Blind sailors do not require special boats or special adaptive equipment to sail. An orientation to the boat is required and some tactile markings are preferred by some. The type or design of boat preferable is one that is large enough to carry a crew of four while small enough to provide a responsive helm, that enables the blind sailor to exhibit his/her “seat of the pants” sailing ability. Boats with tillers are preferred over boats with wheels so that the blind helmsman can gain a better feel of the helm. Blind sailors have successfully sailed and raced all sizes of boats, from small dinghies to large racing and cruising boats.
A responsive helm is more of a factor than the boat size or design. Blind Sailing International Regattas have included boats ranging in size from the 23 foot Sonar to the 36 foot Farr design. The size and design has often been dictated by the sailing venue and the availability of boats. However, since the recent BSI Regatta in Miami was sailed quite successfully in Sonars and the Sonar appears to be the boat adopted by IFDS, BSI will consider the Sonar as the boat of choice for future international regattas.