top of page

Press release!

Updated: Apr 28, 2021

Devon charity for disabled sailors quits home and launches £25,000 appeal

For release – 17th March 2021

Photograph of empty wheelchairs on the pontoon at Dart Sailability

Devon charity for disabled sailors quits home and launches £25,000 appeal after proposed fee increase and access restrictions at new Dart marina development. Charity Dart Sailability which provides boating activities for people with a wide range of disabilities has launched a £25,000 appeal to fund its relocation due to increased unaffordable berthing costs and access restrictions at its home of 23 years.

It is extremely grateful to all owners of Noss on Dart Marina for free berthing and services without which it could not have survived since 1997 during which time it has delivered over 10,000 sailing days to 600 disabled sailors. However, faced with access restrictions and annual fees of £35,000 including a 15% reduction by owner Premier Marinas, the charity is moving to MDL Marinas, Dartside Quay. Proposed access was two days per week but with no access at weekends. The charity recognises Premier must recoup its investment on its £60 million development comprising luxury housing, a spa hotel and new marina and thanks Premier Marinas for its support over the years. The charity’s sailing and boating activities take place only between May and September.

Relocation costs include over £10,000 for a ramp and pontoon so disabled sailors can access boats safely, the renovation of a Portakabin which will become a club house (£6,500), dinghy trollies (£1100), generator (£850), hoist (£300), clubhouse furniture (£750) and other significant moving costs including fuel tanks, water connections, tools, transport and ground works. In addition, it costs about £20,000 to keep the charity afloat annually.

Principal of Dart Sailability Ian Wakeling says: “We desperately need financial help for these very significant relocation costs and our target is £25,000. Our sailors and volunteers get so much out of their sailing and activities and it is crucial that we deliver a really good summer programme of events. There is absolutely no doubt that our sailors’ mental and physical wellbeing and enjoyment are greatly enhanced by being out on the water and the freedom that sailing on the beautiful River Dart gives. The clubhouse will be a real asset for all our members, old and new.”

Fortunately, MDL Marinas has welcomed the charity to Galmpton Creek and Dolphin Boatyard Limited has offered some free moorings. Ian says: “We are extremely grateful to them for their generous support. We are absolutely committed to providing great sailing experiences and adventures for people with all disabilities and want to get going as soon as we can. Obviously times are very tough at the moment, but we would really appreciate it if people could support this very worthy cause so we can continue to deliver great experiences for our sailors who have a wide range of disabilities.”

Volunteers and sailors are standing by ready to start preparing their new home and moving boats as soon as lockdown is eased. It is hoped that operations can start as soon as possible. This will provide members who have a wide range of physical and learning disabilities with the opportunity to get back out on the wonderful River Dart. These opportunities include cruises in a specially built landing craft which can take a number of wheel chairs. Members can sail a range of purpose built and adapted sailing boats or learn to drive a power boat.

In 2018-19 Dart Sailability delivered 635 sailor days of activity supported by 860 volunteer days of support and despite the Covid pandemic the charity found ways for some sailors and volunteers to safely enjoy some sailing on the river last summer. The charity (registered number 1155753) which was established in 1997 is run and managed purely by volunteers and is a Royal Yachting Association Recognised Training Centre and also a centre of excellence for Sailability in the South West. It has identified numerous tailored access points for disabled people along the River Dart so they can enjoy its beautiful scenery, heritage and wildlife. More information, including photos and videos, is available on its website

Donations can be made in the following ways:

BACS – The Dart Sailability Group, Account 00013526, Sort Code 40-52-40

Cheques payable to The Dart Sailability Group, c/o MDL, Dartside Quay, Galmpton, Brixham, Devon TQ5 OEH On line at

Registered charity number 1155753

Dart Sailability Contacts

Principal – Ian Wakeling 01803-722737 and 07790-771405 Email

Chairman of Trustees – Neil Strevens 07974-725416 Email

Training Officer – Bob Miller 01803-844665 Email

(Sailability appeal PR)

231 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page