Learn to sail

Michelle and sailors

Learn to Sail Programme:

Sailing is a great family activity and encourages children to develop some valuable life skills such as independence and resilience. The social side of spending time in the outdoors with other young sailors also appeals to many children. The sheltered waters of Charteris Bay make an ideal spot for children to experience sailing for the first time.

We offer two three-day camps in Spring and  Summer and a Term 1 and 4 after school programme for beginners. The after school programme runs every fortnight (due to the tidal nature of the club) on a Monday and Tuesday from 4.00pm to 6.00pm. The Green fleet programme runs on Wednesday afternoons and Sundays to coincide with Club Days. Children must be 8 years old to participate in any Charteris Bay sailing programme. The cost of a Learn to Sail after school programme or  a camp is $170 for members and $200.00 for non-members (GST inc).

The content of a three-day camp and a term participating in the after school programme is the same, it is just delivered over a different time frame to fit with family commitments. Beginners all start their first camp/course in the Learn to Sail 1 group and then coaches will make decisions about their rate of progression after that. The aim is for children to develop their skills so they can participate in the Green Fleet programme.

The Learn to Sail programme is run by volunteers (experienced sailors within our club) and paid coaches. The children learn to sail in optimists, which are ideally suited to children under 55kgs. The club has a fleet of 12 plastimists (plastic optimists), which are provided for children participating in their first and sometimes second camp/course. If children are keen to continue beyond this point, it is necessary for families to purchase a boat. Club members are happy to provide advice in this area. In fact we strongly recommend you ask for advice!

The content of the camps/courses covers elements of on-shore theory, rigging, launching, on-water coaching and fun activities, capsizing and retrieving boats. Parents are expected to be actively involved and to stay at the club while children are in the programme.  It is a great opportunity for adults to learn some new skills too. The club runs courses from time to time to up-skill parents too.

Once children have progressed to the Green Fleet the focus is more about learning the basic rules of competition and how to complete a simple triangular course. Some children are interested in taking this further and competing in regattas and others enjoy trying out their new skills within the club environment. Our club encourages children in either of these pathways. At the Green Fleet level we expect children to be club members and to own and maintain their own boat. We encourage all Green Fleet sailors to participate in club day sailing, every second Sunday during the season.

CBYC also has an Adventure Sail Group. This is aimed at children who have completed the Learn to Sail programme and are more interested in sailing for fun than learning to race. The aim is to continue to build the sailors skills and confidence and extend their range with the safety of a rescue boat and instructor. They may also choose to join some club races just for fun.

 Safety Requirements

To participate in the Learn to Sail programme, children must be able to swim 50 metres and be comfortable about being in deep water in capsize situations.


Sunhat, sunscreen, warm and wind proof clothing such as thermals under a wet suit with a fleece and spray jacket for colder conditions. The club has some life jackets available although you may prefer to bring your own. Some children like to wear beach socks for warmth and protection. Check out our For Sale section for pre-sailed clothing!


Club members will have priority in our Learn to Sail programme and remaining spaces will be filled on a first comes basis.

For further information or to make a booking please contact the following people, email is preferred:

Learn to sail, Green fleet: Sarah Nicholl  329 3022 or  cbyccoaching@gmail.com (Subject: LTS or Green fleet)

Adventure Sail Group: Caroline Mackenzie 329 6406 or cbyccoaching@gmail.com (Subject: Adventure Sail)

Open fleet: Becky Hadfield  0274114909 cbyccoaching@gmail.com (Subject: Open Fleet)

Sailing Camps: Sarah Nicholl 329 3022 or  cbyccoaching@gmail.com (Subject: Camp)

Adult learn-to-sail: Magnum Tuipulotu 329 3111 or  cbyccoaching@gmail.com (Subject: ALTS)


Learn to sail information and gear list pdf-icon

LTS, Green Fleet and Camp: Coaching Registration form pdf-icon

Open Fleet Registration for the Season: Open Fleet Registration 2017

Open Fleet Welcome Letter