Sailboat Project


The Sailboat Project exists to open up access to sailing and the sea to people in Sussex. The group received a £4,909 grant from the Field Family Fund in 2012 to extend their Sea Legs bursary programme which offers two-day sailing opportunities to 32 people (four people at a time staying overnight, over a period of eight days). The two-day training in Chichester Harbour and the Solent, results in a RYA Start Yachting qualification. Participants are then encouraged to come out for a further three days’ sailing to upgrade their qualification to RYA Competent Crew, at a subsidised cost which the Field Family grant also helped to pay for. Wet weather clothing, boots and equipment is included in the cost. People are offered volunteering opportunities with Sail Boat Project and the project works hard to develop the skills of their existing volunteers and sailing staff. A recent report showed that some children and young people living in Brighton have never been to the beach and a surprising number of people who live by the sea have never sailed. Cost is a major factor, as can be perceptions around class and gender. One Sea Legs applicant is typical of the kind of people Sailboat exists for. “I have been an armchair sailor ever since my parents took me for holidays to Chichester harbour in their beat up VW camper. The expense precluded me from my desire to sail and the chance to learn to sail with an open-minded, non-yachty organisation is too good to miss.”