Holiday Learn to Sail

Notes for parents of prospective participants.

The French Bay Yacht Club runs a Holiday Learn to Sail programme for enthusiastic local children. This is operated by club members and parents on a voluntary basis with a Yachting New Zealand qualified coach. French Bay Yacht Club is not a commercial operation or a Sailing School, and this course is designed to engage children interested in sailing after they have completed the school Waterwise course.

The programme will take the children through the YNZ Level 1 curriculum.  It is envisaged that children who are not already members of FBYC could then choose to join the Club and participate in coaching on Saturdays using the club Optimists until the next intake of Holiday Learn to Sail. At this stage those who want to continue in the coaching group will be required to buy their own boat and become a member of the club

We have available for use a fleet of plastic Optimist yachts which are ideal for learners.

Learning to sail can be a challenging activity. The Programme is restricted to children 10 years or over. Though we endeavour to not put them in situations they will be unhappy about, if a child is frightened by the experience it can put them off sailing for many years.

The Holiday Learn to Sail dates are on the FBYC Calendar


The basic safety equipment participants will need is suitable footwear, a hat and sunscreen. Suitable warm and wind proof clothing, such as thermals under a wetsuit, with a woollen jumper and spray jacket, may also be required on cold days. Lifejackets are provided – although you may prefer to bring your own.


To join the learn to sail programme your child must be able to swim. As part of the course they will be expected to swim (by any means) at least 50 metres, dressed for sailing and with a buoyancy vest on. They will also learn to capsize and right a boat in deep water.

There are a limited number of places available. We are sorry, but we cannot guarantee that we can accommodate all applicants. If your child is enrolled in the course we would like them to attend on a regular basis.

At the beginning and end of the day they and their parent/s are also expected to rig/derig the boats, clean them and assist with stowing them.

For further information please make an Email enquiry here

or ask a committee member

Join us for sailing on the Manukau Harbour