Whether you are an experienced sailor or a beginner, Whitsundays is the right place for you. Besides beautiful beaches and sailing, Whitsundays is known as a place for snorkelling, hiking and fishing. But for sailors, Whitsundays offers a one-of-a-kind experience due to its incredible compilation of 74 islands, located right in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. In order to be prepared for the best experience, you should first consider planning ahead and avoiding some of the most common mistake sailors make.
Where to hire a boat?
You can contact one of the six charter companies in Whitsundays for hiring regular sailboats or bearboats. Based on Hamilton Island, you can find Sunsail, while other charterers are on Airlie Beach. If you are looking for the right period to go sailing, we suggest August when the annual Airlie Beach Race Week
and Audi Hamilton Island Race Week
License and experience
For sailing in Whitsundays, you don't need to have a special license. Some sailing companies might ask for at least five-hour sailing experience, but others will let you try on your own even if you are a first-time sailor. You will be provided with a briefing upon your arrival, so you will know what you can do better next time. But, if sailing is your regular activity, you should have a license anyway. Also, if you are prone to overestimating yourself, try practising beforehand, and don't go on the water alone for the first couple of sails.
The budget you need to carelessly enjoy your sailing visit to Whitsundays varies between companies, seasons and availability. The most commonly estimated price is around $120 daily, but the prices can vary between $3000 and $8000 for seven nights, depending mostly on the season. You will also need a $100 budget for marine fees, insurance and daily fuel.
Prepare the right equipment
Before you set off, it's important to have the right sailing equipment onboard. If the day is sunny, the winds are calm, and you are planning on a short ride, you will need no more than a regular T-shirt and shorts. In any other case, you're going to need more layers to keep you dry and warm. You can find all you need if you search for quality Sea to Summit sailing equipment
. Among the essentials, look for wetsuits to keep you dry, a waterproof spray top for additional warmth, sailing boots to keep your feet dry, and a buoyancy aid if you are planning on sailing on your own.
Keep a safe distance
Once you're all ready to cruise away from the coast, there is a simple rule you should follow - always keep a safe distance from other boats. Everyone who has sailed at least once knows that stopping on water and stopping on solid ground is not in any ways the same. If you don't want to ruin your (or somebody else's) day by having a boat crash, then keep away from other boats and stay within the speed limit
. The limit varies between different boating areas, and so does the recommended safe distance, but if you want to be really safe, don't raise your speed over 5 knots when you are close to shore or harbour.
Follow the lines
There is a reason some parts of the beach are separated with marked lines and buoys. If a beach seems empty, sometimes it's easier for sailors to just ignore them and park straight at the beach. However, you can never know whether there is someone diving or snorkelling underneath, so it's highly unsafe to ignore this possibility.
To conclude, if you simply follow the rules and stay concentrated, everything will be fine and you will have the most wonderful sailing experience in Whitsundays. Don't forget to take photos while you sail into the beautiful Australian sunset.