- What is bareboating?
Bareboating is when you choose a vessel size and type most suitable for your group and budget and skipper it yourself, taking along friends or family as your crew, to share the fun.
- How do I get to the Whitsundays?
Located on the Queensland coast just north of Mackay, the Whitsundays can be accessed by air, car, bus and rail. International airports are located at Cairns and Brisbane.
- Can I have my vessel delivered to Hamilton Island?
Certainly! Just make your request when booking. We can deliver your vessel to Hamilton Island at the start of your charter and pick it up from Hamilton Island upon conclusion. (Charges apply).
- How long should we charter for?
Our most common 'complaint' is that anything less than seven days is not enough to experience the joys of a Whitsundays cruise! So, while we offer shorter packages - you'll appreciate the extra time to unwind and explore. Our suggestion? Go for seven nights!
- What time can I start my charter?
All charters start at midday. You are welcome to arrive at our base at 11.30am to finalise paperwork. Your briefer will escort you to your vessel. On your final day you need to return to Shute Harbour - or to Hamilton Island - by midday. Early briefs (8am) may be confirmed the day prior to charter and depend on maintenance and vessel traffic.
- What should we bring?
Apart from food and clothing all vessels come fully equipped! Bring light personal clothing, a book, camera and possibly a tracksuit for the cooler months between June and September. A hat, sunglasses and sunscreen are musts. The after-dark dress code on all resorts is neat casual.
- How do we provision our vessel?
Our base is six kilometres from the nearest supermarket - so our provisioning packages come in handy! Provisioning packages take the hassle out of organising food and drink and maximise your time on the water - especially important if your cruise starts the day you arrive. If you want to shop, the nearest supermarket is at Airlie Beach.
- What happens if we run out of food?
Simple! Just reorder through our affiliated provisioning company using your onboard radio and arrange delivery to an agreed location. If you are chartering for longer than eight nights, we suggest a mid-charter stop at our base where you can refuel, take on fresh linen, provisions, and anything else you need.
- Is bareboating safe?
The Whitsunday region is one of the world's safest boating destinations. It's sheltered from ocean swell by the Great Barrier Reef and numerous islands which provide calm, and often completely protected natural anchorages. During your cruise, we make two scheduled radio calls each day. Each morning, we'll establish your plans for the day. Each afternoon, we'll confirm you are safely anchored for the night. You are free to contact us throughout the day by radio. Mobile phone coverage is available in some 75 per cent of anchorages.
- Is bareboating safe for children?
Absolutely! Many of our charter groups are families with small children. Keep in mind, however, that regulation life jackets do not cater for babies and small children. We provide children's lifejackets on request. Order these when you confirm your booking.
- Do I need a licence?
No formal sailing qualifications or great sailing skill is required to hire a bareboat from us. Our briefers will provide the necessary training and are available for extra tuition as required.
- How much sailing experience do I need?
If you can handle a windsurfer or a sailing dinghy you should be able to sail one of our yachts - the principles are the same. If you have never sailed before, a motor cruiser is the best choice of vessel for you. Using easy-to-follow briefing techniques and easy-to-handle vessel rigging, your briefer will show you the ropes. The most important thing you need to have is simple common sense!
- Do I need to know how to navigate?
No coastal navigation experience is needed. Your briefer's instructions will show you how to use the Whitsunday Chart (map), tide tables and simple navigation instruments to safely travel through the islands. As you will rarely be more than a couple of kilometres from land, 'line of sight' navigation is simple and easy. We can also provide additional navigational tuition on request.
- How do you prepare us?
All expert sailors, our briefers provide comprehensive sailing and boat handling tips and training. On arrival, you'll receive a thorough overview of how to operate your vessel, below and above decks. Then, you'll receive a familiarisation covering all aspects of navigating through the islands, weather conditions and suitable anchorages. If you have special interests - diving, fishing, walking, island resorts - this is the time to ask! We will then take you for a test sail to ensure you're confident and comfortable. Your briefing will take about three hours.
- What happens if we get into trouble?
Help is only a radio call away. Our base is manned from 8am-5pm daily. We will provide you with the contact details of a land-based radio station which will contact our off-duty managers in the event of an after-hours emergency. If you have a concern, your first course of action is to radio our base - our experienced staff can assist with almost any problem. High speed helicopters and commercial craft will generally respond to any emergency within minutes. We also maintain a high- speed power craft capable of day or night time operation.
- What sort of weather can we expect?
The Whitsundays are situated near the Tropic of Capricorn, where the weather is tropical and pleasant virtually all year. From May to September the islands experience south-east winds, with northerly winds with calm periods prevailing during the rest of the year. Temperatures range from 25C to 30C in January, and 17C to 23C in July.
- Can we visit the island resorts?
You're welcome to use the facilities of the island resorts and join in the fun. Mooring fees range from approximately $100 per vessel per night. A regularly updated guide to mooring facilities and costs is available on each vessel.
- Are jellyfish or sharks a problem?
The severe 'irukandji syndrome' symptoms caused by jellyfish stings are possible through the warmer months. Box jellyfish can also be found during the warmer months - predominantly, however, along the mainland. We recommend you wear stinger suits at all times - to protect against jellyfish stings, coral scrapes and sunburn. While we ask you to take care, the risk of being stung is small. Sharks are generally not a risk.
- Can we bring our dog?
When you visit the Whitsundays, you enter the World Heritage-protected Great Barrier Reef Marine Park which is home to thousands of species of fish, birds, animals and marine life. To protect our pristine marine area, domestic animals are not permitted in the marine park, the six Queensland National Parks (protecting 70 of the Whitsunday islands) or the four National Parks on the mainland.
- Can we feed or touch the wildlife?
One of the joys of bareboating in our region is discovering the incredible array of marine life. The most responsible way to observe these creatures in their natural habitat is not to feed, touch or disturb them. Travel slowly in known dugong or turtle areas and never shine lights, including flash photography, directly at them. Take only photos and memories with you.
- What shopping is available in Airlie Beach?
Airlie Beach has dozens of small variety and grocery stores and bottle shops. There's also a specialty Woolworths supermarket with pizza bar and deli at Airlie Beach Central. The main shopping centre and large supermarket are at nearby Cannonvale.
- What banking facilities are available in the Whitsundays?
Most of the major banks are represented and there are ETPOS facilities on the mainland and islands.
- What health and emergency services are available in the Whitsundays?
Proserpine has a modern hospital and there are medical centres and pharmacies in Airlie Beach and Cannonvale. Medical assistance is also available on island resorts.