The Friendly Boat Club

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Frequently Asked Questions


How old does my child need to be to participate?
The Course is open for children between the recommended ages of 9 to 16 years of age. We will take on the exceptional 8 years old.

What is the duration of the course?
The course runs for 5 weeks.  4 hours sessions either in the morning or afternoon depending on the tide. 

Are there any prerequisites before my child can participate?
The only prerequisite is that each child must be able to swim a minimum of 25 meters.

What types of boats are used?
The boats used are optimists and sunbursts. Optimists are a single hander and sunbursts are a two hander but can accommodate up to 4 small children.

How many children will be on a boat?
For the optimist it is one per boat, two to four for the sunburst.

Will my child learn how to steer and crew on a dinghy?
Yes, but generally some kids prefer to crew. This is normal and they will come into their own at some stage. Dinghies also require crew and that is just as important as helming.

My child is a little cautious about sailing?
We specialise with children who are not confident. We know how scary it can be for children and try to spend extra time with the children who are not confident or perhaps not as quick at picking up the skills as the others. Our instructors are keen to assist and help these students along.

What safety precautions are there for my child?
We take safety very seriously. We have on and off water policies that our instructor's follow and use to base their decisions upon. When on the water all participants must wear life vests. There are constant reminders about safety, sunburn and weather protection.

Are parents encouraged to participate with their children?
Indeed, parental involvement is gladly welcomed in this programme. Areas of help and assistance will be getting patrol craft into the water, getting Optimists out of the lockers, assistance with launching and retrieving the sailors and washing and storing the boats. With parents help the lessons on the water and in the classroom can be longer and less time spent washing and packing the boats away.

Does the course follow a syllabus?
The course is based upon the Yachting New Zealand syllabus.