Safety and Equipment
Is the boat safe and in good condition?
Yes, the vessel is currently in survey with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), which requires comprehensive safety equipment standards and regular safety checks. A safety briefing is given to the charter passengers before embarkation and safety gear will be provided if required. All vessels in our fleet are selected for safety, comfort, quality and cleanliness. We are proud to keep them this way.
What is the maximum capacity of the boat?
12 passengers and 1 skipper is the maximum surveyed number allowed on this vessel.
Please note - An infant, regardless of age is considered a passenger.
Is the boat suitable for children?
Yes, the vessel has safety rails all the way around the boat and children's lifejackets are available on request. Children must be under adult supervision at all times.
Is there sun and wind protection on the boat?
Birchgrove’s spacious indoor areas provide ample shade from the sun and wind.
What toilet facilities are on board?
Birchgrove is equipped with 3 modern, spacious marine toilets with easy access for charter.
Catered Food and Beverage Options
Can we organize a meal on board?
Yes, we have an excellent menu from local caterers that will suit your budget and taste.
Are we allowed to bring our own food and drinks?
Yes, we suggest that you bring boat friendly food that requires minimum preparation i.e. platter-style cold foods.
Is there a BBQ on board?
Can we have music on board?
Yes, the vessel is equipped with a sound system which is iPod and mp3 compatible. Please ensure your mp3 player is fully charged. Birchgrove is equipped with both indoor and outdoor speakers.
Where can we go during our charter?
Your skipper can take you most places within Sydney Harbour, providing it is within the surveyed boundaries. Should your guests wish to go to a specific location within Sydney Harbour please let us know at time of briefing.
Can we extend our charter time during the charter?
Yes, although this is subject to availability and up to the skippers discretion. Please note payment will charged to the authorised bond post charter.
Booking and Payment
How do I secure my booking?
A minimum 50% deposit is required to confirm booking, with the balance payable 14 days prior to commencement of the charter. Upon payment of your deposit, a Skippered Charter Contract will be faxed or emailed to you, confirming details relevant to your charter, which must be signed and returned. Payment can be made by MasterCard, Visa, EFTPOS, Electronic Funds Transfer or Cash. Diners Card, Bankcard and Cheques are not accepted.
Is there any paperwork to complete before we go on our Charter?
Yes, we require your signed contract and authorised bond form prior to your charter.
If I cancel the charter, can I get a refund?
See General Booking Information button below for details.
What happens in the event of rain?
Birchgrove provides excellent protection from the rain because of its covered coach house area.
We cannot offer a 'Blue Sky Guarantee'. If boating conditions are unsafe, as determined by the management of Sydney Harbour Escapes, we will offer a six month voucher where you can reschedule your charter based on availability.
Preparations and Arrival
What do you advise we bring along for our charter?
As conditions can vary on the water, it is suggested that you bring along a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, swimmers, and seasonal jumper or jacket. Please wear white-soled shoes or non-marking boating shoes. Strictly no black soled shoes or stiletto-heeled shoes, as this will damage the decking.
Does our party need to get there before the set time of the charter?
All your party should be at the designated pick up point at least 15 minutes prior to your charter time to allow loading of passengers and gear and to enable enough time for the skipper's safety briefing.
Please note - your charter will start and finish at the times on your contract.
Can one of our guests be picked up late and dropped off early from another wharf?
Multiple pick up and drop off points are not recommended as this will shorten your charter time significantly. We suggest that guests wishing to join the charter late or leave early should arrange alternative transportation via water taxi at their own cost. Please ask one of the Sydney Harbour Escapes team members for a Water Taxi contact.