Ever felt like leaving it all behind and having the wind in your hair, well now you can, everyone can. I’m sure you’ve heard the Tall Ships are in town. But did you know there’s a Tall Ship with a difference. JST (Jubilee Sailing Trust), a registered charity, has made sailing available to everyone. The Lord Nelson and Tenacious are the only tall ships, in the world, designed and built for people of all physical abilities to sail side-by-side as equals. Music too many sea yearning sailors I’m sure. (Feargal Kinsella, I know you’re smiling).
This ambitious plan took two years to complete, designed by Colin Mudie so all requirements were met and constructed in the UK. Key decisions were made about the final layout of the ship, to ensure she was functional and practical for people of all physical abilities.
JST’s mission is quite simply, anyone who becomes a crew member, is as unfamiliar with the environment as the next person, i.e. there aren’t too many Tall Ships around. Also to get the ship to sail requires good teamwork and communication skills. This means crew members learn how to spot people’s natural strengths, how to encourage each other and to engage with people they may not otherwise have met. Sounds like a win-win situation to me.
The Lord Nelson is a fine example of how people with different levels of physical abilities become a voyage crew and participate fully on the voyage. This is also a clear reminder of how simple design changes can make an environment inclusive. The ships have flat wide decks, raised markers on hand rails, lifts between decks and gangways that are wide enough for a wheelchair, so people can get around unaided. There is also the addition of speaking compasses and hearing loops. So when you’re down at Dublin Docks this weekend make sure to check out these simple but highly affective design difference that make a huge difference to a working crew. Ahoy Ahoy, bags to be top of the mast!