Frequently Asked Questions


Prior to booking

Cumberland Charter Yachts (CCY) are committed to providing suitable access for all our guests wherever possible. While bareboating doesn't require a licence and is an enjoyable way to explore the Whitsundays, all guests sould consider if they are competent, fit and able enough to undertake a boating holiday. To safely enjoy a holiday at sea and of this nature, guests must be able to traverse stairs and ladders, have a good senese of balance and be able to use various forms of comminucation. While CCY make every effort to be inclusive, the design and technology involved on board our vessels will require a level of competency. If you would like to discuss your fitness level or abilities, please contact our friendly team.

Located on the Queensland coast, 25 minutes from Proserpine, Airlie Beach has a tropical island resort feel with its gorgeous outlook over the Coral Sea towards the Whitsunday Islands. The town centre is a cosmopolitan hub with a variety of shops, cafes, bars, restaurants and retail outlets to satisfy the fussiest of holiday makers. Click here for more information.

Some of our boats come equipped with air-conditioning units, some of which run on generators while others rely solely on shore power. Not all vessels have air-conditioning, though. When moored or anchored, boats naturally face into the wind, so simply opening forward-facing hatches can allow for a refreshing breeze to flow through any vessel.

To check if a vessel has air-conditioning, refer to the inclusion list on its page or consult our sales and reservations staff.

Generator supplied air-conditioning

For boats equipped with generator-supplied air-conditioning, it's essential to understand that these units function differently from typical household air-conditioners, and the generators are not meant for continuous operation (24/7). It's recommended to set the temperature to 24 degrees Celsius, close all portholes and doors, run the air-conditioner while moored or anchored, and switch it off before bedtime. Running generators or air-conditioning overnight is not advisable due to the risk of seawater cooling system blockages from seaweed, jellyfish, or fish entering through water intakes. This can lead to overheating and equipment failure. Please ensure proper care to avoid overworking the equipment.

Shore power only air-conditioners

Similarly, for boats with shore power-only air-conditioners, keeping doors and hatches closed while in use and switching them off before sleeping is the efficient approach.

No air-conditioner

For vessels without air-conditioning, utilizing natural ventilation by opening forward-facing hatches while moored or anchored is the best option.

The Whitsundays are serviced by two domestic airports - the Whitsunday Coast Airport (Proserpine) and the Great Barrier Reef Airport (Hamilton Island). The Whitsunday Coast Airport (Proserpine) is located along the Bruce Highway approximately 30 minutes drive from Airlie Beach. The Great Barrier Reef Airport is services by Cruise Whitsundays for ferry tranfers to Port of Airlie in Airlie Beach.

Shuttle buses meet all arriving flights in to the Whitsunday Coast Airport (Proserpine) - bookings can be made direct with the operator through the Charter Centre once your charter booking is confirmed. Shuttle's can deliver you to either Coral Sea Marina, or to your accommodation. We recommend booking with Heart of the Reef Shuttles, although there are many other reputable transfer companies to choose from.

The Great Barrier Reef Airport (Hamilton Island) is serviced by Qantaslink, Jetstar and Virgin Airways from Cairns, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. Cruise Whitsundays operate regular ferry services from Hamilton Island Airport to Port of Airlie in Airlie Beach. A courtesy phone at the ferry terminal is available to call a taxi to Coral Sea Marina or to your accommodation.

Alternatively, we can deliver your bareboat to Hamilton Island (fee additional) for you to start your charter. You can book a shuttle ($8pp) upon arrival to take you from the airport to the marina to meet your boat and Briefer. Similarly, you can end your charter at Hamilton Island by 3pm the afternoon prior to departure and stay in the marina that night (no additional cost). We will bring the boat back to Coral Sea Marina (fee additional) and refuel the vessel paid for with your nominated pre-authorised card (A 6.5% surcharge applies). Hamilton Island start /end is subject to availability at the time of booking.

