Get Into Sailing

by YNZ

Sailing is a very adaptive sport that everybody can get something out of. Whether it is intense racing, sailing around the world, or just an afternoon picnic cruise, sailing is a sport to be enjoyed by everybody!

Getting started

To give yachting a go, contact a yacht club near you to organise a visit and find out what events or courses are on locally. You can find a list of clubs in our Club Directory. Yacht clubs sometimes hold open days when you can try sailing and find out more about joining a club.

Yachting New Zealand runs the VOLVO Sailing... Have a Go! programme for intermediate school children, where their school can attend an introduction to sailing day at their local yacht club. Many schools also have sailing facilities of their own where students can try sailing.

Most people start sailing by joining a yacht club, and taking lessons. You can also take lessons through sailing schools, many of which are commercial maritime members or non-commercial maritime members of YNZ.  Once you know the basics, it is then easy to progress to club level racing or cruising.  In many occasions all the equipment you need is provided by the club or sailing schools.

Sailing is also a sport that can be enjoyed by people of all abilities- see Sailing for People with Disabilites for more information

See what kind of things you learn in the YNZ Start Sailing course. 


Yacht clubs are a fun, social and safe environment to learn how to sail and make new friends. New sailors can benefit from the advice, support and experience of the other members. Joining a club is a great way to find out about sailing opportunities and participate in racing and cruising events. Most yacht clubs have great member benefits such as discounts on lessons and they are a great way to meet people and network within the sailing community.

The Yachting New Zealand's website has a Club Directory so you can find local yacht clubs. It is as easy as a phone call (or stopping by) and filling out a form! If you see boats out on the water and are interested, head on down to the yacht club and see what's happening.

Membership and Fees

Membership fees to yacht clubs vary and there's a wide range of options available, depending on the club and type of membership. Fees vary for lessons, equipment and yacht hire too, but are often cheaper for members. For more information on fees and membership, contact your local club to find out what options are available.

What to wear

Clothing will depend on what type of sailing you will be doing, if it is dinghy sailing you will want water-friendly clothing and shoes, many people choose to wear a wetsuit. In Keelboat sailing, a weather proof jacket & pants are recommended. Remember, it's always colder out on the water and in the wind, so be sure to pack extra layers of clothing just in case.


22 May 2013
23 May 2013