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Learn to Sail at Christchurch Yacht Club

 Sailing since 1891

Christchurch Yacht Club is one of the oldest continuously sailing yacht clubs in the country. Past members of the club include Peter Mander and Leslie Egnot. Peter won the gold medal in the Finn class at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, and Leslie won silver in the 470 at Barcelona in 1992.

CYC is located in Moncks Bay, Redcliffs on the water edge, and has a strong membership of around 100, sailing a variety of boats, from Optimists through to Finns and even a small keelboat contingent.

Each year, we run Learn to sail courses for children around the ages of 9 to 14. The courses are run by club youth members, who all sail at the club, and are qualified sailing instructors. The course is delivered in a variety of boats; one handed Optimist dinghies, two handed Sunbursts and a small trailer yacht, over a series of five sessions at the club, and one extra, but not required, three day, club junior camp at Takamatua.

The Learn to Sail course is open to the first 6 registered sailors, and will run for around 3 hours each day. There will be one session each weekend for five weekends.

The dates of the next course; January 26th, February 2nd, 9th, 23rd , and March 1st

Requirements of the course

  • Your child must be at least 9 years of age

  • Your child must be comfortable in the water, and be able to swim 50m

  • You as the caregiver must stay at the club during the course – we are not a babysitting service!

  • If you have to cancel, you must let us know more than 7 days before the course begins to receive a refund

  • Parents are expected to help with getting boats out of the shed, set up, and on and off the water

  • There will be opportunities for parents to come out on the coach boats, and to go sailing

General structure of a sailing day

  • Arrive at the club

  • Set up the boats, and get changed, ready to go sailing

  • Have a quick pre-sailing briefing about the activities for the day

  • Go SAILING!!

  • Come ashore, wash down and pack away all the boats

  • Have an after sailing de-brief

During the Learn to Sail course, your sailor will learn how to effectively sail and control a boat, they will be able to sail a boat, turn it around, capsize it, tie a selection of important knots, and most importantly: HAVE FUN!

What do you need to bring?

  • Your sailor should have a wetsuit, togs, towel, beach shoes (or similar), a hat (Sunhat and beanie), polyprops and a light windproof jacket

  • We provide lifejackets

  • Bring snacks, and a named water bottle


What Happens when learn to sail finishes?

  • You can enrol in our level 2 coaching programme, which is run by the same coaches as the Learn to sail. At this level we teach more advanced boat handling, and sailing skills.

  • After level 2, we run both adventure/fun sailing courses and also a dedicated racing programme, coached by a range of racing sailors, including ex-Olympic sailor(Tokyo 1964) and coach(Los Angeles 1984) Bret de Their.

What is the Takamatua Camp?

Each year, we pack our entire junior programme onto trailers, and head to Takamatua, near Akaroa. We stay at the Chisnallwood Intermediate School Camp ground, and have three days of great harbour sailing. Everyone stays at the camp, where we have a communal barbeque each night. The three days of sailing are generally structured around sailing skills on the first day, and adventure sails on the next two. All club juniors who go to these camps agree that they are the best part of the coaching programme.


Click on the Register for learn to sail button.

  • Click on the button that says JOIN CYC

  • The system will lead you through the steps

  • Please enter an email address that you view regularly

  • You will get a LOGIN (remember it).You will need to remember a PASSWORD as well

  • During the registration process you will be prompted to register as a guardian

  • You will then be able to purchase the L2S Level 1 course or the Level 2 & 3 courses

  • Until you register via our website we will not have you in our system nor will you receive any emails from us about club activities

  • Once registered you will be able to use your LOGIN to update your membership contact details, add other family members, view your account with the club and make subsequent purchases for any additional events or merchandise


  • These are very rare and occur when the weather isn’t suitable for sailing. There are still a lot of off-water course topics that can be covered.

What if you cancel on us for Learn 2 Sail Level “1” ? Registration and payment by you is a commitment that your child is going to attend on the dates provided.  Please be sure of your dates.  In some circumstances a cancellation fee may be requested from you.

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