Safety and General Boat Information
What is the maximum capacity of the boat?
8 passengers is the maximum surveyed number allowed. Note: An infant or child, regardless of age is considered a passenger.
Do I need a licence or any previous boating experience?
No, a licence is not required as the vessel does less than 10 knots. Some boating experience is helpful, but common sense is more important.
I do not have a licence, will you show me how to drive the boat and navigate around the harbour?
Yes. We provide a comprehensive on board safety briefing to the ‘self drive skipper’ before embarkation. There is a map of the harbour to guide you and an easy to understand illustrated boat manual for reference. You can contact us if you need to ask questions by VHF radio or by mobile phone if you have one on board.
I have a boating licence? Can I go faster and further than the 4E Ply limit? No. The vessel is equipped with a 21hp inboard diesel engine, which is not governed. Regardless of whether you have a license or not, the vessels are restricted by Roads and Maritime Services to the Hire Drive Plying Limit. Please enquire about our faster Arvor available to boat licence holders only.
What are the hiring times for the boat?
You have the option to hire the boat for either 4 or 8 hours. The 4-hour hire times are split into morning approx. 8am – 12pm and in the afternoon 1pm to 5pm. 8 hour hire is from 9am – 5pm. Times vary during daylight saving. Please note that hire drive vessels may only be chartered during daylight hours.
Is the boat safe and in good condition?
Yes, the vessel is currently in survey with the RMS, Roads and Maritime Services, which requires comprehensive safety equipment standards and regular safety checks. There is safety gear, lifejackets, VHF radio, maps and manual on board. All vessels in our fleet are selected for their safety, comfort, quality and cleanliness. We are proud to keep them this way.
Is the boat suitable for children?
Yes, the vessel has a deep cockpit and safety rail around the vessel. Children’s lifejackets are available on request.
Children must be under adult supervision at all times.
We have young children, is there any place they can sleep?
There are 2 children’s bunks in the forward section of the cabin.
What seated areas are available?
There is seating for 8 persons comfortably around the cockpit.
Is there sun protection on the boat?
The Arvor has a cabin area and fixed canvas awnings which provide reasonable shade from the sun.
What toilet facilities are on board?
The Arvor is fitted with a portable toilet located in the cabin area, as well as blinds to ensure your privacy.
Is there music on board?
Yes, the vessel is equipped with a CD radio system and mp3 compatibility, so remember to bring a selection of your favourite CD’s or iPod.
On The Harbour
Where can we go during our charter?
The vessel is bound by the Roads and Maritime Services 4E Plying Limit. To the East, you can go as far as Watsons Bay and Georges Head. To the west, you can go as far as Gladesville Bridge and Lane Cove River; this includes Cockle Bay and Sydney Fish Markets.
You are not permitted to cross Sydney Heads; therefore Balmoral, Manly and Middle Harbour are out of bounds. Shark Island and Clark Island are National Parks and you are not permitted to go ashore or tie up to their wharves at any time.
Can you suggest any itineraries?
We have a self-guided tour with map references for the entire hire drive limit on board the vessel. The manual on the boat has self-guided tours with map references and suggested trip times.
Where do you suggest we anchor?
There are a number of bays in which to anchor. Please ask during your briefing which bays are most suited to the weather on that day. Alternatively you can pull up a public mooring buoy.
We would like to have swim from the boat. Is that OK?
The boat is equipped with a marlin board, swim ladder and grab bar - so access into and out of the water is easy.
We want to fish, what do we need to bring?
You need to bring your own bait. The vessels come with a recreational fishing license, a live bait tank, a bait cutting board and rod holders. We rent out fishing gear (rods, hand lines and tackle) if required. Fish finders are available for hire upon request.
Can we get off the boat?
There are only 2 places where we permit the boats to be tied up, Cockle Bay in Darling Harbour and at the Sydney Fish Markets. Both these locations have floating pontoons. You cannot tie up to any fixed wharves, such as Watsons Bay, Double Bay, Rose Bay etc. To pull into any other area is at your own risk, any damage caused to vessels will result in the bond being retained by us.
Please note the vessel cannot be ‘beached’ at any time, but you are able to anchor close to the shore.
Can one of our guests be picked up late and dropped off early from another wharf?
Guests wishing to join the charter late or leave early will have to arrange alternative transportation via water taxi at their own cost. We can help you with contact numbers for some reliable water taxi services.
We will have visitors to Sydney on board. Is there a way we can find out the interesting and historical points about Sydney Harbour?
Yes, on board are brief Sydney Harbour history notes. Skippers with good historical knowledge are available at an additional fee.
Booking and Payment
What is included in the hire fee?
The price is inclusive of fuel and a recreational fishing license.
How do I pay and confirm my booking?
Full payment by EFTPOS or cash at the Marina, Visa, or MasterCard over the phone is required to secure your booking. Please note credit card surcharges do apply.
Is there a bond on the boat, and what happens if I damage the vessel?
There is a bond on the boat – similar to that for a car rental. Should you damage the vessel during your hire, some or all of your bond will be forfeited.
If I cancel the hire, or don’t turn up - can I get a refund?
No refunds are available, without exception.
What happens in the event of wet weather?
We cannot offer a ‘Blue Sky Guarantee’. In the event of wet weather please ensure you have suitable jacket and clothing.
If boating conditions are unsafe, as determined by the principal of Sydney Harbour Escapes, we will re-schedule your booking to another date at no charge. This date must be within 3 months of the original booking. Your booking can only be rescheduled once.
Preparations and Arrival,
Where do we pick up and drop off the boat?
Rose Bay Marina is our pick up / drop off point.
Can we park close by?
Yes. There is ample free all day street parking both on New South Head Road and side streets around the marina.
Is there any paperwork to complete before we go?
Yes. Your contract needs to be signed and bond must be lodged before boarding the vessel. Bring a credit card (Visa, MasterCard and AMEX only) for payment of security bond. A bond is taken by credit card imprint and kept for at least 14 days in case of loss or damage to the vessel, other vessels or property.
What clothing should we bring?
Please wear white-soled shoes only, as dark soles mark the boat. Of course you should bring sunscreen, hat and sunglasses, a seasonal jumper or jacket and swimmers if you wish to have a swim.
What sort of food do you suggest we bring on the boat?
We always suggest that you bring boat friendly, picnic style food that requires no preparation on board.
Is there a BBQ on board? If not, can we bring our own?
No, and no cooking of any type is permitted on the vessel as per survey requirements.
Where can we put our food and drinks?
The boat has built in eskies on board where you can store your food and drinks. You are permitted to bring along additional coolers if required however old metal ones are not allowed as they damage the boat.
Do we need to bring ice for the cooler / esky?
Yes. Ice can be purchased at the Marina Office during trading hours. Subject to availability, please call in advance.
Does our party need to get there before the set time of the charter?
Yes. All your party should be at the designated pick up point at least ½ hour prior to your charter time to allow loading of passengers and gear and to enable enough time for the safety briefing.
Note: Your charter will start and finish at the times on your contract. If one your party is late arriving at the pick up point and departure is delayed, you will lose some of your charter time on the water.