All our vessels are fully equipped for the maximum number of guests allowed on board. We also provide a full vessel briefing including Whitsunday area and full instructions on anchoring, mooring, setting sails, your safety and any specific vessel functions prior to departure. Please allow 3 - 4 hours for your vessel safety briefing. For a full list of inclusions click here.

  • If a booking is cancelled within 7 days of paying the deposit, a full refund will be provided.
  • If a booking is cancelled 90 days outside of commencement, a $250 admin fee would apply.
  • If you cancel your charter between 89-61 days prior to charter then the full deposit of $1000 will be forfeit.
  • If your charter is cancelled inside 60 days prior to your charter commencing, no refund will be given unless a substitute booking is obtained on that vessel over that same period. In the case of a substitute booking being found, the payment will be refunded less $1000. All cancellations must be received in writing.
  • Cumberland Charter Yachts are an eco-tourism accredited company and sailing in the Whitsundays is considered a minimal emissions impact holiday, however, your travel to the Whitsundays and the small amount of fuel you will use during your charter, you may like to offset with. Greenfleet and Climate Friendly are two organisations you can offset your carbon footprint with.

    Hertz, Budget Car & Truck Rental and Avis car rental have depots at Whitsunday Coast Airport (Proserpine) and Airlie Beach, while Europcar, We Do Cars & Scooters and Gypsy Car Rentals have depots in Airlie Beach only.

    There is ample parking in the council carpark at Coral Sea Marina (South). Payments are made through EasyPark. Please refer to their website for pricing, terms and conditions. Offsite secure car parking with Whitsunday Parking is available. Please enquire with us to make a booking on your behalf.

    A non-refundable damage waiver of $55 per night (capped at $500) is charged to cover loss of the vessels inventory or minor damage to the vessel (excluding groundings).

    Formal qualifications aren't required to hire a bareboat in Queensland, however some nautical experience is. Take our preliminary informal online test to see how well you score on your nautical know how. Prior to a confirmed charter's departure, the most experienced charterer is required to take a formal online boating skills assessment for us to assess your vessel handling ability.

    A $2,500 grounding bond is held on a valid, nominated card by the charterer or crew upon check in on the day of departure. Upon return of the vessel, a contract diver will inspect the hull. If the report is returned with no damage to the hull, it will be released 5-7 days after your charter. Alternatively, it will be processed if there are any reports of your vessel running aground whilst you're on charter.

    You can depart on, or return from your charter on any day of the year except Christmas day. The Cumberland Charter Yachts office, provisioning companies, shops, bottle shops (including Good Friday) and some restaurants are open every day of the year except Christmas day. Click here for Australian school terms dates and here for national public holidays.

    Public Holiday Surcharges: There is a $100 surcharge for sleep on boards the night before departure, and a $200 surcharge for briefings that take place on a public holiday.

    Personal travel insurance

    Travel insurance covers expenses if you need to cancel your trip for a covered reason. Depending on the policy you've purchased, you would be reimbursed for pre-paid, non-refundable expenses if you need to cancel your trip before you depart due to sickness, injury or death of you, a family member or travelling companion. Topsail Insurance specialise in yachting holidays and can be purcahsed online. Ensure you read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) on any other policy you purchase to ensure it covers you for a bareboat charter holiday.

    Hirer's liability insurance

    This policy protects you from claims made against you or members of your crew for damage, accidental death or bodily injury caused by (or as a result) of negligence and must involve the hired tender or vessel. The boats insurance policy protects the boat owner, not the person/s at fault.

    Oceanic Marine Risks cover specifically for bareboat holidays. Applications can only be done online

    You may like to learn to sail or brush up on your sailing skills. There are a number of sailing schools across Australia offering a range of courses from, Introduction to sailing, Competent Crew and Day Skipper. Find your local sailing school with Australian Sailing.

    Another great way to get experience is to join your local sailing club or join the twilight sails at a local yacht club. Make yourself known to the local sailors as they're always looking for extra crew and love to show novices the ropes.

    NAVatHome offer an online Fundamental Skipper and Navigation course, a perfect introduction to helming your own yacht around the Whitsundays. For a 10% discount, use '2023ccysailing' as a referral code.

