Come Sailing

Welcome to Ponsonby Cruising Club.

Our aim is to get as many people as we can involved in the fantastic sport of sailing, and that is why you’ll find our members are always enthusiastically looking out for new people to get involved.

No matter what your experience, we’ve got an event for you. If you’ve never sailed before, you’ll find that an evening on the harbour is a fantastic introduction to the sport. We’ve got plenty of boats that are keen to take new sailors onboard and show you the ropes.

For those with more experience, or looking for something more challenging, we have plenty of members who will take you out for harbour races, long cruising races, or just a weekend away in a boat.

New to sailing?

You don’t need any experience to start sailing with us. There are three easy ways to find out if sailing is for you:

Try our great sailing school.

Join in with one of our races. We recommend our Thursday afternoon Liquor King Rum Race (win the race, win rum!) or the Friday Night R&R races for a gentle introduction. Check out the calendar for when they’re on.

New sailors will need to come in and register at the office and you can try out sailing with our members one or two times for a donation of $10 per race and if you like it you can sign up as a crew member for only $140.00 a year.

We’ll do our best to match you with a boat for the evening. Call the office on the day of the race for a guaranteed spot.

Come down and watch. A great way for those who really aren’t sure if they want to give it a go to find out what’s involved. Our club is open most days and anyone is welcome; just introduce yourself at the reception, or head up to the bar where you can watch the start from our panoramic windows over a cold drink and great food. We run many of our races from the control tower on the waterfront up from the clubhouse, so head along there if you want to ask our race committee what’s going on; it’s also a great place to watch the racing. They’re a friendly lot, and always keen to answer questions. Just be prepared for the occasional gap in their answers while they record the boats finishing!

Sailed Before?

PCC is a welcoming venue no matter what your experience. We have everything from novice owners just looking for a potter around the harbour to serious racers who will expect you to be able to jump straight on board and work without instruction. Just let them know your experience when you meet them so they know what to expect!

What should I bring?

For normal club daytime events you don’t need to bring much – you don’t have to go and buy expensive kit for sailing in Auckland. Before you go, check the weather, and dress appropriately. This is the recommended minimum kit for a normal Auckland evening:

Shorts or light, quick drying trousers (not jeans, they get wet and cold)

Layers of: a lightweight top,
a long sleeved top (because it’s always colder on the water than on shore) and
a waterproof jacket to keep the wind out and the rain off.
A peaked cap for sunburn (or a fleecy hat if its cold and wet).
Shoes that don’t have black soles (they mark the boats) and won’t fall off (so jandals aren’t a good choice). If possible get ones that cover your toes so you won’t stub them. The best things to wear are deck shoes, neoprene shoes or trainers. If you don’t have anything suitable, bare feet are normally OK in warm weather, although you risk getting some bumps and scrapes!
…and most importantly of all, a couple of beers for the fridge.

You only need your own sailing wet weather gear if you’re doing long distance races or night races. Not everyone wears a lifejacket on the boat, and for your first few goes you certainly don’t need to go out and buy your own! Just ask the owner if you can borrow one.

What should I expect?

Although the majority of our events are races, this doesn’t mean that everyone takes it too seriously. Most boats are pretty relaxed (after all, we do this for fun), so don’t worry! Every boat does things differently, but this is a pretty normal way of doing things:

The owner and crew meet up on the boat about an hour before the start of the race (make sure you get directions and the pontoon gate access code from the owner so you can get in!)

You’ll be shown what to do, and given a suitable job depending on your experience. It may even just be sitting on the side and watching if you’re new to sailing. Make sure you say if you want to do more or less than you’re asked – no one wants to make you uncomfortable.

Enjoy the race!

After the race, help pack the boat up, enjoy a beer on the boat (you’ll definitely get invited back if you bring some with you!), then head up to the clubhouse for a drink and the prize giving. This is a great chance to meet the opposition, find out how well you did, and grab some food.

How much does it cost?

Sailing is a cheap sport – for the crew, at least! If you are not a crew member yet, you pay the office a 10 dollar donation each time. On many boats you won’t get asked to pay anything, while others will ask for a small contribution towards entry fees (especially if the skipper arranges food or drink for you). Ask them when you get on board. Normally this won’t be more than ten bucks for an evening. The only other cost you’ve got is any food or drink you buy in our bar!

There are plenty of benefits – see our membership page for more details.

How much of a commitment is it?

It depends entirely on what you agree with the boat owner. Some people promise the owner that they will do every race in a series (which is a nice way of improving your skills, because you get loads of practice). At the other end of the scale, if you just show up once with no warning to try it out, you’ll be more than welcome. No commitment is required. Most crews try out a few boats, see which one they enjoy the most, then sail when they can. Beware, it can be addictive!

More questions?

There are loads of people who can help you out. Check out our contacts page, and send us an email or give us a call. If you’re in the area, pop into our clubhouse and we’ll do our best to make you feel welcome.