SailBlind Program

Come Feel the Wind & Let's Set Sail

SailBlind welcomes visually impaired or blind adults (ages 18+) with the opportunity to learn the sport of sailing. No sailing experience is necessary for visually impaired or blind sailors to participate, we welcome all skill levels to join in on the fun!

SailBlind is a recreational program that offers various ways to participate, based on your goals and objectives for the summer. Whether you are just looking to go for a boat ride, looking to receive sailing instruction and hands on experience, or looking to refine your prior sailing skills and knowledge, we offer all of these!

Schedule

Sailblind takes place every Saturday throughout the season from 9:30am to 11:30am. The 2023 season will run from May 13, 2023 through October 28, 2023.

*During the months of May, September, and October, CBI will have a lower staff count. Therefore, during these three months, sailing will be on a first come first serve basis and there will be a cap on how many sailors can sign up.

Important Dates (2023)

  • Wednesday, 4/12/23 at 6:00 pm – Guide Orientation via Zoom (will be recorded)
  • Wednesday, 4/19/23 at 6:00 pm – Sailor Orientation via Zoom (will be recorded)
  • Saturday, 5/6/23 at 12:30pm at CBI – Guide In-Person Orientation
  • Saturday, 5/13/23 Start of SailBlind Season
  • Saturday, 6/3/23 Walk for Independence, NO SAILBLIND
  • Saturday, 10/28/23, Official end of SailBlind Season

Location/Travel

We sail out of Community Boating (CBI) in Boston on the Charles River.

Please note: there is no parking lot nor a parking drop off spot at Community Boating.

Meet-up Spot

Sailors and Guides will meet on Saturday morning at 8:45am in front of the Whitney Hotel (170 Charles St, Boston).  Our group will depart from the Whitney Hotel at 9:00am sharp and walk over to the boat house together.

Parking

Discounted parking is available at: Mass Eye And Ear Parking (MA-28 & Embankment Rd & Storrow Dr, Boston). To receive the discount, bring your parking ticket to the front desk at Community Boating where you can pay and receive the discount.

Uber/Lyft/The Ride

The drop off address is the Whitney Hotel, 170 Charles St., Boston. It’s recommended that you provide specific instructions to your driver to drop you off at the corner of Cambridge and Charles Street.

Cost

Sailors can participate in the SailBlind (Saturday mornings only) program FOR FREE.

Universal Access Program (UAP)

As a member of SailBlind, you are required to enroll to Community Boating’s Universal Access Program (UAP) program. The membership fee for this is $50 or reduced fee of $1 up on request. Members in UAP can schedule appointments to go sailing with one of the Community Boating Instructors by booking on the CBI “Schedule an Appointment” website page.

Sighted guides sail free and will receive a complimentary season membership to CBI, while sharing their time and expertise with the sailors.

Guests & Guide Dogs

Sailors are welcome to bring guests and guide dogs along! It is suggested to only bring 1 guest at a time to provide ample room for the other sailors in the program who have RSVP’d. Guests under 18 years old with adult sponsor’s supervision at all times. The adult supervisor will need to complete a CBI waiver on behalf of the child. Guide dogs must be comfortable in boat setting and on the water and you must provide them with a lifejacket. Otherwise, the CBI staff is happy to watch your dog and keep them out of the sun in the dock house.

*Children interested in joining a junior sailing program, please contact Sam Pierson, Director of Sailing Programs, sam@community-boating.org

Safety

Safety and fun go hand in hand. Safety is one of our top priorities. All participants (guides & sailors) must wear life jackets while in sailboats. Life jackets are provided. Close toed shoes are also required. Other clothing suggestions will be discussed during the virtual Sailor Orientation Meeting.

Weather

Sailing occurs in a variety of weather conditions and participants must dress accordingly for the day’s weather. Clothing suggestions will be reviewed during the virtual Sailor Orientation that takes place before the start of the season.

Slight inclement weather will not be cause for cancellation. However, thunderstorms or extreme high winds would result in a cancellation. Sailors will be notified the Friday evening before if sailing is canceled on Saturday.

What to Bring/Wear

  • Required: close toed shoes, water/water bottle (CBI has water fountains).
  • Recommended: hat, sunscreen, snacks, change of clothes, warm layer, rain coat.

In general, we recommend bringing a small bag with you that includes the above items. If you’d like to bring your bag with you on the sailboat, we recommend you bring a waterproof bag as there’s a chance your bag will get wet. You also have the option to keep you back locked indoors at the CBI facility in a locker. 2 lockers are available and locks will be provided. Life jackets will be provided but if you have one you like, you’re welcome to bring it.

I'm Interested in Being a Sailor. What's Next?

Group of SailBlind sailors and instructors standing near and sitting at a picnic table on the dock raising their hands and waving in excitement and smiling.
  1. Application – Sailor (Google Form) – please complete
  2. Universal Access Program Form (PDF) – please complete*unfortunately this form is not accessible so please contact sailblind@carroll.org if you need assistance completing this form.

     
    *Upon completion of the above steps, you will be added to our email distribution list to receive updates regarding the upcoming season and events.

  3. Virtual Sailor Orientation: Our virtual sailor orientation will take place before the start of the season on Wednesday, April 19, 2023 at 6:00pm via Zoom. If you’re unable to attend this event, you’ll be able to listen to the recording. This orientation will review important information regarding logistics, what to bring and wear etc. New and returning sailors are encouraged to attend

I'm Interested in Being a Sighted Guide. What's Next?

An older woman smiles as she steers a sailboat.
  1. Application – Guide – please complete
  2. CBI Adult Membership Portal – please complete. As a guide, you will receive a FREE CBI membership.
     
    *Upon completion of the above steps, you will be added to our email distribution list to receive updates regarding the upcoming season and events.
  3. Virtual Guide Orientation: Our virtual sailor orientation will take place before the start of the season on Wednesday April 12, 2023 at 6:00pm. The time of this event will be announced via email. If you’re unable to attend this event, you’ll be able to listen to the recording. This orientation will review important information regarding facility protocols, safety etc.
  4. In-Person Guide Orientation: will take place at Community Boating on Saturday, May 6, 2023 at 12:30pm. New and returning guides are encouraged to attend this in-person event at Community Boating. During this session we will review safety, facility protocols, rigging, orientation & mobility and more!

Resources

Contact

If you would like more information about SailBlind, please contact sailblind@carroll.org or 617-969-6200 ext. 245

If you would like more information about Community Boating or the Universal Access Program, please contact Sam Pierson, Director of Sailing Programs, sam@community-boating.org, 617-523-1038 ext.16