Freedom Independence 20
|Overall Length:||20′, 6″|
|Keel:||Fin: 700 lbs|
|Sail Area:||230 sq. ft.|
Our fleet is comprised of four Freedom Independence 20 sailboats, two Catalina Capri 22's, a Martin 16 with a "Sip & Puff" steering system, a canoe, and a kayak.
The Freedom Independence 20 was designed by Gary Mull, a noted naval architect and designer of the Freedom Yachts fleet, (which includes the Freedom 28, 30 and 36).
The Freedom 20 is designed specifically for mobility-impaired sailors and features two chairs, counterbalanced below-decks, which pivot from one side of the boat to the other for tacking and jibing. The boats also have a 700-pound fin keels, which makes them exceptionally stable. The sails consist of a fully-battened mainsail and a club-footed jib (a jib with a boom).
Boarding our Fleet
Some individuals with physical disabilities will need assistance to transfer into and out of a boat. There are a variety of ways to do so, including use of a Hoyer lift, transfer box slide, and personal assistance. In all cases, the boat is securely tied to the dock for safety and ease of transfer.
Persons with paraplegia are routinely able to sail the Freedom 20 boats once they’ve been assisted aboard. CRAB Skippers and Crew assist guests on and off of the boat. We operate from floating docks so the height of the boat’s hull does not vary and the boat doesn’t move very much. The transfer box is a metal box with a hinged extension that unfolds and can be positioned like a ramp into the boat. There are stainless steel hand guards on the side. A guest in a wheelchair can stop next to the transfer box and with little or no assistance, shift to the transfer box and gently slide into the boat next to the cockpit seat. Then there is a transfer to the seat before being made secure by a chest and lap belt. The process is reversed for disembarking.
In addition to the transfer box, CRAB has a Hoyer hydraulic lift that is used to lift a person from their wheelchair in a hammock-like sling. The sling is raised by a hydraulic pump and then the arm of the lift is swung over the boat's cockpit seats and lowered to allow a person to safely and comfortably board the boat.
Altogether two people with disabilities can manage every aspect of sailing the boat. For safety, CRAB always provides a Skipper and if necessary additional Crew to ensure a safe and enjoyable sailing experience. Group Sail organizations are expected to provide a caregiver for each boat to assist with guest needs or to inform the Skipper of any issues requiring attention.