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Guidance and Advice
  • All courses are 5 days long (live-aboard basis).
  • All courses start on Monday.
  • Courses only operate from early November until late April.
  • A $600 NZD deposit is required to confirm your place on the course. Until a deposit is received your booking remains provisional.
  • Complete the booking/enquiry form below to request a place on a course.
  • The Cost of the 5 day (4 nights) practical RYA sailing course is $1995.00 (NZD) including local taxes.
  • A small surcharge applies for Payments made via Credit Card (Via Paypal) or International Bank Transfer (e.g. via SWIFT).
  • The course is fully inclusive of all food, fuel, berthing fees, tuition, RYA certification and accommodation on board.
  • Terms and conditions are shown at the bottom of the form. We strongly advise you to take out adequate travel insurance.

Select your RYA Course Type

Please check this is the correct course for you:

Coastal Skipper is an advanced course for experienced sailors who’ve already spent at least 15 days actively crewing on board a sailing yacht, covering at least 300 nautical miles and including a minimum of 8 hours night sailing. A least 2 of your days of existing experience will also have been as skipper. Your boat-handling, sailing skills and knowledge should already exceed those of Day Skipper level and you should have completed the RYA Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster Shore-based course, or at least have the knowledge to that level.

By the end of this course you will have consolidated your existing experience as a skipper and further developed your crew management skills. You should be confident to enter unfamiliar harbours by day and night and navigate more challenging coastal passages in a variety of conditions. Successful candidates will be awarded the Coastal Skipper certificate of competence and will perhaps be considering further developing their skills to become endorsed as a Yachtmaster. Suitable for all ages from 17 upwards. By selecting this course you are confirming that you have already completed the following pre-requisites:

  • I’ve spent at least 15 days sailing a yacht as an actively involved crew member
  • I’ve sailed at night for 8 or more hours
  • I’ve sailed as the skipper, fully in charge on board a sailing yacht, for 2 or more days
  • I’ve successfully completed the Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster Shore-based course, or at least have the knowledge to that level.

OR

  • I’ve discussed my existing experience with Sail Nelson and have been approved to attend the Coastal Skipper course.

Please check this is the correct course for you:

Day Skipper is designed for aspiring skippers who’ve already spent 5 or more days as active crew on board a sailing yacht and already have 4 or more hours experience sailing at night. You might have already done some skippering or perhaps have had limited or no opportunity to be the sole skipper in charge. You will have already completed the RYA Day Skipper shore-based theory course, or at least have knowledge to that level. This course is suitable for all ages from 16 upwards.

By the end of this course you should have the knowledge and skills to be the sole skipper in charge of a sail cruising yacht on coastal passages by day in familiar waters. You will also have some experience of night pilotage. Successful candidates, awarded with the RYA Day Skipper Practical certificate, will also be qualified to skipper bareboat charter yachts in many parts of the world. By selecting this course you are confirming that you have already completed the following pre-requisites:

  • I’ve spent 5 or more days on board a sailing yacht as an actively involved crew member
  • I’ve sailed at night for 4 or more hours
  • I understand sailing terminology and can control a sailing boat on all points of sail
  • I’ve successfully completed the RYA Day Skipper shore-based theory course, or at least have knowledge to that level.

OR

  • I’ve discussed my sailing experience with Sail Nelson and have been approved to attend the Day Skipper course

Please check this is the correct course for you:

Competent Crew is suitable for anyone who’s new to sailing or who’s been on a sailing yacht just a few times, but is not yet ready to start being in charge as the skipper.

By the end of this course you should have become a useful crew member on board a sailing yacht and be able to steer and carry out sailing and general crewing duties, including on a night passage. You should also have gained an understanding of marine terminology and the principals of sailing and boat handling. Suitable for all ages from 12 upwards.

RYA Yachtmaster Coastal/Offshore (sail) practical exam.

IMPORTANT NOTE : This is a very advanced level practical exam for which you must ALREADY have the necessary sea time, skills and knowledge, as explained on our website. In addition, immediately prior to sitting this exam with Sail Nelson, it is compulsory that you complete our 5 day practical RYA Yachtmaster Preparation Week. To join the Preparation Week and sit the exam with us you must first have been approved by Sail Nelson.”

Private Charter

If you are a couple, family or group of friends who’d like to have the boat to yourselves then we can offer a private charter. We prefer to take people sailing who want to get involved with running the boat and learn some new skills and we can incorporate RYA sail cruising courses into a private charter. Please get in touch to discuss your specific needs.”




Personal details










Medical Conditions

For your own safety and the safety of all on board please advise us of any medical conditions that might affect your ability to fully participate in the course. This information will be shared with your instructor/skipper but will otherwise remain confidential within Sail Nelson. If you have no medical conditions please select "none".







NOTE: Swimming proficiency for information purposes only. Lifejackets are always provided.
Next of kin
NOTE: This must be someone who is not on board the boat.



Existing Knowledge & Experience








Terms & conditions

Liability

While the school carries appropriate insurance and takes every care to ensure your safety and that of your equipment, there are risks inherent in all outdoor activities. The school accepts no responsibility for injury, accident, damage or loss to your person or property. Nor shall it be liable for claims or expenses caused by delays due to sickness, accidents, weather, strikes, war quarantine or other causes outside the control of Sail Nelson either before, during or after the course.

Skipper's Responsibility

Your instructor is the skipper and is in charge of the vessel at all times. Your instructor’s decisions are final in all matters concerning the operation and running of the yacht. If you have a complaint or a problem, we will do everything in our power to make it right. Please raise it with your instructor as soon as possible. Should this not be appropriate, or if you are unsatisfied with the outcome, notify Sail Nelson of your concerns, in writing, within 30 days. Should the matter remain unresolved, contact NZ Coastguard Boating Education PO Box 2195, Auckland.

Fluent English

Fluent English is required and expected.

Cancellation terms

A deposit of NZD $600.00 is needed to confirm your place on the course, with the balance payable no later than 14 days before the course begins. Two thirds of your deposit is refundable until 60 days before course commencement (unless arranged otherwise in writing).





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