• The responsibility of skippering a boat is a large one. Legally and morally, the skipper is responsible for the safety of all those aboard. If you are a skipper, you owe it to yourself, your family, all those aboard and other water users to ensure you know what you’re doing.
• Our courses are a satisfying and enjoyable experience. The content is relevant, the delivery is both engaging and
professional and the environment is comfortable.
• The knowledge gained will both help you to enjoy your boating and you will relax knowing you’re aware of the risks and have got them covered.
• Our Coastguard Search and Rescue volunteers regularly find themselves assisting good people who have got themselves into a situation for no other reason than they didn’t know any better. Unfortunately the sea has little respect for a lack of knowledge!
• As a knowledgeable crew member, you will have a greater understanding of what’s happening and feel more comfortable about getting involved. Should something happen to the skipper, you can confidently step up to resolve the situation. Besides knowledgeable crew get invited out more often!
Which course should I do?
• This depends on the type of boating that interests you. We cover everything from kayaks and runabouts to large offshore vessels. Have a browse through the information here or give our friendly education team a call on 0508 737 283.
• If you're travelling overseas and looking to charter or hire a vessel, many countries and hire companies require you to hold certain qualifications. A plain english guide on the European ICC and CEVNI qualifications is available here.
• With years of experience, we can ensure you get all the advice and guidance you need.
• We are NZ’s largest recreational maritime school and have a proud history, a solid reputation for quality and consistently receive outstanding feedback from students.
• We use carefully selected venues to ensure comfort and an optimal learning environment including the purpose built lecture rooms at the home of Coastguard - the Auckland Marine Rescue Centre.
• All our fully qualified tutors are passionate about the sea and helping others to enjoy it safely. Many are also active Search and Rescue volunteers themselves. We find our students really enjoy learning from tutors with such extensive first-hand experience as it makes the course that much more engaging.
• Our maritime school is part of Coastguard, the charity saving lives at sea. When you book a course with us, as well as learning to enjoy the water safely, you are making a direct contribution to support our volunteers around the coast in their lifesaving work.
• Our Day Skipper and Boatmaster students have the exclusive opportunity to apply their knowledge during an evening harbour trip aboard Auckland Coastguard’s 60’ vessel ASB Rescue. (An extra charge applies)
Shore Based Courses
Day Skipper (15 hours) Aim: To gain essential boating knowledge and safety. Qualification: NZ Day Skipper Certificate (Unit Standard 6915 available). Course Content: Boat familiarisation, navigation techniques, rules and regulations, emergency equipment and usage. CLICK FOR MORE DETAILS OR TO BOOK
Coastal Skipper (55 hours) Aim: To gain a thorough grounding in the principles and practices of coastal navigation and an understanding of the causes and effects of coastal weather. An advanced course for those wishing to undertake coastal voyages. Prerequisites: 16 years of age, Boatmaster, Marine VHF Radio Operator Certificate, 200 hours proven sea time. Course Content: Comprehensive navigation techniques, meteorology, passage planning, assessment - written and oral. CLICK FOR MORE DETAILS OR TO BOOK
Ocean Yachtmaster (72 hours) Aim: To gain advanced ocean navigation and passage making knowledge. For skippers or crew intending to race offshore or cruise to overseas destinations. Qualification: NZ Yachtmaster Certificate. Prerequisites: Current First Aid, RRTOC & NZ Coastal Skipper Certificates, 400 hours proven sea time, with 50 hours beyond harbour limitsa nd at least 72 hours continuous time, at least 30 miles offshore. Course Content: Extensive navigation techniques, oral assessment. CLICK FOR MORE DETAILS OR TO BOOK
Sea Kayak (4 hours) Aim: To gain essential knowledge of sea kayaking and safety. Qualification: Sea Kayak Certificate. Course Content: Kayak orientation, equipment, communication, emergencies, trip planning, wind and weather, rules and regulations, navigation. CLICK FOR MORE DETAILS OR TO BOOK
GPS Operator (8 hours) Aim: To provide a comprehensive understanding of the GPS. Course Content: Principles, preparation and installation, controls, screens and outputs, passage making, waypoint navigation, accuracies and errors, chart plotters, selection. CLICK FOR MORE DETAILS OR TO BOOK
Advanced Sea Survival (12 hours) Aim: To gain thorough skills and knowledge on sea survival techniques and equipment. A practical and theoretical course required by crew competing in offshore (category 1) races. Qualification: Advanced Sea Survival (recognised by Yachting NZ & ISAF). Prerequisites: Two day First Aid Certficate or Race Medic Certificate. Course Content: History, statistics and legislation, accidents and emergencies, equipment, safety and emergency planning, risk assessment, man overboard and life-rafts, wet drill, distress signals & responsibilities, medical care aboard, heavy weather techniques. CLICK FOR MORE DETAILS OR TO BOOK
Marine Medic Introductory through to advanced courses specific to the marine environment.
