Family Sails

Inclusive sailing program designed for people with disabilities, their families, and caregivers.

Family Sails

Sailing is one of the few genuinely inclusive sports where people with and without disabilities share the same experience.

Families can enjoy fun and fulfilling outdoor recreation while CRAB’s experienced volunteer skippers and crew ensure the comfort and safety of everyone. For families and caregivers this can be a wonderful respite that is sure to provide special memories as they enjoy sailing together on the beautiful Chesapeake Bay.

Family Sails are offered free of charge and take place one Sunday and one Thursday afternoon each month. Other opportunities may be available.

Who Qualifies for the Family Sail Program?

CRAB offers its Family Sail Program to any person with a disability and their family and caregivers. In order to participate in a sail, the person living with a disability must participate in the sail.

  • Sails are free of charge.
  • Sails are designed to accommodate a person with any type of disability.
  • Family, Friends and Caregivers are welcome to join in the fun!

“For someone who grew up defined by disability, being able to steer a sailboat was a very, very big deal! Thank you for making this all possible!”

– Joan Chevalier

Join the Family Sail Program

If the Family Sail Program sounds right for you click the interest form button below and you will be contacted by CRAB staff to regiester for an event. Caregivers, families and people with disabilities can initiate the registration process.

Family Sails are scheduled 2-3 months in advance but that doesn’t mean you missed your chance. There may be more opportunities to sail so make sure you submit your form and get on our list today!

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.

Things to Consider

  • What time of day to you prefer to sail?
  • Who would you like to sail with you?
  • What type of activities are you looking to participate in?

I’m Ready to Sail

Fill out all of the registration documents. Once your documents are received, we will contact you via email with confirmation and next steps.

How will I get on the boat?

CRAB uses transfer slides and Hoyer Lifts to safely board guests with mobility challenges. CRAB staff and volunteers receive extensive training before they are qualified to help guests with the transfer process. Every guest is provided the utmost care for a safe an comfortable boarding experience.