    In addition to your briefing, you may like to hire your briefer for an additional 2 hours or on a per day basis (additional fees apply)

    The minimum number of nights that you can charter for is three (3) nights. We recommend 5 - 7 nights to make the charter worthwhile. There is no maximum number of nights that you can charter for.

  • A $1,000 deposit is required to confirm your charter if booking 60 days or more prior to your charter. The balance of charter fees are due 60 days before your charter
  • Full charter fees are required to confirm your charter if booking within 60 days of your charter
  • Additional charges are due before your arrival: Damage waiver, Environmental Management Charge (EMC) Outboard fuel and LPG for the BBQ, stove and oven
  • A grounding bond of $2,500 is payable upon check in
  • All vessels have 12 volt power onboard - the same as a car. Selected vessels have either small or large inverters, with some having generator's (genset) to produce 240v power.

    Genset

    This is a diesel engine dedicated to the producing 240 volt power. It is suitable for running microwave ovens, air conditioners, etc. Additionally it has plenty of power for charterer accessories including mobile phone chargers, notebook computer and even hairdryers.

    Small Inverter

    This is a device that converts 12 volt battery power to 240 volt power. These are suitable for low power 240 volt appliances including mobile phone chargers, notebook computers. They WILL NOT run hair dryers.

    Large Inverter

    This is a device that converts 12 volt battery power to 240 volt power. It is suitable for most 240 volt appliances, including some of the more power hungry. Phone chargers, and notebooks are no problem. Small hair dryers may work, but at the expense of battery storage.

    All vessels have refrigeration of varying sizes but aren't like conventional household fridges - they are often much smaller and the more you open them or leave the door open while you're looking for items, the harder it has to work to keep the food in it cold. Pack food you'll use towards the end of your charter at the back/bottom of the fridge so you can quickly get what you need from the top and close it as soon as possible. Each vessel comes with an esky for the outside deck for additional storage. Crushed or block ice can be purcahsed from the Kiosk at the marina.

    Check the refrigeration/freezer size (by litre) at the bottom of the vessel page under 'inclusions'.

    We have a diversefleet of bareboats for you to choose from and our friendly staff can help you find the perfect boat. For us to help you, we need to know the number of people that will be on charter, if you prefer a sailing catamaran, sailing monohull or power catamaran, when you'd like to travel and for how many nights. Call us on +61 7 4946 7500, free call 1800 075 101, make an enquiry online, explore our fleet or make a booking.

    All vessels have a tender with a full tank of fuel that can carry all the crew comfortably to and from the beach. They are equipped with a 6hp outboard motor and oars.

    Our website provides up to date pricing and live availability. Check vessel availability here

    Prior to your charter

    Looking for accommodation close to Coral Sea Marina? Airlie Beach is a hot spot for tourists. The best part is the variety of accommodation to suit your budget. Whatever your budget may be, a majority of accommodation in the heart of Airlie Beach and surrounds offers stunning views of the Coral Sea and Whitsundays islands. Click here for more information.

    Coral Sea Marina, Airlie Beach

    For a seamless sailing experience, please make sure to arrive at our base at 8:30 am. This entails completing all your provisioning tasks, such as dropping off the hire car, etc. Your briefer will provide a trolley for you to load your luggage and transport it to your bareboat, where you will commence your briefing. The briefing is divided into three parts: the area brief, boat brief, and practical assessment. The area brief covers safety, navigation, and Whitsunday Marine Park regulations, ensuring your awareness of the charter limits and responsibilities within the marine park. The boat brief details the various systems on the boat and the location of safety equipment, while the practical assessment focuses on anchoring, mooring, and sailing techniques. The combined briefings will take 3-4 hours, depending on your experience.

    Hamilton Island Marina, Hamilton Island

    If you are flying into Hamilton Island, we offer the option to deliver your bareboat to the island for an additional fee (one way and subject to availability). Your briefing at Hamilton Island starts at 11:00 am on board your bareboat, unless otherwise arranged with us beforehand. The fee covers the delivery of your bareboat by your briefer, the briefing, and an overnight berth at Hamilton Island if you choose to stay in the marina on your first night or if your flight arrival hinders you from commencing your briefing at 11:30 am. The combined briefings will take 3-4 hours, depending on your experience level. All bareboats must be anchored at their designated locations by 4 pm.

