A brand new sailing program that aims to get people with mental and physical disabilities out on the water has started in North Sydney .

At an open house at the Northern Yacht Club Saturday, about 12 sailors were ready to get off land and onto a boat fitted especially for people with disabilities.

The goal is to give people who haven't been on the open seas a chance to do just that.

The Learn to Sail program is running the Sail Able program, and it will run all summer free of charge to sailors over seven years old.

Though Saturday's weather was rainy, it didn't dampen the spirits of the participants, many of whom told CBC News they enjoyed the opportunity.

One woman, who has multiple sclerosis, said staff will be sick of looking at her by summer's end, because she plans to be there so often.

Saturday's open house was hosted by the Northern Yacht Club Junior Sail Association, Sail Able of Nova Scotia, and the Canadian Paraplegic Association.