Information For Participants

Course pre-requisites

No experience is necessary to take one of our beginner courses. Intermediate courses are suitable for those who have completed a beginners course or who have sufficient equivalent experience - just ask if you are not sure.

A certain level of physical fitness is required as part of learning to sail entails capsizing and righting your boat! This also means you need to be able to climb back into the boat once you have righted it, which is similar in effort to getting out of a swimming pool without using the ladder. People up to 70 years old have completed our courses successfully, so provided you are reasonably mobile you shouldn't have a problem.

Please also note that it is a requirement that you can swim 50m with a buoyancy aid. We do not test this as part of the course however, so if you are unsure we recommend you give it a try before you sign up!

What will the course be like?

Well hopefully, fun! If the weather is good you will usually begin by rigging the boats. You then get changed and have a classroom briefing before heading out, some in dinghies with an instructor to start with, and some on the safety boat.

We are of course at the mercy of the weather. We try to spend as much time on the water as possible, but sometimes the wind is just too strong. However there is plenty of theory to cover on bad days, including parts of the boat, knot tying, weather to name but a few topics.

Where to Go

When you arrive at the yacht club please proceed towards the two-storey building closest to the water. Our classroom is up the stairs and on your left.

What Time

Please try to arrive a few minutes before the start time of your course, especially for evening courses. The sooner you get there the sooner we can get out on the water.

What To Bring

Ultimately, the following items are typically part of a dinghy sailor's gear bag:

There is no need to buy too much gear for the course, however we highly recommend a wetsuit for warmth. A wetsuit for sailing should be full-length, and should not be too thick, around 2-3mm is fine. Also a good idea is a pair of neoprene beach shoes to protect your feet on the launching ramp, and for warmth. These can be purchased for under $10, and wetsuits for around $150, at The Warehouse amongst other places.

In colder weather you may wish to wear polypropylene or wool underneath it. (Old shorts or stretchy-material trousers can be worn over the wetsuit to protect it from getting caught on and holed by any boat fittings.). It may help to wear an old windproof jacket over your wetsuit.

Without a wetsuit, go for layers of wool and/or polypropylene and/or polar fleece which must be topped with a windproof layer.

We recommend old or second-hand clothing rather than risking damaging good clothing in the salt water.

You will get wet so please make sure you have dry clothes to change into.

The sun can be even stronger when reflected off the water, so please be careful to use sunscreen even on a cloudy day. A hat is useful for both sun protection and warmth and sunglasses will prevent headaches.

The club provides buoyancy aids which must be worn whenever you are on the water.

Further questions

If there is anything you need to know, just email learntosail@ebymbc.org.nz