Sunday, December 18, 2016

RS Venture Connect Keelboat



On Dec. 10th 2016 I was able to test sail an RS Venture Connect keelboat with side by side seats designed for those with disAbilities on San Diego Bay (CA. USA). This sailboat is 16'4” long overall, beam of 6'8”, hull weight 655 lbs with weighted keel. Sail area is 159 square feet with symmetrical or asymmetrical spinnaker options available. See Videos at the bottom of this article.

I was very impressed with the stability and performance
of this boat. On the day I sailed it the wind ranged from only about 2 knots, up to about 10 knot gusts. In the gusts I never felt like the boat was going to broach and found her very responsive at the helm. I found her speed
was impressive to keep up with any other monohulls on the water, from big keelboats to other small day sailors.

As for the strength of the boat I actually walked on the forward deck with little deck flexing. Overall this boat is very well built for years of sailing enjoyment. When stepping on or off the boat I found her very steady and stable, something those with balance issue will appreciate. To tell you the truth I found it nice to be able to step on and off the boat without excessive heeling or the feel that if you did step on the gunwale she might capsize. Again this boat is extremely stable.

The biggest benefit to this boat is its versatility. One can purchase the Sailability Pack that includes two side by side seats, with stick shift style steering, and control tower that includes the main sheet and jib block system and other control line features. This system can be installed or removed in just a few minutes. This boat can be sailed like any day-sailor and even includes a trapeze system for those that want to trap out. Put in the Sailability Pack and sail with your grandfather or mother, or someone with a disAbility that requires supportive seating. Having a boat that can do it all is a great cost effective benefit for any individual, family, or program.


Some might ask me... “OK Miles, you gave us the pros, now what are the cons?” To that question I say... like any sailboat there are always things that could be improved or added. I would like to see a kick up rudder system and Keel raising system that can be used while on the water.
The weighted dagger board style keel is retractable for trailering. Still I find the lack of the kick up rudder and keel not that big of an issue if you are already use to fixed keelboats. As for any other negatives I can tell you I tried to find some but none really showed.

Other advantages include a high boom height that allows you to keep your head up during a jibe or tack, unless you are quite tall. Rigging is so easy as the mast only weights 00 lbs and all other parts are simple and easy to get to.

For sailing programs this boat is a win win as all ages can enjoy this boat, from the very young to the very old... as well as with people of varying abilities. This is great for any program with the desire to be truly inclusive.



RS Venture Connect keelboat 
Specifications/Description
- Length: 16.4 ft
- Beam: 6.8 ft
- Draft: 3.2 ft
- Draft Keel raised: 10”
- Mast Length: 20 ft
- Unladen hull and heel weight: 655 lb
- Mainsail: 118sqft reefs to 98sq ft
- Jib: 41sq ft
- Spinnaker (optional): Asymmetric 150sq ft; Symmetric: 113sq ft
- Self righting 264lb keel with lead bulb
- 1200 capacity max (that's a lot of weight for this size boat)
- Self draining cockpit - transom drain tubes quickly clear spray and rainwater
- Non-slip grip surfaces throughout the entire cockpit
- Can be stored afloat on a mooring
- Easy keel lifting via keel hoist for convenient launching and transport ashore
- Very durable composite GRP hull and skin construction with 3mm core mat for high durabilit-
   Optional Sailablity Pack includes side-by-side seats, stick steering system, control tower, etc.
- Optional aluminum keelband on hull bilge rails - protection when grounding - minimum maintenance
- Optional spinnaker pack (asymmetric or symmetric) to add speed and fun factor

For more info about this boat contact me at funtosail@gmail.com or call 208-704-4454.

US Sailing Adaptive Sailing Summit Results

Hello fellow sailing enthusiasts...

As some of you know on Dec. 9th I attended US Sailing's
Adaptive Sailing Summit in San Diego, CA. USA . It was fabulous to mingle with so many who share my passion to help make sailing more inclusive. The goal of this summit was to determine what would help to grow the sport of Adaptive Sailing and make it more inclusive.

