Mylor Sailability was founded in Falmouth by Tracey Boyne, and had its first people on the water in early 2014.
A CIO-registered charity with five trustees and accredited by RYA Sailability, Mylor Sailability did not own any boats to begin with, using boats as in-kind support from Mylor Sailing School. It gradually built a fleet of its own adapted keelboats and powerboats over the first couple of years and today it has three sailing keelboats and a Wheelyboat wheelchair-friendly powerboat which arrived in 2015. In that same year Mylor Sailability also opened an accessible building with ramped access and hearing loop, and an accessible pontoon, all thanks to Sport England Lottery funding,
2019 was another bumper year: the charity got a hoist installed, allowing wheelchair users to go sailing, and Siblyback Lake donated a Drascombe longboat that can take up to nine people, which is incredibly useful for both recreational sessions and training.
Good Day Promise was launched in 2021, offering free boat sessions for the terminally ill and their loved ones. In addition, despite the pandemic, Tracey was quickly fundraising again, taking just three years to raise £15,000 for a Beneteau First 21.7 with lifting keel, allowing easy access to the pontoon. This is the boat the team uses for training and racing in the Carrick Roads. The funders included Toyota Parasport, Peter Harrison Foundation, and Cornwall’s Classic Cottages. “We bought the boat from Dartmouth and sailed it back to Mylor in March 2022 with crew including members of Sailability,” says Tracey proudly.
Most recently, in 2023, Mylor Sailability has taken delivery of a Sip and Puff boat as part of its Anything is Possible project. This new adapted keelboat with electronic Sip and Puff technology was gifted by the Miss Isle Sip and Puff Trust on the Isle of Wight. To operate it, the sailor is able to effortlessly suck and blow on a tube which moves the rudder.
Partnerships and awards
Tracey lists so many other achievements in the past decade: “We have had some fantastic partnerships and supporters over the last ten years including the West Cornwall Youth Trust, Age UK, The Rotary Club, Seasalt Clothing, Children’s Hospice Southwest, Mylor Sessions, Shore Partnership Estate Agents, and the Roseland Youth Sailing Trust.
“We have won multiple awards with Cornwall Sports Partnership, the Cornwall Tourism Awards, Southwest Tourism Awards, and nationally, Visit England Awards. Our last scoop for Access and Inclusivity was in 2022 where we won double gold in Cornwall, the Southwest and England!
“We also launched HMS GO!, our own regular donation funding scheme. Help Mylor Sailability Go is a scheme where anyone, including businesses, can donate regularly to our charity to help support all our activities.
“We are a Disability Confident Employer, we have a fantastic volunteer scheme and we currently have nine volunteers. Mylor Sailability is an inclusive facility. We can pretty much get anyone on the water, either sailing or powerboating!”
However, all these many achievements are just the highlights of a packed ten years and there are many other lovely stories on the Mylor Sailing School website news pages. Participation figures are now reaching 2000 a year which is equal to ten regular sessions a week plus private and SEN schools. Participants have gained RYA qualifications, achieved race wins and done lots of volunteering.
Tracey sums up: “We have many projects to create a more accessible facility for everyone. We have had lots of wonderful support from local businesses and supporters – we couldn’t have done it without them! It’s been a humbling and inspiring experience. Look out for some celebratory ten-year events this season!”
For more information or to book a session, please get in touch on 01326 377633 or firstname.lastname@example.org (all sessions must be pre-booked), or take a look on the website. The facility only closes for two weeks at Christmas.
Sailability plays a major part of the RYA’s Together on Water strategy, supporting accessible sailing for all. Whether your club/group is a Sailability site or not, the your RYA regional team is there to help you ensure that everyone has chance to access our sports.