The boat

The Challenger is a tried and tested sailing boat. It has evolved from the original Rob McAlpine-Downey design into the modern exciting craft we have today. It is tough and reliable, Suitable for many uses, owned by individuals and grounps and is used for Training, Racing, or Crusing.

  • It's fast! Really fast...

    In winds of 28 knots experts have been recorded at 14 knots GPS speed. Yup, expect to get wet!!!

  • Safe and stable

    This unsinkable boat is so stable that if you want you can even take someone else along for a ride!

  • Versitle

    Without question the most versile disabled boat available. Uniquely it can be launched from any sailing location, beach or slipway making sailing possible for everyone everywhere.

  • Affordable

    Not only is the price tag sensible, but the challenger works just like any other dingy! - This means: hosts, pontoons or Special equipment not necessary. Transfers from wheelchairs can be done ashore, in shallow water or hosits from be pontoons if you have them.

  • Social

    Once you've finished noting down all your competiors sneeky tricks on the beach, the challenger is at the center of a vibrant community who are only too happy to help you get the most out of your boat and your sailing techniques. While there are lots of resources online, advice and expertise is never far away.



Since the Challenger was first built it has undergone several upgrades and improvements through the Mk1, Mk2, Mk3 and now the Mk2a.

The latest major design overhaul produced the Mark 2a. This version was first produced in 2001 making the cockpit larger and returning the class to a single person una-rig configuration.

Since then all modifications sanctioned by the class association have focussed on improving control and ease of handling. Wing pads were first fitted in 2006 allowing the control lines to be set nearer to the helm. A redesigned thinner and deeper rudder blade makes steering lighter with less drag. A track and car outhaul allows for better sail setting and a 16-1 kicker assembly makes it easier to get tension on the leach.

In 2007 the association adopted the minimum racing weight of 145 kilos. The latest option in challenger build spec is for a foam glass sandwich, which makes the boat lighter. These boats have to use corrector weights when racing. They are not recommended for group use because they are not as robust as the normal grp boats. Every modification to the mk2a that the association has allowed can be retrofitted.

The assoiciation recognises for disabled people to adapt their boat to their own preferences. within the spirit of 'one design', modifications to seating and control ine setup are nearly always sympatheically accepted.


Type Single person, Una rig, Tri-maran
Length 4.57 m (15 ft)
Beam 3.25 m
Weight 145 kgs
Construction materials GRP
Sail 7.5 sq m Dacron or Mylar
Fittings Ronstan
Spars Mast 8.19m alloy unstayed
Boom 2.3m alloy
Foils lifting GRP rudder and centreboard
Control lines Mainsheet centre main on 2-1 ratio
Vang lever up system on 16-1 ratio
Clew outhaul track and car on 4-1 ratio
Cunningham 2-1 ratio
Safety features Self-draining cockpit
All control lines are fed back to the helms seated position
Mainsail can weather cock
Clear all-round visibility from cockpit
The main hull and sponsons are fully sealed and have inbuilt fixed buoyancy
Operational certificate European Category C certificate for inland and coastal use
Operational capability Where - Inland and coastal waters where there is good clear space
Weather - Designed to perform in winds up to 28 knots.

Next steps

If your interested in ordering a challenger or would like to find out any more information about places you can try out the boat, both David and Richard would be only too happy to help:

Special Projects Challenger Class Association:

Chairman of Challenger Class Association:


For more information on how to perfect your challenger, tune it up, get expert advice, class news and further contacts vist:

To contact the manufactures directly about ordering direct (keeping costs low) vist: