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Rottnest Island

MOORINGS FAQ

  • Can I use any mooring?
  • How do I get to use a private mooring?
  • How do I become a Licensee?
  • How long will it take for my name to get to the top of the wait list?
  • How do I become an Authorised User?
  • I do not know a Licensee?
  • What if I wish to take my boat to the Island?
  • What are the coloured discs on the moorings for?
  • What bays can I go into?
  • Can I anchor?
  • I notice some yellow buoys on the beach in Thomson Bay between the Fuel Jetty and Hotel Jetty.  What are these?
  • Can I get fuel and water on the island?
  • How do I hire a mooring?
  • What happens if someone is on my mooring?
  • Can I raft another vessel along side my vessel?
  • If I have paid annual admission fees for my boat, can I get a refund when I travel on the ferry?
  • Do I have to pay admission fees for my tender?
  • Where can I get more information about boating at Rottnest Island?
  • What happens if I lose my mooring sticker?
  • I am a Licensee, can I swap moorings?
  • How is the maximum vessel length determined for my mooring?

Can I use any mooring?
There are three types of moorings buoys (floats);

GREEN– Rottnest Island hire moorings, these can be rented from the RIA on a daily basis from 10am to 10am.
YELLOW – Private Licensee moorings. Only vessels that have submitted an application and have been issued with the appropriate sticker can use these moorings.
WHITE – Emergency moorings. Only for approved vessels.
RED– Courtesy mooring located on Kingston reef - 2 hour limit.
Pecuniary penalties do apply for unauthorised use of a mooring.

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How do I get to use a private mooring?
There are two ways, become a Licensee or an Authorised User.

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How do I become a Licensee?
Make application to the RIA and pay a one off fee to go on a wait list.  When your name comes to the top of the list you will be offered a mooring when one becomes available.

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How long will it take for my name to get to the top of the wait list?
You can only nominate to be on the wait list for one bay.  Depending on the bay you select and the size of your nominated vessel waiting time vary dramatically. The RIA cannot give you a time frame however on average it is about 10 years.

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How do I become an Authorised User?
There are two ways to become an Authorised User.  If you know a Licensee and your vessel can fit on their mooring, they can appoint you.  You will need to complete an Authorised User application form and have the Licensee authorise it.  You will need to complete all the other details and supply copies of your boat registration and insurance cover to a minimum of $10m. Fees will be calculated and once paid the RIA will issue with a sticker for the port side of your vessel.  You cannot use the mooring until you have the sticker.  “No sticker no mooring”

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I do not know a Licensee?
The RIA can appoint you to a mooring as an authorised user, depending on availability.  There is no guarantee given the high demand.

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What if I wish to take my boat to the Island?
Before entering the boundaries of the Reserve or immediately on arrival you need to pay admission fees.  Admission fees are paid by all persons who enter the Reserve. Daily admission fees can be paid online, at the Visitors Centre on the island.

Boat owners can also pay an annual admission fee based on the size of their vessel.  The annual admission fees run from 1 September to 31 August. You will need to complete an application form for an Annual Admission and supply copies of your boat registration and insurance cover.

Payment of admission fees only does not entitle you to use any mooring. Pecuniary penalties do apply for failing to pay or avoid paying admission fees.

What are the coloured discs on the moorings for? 
These denote the maximum size vessel permitted to use that mooring under the Shared Mooring System (SMS).

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What bays can I go into?
You can take your vessel into any bay. The decision to take your vessel into a bay is the responsibility of the skipper.  The RIA cannot determine the skipper’s skill level, vessel suitability or weather condition at the time.  The RIA recommends that you purchase a marine chart Rottnest Island WA412. Several boat convoys are conducted each year by various sea rescue groups to educate skippers on the best approaches into Rottnest Island.

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Can I anchor?
You can anchor anywhere within the Reserve providing it is not within 50meters of a mooring or unless specified by signage. Do not drop your anchor in the sea grass as it plays an important  role in the ecology of the island.

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I notice some yellow buoys on the beach in Thomson Bay between the Fuel Jetty and Hotel Jetty.  What are these?
The yellow buoys are beach anchoring points.  Boat users who have paid admission fees for vessels up to 7.5m length can secure to them free of charge.