The results of the open discussion during this conference were quite revealing... We determined 5 things are needed to help with our goal of making sailing more inclusive.

1. We need to have an easy way to find resources that are currently available, such as adaptive equipment currently in production, sailboats that are being used in various inclusive programs, etc.; 2. The US Sailing website needs to be made easy to navigate to find Adaptive/Inclusive Sailing info; 3. Develop best practices and standards for Adaptive Sailing via education; 4. Improve understanding and support in our local communities and yacht clubs for persons with disAbilities in sailing; 5. A network needs to be built and maintained to keep us all connected in our efforts to build participation in all aspects of the sport. It does no good to have this great summit and then go home and not stay connected.

Another discussion I found interesting was the question... “is there a better term to express what we are trying to accomplish in the sport of sailing?” Some call it “accessible” sailing; others call it “adaptive” sailing; and still others call it “inclusive” or “universal” sailing (basically inclusive and universal mean the same thing). Adaptive is a good word but it implies that something has to be adapted to make a particular boat accessible to persons with disAbilities, however many persons with disAbilities can sail a boat with no adaptions at all. The word accessible implies that something is able to be reached or entered, such as entering or getting aboard a sailboat, or accessing the outdoors via an accessible trail, etc. This word/term certainly fits the goal of making a boat accessible in and of its self, but what we want to do is go beyond the boat and include the programming, education, web resources, etc. The word “inclusion” and/or “universal” seems to be the words to cover it all as these words imply including or covering all the services, people, facilities, equipment, or items normally expected or required. I have to add that Inclusive in this modern era does imply an inclusion of persons with varied identities and political sensitivities. So likely a more neutral term is universal. And I might add some yacht clubs will love the word inclusive and others might be cautious of utilizing an idea or program that includes this word. So Universal seems to make more sense.

This summit takes place each year and I can tell you I look forward to attending it next year and discussing all that we accomplished in 2017.

So what is Access To Outdoors going to do for 2017? First, as usual we have several access projects developing. We hope to have a fully accessible site on Lake Coeur d'Alene and the Spokane River, and continue to work current sites to improve their accessibility. In addition we may be running an inclusive sailing event in Redding California. One part of this event will be the Hobie 16 Trapseat Worlds and the second part will be an Inclusive Sailing Workshop to help persons become Adaptive US Sailing certified. So exciting! 2017 is going to be AWESOME! Please stay tuned and check the calendar for more information about what ATO will accomplish in 2017.


Fair winds,

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

US Sailing Adaptive Sailing Summit

This Dec. 9th from 9-5PM in San Diego there will be a US Sailing Adaptive Sailing Summit to address the needs of disAbled sailors and improve the sport of Accessible/Adaptive Sailing nationally. To attend contact Cindy Walker at CindyWalker@ussailing.org Main: (401) 683-0800 Direct: (401) 683-0800

I (Miles Moore) will be there primarily promoting the sport of Accessible/Adaptive Hobie Sailing.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

10th Street project officially KILLED!

Attention... I was just informed via email by Bill Greenwood of the City of Coeur d'Alene that the 10th Street Non-Motorized Boat Launch has been officially killed. Even though this was not one of our projects and we gave them a quick assessment of the sites potential accessiblity, its still sad to see such a great project die. This is not an unusual happening related to city projects as typically there is a 50 50 chance of such projects succeeding. If you live in a city where such projects are warmly embraced count yourself lucky. The interesting note about this project is that only those opposed to this project were allowed to give input so really this project had no chance of getting approved.

On another note the site where this non-motorized facility was to be built is still available to those without disAbilities. Its a great place to launch your kayak and paddle board from... for more info about this site visit the following link and silde down the page to #3 10th Street Landing and Tubbs Hill... CLICK HERE!

So do not give up as the good news is we at Access To Outdoors have some great projects developing just outside the city limits... news forth coming soon.

