This project will bring innovative adaptive technology to individuals with a wide range of physical abilities and provide the supports that allow them to experience the thrill of sailing an extremely competitive and exciting class of sailboat called the Sonar. With many features that make it an ideal platform for sailors of all abilities, the Sonar has been adopted by the adaptive sailing community and is the current triple handed Paralympic class boat.
Called the Quadsailor Steering System, this innovative adaptive technology
will be a future iteration of the system developed by Sydney Paralympic sailor Keith Burhans for his teammate Paul Callahan, and originally called “The Gold Medal Seating System”.
Our initial activity is to manufacture the QuadSailor system and deliver it to the community of sailors of all abilities who will find it useful.
To achieve this we have enlisted the aid of Keith Burhans, the original system’s designer, and a team of mechanical engineering students at RIT and their instructor. Manufacturing of the prototype is scheduled for January 2012, and a final deliverable product is due in February 2012.
Engineering and construction of this prototype is taking place at the RIT facilities in Rochester NY. Management and direction is done from our home offices in Medford, MA. Initial sea trials and testing will be conducted at the Shake-A-Leg facilities in Florida.
RIT STUDENT TEAM MEMBERS
Over 1000 hours of engineering and manufacturing time will be invested in this project as an in-kind donation from the engineering students at RIT. We are applying for grants and seeking donations from friends and family to fund the purchase of hardware, materials for the project and travel expenses for testing and trialing.
Our second activity is to promote the benefits of the QuadSailor system.
We will campaign the QuadSailor system at a series of regattas focused on sailing for people with disabilities, as well as open regattas regardless of physical ability. We will promote our programs and devices for use among the more than 30 fleets of Sonar class sailboats representing communities across the country and around the world. We will form relationships with disabilities organizations, veteran’s groups, rehab facilities, colleges and universities with programs in engineering, physical therapy and occupational therapy to support these activities.
Initially, these activities will be held primarily at venues throughout the eastern seaboard of the U.S.
Fundraising and grants and gifts will fund these activities.