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Beginners boys and girls aged 8-14 years and over are invited to join the Bucklands Beach Yacht Club 'Learn to Sail' programme.

BBYC has available Optimist, O'pen Skiff and RS Feva dinghys for the immediate use of young sailors.


Each course is held over a 5 lesson duration. One lesson per week for a 5 weeks. Each lesson is 4 hours and will be run either in the morning or afternoon depending on tide.

Sunday Classes are available.

Course Fees for all levels are:

  • Members of Bucklands Beach Yacht Club $265 

  • Non-members of Bucklands Beach Yacht Club $280

Course content for Level 1 beginners 'Start Sailing' includes topics such as: Wind Direction - Rigging an Optimist - Sailing Skills - Rope Work - Safety - Basic Sailing Rules - Launching and Recovery - Naming of Boat Parts - Capsizing.

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Next Course –  Starting 7th April 2024 - Level 1, 2 & 3 (Fully Booked)

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(RS) - Rain Saver date

Email the Sailing Academy or call 09 534 3046 ext 3 for more information.


How old does my child need to be to participate?
The Course is open for children between the recommended ages of 9 to 16 years of age. We may take on the exceptional 8 years old.

What is the duration of the course?
The course runs for 5 weeks.  4 hours sessions either in the morning or afternoon depending on the tide. 

Are there any prerequisites before my child can participate?
The only prerequisite is that each child must be able to swim a minimum of 25 meters.

What types of boats are used?
Optimists, O’pen Skiff and Rs Fevas.  Optimists are a single hander, O’pen Bics are a single hander for more experienced sailors and RS Fevas are a two hander but can accommodate up to 3 small children.

How many children will be on a boat?
Two to three for the RS Feva.

Will my child learn how to steer and crew on a dinghy?
Yes, but generally some kids prefer to crew. This is normal and they will come into their own at some stage. Dinghies also require crew and that is just as important as helming.

My child is a little cautious about sailing?
We specialise with children who are not confident. We know how scary it can be for children and try to spend extra time with the children who are not confident or perhaps not as quick at picking up the skills as the others. Our instructors are keen to assist and help these students along.

What safety precautions are there for my child?
We take safety very seriously. We have on and off water policies that our instructor's follow and use to base their decisions upon. When on the water all participants must wear life vests. There are constant reminders about safety, sunburn and weather protection.

Are parents encouraged to participate with their children?
Indeed, parental involvement is gladly welcomed in this programme. Areas of help and assistance will be getting patrol craft into the water, getting Optimists out of the lockers, assistance with launching and retrieving the sailors and washing and storing the boats. With parents help the lessons on the water and in the classroom can be longer and less time spent washing and packing the boats away.

Does the course follow a syllabus?
The course is based upon the Yachting New Zealand syllabus.

What happens after Junior learn to sail?

After Level 3 Learn to Race we invite you to join the BBYC Centreboard Cadets which will introduce your sailors to the centreboard division – For further information click here:

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