Preparing for your bareboat charter | Whitsunday Rent A Yacht

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Preparing for your bareboat charter

WRAY briefer, skipper, and all-round nautical expert, Mike Dicker, blogs about the Whitsundays from his unique on-the-water perspective.

We are looking forward to welcoming you aboard now that you have booked your exciting sailing adventure in the Whitsundays; here are some tips to prepare yourself.

We know that a lot of you are first timers to bareboating, so we thought we could help you by giving you insight on how to be best prepared.

There are a lot of things to think about before you arrive at our base in Shute Harbour like, how do I get to and from the airport, timing consideration, provisioning, what to bring and what not to bring, how do I best prepare myself.  See our handy explanations below to help you tick the boxes:


What should I pack in my Luggage?

We cannot stress enough to not over pack!  A soft shell/ duffle bag is more convenient on a yacht than a suitcase as you can squeeze it under the bed or in storage areas easier than a suitcase.

Here is a little list to go by:

  • Swimming wear is an essential
  • Sandals / thongs to walk on the beach
  • Non-slip enclosed shoes (especially if you would like to do a hike or bushwalk)
  • Throw over clothing
  • Light jacket (wind jackets are great)
  • Sailing gloves (not necessary)
  • Polarized sunglasses  (helpful for spotting marine life and fringing reef areas underwater)
  • A hat
  • Your camera / Go-pro
  • Sunscreen
  • A small backpack for those trips to the beach and for hiking.

(We have a range of sunglasses, reef shoes, hats, clothing, sailing gloves available at our base for purchase).  Our tip: You don’t need a lot!

Excess luggage & empty bags/cases can be stored at our Shute Harbour base during your charter.



One of the benefits of bareboating is the fact you can switch off and have some well-deserved free time and just enjoy the moment you’re in.  We recommend bringing a book, board games, a deck of cards or even an iPod/music device to plug into the yacht’s stereo.


Equipment Hire

Book your equipment for more fun activities on the water!  We can supply you with Stand Up Paddle Boards, Single or Double Sea Kayaks, Surf Ski’s and the all important stinger suits (wet suits during our winter months).

These activities are a great way to not only keep active but to also add that bit of extra fun on the water!

To ensure you get the equipment you would like, it’s best to book as early as possible to avoid disappointment.

Masks, snorkels and fins are provided for adults free of charge.

Children’s sized masks and snorkels are available on request and must be pre-ordered.

Children’s life jackets are available free of charge and must also be pre-ordered.

If you have added a Hamilton Island relocation to your charter you will need to advise us of your shoe sizes so the correct fins can be placed onboard for you.


Organise your provisioning (Food)

This is key to have organised prior to arriving for your charter, pre-ordering provisioning allows you to relax as soon as you arrive, not needing to head to the supermarket on the first day of your adventure... plus less chance of forgetting anything!

We recommend provisioning through Whitsundays Provisioning, they will deliver right to your vessel and have everything onboard for you before you arrive.

They also have plenty of ‘bareboating packs’ and suggestions online, which is very handy for first timers.

Whitsunday Provisioning provide excellent, quality and local produce, you definitely cannot go wrong and you will not be disappointed.   Not to mention, the perfect portions for you and your guests.

One thing we would suggest is one of their fresh local platters to really kick off your holidays on your first night.

As an alternative option to ordering from provisioning specialists, Coles and Woolworths do online orders, as well as deliveries to our Shute Harbour base (however you must be onsite to accept the order yourself at the time of delivery).

A large range of specialty seafood, fruit and vegetable and meat suppliers are available in the Whitsundays – speak to our reservations staff for assistance and advice for  specialty orders.

If you are starting your charter from Hamilton Island and do not wish to use our recommended provisioning companies there is a large IGA located on the island, within walking distance from the marina.

Some other things for consideration are:

Fridge and freezer space; between all Yachts & Catamarans our refrigeration sizes vary between 100L and 180L, the freezers vary between 10L and 102L.  For your exact measurement phone our friendly reservations staff on 1800 075 000 or email us at


First Aid / Toiletries.

First Aid kits are provided on each of our vessels.  You may wish to bring your own additional items including plenty of moisturiser, sunscreen and sunburn relief gel.

For the girls, don’t forget your hair bands and hair brush.

Most importantly don’t forget any prescription medications, panadol, pain relief and seasick tablets if you think you’ll require them.  There are a range of chemist on Hamilton Island and the mainland.

Leave your jewellery at home – you will not need it on a charter boat and risk losing it in the deep blue!


Travel Insurance

Travel insurance makes sense. A small, additional investment when you book ensures you are protected should your holiday be interrupted by illness, a family emergency or severe tropical weather.  We strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance for travel at any time of the year.  While late summer is a great time to visit the Whitsunday Islands, weather conditions can vary.  If you are holidaying with us during this period, travel insurance - including cyclone cover - is especially important. See Oceanic Marine Insurance for information.


Study the islands and your holiday

If you want to know more about where you’re going and where you should go, we recommend hiring or purchasing the book ‘100 Magic Miles’ for your go-to bareboating in the Whitsundays.  We provide a copy on each of our vessels and forms part of your navigational aid in conjunction with the charts and GPS provided.

In this book you will find anchorages, hikes, snorkelling zones, fishing zones and much more.


It is not essential to set your exact route before you arrive.  Your boat and area briefer will help and suggest an itinerary for you including all the locations you would like to include in your sailing holiday. 

Don’t worry if your plans change during your sailing holiday, or if you need any more recommendations during your charter, as our on-call radio operators will happily assist you at anytime during your charter holiday.

Remember to be flexible on your preferences as winds, tides and weather are all factors to take into account whilst boating and don’t be disappointed if you didn’t get to an area you had on your ‘list’.  There is always next time!


For some hot tips on Snorkelling Sites and Anchorages click the following links:

Snorkelling Sites

Recommended Anchorages


Organise your Transfers to our base

Whether you are travelling by vehicle or flight it is important you are here on time for your boat and area briefing.

Your boat and area briefing will generally commence at 12 noon unless you have a sleep aboard booked, then your check in time will be at 4pm, with your boat and area brief the following day at 8:00am.

If you are flying there are two airports servicing the region, Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) and Hamilton Island.


Proserpine: There are plenty of transfer buses which meet every flight, you can pre-book a return around your charter dates and they will happily pick and drop you off at your chosen location.

Hamilton Island: If you are starting your charter from Hamilton Island you can use the Resort Link to be transferred to the marina.  Once you have arrived, use the Marina map to locate your vessels berth location.  There is no pre-booking required for this.

Driving: When you arrive to our private jetty here in Shute Harbour you will notice there is plenty of car parking space, as guests you are more than welcome to use the car park whilst arriving and departing.  However we do not allow our guests to leave their vehicles here at our base over the duration of your charter.

Of course we have alternative options available for our guests. 

The council offer free outdoor parking at the top of our street, however if you wish your vehicle to be in a secured location whilst on your charter Turner Parking are able to assist. or 0427 317 218.


Now all the preparation for your charter holiday is done, all you need to do is sit back, relax and get excited about your Whitsunday Sailing Holiday!

Charter Boat - Leopard 384