Frequently Asked Questions
What is bareboating?
Bareboating is as it is described. You hire a bare boat – no crew, no skipper, no provisions. A boat licence is not required. However you will receive an extensive briefing. Australia is one of the few places in the world that provide the regulations and insurances to allow for this.
What do you need to bring?
- Soft Duffel bags or Sports bags
- Bare-feet are recommended on board at all times, however, white soled boat shoes are acceptable. Resorts do not require dress shoes. Thongs are acceptable at these venues.
- Beach towels, hats, sunscreen, camera (water proof is a great idea), insect repellent (Bushman is best for tropics)
- And of course, your provisions. TIP: Try to plan a menu and stick to it, as so many charters’ throw away so much food at the end of the charter
- DEFINITELY NO SUITCASES OR SPRAYON TAN
How do we get to Coral Sea Marina?
Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast Airport) is the most practical option, as availability and the price of transfers is cheaper than the ferry service from Hamilton Island. It is often cheaper to pre-book a limousine service to Coral Sea Marina from the Whitsunday Coast airport. You can also catch a taxi or a transfer bus (Whitsunday Transit). Both of these can be booked at the customer service stands within the airport or in advance online. Note: It is a 30 minute drive from the airport to the marina. If flying into Hamilton Island, you will need to get the ferry to Airlie Beach. This could take a couple of hours depending when the last ferry went. For ferry costs and timetables go to the website of “Cruise Whitsundays”.
Car parking – If you are arriving by car there is a valet parking service available for short term parking. To check costs and find out more you can contact Steve at Airlie Valet Parking on 0481 267 002 – There is also a public car park nearby at the cost of a daily rate.
When can we board the boat?
Depending on which vessel you are boarding, your briefing will start at 8.00 am or 9.00 am sharp. It is at this time you will be able to board the boat.
This option allows for you and your guests to board at 5.00 pm the night before your first sailing day. Depending on what boat you have chosen, the briefing will start at either 8.00 am or 9.00 am the following day. Early board is designed to give people the option of doing all transiting worry free the day before. Once you arrive in Proserpine you can then purchase your provisions for the boat, unpack, relax, familiarise yourself with the boat and wake up refreshed for your briefing and first boating day.
Take up the Late Finish option and you can also stay onboard the boat for the last evening at the marina. You can then disembark at 9.00 am the day after your last sailing day. This option is only available on Queen Marie and Southern Man.
If you take up only one of the Early Board/Late Finish options, the cost is $450. Should you take up both options, it will be $800. If you are in a group this is one of the most cost effective ways to add 2 nights to your stay in Airlie Beach.
What is a briefing?
A full briefing is mandatory under maritime and national codes and this will be performed at the start of your time on board. As your safety and the safety of your crew is our highest priority, please know that it will be your Briefer’s responsibility to guide you in all matters associated with the boat, boat handling, the tides, the passage, anchoring, motoring, navigation, mooring, house battery maintenance, electrical generation and all systems associated with a safe and enjoyable cruise. All guests involved in the charter MUST be present for the briefing. The briefing will take approximately 4+ hours for an experienced crew and 5+ hours for an inexperienced crew. Although no license is required, a basic knowledge of navigation and boat handling is necessary.
PLEASE NOTE: If at the completion of your briefing, your briefer deems that you are not competent in boat handling, you will be required to have the briefer stay on board, at your cost, as your Sail Guide until your skills are satisfactory.
How do we provision the boat?
You can take a short walk into Airlie Beach where there is Coles, Woolworths and IGA. Liquor stores include BWS and Coral Sea Cellars. Once you have shopped, you can catch a cab back to the marina where there are trolleys to assist with loading your shopping onto the boat.
Another alternative is Whitsunday Provisioning. You can create a menu and shop accordingly. You can select from different standards of provisioning. You can even purchase products individually as if shopping at the supermarket. They will pre-pack premium quality produce on the day you arrive and deliver it to the boat 1/2 an hour before you board. If you do choose to use the services of Whitsunday Provisioning, please use the icon “click here if you are chartering a BARE BOAT’ then select whichever boat you are chartering to ensure that your provisions are delivered to the correct boat. Whitsunday Provisioning will then contact us to arrange to meet the boat just before your arrival at our nominated marina berth for the day.
Do we need Insurance?
Yes. You can take up the option of an Insurance Excess Reduction or an Insurance Excess Bond.
Insurance Excess Reduction (IER)
Should there be one single event on the boat, the excess is $4,000 per boat. If you choose to take out the IER, you will pay $400 prior to boarding the vessel. If you encounter loss or damage whilst on board, a further payment of $700 will be required from the Charterer (you). This is by far the option most frequently taken.
Insurance Excess Bond
If you choose not to take out an IER, an Insurance Excess Bond of $4,000 will be held against your nominated credit card for the duration of your charter and 14 days thereafter.
PLEASE NOTE: IER IS NOT PERSONAL TRAVEL INSURANCE. PLEASE SEE THE FAQ BELOW TITLED “SHOULD I ORGANISE MY OWN TRAVEL INSURANCE”
Should I organise my own travel insurance?
We strongly recommend that you invest in personal travel insurance in case you are unable to take your holiday. As per your hire agreement, it is the responsibility of the charterer (you) to obtain suitable travel insurance to cover the charter in the event of;
- A cancellation initiated by yourself within 90 days of your charter holiday.
- A shortening of your charter by either party for any reason, not limited to inclement weather, cyclone warnings, cyclones and any unforeseen serviceability issues.
- A recall to the marina, for any reason relating to safety of crew, safety of vessel, maintenance to vessel and or breach of hire agreement.
