Booking a boat is easy and painless.

1. Have a look around the site as to what boat you would like – taking into consideration:

  • The style (power or sail),
  • Number of passengers you have in your group
  • In the Whitsundays, how many cabins/berths (do you want 2 singles sharing a double berth?…)
  • The standard of boat,
  • What you are prepared to pay
  • Do you want catering, or byo

If you are still overwhelmed at this stage – (if you are inside Australia) ring us and we’ll walk you through the site so you can see the pics, or Email for advice.



Although no formal qualifications are required to skipper a bareboat charter yacht, experience is a must. Sydney Harbour is a working port and, at the weekends especially, the Harbour comes alive with yachts and cruisers enjoying a day out. It is not quite as busy in places like Pittwater or the Whitsundays, but experience is still required. (in the Whitsundays, you are given a sail test, and if you are lacking experience, may be required to take a sail guide for the first day at your expense). As long as there is one experienced person onboard, everyone should have and enjoyable day. If you would like a completely relaxing day, a skipper can show you the sights.


Numbers Onboard:

Maximum numbers onboard any hire & drive vessel is 12 anywhere

2. Email or phone with your requirement and dates

3. Sail Australia will get back to you with options available, final costs and more information on the boats.

4. If you would like to go ahead, a booking is made and a deposit is required within a week to confirm the boat – the value of this depending on the area. Usually Sydney is 50% of the boat charter and for the Whitsundays, $500-700, with final payment due 60 days prior. Payment can be made by direct deposit, over the counter, or by credit card (VS, MC, BC, AX, DC) with c/card commission added on.

5. Final monies and catering numbers for skippered boats is due two weeks prior to charter for boat hire as well as for any catering, beverages or any extras.



Each boat has it’s own policy regarding cancellation, so please discuss this with Sail Australia. Usually cancellation within 30 days may result in loss of monies paid (60 days for Whitsundays), unless a charter can be found (less a administration charge). Depending on the season, and the area, you may be able to transfer the monies to a charter at another time. Outside of 30 days, an administration fee will be charged, depending on the charter, and when it is.

In some cases, no refunds will be given, rather the booking is postponed to another date.


Weather Postponment:

Any cancellation or postponment due to weather, will not be decided until the day, and is at the discretion of the operator.



Bookings are only confirmed when a deposit has been paid. All prices on the website are subject to change at any time.

Any damage/ loss of equipment caused by guests to the vessel will be invoiced to the hirer. (For hire & drive vessels, and some skippered vessels there is a security bond).

Please note that some shoes are banned onboard some vessels due to safety reasons eg stilettos, and black-soled shoes are not permitted on yachts (a cleaning fee may be charged)


For Buck/Hens Days:

Please advise on enquiry if for a bucks or hens day as there are a lot of boats that will not do these cruises, and you are subject to having the boat cancel on the day if not advised. For skippered boats in Sydney, bookings are taken for the 4 hours, but the 4th hour is subject to behaviour at no refund. If behaviour is deemed unsafe or damaging, the cruise will be terminated. Alcohol packages, for most boats, are not available. Check at time of booking.


For any Hire & Drive Boat:
  • The vessels are required under their survey to be anchored or moored half and hour prior to sunset, and are unable to move until half an hour after sunrise
  • The vessels are unable to go alongside any wharf, jetty, ramp, pontoon, other yachts or any hard object whatsoever. If you would like to go ashore, you may request a dinghy (provided for all boats in the Whitsundays)
  • Hard type eskies (coolers) are discouraged because of the damage they cause onboard the vessels – each vessel has an ice box or fridge onboard.