Sailing For A Cause

£35 of £150,000 goal

Raised by 3 people in 15 months
Sailing For A Cause = SFAC has been setup as a Facebook community to raise funds for the disabled to take an active part in coastal/offshore sailing.


My name is Martin Parr. Professionally - A kind of make it happen person! A lifelong appetite for all things nautical, ocean sailing, navigation and meteorology.

Information on Skipper: 

Nationality: British. Age:68. Occupation: Retired. Languages: English, French. Non-Smoker. Sea Miles: 70,000 - 75,000. Current location: On the banks of the Firth of Forth, Fife Scotland

Skills and Qualifications: 

28th February 2002 – MCA/RYA Yachtmaster Offshore with Auxiliary Engines

15th November 2002 - RYA Ocean Yachtmaster Theory + Royal Navy Practical

09th November 2002 - RYA Sea Survival

07th March 1986 – RYA VHF Radio Telephony

10th December 2002 - Long Range Radio Certificate (Issued by UK Secretary of State)

09th November 2002 - 1st Aid

01st November 2002 - Safety at Sea/Sea Survival

25th February 2002 - ICC Power/Sail

23rd July 2016 - ICC Power/Sail (Renewal)


From a sailing perspective, I hold a full RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate, endorsed with auxiliary engines and the RYA Ocean Yachtmaster theory qualification, but ex naval navigator, including vhf and long-range radio certificates. I started sailing in 1954 and have been sailing solo since 1963. My passion for ocean sailing and routing and meteorology is well known, including a gold medal presented to me by both the French and Canadian authorities in 2008 for undertaking this work (free of charge), in taking 60 yachts in both directions from La Rochelle – Quebec – La Rochelle. Known as the Grande Traversée de l'Atlantique, this was part of the festivities celebrating the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec. This included taking a number of yachts through the eye of a massive hurricane Bertha in real time.

During my time I have owned classic wooden yachts and my last was a steel ketch for a world circumnavigation. Alas, I was severely electrocuted in the yacht after it was collected from a well-known French boatyard - just a few weeks before the start.  Not long afterwards, I had a heart problem and now have 4 stents, as well as psoriatic arthritis. Keep taking tablets I am told and it has been fine! This season I have undertaken passages from Inverness to Bangor, Firth of Forth to Kristiansand and return to Firth of Forth, with Force 7 and confirmed 12 metre waves off SW Norway, and a Southampton to Gibraltar (owner was not happy with his vessel and returned to Southampton). Written several passage plans for owners. A number of owners have diarized passages for me from the Med/Adriatic to Scandinavia.

With plenty of free time since residing on the banks of the Firth of Forth, I give back a lifetime’s nautical experience to assist boat owners/skippers, etc with any boating requirements they may have. I have met and discussed with many boat owners over the years, who intend to undertake great voyages and visit exotic places, with a vast percentage not being prepared. My strength is to share my experience to allow owners achieve their ambitions while on passage.

Boating has been my life and the ability to assist others is essential.

With there being many disability sailing organisations, the gist of this mission is clear, it is to enhance what is already available with fresh impetus and funds for offshore sailing and passage making for the disabled and less able-bodied, which we as sailors take for granted.

The mission is in two parts:-

Firstly, to purchase of a 30-40ft yacht, to be rigged for single handed sailing, and to cover the costs for a UK circumnavigation. The possibility also exists for someone to donate a suitably rigged yacht.

Secondly, to use this yacht to solo circumnavigate the UK to raise funds by, sponsorship, to obtain six yachts for the disabled sailor to use in offshore and passage making. Something we do in the course of our daily lives and take for granted.

World sporting events, including the Paralympics, have shown what achievements the disabled can reach. Water sports for the disabled are not new, and different countries approach it in fundamentally different ways. Dingy sailing and tall ships for the disabled have been going for many decades. Offshore and coastal sailing is limited and very much piecemeal arrangements. SFAC has been designed to spread the word.

As an island nation, the UK or Rule Britannia did rule the waves and it was the able bodied that were at the forefront to protect the British Empire. Today, Paralympians, especially the disabled sailors across the globe, have come into their own. Let’s give more disabled persons the opportunity that we able bodied open water sailors have, by supporting this initiative and begin by liking us virtually and then how we can help in real terms.

As progression is made in turning this project into a reality, frequent updates will be made publicly. The hunt is now on to find a suitable 30-40ft yacht. The purchase will depend on the level of crowdfunding initially received. The survey, insurance, any changes necessary to rig/rigging/sails, electronics, electrics, the fabric of the vessel itself, along with full paper charts, pilot books, sailing directions, etc will all be added into the budget. Victualing, diesel, gas, marina/mooring fees may also be donated.

Ideally the passage will begin and run from 1 May to 30 September as coastal hops, using marinas, anchorages, moorings as necessary and night passages only as and when necessary. Passage planning has already started and the passage itself will be in a clockwise direction.

May 2017 is a strong and feasible option for starting the passage, subject to funding starting to flow, but all options are flexible.

Thank you in advance for any questions or offers of assistance, other than funding. Yes, I have studied all the national and international organisations. The actual project has been launched month, but much has already been undertaken behind the scenes. 

