Disabled guest


karkauai
 

Hi, again gang,
Different kind of problem this time. I have a 90 year old uncle who had polio as a kid, did pretty well for most of his life despite some weakness in his legs, and has deteriorated a lot over the last 10+ years due to post polio syndrome. His mind is very sharp. He is an absolute NUT about boats and the water and has gushed ever since he found out about my new SM. My aunt tells me he's more animated and excited than she's seen him in a long time.

I want to take him for a sail in the Chesapeake this Summer for at least a day, hopefully more. His son is willing to come along to help, but isn't a sailor. I'm hoping someone else has tackled the problem of getting on and off the boat, and up and down the companionway, and over bulkheads to get to the head and stateroom. He lives in WA state, so I haven't observed him myself, but it sounds like he's able to get onto and off a motorized "scooter" type wheelchair, but not able to walk more than a few steps.

I feel like I can get him on and off the dock using a halyard and bosun's chair, and maybe up and down the companionway using the extra halyard on the mizzen. Getting around in the boat may be an even bigger problem with the cabin sole moving all the time and not much room for one of us to be at his side. I'm sending pics of the boat and have encouraged him to talk to his rehab doc and/or therapist for some evaluation and maybe a mockup "boat" for him to see how he does.

Does anyone have any experience with disabled people aboard? Are there any sailing programs for disabled folks like there are for snow skiing and many other activities? Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,
Kent
"Kristy" SM243


sherman.gifford
 

There is an organization in the northern Chesapeake Bay area for sailors with disabilities to sail on one-designs - the name is C.R.A.B. - I could try to locate their correspondence if you can't find it. And another absolutely incredible organization is the Jubilee Sailing Trust in the UK that operates two tall ships completely equipped for, and half crewed by, sailors with disabilities. They may have suggestions. Good luck!

Sherman Gifford
SM291 BREVIS
Richmond, VA

--- In amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com, "karkauai" <karkauai@...> wrote:

Hi, again gang,
Different kind of problem this time. I have a 90 year old uncle who had polio as a kid, did pretty well for most of his life despite some weakness in his legs, and has deteriorated a lot over the last 10+ years due to post polio syndrome. His mind is very sharp. He is an absolute NUT about boats and the water and has gushed ever since he found out about my new SM. My aunt tells me he's more animated and excited than she's seen him in a long time.

I want to take him for a sail in the Chesapeake this Summer for at least a day, hopefully more. His son is willing to come along to help, but isn't a sailor. I'm hoping someone else has tackled the problem of getting on and off the boat, and up and down the companionway, and over bulkheads to get to the head and stateroom. He lives in WA state, so I haven't observed him myself, but it sounds like he's able to get onto and off a motorized "scooter" type wheelchair, but not able to walk more than a few steps.

I feel like I can get him on and off the dock using a halyard and bosun's chair, and maybe up and down the companionway using the extra halyard on the mizzen. Getting around in the boat may be an even bigger problem with the cabin sole moving all the time and not much room for one of us to be at his side. I'm sending pics of the boat and have encouraged him to talk to his rehab doc and/or therapist for some evaluation and maybe a mockup "boat" for him to see how he does.

Does anyone have any experience with disabled people aboard? Are there any sailing programs for disabled folks like there are for snow skiing and many other activities? Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,
Kent
"Kristy" SM243


Bob Fritz
 

Kent,
The website for the Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating is http://www.crab-sailing.org/ Each year my community sailing center (not on the Chesapeake) devotes a day to sailboat rides for disabled persons. I can only say that these days are among the most rewarding sailing that I've done. The joy of our guests out on the water is almost beyond belief. I've even taken a quadriplegic person out sailing. He couldn't wait to get back to his facility to tell everyone about his day on the water.

I can't help with specifics as to how to get your uncle on and off the boat as we have students from the physical therapy program at a local university assist with loading and unloading our guests, and my boat, a non-Amel 35 footer, has lifelines that can be detached, so that bringing someone onboard from the dock is realtively easy.

Bob


karkauai
 

Hi again everyone. Just thought I'd bring you up to date on my sailing adventure with my disabled uncle.
My son and his grandson are coming along to help. I've rigged a crane using the main boom and the main preventer as a hoist to get him on and off the dock and in and out of the dink. Works like a charm using the bosun's chair and I can use a Hoyer sling (hospitals use to transfer patients from bed to chair) if he's not comfortable in the bosun's chair. He's convinced he'll be able to get up and down the companionway by himself, but I also tried using an extra halyard from the main with another from the mizzen. By running one through a block at the end of the other, I can adjust where it drops him down and will be able to guide him down the companionway if he needs help. Once on the cabin sole he says he'll just get around by holding onto handholds or going on his hands and knees...he said it might not be pretty but he'd figure out a way to do it. He's a determined old codger.

With my son and his grandson along I'm sure we're going to be able to make it work...we'll figure out the rest as we go.

I had given him the option of any of the 2 wks I'd be on the Chesapeake this summer to come along, and after hemming and hawing up until last week he finally allowed as how he'd like to stay the whole 12 days! Wish me luck.

By the way, the CRAB organization and several other disabled sailor programs were very helpful and encouraging, but when it came time to actually ask for some help I didn't get any takers.

Have a great summer and stay safe.
Kent
Kristy SM243