May 3, 2022




The Village of Fairport on the Erie Canal recently redesigned its waterfront to improve accessibility for its adaptive paddling community. The Erie Canal Boat Company is proudly equipped with a custom BoardSafe Adaptive Kayak Launch, part of a complete waterfront redesign at its Erie Canal entry point. GPI, the design engineer on the project, sought out BoardSafe Docks for their assistance in developing a design solution for the Fairport Village Boat Launch and Marina.

The initial plan was to provide universal access to the water. The community is proud to be working together to make inclusion happen. Our customer was looking for an adaptive kayak launch that would be placed in an area that rests next to their newly-designed boat ramp. BoardSafe was able to work with the design engineers on their initial concept and came up with a unique design solution.

The adaptive launch system was designed with a concrete trench at the top of the launch and included a bulkhead angle and a related hinge pin that attached to the floating dock system. The space allowed for the pin to be easily installed and removed if necessary and provided a secure attachment of the floating dock system to the concrete wall.

       Bulkhead angle attached to launch

The scope of this customized project included an 8-foot-wide gangway that fit into the designated launch space. The kayak chute was designed to be 8 feet in length. The adaptive system included an 8-foot by 20-foot floating dock and Clip-a-Launch 20S (designed for entry from one end). The loading and unloading area was designed to accommodate multiple wheelchairs and is welcoming to adaptive paddling groups. The cost of this project was in the $50,000 range, and it was installed at the location of the Erie Boat Company, Inc., operated by Peter Abele.

            8-foot-wide aluminum gangway

The beauty of a project like this is its ability to be used in almost any unused marina slip. BoardSafe Docks will work with its customers to design the floating dock system to any length and width to add these accessibility features to your existing marina. The desirable features of the BoardSafe inclusive launch system are that it offers boaters the ability to kayak, canoe, or SUP, safely and easily from the launch, and serves the widest range of users, from those who are able bodies to those who are in wheelchairs. It will allow your guests another option to see and explore the villages and towns surrounding your marina.

What draws boaters to this marina

The Erie Canal Boat Company is known for its kayak rentals and excursions along the Erie Canal. There are plentiful walking and bike trails along the canal to explore. The boat company offers accessible kayak, canoe, paddleboard, pontoon, and bicycle rentals to people of all abilities. The launch offers universal access for its residents and visitors, making it a popular tourist destination and a solid revenue stream for the town, marina, and businesses located along the canal.

Boaters may dock their boat in one of the marina’s boat slips and use all of the additional recreational opportunities available at the marina. The additional activities beyond boating take visitors to places they may not be able to get to with their boats, and allow visitors to enjoy the sites, both on and off the water.

The BoardSafe Adaptive Kayak Launch supported the Erie Canal Boat Company with its mission and has helped make Fairport an inclusive destination for boaters and paddlers of all abilities. Tourism is on the rise in Fairport, and it’s receiving many praises, being recognized for its ability to provide universal access.

Not far from Fairport, the Village of Brockport also installed a BoardSafe Adaptive Kayak Launch. The adaptive system is located in downtown Brockport along the Erie Canal, and the popularity of the launch has been good for the town as showcased in this link:

You can learn more about BoardSafe’s exclusive adaptive products here.

Take a video tour of the Fairport accessible kayak launch at the link below.

Village of Fairport, NY Accessible Kayak Launch with ADA Features

Contact BoardSafe Docks at 610-899-0286 if you’re looking for ideas on making your marina more accessible to your users or for using an existing boat slip to offer an adaptive kayak launch.