Partnership with Sailability extended

More Tasmanians living with a disability will get to experience the joy of sailing after TasPorts extended its partnership with not-for-profit organisation, Sailability Tasmania.


11 April 2023

For the next two years, Sailability Hobart will dock its fleet of sailing boats at TasPorts’ Kings Pier Marina free of charge in an effort to make sailing more accessible for Tasmanians with disabilities.

Sailability secretary Alan Champion said without the support of TasPorts, these services wouldn’t exist.

“The facilities at Kings Pier Marina are ideal for people living with a disability,” he said.

“Being so central and accessible allows us to offer our services to everyone, all year round.”

Sailability is the only organisation in the state to offer sailing opportunities at this level and scale.

“We have clients of varying abilities, and at Sailability, we pride ourselves on being able to offer sailing experiences to basically anyone,” Mr Champion said.

“To be able to give so many Tasmanians the opportunity to get out in a boat and to enjoy sailing is such a great feeling.

“Seeing the joy on the faces of people who are less communicative when they feel the wind in their hair and on their face is indescribable.”

Sailability boats have been designed with big open spaces and minimal obstacles, which is not typical for an ordinary sailing boat.

“Without these modifications and our team of dedicated volunteers, a lot of our clients would not have the chance to sail,” Mr Champion said.

TasPorts has also given Sailability a grant to repaint two Payne keel boats with protective non-slip paint.

“The two boats being repainted are the hardest working sailing boats in Hobart; they are out most days, meaning they get a lot of wear and tear,” Mr Champion said.

“Most recreational sailing boats will only go out one day a week, compared to our boats that are getting five to 10 times the use.

“The paint is really important for preserving and keeping the boats in good order, and more importantly, the painting provides a non-slip surface for those on the boat.

“We are very appreciative of TasPorts; without its support, it would be next to impossible for us to offer our services at the level that we do.”

Originally published in the Hobart Observer.