|Crew||3 or 4|
|LOA||7 m (23 ft)|
|LWL||6.1 m (20 ft)|
|Beam||2.4 m (7 ft 10 in)|
|Draft||1.2 m (3 ft 11 in)|
|Hull weight||950 kg (2,090 lb) of which
408 kg (899 lb) is ballast
|Main & jib area||23.2 m2 (250 sq ft)|
|Spinnaker area||22.8 m2 (245 sq ft)|
The Sonar showcased disabled sailing at the 1996 Paralympic where the sport was a demonstration event with just the Sonar. Sailing and the Sonar as the equipment for the three person keelboat have been in every subsequent Paralympics. When being sailed by disabled it is crewed by 3, and sailed without a spinnaker. Instead, when running downwind a whisker pole is used to hold the jib out to windward for maximum exposed sail area. The Sonar is well suited for disabled sailing because of its large open cockpit making adaptations easy.
The Sonar was designed in 1979 by Bruce Kirby, designer of the popular Laser dinghy. Since then, over 800 boats have been built. Most of the fleet is in the USA, with smaller fleets in Britain and Canada. Since its adoption as a Paralympic class the Sonar has spread to many other countries as well.
The Sonar was inducted into the American Sailboat Hall of Fame in 2004.
|This section requires expansion. (August 2015)|
Open Worlds Championships
|2001 Noroton, CT||Mark Ploch (USA)||Craig Sinclair (USA)||Steve Shepstone (USA)|
|2004 St. Petersburg, FL||Steve Shepstone (USA)||Peter Galloway (USA)||John Ross-Duggan (USA)|
|2005 Cowes||Steve Shepstone (USA)||Paul Bowen (GBR)||Peter Galloway (USA)|
|2007 Marblehead, MA||Bill Lynn (USA)||Greg Anthony (USA)||Rick Dominique (USA)|
|2009 Noroton, CT||Dave Franzel (USA)||Jud Smith (USA)||Karl Ziegler (USA)|
|2011 Rhu, Scotland||Steve Shepstone (USA)||Simon Barter (GBR)||Scott McLeod (USA)|
|2013 Rochester, NY||Eric Voss (USA)||Colin Gordon (USA)||Peter Galloway (USA) |
Disabled World Championships
The Sonar has also been used extensively for disabled sailing. The boat specifications are exactly the same for open and disabled sailing events, but additional adaptations are allowed to be fitted to the boat to aid the crew who are not permitted to hike or use a spinnaker. The International Association for Disabled Sailing has hosted the following ISAF recognized disabled sailing World Championship events:
The Sonar has been the equipment used for the three person keelboat discipline at every Paralympic Sailing Competition. Results and information on past events can be found on the following pages.
"The Sonar may well be the best boat I've ever designed." - Bruce Kirby
- "Keelboat Classes". US Sailing. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
- "The RYA Portsmouth Yardstick Number List for 2004" (PDF). Royal Yachting Association. Retrieved 17 September 2012.