Sailability Nelson

enabling disabled nelsonians to experience the freedom and joy of sailing

Sailability Nelson is one of ten active clubs across New Zealand, all of whom are part of a worldwide movement. Thanks to the incredible support of the Nelson community we are able to sail from the Nelson Yacht Club every second Sunday.

We provide access to safe sailing to enrich the lives of Nelsonians with an intellectual or physical disability. Through sailing we enable people with disabilities to experience adventure and freedom - encouraging mobility, self-confidence and pride through achievement.

We currently have 25 to 30 sailors who sail in our five fully kitted out small Hansa yachts.

We are nearing capacity and without more volunteers we will have to start a waiting list.

Foster, enable, teach and coach.

 In developing pathways we have identified five steps,

  1. Provide an opportunity for those living with a disability to experience sailing

  2. Enable them to be able to sail independently

  3. Enable them to compete in local club competitions

  4. Enable them to compete at national level

  5. Potentially help identify our next paralympian sailor

The very special aspect here is the first step, is actually just as important as the last.


Sailability Nelson was set up in 2014. It is a charitable, volunteer-based trust chaired by John MacDuff with trustees, Dave Duncan (Harbourmaster), Pete Rainey, Kim Harris, John Harris, Helen McEwen and Stuart Allan.

We have seen a profound difference that sailing has made to Sarah
— Sally and John Webster – Sarah’s Parents