FAQs

Is it safe?

While sailing (especially) is not without some risk, we do everything we can to manage that risk responsibly.

Our people, equipment, gear and training are all top notch. Our two purpose built training yachts (Port Nic 1 and Port Nic 2) are managed under Maritime New Zealand’s Maritime Operator Safety System (MOSS) and our instructors hold relevant Yachting New Zealand and Coastguard Boating Education qualifications for the courses they teach.

Lifejackets are mandatory for everyone on board (including our instructors) at all times.

We keep a close eye on the weather. Just because its cold, wet, or windy doesn’t mean we wont go out, but we may tailor the day’s programme to account for the weather conditions.

Who are the instructors?

We have an awesome team of experienced and qualified instructors. They all hold relevant Yachting New Zealand and Coastguard Boating Education qualifications for the courses they teach. Their job is to get you on the water to learn and have fun in a safe environment, and to deliver the very best boating education experience in the classroom.

What should I wear?

Dress warmly, even in summer. A wool or polypropylene base layer is a good idea, with at least one more warm layer on top.

We provide you with a good quality set of breathable waterproof gear (pants and jacket) along with a lifejacket. A hat and sunglasses are also a good idea. Make sure that you have a strap or similar so that you don’t lose these overboard!

What about the weather?

Our on-the-water courses are all weather dependent. We will go sailing if it is safe to do so, but if it too windy, too wet or too cold, then we might have to stay ashore or reschedule the course. If the weather wont cooperate, and we can’t find a suitable time to take you out, then you’ll receive a full refund.

The best forecast to watch is the Metservice’s Wellington Recreation Marine forecast. Ideally, we’d like the wind to be below 30 knots, though the air temperature, water temperature and rain forecast also play a role.

We’ll let you know if there is an issue, and if in doubt, give us a call on 04 939 6702.

Is there an age limit?

Generally, you must be 16 years or older to participate in a sailing course by yourself. We can accommodate younger people with an adult. At the upper end, age is no limit! We will consider students under 16 years on a case-by-case basis. Please call us on 04 939 6702 if you’d like to talk to us about this.

Our schools programme is designed for secondary school students.

Our holiday programme is suitable for kids 10 years and older.

Please call us on 04 939 6702 for more information.

Can I bring a camera on board with me?

Boats are wet, and pretty much everything you bring on board risks getting wet. So bring your waterproof camera with you, but probably best to leave anything that’s allergic to water at home.

Are the courses physically demanding?

Yachts can move around a bit, particularly when the breeze gets up a bit. Being confident on your feet will make things easier for you, but isn’t critical. Our training yachts are set up to be easy to sail, so physical strength isn’t so important. Its probably best not to take part if you’re carrying a serious injury of some kind. Please call us on 04 939 6702 if you have any concerns.

We have an adaptive seat and outriggers for our SUP boards. This equipment is suitable for people with certain disabilities. Please call us on 04 939 6702 for more information or to book this equipment.

Are discounts available?

Current financial members of the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club, their partners and their dependent children receive a 10% discount on most courses.

Can we hire your facilities?

Yes! Our classroom (the Alan Martin Room) and other facilities in the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club’s clubrooms (the Wardroom and the Noel Manthel Boardroom) are available for hire. Please contact Black and Gold Events for more information.

We can combine your room hire and catering with a team building sailing package. Please contact us on 04 939 6702 for more information, or contact Black and Gold Events.