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RYA launch new Powerability scheme at the Southampton Boat Show

by Susie Nation-Grainger 15 Sep 2017 20:19 BST 15 September 2017
RYA unveil their brand new Powerability scheme © RYA

Today at Southampton Boat Show, the RYA unveiled their brand new Powerability scheme which will help disabled boaters to gain RYA recognised powerboat training and certification.

On the RYA stand, RYA Sailability Manager Joff McGill explained: "We're really excited to officially launch RYA Powerability. Although using powerboats to get disabled people on the water is nothing new, this new scheme will be a stepping stone for some and for others it's a chance to gain a first RYA certificate".

The programme has been developed with Dart Sailability in Devon, which six years ago launched its own powerboat qualification after recognising potential in the young people and adults who sailed with them.

As part of the RYA Sailability certificate scheme, powerboaters can track their progress, develop their achievements and celebrate their success. Powerability compliments and dovetails into the RYA Powerboat training at level 1 with the syllabus covering everything from clothing and safety equipment, to getting started in a powerboat and developing crew skills.

"We hope Powerability will help to break down any barriers that might exist and build a pathway into the rest of the RYA powerboat scheme" Joff continues. "For many disabled people, learning to drive a powerboat may not have been an option before, but now there will be more places to learn which have a range of accessible boats available".

One of the many organisations who provide accessible powerboats to Sailability sites are the Wheelyboat Trust.

Andy Beadsley, Director, joined Joff to support the launch. "We're excited to witness the launch of the RYA's new Powerability Scheme. For people with a disability, it's not just about getting on and off the boat that's important but being able to have to have full control. We're delighted to be able to support the RYA to roll out this important scheme to a large number of organisations operating Wheelyboats across the UK".

The new Powerability logbook includes some 30 tasks with Bronze, Silver and Gold certificates available and can down be downloaded directly from the RYA Online Shop.

More information can be found at

Achievement certificates can be issued by Sailability accredited sites that are also Recognised Training Centres for powerboating.

Sailability is the national programme run by sailing's governing body, the RYA, giving people with disabilities the chance to try sailing and to take part regularly. The British network of no fewer than 221 RYA-approved Sailability sites have boats and facilities to cater for people across the whole spectrum of abilities.

For more information about RYA Sailability visit

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