10/15/2016
If you have not heard the accessible 10th Street Non-Motorized Boat Launch that received funding to be constructed in the spring of 2017 is now being blocked by members of the 11th street marina (dock owners), a real estate business next to the proposed site (commercial business), and a few land owners. Its possible this project could be killed all together.

The reasons they want to end this project is not because they want to limit access for persons with disAbilities but its due to the fact they feel its 1. an unsafe location for such a site (its already unsafe with the marina dock and boats so close to Tubbs Hill), 2. would create water craft congestion (no kayakers have noticed this issue), and 3. commercial businesses might use the site to access the lake (no proposal for commerical entity to use this site)... See video, City of CdA counsel meeting https://www.cdaid.org/videos

A point of interest made at the cda counsel meeting is that the shoreline of Tubbs Hill next to the marina is leased to the marina (a suggestion by a member of the 11th Street Marina assoc. that they own this shoreline). The question some of us have is why did the city lease public lands of our beloved Tubbs Hill to the marina (a commercial business) without public approval.

It should be noted that some who are against this project propose that an alternate site be created on the west side of Tubbs Hill at 3rd Street Marina, which has some potential but at a much greater cost. However such a site would put non-motorized craft in a congestion are (boats, vehicles, pedestrians), and this area has a lot more commercial activity... all the points they made against the accessible 10th Street non-motorized launch. I believe many of us would not be against this as a second or third choice.

There is also the idea of creating an alternate non-motorized launch at a site on Blackwell Island along the river. If you have ever tried to kayak on the Spokane River you know how congested that area is. The main reason for this congestion is due to the fact they keep building docks on this small portion of the river as if the river environment can handle an endless number of powerboats. Also this area is a high current area during spring and fall. Still this site shows potential for late spring, summer, early fall use as long as a log boom is put in place to protect the site from powerboat wakes.

So this is in a nutshell what is going on. I did not post this news sooner as I just found out about it. Access To Outdoors is in no way associated with the development of this site, we were only asked to suggest what accessible features would be good for a site like this.

So if you are for the development of this accessible 10th Street non-motorized boat launch please come to the City of Coeur d'Alene Parks & Rec. meeting this Dec. 19th at 5:30 in the CdA Library. A good turnout would go a long way in making it known that there are more people for this than against it. A poor turnout will insure this project will never be accomplished.

You might ask how many fully accessible sites are located on Lake Coeur d'Alene and Spokane River, the answer, ZERO. Access To Outdoors goal is to see at least one fully accessible marine site in each county within the Inland NW. This 10th street non-motorized water craft launch could be the first of its kind within Kootenai County, and in the entire Inland NW.

If you have any question and/or suggestions please email us at accesstooutdoors@gmail.com

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Sailing on Lake Coeur d'Alene Idaho

10/19/2016
Thought you all might like to see what a nice day out sailing is like... very therapeutic. On October 1st Mitch, Myself (Miles), and my wife Corine sailed his newly purchased Catalina 27 on Lake Coeur d'Alene Idaho. Wind was 10 to 15 knots, and with top boat speeds between 4 to 6+ knots, which is darn good for an old heavy boat like this... must have been the sailors ;)  Wonderful day of sailing!


Boundary County, Smith Lake project

9/13/2016
Great news for the Inland Northwest nature enthusiasts! Wheelchair access to both a fishing and boating dock have just been restored at the beautiful Smith Lake launch site! Smith Lake resides in Boundary County, just north of the city of Bonners Ferry Idaho. There are so many things to love at this launch and campground, and with the restoration projects just completed, it’s even nicer than before! And it’s free! I know, right???

So, when was it done, by who, and what exactly was done? Read on and I’ll fill you in…

The work was done on July 31, 2016 by Access To Outdoors (ATO), The Forest Service, and a Hayden Idaho volunteer work party led by Michael Bingham. Several things were improved that day…

1. The path leading from the parking lot to the fishing dock had plants (including sticker bushes) growing over a portion of the path, all of which were removed with a protective barrier and rocks placed down to help prevent weeds from growing back up again in it’s place. The gravel on the trail was also worn thin. Both of these issues were completely resolved leaving the path both accessible and beautiful! Also a conduit was put under the path to prevent erosion from washing part of the path away.


