A large proportion of New Zealand keel yachts, particularly in Auckland, Wellington, and Lyttelton, seldom compete in races. Many of these vessels are specifically designed for cruising on the New Zealand coastline and sheltered sounds. The Hauraki Gulf is generally regarded as the finest of these cruising grounds, containing many fine stretches of open water and anchorages. Wellington yachtsmen, wishing to cruise in the Marlborough Sounds area, have first to make the difficult and often dangerous Cook Strait crossing. The Banks Peninsula offers a wide choice to the cruising yachts of the Lyttelton fleet. Few yachtsmen cruise in the Fiordland Sounds because of the weather conditions in that area and the dangerous nature of the west coast of the South Island. Many ocean cruises are undertaken by New Zealand yachts, mostly to Australia and the Pacific Islands. In 1953, 19 cruising yachts left Auckland on ocean voyages. In 1957 Marco Polo (A. Armit, B. Lowe) became the first New Zealand yacht to circumnavigate the world.
The total yachting population of New Zealand, approximately 15,000, is formed into 85 yacht clubs, most of which are based on the four major ports and 51 of which are in the Auckland area.
by Stephen Gerard O'Regan, formerly Secretary, Evans Bay Yacht Club, Wellington.
- Little Ships, Carter, R. (1948)
- Handbook, Auckland Provincial Yachting Association (1953–54)
- Sea Spray (1945– ) (monthly).