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Old 31-01-2009, 23:53   #1
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Talking Charter yachts in the Whitsundays

We cruised the Whitsundays a few years ago and we had a ball but some of our biggest laughs were up in the 'charter area' of the Whitsundays. They provide a seemingly endless supply of funny radio transmissions and incidents to keep us liveaboards happy for weeks. However our biggest laugh came in the Nara Inlet late one afternoon. Nara inlet (for those who don't know it, is a picture perfect bay with high rocky walls and trees with deep water and good protection in most weather. In short it is nearly perfect - except for too many people there but thats another story.

Now I would like to preface this story by pointing out that we were liveaboards and had sailed up the east coast of Australia from Sydney to the Whitsundays on our own, saved one dog, one fisherman and one dinghy and had not a single problem. However here in Australia we have a strange system (called money making) where by if you stay in Queensland from another state for more than three months you have to get a Queensland boat licence. Now we had proven that we were responsible and safe sailors but oh no thats not good enough for Queensland authorities - we had to do this licence as all our certificates and years experience werent good enough. This cost us a fair amount to become licenced but after we had done all this rigamrole and paid for it all we found out that anyone chartering a yacht here doesn't need a boat licence or even any experience as they had "two to three hours of intense training" by the charter company. Hmm it did put a little more light on what happened in the following story.


Anyway, we had anchored up early and the skipper and I were sitting on the stern taking in the evening breeze when one of these charter yachts arrived. I watched its arrival into the bay briefly and then went below for a minute. (had to fill up the chardonnay) As the yacht got closer the skipper started to make funny noises so I came back up on deck to see what was happening. Turns out that the lady (I use this term loosely) on the charter yacht had been standing on the bow as they came very close past us and was wearing a tiny g-string bottom - and a smile. J The skipper is a very safety conscious individual and was extremely concerned that this lady may do an injury to her exposed items and didn’t want to take his eyes off her just in case there was an accident requiring his assistance.

So this lady and partner started out well – slowing down, reversing slowly, reversing slowly, and reversing slowly……….. All the surrounding yachtsmen were so entranced (sorry - concerned) with watching this ladies ‘upper body signals’ that none of them noticed the obvious mistake - they hadn’t actually dropped the anchor at all. I very nearly fell off the back of the boat laughing as they just kept reversing and reversing until eventually the man realised that there was an awful lot of laughter going on in surrounding boats (mostly female) and not much ‘stopping’ going on. For gods sake how long is this chain?

With a quick recce the problem was identified and rectified when the guy went forward and realised that the anchor was still sitting happily on the front of the yacht. So with a shove on the anchor, they were home and hosed – right? Nope wrong! They only dropped enough chain for the anchor to just brush the bottom before locking it off and reversing, so away they went again. Quite adept at reversing (I have to say I was impressed by that) offthey went between two catamarans and past another 2 yachts thus ensuring an attentive audience in this experience. By this time all the other yachties (all privately owned) were sitting on deck enjoying the free peep show and comedy. They did eventually manage to anchor without hitting anyone or anything and our evening returned to peace and quiet.

Now I am the first to admit that we have made mistakes in our very steep learning curve but we took 3 years,many hours of courses (safety at sea, fire fighting, flare safety etc) and LOTS and LOTS of advice and assistance. We didn't venture outside our little patch of water for a long time so all our mstakes were in local waters and easy to overcome.

But I have to say there is nothing more gratifying than sitting on the back deck of your own yacht safely anchored and settled and watching someone else stuff it up! Its always the way though isn't it. You do it right and no-one is there to see it but do it wrong and you have an attentive audience.

So if anyone wants to come and visit the Whitsundays - the southern end is wonderful, quiet and so beautiful but don't miss the charter area, it can be so much fun!
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Old 01-02-2009, 01:13   #2
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further to the licensing bit you also have to have a jet ski license which is an addition to your normal boat license BUT surprise surprise if you rent a jet ski you do not
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Old 01-02-2009, 03:49   #3
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My WA license is supposed to work in Queensland as well, can you confirm that this also needs replacement after 3 months?

( I also have RYA Yachtmaster)
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Old 01-02-2009, 05:08   #4
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you should not need any type of boat license for cruising yacht - if you live at a marina in queensland or you reside in queensland the boat will require Queensland registration even if the boat is on AMSA register
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Old 01-02-2009, 05:53   #5
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Originally Posted by meyermm View Post
you should not need any type of boat license for cruising yacht - if you live at a marina in queensland or you reside in queensland the boat will require Queensland registration even if the boat is on AMSA register
Any vessel with a motor over 6 hp requires license in Qld. From MSQ (Marine Safety Qld) website:

Quote:
Recreational marine driver licence -
In Queensland, a marine licence is required to operate a recreational boat which is powered by a motor greater than 4.5 kW (over 6 HP) and you must have a personal watercraft (PWC) licence to operate a personal watercraft.

Interstate recreational boat licences
Current and valid recreational boat licences (excluding junior licences) issued by an interstate marine authority may be used in Queensland while they remain current. Maritime Safety Queensland recommends if you move to Queensland that you obtain a Queensland recreational marine driver licence.

