What to know before hiring a yacht in the Whitsundays and simple steps to help you prepare before booking.

Hiring a yacht in the Whitsundays: Booking & Planning Tips


What to know before hiring a yacht in the Whitsundays and simple steps to help you prepare before booking.

If hiring a yacht in the Whitsundays is something you’ve always wanted to do but it’s felt like a big unknown or a little daunting, this post is for you.

We’ll help you determine if a bareboat holiday suits your group, how to choose the perfect boat, the process of booking with Whitsunday Rent a Yacht and preparation tips to help you get the most out of your adventure.

Whitsunday Islands Sailing Itinerary

Is a bareboat holiday for you?

Bareboating is not for everyone, but it is definitely for those who love adventure and new experiences.

A bareboat holiday is when you hire a yacht, power cat or sailing catamaran and operate the vessel. You choose your crew and set the pace, going where you want and partaking in the activities you enjoy.

The Whitsundays are an ideal backdrop for a skipper-yourself yacht charter. The waters are calm, the temperatures are mild, resort stopovers are an option, and many unique islands or coves exist to explore.

Note that with Whitsunday Rent a Yacht, skippered or sail guide options are available if you are not confident in operating the boat.

If you are not interested in living on a boat, albeit a very comfortable one,  being involved with decision-making, moving locations, water sports or beach and island life, then a yacht charter in the Whitsundays may not be for you.

Hiring a yacht in the Whitsundays

Select your crew. mindfully

The size of your crew will determine how many berths (beds) you need and the type of boat you book.

The need for space and privacy will be magnified if a group does not normally live in the same household. It’s wise to decide on a crew you will enjoy living with, and if you are unsure about sharing a tight space, consider a bigger boat!

Decide when you want to visit the Whitsundays

The Whitsundays are a tropical climate with an average yearly temperature of 27c. There is a wet and dry season to consider, and also times of the year which generally have the ideal sailing conditions.

  • August, September and November are considered the best times of year to sail the Whitsundays due to consistently warm weather and calm winds.
  • Keen sailors will find ideal cruising conditions from June to August
  • September to March are generally warm, balmy days and nights.
  • The most underrated times of year to sail the Whitsundays are November, December & May. These are months when you can escape crowds and still enjoy lovely weather.

Hiring a yacht in the Whitsundays

Select a Whitsundays yacht charter company

Choose a charter company specialising in bareboat holidays and look for a company with a fantastic reputation, a business established for some time.   https://www.rentayacht.com.au/

If a deal is too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t risk your vacation on a cheap charter. The old phrase you get what you pay for is accurate when hiring a yacht in the Whitsundays.

Decide on a Boat & Get a Quote

Cost, space, availability and style will influence your chosen boat.

If you want to develop your sailing skills or are budget conscious, consider a sailing yacht.

Those who want more entertaining space and stability at anchor can consider a catamaran or power boat.

This article may help: What Charter Boat is Right for Me

The cost of a bareboat in the Whitsundays is determined by the vessel’s season, size and age. The more nights you book, the cheaper the nightly rate. Whitsunday Rent a Yacht hire our boats for a three night minimum.

Please note that the boat hire quote does not include fuel, marine park permit fee & personal insurance.

Get an online quote

The booking process with Whitsunday Rent a Yacht

Assuming you’ve selected to charter a yacht with Whitsunday Rent a Yacht (YAY!) and have decided on your boat, crew and dates, you must contact us to lock everything in.

Booking processes with us include:

  • A minimum three-night hire
  • You can place a three-day, no obligation hold on your preferred boat and dates while you finalise your plans to ensure all details are 100% before committing financially.
  • We require a $750 deposit to confirm the booking, with the remaining balance due 70 days before you sail. Charter bookings made within 70 days do require immediate full payment. Request our cancellation policy for all the details.
  • Once payment is received, we will email you a confirmation package with everything you need to help organise your charter and booking information.

When booking, there is paperwork that will need to be filled out. Our reservations team will be with you to answer questions and assist as needed.

Hiring a yacht in the Whitsundays

Book extras, including insurance & provisioning

A bareboat comes with everything you need to live comfortably. With a sense of adventure and the stunning Whitsundays to explore, you’ve got the essentials covered. However, extra activities and equipment considerations can be added to your booking.

Things like fishing or diving gear, kayaks, tours and provisioning through local companies can all add to your experience. When booking your boat, talk to the reservations team to ensure extra items are arranged and ready for you when you arrive.

Find out what’s included on your boat

Don’t forget insurance. We recommend that all our guests take out travel insurance and a bareboat hirers’ liability policy through Oceanic Marine Risks.

Arrange transport, parking and holiday logistics to Shute Harbour

Whitsunday Rent a Yacht’s base at Shute Harbour provides a huge advantage for our guests. We are much closer to the Islands, with several overnight anchorages under 2 hours away, and we operate from a private jetty, making logistics run smoothly. https://www.rentayacht.com.au/shute-harbour-anchorages/

Getting to Shute is simply done by taxi from Airlie Beach or shuttle from Airlie or the airport. Shuttle services include Heart of the Reef Shuttles , Airlie Beach Executive Services and Transfer Bus

There is also long-term parking available through a nearby council car park at the Shute Harbour Marine Terminal, or for a secure valet parking service, you can go through Whitsunday Parking.

Hill Inlet Whitsunday Islands

Discover where you can explore & what you can do in the Whitsundays

The beauty of a skipper-yourself yacht charter in the Whitsundays is you can decide how adventurous or relaxed the holiday is. Some people pick one or two anchorages and pull up for a while, going ashore to relax and leaving the evening meal as the biggest decision of the day.

Others like to keep their adventures in the Whitsundays action-packed.
Some of the things you can do include:

  • Learning to sail
  • Fishing
  • Snorkelling
  • Diving
  • Whale watching
  • Hiking
  • Seeing cultural sites
  • Waterfall exploring
  • Visiting the Outer Great Barrier Reef (through a separate tour operator)
  • Discovering secret places

The weather will determine your itinerary and where you can anchor. We like to ensure guests know to keep an open mind. There are sights around the Whitsudnays you may have your heart set on, but if the winds aren’t favourable, it may be best to save them for the next trip.

Don’t let this stop you, there are so many beautiful places, you might find that where you can go is just as or even more special than where you missed.

A trip to the Whitsundays may be a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, so it is worth doing some location research to get the most out of what’s available. We’ve compiled some suggested itineraries to help you discover the most popular places. We also recommend looking at our charter limits and the interactive map on our website to get more itinerary inspiration.

Read these resources on hiring a yacht in the Whitsundays


Why provision for your Whitsundays holiday

Why provision for your Whitsundays holiday

Several Whitsunday provisioning companies cater for holidays and specialise in bareboat charters. They all offer flexible packages which can be customised to fit the budget-conscious or those who want to indulge. While provision might at first seem like a luxury, it...

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Whitsunday Rent a Yacht acknowledges Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and in particular the Traditional Owners of the Whitsunday's Region, the Gia, Juru and Ngaro People; We recognise their continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

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