About Us

RYA Sailability was set up by the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) to give adults and children with any form of disability the opportunity to take up the sport and learn the skill of sailing.

Belfast Lough Sailability is a non-profit organisation run entirely by a team of dedicated volunteers who assist in the co-ordination of activities as well as enabling prospective disabled sailors to get afloat. It was established in September 2001 and received charitable status in May 2002 and continues to provide inclusive recreational opportunities for families and individuals. We rely on the support of the community and contributions from organisations to raise the necessary funds to purchase essential equipment and boats along with day to day running costs.

Since Belfast Lough Sailability was established, the fleet has been increased from the initial two Squib keelboats to our current fleet of six Access 303 wide dinghies, a Skud 18, two safety boats, a displacement boat, a Sea Rover 21, a Hawk 20, and three kayaks - see our boats page for more details .

Our aim is to train, educate and encourage more people with disabilities on to the water. We are an RTC Recognised Training Centre and have our own RYA qualified instructors as well as a team of RYA qualified disability awareness trainers who regularly host awareness events to educate those helping or working with disabled persons.

Some of our members, who themselves have disabilities, have gone on to gain coaching awards and are now passing on their skills. One such member is Steve Frecknall, Management Committee Member who is a wheelchair user:
I joined the group back in 2001 and since then I’ve gained my Royal Yachting Association Keel Boat Instructors Certificate and a considerable amount of on the water experience. It’s a great feeling being able to give something back to the sport that has really changed my life’.

Belfast Lough Sailability has grown rapidly over the last couple of years and is exceptional in that it provides an activity not only for the disabled individual but for the whole family unit. We offer people who think they can’t even get on a boat, let alone sail it, the chance to have a go.