You can obtain a Queensland recreational marine driver licence by going to a Queensland Transport customer service centre with:

your current interstate recreational boat licence
a completed licence application form (PDF**, 105KB)
the fee of A$38.65.
You will then be issued with a confirmation report stating that you are the holder of a Queensland recreational marine driver licence.
Expired interstate licences will not be accepted for conversion to a Queensland licence. If your interstate licence has expired, you will need to either renew your licence with the relevant interstate marine authority or meet Queensland's recreational marine driver licence requirements stated above.
Im not saying they is good laws, just they is the laws.

In fact if you want bad boating laws then QLD is the place.
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Old 01-02-2009, 05:58   #6
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Any vessel with a motor over 6 hp requires license in Qld. From MSQ (Marine Safety Qld) website: <snip> Im not saying they is good laws, just they is the laws. In fact if you want bad boating laws then QLD is the place.
So I have seen. In fact if it wasnt for the witsundays and for rellies in Brisbane, I would not consider landfall there.

BTW Ta for the data.
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Old 01-02-2009, 06:08   #7
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Talbot

www.msq.qld.gov.au/

is the web site for the MSQ. Lot of information there. And some sneaky stuff -0 like if your ship 12 mts LOA or better you need a NO garbage overboard placard (up to 85K fine if its not there), if its 15 mts LOA you need insurance, if you have inflatable life vests be prepared to prove service history - etc etc, any ship with a fixed toilet must have a macerator that cant be bypassed. I could go on but I am getting depressed.
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Old 01-02-2009, 07:46   #8
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I was aware of some of these, but not all.

I reckon Disney got their title wrong "Pirates of the Caribbean"

I reckon that should have been "Pirates of the Barrier Reef"
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Old 01-02-2009, 14:47   #9
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unfortuately this is what happens when you allow the public non elected service to run the place. Politicians have allowed the public service to take over so they can pass the blame. Vote Labour means unions = more and more public servants to administer more and more laws
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Old 01-02-2009, 17:13   #10
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I had the mispleasure of getting my "license" recently after coming back from delivering yet another boat to Vanuatu.

During the course there were a few glaringly obvious mistakes in the rules and recomendations, but was told to ignore them when pointed out.

Was also amazed when told to not worry about what a lot of the markers meant as "you wont see them out there" in the area where I got the "license".

Then the final insult was the quick lap around the sheltered inlet, where there were no other boats or markers, in a 12 ft tinny.
The resemblance and handling characteristics of the 12 ft tinny to my 50ft powercat, 32 ft Sailingcat and the 48ft Crayboat, and 46 ft powercats that I have delivered and countless other vessels I have been on was uncanny.......NOT

MSQ, If you want to bend me over, rip me off and over regulate me, fair enough, but PLEASE, don't force me to endure a day of torture "learning" the "rules" with a bunch of boating numptie wannabe's.

All I learnt what what a bunch of thieving ( insert rude word here) MSQ are.

http://www.msq.qld.gov.au/ These "rules" are the very reason that the minute the boat is in, I will be doing that shakedown cruise up the QLD coast and getting the hell out of your area.

Dave
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Old 01-02-2009, 21:55   #11
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Bloody Queensland rules

During the course there were a few glaringly obvious mistakes in the rules and recomendations, but was told to ignore them when pointed out.

Was also amazed when told to not worry about what a lot of the markers meant as "you wont see them out there" in the area where I got the "license".

Then the final insult was the quick lap around the sheltered inlet, where there were no other boats or markers, in a 12 ft tinny.
The resemblance and handling characteristics of the 12 ft tinny to my 50ft powercat, 32 ft Sailingcat and the 48ft Crayboat, and 46 ft powercats that I have delivered and countless other vessels I have been on was uncanny.......NOT

LOL thanks Cat man do I had forgotten the rather laughable time we had when we too had to do our licence. We too had to do the licence as if we were a speed boat. Despite all four of us voicing our annoyance at being tested on something that we obviously werent we had to do it because thats the law. We took our two friends with us on our 32' steel yacht (top speed 5knots down hill with a tail wind!) to do the licence and save some money. We were taken out into Moreton bay and whilst I was on the wheel I was told to take the boat out into the harbour and "do donuts" !!! At 3.5 knots that is a big ask! We did pass the test ultimately but answering questions that are only pertinent to speed boats was absurd! The last count we heard there was approx 185 different rules and regulations that are in force in Queensland and they all carry a fine - you can't tell me that isn't revenue raising.

We were approached on several occasions and asked for things like - macerator (got one), holding tank(got one), boat papers (got all of them), flares (got them), V sheet (got one), EPIRB - we actually had a 406 and handed it over to them to inspect.
"Whats this?"
I nearly fell overboard with astonishment, here they were with the right to fine us if we didnt have the right gear etc and he didn't know what an EPIRB was!

I enjoyed Queensland very much but I admit that the revenue raising and laughable policing of cruising yachts is a real turn off. However if you coming in from overseas don't let this put you off, as long as you are equipped with all the safety gear and know your stuff you'll be OK.
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