    Your briefing is divided into three parts; the area brief, boat brief and practical assessment. The area brief covers safety, navigation and Whitsunday Marine Park regulations to ensure you are aware of the charter limits of your vessel and are informed of your responsibilities in the marine park. The boat brief covers the function of the various systems on the boat as well as the location of the safety equipment, while the practical assessment covers anchoring and sailing techniques. An open book briefing test will need to be completed prior to departure. The combined briefings will take 3-4 hours depending on your experience level.

    Choose from self select at local supermarkets, or have your provisioning delivered to your bareboat by a local provisioning company. For more information click here.

    The primary charterer must be the person that accepts the charter contract and can only be done online. For full disclosure of the charter contract terms and conditions click here.

    All vessels are fully equipped with all the cooking utensils and crockery needed to prepare and enjoy your meals. For a full list of items on board, click here.

    Coral Sea Marina is the mainland port for the Whitsundays located approx a 2km drive from the town centre or a short 10 minute walk. The marina offers car parking, toilets, showers and laundry facilities, restaurants, and a kiosk.The Cumberland Charter Yachts office is located at Shop 18 upstairs next to Sorrento's Restauraunt and Bar. For more information click here.

    If you are keen to fish during your charter, you can bring your own equipment or hire some from us. You can hire a fishing rods and reels, tackle box, handline with 40lb line and a landing net. Bait can be purchased at the Kiosk at Coral Sea Marina.

    Loss or damage to any fishing equipment is not covered by your vessel damage waiver and may result in additional fees being charged by the Operator. A signed indemnity form is required to hire equipment.

    It is perfectly safe to bring an infant on a bareboating holiday. However small it may be, by law it must be included in the passenger list and therefore count towards the maximum passenger allowance on board. Life jackets for children under 40kg are provided. Orders can be made when completing your crew list in the Charter Centre.

    Cumberland Charter Yachts recommends wearing snorkel suits at all times when in the water as they offer protection from not only the sun, but from harmful stings from jellyfish. Snorkel suits are thin lycra full length suits that cover 90% of your body and can be hired from us during check in for $30 per person for the length of your charter.

    Paddling around the inlets and bays is a great way to explore the Whitsundays, without the engine noise. Quietly meandering and exploring out of the way beaches and deserted inlets is not only rewarding but great exercise too.

    We offer single stand up paddle boards and kayaks, which are great for the children! You can order your boards or kayaks online via the charter centre. Boards are delivered to your vessel ready for charter departure. More info on watersports here.

    There is a Woolworths supermarket in Airlie Beach and Cannonvale, a Coles supermarket in Cannonvale and an IGA in Jubilee Pocket and on Hamilton Island. Find out more about provisioning here.

    During your charter

    Combined with reference to the copy of 100 Magic Miles on board, there are a number of approved anchorages that you can take your vessel and whether you can moor only, anchor only, or both. See Approved anchorages

    All vessels are subject to operational area limits. These limits are, NORTH to George Point including Hayman Island. EAST to Harold Island including Border Island. SOUTH to Cape Conway including the North Western side of Shaw Island. Area limits may be amended based on weather conditions. See cruising area map

    Cumberland Charter Yachts are an accredited eco-tourism company, backed by a strong, well managed commitment to sustainable practices, providing high quality nature-based tourism experiences that benefits local communities, culture and heritage, while minimisng the impacts on the environment. We encourage our guests to adopt responsible reef practices whilst on charter and be environmentally friendly at all times.

    The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) has a monitoring and assessment program open to the public who visit the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. It contributes to the long term protection of the reef by collecting valuable information about the health of the reef, marine life and incidents to better understand the bigger picture and inform GBRMPA how to manage the reef. The app is free to download and will continue to work even when there is no mobile coverage on your charter. For more information on the program click here.

