Royal Hamilton Able Sail is a sailing program for individuals with a physical or developmental disability, age 8 and up. The RHYC has been operating a sailing school for over 50 years and the Able Sail program has been running at RHYC since 2001. The facility is wheelchair accessible and there are lifts for transferring participants to and from the boats if required.

The RHYC provides specifically designed boats such as Access 2.3, Access 303, Dinghies and Martin 16s, which are specially designed for persons with a disability.

The program includes a range of participation from having a relaxing sail to the excitement of racing. Based on your needs, there are a variety of options available for you to learn how to sail. The training is based on the standards of the Sail Canada. The instruction can be informal at your own pace or formal with certification.

The boats used should accommodate most disabilities. RHYC does not currently have the option of electric or sip and puff controls. If this is what you would require, please contact us and we can tell you which programs in Ontario do have this technology.

Recreational Sailing

Sailors who can demonstrate adequate sailing knowledge and skills are welcome to join our recreational program. Instruction, based on Sail Canada standards, is provided to all sailors by certified instructors or trained volunteers. This type of training is ideal in our family approach, where we train parents and caregivers in the basics of sailing to allow them to take their children out on the water. Continual progression of skill development is achieved at the sailor’s own pace in a relaxed setting. Sailors participate using any of our adapted boats and go out and enjoy their time out on Hamilton Harbour.

CANSail 1&2

For those who wish to take formal sail training, we are now offering the CANSail 1&2 levels as set out by Sail Canada. Sailors will learn the fundamental skills including basic terminology, knots tying and basic boat handling skills. Teaching can be done from any of our our accessible boats. Upon completion, sailors can continue to participate in our program in the recreational or racing format.


Participants are introduced to advanced boat handling skills and techniques. Sailors will work on racing theory, tactics and starts. Our racing program provides participants the opportunity to improve and test their skills against other competitors in a friendly environment. We encourage all our participants to take part in RHYC club race night and our annual local regatta, the Ontario Martin 16 Championships (John Farrell Memorial) which takes place the second weekend in August.

Program Fee and Registration

Full Season Membership - $220

Includes participation in any of our programs throughout the season. Program formats may be combined for a total of 1-2 sessions per week.

Half Season Membership - $135

Includes participation in any of our programs for a maximum of 4 full weeks through out the sailing season. Program formats may be combined for a total of 1-2 sessions per week. Additional sessions may be booked but are subjected to availability.

Refunds are not granted if participant misses sessions or if weather requires cancellation.

Download the Able Sail Application form and Email (, fax or mail to us.

Able Sail Application

Program Dates

Summer Session July 3rd - August 25th

Monday and Wednesday 1:00pm-8:30pm
Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9:00am-4:00pm


Contact Us

For any questions, concerns or feedback, feel free to email at

Royal Hamilton Yacht Club
555 Bay Street North, Hamilton, ON 
Phone: 905-528-8464
Fax: 905-528-2622