2. At the boat launch dock, a sturdy and beautiful, accessible ramp was created, making boat access completely accessible.

3. Holes in the parking lot and road leading to the docks and launch were also filled with gravel.

There are still a couple inaccessible points to consider when planning a trip...  The restrooms are not yet accessible. That’s the big one…

Though not as crucial as access to restrooms, there are a few other areas that could be improved as well… Direct water access for those who use wheeled mobility would be nice (since many individuals express a desire to enter the water from their wheelchair to cool off or go for a swim.); wheelchair access to one of the campsites would be nice; and access to a campsite restroom near an accessible campsite would also be nice. ATO hopes to be a part of adding these features in the future. For now, at least anyone can get on a dock and fish via wheelchair, or enter a boat via the boat dock. See access rating and scale below.

SPECIAL THANKS: ATO wants to thank Patricia Hart, Leandra Sherrer, and others at the Forest Service for being so willing to improve access at this and other sites throughout North Idaho. And a very special thanks goes out to Kevin Bingham and his work party of volunteers who came to help make this possible. Thank you all so much for helping ATO to make this dream a reality! Good people like you make our area a very special and wonderful place to alive!

If you would like to donate your time, energy, or other resources to improving wheelchair access in the Inland Northwest, please contact ATO to be placed on a list of persons to be contacted when future work parties are needed. And a hearty thank you for doing so! God bless!

Miles and Corine Moore with ATO

ACCESSIBILITY RATING:

1. PARKING... Gravel; No designated accessible parking spaces; however, parking area is hard packed gravel and level.

2.  RESTROOM… Not accessible at either launch site or campground; Closest accessible restroom is at the gas station at the HWY95/HWY 2 Junction about 7 miles away.

3. PATHS/TRAILS.... The gravel trail from the parking lot to the launch and dock area was improved to allow persons in wheelchairs to us it. A conduit was added to keep rain water from eroding the trail.

4. SENSORY... The are no brail and tactile ground features at this facility for those who are visually or otherwise impaired.

5. DOCK(s)/LAUNCHES/PLATFORMS… Launch and fishing docks are accessible; Boat launch pad is at about 4% grade, is 10' wide, transitions from a one piece cement pad to individual strips of cement 2'x10' as the launch progresses into the water; At low water times of the year (late summer) be aware of spaces between these strips, which may cause a wheeled mobility device to get stuck.

6. DIRECT WATER ACCESS… None.

7. TRANSFER SYSTEMS… None.
  8.. CAMPING... Two camping sites are on fairly level hard packed dirt ground (can become soft and muddy during wet times of the year) – no concrete pads and paths; Picnic tables and fire pits are located at each camping site. No RV hookups.

9. O.T.H.E.R… Oddities/Barriers: N/A.; Terrain: Parking lot and launch area, and camping areas ground is level to no more than about 5% grade. The ground is either gravel, small rocks, or hard packed dirt. Can get a little muddy around the camping area; H2O/Water: Bring drinking water… No running/drinking water available. Lake water is safe to swim in unless otherwise posted/noted at US Forest Service website. Late summer the water becomes stagnant with algae build up. Shoreline is filled with aquatic plants, lily pads, etc. No open beach areas; Environmental Conditions: Beware of Low Head Dam at south end of lake during spring run-off. Also because this site is a wilderness/primitive area with gravel and hard packed dirt this site can potentially get muddy in areas resulting in wheeled mobility device potentially getting stuck. Resources: Food, restrooms, and gas at HWY 95/HWY 2 junction.

Elsie Lake boulder reset


July 13, 2016
It is official on June 30th the Elsie Lake restroom in Shoshone County was made fully accessible.  As some of you know previously large boulders were placed around the restroom to protect it from vandalism, unfortunately the boulders were placed too close together to allow wheelchairs to pass through to restroom. Now there is one spot on the south side where there is a gap of 42 inches to allow wheelchair access.


