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Bareboat charter on the Whitsundays

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Trentham, Australia
posts: 3
reviews: 2
Bareboat charter on the Whitsundays

Has anyone recently done a bareboat charter around the Whitsundays? We are doing one in September, and I have lots of questions for someone who's done it.

Airlie Beach...
posts: 83
1. Re: Bareboat charter on the Whitsundays

Buy 100 Magic Miles and study it thouroughly, that will be a very good start.

Edited: 7:49 pm, February 10, 2012
Trentham, Australia
posts: 3
reviews: 2
2. Re: Bareboat charter on the Whitsundays

Got it already. Great book. Nothing beats talking to someone who's done it, though.

Airlie Beach...
posts: 83
3. Re: Bareboat charter on the Whitsundays

I'd be more inclined to listen to the "bible" than others who have done it, we could write a book 20 times thicker on the mishaps, both funny and dangerous, that bareboaters encounter daily. Your area will dictate that you go to the usual spots, which are still in very good condition and be sure to study your tide chart and interogate your "briefer" thoroughly with any questions. I think there is a TA member TW Yachtgirl who bareboats regularly and hopefully she'll pop in and answer a few of your queries.

Sept. is generally a very nice time of the year, watch out for the whales.

Edited: 9:23 pm, February 10, 2012
posts: 528
4. Re: Bareboat charter on the Whitsundays

Hi Heather,

We can try to help, what are your questions?


Destination Expert
for Adelaide, South Australia, Kangaroo Island
posts: 3,093
reviews: 43
5. Re: Bareboat charter on the Whitsundays

Whooo.. thanks BigBlue.... I did notice the post in the forum and popped in for a look. .

@ Heather... I often charter in the Whitsundays, truly one of the best holidays if someone they has a good knowledge of sailing (particularly cruising) I have chartered with Queensland Yacht Charters, Sunsail, and most recently Whitsunday Escape off and on over the years.

I am a mono-hull yacht racer in my home state but, I have to say, after chartering Mono Hulls for many years in the Whitsundays We (party of four) actually went to the "dark side" last trip and chartered a catamaran . whitsundayescape.com/boats/…

I am so full of praise for this boat and the company. We could not fault a thing and now I am (for the Whitsundays at least) a catamaran convert!

While some charter companies seem to be a little lax about experience when it comes to handing over their boats I have a firm belief that anyone considering chartering a bareboat needs to have more than just a rudimentary knowledge.

If you haven't used a marine radio, have no idea what terms like Scope, Rode, Tender, Painter, Sea Cock relate to or have never plotted a course on a chart or quickly ascertained a position from a chart using visible landmarks then, I'd not advise chartering alone. At least one person on board should be FULLY conversant in Safety, Navigation and Boat Operations...

I don't say this from a position of superiority , rather I say it as a warning because I've personally witnessed on water (not to mention read accounts on these and other forums of) disasters which have occurred through a simple lack of sailing knowledge. The end result is either embarassment or damage (both minor and major) to boats and at times, people.

""They told me we'd be fine but we were so worried about the anchor dragging or the noises that we didn't sleep a wink all trip" or "We were so worried about the boat that we never really relaxed at all" are posts I've seen in the past.... clearly from people who sadly wasted a lot of money on due to their lack of confidence or ability.

As I said earlier though, anyone who does has experience in skippering and managing a sailing boat in various weather conditions will fall in love with the beautiful Whitsundays.

I am more than happy to offer any guidance I can to ensure that your sailing holiday is unforgettable (can pass on some tips I've learned along the way and, if you wish, my personal MUST see places!)

You can either post here with specific questions to which of course anyone may add the benefit of their own advice or message me direct

Destination Expert
for Adelaide, South Australia, Kangaroo Island
posts: 3,093
reviews: 43
6. Re: Bareboat charter on the Whitsundays

also... if your copy of magic miles is not the latest, don't bring it with you as there will be an up to date copy on board your yacht.. (if not demand one! )

Don't waste time plotting an "itinerary" as any plans you might have Ie: leave Airlie, head to Nara Inlet then Butterfly Bay then Whitehaven... etc..

will be more than likley blown out the water by the prevailing weather.

You will simply need to determine your next anchorage on a day by day basis and, once you're there, it's very easy to see what your best options are for each given day, priority is to be safely tucked up at anchor before dusk and your charter company will advise if they are happy with your intended choice of anchorage on any given day. Don't OVER research before you go, I find that the fun is actually waking up and planning each day as it comes !

Trentham, Australia
posts: 3
reviews: 2
7. Re: Bareboat charter on the Whitsundays

Hi and thanks for your advice.

Somehow I didn't see your posts, until now!

Have just returned from our trip. Your advice is excellent, for anyone out there intending to do what we have just done. Our charter company was 'Gosail' Whitsundays. They were great.

I spoke to a previous hirer before we went. I found this very helpful.

We went out with very very little experience. We hired a motor cruiser, not a yacht. Maybe we were just lucky, but we had no mishaps. (We were very cautious.) We felt very well supported during our time out on the water. I'd recommend 'Gosail' to anyone.

What a glorious part of the world!

My advice to anyone planning this trip is - take an underwater camera!

San Francisco, CA
posts: 1
reviews: 2
8. Re: Bareboat charter on the Whitsundays

Hi -

My husband and I are planning a charter trip in Whitsundays over Christmas for our honeymoon. We have two questions that I would love any expert or previous traveler advice on:

1) How many of the overnight anchorages have restaurants / resorts that we can dingy to? We would rather eat out more than not.

2) Will we need to wear stinger suits in early January?


posts: 718
reviews: 136
9. Re: Bareboat charter on the Whitsundays

You will need stinger suits, and yes there are restaurants. Your charter company should be able to give you info on that.

However, there are not a lot of restaurants, so you will need to bring food or stay at Hamilton Island Marina...

Mandurama, Australia
posts: 5
reviews: 1
10. Re: Bareboat charter on the Whitsundays

Although it has been a while since your post, I wonder if you can tell me where we can do a Safety, Navigation & Boat Operations course. Is it online... We live south of Perth & cannot seem to get info. We hope to hire a sailing catamaran in Whitsundays Sep 2014

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