Level 2 Coastal Cruising

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

What To Expect

Our Level 2 Cruising course is a three-day course run in our own or a member’s keelboat. We have decided to run this as both a full weekend on board experience for those wanting to go cruising as well as options for all day sailing and able to sleep in your own bed. Both choices will cover all aspects required to complete the YNZ Level 2 Cruising course content.

The course starts on a Tuesday evening with a planning/Navigation session and safety briefing at the RNZYS which includes dinner at the club.

Friday evening we will cruise approximately 30 nautical miles from Westhaven up to the first anchorage. Over the weekend we’ll stay on board the boat learning about how to adapt to life on board. Saturday will be spent cruising around, 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 on board. There will be a maximum of 5 students with this option due to accommodation on board.

For those students working towards gaining the SLC (International Sailing Licence) this course covers the practical components of the NauticEd Skipper Rank.

For those of you choosing the day sailing option, it will still include the safety and navigation aspect on the Tuesday and the night sail on the Friday evening, at the end of each day you will return to the berth at Westhaven, this is a good option if you are unsure about sleeping on a boat to begin with or if you are unsure of where you would like your sailing to take you in the future. There will be a maximum on 9 students with this option.

Food is included in the cost of this course.

What the course covers

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

What is included

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 🙂

Common Questions

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.

What is an SLC?

The International Sailing License and Credentials (SLC) is a recreational sailing license valid for all yacht charter companies worldwide including Europe and the Seychelles. To gain an SLC, the candidate must complete the RNZYS courses up to Level 3 Coastal Skipper, pass an online suite of theoretical knowledge courses and tests appropriate for bareboat chartering, log previous sufficient sailing experience, and demonstrate sailing skills according to internationally established sailing standards. After completion, the SLC can be issued electronically very quickly.

Why SLC rather than ICC?

The ICC (International Certificate of Competency) has come from an EU directive and is valid in Europe.

The SLC is issued by NauticEd, exceeds the requirements for the ICC and is valid worldwide not just Europe.

We have previously offered the ICC, but from 2022 have switched to the SLC as we believe it offers better value to our students, is accepted in more places, and can be issued quicker (there can be processing delays for the ICC).

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.