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What better way to experience the natural beauty of the Lyttelton Harbour and the Port Hills than from a majestic Classic Yacht on Lyttelton Harbour?

Jack Tar Sailing offers a variety of chartered sailing tour and adventures in and around Lyttelton Harbour, a one of two major harbours on Banks Peninsula, New Zealand.

We can cater for groups of up to 6 people on full and half day trips. Charters generally sail past Rapaki or Quail Island and explore the sheltered bays around Lyttelton Harbour.

If on a full day sailing, you will get a chance to explore one of these idylic spots as you enjoy a picnic lunch break. While out sailing with us, you will have the chance to see many dolphins, sea birds and other marine wildlife.

All trips are made on the classic Gaff Rig Yacht “Oyster” one of the oldest boats in survey in New Zealand.

Oyster is safe ship certified.

3-Hour Full on Experience
Experience first hand what it is like to sail an old sail boat. Once you are out on the water, you will have the chance to see the beautiful scenery of Lyttelton Harbour, sailing around small bays and islands. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of dolphins swimming alongside the boat. Tea and coffee are provided.
Max: 6 People

Full-Day Adventure
Take a full day to explore further around Lyttelton and its immediate bays. Take the time to call by Rapaki or Quail Islands, and enjoy a sheltered anchorage for lunch. Tea and coffee are provided however you will need to pack a picnic lunch – have a look at our tasty picnic baskets for a quick and easy lunch option. Trip route and availability is weather dependent.Max: 6 People

Romantic Evening Cruise
For something a little special for you and your partner, take one of our romantic evening cruises.

Learn to Sail Yachting NZ
Learn to sail a keeler
Basic principles of sailing
Crew on a keel boat #

Certificate of Proficiency Course (NZQA)
If you are keen to learn to sail, do a 12 hour course, receiving a Certificate of Proficiency upon completion. This involves 8 hours on the water and 4 hours of theory. Yachting New Zealand approved unit standards based registered assessor.As a yachting New Zealand seamanship level 3 instructor you can obtain NZQA credits for a Learn to Sail:
Min: 4 People; Max: 6 People

About the Oyster
Oyster is a 36-foot Gaff Yawl built in 1903 by Charles Bailey Jr. in Auckland. Oyster spent most of its life in the Nelson and Tasman Bay area, winning many round the bay races in the 60′s.
Oyster was built in Auckland in 1902 by a young boat builder, Charles Bailey Jr. Commissioned by John Glasgow, Oyster is based on the design of a first-class winning boat of 1899. Oyster is 31.5ft long (9.9m) and is built partially out of Pohutukawa, a New Zealand native tree which grows along the coast.

Oyster was launched complete in Nelson on New Year’s Day in 1903 after traveling from Auckland on board the coaster SS Rawara, a Northern Steam Ship Company vessel. The final cost of construction including the sails and delivery to Nelson was £275.

Oyster was originally wheel-steered and had no navigation lights and no engine. In 1906, Glasgow installed a small Seal inboard engine which, seven years later, he upgraded to a Scripps 4.5hp heavy duty, single-cylinder engine.

In 1924, Oyster was sold to Nigel Blair of Wellington and changed hands three more times and was renamed Ariki before she was finally bought in 1937 by Ralph Millman, also of Wellington. A few alterations were made according to plans drawn by a well known Wellington yacht designer.

Late in 1955, Ariki was brought back to Nelson in very poor condition. She was rebuilt in Nelson by Dennis Win who amongst other things, fitted her with a new 42ft (19m) mast. The 8hp Morris Vedette petrol engine was replaced by a 9hp Victor Club diesel and the name was reverted back to Oyster as it was still carved into the transom.

Oyster became a very successful racing yacht and won many races including the New Year’s Day race at Kaiteriteri three years in a row. After changing ownership multiple times again, she was bought by Dick Young in 1977 who, after two years of work, finally restored her to her original rigging, undoing the alterations which had taken place in Oyster’s long history. The old engine was once again replaced by a Solé 10hp diesel and she was once again sold to Dick’s son, Rob who meticulously maintained her both for his own pleasure and for the use of the Nelson Sea Cadets.

In September 1998, she caught the eye of Mike Rossouw who the following year bought her and with the help of two friends, sailed her down the coast to Lyttelton. After receiving her Survey Certificate from the Maritime Safety Association, Oyster was ready for her new role as a charter yacht in January 2000.

Lyttelton Harbour.
A long extinct volcano, Lyttelton Harbour is home to the South Island’s biggest multi-purpose port. Lyttelton is a picturesque, bustling port town, reflective of it’s founding settlement past with turn-of-the-century weatherboard cottages and stone buildings nestled into the hillside. Originally called Port Cooper, Lyttelton Harbour, or Te-Whaka-raupo (the harbour of the bulrush reeds) was home to Maori for about 1,000 years before Captain Cook on the Endeavour’s first voyage to New Zealand, sighted the peninsula on 16 February 1770.

In 1848 the Canterbury Association was formed and its mission was to found a Church of England Colony in New Zealand. Lyttelton was chosen because of its suitability as a port and the availability of a large area of flat land just over the hill; the extensive Canterbury Plains. An official proclamation on August 30, 1849 established the town as a recognised port and a 150ft long by 15ft wide wharf was constructed, putting it on the shipping map.

The first four ships of immigrants arrived soon after. The influx of people from every walk of life made an impressive new colony.

In 1877, the Lyttelton Harbour Board was established and was responsible for the management of the harbour. The Harbour Board was abolished in 1989 after the Port Companies Act 1988 separated the commercial and non-trading roles of the board. Lyttelton Port Company was formed to manage the port in the same manner as any other commercial business. In July 1996, the company listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange and now has a 30 percent public listing. The Christchurch City Council is the single largest shareholder of Lyttelton Port of Christchurch.

Even now, remnants of the bygone era, particularly of the town’s maritime beginnings, are in full view. The old stone dry dock, the last of it’s kind in the South Island, sits solidly at the end of the Godley Quay and the eccentric Time Ball Station – a tribute to age old navigation techniques – is perched on a hill, looking over the bustling port.