Sailboat for disabled launched


KATIE AND JOHN MILLER have commissioned “Katie” outfitted with special equipment to allow anyone with a disability to sail. - Submitted photo KATIE AND JOHN MILLER have commissioned “Katie” outfitted with special equipment to allow anyone with a disability to sail. - Submitted photo The Sailing Education Association of Sheboygan (SEAS) is honored to expand its fleet to include a permanent adaptive boat for our Adaptive Sailing Program.

In 2015 we designed a chair and electronic rigging system with Harken to allow Steve Heronemus to sail again. This system was able to be taken in and out of the Sonar as needed to accommodate our programming needs.

Last year, John and Katie Miller made a contribution with the intent of finding another Sonar to be fitted as a permanent adaptive boat. After several months of searching a boat was found and brought to Sheboygan. With an additional eight months of work restoring it and adding the electronics which include an electronic winch for adjusting the sails and tiller controls.

Each area can be controlled with a bit or toggle switches allowing those with severe disabilities to still have the ability to control the boat.

On Friday, June 16, SEAS welcomed “Katie” into the fleet with a ceremony officiated by Dione Knop, chaplain at the Sheboygan Yacht Club. Knop performed the denaming to purge the name “Stars and Stripes,” along with the history and experiences and any prior vessel names thereto, from the “Ledger of the Deep.” After a few moments, Knop continued with the naming of “Katie”.

The Miller’s were given the opportunity to christen her and Knop followed with a blessing.

“Having ‘Katie’ in our fleet will offer a safe environment for those with almost any disabilities to be able to sail” said SEAS chairman, Leslie Kohler.

If you know of anyone with a disability that has an interested in going out on Lake Michigan, have them contact the staff at SEAS at info@seasheboygan.org. whose mission is to make Boating for Everyone!


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