Knoticat is a specially converted 9 metre sailing catamaran. Over the last ten years it has provided hands-on sailing and recreation for thousands of disabled people in the local area. The Knoticat organisation is part of the registered charity Sports Forum for the Disabled (SF) and is run entirely by local volunteers.
Each year more than 500 disabled people and their carers sail with them from Poole Quay Boat Haven on trips lasting about three hours. These trips around the harbour, along the Jurassic coast, or up the river to Wareham are entirely free and
provide an invigorating day out for people with all levels of disability.
The boat itself is a twin-screw sailing Catalac catamaran built by Tom Lack Catamarans of
Christchurch during the 70s. The boat was purchased by the SF in 2001 and extensively
modified to allow wheelchair access to interior rest facilities and on-board toilet. It has been in continuous use since purchase and provides a unique sailing experience for its users. It is the only free seagoing modified sailing boat for disabled use that we know of in Britain.
The boat carries modern specialised safety devices, is fitted with up to date communication and navigation equipment and is crewed by experienced qualified individuals. Major maintenance is professionally carried out backed up with self-help. Cobb’s Quay Marina, Poole Quay Boat Haven and Poole Harbour Commissioners provide invaluable support too.
Project ‘Seahorse’ (Safe Easily Accessible Hands- On Real Sailing Experience) is ongoing, its aim to raise funds necessary to replace the ageing Knoticat. Although still safe and functional having recently undergone a major refit, the boat is becoming a bit of an old lady. Sponsors, fundraisers and volunteers are urgently needed to assist in
raising money to provide its successor. Anyone who feels that they can help is asked to make contact, details below.
The Knoticat team also now needs to expand its
operational side, anyone with an interest in helping in this direction is asked to contact the secretary. The operational needs lie particularly in fundraising, sponsorship, administration, public relations, boat maintenance and record keeping. There is also a requirement for experienced crew and trainees. Training is available for all tasks at all levels and involvement can be as little or as much as volunteers wish.
All disabled people, resident or visitor, who would like to sail with them at any level should contact the booking line on 07889 970702.