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Old 18-12-2013, 03:33   #1
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Charter Rules and Regs in Australia

Not right now but in a couple of years when I am over my long distance cruising I'm thinking of supplementing a modest retirement income with a bit of day tripping. Nothing too onerous, I don't want a full-time job or business. A bit of extra money and the satisfaction of taking people around Port Stephens (and NSW coast) a couple of times a month.
But I suspect I am going to be hit by big costs like tour operators licence fees and liability insurances.
Anyone with knowledge or experience of the sort of regs. and red tape I am going to run into.
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Old 18-12-2013, 05:12   #2
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Re: Charter Rules and Regs in Australia

For a start, you will need to meet AMSA requirements including Survey, Certificate of Operations and Certificate of Competency (Master <24m)

All the relevant info and forms at:
AMSA :: Australian Maritime Safety Authority

Then you can start to look at the business registration, ATO etc requirements and compulsory insurances.

And that's no mauswara, Mausgras.
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Old 18-12-2013, 05:50   #3
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Re: Charter Rules and Regs in Australia

Unless your vessel was originally built to survey, then don't bother, even when the private and survey vessels are structurally identical, if there was not a survey process at the time, then it is beyond complex to make it happen.
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Old 27-12-2013, 15:42   #4
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For a start, you will need to meet AMSA requirements including Survey, Certificate of Operations and Certificate of Competency (Master <24m)

All the relevant info and forms at:
AMSA :: Australian Maritime Safety Authority

Then you can start to look at the business registration, ATO etc requirements and compulsory insurances.

And that's no mauswara, Mausgras.
Yipes ..... I did not even think of these regs. ..... Back to Asia ... At least you can still do a business there.

Off topic .... I was thinking about our over regulated society and countries like Thailand that do not have the social safety nets we have.
Our system now has so many regulations that it is a disincentive to get off welfare.
In Thailand you can always start a street food cart if you are unemployed. Here you have to lease a shop, buy stock, get a licence, pass health inspection, pay insurance ..... All this requires an enormous capital outlay which is impossible on the dole.
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Old 27-12-2013, 16:19   #5
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Re: Charter Rules and Regs in Australia

Theres a heap of Regs, but do try a little harder, go talk to a fisherman who takes day trippers out, they seem like a casual bunch to me, the regs evolved around them. If they can do it so can you. Port Stephens what a wonderful place to do it, pretty sure all those guys have is master class 4 and basic Diesel.
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Old 27-12-2013, 16:57   #6
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Re: Charter Rules and Regs in Australia

I'm a commercial charter operator and StuM & Factor are on the mark. The rules changed in July 2013 when AMSA took over the domestic commercial fleet from the States & Territories. It is now much harder to setup a commercial activity.

Oceanride007, most of the charter fishing operators have small boats and will only have a Coxwain (to 12m) or Master <24m (Master 5). Their operation will also be "grandfathered", meaning they can't change how or where they operate without complying to the new Acts and Regulations.
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Old 27-12-2013, 17:50   #7
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Re: Charter Rules and Regs in Australia

So there is no opportunity for someone like me who is a retired biologist who wants to supplement their pension/superannuation by showing people the great natural beauty and biodiversity of the waterways a couple of times a month without huge capital costs and licencing red tape.

Oh well I guess I will just go back to sucking on the public purse.
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Old 27-12-2013, 17:56   #8
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Re: Charter Rules and Regs in Australia

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Theres a heap of Regs, but do try a little harder, go talk to a fisherman who takes day trippers out, they seem like a casual bunch to me, the regs evolved around them. If they can do it so can you. Port Stephens what a wonderful place to do it, pretty sure all those guys have is master class 4 and basic Diesel.
I'm still in Phuket for now but I have been checking out Port Stephens as my " port of retirement" destination and yes you are right, I do find it a great natural and built area.
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Old 27-12-2013, 18:30   #9
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Re: Charter Rules and Regs in Australia

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Originally Posted by mausgras View Post
So there is no opportunity for someone like me who is a retired biologist who wants to supplement their pension/superannuation by showing people the great natural beauty and biodiversity of the waterways a couple of times a month without huge capital costs and licencing red tape.

