Thousands of ships and boats get built every year. Not many of them can effortlessly take on board disabled passengers, not to speak of those passengers becoming a part of the crew. For the two tall ships Lord Nelson and Tenacious this has been very different ever since the first stroke on the drawing board.
There are dozens of good reasons for going sailing, and there is not really any logical reason why handicapped people should not be doing so as well. More and more yachts and ships are equipped to such an extent that disabled fellow sailors can become part of the crew. As a full crew member, that is.
Lord Nelson was the first tall ship to be designed and built to enable people of all physical abilities to sail side by side on equal terms. The plan was to get people with and without disability together on a ship. This plan has been in place since the first ideas for this kind of a ship have been phrased and put into action.
Since then not only two tall ships have been built. Thousands of crew members have enjoyed the vastness of the oceans and the comradery of sailing crews. All of them working hand in hand, no matter what their physical status had been.
Special features on Lord Nelson for the disabled
Lord Nelson’s layout and facilities have been designed to enable those mixed crews to work together perfectly. The decks are wide and flat, so you can move around the ship easily. Wheelchair folks can climb stairs with special wheelchair lifts. Power assisted steering has been installed to enable people with limited strength to sail a tall ship. Finally, a speaking compass will help the visually impaired.
To get a better overview of what Lord Nelson has to offer, here is a brief bullet list with some (not all) of the fantastic supporting features:
- wide and flat decks for ease of movement
- wheelchair lifts between deck levels
- power assisted steering
- speaking compass
- braille signs and books
- guidance tracks, tactile stair strips and raised directional arrows on handrails
- vibrating pillows to inform hearing impaired passengers in case of emergency
- especially fitted bathrooms
- wider bunks for wheelchair users.
Sailing with and on Lord Nelson
Lord Nelson offers a wide mix of tall ship day sails and long weekend or 5-7 day trips around Europe. In addition to that there are also some very tempting and more than interesting longer summer expeditions.
Lord Nelson is not around or does not have any berths available? Then try Tenacious, the sister ship.
On board Lord Nelson a so-called buddy system is in place for each trip. What does that mean? Able bodied and physically disabled people work as a team and look after each other. Everyone is there to help one another and share the experience, so the buddy system works both ways.
Have you been sailing on Lord Nelson already?
Have you spent time onboard Lord Nelson? How long was it for, and where to? Would you like to share your story with me (and maybe other readers as well)? If yes, then please get in touch with me, I’d love to hear your story!
Lord Nelson’s Ship Details
Length on deck: 42,8 m
Length overall: 55,0 m
Beam: 9,0 m
Masthead height: 31,0 m
Displacement: 490 t
18 sails with sail area up to 1.024 sq m
Guest crew: 40
Ship’s crew: 7, plus volunteers
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