Boat donations prove good for the community
By Paul Gowan
There's providence in the sale of a boat. At least B.C.'s disabled
sailing community believes there is.
With the enthusiastic support of the boating
community, the Disabled Sailing Association of B.C.'s Boat Donation
Program is growing into quite a success story. In less than two years,
it has accepted vessels from 12 generous donors, providing valuable
funds for the disabled sailing programs run by DSA BC.
Rather than wait months to sell and then
potentially receive less than anticipated for a boat, owners can instead
donated it to DSA. In return, they receive a tax receipt for the full
appraised value of their vessel.
Boat donors have come from many different areas
of the boating community. As well as being avid sports people, they have
shown an interest in making it possible for sailors with disabilities to
experience the delights of being on the water while, at the same time,
benefiting from the potential of a generous reduction on their taxable
When the boat is sold, proceeds go toward DSA's
sailing programs, which run June through August each summer at the
Jericho Sailing Centre on English Bay. At the heart of the program is
the Martin 16 sailboat, a vessel designed in Vancouver specifically for
sailors with disabilities.
The Martin 16 is now regarded as the standard
for sailors with disabilities the world over because it combines
complete safety (unsinkable and untippable) with speed and
manoeuvrability, and allows even "high" quadriplegics the
opportunity to sail solo.
DSA is an independent, charitable society
dedicated to enriching the lives of people with significant disabilities
through leisure and competitive sailing. Using modified equipment and
sailing instruction from volunteers and staff, it offers sailing
opportunities for paraplegics, quadriplegics, people with cerebral
palsy, muscular dystrophy and other physical disabilities.
As people progress through training to becoming
adept sailors and even racers, some then move on to instruct and
motivate others with disabilities.
It has been two years since DSA launched the
Boat Donation Program under the direction of former realtor Maureen
DeLandreville. Working out of her North Delta home on her computer and
telephone, she rarely gets to meet boat donors face-to-face, but she
enjoys it nonetheless.
DeLandreville, rendered quadriplegic after an
accident, is ambitious and would like to bring in several more donated
boats per month. "It takes a while to get things rolling, and I
think we've done well for a couple of years, but I certainly have goals
for us to build it quite a bit more," she says.
Five of DSA's boat donors first got the idea of
choosing to donate from seeing an ad in Pacific Yachting Magazine. PY
has been extremely supportive of the Boat Donation Program,
DeLandreville noted, donating regular advertising space.
World-renowned undersea expert Phil Nuytten of
North Vancouver inspired one of the most recent donors to DSA. Nuytten
was a keynote speaker at the Service on the Sea awards, staged by
Pacific Yachting Magazine and held in Vancouver in November 2003.
DSA tends to sell donated boats quickly.
Currently, there are three boats listed on the DSA website. "Once
we've got it donated, we know we'll sell it … it's just a matter of
time," DeLandreville says.
DeLandreville admits to being a driven person,
which helps to push things along. "I like to work. I do this as a
volunteer and I spend a lot of time on it. I am quite ambitious and I
think there's lots of potential here to do more, and I want it to go
For donated boats, DSA arranges and pays for an
independent assessment from a licensed boat surveyor, as well as a
mechanical inspection. If repairs are required, DSA will underwrite them
as long as they are less than the potential sale price of the vessel.
DSA then looks after mooring, insurance costs and brokerage.
Many of these services end up being donated as
well. "All the people that support our organization with their
generous donations of service are just great people to deal with, so I
consider myself really lucky to be working with them,"
DSA is delighted to see the program gaining
strength, because it helps meet the growing needs as DSA expands the
services it offers to disabled sailors.
In the summer of 2004, DSA will provide 1,000
sailing experiences to people with disabilities. That will be no mean
feat and will require much effort from staff and volunteers - and a
strong source of funding. All eight of DSA's Martin 16 sailboats will be
busy. There will be a constant need to repair and upgrade equipment,
train personnel and replace the boats as they wear out.
The spirit and generosity of boat donors goes a
long way toward making this happen.
For more information on DSA's boat donation
program, call Maureen DeLandreville at 604-594-7975, phone DSA at
604-688-6464 or visit www.disabilityfoundation.org/dsa.