Sail CT Access Program


Please see letter to DIYC Members by Mike Miller dated February 22, 2013.

April 25, 2011                                                                  Click to go to website -->

Dear fellow boater:

Your club has graciously extended to us the opportunity to acquaint you with the Sail Connecticut Access Program (“SCA”).

We began operations in 1989 as Connecticut’s only recreational and educational program that provides people with all forms of physical and developmental disabilities or special needs, with the opportunity to sail on Long Island Sound. Driven and guided by volunteers, we are pleased to be entering our 23rd consecutive year of operation.

Each summer from June through early October our 3 specially adapted sailboats leave the dock at least five days a week, and as often as three times a day. Last summer we provided more than 1600 individual sailing opportunities to our members and the organizations that bring their people to us in groups. We are headquartered at Brewer Pilot’s Point Marina in Westbrook, where the Marina has outdone itself to provide us with a superb and accessible facility.

Our sailors come from all ages and backgrounds; their disabilities run the full gamut and we have learned to provide whatever assistance they may need. If they can get to the marina, we can get them out on the water and offer them a safe, enjoyable and educational sailing experience. Our part time sailing instructors are supplemented by a growing corps of volunteer skippers and mates who devote a great deal of time and effort to SCA.

Individual and family memberships in SCA are only $40 per year; for this, our members may come sailing as often as they wish, and without any additional charge. Any person with a disability or special need who claims a financial hardship is extended a membership without charge, and we also provide complimentary memberships to our disabled and wounded Veterans.

We accomplish all of this on a modest, no-frills annual budget. Membership dues make up only a portion of our expenses; the rest comes from generous donations by organizations and people who believe in what we do. We honor this generous support by putting every dollar we receive into the operation of SCA.

We are a non-profit organization; contributions to us may be tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.

Like many non-profits, the economy has had an impact upon the financial support we receive. With our operating costs generally fixed, we are expanding our outreach to a larger community of boaters and sailors. We would invite, and very much appreciate, your help in any or all of these three ways:

Do you know a person with a disability who you think might enjoy the opportunity to go sailing? If the answer is yes, please tell them about us.

Would you enjoy volunteering with us as a skipper or mate? Sailing with our wonderful group of people brings joy to them and enriches your sailing experience. There is no minimum commitment of time; any volunteer is most welcome.

If you a person who financially supports worthy causes, may we place ourselves before you as an organization needing financial support to remain afloat? We are, we think, a non-profit that a boater could especially love.

Any donation you may wish to make can be mailed to me at the address on this letterhead.

As we are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, your donation may be tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.

(I have created a list of 10 good reasons to support SCA, see below)

If you’d like to learn more about SCA, feel free visit our website at

You are always welcome to visit our facility in the South Yard at Pilot’s Point Marina in Westbrook. We are located near P Dock, just a little way past the entrance driveway bridge. Look for an 80 foot long “accessible” ramp leading from our staging platform down to the floating dock.

I will be pleased to answer any questions you may have; feel free to call me at (203) 231-1543. Our chief sailing instructor Rob Rackliff can be reached on the SCA cell phone at (860) 304-6588.

Thank you for the opportunity to acquaint you with us. We hope to hear from you.


Mike Miller

Treasurer and volunteer skipper


Sailing Opportunities for People with

Disabilities and Special Needs


1 We are a not-for-profit organization recognized by the Internal Revenue Service under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; accordingly, your contribution to us may be tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

2 We have a long history of many accomplishments and growth; we have been in continuous operation since 1989. We are the only recreational sailing program for people with disabilities and special needs along the Connecticut shoreline.

3 With our little "fleet" of three specially adapted sailboats we annually provide as many as 1,800 individual sailing experiences to people with all manner of physical and developmental disabilities, and to people with special needs.

4 We provide annual memberships to our sailors, and provide group sailing opportunities to organizations serving the disabled and special needs communities, at fees considerably below our actual cost. Your donations make this possible.

5 For any person with a disability or special need who expresses a financial hardship, we waive our annual dues and provide a subsidized membership with full privileges, without charge. We also offer complimentary memberships to our disabled and wounded Veterans.

6 Our Program is volunteer-driven; we have no administrative staff or offices. Instead, our growing corps of volunteers gives hundreds of hours to the program each year. Therefore, every dollar we receive goes directly into operating SCA.

7 We operate the Program on a shoestring; we seek and receive discounts and special donations for many of our purchases. Every dollar is wisely spent.

8 The enjoyment of sailing and the opportunity for a respite from the cares of everyday life is not all we provide; our members are able to spend time with other people with disabilities and special needs, interacting and enjoying one another's company in ways that are both uplifting and therapeutic.

9 We're more than just a boat ride; our members are given the opportunity to learn the joys of sailing, steering a sailboat and trimming the sails. Our skippers instruct our sailors about the manner in which a sailboat interacts with tide, wind and wave, and about the marine environment in which we sail.

10 We continually strive to provide a safe, enjoyable and educational sailing experience to the population of wonderful people we serve.