- A chase call or calls for any reason relating to safety of crew, safety of vessel, maintenance to vessel and or breach of hire agreement.
What is there to do in the Whitsundays?
Popular activities include:
- Resort swimming, dining, shopping, golf
- Cruising pristine waters ……… and the list goes on.
Popular Islands to visit
This is the largest of the beaches amongst the islands. It is the most popular and for good reason. It stretches over 7 kilometres and has white sand that is 98% silica which means it is exceptionally soft and fine. There is nothing like it on any other beach, anywhere in the world.
Whitehaven has been voted the worlds’ most eco friendly beach and Queensland’s cleanest beach. It has won several awards from popular travel sites such as TripAdvisor and Australian Traveller.
Incorporating several other little islands, Hook island is known for its spectacular natural surroundings and first-class snorkelling and diving sites.
Maureen’s Cove and Luncheon Bay are popular with divers and Manta Ray Bay has a magical array of caves, swim throughs and underwater valleys. Perfect for the intrepid marine explorer. This area is the preferred dive and snorkelling destination for the inner reef visitors.
Nara inlet, safest anchorage in the Whitsundays and home to the ancient Ngaro meeting grounds and cave.
Palm Bay – Long Island
As a listed national park, this is an island for the eco lovers. With13 kilometres of graded walking tracks, you can venture by foot to a secluded beach, lush bush areas, or picturesque headlands.
Whitsunday Yacht Charters is one of the only charter companies allowed on this island. Break your holiday up by anchoring off Long Island and heading in on the tender. The island is licenced, so you are not permitted to take any alcohol, however we do suggest you take all your own food for the day and enjoy sitting around their pool and enjoying the scenery. The day island provides cutlery and crockery and washing facilities.
Located at the northern end of Whitehaven Beach, Hill Inlet is a stunning natural wonder amongst the islands. Best viewed from Tongue Bay, it is at its most beautiful when the white sands dance around the beautiful blue water to create the sparkling palette of pure white meeting crystal clear blue. It is best accessed during mid to high tide only. This is a fantastic experience any visitors to the Whitsundays should experience
There’s plenty to do on Hamilton Island. There is a large selection of bars and restaurants as well as exhibitions and performances throughout the year. A wide choice of water sports and similar activities are offered. Golf is also a very popular activity on Hamilton Island. There are many island pools to lounge by as well as day spas to treat yourself to a massage or exclusive treatment.
This destination is one for the nature lovers. With over 13 kilometres of walking tracks you will be able to enjoy the beautiful bushlands and secluded coves. The water sports are a given so Long Island is definitely an example of relaxing amongst the beauty of the region.
This is the closest island to Airlie beach so a great place to start your island hopping adventure. Daydream has had a major revamp and now boasts the largest man made Living Reef in the world. The 200 metre long facility has over 100 different species of marine life. Activities offered at the Living Reef include an Underwater Observatory which submerges 4 metres under the surface and has a 7 x 4 metre window to observe the abundance of marine life. There is also an open environment education centre which has 8 living displays and an interactive touch pool. A fantastic place for the whole family.
The island also hosts lagoon style pools, a day spa and the ever present water sports. Other visitor activities include reef fishing, coral observation tours and rainforests walking tours.
What’s the weather like?
January and February are considered the tropical months. This brings with it showers, however they are usually brief and are more in the late afternoon to evening. This is still a popular time of year because of school holidays.
The general flow of a day sees sunny skies through until late afternoon and evening when you may experience some brief showers. School has gone back by this time so crowds in town and out on the ocean have definitely slowed down. Ceder Creek Falls is a must to visit during wet season.
Coming out of the more humid part of the year, March days start to get longer and sunnier.
As the tropical season passes, the humidity subsides and the weather becomes cooler. April is a great time to take advantage of the extended break Easter provides.
With temperatures cooler again, this is often a very attractive holidaying time for guests from our southern states. Stinger suits are no longer required.
As the semester break occurs in this month for all states, it is a very attractive holiday destination to experience some sunshine and break up the year. Stinger suits are not required.
Where else can you swim in Australia with a water temp of 21 degrees in July? Water activities are the main draw card for this region so the water temperature is perfect for whatever sea sport you choose. Stinger suits are not required.
There is definitely something in the water – even the whales know it! It is at this time of year you start to see whales migrating to the warmer waters of the Whitsundays from Antarctica. What a sight they are to behold. Stinger suits are not required.
September means better weather, school holiday makers and more whales. One of the more popular times of year, the weather is always consistent. Stinger suits are not required.
Thanks to the more comfortable weather, the Whitsundays are still hosting families and starting to ramp up to the big holiday at the end of the year. Stinger suits are not required.
A lovely time to float around after the crowds have gone. Many people take advantage of this time as a “pre holiday” prior to the busy Christmas period. Maybe check to see if you have any gaps in your calendar this November? The Airlie Beach Music Festival is also a highlight. Stinger suits are advised.
The finish line. Many families decided to spend Christmas on the water. It is a unique Australian experience that people now embrace. It is also a fantastic way to see in the New Year. The weather is perfect and it’s holiday time for many. Stinger suits advised.
How far away are the more popular islands from Airlie Beach?
|Island||Attraction||Proximity to Airlie Beach
|Whitehaven||Voted one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.||2 hours|
|Daydream||The Living Reef – an interactive marine park visitors can swim in||30 mins|
|Hamilton||Wildlife park, golf, watersports and accomodation||1 hour|
|Haymen||Luxury accomodation, rainforests and botanic gardens||1 hour|
|South Mole||National park for hiking and camping||1 hour|
|Long||Close to the reef and accomodation||30 mins|
|Hook||Best snorkelling and scuba diving in the Whitsundays||1 hour|