The Lake Harriet Yacht Club’s Adaptive Sailing program encourages sailors with physical challenges to experience the sport of sailing and serenity of harnessing the wind on the water. Sailors use our growing fleet of club-owned Mini Illusion boats (i.e. boat ownership is NOT required ).

Lake Harriet Yacht Club is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Since we're an all-volunteer run club, donations help with equipment maintenance and program expenses while keeping our Adaptive Sailing memberships affordable and accessible to all. Please donate a tax-deductible gift today.

Adaptive Sailing began in 2007 when Courage Center Duluth donated 3 boats (Illusion Mini 12s) to LHYC. The boats had one set of sails and one set of keel weights between the 3 boats. After much TLC, which included acquiring lead and learning how to melt it for the keels, they had 3 usable boats. In 2010 the Judd Goldman Sailing Center in Chicago learned about the LHYC program online and donated a 2.4 meter boat to the LHYC program.
The boats feature a deep cockpit under the boom, meaning sailors don’t have to worry about moving back and forth. 350 pounds of lead in the keel prevent the boats from capsizing. The boats are modified so that a rudder-steering joystick is in the front of the cockpit, enabling sailors to skillfully and safely navigate Lake Harriet without investing much physical effort. Additional modifications to the vessels have been made over the years. Solar panels installed in the bows control a pump that quickly drains rainwater from the cockpit following storms.
Every year, LHYC has seen the number of sailors and volunteers in the Adaptive Program increase. So much so that in 2011, the LHYC program won the U.S. Sailing Outstanding Program for Disabled Sailors Award. Each week, volunteers help sailors rig the vessels, embark and disembark. Others head out with motorboats and walkie-talkies to coach sailors while they’re on the water and ensure everyone’s safety. The program has fostered great friendships on and off the water and provides people with physical challenges the thrill of experiencing freedom on the water (from wheelchairs, crutches, etc).
Contact us  to learn more about this program and to participate as either a sailor or volunteer.

Last year, the Lake Harriet Yacht Club's Adaptive Sailing Program began a summer internship program. The student intern helped LHYC with:

• volunteer coordination
• sailing schedules
• sailor assistance into/out of boats & safety equipment
• membership acquisition

• important competitive research 

• writing weekly program updates shared with entire LHYC community

• and more!

Her assistance was so successful that LHYC wants to continue the opportunity. We're interested in upper level high school and college students to join us this summer. Come spend your summer at the lake!

LHYC is an all-volunteer run organization, so the internship would be unpaid. However, we're happy to help with any evaluations the student may need to get graduation credit. This is a part-time opportunity. Please click here for job description information. All applications due by April 8. Evaluated as they arrive. Questions? Contact

Adaptive Sailing Events

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