Tom McTevia who passed away last year wanted this issue fixed as Tom's loved this lake and the area around it. I know Tom would be pleased with this.

Great appreciating goes to Josh Jurgensen of the local Forest Service for working with us on this project. Josh personally made this happen. As always its a pleasure to work with the Forest Service as they like us want all people to be able to access the outdoors.

Bridge Safety

9/27/2016
Was out on the water this last Sat. doing US Coast Gaurd aux work. Went to the Trail of the Coeur d'Alene Bridge to make sure all the boat navigation lights work. Last year not all the lights were working but this year they are working. Also was a beautiful day on the water.

ADOPT Elies, Smith and Brush Lakes

Feb. 8, 2016
Attention Friends!


Smith Lake Inaccessible Accessible Dock
I am officially putting ADOPT/work groups together to do work on three outdoor facilities... the Brush & Smith Lake facilities and the Tom McTevia Project/Elsie Lake facility. Each ADOPT/work group needs a minimum of 10 people.

The first phase of work on Smith and Brush Lake facilities are to restore the eroded dirt to the accessible docks. I need people to move dirt in a wheelbarrow from a truck to the area at the start of the docks (a distance of about 50 ft on slightly level and sloped packed gravel ground) at both sites. We may have to install some barriers to trap the dirt to keep it from eroding again. I need volunteers to bring shovels, picks, and gravel/dirt and grass rakes. We will need to rent a ground compactor. Everyone will need to drive to the sites, car pooling is recommended. The road to the dock at both sites can be driven on by any motor vehicle. This will be a full day project starting on site at Smith Lake at 8:AM (date TBA). Contact Miles Moore at accesstooutdoors@gmail.com (preferred) or call 208-704-4454 to Adopt and/or volunteer. Visit this link to learn about the needs of these facilities http://bit.ly/20kifwr , and this link to learn about the Smith Lake facility and area http://bit.ly/1mo0MWA and this link about Brush Lake and area http://bit.ly/1LMRGvV


Elsie Lake Inaccessible Accessible Restroom
Tom McTevia Elsie Lake project: The work at Elsie Lake requires moving some large rocks and soil to fix the accessibility to the restrooms and trails. We will be working in about a mile squire area that is fairly level, yet can be rough terrain. This is a wilderness area so those using wheelchairs will need off road tires, and vehicles will need to have some level of off road abilities to get to the site, such as common pick up truck (carpooling is recommended). I need volunteers to bring shovels, picks, and gravel/dirt and grass rakes. We will need to rent a ground compactor and tractor on a trailer. This will be a full 2 day project on Fri/Sat. (dates TBA). We will meet at 6:AM on Friday at the HWY 90 Exit 54/Big Creek Exit, and then drive almost 13 miles on dirt/gravel roads to the site. The plan is to camp overnight at the site and Friday evening have a potluck dinner. Any volunteer is welcome to work for one day or two. Contact Miles Moore at accesstooutdoors@gmail.com (preferred) or call 208-704-4454 to Adopt and/or volunteer. Visit this link to learn about the needs of this facilities http://bit.ly/20kifwr , and this link to learn about this facility and area http://bit.ly/1LMRGvV

I will also be posting these two projects at justserve.org

10th St Accessible Non-Motorized Land

Jan. 28, 2016
There is exciting news about a possible new 10th Street accessible landing being constructed (access dock, non-motorized launch, accessible beach access, load and unload area, water trail, etc), which will be almost next to the proposed Tom McTevia memorial site.

We met with an official who is working on this project that had us evaluate the site. We agreed that such a facility would be highly beneficial to those with and without disabilities mainly because there is no such place on Lake Coeur d'Alene.

Funding approval or denial for this project is to be announced this June and if approved construction would start sometime in 2017.

To learn more about the actual site visit the Lake Coeur d'Alene section of boatingtheinlandnw.com... here is a direct link http://bit.ly/1RdoAYY. You will need to slide down the page to #3. Also on the google map at this site you can see where this site is located via #3 on the map, on the east side of Tubbs Hill.

