Sailing School

Sailing is the sport for life.


Great Escape Sailing School has been helping sailors develop sailing expertise for over thirty years, our graduates are now sailing successfully all over the world.  Our instructors are all passionate sailors with many ocean miles, numerous regattas and years of sailing.  We follow the Yachting New Zealand (YNZ) keelboat syllabus, offer IYT (International Yacht Training) certification and supplement the formal syllabus with practical tailored information to ensure you can safely skipper one of our boats in the beautiful Bay of Islands.


  • You and your sailing partner have the instructor and a yacht to yourselves.  Plenty of time on the helm, trimming sails and handling the boat.  (Courses usually only two sailors, however, we can cater for three or a small family if you want).
  • Proven, practical YNZ (Yachting New Zealand) Learn-to-sail program.  We teach you to sail by going sailing.
  • Accredited IYT (International Yacht Training) Sailing School enabling you to gain international qualifications.  You can gain IYT qualifications with us and continue your sailing career with any one of over 250 IYT Sailing Schools worldwide.
  • With personalised coaching and our experienced instructors, your course content is tailored to your experience.  From complete newbies to experienced sea salts, we start by understanding what you already know then coach you from there, so that you gain the qualifications you desire and develop new skills and expertise to competently crew or skipper a yacht.


skippering yourself

Start as a complete novice and be out skippering yourself after only three days

sailing skippers qualification

Gain an internationally recognised recreational sailing skippers’ qualification

safely skipper your boat

Safely skipper your own boat in our world renown cruising grounds