Adaptive Sailing


Registration and Fee

Sailing in our 20-foot “Independence” fleet is available from mid-June to mid-August on weekdays at 10:00 a.m. or 1:00 p.m., as well as weekends by appointment. Safety equipment is provided and the limit is 5 total participants per boat. The fee is $70 per boat, for up to 5 people. Reservations are made for two hours of lessons or recreational sailing. Need-based scholarships are available, and more information can be found on our Registration Page.


Each summer, approximately 1,000 people with disabilities learn the skills of sailing in our fleet of uniquely adapted, 20-foot sailboats. Our programs strongly encourage disabled individuals to be active participants by steering the boat and trimming sails. The measurable outcomes demonstrate increased self-confidence in all parts of their daily lives, the camaraderie of teamwork, and improved leadership skills. Since 1982, Sail To Prevail has improved the lives of tens of thousands of people through therapeutic sailing programs that focus on improving the mind, body and spirit.



  • Physical Disabilities
  • Intellectual Disabilities
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Cancer
  • Emotional Disabilities
  • Epilepsy
  • Life-Threatening Medical Conditions


First-time and experienced sailors are welcome at Sail To Prevail. Our program is available to all people with disabilities and has programs designed to meet specific needs. The Sail To Prevail docks are located at Fort Adams State Park in Newport, Rhode Island, and parking is onsite. All docks and facilities are 100% accessible, including extra-wide docks with ramp, hydraulic lifts and transfer benches to board the boats.

Our sailing instructors have years of experience, including teaching and coaching sailors with disabilities. We provide all required safety equipment, and our instructors accompany every group on the water.

The Sail To Prevail fleet in Newport includes seven 20-foot “Independence” sailboats, which were custom designed and built so that even the most disabled sailor can handle the boat. Each “Independence” contains two swiveling supported seats for those in wheelchairs. Families, friends and doctors are encouraged to join, as our boats can accommodate up to five participants and one instructor.

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  • I felt the wind at my face. I like the sensation of sailing

    Dave (blind sailor)
  • For the first time in my life, I felt empowerment.

  • was a wonderful experience. I look forward to participating in this program again next year.

    Rhonda O'Donnell, first-time participant
  • Sailing made me more confident. It made me happy and proud! I love Sail To Prevail!

  • Sailing helped me feel more comfortable in group and social settings

  • Every time I go, I want to go more

    Rachel (Age 55, significant developmental difficulties)
  • I found it to be very relaxing and peaceful experience. The weather was perfect, and the instructor was simply awesome as well as fellow participants!

    Katherine Keneally
  • I started in the front of the boat with the sails and then got to drive! I was the captain. I bonded with my agency and staff.

  • I love steering the boat!

  • I like to sing when I sail.

  • Sail To Prevail encouraged me to try new things in life. At first I was scared, but then I volunteered to sail the boat!

  • It encouraged me to try new things. I liked to prepare for tacks and talk before it happened. I overcome barriers after sailing.

    Dave (autistic)
  • Wonder weekend!!! Maria and I would like to thank all of you guys at Sail to Prevail for such an absolutely SPLENDID TIME sailing. Please send our kudos to the entire crew!!!

    Raymond (Air Force Veteran)
  • The feeling of sailing lasts forever!

  • I would really like to compliment you and the staff for the extraordinary sailing program you did this summer to benefit Veterans. The weather perfect, the setting in Newport the best, the equipment well prepared, and the staff on deck. A day to remember. The staff was particularly good and professional in dealing with the veterans and their particular disabilities. The total experience was enjoyable and refreshing. What could be better? These programs enhance the quality of life for each individual and provide experiences that will never be forgotten. Thanks to you the staff at Sail to Prevail: this work does not go unnoticed and is truly appreciated. Keep up the good work.

    Richard Early President and Service Officer, Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 116
  • I think the feeling of sailing will last a lifetime – everyone should have a chance to try it!

    Peter, age 11
  • Sail To Prevail is great!

    Curt (Age 53)
  • I want to convey to the entire staff of Sail To Prevail the absolutely fabulous time I enjoyed on my very first sailing adventure … I felt safe and secure … transferring me from my power chair into the boat. I will fondly remember the sense of freedom and relaxation while sailing… experience the exhilaration and feelings of true calmness while sailing because it will be a memory that will last a lifetime. Thanks … for making an important difference in the lives of individuals with limitations.

    Brenda J. Brown, first-time participant
  • Thank you to all involved in making the weekend such a wonderful weekend.

    Elinor (wife of John, Army Veteran)
  • I never knew I would sail. Each time I went sailing, I improved. The second time, I even volunteered to steer the boat!

  • My name is Sean “Patrick” Feighan. Until last December I Iived with my Mother, Cynthia Feighan. I have multiple disabilities ranging from Down syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Seizure disorder and Autism. I am currently 27 years old and last December, I moved into a Group Home run by Looking Upwards, Inc. in Middletown, RI. Sensory integration has always been a central part of my daily routine to be successful at living my life to its fullest. Deep massage, stimulating toys, music, videos, etc. help to keep me balanced and therefore receptive to sharing opportunities with others. While I was still in high school, I had the opportunity to begin sailing with Sail To Prevail, through their summer camp. My first time out was indescribable. I experienced a connection with the world around me in a whole new way. My body, often uncooperative with my expectations, was at one with the movement of the boat. I felt the power of the wind moving the boat and myself through the water with an ease that unified my senses. Each time I sail, I experience the same relaxing sensations except when there is no wind and I get anxious to feel the sensations of sailing. I look forward to sailing each summer and the feelings of accomplishment I get after having gone out on the boat. I know that I am doing something not otherwise experience by many people in my shoes. This feeling of accomplishment and sensory balance prevails into all areas of my life. Not being able to sail is like not having fruit to eat. My life is better balanced when I can sail. My mother is grateful beyond understanding to be able to help to provide this opportunity to me. She cannot help me to play baseball, or soccer, or football. She cannot access much of what currently exists for people without disabilities and even with disabilities for me. This is fulfillment of her wishes for me to have a life as full and as enriching as possible. Sailing makes us both very happy.

    Patrick and Cynthia Feighan
  • At first I never wanted to drive the boat, but after seeing the instructor do it – I decided I could do it also! If I can sail – it made me realize I can do a lot with my life!

    Bethany, (age 13)
  • Patty, Thank you and Sail To Prevail for this weekend. It is amazing how generous you all are - some we saw and some who were behind the scenes. I was thinking about your dock which gives us a window onto a world which we would otherwise never see, and of your willingness to get Bob and all the others out in the boats and onto the water for a good sail. And thank God for the absolutely perfect weather both Saturday and Sunday. Thank you all, also, for the lovely dinner Saturday night. I was sitting at the end of the old people and next to the young people, and it was fun to observe the difference in conversations. It took me back to a very long time ago, and the excitement and promise of shining youth. It was very nice to meet you and talk with you, and also Chad on Sunday. Thank you and thank God for His goodness,

    Lynn and Bob (Air Force Veteran)
  • Wearing the life jacket is fun. I like meeting new people like me. I love the team spirit. It is a great experience.

  • I never knew I could go sailing. The lifts are easy and great. Mixture of disability and people has helped me in life. It is the best sensory and learning experiences I’ve ever had. Positive and relaxing. I felt free and limitless.

  • I had such an amazing time when I went the first time… I enjoyed myself so much… Sail To Prevail has given me back a sense of normalcy, and freedom, that I use to have before MS became an issue

    Jennifer Shortall, first-time participant
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