For additional info visit http://bit.ly/1PVLnVb

Hayden Kite Festival

April 22, 2016
Annual Hayden Kite Festival: April 23, 12:00-2:30 p.m. @ Broadmoore Park in Hayden. Registration runs from 12:00-1:30 p.m. with kite flying from 12:00-2:00 pm. Awards will be announced @ 2:15 p.m. and include Best Flyer, Crash & Burn and much more. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the day with your family! Brought to you by the City of Hayden, FunToSail.com, STCU and Hayden Chamber of Commerce. Free admission - all ages welcome. For information, call Community Services at (208) 209-1080.

Boundary County Water Access

On Friday 3/15/2015, Michelle Porter and I (Miles Moore) visited all the main access points of the bodies of water in Boundary County area that are nearest Bonners Ferry. This was for the purpose of identifying degree of accessibility of various water sites and their potential to be made accessible.

Areas we visited… We visited the Kootenai River, Moyie River/Reservoir, and the following lakes: Smith, Bonner, Brush, Dawson, MacArthur, Perkins, and Smith. Dawson and MacArthur Lakes are the most accessible of these to persons with disAbilities, and are both fairly close to Bonners Ferry. 

On the Kootenai River the launch next to the Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge is most ideal for development of an accessible marine site, in part because of it’s fairly level terrain; currently it is almost totally inaccessible to persons using wheelchairs.

Moyie Reservoir off of HWY 2 is another ideal area for development due to it’s location and other features. Currently it is not accessible to persons using wheelchairs.

All other facilities we visited are either totally in-accessible or only partially accessible to persons with disAbilities utilizing wheelchairs. However I must say Perkins Lake has a nice accessible long fishing dock, but their launch is all mud.

Strong and fast moving currents can be an issue on the Kootenai River and Moyie River/Reservoir so these sites are more use-able after late spring or early summer (depending on spring run off). Still, once this time is past there are quite a few months in which they can be safely enjoyed.

If you live in Boundary County we would love to hear from you related to your ideas and input in helping develop more accessible water based facilities. Thank you in advance for your input!
Boat Launch next to Kootenai Wildlife Refuge on the Kootenai River...
Has great potential as an accessible river access site but is currently
 in-accessible to wheelchairs.
Brush Lake gravel path to accessibled docks
Brush Lake in-accessible restrooms... These are the most
narrow restroom doors I have ever seen
Common issues with accessible docks that need some extra hard pack dirt
installed to make accessible docks accessible
Moyie Falls

Scott Bailey Memorial Service

4/22/2016

Scott Bailey Memorial Service will be May 7th at 2 o'clock at Glass Park in Spokane Washington (just a few blocks from North Town Mall). If you can bring some food for a potluck style lunch that would be great. Please if possible wear the colors blue and white.

Directions: Off of N Division Street in Spokane turn left or right onto E Wellesley Ave. heading East, go 4 blocks turn south onto N. Standard Street. In two blocks you will see the park. If you are coming off HWY 95 take exit 281 and go north into Spokane (exit will put you right onto N Division Street, heading North), turn right onto E. Wellesley Ave, then right onto N. Standard Street. You can also Google the park for directions by inputting Glass Park, Spokane WA.

If you need additional info and clarification please contact Melissa Bailey via text or voice at 206-429-0647.

Hobie 16 Trapseat


4/14/2016

Hello fellow sailors and accessible sailing supporters,

Access To Outdoors is still looking for a nice used Hobie 16 that someone might want to donate to our accessible sailing program. The goal is to get at least one Hobie 16 that we can install adaptive wing-seats on, called Trapseats (see pic).


Please if you know of any charitable persons that own or would like to purchase a Hobie 16 for our program we would greatly appreciate it.


We have 2 major accessible events this summer (June 11 and July 30) that we need a Hobie 16 for.


Anyone can contact Miles Moore at accesstooutdoors@gmail.com or call 208-704-4454 to donate or give us leads to a suitable Hobie 16. Your donation is tax deductible.


Fair winds,