First Voyage: Six days, five nights

Learn to sail then sail yourselves

Three days sailing with an instructor learning all you need to know to safely cast off, then three wonderful days sailing by yourselves.

This is a beginner to intermediate course, some boating or sailing experience is useful but not essential. Suitable for couples, families, and small groups of friends.   If you have a big group take a couple of boats for more fun.

Overview of Course

Days One to Three: INSTRUCTION

  • You’ll be out sailing with your instructor, you’ll learn how to work as a team, handle the boat and its systems, to sail your desired destination, navigate in the Bay of Islands, make good decisions based on the weather, and choose anchorages.
  • After a full day sailing and learning, you return to the base where you sleep aboard safely tied to our dock in Opua (the instructor goes home at the end of each day). You can cook aboard or eat out.

Days Four to Six: SAIL BY YOURSELF

  • The last three days you spend out sailing by yourselves. You chose where to sail and where to drop anchor, you’re in charge. You’ll practice your new skills and enjoy the beautiful Bay of Islands.
  • At the end of the six days as well as having a wonderful sailing holiday you should also have gained recreational sailing qualifications.

“This course is amazing! To go from 0 to sailing yourselves in 3 days is phenomenal. It’s intense and can seem overwhelming if you haven’t had any sailing experience but it does all come together…trust me! Highly recommend. Julie and Bill and the team are so friendly and welcoming. We had Josh instruct us, Josh is a very practical guy with a wealth of knowledge. If your considering learning to sail… come with this company. Simply the best!” 
Tripadvisor February 22

Choice of yacht. You have the boat to yourselves with your own instructor for the first three days.

  • Two sailors:  Davidson 20
  • One to three adult sailors: Noelex 25
  • Two adult sailors and up to two children (4-14): Noelex 25
  • Four to five adult sailors:  Noelex 30
  • Three to four adult sailors and one or two children (4-14): Noelex 30


Checking the chart underway

Heading out by yourselves in the beautiful Bay of Islands

Beautiful uncrowed anchorages to explore

Course Content

  • Personal Gear
  • Essential safety equipment
  • Weather, tides and currents, Forecast and Met service warnings
  • Buoys and beacons
  • Navigation: Position finding,  Passage planning
  • Rules of the road at sea
  • Maneuvering under power
  • Trip report
  • Casting off
  • Sail selection and hoisting
  • Wind awareness
  • How sails work, Sail trim
  • Tacking upwind, Gybing downwind
  • Reducing Power
  • Person overboard
  • Dinghy use and boatkeeping
  • Mooring and anchoring
  • Useful knots
  • Nautical terms


  • Yachting New Zealand Keelboat Sailing Level 2
  • International Yacht Training Day Skipper / International Crew

Click here for pricing, availability and booking