By combining Mitchell’s unique understanding and ideology of sailing for people with disabilities with 20 years of Bethwaite’s high performance skiff experience, the result is the innovative ‘lead assisted skiff’ (LAS), the SKUD18.
The boat is an exciting challenge for able-bodied and disabled sailors alike. This boat has been designed from a performance basis, to offer scintillating, crisp and snappy response to sailors regardless of their mobility.
Mitchell, designer of all Hansa sailcraft and support equipment notes, ‘The SKUD18 is very versatile and can be handled by a variety of crew configurations. The helmsperson can transfer manually and be steering with tillers, or be in a fixed seat on the centreline using a manual joystick, push/pull rods, or a servo assist joystick with full control of all functions. The forward crew can either be on the centreline, transferring manually, even riding trapeze. As its name denotes, the SKUD18 is a SKiff of Universal Design and can be sailed by people with all levels of physical ability.’
For Paralympic competition from 2008 through 2016, the SKUD18 has been sailed with two sailors seated on the centreline.
The SKUD18 is also an ideal lightweight two and three person sportsboat for club racing and training.
Owners or sailors can affiliate with the IHCA through their National Hansa Class Association (NHCA), but in countries where no NHCA is established, members can join the IHCA directly. One free annual membership of the NHCA/IHCA is offered to each new SKUD owner. Where the owner is a company or organisation, that membership can be delegated to an individual.