Learn to Sail – Adult

Maybe you’ve never been out on the water and the glittering Tasman Bay has tempted you to learn to sail, or you might be an experienced crew on a keeler who wants to improve their wind awareness and boat handling skills? Whatever your reasons for checking out the learn to sail programmes at Nelson Yacht Club, you’ve made it to the right place!

Learn to Sail Course at Nelson Yacht Club

We’ll get you on the water and sailing in no time with our regular ‘Sailing Tasters’ and ‘Learn to Sail (YNZ Level 1) Courses’. We will have weekday evening options, weekends or even private tuition during the working week… so time is no excuse!

The Learn to Sail Fleet

We have different formats/courses that use different boats depending on your water-confidence and agility.

  • Topaz Unos
    • If you don’t mind the idea of getting tipped into the water and capsizing, then the Topaz Unos are for you!
    • We have up to 6 students each in their own boat with an instructor teaching from a patrol boat.
    • You get to spend more time on the helm (steering).
    • We run most of our Learn to Sail coursesin this format.
  • Topaz Omega
    • Ideal for Tasters, Private Tuition and for larger adults.
    • Durable plastic training boat, with asymmetric spinnaker and trapeze for more advanced training.
    • Can comfortably fit 2-3 adults with an instructor on board.
  • Whiting 16
    • Has a large cockpit, and a weighted centreboard, for a more stable option.
    • Well suited for less agile and less water-confident people.
    • Up to 4 students and an instructor on board.

Dates and Times

Adult Course Schedule 2017-18

Adult Programme Information Leaflet 2017-18

Upcoming Dates:

  • Wednesday Evenings 6-8pm – starting 8th November – Level 1 Course – Topaz Uno
  • Saturday afternoons 12.30-2.30pm – starting 11th November – Learn to Sail Course – in a Whiting 16 – A more gentle option, with less likelihood of going in the water!
  • Weekend of 18th & 19th November – 10am-4.30pm – Level 1 Course – Topaz Uno
  • Weekend of 2nd & 3rd December – 10am-4.30pm – Level 1 Course – Topaz Uno

Learn to Sail Costs:

  • Taster (90mins group tuition): $60
  • Level 1 (12hrs group tuition): $249 ($212 for Club Members)
  • Development Programme (12hrs group tuition): $249 ($212 for Club Members)
  • Private Tuition: $80/hr ($60/hr for Club Members)


To book, contact us to check availability on info@nelsonwatersports.co.nz or by calling Tim on 02102503767. Then complete the form here: http://www.nelsonyachtclub.org.nz/learn-to-sail/booking-form/

Learn to Sail Tuition at Nelson Yacht Club

What next?

Once you have completed a YNZ Level 1 Certificate, you can hire the Topaz Uno dinghies to practice your skills. We have two supervised sailing sessions during the week:

The Tuesday Social – 6pm – 7.30ish most Tuesday evenings during Daylight Savings. We’ll have a patrol boat on the water and will aim to get round and give the odd coaching tip, or run some informal short races. There’s normally a good crowd of sailors and windsurfers on the water, and we often head for some drinks and food afterwards. It is a great way to gain confidence in your sailing ability.

If you are keen to get into a bit of casual racing in the Topaz, then ask us about “The Styx Twilight Series”.

Sunday Supervised Sailing – 2pm – 5pm most Sundays during the season. We keep the Topaz Unos available for hire on most Sunday afternoons, so you can ring up and book a boat for a certain time, and come along and get out on the water.

Casual Dinghy hire may also be available at other times, but is subject to availability and by arrangement only – I.e. don’t just turn up expecting to sail, because the boats might all be in use for coaching, or there might not be anyone here!

Call / text Tim on 02102503767 or email info@nelsonwatersports.co.nz to arrange

Further coaching/development

We have a 6 week group course on Monday evenings 6-8pm, with coaching to build on existing skills and hone technique. The course has started for the Spring, but get in touch if you want to join a session.