Sailing for blind and partially sighted people

There are big boats and little boats, weekend cruises and longer passages in UK or foreign waters, but whatever you choose; life at sea or on the river offers an adventure to remember. The UK sailing season is typically March – October and as a blind or partially sighted crew member it is possible to get involved in all aspects of life onboard, whether it be working the sails, navigation or helming.

Many blind and partially sighted people are naturally skilled at sailing on the wind – imagine being at the helm and in control of the boat, nudging the wheel back or forth as you feel the wind shift across your face!

Metro do not own a yacht or organise voyages, but there are many UK-based projects that offer sailing opportunities to blind and partially sighted people, including accessible Day Skipper Courses for those who’ve found their sea legs and caught the sailing bug!


East Anglian Sailing Trust has skippers and sighted crew ready to take you aboard.

We have taster sailing opportunities in May and June 2018. No previous experience is necessary.
FREE TASTER DAYS – from Wednesday May 16th – Saturday May 19th 2018
TASTER WEEKEND – Friday evening 1st June 2018 – Sunday June 3rd 2018.

A contribution of £25 per night is requested to help cover food, fuel and mooring costs.

Sailing is on a variety of yachts from 30′ to 40′ in length.
All EAST crews are volunteers. Skippers are NOT paid for the use of their boats. EAST skippers and sighted crew are VI awareness trained.  Life jackets provided.

Testimonial from a VI Crew – “The feeling of sheer exhilaration, total involvement and being alive was incredible. That combination of boat, sea and wind meant that just for a while I could forget that I was visually impaired, and my only regret was that I hadn’t done it sooner. I’m never happier than when at the helm with the wind in my hair and the boat trimmed perfectly!”

VI crew can attend as individuals or a group (limited numbers).  They need to be active and physically able to move on a boat. Sorry, 18 years + only.  We cannot accommodate guide dogs.

All this happens at Suffolk Yacht Harbour at Levington, near Ipswich. We can help with transport from Ipswich bus and rail stations.

Contact:    Trevor Williams       Mobile:     0787 290 7719
Visit our website       EAST is a registered charity.

Our VI Cruising Chairman Simon Daws, who is VI, would be very happy to talk to anybody with questions or in need of reassurance   – Mobile: 07749 714361


Tideway Sailabilty

We sail on Sundays year round plus Wednesday and Thursday from April to October, plus special days by arrangement. It is rare that we have to curtail sailing because of the weather as our volunteers are hardy and we can reduce the size of the sails if it is windy.

Please ring the sailing compound if you are unsure on 020 7237 9001 after 10.00 am.

Be patient as obviously the sailing activities take priority over answering a telephone!

 Tideway is located at Surrey Docks Watersports Centre, Greenland Dock, Rope Street, London, SE16 7SX.  See our Find Us page for transport info.

Wednesdays & Thursdays 10.30-15.30

Just turn up although it is better to ring the clubhouse so we can expect you. If you are a group (4 or more) please contact us in advance so we can be sure of giving you the proper attention.

Sundays 10.30-15.30

We sail most Sundays throughout the year (except Christmas & New Year). The emphasis is on those who are, or are moving towards, sailing fully independently. We have volunteers to help with launching and hoisting but limited volunteer capacity to provide assisted sailing.

To register your interest or for more information about any event please email

On Sunday mornings we have a good group of juniors, mostly in the 6 to 14 age range, learning to sail independently. All the family can learn to sail together. Please note that parents etc are expected to help with boat preparation and pack-up at the end of the session and remain on hand to assist if necessary.

For adults and older independent juniors there is recreational sailing all day, brushing up on those techniques and occasional training sessions. Plus, we have some informal racing and coaching with the aim of improving skills and enjoyment.

Other Events

Please see our busy events calendar.  To register your interest or for more information about any event please email


Visit VI Sailing links below,
The Jubilee Sailing Trust (JST)

or contact Amanda Green at for more info on getting afloat.


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