Our Journey

Cockshott Wood, Glebe Road, Bowness-on-Winderemere, Cumbria LA23 3HE
015394 45333 Registered Charity No. 1106865

 Life through Sailing – Sailing through Life

From the humble beginnings in the early 90’s, Blackwell Sailing represents a true success story. One that has grown from a single sailing dinghy and the vision of one dinghy sailor, David Hall.

Blackwell Sailing started, with support from colleagues at Whinfell Day Centre,  in 1993. Using one old plywood GP14 and some borrowed buoyancy aids we were based at Millerground in the north basin of Windermere. David’s aim was to introduce sailing to adults with learning disabilities as a means to extend their experience of the outdoor environment and develop their social skills.


  • 1995 the project moved to Blackwell Boathouse (hence the name)
  • Purchased a 17ft Lune Whammel boat and had use of an old RIB.
  • Registered as an RYA Sailability Foundation Site
  • Purchased a new RIB in 1999,
  • Registered as a charity in May 2000 and bought a 2nd Whammel boat
  • David running two sailing sessions per week with only a few volunteers.

But there was no flushing toilet, no running water and no electricity on site. The charity was not permitted to develop the site and access was across a field so sometimes difficult. In 2002 the boat house was sold and we had to move on. Our first season here at Cockshott Wood was in 2003. By then we had three sailing boats, about a dozen volunteers and ran sessions for adults with learning disabilities.

With more funding, mostly raised through grant applications we obtained a hoist (to give access for wheelchair users), a toilet/shower room, some canoes, a part-time manager/instructor (David), an awning to give more under-cover space, a 4 stroke safety boat engine, fees for two freelance instructors to run extra sessions, some new waterproofs (that have now been renewed again), buoyancy aids, a picnic bench, boat covers etc, etc, etc. And so the journey continues…………….Take a look at our Royal Launch video