Oh well I guess I will just go back to sucking on the public purse.
That depends on how hard you want to try to achieve the outcome. Yes, there are plenty of "hoops to jump through" but I guess it is your call as to how much you want to "put in" to achieve your goal.

For example, you may be able to gat for boat "type surveyed". If there are others of your model boat already surveyed the stability & construction data will be on file. You could also hire a Master for the trips you undertake.
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Old 27-12-2013, 19:02   #10
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Re: Charter Rules and Regs in Australia

Craig ... thanks for the information. While this is all a future project you have given me a lot to think about.

As a former environmental consultant I am used to dealing with govt red tape so it does not faze me in fact I sometimes relish taking them on and tying them up in their own rule book. But what saddens me most is that I am not looking at having a business, for which the rules are (probably) quite sensible. Rules are necessary to guarantee safety and fair use of the wateways. But they can also stifle creativity, innovation and alternate ways of doing things.

For me it is just a hobby, educating and entertaining people. I just have to find that rule in the book that says " so and so can ignore all the above".
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Old 27-12-2013, 19:06   #11
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Re: Charter Rules and Regs in Australia

Please don't be discouraged, despite recent changes at AMSA/state safety council, I believe if your intention is legit, good sence will prevail, start off small way less than 24m, day charter should get you under the pollution requirement, built under survey could be a tripping point as the recent change should bring vessels up to a better standard as some states were woeful. But rule one do not get boat before asking AMSA questions. Amsa probably do have a issue with so called grey boats, (ie sub commercial, crew contribution for food/fuel) actually they can get raving mad, but if you are super nice and get passed the front desk who knows. I'm caught up at the moment with MISC and Medical if they go down that road its not impossible but more costs come into it.
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Old 27-12-2013, 19:14   #12
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Re: Charter Rules and Regs in Australia

Hey Mausgras, may be coming up your way soon, where are you!. Your Bavaria should do quite nicely in Port Stephens. Nice yacht club, a Marina where the fishing and pleasure boats are, lots of anchor space. Not a bad place to commence a pilgrimage north each winter.
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Old 27-12-2013, 19:31   #13
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Re: Charter Rules and Regs in Australia

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Hey Mausgras, may be coming up your way soon, where are you!. Your Bavaria should do quite nicely in Port Stephens. Nice yacht club, a Marina where the fishing and pleasure boats are, lots of anchor space. Not a bad place to commence a pilgrimage north each winter.
I'm in Oz at the moment visiting family for Xmas ... then off to Sri Lanka for a month and a bit of biodiversity surveying with a group called EcoSwiss around the Mergui Islands of Burma. Then back to Phuket and a bit of cruising around PhangNga on my boat about July.

I'm always looking for an extra deckhand or two so if you are around then you are welcome to look me up.
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Old 27-12-2013, 19:35   #14
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Re: Charter Rules and Regs in Australia

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Craig ... thanks for the information. While this is all a future project you have given me a lot to think about.

As a former environmental consultant I am used to dealing with govt red tape so it does not faze me in fact I sometimes relish taking them on and tying them up in their own rule book. But what saddens me most is that I am not looking at having a business, for which the rules are (probably) quite sensible. Rules are necessary to guarantee safety and fair use of the wateways. But they can also stifle creativity, innovation and alternate ways of doing things.

For me it is just a hobby, educating and entertaining people. I just have to find that rule in the book that says " so and so can ignore all the above".
In the eyes of the bureaucrats…. you take money/reward for a service, you are a business!

The problem with being part time or occasional charter is that you still have to meet the survey, insurance & safety rules/regs (=COST) to cover your & your passenger's backsides! Insurance companies put in a clause about complying with AMSA/State survey & manning, therefore nullifying insurance if you don't comply! Or you run the gauntlet of the bureaucracy & carry the financial risk.

With the change to AMSA a commercial boat can be used privately without certified Master/Engineer. Your Bavaria is under 12m so a Coxwain (deck & engineering qualification in one) would suffice. Easy to get.
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Old 27-12-2013, 19:43   #15
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Re: Charter Rules and Regs in Australia

Craig .... I understand the need for insurances and licenses as long as they are reasonable and not so expensive that they effectively disqualify an SME proposal like I am thinking of. But if it is going to cost thousands of dollars just to make a few hundred a month then it seems like officialdom gone mad.
I'm googling coxswain qualifications now ... thanks
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