Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating (CRAB) is pleased to announce a generous donation from Weems & Plath to help CRAB launch a campaign for upgrades to its handicapped-accessible sailing fleet. Executive Director Sue Beatty explained the meaning of this gift in the context of CRAB’s current efforts to expand the scope of its successful programs. Says Beatty, “We are working hard to address the unmet demand for more services for disabled veterans, disabled youth, and recreational and competitive disabled sailors across the Mid-Atlantic region, and this gift from Weems & Plath is an important step in that direction.” According to Beatty, CRAB is currently soliciting donations to purchase specialized control systems for its Martin 16 sailboat, to provide quadriplegic sailors with ‘sip and puff’ options, enabling them to sail independently and race competitively. This is the first time that CRAB will have the ability to allow quadriplegic sailors to take the helm. “
Weems & Plath is an 87 year-old Annapolis-based company that builds high quality nautical and weather instruments. The company’s donation was generated from a portion of the proceeds of their annual Tent Sale. Weems & Plath President Peter Trogdon explained, “Weems & Plath appreciates CRAB’s mission, and we are proud to support their efforts to bring disabled sailing to more participants. We view this gift as a challenge to the Maritime industry in Annapolis and beyond to help bring the joy and empowerment of sailing to disabled participants.”
CRAB’s 2015 season ended in October, during which it had 965 attendees, 446 of whom were disabled. These programs included monthly recreational sails, events for schools and institutions that serve adults and children in the disabled community, private sails, an intro to sailing class, a race coaching class, and participation in four regattas. Two of these regattas were the Wounded Warrior Sailing Regattas, held jointly with the U.S. Naval Academy sailing team and the National Sailing Hall of Fame.
The cost of the power-assist equipment is $7,000 and CRAB hopes to have raised the funds and have the Martin 16 fully operational when their 2016 season begins in April.
According to Board President Brian Jamieson, “CRAB changes lives every day. For CRAB’s participants, sailing can be a remarkably empowering experience, and many report that they ‘leave their disabilities at the dock. We thanks Peter and Cathie Trogdon, Weems & Plath, and the participants in the Tent Sale for helping CRAB make this possible.”
CRAB is a nonprofit organization based in Annapolis, Maryland that provides opportunities for people with physical and developmental challenges to experience sailing on the Chesapeake Bay.