My aim is not to provide funds for one charity to the exclusion of another. It is to raise awareness in parallel with fund raising and then with discussion with others. Raising funds underpins the way I go forward and inturn depends on the amount of funds raised. It is only as one has got older and time to reflect, that it becomes clearer where one's energy should be placed. For me this project will provide much needed funds for suitable yachts for the less fortunate disabled who cannot afford to sail. To see a new charity created for this will mean very much to me. If there is a legacy that I can leave, it has to be this one.

The circumnavigation of the UK will be solo and I am preparing my normal passage plan the same way as I would for other passages. To gain maximum exposure for the cause, I have to visit as many locations as possible and why I feel it prudent to utilise the full months between May to September, in a clockwise direction, starting from and finishing on the River Forth.

I am thankful to be able to rely on social media and word of mouth to start this ball rolling. I appreciate in advance any interest that may be shown.  If you see that there is some way, however small, you can interact with this project it would be most welcomed.

Thank you
Martin Parr
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Lack of Interest! Lack of Funds! Lack of a Yacht! The 2017 UK Circumnavigation is rescheduled for 2018! Hey! Life goes on, I'm 70 yrs old next year!

Perhaps the bigger picture is that there is no real interest in getting more disabled sailors sailing offshore and passage making.

Those that have contacted me have shown genuine support, but with limitation. To provide time, funds and a certain amount of commitment requires a type of dedication that seems to be missing in the 21st century. There seems to be too much political correctness and protectiveness with health and safety issues. People just do not want to get out there and do something, because of possible adverse ramifications. Taking the initiative today, simply means going it alone.

Getting one disabled person out on the water to sail offshore and passage making, requires additional persons in the boat and many others ashore. Not just any volunteer, but those with skills and qualifications to undertake such tasks.

I standby with what is required to protect the safety of all and, perhaps, this is the issue - Lack of Interest! Lack of Funds! Lack of a Yacht! - there are just not enough persons out there to support Sailing for a Cause.

Sailing for a Cause as a charity. It would seem that the Charities' Regulator in Scotland, through one of its Third Sector Interfaces (TSI), does not want SFAC as a charity to be based in Scotland! I have been asked by the TSI to create a company based in England, under English and Welsh laws, using part of that company to be registered as a charity with the Charities' Commission in England. I am too old to start creating another commercial organisation and why, now, more support is becoming necessary for Sailing for a Cause to succeed.

Any level of donation will assist with the pure administration overheads. After five months, much has been achieved, but much more has to be done to say sailing for a Cause will become a success.

Thank You

Martin Parr

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Hello my friends! The statistics tell a story, don't they?!

Perhaps GoFundMe is not the right Platform to raise funds to enable the disabled, less-able and less-agile to have the opportunity for sailing offshore and passage making. Most certainly the public at large don't seem to think so.

Start getting your friends and colleagues interested. Interesting statistic for you: there are 4.2 million readers of my articles on LinkedIn, with over 1200 of them directly connected to me through this cause. Providing lip service is one thing, but do they really care about this aspect of disabled sailing, I think not.

There has to come a point when I have to draw a line under what I am capable of at my age. I will be 70 next year and with no assistance with the administration, I fear to save my own health.

Please continue to not just spread the word, but without donations of both funds and yachts, Sailing for a Cause will be a lost cause and it will not be for the want of trying and doing my bit in the community spirit in which it was set up for.

I'm doing this on the back of my State Pension, and certainly do not have deep pockets. I thank those that gave in the early days, but after GoFundMe take there percentage and the inter-bank fees are taken out, you will understand some of the issues in starting alone.


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No disability is a disability in sailing, but it needs funds for the right boats. We have the manufacturer, we now need the funds...
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We Have Some Excellent News For You...

Ahead of our main goal, we're seriously seeking yachts to be donated now to Sailing for a Cause. These yachts will provide us with the opportunity to get to our goal earlier, to get disabled persons out sailing offshore and passage making now. Yes, ahead of the planned circumnavigation activities, to raise funds for our own one-design yachts, we are ready to GO! We will attract more funding when sponsors/investors see that we are active, rather than read what we want to do! This makes sense and we know that you know that too.

There is so much going on behind the scenes now, that we would like to be able to share with you the decision to seek out yachts that can be donated for Sailing for a Cause. Those of you that regularly visit your port, harbour or marina will see the yachts that NEVER move - this is not just in the UK, but the world over. All we want is for you to just ask the questions to the owner, the port, etc is that yacht available to be donated for a good cause?

The early day funds we receive will help with the upkeep of these yachts and to ensure they are fit for purpose. Apart from having our logos on them, we will want a team of qualified skippers and helpers for these yachts. At present we are all volunteers and provide our time pro bono. Many of you have offered to help, but have asked how? This is one opportunity where you can sail for a cause and, by allowing yourself, to share your love of sailing with those disabled that do not get that chance. That chance - being sailing offshore and passage making.

Food for thought, too! With thousands of yacht/power boat owners out there, would you join Sailing for a Cause for a small fee? Support us as a brand for disabled sailing and, perhaps, take a disabled sailor out for more than a day sail!

If you have, or know of a yacht that could be donated, then contact us now. We would also welcome your input with any ideas you may like to share with us.

Thank you

Martin Parr :)
Sailing For A Cause
Website: http://www.sailingforacause.co.uk/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sailing4acause
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/149261998874058/

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£35 of £150,000 goal

Raised by 3 people in 15 months
Created November 8, 2016
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Josué Fontainha
14 months ago

Go forward!

Sean Riley
15 months ago

It is not a lot but I hope it gets things started.

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