    Fishing is permitted in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, however there are strict regulations and it's important you adopt responsible fishing practices while out on the water. Marine Park zoning helps to manage and protect the values of the Marine Park that people enjoy. Each zone has different rules for the activities that are allowed, prohibited, or require a permit. Download the zone map for the Whitsundays here.

    Each vessel comes with a full tank of fuel and filled up at the end of your charter. Any used fuel is payable by the charterer.

    Restrictions are in place concerning Dent Passage near the Hamilton Island airport runway, particularly regarding the flight path caution for vessels. Charterers are urged to be informed during the briefing and acknowledge by signing a charter brief that vessels navigating Dent Passage, specifically off the western end of the Hamilton Island airport runway, should exercise caution due to regular aircraft movements day and night. It is advised that all vessels steer clear of the flight path zone during aircraft movements. Download the flight path exclusion zone map

    Charterers can book a berth at Hamilton Island Marina (additional charges apply) and use the resort facilities, dine in restaurants, shop at souvenir shops, and explore the island. Please advise us if you require a berth and we will arrange it for you (subject to availability).

    A map of the marina and island resort will help you familiarise yourself with the facilities.

    There are a number of islands that have resorts on them, but not all welcome bareboat charters ashore to use the resort facilities. For the island resorts that are welcoming, there is usually a fee to use their moorings. Find out which island resorts you can visit or check with us before your charter commences.

    You charter itinerary largely depends on the prevailing wind and tides in the days leading up to and during your charter. Your briefer will have the weather forecast during your briefing and will work with you on a suggested itinerary before your departure.

    As weather forecasts and conditions can change, prepare to change your plans accordingly if needed to suit the upcoming prevailing conditions.

    Twice a day, we will contact you via VHF radio to give you an updated weather forecast and ask you what your plans are for the day. If plans are not suitable for the weather conditions, we will suggest an alternative route or anchorage.

    For a sample itinerary click here.

    While rare, jellyfish stings have occurred in the Whitsundays from the Irukandji and Box Jellyfish. Experts prefer not to use the term 'stinger season' as it implies that they are only present during this time. Stings have occurred year round, however, they are more prevalent between the months of November and May. Cumberland Charter Yachts recommends using a snorkel suit at all times when in the water. They are a thin lycra full body suit that you wear over your swimming clothes, with just your hands, feet and face left exposed. Not only do they offer 100% UV protection, they also offer some insulation. You can bring your own, or you can hire them from the Cumberland Charter Yachts office for $30 per person for the length of the charter.

    Marine Saftey Queensland requires us to provide a one-size-fits-all style life jacket for each crew member, and these jackets are kept on the boat for emergency situations. It is mandatory for all children under 12 years of age to wear a properly fitted life jacket. This applies to children of the same age in the vessel's dinghy as well. Cumberland Charter Yachts will suppy an appropriate life jacket at no additional charge. Please make sure to provide your child's weight information when making this request, and you can input all your crew requirements in your charter center.

    Unfortunately you aren't able to get coverage everywhere in the Whitsundays. Check your providers coverage map on their website as to how much coverage there is. To keep phones charged - all vessels have a 12 volt outlet so bring your car charger along to charge up your phone.

    Cumberland Charter Yachts have private moorings available for your use located just off the rock wall at Coral Sea Marina, suitable for overnight stays if your departure time on the first day doesn't allow you to reach your first nights' anchorage by 4pm.

    The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) have installed over 200 free public moorings around the islands in various locations to help minimise anchor damage to fragile environments. Colour codes on the moorings explain the class (vessel length), time limits (2 hours) and maximum wind strengths applicable to the mooring. Your briefer will explain mooring use in more detail with you during your briefing.

    Download the GBRMPA public mooring map (current as at May 2022) for mooring locations.

    All vessels are supplied with bluetooth or auxillary connections to play music through.

    The award winning Coral Sea Marina are a certified Clean Marina Level 3 offering recycling facilities for glass, aluminium cans, paper/cardboard and hard plastics. Please help us maintain our beautiful region by and crushing cans and cardboard boxes during your charter, seperating them and use the appropriate bins to reduce the amount of waste headed to landfill.

