$1.8M in Funding for Annapolis Adaptive Boating Center

Adaptive Boating  Center To Come to Back Creek Annapolis

The State of Maryland Board of Public Works approved $1.8 million in funding for the City of Annapolis to acquire property on Bembe Beach Road for an adaptive boating center. The vote was unanimous and came during the Board’s meeting on Wednesday.

Racing a Beneteau First 22A in the CRAB Cup. Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating (CRAB) programs have been run for 30 years out of a single slip at Sandy Point State Park. Now they will have their own adaptive boating center on Back Creek. Photo by Will Keyworth

Annapolis City Manager David Jarrell said that the funding, through the State of Maryland Program Open Space, will be used to acquire the property at 7040 Bembe Beach Road in Annapolis.

“The property is currently privately owned,” said Jarrell.  “A $450,000 State Capital Grant will be added to Program Open Space funding to reach the $2.25 million purchase price for the property, then we will work with Chesapeake Regional Accessible Boating (CRAB) for a long-term lease for the property. They’ll take on all responsibilities for the Center, including construction, maintenance and, later, programming for the sailing center.”

The plan is for the City to purchase what is currently the Port Williams Marina, then lease the property to CRAB to create an adaptive boating center to facilitate sailing opportunities for people with disabilities. That long-term lease is expected to be approved by the Annapolis City Council later this month via a City Ordinance.  The initial lease term will be 20 years, with a renewal option after June of 2040. The terms of the lease will require CRAB to take on construction and maintenance, with necessary renovations to make the facility accessible to people with disabilities. CRAB buildouts will include classrooms and offices.

Mayor Gavin Buckley said, “this will be a tremendous amenity for Annapolis and another reason people call us the ‘Sailing Capital.’ I am happy that we can make adaptive sailing a priority.”

“We welcome CRAB to Ward 7,” said Alderman Rob Savidge. “This facility fits in perfectly in our Ward and will be an incredible asset to the City and County, ensuring equal access to sailing on our beautiful waters."

“It has been CRAB’s ultimate goal to make the adaptive boating center the premier ADA facility to provide greater access to the Bay for all people with disabilities,” said CRAB Executive Director Paul Bollinger. “We are elated to be closer to achieving our goal in 2021."

For three decades, CRAB has been operating out of a single slip at Sandy Point State Park. For more information on CRAB, visit: www.crabsailing.org.