Lymington SailAbility

This year the Lymington Seafood Festival is proud to be supporting Lymington SailAbilityand the Lymington RNLI


Lymington SailAbility is a small independent, local charity, with no administration that provides sailing and powerboat opportunities for people with disabilities. It provides a safe environment that still allows the sense of freedom and exhilaration that sailing can give.

Our independence is very important to us but comes at the price of having to work extremely hard to raise funds. Whilst we are not a lifesaving charity, we can be life changing, often giving people trapped by a disability a sense of control and enjoyment they thought they had lost forever.

Our mission is to make sailing and powerboating accessible to all; to date there has not been occasion when we have been unable to provide an on the water experience!

Find out more and donate

Founded in 1996, for the last 24 years Lymington Sailability has removed the barriers of disability, fear and expense. It has proved that sailing and power boating can be both accessible and affordable to all regardless of circumstance. It has also proven that with some slight modifications, some simple equipment and with a little help from others, it can be achieved easily and can be done safely.

We aim to sail twice a week between the months of April and October; we meet at the Bath Road car park. We have in our fleet, five trimarans. Their design makes them very stable and unsinkable. The boats are completely controlled from the rear cockpit by using either arms or legs. There is no need to jump about all over the boat, the person can remain seated in the same place throughout the sail. Despite the lack of movement from the person sailing the boat, the boats shape and sail size make it fast and fun.

We have a power boat called Susan Mary, which has the ability to be able to take groups of people who may not necessarily want to hand on sail but still like being out on the water. It also offers the opportunity for anyone, including wheelchair users to be able to take the helm of the boat. It has a drop bow, which means that we are able to wheel people in wheelchairs straight on to the boat.

We operate using the RYA best practice guide.

Periodically we offer opportunity for big boat or yacht sailing. For this, we buy in the services of another charity which has specially adapted yachts which can accommodate most types of disability, including wheelchairs.

Volunteers are a key part to our success; they form the backbone of the charity and we could not operate without them. From all walks of life and with no previous experience necessary, we welcome all who want to give us a hand. we are able to provide any necessary training.

The role of our volunteers is primarily to enable our sailors to get out on the water, duties are varied, from being a helping hand, a fixing hand, setting up, rigging and launching boats, driving the tractor to keeping a watch out on the water as crew on our fast safety boats.  It is rewarding and enjoyable.

We are proud to have good working relationships with Lymington Harbour Commissioners; Lymington Town Sailing club and Royal Lymington Yacht Club give us great support. Please come and say hello to the team this year at Lymington Seafood Festival and if you would like to get involved with the charity we would be delighted to chat to you!

In 2015 Lymington celebrated 50 years of Lifeboat Service. Today that proud history continues with the “David Bradley”, an Atlantic 85 Class Inshore Lifeboat. The Lifeboat of today is very different to where we started over 50 years ago. The Atlantic 85 was introduced to the RNLI fleet in 2005, capable of over 35 knots she has a crew of 4, and carries a full suite of advanced communication and navigational equipment. The Lifeboat lives in a purpose built Station in the Bath Road Car Park. The new Station was opened in 2006 and the Lifeboat is tractor trailer launched from the Public Slipway in Lymington.

The Lymington Lifeboat has a long history of saving lives at sea and has received numerous awards for bravery and distinguished service. That tradition of service remains well established with today’s all volunteer crew ready to answer a call for help. Providing that service requires high levels of support and funding. A team of volunteers provide that support, from the shore and boat crews through our fund-raisers, youth education and community safety teams, all play a critical part in delivering the RNLI’s mission.  To do this needs funding. As a charity we rely on the efforts of the volunteers but need your donations and your generosity to support this crucial work.

We have one clear aim: we save lives at sea. To do this we provide a 24/7 search and rescue service protecting the waters around the UK and the Republic of Ireland. The 238 Lifeboat Stations and over 400 Lifeboats are crewed by some 4700 volunteers. The RNLI provides Lifeguards at over 200 of the most popular beaches. They work tirelessly in providing key prevention and education messages to the community through the RNLI’s ‘Respect the Water Campaign’ so please help us to help those in need.