    Scuba equipment can be hired at Aqua Dive at Coral Sea Marina. Depending on the vessel, there is limited space to store the equipment and we may restrict the number of scuba tanks you can take on board. For more information click here.

    It is important to be aware that sharks inhabit the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland Coast including the Whitsunday islands, freshwater estuaries, canals and streams. Shark attacks are very rare, but a reminder that exploring the spectacular beauty of the ocean does pose risks. To reduce the risk of negative interactions with sharks, we strongly suggest all charterers adhere to and be aware of the the following reccommendations

  • Sharks are more actively hunting at dawn and dusk - do not go swimming or participate in any in water activities during this time or at dark
  • Always swim, snorkel or dive with a buddy
  • Be mindful of water conditions. Don't swim in murky or unclear water as this can increase the potential of mistaken interactions with sharks
  • Never clean fish or discard food scraps over the side of your boat at anchorages
  • Don't forget to use on-board holding tanks while in anchorages. Even black water waste can attract fish which in turn attracts predators
  • Do not swim near or interfere with shark control equipment
  • We do not use electronic shark deterrent devices on our vessels. Independent research has shown the use of electronic devices could provide a false sense of security and put our guests at greater risk (for example ignoring the basic safety advice given) and are also not proven to be 100% effective.

    Be shark smart - download flyer

    Snorkel equipment is included in your charter fees. Everyone is custom fit to their gear before departure with a mask, snorkel and a set of fins. For more information on snorkelling click here.

    Every day, at 9:30 am and 2:30 pm, Cumberland Charter Yachts will contact you via the vessel's VHF radio to provide a weather update for the current day and the following two days. Additionally, we will inquire about your daily plans and evening anchorage, offering alternative suggestions if the current options are unsuitable due to prevailing weather conditions. Feel free to contact us at any time via radio if you've forgotten anything about the boat, even as simple as the location of an important switch.

    Your vessels water tanks are full prior to departure and should be used sparingly. Hamilton Island and Coral Sea Marina are the only places where you can refill your tanks. All vessels have hot water for showering and a cockpit shower. All grey water is held in holding tanks on board the vessel. Your briefer will inform you where you can dispense the grey water during the vessel briefing.

    Between July - September, Humpback whales migrate from the Antarctic to the Whitsundays to give birth to their young in the calm warm waters around the Whitsunday islands. You can expect to see them on your charter as you sail and cruise around the islands. There are strict guidelines around whale sightings and what to do if you encounter them. Please familiarise yourself with these rules from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

    After your charter

    Upon return to Coral Sea Marina, radio us on your approach to the marina. Once inside the marina rock wall one of our friendly staff will meet you and assist you to the fuel dock to refill the fuel tanks. Please have a credit card available to charge at the fuel pump. We will then berth the boat for you and conduct a vessel debrief, giving you the opportunity to let us know how well the boat operated or what needs attention ready for the next charter. We'll provide you with a trolley to transfer your luggage to your local transport service. At this time, please ensure that the vessel is left tidy i.e all washing up completed & rubbish removed by 10am (scheduled departure time).

    Upon your arrival back at Hamilton Island Marina, make contact with the marina office using VHF channel 68. A representative will be waiting for you at the marina's port and starboard leads, arriving in a tender to guide you to a designated berth. While they won't handle berthing the boat for you, they will assist in securing the lines. Once your vessel is safely berthed, our designated briefer will join you on board for a debriefing session, covering any matters that may require attention for the subsequent charter. It is essential to leave the vessel in an orderly state, ensuring all washing up is completed, and rubbish is removed by 11 am, which marks the scheduled departure time. Following the debrief, the briefer will oversee the return of the vessel to Coral Sea Marina, handling the refueling process and charging the credit card provided during the authorization before the commencement of your charter.

    We have a deposit where you can leave any unopened non-perishable food items in our office. We donate these to the local Neighbourhood Centre for families in need.