Learn all you need to cruise the Hauraki Gulf this summer!

Our Level 2 Cruising course is a three-day course run in our own or a member’s keelboat.

The course starts on a weeknight evening with a planning/Navigation session and safety briefing at the RNZYS.

Friday evening we will cruise the 30 nautical miles from Westhaven up to Kawau Island. Over the weekend we’ll stay at the RNZYS’s iconic Lidgard house located in Bon Accord harbour. Saturday will be spent cruising around the island getting practical experience anchoring, docking, navigating and much more. You will finish the course by bringing it all back together and sailing back to Auckland Sunday afternoon.

This is an all-inclusive course; the fee covers food, drinks and accommodation.

During the Level 2 cruising crew course you will gain an understanding of safety on the water, navigation and tides, ‘rules of the road’, using a VHF radio, engine maintenance and of course sailing skills;

  • Advanced knots
  • Recovering a person overboard
  • Hoisting and Reefing Sails
  • Anchoring and Mooring
  • Planning a voyage

At the beginning of your course you’ll receive a one month trial membership at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron. You’ll be able to use the facilities and get a full taste of what being an active sailing member of the RNZYS is like!
The course includes all safety gear, food, drink and accommodation.

On graduation you receive a Yachting New Zealand Level 2 certificate.

By the end of the course you will have an understanding (and appetite) for cruising around our wonderful Hauraki gulf.

The Sailing Office will provide help with the next stage of your journey: crew placement, Level 2 Race Crew Training course, Level 3 Cruising course or even volunteering in race management.

Click on the photos to see more 🙂

Where do we meet?

Main foyer of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, 181 Westhaven Drive.

What should I bring?

The Lidgard house is fully stocked with bedding and towels.

You should pack;

  • Warm jumper. Wool is best in case of colder weather
  • Warm jacket, wind and water proof if possible
  • Thermal top and bottom if possible because of cold weather (the night sail will be cold)
  • Sun cream (SPF 30+)
  • Sun hat, Beanie, Sunglasses
  • Drink bottle
  • Sailing gloves
  • Casual (off water) clothes, any personal items and toiletries.

Life Jackets and harnesses are provided, but if you have your own you are welcome to use it.

You are welcome to bring swimmers if you want to go for a swim in your down-time.

Will I get wet?

Most likely not, but it is possible.

Are the coaches qualified?

This course will be run by our Learn to sail manager who is a qualified commercial skipper.

What if it's bad weather will the course be cancelled?

If there is a very bad weather forecast we’ll be in touch and look at rescheduling the course.

Can the boats capsize?

No. Our boats are keelboats and are impossible to capsize.


How much of the course is theory versus practical?

Approximately two thirds of the time is on the water/practical, and one third theory.

Does RNZYS offer RYA courses?

We run YNZ (Yachting New Zealand) courses YNZ Level1 seamanship and YNZ Level2 seamanship; RYA (Royal Yachting Association) is the British equivalent of YNZ. Both are endorsed and recognised internationally by the sailing governing body ‘World Sailing’.

Will I get a certificate after my course?

Provided you pass the course (most do) you will get a YNZ certificate which is Internationally recognised by World Sailing.

Should I do any preparation before the course?

Most of the prep work will be done during the week night planning session. If you want to checking the weather forecast and tides can help.

Will I be able to skipper a boat on my own after the course?

After a Level 2 course you will have all the information you need to skipper a boat safely yourself. We still do recommend you gain more experience and confidence as a crew before doing any long trips as a skipper.

How do I continue to sail after I finish the course

We have a lots of frequent and cruising regattas at the club and we can help place you on a RNZYS member’s boat. We can also help you if you are looking to purchase your own yacht.

Should I become a member of RNZYS?

Yes! In fact if you sign up to a course you are already a member as the course includes one month membership to the RNZYS which allows you to use all the facilities at the club. After three months you can decide if you wish to carry on the membership, which we strongly encourage you to do. As well as sailing, the RNZYS offers great dining in the member’s bars and quarterdeck restaurant, rooms for meetings, fantastic social functions, family events, use of Lidgard house at Kawau island and it is an all round great club.