we conduct several races.

Our Day sailer named “As Good As It Gets” is a 19ft boat with a large cockpit and is typically crewed by six sailors. It can follow the fleet during the afternoon racing or take people just cruising. During the summer months the Goolwa Regatta Yacht Club conduct Friday Twilight Racing and Sailability members are often seen racing in these events using “As Good As It Gets.”

To support all this boating we field 3 support boats with fully trained operators. For those uncertain about sailing we can take them on board these boats so they can observe the enjoyment of our Sailability sailors.

Our volunteers are police checked, familiarised in the use of the slings and hoists and the general requirements of members needs, training in the use of all equipment is run regularly throughout the year. Members, carers and family members are all welcome to join our Sailability’s sailing program and encouraged and activitely participate in its development.

Port Adelaide Sailing Club
George Robertson Drive, Largs North

Margaret Ashton: 0409 678 737

John Johnston: 0417 813 188

The club has one Hansa 2.3, nine 3.03 Hansa dinghies, two Libertys and two 20ft day sailor keelboats.  The 3.03 is designed to be sailed by one or two persons, whereas the Liberty can be sailed by one person only.  Both boats are very safe as they have weighted keels. Some very experienced sailors have, unsuccessfully, tried to capsize and sink the boats.  Yes, the boats can take on water when heeled over but will not sink, but continue sailing, albeit slowly.

Access to the marina is by ramps with the appropriate gradient for persons using a wheelchair.  If people can’t get into the boats independently, there are four lifting cranes fixed to the pontoon and with the use of the club’s slings or BYO sling if preferred, sailors can be safely lifted in and out of the boats. The club provides life jackets and it is compulsory for everyone going on the water to wear one.

The Sailability program at PASC is from October to March. The weekend social sailing is from 10.30am to 12 noon .followed by lunch (by arrangement) and preparation of the club’s regular Sailability sailors for an afternoon race, which usually commences at 1.00pm.  All social sailors and racing sailors, who are unable to sail alone, sail with a trained assistant sailing instructor.


The annual Sailability State Championship Regatta is held each sailing season and is the highlight of the year. The regatta is sailed at one of the above sailing clubs on a rotational basis.

Dis-Able Sailing

Royal South Australian Yacht Squadron
Oliver Rogers Road, Outer Harbor

Peter Aspinall: 0411 291 373

Deirdre Schahinger: 0404 033 327

Bob Schahinger: 0429 043 045


Dis-Able Sailing Inc. is a not-for-profit organisation that encourages and supports people with disability to go sailing providing a safe supportive environment for participants. Dis-Able Sailing Inc. provides a sailing activity and it is a meaningful recreation activity for people who would normally have difficulty engaging in “sailing activities” because of the supports required.

Dis-Able Sailing berth their 7.4m yacht Freedom at the Royal S.A. Yacht Squadron at Outer Harbor which is close to the Outer Harbor train station. Freedom has a large cockpit comfortable for six participants and two trained volunteers, is straight forward to get on board and safe with life lines round the yacht. Participants are encouraged to help pull up the mainsail and are given an opportunity to steer the boat.

Sailing is a fun sport which is both recreational and social. Small groups sail to the mouth of the Port River where there are seals and dolphins to observe and learn about keeping clear of the cruise liners, container ships and tankers. The program runs Tuesday to Thursday; Day Options groups come once a month all year round weather permitting.

Murray Bridge Water Activities Club
Murray Bridge

Ian Rick; 0414 870 932

The Sailability group of this new club have two Hansa 303 dinghies on a trailer with a built in crane and winch for people who need assistance to get into the boat. The club operates one Saturday a month 11 months of the year at Sturt Reserve.