Sailing safely on Sydney Harbour

A boaties dream, Sydney Harbour is an idyllic waterway for sailing. But what if you don’t have a yacht?
No problem, you can hire one! Chartering a yacht is a great alternative if you’re between boats, visiting Sydney or are just testing the waters before you jump into boat ownership.

Here are some safety basics from Eastcoast Sailing about sailing on Sydney Harbour.

Channel Markers

Like any busy waterway, Sydney Harbour operates a multi-channel system, with vessels staying on the port side upon entry to the harbour, where you will see the red channel markers on your left and the green ones on your starboard side. One should always have the red markers to one’s left when travelling in a channel, and generally, sail boats should keep out of narrow and busy channels, which are used by commercial shipping.

Know your Vessel

If you are sailing your own boat, then obviously, you would be very familiar with it, but if you are hiring one, make sure you are capable of sailing it, otherwise you can simply hire a crewed vessel, and then you can sit back and enjoy the experience. Many people enjoy sailing, yet do not own a yacht, and with online companies who specialise in all forms of yacht and catamaran hire, you and your group can either help sail or relax and take in the breathtaking scenery.

Study the Charts

Sydney Harbour is quite simple to navigate, with specific channels for both directions, and if you are planning to sail, you should study the charts, and make sure your radio is turned on, as this is used to communicate with commercial shipping, and for sail, you will have to be on the lookout at all times, reducing speed when another vessel approaches.

Check the Weather Forecast

Unless you happen to a very experienced sailor who likes a challenge, avoid sailing if bad weather is forecast, and always check prior to confirming a trip, especially in the winter, when wave height can be quite high.

Outsource the Sailing

Many groups would rather not worry about crewing the vessel, so they hire a crewed catamaran or yacht, and the experienced crew take them to the best places, and with the iconic Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge in view, there isn’t a better way to spend a summer’s day. Rather than planning that beach party, if everyone chipped in, you could afford to hire a yacht for the day and really see the harbour from a unique perspective, and with a range of packages to suit every budget, you can spend an idyllic day on the water in one of the most famous harbours in the world.
Sydney Harbour can get very busy, especially on summer weekends, and unless you are a skilled sailor, it might be an idea to rent a crewed vessel. Yacht charter allows everyone to relax and really enjoy a unique experience with Eastcoast Sailing.