Learn to Sail – Adult

Learn to Sail courses for adults

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 courses in 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.

Upcoming Dates:

  • Monday Evenings 6-8pm – starting 9th November – Intermediate Sailing
  • Wednesday Evenings 6-8pm – starting 4th November – Level 1 Course – Topaz Uno
  • Friday Evenings 6-8pm – starting 13th November – Level 1 Course – Topaz Uno
  • Weekend course dates
    • 28th & 29th November
    • 5th & 6th December
    • 13th & 14th February
    • 13th & 14th March

Learn to Sail Costs:

  • Taster (90mins group tuition – first session only): $60
  • Level 1 (12hrs group tuition): $299 ($249 for Club Members)
  • Intermediate Sailing (12hrs group tuition): $249 ($212 for Club Members)
  • Private Tuition: $99/hr ($75/hr for Club Members) N.B. Where private coaching is for more than one boat – additional boats are 1/2 price.


To book, contact us to check availability on info@nelsonwatersports.co.nz or by calling Tim on 02102503767. Then complete the form here: https://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:

If you are keen to get into a bit of casual racing in the Topaz, then check out “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