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Can I get fuel and water on the island?
Self service diesel and unleaded petrol is available 24 hours/ 7 days a week at the Fuel Jetty. Contact the Visitors Centre or phone 0439 964 858 during office hours for operator assistance.

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How do I hire a mooring?
You can book online at the RIA website  and make a booking up to three months in advance.  If you do not have access to the internet you can contact Central Reservations Monday to Friday on 94329111 between 8.30 and 5.00pm. or the Visitors Centre on the Island or at Fremantle B Shed Visitor Centre.

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What happens if someone is on my mooring?
Ask the vessel to move on.  Should they refuse, contact (08) 93729788 and RIA security will assist you to resolve the matter.

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Can I raft another vessel along side my vessel?
Only on swing moorings are you able to raft another vessel along side, providing that vessel does not exceed 6.75m AND the mooring has been endorsed with  “+ 6.75metres”  All hire mooring are endorsed for + 6.75 metres. Each vessel must pay the appropriate admission fees.

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If I have paid annual admission fees for my boat, can I get a refund when I travel on the ferry?
No, annual admission fees are issued to the vessel to carry people to the island, not the individual.

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Do I have to pay admission fees for my tender?
No, a tender is defined under the RI Regulations as vessels less than 3.75m in length.  Any vessel greater than 3.75m must pay admission fees.

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Where can I get more information about boating at Rottnest Island?

Each year the RIA publishes a Marine and Boating Guide to assist boat users to enjoy the Rottnest Island Reserve.  You can contact the Marine Facilities area Monday to Friday on 94329320, visit the RIA website or speak to a Ranger on 93729788.

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What happens if I lose my mooring sticker?
All stickers remain the property of the RIA and must be returned on the sale of a vessel. Stickers are not transferable to another person or vessel. If you have purchased a new vessel the old stickers must be returned to the RIA for appropriate replacement, subject to suitability of the new vessel to each mooring. Use of mooring sites is also not transferable with the sale of your vessel. Recent amendments to the RIA Regulations allow penalties to anyone found with an unauthorised or altered sticker.

If lost or damaged, stickers will only be replaced on written request from the applicant and payment of a new replacement fee. A request form is available under Boating Application Forms  

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I am a Licensee, can I swap moorings?
Two Licensees within the same bay are able to request a permanent mooring swap as often as they wish on application to the RIA. Under Regulation 30, and subject to approval including satisfactory mooring assessments and apparatus ownership, this process will now will incur a $250 administration fee per Licensee upon final approval.  Licensee need to advise the RIA what they wish to happen to their Authorised Users, keep them with the mooring or take them to the new mooring. Should the swap occur, any grandfather clauses in existence will cease to have effect.

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How is the maximum vessel length determined for my mooring?
In 2004 the RIA had concerns about the size of vessels on moorings.  Subsequently the RIA had all moorings surveyed to determine their exact centre point location and space between them.  Following this survey the RIA engaged the services of a local marine architect to review the RIA mooring system.  One of the issues was how to determine the maximum vessel length (MVL) permissible for each mooring given the manner in which moorings had been installed.  One of the prime factors was safety should an emergency unfold.  The naval architect reviewed mooring systems used around the world and recommend that RIA apply a formula to determine the MVL of each mooring.  In determining the MVL for each mooring the following measurements are essential:

Buoy Swing Radius (BSR):  The distance the buoy can move in any one direction at LLW.
Pickup Rope Length (PRL): The total length of the rope if laid flat from the buoy to the end.
Maximum Swing Room (MSR): The distance from the centre point of the mooring to the nearest mooring. (This does not include and underwater obstructions)

The formula is:
MVL= (MSR – 2m – PRL – BSR) ÷1.2


The formula will determine maximum vessel length permitted without causing undue interference to neighbouring moorings.  However, approval is still required from the RIA and your chosen mooring contractor needs to certify the mooring is capable of holding the nominated vessel.   In calculating MVL the RIA does not take into consideration draft issues associated with each vessel.

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