Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Q: What is the Mission of Challenged Sailors San Diego?
A: Challenged Sailors San Diego provides therapeutic and recreational adaptive sailing opportunities for people with disabilities to enhance their dignity, well being, and independence.
Q: Who are we?
A: Challenged Sailors San Diego was founded by a group of disabled sailors and volunteers who have been involved in adaptive sailing for many years. The leadership includes disabled sailors in key roles. Our key volunteers include professional maritime captains, sailing instructors, experienced boat owners and many others. Everyone in the organization knows the joy of sailing and of sharing this joy with others.
Q: What do we do?
A: We are a new organization formed to support adaptive sailing and disabled sailors in San Diego. With our fleet of 8 Martin 16 sailboats, we are focused on providing sailing experiences to those who have physical disabilities and would not otherwise have the opportunity to experience the joy of sailing.
Q: Where can I find out more?
A: We have a website, www.challengedsailors.org. You can visit us and sign up for newsletters and keep in touch with us. We also have a Facebook page you can LIKE and share with your friends as well as a Twitter account (@ChallSailSD) that you can follow.
Q: Who can sail? What types of disabilities can participate?
A: Almost anyone with a disability who is medically stable can participate and sail the Martin 16. Our facilities are accessible and equipped with a lift for transferring sailors from wheelchairs into the boat. We can rig the boat with a Power Assist unit to enable steering and trimming of the sails via a small electric joystick or a Sip and Puff mouthpiece.
Q: Are there any age limits?
A: Participants from 5 to 93 have sailed the Martins 16s. After a short briefing at the dock, sailors can be on the water with a companion sailor.
Q: What is the organization’s structure?
A: Challenged Sailors San Diego is an independent, non-profit California Corporation. The key officers and advisory group are listed on the website and are all volunteers. We are looking for community members who would like to join our team.
Q: Isn’t there another organization like this in San Diego?
A: Challenged America (a program of the Disabled Businesspersons Association) has been a program in San Diego for many years. In 2014, Challenged America ended their small boat program and a group of volunteers has acquired a fleet of 8 Martin 16 sailboats. This new group has formed Challenged Sailors San Diego.
Q: Are the two organizations related in any way?
A: No. While many volunteers previously participated in Challenged America, there are no legal, financial, or operational ties between the organizations.
Q: Are donations accepted?
A: Yes, absolutely. We are brand new and looking for sponsors, partners, and of course donors. Challenged Sailors San Diego has received 501(c)(3) status from the IRS, effective January 14, 2015 (EIN 47-2882798). "Donors can deduct contributions they make ..." (see your tax advisor for any tax questions).
Q: Is there a charge to the participant?
A: There is no charge to the participants, but donations and helping out as a volunteer are always appreciated. It costs roughly $50-100 per sail to operate the program.
Q: What does Challenged Sailors San Diego need?
A: In short, we need everything. We are new and are actively looking for partners, sponsors, volunteers, sailors, and community support.
Q: When does the sailing take place?
A: We typically sail on Fridays and Saturdays from noon to approximately 3:30, but special dates can be arranged. You can see an event calendar on the website and send a request for a sailing time/date. In addition, we have a number of regattas and events scheduled through 2015. Please see the website calendar for more information.
Q: Can my dog come with me?
A: Due to space and safety constraints, we can't have service animals on the boats and it would be unfair and unsafe to leave them tied up alone or locked in a vehicle. They are welcome at the head of the dock, if you have a friend, family member, or aide who can care for your service animal while you are sailing. Our volunteers can't take responsibility for service animals or pets.
Q: What else does Challenged Sailors San Diego do?
A: A number of special events are scheduled in conjunction with local yacht clubs and organizations serving the disabled community – please check the calendar on our website.
Q: What can you do to help?
A: Please visit our website and sign up for our newsletter. You can email any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org to contact our volunteers. We would love for you to come see us in action and would love to discuss partnership or sponsorship. A partial list of key needs is below. If you can help we’d love to hear from you!
- Corporate sponsorships/partnerships
- Qualified volunteers to be companion sailors
- Boat maintenance and rigging support
Q: What can Challenged Sailors San Diego do for you or your organization?
A: It is our mission to give back to the entire San Diego community.
- Inviting your employees to participate as volunteers with us can inspire them to higher performance when they see the determination and love for life of our sailors.
- Team building exercises. Every team consists of members with strengths and weaknesses and yet they must perform and be successful. We have a program to show how teams with significant weaknesses can achieve great success.
- Inspirational speakers. Whether a short discussion or more formal presentation, we can share examples of great achievements in the face of great adversity.
- We are, of course, biased but believe our mission and organization is doing great life-changing work. You can help sponsor that work and show the community that your organization is part of our effort.
- Please contact us to discuss other opportunities. If we can further our joint missions, we would love to partner.