Sailing Qualifications

At Great Escape, you can gain Yachting New Zealand (YNZ) and International Yacht Training (IYT)  qualifications.  Our operational area is the beautiful Bay of Islands, we teach sailing by going sailing.  Tailored instruction from passionate, experienced sailors.   Contact us to discuss qualification desired and preferred start date  Click for the quick contact form.





The sailing theory is integrated with practical application so you learn through doing.   Relevant eLearning courses are provided so you can learn the lingo and get to grips with some of the theory before your course.

Private lessons or small groups – maximum 1:4 student to instructor ratio

You and your sailing partner or crew may have different experience and ability, but with a boat an instructor to yourselves our instructors will tailor the content and assess for certification appropriately.  You get plenty of sailing time.

IYT International network of schools

Start or complete your IYT sail training with us and start and complete certification courses at any one of IYTs 250 partner schools around the world. Click to find an IYT school

Sailing Theory

As Great Escape is an IYT Accredited Partner school you are welcome to register as an IYT student and take any of their free eLearning courses.

To help you with your sailing confidence we have a libary of Knowledge and expert advice for our sailors click here for Sailing Tips.

If you want to get a great textbook for your sailing course we recommend “Safety in Small Craft” by Mike Scalan – purchase from good chandleries and boating book shops such as Boat Books.

Details on the qualifications we offer are below;


Introduction to Sailing (Level 1) Yachting New Zealand

Yachting New Zealand Level 1 introductory sailing course where you will learn the basics of yachting and be introduced to the sport for life.  Safe and fun you will be with your instructor during the day and tied safely to our dock at night. A great way to discover if sailing is for you, No prior experience is necessary. Suitable for all ages.

Competent Cruising (Level 2) Yachting New Zealand

Competent Cruising Crew

Level 2 intermediate qualification enabling you to competently undertake an overnight voyage under sail in sheltered waters. The six-day course is suitable for beginners or those with only limited skipper experience – three days with an instructor and three days sailing by yourself.

Overnight Skipper (Level 3) – Yachting New Zealand

Advanced course for those wishing to charter internationally or move onto boat ownership. This is not a beginner course and course content includes communications systems, engine management, responsible navigation and multi-day passage planning and execution.

International Crew (IYT)

International Crew

14 years old and over. No other prerequisites. It is recommended you complete the IYT eLearning International Crew Course prior to your sailing holiday.

IYT International Bareboat Skipper (International Flotilla Skipper)

The International Bareboat Skipper course is a five-day course. It is not for beginners and the recommended entry level requirements are a VHF maritime radio operators certificate, and to have logged over 200 nautical miles and 10 days at sea before advancing to this level. The recommended minimum age to obtain this certification is 18. Sailors should preferably hold the IYT International Crew Certificate or equivalent.