Providing the therapeutic benefits of sailing to people with disabilites, recovering warriors, and youth from underserved communities.
Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating (CRAB) is the premier provider of unrestricted access to the Chesapeake Bay. CRAB is the only boating program offering equity and equality to our guests in a fully accessible environment at no cost to them.
It All Adds Up
CRAB has provided life-changing experiences to thousands of guests for more than 30 years and is honored to provide this unique service on the largest and most scenic estuary in the United States, the Chesapeake Bay. This would not be possible without the generous support of many volunteers, sponsors and individual donors.
CRAB Cup for Accessible Boating
The 17th Annual CRAB Cup will be held Saturday, August 19, 2023. This event is the largest fundraiser of the year for Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating. Your support will make it possible for CRAB to offer its sailing and boating programs free of charge for people with disabilities, recovering warriors, and children from underserved communities.
In 2022 the CRAB Cup had 103 boats registered for the pursuit race and a growing number in the 2nd Annual Poker Pursuit. Our family-friendly races are sure to generate a few stories to share at the shore party! The party is held at the Eastport Yacht Club and starts at 4:00. More than 500 guests dance to the live music and dine on the delicious food provided by Boatyard Bar & Grill.
Thirty years ago, Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating began providing the thrill, freedom, and therapeutic value of sailing to people with disabilities, wounded warriors, and children from underserved communities. During this time period, CRAB operated from a state park called Sandy Point just north of the Bay Bridge. After four years of working with the State of Maryland, Anne Arundel County, and the City of Annapolis, CRAB will have a new home in Annapolis. The property was formerly Port Williams Marina on Back Creek. In the coming months, the property will be cleared of its buildings in the marina in preparation for the construction of the premier adaptive boating center in the country. When construction is completed in 2021, the property will be the new home of the Don Backe Learning Center as well as CRAB offices for the operation of the facility. The center will feature a barrier-free, year-round learning environment that will be a warm and welcome place for CRAB guests with any disability. CRAB will offer boating instruction, STEM programming, and exercise classes taught by licensed instructors or therapists. The modern docks will exceed ADA standards and be fitted with several hoyer lifts to lift and transfer guests from their wheelchairs into CRAB sailboats or privately owned boats. The marina will also have a slip with a boat lift for a new pontoon boat that’ll be able to take guests in their wheelchairs out on the bay to fish, crab, wakeboard, or to earn their Maryland boating certification. The marina will have an 80-foot T-head of unobstructed docking space for larger boats that may transit the area and wish to host guests with disabilities. The property will feature a serenity park with a pavilion to allow guests and their families or friends to enjoy a picnic lunch while overlooking all of the boats coming and going on Back Creek. Outdoor instruction on the lawn will provide an enjoyable backdrop overlooking the CRAB fleet. When the Adaptive Boating Center is complete in 2021 it will be the premier facility for people with disabilities, wounded warriors, and children from underserved communities to access and enjoy the Chesapeake Bay. We expect many more CRAB guests to share the same feeling as one guest who told us, “Thank you for taking me the farthest I’ve ever been from my wheelchair and the memories of the accident that put me in it.” We look forward to seeing you at the ribbon cutting.
“This experience has given me inspiration that angels actually do exist. They’re just not two feet tall with wings. They’re human beings that walk this earth and look just like a normal person. But in fact, they’re truly angels.”
It’s the people, not the facilities, that show off CRAB’s strengths. Volunteers and staff are professional, attentive and recognize us as family when we return.
– Wayne Valentine
CRAB volunteers are dependable, energetic and compassionate about teaching sailing to our guests with disabilities.
Frequently Asked Questions
There is no cost for sailing with CRAB. CRAB relies on donations to support its operational and facilities costs.
Sign up using this form! Or email Sarah, [email protected], to reserve your spot for a sailing event.
Water, snacks, a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, rubber soled shoes, and weather-appropriate clothing – note that it can be cooler on the water. We will provide life jackets (PFDs) for all participants.
CRAB’s Beneteau First 22A sailboats have special seating and seatbelts that provide a secure and comfortable place to sit in the cockpit of the boat. You will leave your chair at the dock!
Sailing requires the cooperation of the weather. In the event that it is raining, too windy, no wind, or too hot, we will not be able to go out. Safety is our number one priority. Guests who register for the event will be notified if it is canceled.
Yes! Our Family Sail Sunday event is open to families and friends of registered guests. They can also come to regattas and watch you race.