• Attractions
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  • Sailing Schools
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Teaching the Art of Cruising

sailing award

Nelson, with a wonderful temperate climate and the national record for annual sunshine hours, has long been high on the list of places to visit for travellers to New Zealand. This mixture creates a deep blue sea, golden beaches and a sea breeze.

SAIL NELSON is owned by John Moore, a registered RYA (Royal Yachting Association) teacher and skipper with more than 30 years sailing, commercial fishing and teaching experience. He is also a qualified and practising MNZ (Maritime New Zealand) examiner.

The combination of environment, skipper, yacht plus yourself creates the best classroom in the world.

SAIL NELSON Sailing School offers:

  • Registered RYA sailing school offering accredited courses to suit your sailing skills and experience
  • First class sailing vessel maintained to the highest standards
  • Options that range from educational courses to relaxed personalized charters
  • A diverse and challenging sailing environment with secluded, safe and spectacular anchorages
  • Personalized skippered charters of up to a week in either the Abel Tasman or the wilderness of D’Urville Island and the outer Marlborough Sounds
  • A chance to experience the wonders and beauty of learning to sail in Nelson’s Abel Tasman National Park

Choose SAIL NELSON and learn to sail or enjoy a charter of your choice in the waters of the stunning Nelson region, in New Zealand’s South Island. Situated adjacent to the Abel Tasman National Park at the northwest tip of the island, the Nelson region is a hub for New Zealand artists and one of the country’s leading wine production centres.

Sailing Yacht

Our Yacht MANAIA is a New Zealand designed Farr 1020, a 34ft vessel with proven capability as a racer/cruiser. She holds a full Maritime Safety Survey for charter vessels and is superbly maintained with a full set of the finest quality sails and rigging. Under the ownership of John Moore, Manaia has been refitted to the highest standard as a purpose platform for either sail training or relaxing charter. With tiller steering she is a manageable challenge for beginners to helm but has sufficient complexity in sailing systems to offer new challenges for experienced sailors.

Skipper & Sailing Instructor

sailing school nelson new zealand

Skipper JOHN MOORE is a Maritime New Zealand (MNZ)certified tutor and examiner and an accredited Royal Yachting Association (RYA) instructor. John grew up sailing with his father in Nelson’s Tasman Bay and has subsequently sailed internationally as crew and master. At age 19, John was New Zealand’s youngest ever certified Deep Sea Skipper, commanding deep-sea fishing vessels in the pioneering days of Nelson’s offshore fishing industry. John subsequently returned to his first love of sailing and spent 12 years as a senior tutor of navigation and seamanship at Nelson’s New Zealand School of Fisheries.

Sail Nelson employs experienced RYA qualified sailing instructors from around the globe.
All our instructors have proven sailing ability, with thousands of sea miles under their belts. They have excellent tuition skills, a good sense of humour and are pretty efficient in the galley too!

They all love being onboard in Nelson as it is famous for its sunshine hours and is such a stunning place to sail.

From our base in the Nelson Marina we sail down the Nelson harbour, past the unique stone Boulder Bank with its old lighthouse, then out through the harbour entrance that is locally known as The Cut and into Tasman Bay.

Tasman Bay is surrounded by mountains which creates summer sea and land breezes. This, combined with Nelson’s record sunshine hours, ensures your best chance of fine weather in New Zealand.

The shores of Tasman Bay include the Mapua Estuary with its fine restaurants, Abel Tasman National Park with lush vegetation, the golden beaches of Golden Bay and the wilderness of D’Urville Island.

Astrolabe roadstead in the Abel Tasman National Park has the largest rise and fall of tide in New Zealand and French Pass at D’Urville Island has New Zealand’s strongest tidal race.

The combination of these attributes gives pleasurable sailing in beautiful landscapes whilst allowing you to hone your skills of tidal navigation and the opportunity to experience entering small tidal harbours.