Research and Development

Sailability Wellington has a rich history of research and development, creating boats and equipment that help local sailors as well as those from around NZ and beyond. For the last five and a half years, we have had a workshop at Seaview marina where we repair and refurbish our yachts and produce supporting equipment.

Our workshop is inclusive and welcomes volunteers (female and male) willing to follow core safety standards. Our core maintenance crew also includes volunteers from the Wellington Woodworkers Guild and Naenae Men's Shed. There are lots of different jobs to do - you don't need experience or a knowledge of boats. Just enthusiasm, some common sense, and a willingness to drink some coffee and chat about boats!


Sailability Wellington is proud to be developing 'ParAble’; a new class of sailboats for people with disabilities. Currently, most Sailability groups in NZ and overseas sail HANSA 303's, which can take a maximum weight of 160kg. We are increasingly finding this payload is insufficient for some of our ‘sailor + crew’ combinations. Some of our sailors are also progressing to a point where they are seeking the challenges of a more advanced boat.

Designed by Bruce Askew

With the support of our Board of Trustees, Sailability Wellington enlisted the services of renowned NZ yacht designer Bruce Askew to design a boat capable of taking a maximum payload of 240kg, suitable for both learn-to-sail and racing. We have now successfully built, tested and refined a prototype through several iterations, drawing on feedback from industry heavyweights including NZ Paralympic sailors.

The boat of the future

We now have two ParAble boats and are looking forward to hosting a regatta with them in 2023. There is already considerable interest in ParAble, including from several NZ Sailability branches and groups in Australia and the Pacific region. We have already received a request from another NZ Sailability branch to purchase ParAble boats once we go into production. ParAble is now Trademarked to Sailability Wellington and we are working to establish ParAble as a new ‘designer class’ to be registered with World Sailing.

The 'ParAble’, a new class of sailboats for people with disabilities, sailing on Wellington Harbour.