4 EQUIPMENTCVSS provide boats that are specially designed and built to match our sailors' needs.

Access dinghies

Access dinghies are very robust and very stable sailing boats. They have heavy fixed keels and these, along with the hull design, mean the boats do not capsize as ordinary sailing dinghies do. The boats are very easy to sail. They have a joystick control (not a tiller handle) and you steer left to go left and right to go right. So our sailors rapidly learn basic boat control. Sailors without learning difficulties can learn basic sailing in one session...but to sail these boats well takes a lot of practice and skill.

There are national and international racing series for Access dinghies.

We have 14 Access dinghies, 13 have double seats allowing a sailor to sail with a buddy while one is a single seat boat.

The boats can accommodate different types of seats to meet individual needs. One double boat has been modified and has a servo-mechanism allowing it to be steered electronically using the chin.

Katy lying on a KatakanuKatakanus

Katakanus are large stable 6-seat boats with a trampoline between the hulls. This means a sailor can lie on the trampoline and experience the water in a different an exciting way. Seats can be modified to meet individual needs.

Katakanus are great for families and groups


When required we have the facility to hoist sailors, who may otherwise struggle, in and out of a boat.  We also have the use of slider boards to assist with entering a boat.


CVSS has a small supply of slings which we use to hoist people into boats and katakanus. These slings are graded by size and the sailor/personal assistant will be asked for advice on the appropriate size.

However, if a sailor has his or her own sling we would prefer to use them. Please bring it along.


The safety of everyone is of prime importance at all times. CVSS has the use of BLYM's Safety Boats to help and assist when necessary. This makes it possible for sailors with all levels of experience to get out on the water under instruction and in confidence of their safety.

CVSS provides buoyancy aids for all sailors and buddy sailors. We are in consultation with RYA and Sailablity concerning our provision of buoyancy aids/life-jackets. At present we consider it may be advisable to offer some sailors life-jackets. A life-jacket rolls a person who falls into the water onto their back and provides head support. Those sailors who should consider a life-jacket are those who are non-swimmers or those with significant lower limb disabilities.

Please indicate on your membership form if you are a sailor who may need to use a life-jacket and also give your weight because jackets are graded by the weight of the wearer. (A note on the bottom of the form will be fine).

We may ask you to get a view from an occupational therapist in order to decide which aid or jacket is most appropriate.


When you join CVSS you are confirming that a sailor's weight DOES NOT EXCEED this if he/she needs to use the hoist. You must inform the Shore Officer if any sailor in your group who requires hoisting is 127 kgs or heavier.

CVSS provides buoyancy aids for all sailors and buddy sailors. CVSS is consulting with RYA/Sailablity on our provision and reviewing the use of buoyancy aids/life-jackets in our boats.

If any of your sailors are non-swimmers with significant lower-limb disabilities can you let us know? If you are definitely bringing sailors with these difficulties please attach a note to your Group Membership application form. If you are in a position to name the sailors and their weights that would be very helpful. However a note to the effect "We are bringing 4 sailors who may need life-jackets, they will all be adults/they will all be 14-16 years" also gives us useful information.

We need to know the weight of each sailor who falls into the group because life-jackets are graded by the weight of the wearer. We may ask you to get a view from an occupational therapist in order to decide which aid/jacket is suitable for a individual sailor