Learn to sail

The Learn to Sail Keelboats course introduces people to sailing on keelboats. No experience is necessary. We will teach you all of the principles needed for your journey to become a great sailor. You just need to be over 16 years old!

The Learn to Sail Keelboats course forms part of the Yachting NZ National Sailing Scheme. On completion participants will be awarded a YNZ National Sailing Scheme Level 1 Introductory Keelboat Sailing Certificate. From here we can help get you involved in club sailing to add to your skills and experience as well as offering you follow on courses such as Racing Crew and Cruising Crew.

The course involves both classroom and on-the-water elements. Courses are four full days (normally 9am-4pm), normally on consecutive Saturdays or Sundays. Block courses (over four full consecutive days) are also available.

During summer and daylight saving hours we run evening courses, these are two evenings a week for four weeks.

The course covers the following practical elements:

  • essential safety skills
  • boat parts, rigging & boat terminology
  • knots and rope work
  • all crew positions including helming
  • tacking, gybing and sail setting
  • reefing
  • man overboard drills.


Upcoming courses

Course 495: Tuesday and Thursday nights 13th, 15th, 20th, 22nd, 27th, 29th November and 4th, 6th, 11th and 13th December 6pm – 9pm – Course Full. Email Ocean@rpnyc.org.nz to waitlist

Course 499: 27, 29 November, 4, 6, 11, 13 December 6-9pm. 15 December 9-5pm.

Course 493: Sunday 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd December  9.00am till 4.00pm –  – Course Full. Email Ocean@rpnyc.org.nz to waitlist

Course 494: Christmas block course. 4 Consecutive days 27th, 28th, 29th, 30th December.  9.00am till 4.00pm – Course Full. Email Ocean@rpnyc.org.nz to waitlist

Course 496: Saturday and Sunday 5th, 6th, 12th and 13th January 9.00am till 4.00pm   – Course Full. Email Ocean@rpnyc.org.nz to waitlist

Course 497: Sunday 20th, 27th January and 3rd, 10th February 9.00am till 4.00pm

Course 498: Tuesday and Thursday nights 15th, 17th, 22nd, 24th, 29th, 31st January and 5th, 7th, 12th and 14th February 6pm – 9pm

To book, please select the course start date and number of people attending from the book now box on this page.  If you need help check out our booking help. The 4 week introductory course costs $598.

If these course times don’t suit please email ocean@rpnyc.org.nz to be notified when new courses are scheduled.

What to wear

This is a hands on course that spends lots of time on the water. For going out on the water dress warmly, even in summer. A wool or polypropylene base layer is a good idea, with at least one more warm layer on top. We provide you with a good quality set of breathable waterproof gear (pants and jacket) along with a lifejacket. A hat and sunglasses are also a good idea. Make sure that you have a strap or similar so that you don’t lose these overboard!

Weather information

We are subject to the joys and challenges of Wellington’s wind and weather. Course components are flexible and instructors will use their best judgement to adjust the course components to suit the weather. If the weather is unsuitable for sailing, often we can get ahead on some of the classroom based sessions. On rare occasions where we have sustained bad weather we may have to reschedule a session.