The Canadian designed and built Martin 16 sailboat is specially designed to meet the needs of sailors with disabilities, offering children and adults the possibility of leaving their wheelchair or other mobility device behind and going sailing. The Martin 16 is currently used in adapted sailing programs around the world for recreational sailing, learn-to-sail programs and racing.

Safety Features - a 300 lb lead keel bulb is attached to the daggerboard for stability, making it impossible to capsize (tip over). The inner hull of the boat is filled with foam flotation, making the Martin 16 unsinkable even if totally flooded.

The sailor sits in the boat in a multi-adjustable seat that 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. 

Once comfortably seated, the joystick tiller (to control the steering) and lines (to control the sails) are directly at hand making it possible to sail the boat independently without needing to change position. A second seat for an instructor or companion is located behind the sailor’s seat.

Optional power-assist equipment can be added to the boat to allow individuals with limited mobility in their arms to sail the boat using a joystick similar to those found on power wheelchairs. And for those who cannot move their arms at all the sip ’n puff system allows them to sail the boat using their breath. 


Length overall: 16 ft. 0 ins (4.9 m)
Beam: 4 ft. 4 ins (1.21 m)
Draft keel up: 1 ft. 4 ins (0.40 m)
keel down: 3 ft. 4 ins. (1.0 m)
Weight:  780 lb. (353 kg)
Ballast (lead):  330 lbs (150 kg)
Sail area: 100 sq ft (9.50 sqM)
Mast height: 20 ft. (6.15 m)
Crew: 1-2 persons  (maximum total weight 400 lbs)

Martin16 PHRF Rating - Category 5

PHRF 277 - non -spinnaker
PHRF 261 - spinnaker

Martin16 Portsmouth Rating




  • Molded, cored hull and deck with bonded-in reinforcing
  • Fully bonded hull/deck joint*
  • Composite rudder blade (foam, fibreglass, vinyl ester resin) *
  • Unsinkable hull with internal (foam) flotation

Hull and Deck Features

  • Reinforced deck, stern  & bow*
  • Fully adjustable, fiberglass helm seat (removable)
  • Rear seating for companion or instructor

Control Features

  • Steering from forward facing seat
  • Self-tacking, boomed jib
  • All control lines lead to helm's seat 
  • 24:1 purchase keel lift system  *
  • Manual bilge pump


  • Tapered, anodized aluminum spars (Selden)
  • Vinyl-coated stainless steel rigging  *
  • Harken carbo blocks and cleats

*KAPE Boatworks improvements