British Marine member, Scanstrut, has continued its excellent run of awards with the announcement of it being one of the SAIL Magazine 2018 Pittman Innovation Award Winners
Named after Freeman K. Pittman, SAIL’s annual Pittman Innovation Awards recognize exceptional products developed by the sailing industry. The team of judges—executive editor Adam Cort, cruising editor Charles J. Doane, technical editor Jay Paris and electronics editor Ben Ellison—roamed boat shows near and far to uncover the 15 best in the Class of 2018.
Scanstrut was awarded in the “Special Mention” category, for its Para Sailing System developed for leading dinghy manufacturer,, and another British Marine member, RS sailing. Readers will recall that it was this system that so impressed the judges at the 2017 DAME Awards. The kit retrospectively adapts an RS Venture (a sailing dinghy designed for able-bodied sailors that is already in common use in many training and sailing centres) to be converted for most disabilities, including para sailing. The key to the design is accessibility, enabling the sailing instructor to adapt the products functionality easily depending on the user.
The plug and play kit includes a waterproof battery and control pack, a powered mainsheet winch, joystick control and sip-puff headset option (allowing the user to sail the boat via sipping and puffing on a tube that is placed in the sailors mouth). Fully self-contained, it enables a sailing instructor to convert the boat to one suitable for use by those with a wide range of disabilities, including paraplegia, in only 30 minutes.
Adam Cort, SAIL’s Executive Editor said: “Sailing has long been recognised as one of those few physical activities where people with disabilities can compete on the same level as those without, and now Scanstrut, working in cooperation with boatbuilder RS Sailing, has made it possible for even those who are severely handicapped to take a small boat out.”
On receiving the award, Tom Reed, Managing Director at Scanstrut commented: “On behalf of both our team at Scanstrut and RS Sailing, we’re delighted and honoured to receive a Pittman Innovation Award. This project was highly challenging, with a clear aim to deliver a fantastic system that will enable more people to get on the water and enjoy sailing. However, after all the long days of development, testing, tweaking and re-testing we have hit upon a real game changing system that exceeds our expectations – mission accomplished!”