Accessibility Tools

6-Transfer Team & Paddlers

Timelines Sunday through Thursday, 9am to 4pm
No. Volunteers Needed - Group 1 8
No. Volunteers Needed - Group 2 12
No. Volunteers Needed - Group 3 12

Dockmaster - Paula Stone

  1. Determine where each boat will be docked, based on the type of transfer used for each sailor & will work with boat moving volunteers to position boats for transfers for each fleet.
  2. Will be in radio-contact with safety boat drivers to control flow of traffic in and out of the harbour.
  3. Will be in radio-contact with the race committee to inform them when all boats have left from or returned to harbour.
  4. Will coordinate paddlers for boats to get into position.
  5. Will be in contact with Rampmaster to call for next sailor to come down ramp to dock.

Group 1 - Preparation

  • Designate an area near the docks for sailors to put on their lifejackets and have their slings installed if they are transferred by lift. Sailors who own their own slings should arrive at the yacht club with them already in place. A supply of spare slings should be available for sailors who need to borrow one.
  • Ramp Coordinator manages whiteboard with list of sailors launching that session.
  • Ramp Coordinator carries a VHF and responds to requests from Dock Master which sailors they are ready for. Confirms they are ready to go, and releases them as needed.
  • Ramp Coordinator matches Ramp Support Team person with sailor to proceed to dock.

Group 2

Safety is of utmost important, for sailors and staff/volunteers.

  1. Double check that the Martin 16 is securely tied to the dock, both fore and aft. Clip the boom to the sidestay opposite the dock so that it is out of the way.
  2. Have a conversation with the sailor regarding the transfer. Ask them their preferences, and what assistance they need from you. Make sure that you have foam cushions or whatever is required to complete the transfer safely.
  3. Make sure that the sailor puts on their sailing clothing and a PFD before going onto the dock.
  4. Staff must give OK before sailor can approach and go onto the dock.
  5. One staff or volunteer walks with sailor on the ramp.
  6. If the sailor uses a power wheelchair, ensure that it is turned off before the transfer.

Two trained people are required for transfers (either volunteer or staff)

Option 1: Transfer without the power lift

Ask the sailor to sit on the edge of the dock, with their feet resting in the boat. One staff should assist as required as they lower down to the boat, using a stepping stool if needed The second staff should be in the boat, behind the sailor’s seat. They are required to spot the transfer, guiding the sailor into a comfortable position.

Option 2: Transfer with the power lift

  1. If the sailor uses the power lift, ask if they have a preferred sling. Cloth lifting slings are used with the hoist to transfer sailors from a chair to the boat. Slings have different sizes and have adjustable settings for attachment to the power lift. Ask the sailor, companion or staff which is the best fit. Starting at the back of the person’s chair, get the sailor to bend forward and then feed the bottom of the sling down to the seat of the chair. On the count of 3, have the sailor push up with their arms raising their bottom off the seat cushion. At the same time, pull the sling forward so it slides under the sailor’s bottom until it is just behind the knees.
  2. The sailor can now sit down on the sling. Make sure the top of the sling is slightly higher than the sailor’s shoulders and there is equal material on each side of their body.
  3. Have the sailor position their chair under the Voyager.
  4. Hook the loops on the sling to the Voyager sides starting with the bottom loops. First, the right leg support of the sling should go under the sailor’s right leg and cross over the left leg to attach to the left side of the Voyager. The left leg support should go under the left leg and cross over the right leg to attach to the right side of the Voyager. Attach the additional loops.
  5. Check that the sling is not caught on the wheelchair armrests. The sailor’s arms and shoulders must be inside the sling. Raise the sailor using the button on the Voyager. Slowly lift the sailor making sure they are comfortable. If you observe problems or if the sailor tells you of problems, immediately put them back in their chair and make adjustments. Once the sailor is lifted clear of their chair, the other staff/volunteer should move the chair clear of the area and lock the brakes or turn the power off.
  6. One staff/volunteer should rotate the davit so the sailor is positioned over the Martin 16 seat. Be sure to communicate each step to the sailor. With one staff/volunteer standing on the Martin 16 deck immediately in front of the seat and a second volunteer lowering the sailor into the seat, guide the sailor’s legs along the right and left sides of the daggerboard trunk as they are lowered onto the seat.
  7. Once the sailor is in the seat, release the sling loops from the Voyager. Move the Voyager out of the way and use the rear button to wind in the lift strap. Rotate the hoist so the boom is pointing to the center of the dock. When the sailor is comfortable in the seat and their legs are extended under the foredeck adjust the seat back using the control line on the shelf on the port side of the seat.
  8. With the sailor securely seated, unclip the boom from the sidestay. Have the sailor test the tiller or joystick and the sheets.
  9. Do a radio check.
  10. Untie the stern line and secure it on the Martin 16. Next, untie the bow line and secure to the boat, by wrapping it around the sidestay and then bringing the tail end onto the boat. Holding the boat by the sidestay, check for boat traffic before casting off.

CAUTION: Use your discretion and good judgment. Ensure that you understand what the sailor wants to do, and that you feel safe and comfortable doing it. DO NOT DO ANYTHING THAT YOU FEEL WILL JEOPARDIZE YOUR OWN OR THE SAILOR'S SAFETY.

Once the sailor is safely away from the dock, take their wheelchair off of the dock and store it on shore, ensuring both brakes are on. If the wheelchair is power-operated, ensure that it is turned OFF, and if there is any chance of rain, that it is covered with a tarp.

After Sailing procedure

  1. Sailor or companion radios in their approach to the dock. Confirm receiving this message.
  2. Volunteer retrieves wheelchair or other assistive device and brings to the dock.
  3. Ensure the docking is slow and smooth: advise the sailor to free both main and jib sheets as they approach the dock. Use the paddle to slow the boat. Dock team should catch the boat and fend it off of the dock on landing. Tie the boat securely, fore and aft. Clip the boom to the sidestay opposite the dock.
  4. Position their wheelchair under the Voyager, brakes on.
  5. Assist the sailor to transfer out of the boat by reversing the previous procedures.
  6. Consult with the sailor on the transfer, and then assist them as they instruct you.
  7. After the sailor is safely in their chair, assure that they have their belongings and escort them safely off of the dock.

CAUTION: The next sailor should not be on the dock until you have escorted the previous sailor off the dock.


Group3 - Paddlers

There will be 16 Martin16 sailboats around the Able Sail dock. 3 transfers can be done at once. That means that 5 to 6 sets of transfers will be done per shift.

Sailboats will be tied up on the seawall, water taxi dock space and one spot on main dock. They will need to be paddles 

Your Hosts

Able Sail Toronto
National Yacht Club

1 Stadium Road,
Toronto, ON
M5V 3H4


43.6316, -79.4021


29 Nov 2023 Mugg's Island, CA


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