skip to Main Content

A sailing experience is such a fantastic opportunity to give students and in Nelson we are lucky to have fantastic conditions, top quality equipment, and excellent instructors.

Here, we talk about YNZ’s excellent RŪNĀ programme, and why sailing is such a great sport/recreation to get into. There are also details on the costs for schools to add sailing to their curriculum, safety and equipment.

If you would like more information on schools sailing, to book a session, or to arrange a time for us to come and discuss the options, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Contact Tim on 0225487501 or

Benefits of sailing:

Sailing not only uses physical skills but, perhaps more than any other sport, develops intellectual skills. It is a sport that requires the sailors to take responsibility for themselves, their crew and for the boat. It is sensitive to nature and the environment, also requiring attention to changing conditions and appropriate reactions. Sailors learn valuable lessons and develop many transferrable skills and attributes that will help them advance in work, in business and in life generally.

Sailing is a powerful forum through which to learn essential life skills, about adjusting attitudes, taking wins and losses in your stride, never getting too high or too low. This is an activity that is appealing on any CV, making the applicant stand out. Regardless of the reason for sailing and your background, sailing offers many life lessons that help shape values and behaviours for later life. Sailing is also a sport to be enjoyed, one which often remains with you for life and which can be participated in and enjoyed at any age.

Developing awareness and understanding of the marine environment is extremely important for all of us. Someone who has capsized a sailing dinghy and feels at home in the water is less likely to panic in an emergency situation on the water; whether that be sailing, kayaking, fishing, recreational boating or any other activity afloat. Nurturing respect for marine wildlife and the ecosystem that supports it will result in people taking more responsibility for, and care of our marine environment. Getting out there on, in, and around the water is paramount in this educational process.

The huge variety of disciplines and ways to enjoy the sport range from competitive racing at Club, National, and International level in a vast array of different boats; to recreational sailing and cruising in boats of all sizes; lifelong careers in the leisure, travel, and superyacht industries; all the way to solo round the world yachting!


“Learn from the past to steer towards a sustainable future”

Yachting New Zealand’s “RŪNĀ” school engagement framework is part of Sport NZ’s “In our backyard” project.

Each of the three modules, Kōkōkaha, Korinorino, and Moanamana are integrated units of work, each with a different focus. They are designed for students in years 4 through to 10 but can be easily adapted for older or younger children.

  • Kōrinorino  – Our Ancestors’ Wake (Te Ao Tangata | Social Sciences and Aotearoa New Zealand Histories – focuses on understanding local settlement stories).

  • Kōkōkaha – Powered by Wind (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths – focuses on designing sustainable energy solutions).

  • Moanamana – NZL’s Blue Belt (Science and Education for Sustainability – focuses on restoring marine ecosystems).

Each module is made up of in-classroom learning experiences delivered by teachers, supported by a sailing experience, and followed by a call for learners to take action.

Each module includes opportunities to develop water skills for life and safer boating skills to ensure kiwi kids learn and develop the knowledge and skills to safely enjoy our marine environment.

Nelson Yacht Club is Tier 1 RŪNĀ hub providing Sailing Experiences, and facilitating other parts of the modules.

Register your class today and get in touch to get them on the water!

NB. If your class is not taking advantage of the excellent RŪNĀ learning experiences, you are still able to get them involved in a sailing/watersports activity with the club…. See below 🙂


2023-24 season prices per instructor (6 students)

  • Half Day – 2.5hrs –      (10:00 – 12.30) or (12.00 – 14.30):     $175
  • Full Day – 4hrs –          (10:00 – 12:00 and 12.30 – 14.30):     $275
  • If these timings don’t suit, please contact us. We can often work around your requirements.

We run to ratios of 1 instructor to 6 students. However, if you have an extra they can normally be accommodated on the powerboat with an instructor and swapped in and out of the sailing boats.

For large classes of up to 36 kids we recommend the RŪNĀ format, shared between two groups of <18, with one sailing in the morning and the other in the afternoon. The non-sailing group would be supervised by the class teacher(s) on shore. This is a great way of keeping the cost down, and would be $717.39+GST per day for the whole class.


Full Risk Assessments & Operating Procedures are available on the club website: Health & Safety

Patrol boats will be on the water whenever sailing activity is taking place.

All instructors have either YNZ or RYA Qualifications (or both).

We will stay in contact with the school representative regarding the weather forecast. We have numerous activities, both on and off the water that we can utilise in adverse weather conditions. However, we also try to be flexible with rescheduling as well, if possible.


We have a variety of boats that can be used to suit different group sizes and purposes:

  • Optimists – The classic wee dinghy that is so well suited for getting smaller kids sailing on their own.
  • Topaz Uno/Duo – These are a versatile craft that can be used as single-handers or by adding a jib can be used as double-handers with two crew. With smaller kids, even three sailors can be great fun!
  • Topaz Omega – This is a 16ft training boat that can fit up to 6 kids and an instructor comfortably. It is much more stable than the Unos, but there is a bit more to it than the Unos so we tend to have an instructor on board with beginners. It is a great boat for progressing skills and building teamwork. Each crew member can have a job, whether it is steering, trimming the mainsheet or the jib, or keeping a lookout and just helping to balance the boat.
  • Windsurfing/SUP – We can also utilise windsurfing and SUP equipment to add variety and accommodate extra numbers.
  • Powerboats – NYC has a fleet of small RIBs that make up the patrol boat / coach boat fleet. All our instructors have either an RYA powerboat Level 2 qualification or the Coastguard Boating Education ‘Club Safety Boat Operator’ certificate.
  • Buoyancy Aids – NYC has a range of suitable buoyancy aids, and a correctly fitting BA must be worn at all times when on the water.
  • Wetsuits, thermal tops & spray tops – NYC has a range of watersports clothing that is available for use. For larger groups, we may need additional gear, so if the school has any – bring it along!