We currently have a fleet of 27 sailing dinghies, comprising: – 11x Hansa 303W, 5x Hansa Liberty, 2x Hansa 2.3, 3x Laser Stratos Keel, 2x Martin 16, 1x RS Venture Connect, 1x Drascombe Lugger and 1x Drascombe Longboat.
In addition we have a Pioner Multi motor boat which enables full time wheelchair users access to the lake.
Hansa 303W Dinghy
Hansa dinghies were designed specifically to meet the needs of disabled sailors. With their heavily weighted keels and inbuilt buoyancy, they are very stable boats. Seated low, and facing forwards, movement within the boat is not required. The only controls needed for sailing are a joystick, with left/right movement for steering, and a rope, pulled or released, to control the sails. You will be able to start sailing these boats with an instructor, but once proficient you can easily sail them on your own or with a friend. One of our 303s has servo assisted controls.
A small gaggle of 303s just after rounding Mark D
The Liberty is twenty percent longer than the 303W but the same width, which makes the Liberty a very fast and high pointing sailing dinghy. The high coamings and wide side decks keep the boat dry even at extreme angles of heel and the two high aspect rudder blades ensure directional stability. The Liberty has two rudders because, being a single-seater, the boat has to be free to heel to extremes and still maintain directional stability. This is achieved as the Liberty heels by the canted leeward rudder digging in and becoming more efficient for those who have limited upper limb mobility. One of our Liberties has servo assisted controls.
The Hansa 2.3 dinghy is designed by the same team that developed the Hansa 303 and the Hansa Liberty, the Hansa 2.3 is a great addition to the fleet. With its simple rig and steering, the security of a ballasted centre-board and roller reefing, the Hansa 2.3 is an ideal entry level dinghy to learn to sail in. This makes it an excellent starter boat, especially good for children new to sailing. However, it is also keenly raced so do not underestimate it!!
Laser Stratos – Drop Keel version
The Stratos is a high performance dinghy, capable of providing either the opportunity to sail safely with instructors as an introduction on how to sail, or for more challenging sailing. It comes with a deep keel and a set of cut-down sails that make it a stable and safe boat. However, for those wanting a more exciting experience, it also has a larger sail set that can be reefed in stronger winds and a spinnaker (a large foresail which can be flown going downwind).
The Martin 16 was designed to be accessible to all sailors, with or without impaired mobility. It is a no compromise high performance sloop that is nonetheless very easy to sail. With comfortable adjustable fore and aft seating, it can be sailed solo or in tandem from either seating position. With a ballasted drop keel it is very stable and will stay afloat even if totally flooded.
The RS Venture is a remarkably stable and dependable boat with a carrying capacity of up to six people. The side by side seating makes it an excellent teaching boat and its easy conversion to a normal sailing dinghy makes it a good “transition” boat for sailors wishing to move from joystick steering to tiller steering.
The Darscombe Lugger was originally designed as a fishing boat. There is ample room in the uncluttered cockpit for up to 6, yet the hand rig is so well thought out that just one person can handle her with ease. The mainsail has no boom and can be easily reefed, giving more than enough headroom for even the tallest of crews!
The Longboat is similar to the Drascombe Lugger but is approximately 3 feet longer. It can take up to 9 people and there are 2 hard seats for those needing extra stability.
The Pioner Multi has a unique ‘drop bow’ system, with the door being wide enough to permit most wheelchairs. The boat is easily large enough for at least 4 wheelchairs and can carry a maximum of 8 people.