Instructor Training & Safety
For three decades, the sailing staff at Sail To Prevail has led the way in the development of innovative adaptive sailing programs and instructor training.
First of all, each of our instructors is a highly skilled sailor equally comfortable sailing in sheltered waters and the open ocean. Secondly, all are Small Boat Level 1 Instructor certified by US Sailing. Lastly, we take our staff training several levels higher by focusing on the key skill sets needed to effectively impart their knowledge and enthusiasm for sailing to our many participants. By developing a keen sense of a participant’s perceived abilities, our instructors modify and adapt basic sailing skills to create an environment that’s exciting and safe. When coupled with our specially designed Independence 20 sailboat, our instructors can effectively impart their knowledge to sailors with various physical or developmental disabilities.
Safety is Top Priority
Safety is top priority in the Adaptive Sailing program, and we are proud of our injury-free record for more than 30 years. Instructors are US Sailing Level 1 Certified, as well as receive specialized training at Sail To Prevail for working with individuals with disabilities. Of course, every participant is fitted with a personal flotation device (life vest) before they even enter the dock. Our docks at Fort Adams State Park are built extra wide to accommodate wheelchairs. Hydraulic lifts are used when necessary to transfer physically disabled participants from the dock into a specially-adapted seat in the sailboat. Parents and program staff (for groups) are encouraged to sail with their children for encouragement and supervision. The sailboats themselves are specially designed for stability on the water. All our sailboats are equipped with marine radios, flares, and safety equipment. A Safety Officer, in a power boat, is available at all times to assist in case of an emergency. Our policy is to never overcrowd a sailboat, but always limit the number of passengers according to safety regulations. The weather is always taken into consideration, and sailing is cancelled in adverse weather conditions. Likewise, sailing instruction is not scheduled on exceptionally busy days in Newport Harbor, such as music festival weekends at Fort Adams. In 2012, Sail To Prevail replaced our entire fleet of “Independence 20” sailboats, which is a major positive step toward continuing our safety record with new equipment that will reduce the chance of malfunction.