image of 4 people in a yacht, sailing in the harbour.

“Blind Sailing International is an Organisation to support expand and further the opportunities for visually impaired people competing in the sport of sailing.

 Blind Sailing International (BSI) does this through:

  • Supporting international sailing championships.
  • Promoting Visually Impaired sailing activities and achievements.
  • Providing an information source.
  • Providing an opportunity for Blind and Partially sighted sailors to share their experiences.
  • Working with World Sailing and the World Sailing Para World Sailing Committee (formerly the International Federation of Disabled Sailors (IFDS)).
  • Working internationally with other sailing Organisations to develop sailing opportunities for visually impaired sailors.”

– Blind Sailing International (BSI) Website 

Rules & Equipment 

Blind sailors do not require special boats or special adaptive equipment to sail.  An orientation to the boat is required and some tactile markings are preferred by some.  The type or design of boat preferable is one that is large enough to carry a crew of four while small enough to provide a responsive helm, that enables the blind sailor to exhibit his/her “seat of the pants” sailing ability.


Visually Impaired Sailors are classified by strict guidelines into three groups which are effectively in simple terms:

  • B1: No functional sight
  • B2: Poor partial sight
  • B3: No more than 10% functional sight


The best way to find out about Blind Sailing is by Contacting your Local Member Organisation or by visiting your local yacht club and asking if they support Blind Sailing. The Blind Sailing International Website provides good information regarding equipment and news that has happened recently in the world of Blind Sailing. 

How to Contact?

Searching for a group of established Sailors as a beginner may help with how quickly you are able to learn the in’s and out’s of blind sailing. Searching around for a suitable sailing club in a good position for you is important so be sure to look around, and call your Local Member Organisations if necessary.

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