The Sailability Whanganui Trust is thrilled to acknowledge a grant of $7,000 towards the construction of a boat shed to provide secure and independent storage of all their boats and equipment, not only keeping them safe from damage by other users, but also reducing the risk of theft or misuse.
Volunteer Secretary/Treasurer Bob Davies commented, “The Sailability Whanganui Trust has been providing sailing opportunities for sailors who have a range of physical abilities and complex needs since 2014. Starting with two loan boats, it now owns four special yachts and a support boat, but no purpose-built facility in which to store them safely. A twenty-foot container can hold two, but the others have to be squeezed into the Sailing Club's boat shed, risking damage and loss.
“Our sailors come from Palmerston North and Whanganui on a weekly basis to sail, and every hour is precious especially to get set up and on the water. A purpose-built facility will allow more time on the water, a vitally important experience for students who sometimes struggle to contain their emotions, especially when trying out a new skill.
“Without this funding, the Trust would have had to continue storing boats in the Sailing Club's boat shed and the container on loan from Taranaki. While this has worked for the short term, it would threaten the viability of the programme at Pauri in the long run.”
The Trust operates on Pauri Lake, providing sailing opportunities for disabled people on Hansa 303 boats that are specially adapted for their use and cost about $15,000 each. It received $20,000 from NZCT towards their purchase in 2019 and is aiming for a fleet of four, because sailors usually arrive in groups of about six and all want a turn on the water.