I Can Steer from My Wheelchair

$6,730.00 Pledged
$660 Target
0 days Remaining


SWD conducts free sailing programs for youth and adults with a disability, for carers, and for youth from disadvantaged backgrounds.

SWD uses sailing as a tool to build confidence, self-esteem and new relationships. Through sailing people begin to forget about what they can't do and believe in what they can.

This project

We let everyone have a go at steering Kayle, a yacht that we adapted to host 3 people in wheelchairs when they come on board to join in our programs.

We want to give the opportunity to steer the yacht to all children and adults who come on board.


Imagine you are in a wheelchair. Imagine you have a chance to steer a yacht all by yourself because a device has made it possible. It feels incredible and it is a little bit life changing.


To solve the challenge of enabling people in wheelchairs to steer Kayle when they come on board in our programs, this project will provide a remote control device which controls the yacht's course and enables children to steer from their wheelchair.

Designed for ocean racing, SWD crew volunteers will guide children and adults in wheelchairs to use the device in our on-water programs so they get the opportunity to skipper a yacht on Sydney Harbour.

One remote control costs $660.00.


We want to give everyone on board a go at steering the boat, including people in wheelchairs.

By empowering children or adults to steer Kayle, you will help provide a unique and personally empowering opportunity. You will also help these children and adults take a step on the journey towards believing they can do more than they may have ever imagined.

Most times this journey begins when participants experience new horizons and realise they don't need to be defined or confined by their circumstances. Steering a yacht from a wheelchair, an activity most would believe impossible, helps create self belief and optimism for everyone involved.

Social Impact

In two years, 240 individuals with disability in wheelchairs will have the opportunity to skipper a world-class racing yacht. We expect to host a minimum of 3 wheelchair bound youth per week, for 40 weeks of the year. The projected social impact is based on the number of wheelchair bound people SWD has welcomed aboard in past years, forecast over the next 2 years.

This experience will impact family and friends of those who come on board, providing a boost in optimism for everyone involved.

Track Record

Since its inception in 1994, our key achievement has been to provide over 42,000 disabled people and their carers with an on board sailing experience. We have also competed in 18 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Races. And since 2003, SWD has also held the world record for the non-stop and unassisted circumnavigation of Australia, which also happened to be with a disabled crew.

Hurdles to overcome

The weather determines how many outings the yacht can experience but we aim to undertake activities that welcome people in wheelchairs on board as much as possible, weather permitting.

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  • Jade Etherden

    Corrimal – New South Wales


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  • Lyndall Barnett


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