Disabled Sailing Association of Ontario

The Martin 16

The Canadian designed and built Martin 16 is a keelboat, though some would say disguised as a dinghy. It is nimble, fun in a breeze but with a 330lb keel it has the key safety feature – impossible to capsize! The cockpit layout is cleverly designed to cater to those with limited mobility: The helmsmen sits low in the boat, facing forward with a central “joystick” style tiller and both sheets led through a central easy-to-reach pulley. All other adjustments -  boom vang, cunningham, outhaul, bilge – are also within arm’s reach.

The sailor sits in the boat in a multi-adjustable seat that can accommodate any special postural needs. The seat is situated on the center line at the bottom of the cockpit. This is the most stable position in the boat and means that the sailor does not have to move from one side of the boat to the other as one must do on standard sailboats. If necessary quick-release straps can be used to stabilize the sailor’s trunk when the boat heels (leans to the side) on windy days.


Designer: Don Martin
Current builder: KAPE Boatworks
Website: martin16.com
Rig: Sloop rigged
Length overall: 16'0" 4.90M
Beam: 4'4" 1.21M
Draft-keel up: 1'4" 0.40M
Draft-keel down: 3'4" 1.0M
Displacement: 700lbs 318kg
Ballast: 300lbs 136kg
Sail area: 100sq ft 9.50sqM
Mast height: 20' 6.15M
Hull Construction: Fiberglass/foam sandwich.
Molded, cored hull and deck with bonded-in reinforcing fully bonded hull/deck joint
Crew: 1-2 persons

Optional Equipment

  • Mylar Racing Sails
  • Dacron heavy duty sails (for programs).
  • Adaptive equipment is available from Accessible Sailing Technology - Windlass, Autohelm, Sip and Puff.


  • Molded, cored hull and deck with bonded-in reinforcing
  • Fully bonded hull/deck joint
  • Unidirectional "S" glass keel fin with cast lead ballast pod
  • Composite rudder blade (foam, fibreglass, vinyl ester resin),guaranteed not to de-laminate  *
  • Unsinkable hull with 1,100 lbs internal (foam) flotation
  • Rubrail bonded to gunwales  *

Hull and Deck Features

  • Long waterline, high-freeboard hull for performance and safety
  • Protected cockpit with spray-deck and wave deflecting flange
  • Non-skid deck surface
  • Reinforced deck  *
  • Reinforced bow  *
  • Fully adjustable, fiberglass helm seat (removable)
  • Newly designed companion seat provides more legroom (removable)
  • Standard hull/deck color: white

Control Features

  • “Joystick” helm system
  • Self-tacking, boomed jib
  • All control lines lead to helms station: main sheet; jib sheet; vang; outhaul; cunningham; main and jib halyards
  • 12:1 purchase keel lift system  *
  • High-capacity manual bilge pump


  • Tapered, anodized aluminum spars
  • Vinyl-coated stainless steel rigging  *
  • HARKEN blocks and cleats
  • All control lines are high-modulus SPECTRA fiber

*KAPE Boatworks improvements

A Program Boat

The inherent stability of the boat, combined with the simplicity of use makes for an ideal program boat. A 'rumble' seat can accommodate an instructor, caregiver, spouse or parent. It is safe; it will stay afloat even when totally flooded.

PHRF Rating
Category 5 Rating
PHRF 277 - non -spinnaker
PHRF 261 - spinnaker

Portsmouth Rating
108 (used in Canada)

DSAO - Disabled Sailing Association of Ontario DSAO is a family of organizations that promote and enable Ontarians with disabilities to experience therapeutic, recreational and social rehabilitation through the freedom of independent sailing. DSAO's objective is to build the sport of disabled sailing, assist with athlete development and sustain international competitive excellence. DSAO - Disabled Sailing Association of Ontario
Website design by Xavier Innovations