SAILABILITY INTERNATIONAL
NEWS, VIEWS AND REPORTS ON SAILING FOR DISABLED PEOPLE
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that can be sailed by ANY disability
(not some disabilities)
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CHALLENGER
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standard layout

very stable

fast in good breeze

aerorig version

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EDITORIAL REVIEW

Updated Jan 05 - Report by Mike Wood, spinal injury at C6/7, paralysed from chest down with partial use of hands, good triceps and biceps and some lats - Updated Nov 04. Based on sailing Challengers of all types over a period of 10 years at Club, National and International Competition level and owning two.



QUOTE FROM WEBSITE....... The boat can be set up as a full racing dinghy and can meet the needs of a large range of disabilities. It is raced as a single handed boat but it can be adapted to have a buddy on board to help. Racing is goverened by the ISAF Racing Rules of Sailing and the Class Association rules. The Challenger has a PY handicap of 1200 Although the boat could never be classed as a one design, the class will retain close control of the design through a restricted design policy. Currently in the UK regatta program there are 3 levels of competition ( Bronze, Silver, Gold)contained in a single fleet. This arrangement caters for a wide range of ability.


A good website is at -
www.sailchallengers.com/

Class Association -
www.myweb.tiscali.co.uk/sailchallengers

An able-bodied report -
www.beachcats.com/NewFiles/challenger.html/


My judgement it can be a fun boat in a good breeze, easy to sail, but it's single sail, uncomfortable and unsupportive seat, the ease it gets into irons and difficulty getting out again, and the problems taking it apart and putting it together again for moving it arround make it a bit of a pain and not a boat of choice.

5/10 - As a boat for all types of disabilities - the seat and controls do not make this a great boat for all types of disabilities but with electric winches starting to be fitted more disabilities will be able to sail the boat.

4/10 - As a boat for experienced disabled sailors - it is a fun boat but many experienced sailors wont sail it.... possibly not enough sails or tuning.

5/10 - As a training boat - although many people have added extra seats to the side the controls and performance do not make this an ideal boat.

9/10 - Ease of rigging - very easy indeed, the only reason I do not give it 10 is that I cant do it myself.

3/10 - Ease of transport and launching - it is easy to assemble but it takes time and two people.

7/10 - Controls - very simple, easy and nice to use for all but the most seriously disabled and some disabilities may not reach all controls.

9/10 - Quality of fittings and build - good quality mouldings and fittings.

9/10 - Getting in and out - very easy for almost everyone.

6/10 - Sailing qualities - in a good breeze this is a fun boat to sail but it will not forgive a mistake when tacking and does not have a lot of tuning available.

8/10 - As a club boat - you can leave it assembled, its a tough as old boots, its stable and easy to rig and sail, and instructor/carer seat can be added - what more can you ask... its only real drawback is that it takes up a lot of space.

SCORES 65/100 ON THE BOAT CHART

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MY OPPINION.......

is that this boat was the mainstay of sailing for disabled people for a long time and although it did a lot of good it also did some bad in that it put off some people.

But it is a good boat and I think only poor marketing prevented it being taken up around the world. What a wonderful boat this would be in the shallow waters of the Florida Keys (and just to upset you this is where I am writing this report - Christmas Day, gusting to 30kts, flat calm, all the Hobies blown over, temperature 31 degrees).

At first sight it looks as if the pontoons will hinder getting in and out but they are easy to lift and you can juggle them into a position to help get in and out.

The seating is OK for most people and easy to modify, the controls, yes both of them!, fall to hand and again can be easily modified. Seats for instructors, passengers, carers can be fitted to the pontoon poles.

The Challenger sails OK in light airs but can get into irons easily and there is a technique to get it going again. In good breezes this is not so much of a problem and the boat is pleasantly quick and fairly responsive.

Some controls may be a bit awkward or out of reach for some disabilities but they are very easy to modify.

The Challenger is very stable. BUT IT CAN CAPSIZE. It will dig a hull in in gusts and you get very wet but rarely feel the boat is under any stress or likely to cause you a problem.

If anything the Challenger is a little underrated, but its been around a long time and a design update or new modern technology/method design on the same lines could be a very good.




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