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Supported Sailing

At Sailability WA, we are committed to ensuring everyone can enjoy the vast and plentiful benefits of the recreation we are so passionate about. Supported sailing provides the opportunity for people of all abilities to participate in a way that is suited to their requirements.

Sailability WA offers two supported sailing options during the week as outlined below.


Act, Belong, Commit Supported Sailing

Supported sailing on Wednesday morning is for mobile participants able to board the boats with minimal assistance and without hoisting. 

Participants are able to elect whether they sail on a larger keelboat, or smaller two-person dinghy. At Sailability WA we have decades of experience and so will assist with the appropriate boat selection, always with the participant’s safety and enjoyment in mind. 

An agency support person must accompany and an agency participant on the larger keelboats. In the case of the smaller two-person dinghies, the support person stays ashore but must remain in the vicinity. To sail in a dinghy, we ask that the participant is comfortable being apart from their carer, calm and enjoy the water. 

Set sail on a Wednesday morning on the beautiful waters of the Swan River. Feel the fresh breeze and enjoy the feeling of freedom at a gentle pace, with an experienced volunteer skipper and crew members. 

If skippering the boat and taking a leading role in crewing is of interest, we encourage participants to work with the skipper and crew to make this possible. Otherwise, sit back, relax and enjoy all sailing has to offer. 


Act, Belong, Commit High Support Sailing

Supported Sailing on Thursday morning is for wheelchair users who require hoisting aboard the boats. There is also a rigid motorised floating pontoon called Nev Thomas, which we can use for electric wheelchair participants, that wish to remain in their electric wheelchair. 

On high support Thursdays, participants are hoisted from their wheelchairs and settled comfortably into beanbags and cushions on the larger yachts. There are no dinghies used on Thursdays.

There are limited hoists to lift participants into the boats, therefore we ask that you arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your session time, to ensure you are ready and on board in time. Carers are responsible for placing their client into the sling, with volunteers ready to used the hoist to guide the sling and place the participant into the bean-bags on board. 

Experience volunteer skippers and crews take the yachts onto the beautiful local waters of Matilda Bay, for a gentle and relaxing sail. 

Nev Thomas

Nev Thomas is a motorised pontoon, which Fishability generously lend Sailability, once a week. The pontoon enables people who are unable to be lifted from their wheelchairs, to get out onto the water.

Participants remain in their wheelchair, accompanied by their carer and are secured to the vessel and travel at a leisurely pace on the Swan River.

Destinations for the cruise include Elizabeth Quay, or over to Applecross. Please be aware there are limited places available on the Nev Thomas and they are reserved for those unable to sail any other way.

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Happy participants

“A Huge thank you to all for giving Emma the opportunity to feel the wind on her face and enjoy the experience of sailing.”

Jill, Emma's mum

Thursday supported sailing participant