Participation in sailing by people with disabilities, particularly in small sailboats, is widely regarded as having positive outcomes on self-esteem and general health for the participants. However, a major hurdle for people with no previous experience of sailing, even by those without disabilities, is the perception that sailing is elitist, expensive, and dangerous. Real-time "ride-on" sailing simulators have the potential to bridge the gap between dry-land and on-the-water sailing. These provide a realistic, safe, and easily supervised medium in which nonsailors can easily and systematically learn the required skills before venturing out on the water. The authors report a 12-wk pilot therapeutic sailing program using the VSail-Access sailing simulation system followed by on-water experience. After completion of the training, all subjects demonstrated the ability to navigate a simple course around marker buoys (triangular configuration) on the computer screen, the ability to sail independently in winds of moderate strength (up to 14 knots) on water, and measurable improvements in their psychologic health. In addition, the subjects were able to participate in a sports activity with their respective family members and experienced a sense of optimism about their future.
The work presented in this paper is the result of collaboration between historians and
computer scientists whose goal was the digital reconstitution of Le Boullongne, an 18thcentury
merchant ship of La Compagnie des Indes orientale.
1 This ship has now disappeared
and its reconstitution aims at understanding on-board living conditions. Three distinct
research laboratories have participated in this project so far. The first, a department of naval
history, worked on historical documents, especially the logbooks describing all traveling
events of the ship. The second, a research laboratory in archaeology, archaeoscience and
history, proposed a 3D model of the ship based on the original naval architectural plans. The
third, a computer science research laboratory, implemented a simulation of the ship sailing in