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.

Air-conditioning units are installed on some of our boats which have a generator, some vessels have units that work while on shore power only, while some vessels don't have air-conditioning at all. When on a mooring or at anchor, all boats naturally face in to the wind. Simply open all the forward facing hatches and allow them to catch the natural breeze which will flow through the boat.

To find out which vessels have air-conditioning, check the vessel inclusion list at the bottom of its page or speak to one of our friendly sales and reservations staff for recommendations.

Generator supplied air-conditioning

All units work well, however they're not the same as your conventional household air-conditioners. They work best when all port holes and doors are kept closed while they are running and if you choose to have the air-conditioners running overnight while sleeping, take in to the consideration of the noise you'll hear from the generator running them.

Shore power only air-conditioners

As with generator supplied air-conditioners, shore power only also work well when all the doors and hatches remain closed while in use.

No air-conditioner

Make use of the natural breeze and open all forward facing hatches while at anchor or on a morring and allow the natural air flow throughout the vessel.

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 and is serviced by Qantas, Jetstar,Virgin,Skytrans and Bonza.

Shuttle buses meet all arriving flights in to the Whitsundays 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.

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|Resort or to your accommodation.

Alternatively, we can deliver your bareboat to Hamilton Island ($965) 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 ($965) 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 90 days prior to departure date a $250.00 administration fee will apply. Cancellations between 89 - 60 days, the full $1,000 deposit will be forfeited. Cancellations 59 days prior to charter no monies will be refunded unless an alternative booking for the same charter period and vessel occurs.

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 at Coral Sea Marina (South) for $10/24 hours. Offsite secure car parking is available from $160 for 3 nights and $11 per day after that. Please enquire with us to make a booking for secure parking on your behalf.


A $55 per night non-refundable damage waiver is charged to cover for minor damage to the vessel or loss of its inventory. It doesn't cover a grounding, blocked toilets or additional cleaning after the charter.

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 pre-authorisation 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, the pre-authorisation 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.

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.

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 Risk - 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.

In addition to your briefing, you may like to hire your briefer for an additional 2 hours ($200) or $375 per additional 24 hours.

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.

All rates are in Australian dollars (AUD). Fleet/vessel details, conditions and prices, were correct at time of publishing and are subject to change without notice. Prices include GST. A 1.5% surcharge is added to all credit card transactions. A deposit of $1,000 is payable to confirm bookings. The balance of the charter fee is payable 60 days prior to the charter start date.

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.


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

We have a diverse fleet 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 Airlie Beach 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

To ensure "smooth sailing" please ensure you arrive at our base "ready to go" at 8:30am. That is; you have done all your provisioning, dropped off the hire car etc. Your Briefer will provide a trolley for you to load your luggage into and take to your bareboat where you will begin your briefing which 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. 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 can deliver your bareboat to Hamilton Island for an additional fee of from $965 (one way and subject to availability). Your briefing at Hamilton Island commences at 11:00am on board your bareboat, unless otherwise arranged with us prior. The fee includes the delivery of your bareboat by your Briefer, your briefing, as well as an overnight berth at Hamilton Island if you choose to stay in the marina on your first night or if your flight arrival means you aren't able to commence your briefing at 11:30am. The combined briefings will take 3-4 hours depending on your experience level. All bareboats must be at their anchorages by 4pm.

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|Resort 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. For $20 per day, you can hire a fishing rod and reel, tackle box, handline with 40lb line and a landing net. An additional rod & reel is $10 per day. Bait can be purcahsed 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.

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 12 years old are are provided.

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! All our paddle boards are singles we recommend taking 2 boards, more than 2 can crowd the front deck. You can order your boards or kayaks online via the charter centre. Boards are delivered to your vessel ready for charter departure. Prices from $25 per day. 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 and 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.

Download the Eye on the Reef brochure, poster, or the app from the iTunes or Google Play stores.

Fishing is permitted in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, however there are strict regulations and it's important you adopt responsible fish 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, the activities that are prohibited, and the activities that require a permit. Zones may also place restrictions on how some activities are conducted. 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.

Restriction apply - relating to Dent Passage off Hamilton Island airport runway and the flight path caution to vessels, charterers are advised during the brief and aknowledged by signing a charter brief that vessels transiting Dent Passage off the western end of the Hamilton Island airport runway are cautioned about frequent day and night aircraft movements. All vessels are advised to keep 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 prevalent 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 stipulate that we must supply a one size fits all style life jacket for each member of the crew. These life jackets are stored on the boat in case of an emergency. All children under 12 years of age in open boats under 4.8 metres must wear a properly fitted life jacket. This means that children of this age in the vessel's dinghy must wear a properly fitted life jacket. Cumberland Charter Yachts will supply an appropriate life jacket at no extra cost. Please ensure you know your child's height/weight when making this request. You can enter all of 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 180 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 (usually 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 an AM/FM radio & 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 and 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, CCY strongly suggest all charterers adhere to and be aware of the the following reccommendation

  • 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 currently use the electronic shark deterrent devices. Our management team are investigating options and undertaking risk assessments on all available products however most of which have not yet been tested or approved in QLD waters or in combination with charter vessel usage. Whilst the state government and fisheries dept. undertake scientific research, we continue to educate and advise clients on safe practices when enjoying the marine park. 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.

    Each day, Cumberland Charter Yachts will radio you on the vessels VHF radio at 9:30am and 2:30pm to give you a weather updated for that day and the next two days. We will also ask what your plans are for the day and anchorage for the night and suggest alternatives if they are not suitable for the prevailing weather conditions. At any time, you can radio us if you have forgetten something about the boat as simple as forgetting where an important switch is.

    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 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 te 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 return to Hamilton Island Marina, radio the marina office on channel VHF 68. Someone will meet you outside the marina port and starboard leads in a tender and guide you to a berth in the marina. They don't berth the boat for you, but they will catch the lines for you.

    Our briefer will meet you on the boat once berthed and do a vessel debrief with you to go over any items that may need to be addressed for the next charter. At this time, please ensure that the vessel is left tidy i.e all washing up completed & rubbish removed by 11am (scheduled departure time).

    Our briefer will return the vessel to Coral Sea Marina, refuel the vessel and charge the credit card provided on the credit card authorisation provided by you prior to your charter commencement.

    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.