Currently only available to SAR volunteers
Club Safety Boat (8 hours) Aim: To increase safety and proficiency of safety boat operators, enabling better safety cover for sailors involved in rowing, yacht, waka ama and outrigger club activities. Qualification: Club Safety Boat Operator. Prerequisites: Marine VHF Radio Operators and First Aid Certificate is recommended. Powerboat Level 2 recommended for craft powered by 25HP and above. Course Content: Preparation and safety checks, NZ Law, mark laying, righting inverted crafts, towing, casualty rescue. CLICK FOR MORE DETAILS OR TO BOOK
Ladies Suddenly in Charge Seminar (2.5 hours) Aim: Designed to provide some basic knowledge for those wishing to know a bit more about boating and some fundamental emergency procedures. This seminar is NOT intended to replace a Day Skipper or VHF Radio Operator course. Qualification: None. Prerequisites: None. Course Content: Three female tutors each run a seperate punchy interactive and practical session. These discuss topics such as rules of the road, navigation, safety equipment, emergencies and some rope work. Participants are in small groups and rotated to attend all three sessions. CLICK FOR MORE DETAILS OR TO BOOK
RYA Level 1 (1 day) Aim: To gain a practical introduction to boat handling and safety. Prerequisites: None. Course Content: Pre-start safety checks, mooring buoys and coming along side, launching and recovering, rules and regulations, engine use and controls. CLICK FOR MORE DETAILS OR TO BOOK
RYA Level 2 (2 days) Aim: To achieve all basic handling and seamanship skills. Prerequisites: None. Note: Direct assessment option is available. Course Content: Boat preparation, man overboard, effects of wind and tide, types of craft and engines, high and low speed manoeuvering, maintenance checks, handling in confined spaces, rules and regulations, anchoring, moorings and weather and forecasts, coming alongside. CLICK FOR MORE DETAILS OR TO BOOK
RYA Intermediate (2 days) Aim: To complete open and coastal passages by day. Prerequisites: Skills to Level 2 VHF recommended. Course Content: Trip planning, practical pilotage and passage making, bearings and distance, open-water boat handling, GPS and chart navigation. CLICK FOR MORE DETAILS OR TO BOOK
RYA Advanced (2 days) Aim: To enable competent, high speed navigation by day and night. Prerequisites: Skills to Intermediate Level 2, VHF and First Aid. Course Content: Passage planning, rules of the road at sea, advanced pilotage and navigation, meteorology, high speed trim and boat handling, emergency situations. CLICK FOR MORE DETAILS OR TO BOOK
RYA Sea Based Courses: Motor Cruises (Launch / Yacht)
RYA Helmsman (2 days) Aim: to handle a launch in sheltered waters. Course Content: Preparation and safety equipment, securing to a buoy, knots and rope work, leaving and coming along side, engines and controls, man overboard, low speed and high speed handling, basic safety and rules of the road. CLICK FOR MORE DETAILS OR TO BOOK
RYA Day Skipper (4 days) Aim: To skipper a launch in familiar waters by day. Prerequisites: Previous experience recommended. Course Content: Boat and engine checks, use of charts and GPS, safety equipment, tidal heights and streams, handling in various conditions, buoys and beacons, high speed work, power and trim tabs, meteorology, practical pilotage and navigation, rules of the road. CLICK FOR MORE DETAILS OR TO BOOK
RYA Coastal Skipper (5 days) Aim: To skipper a launch on coastal passages by day and night. Prerequisites: Skills and experience equivalent to RYA Day Skipper. Course Content: Passage planning, weather and navigation, skipper responsibilities, effective handling in confined spaces, pilotage planning by day and night, anchoring and mooring. CLICK FOR MORE DETAILS OR TO BOOK