Our Story

Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating (CRAB) started serving individuals with disabilities on the Chesapeake Bay in 1991. Today we serve over 1,000 guests every year. CRAB was founded in 1991 by Don Backe.  He was paralyzed in a car wreck in 1989 when he was in his mid-50’s. A friend of his got him back into sailing and enthusiastic about bringing the thrill of sailing to others with disabilities.

With the generous assistance of many friends and volunteers, CRAB was launched. Don was successful in getting a fleet of four Freedom Independence 20’s donated.  These four sailboats are designed to accommodate all disabilities and are still in the CRAB fleet today. Don was an extraordinary man whose vision set the course for CRAB’s continued growth and service.

CRAB is dedicated to making the thrill of sailing a reality for physically and developmentally disabled individuals.

Our sailing operations are based at Sandy Point State Park off of Route 50 near the Western side of the Bay Bridge. CRAB's office is located at 177 Defense Highway, Suite 9, Annapolis, MD 21401.

CRAB relies on its volunteers as skippers, crew, land assistance and special events staff.

If you would like to volunteer, please see our Volunteer page.

don backe

Don Backe, CRAB Founder

Don was an extraordinary man whose vision made CRAB possible. Learn more about Don.