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.

Youtube video: Visually Impaired Sailors – Interview with Martin Ryan – by Tom Walker


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!

The Visually Impaired Sailing Association of Great Britain VI-SA-GB

Over the years have had many cracking weeks of sailing, and been pioneers in empowering visually impaired sailors

Visually Impaired Sailing from ShootScotland Ltd on Vimeo.

We will have four yachts joining in with Blind Week in July this year, and we are planning to have a flotilla sailing off the west coast of Scotland in April 2020 as we did in 2014.

We are also looking at a Southern event to give more people the opportunity to sail in Hampshire and Dorset, and have a vision of around Britain voyage in 2021.

contact: Sue Hogge-Membership Secretary or call  07767717440


The RYA’s recently made video of the event is a useful introduction


Recreational Sailing with Tideway Sailability

We sail three days a week from April to October, plus special days by arrangement.

A volunteer happily takes care of Guide dogs whilst you sail, taking them for a fantastic stroll through the nearby 35-acre Russia Dock Woodland.

Founded in 1982, one of the oldest RYA Sailability groups in the UK, Tideway has many years of experience in providing support to vulnerable children and adults with disabilities, so they can enjoy an out-of-doors activity in a safe, controlled environment.

Wednesdays & Thursdays   10.30 -15.30

Just turn up, although it is better to ring the clubhouse so we can expect you.

Call: 020 7237 9001
( call during sailing hours only – Wednesday/Thursday/Sunday 10.30 – 15.30 )

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 and some Bank Holidays).

Call: 020 7237 9001
( call during sailing hours only – Sunday 10.30 – 15.30 )

Recreational sailing, 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, come along and learn the racing rules and prepare for more racing later in the year.


Event Details

Days: Wednesdays & Thursdays & Sundays  time:  10.30 -15.30

Venue: Surrey Docks Watersports Centre, Greenland Dock, Rope Street, London, SE16 7SX

Tideway is easy to get to by public transport and there is ample free car parking.

We are in Rotherhithe (London Borough of Southwark) 4 miles from Westminster. Tideway is easy to get to by public transport and there is ample free car parking.

From Canada Water tube Route 199 – to Yeoman Street

Tube / Overground:
Canada Water tube, Jubilee Line – a short journey of 0.8 miles via Surrey Quays shopping Centre and then take the walkway beside Tesco under the Redriff Rd Bridge or pick up the 199 Bus at Canada Water.

​Sailing fees

If you want to sail on your own or as an assisted sailor (but not as a volunteer), you will need to pay a sailing fee of £10 for every sailing session (half day) (adult) or £5 (young person).

Contact : 020 7237 9001 or Email:
(call during sailing hours only – Wednesday/Thursday/Sunday 10.30 – 15.30  )



Other Events

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



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

During the summer, we hope that individual EAST skippers will be able to offer sailing opportunities to experienced visually impaired sailors, by invitation. We would be pleased to offer an introductory service.

If you or your organisation is interested in taking part, please contact Trevor Williams on 07872907719.

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


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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