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Private Moorings

What is a Private Mooring Licence?

Moorings - Sydney HarbourA mooring licence permits you to moor your vessel on navigable waters and is renewable annually. A mooring licence is not a lease of the seabed and there is no guarantee of tenure. The general position of the site is determined and may be varied at the discretion of Maritime. It is however the responsibility of a mooring contractor to ensure that the mooring and its location are suitable for the vessel in question.

A Private Mooring Licence is subject to special conditions. Non-compliance with these conditions may result in the cancellation of the licence and/or your liability insurance may be null and void. To view these conditions click here.

Generally, the maximum number of mooring sites that can be accommodated in an area is subject to a number of considerations including water depth, navigational requirements, seagrass beds and foreshore facilities.

A Private Mooring Licence cannot be sublet or traded in any way.

For specific conditions/issues that may relate to your mooring area please contact your local Maritime Operations Centre.

Private Mooring Licence fees

The annual mooring licence fee is determined by the mooring location and vessel length. In addition an establishment fee applies for an initial Private Mooring Licence.

Fees also apply to change a vessel on a mooring, relocation of mooring site within the same area and to transfer the mooring from one person to another. Conditions apply.

Obtaining a Private Mooring Licence

Private Mooring Licences are only issued to individuals.  They are not issued to a partnership, company, organisation or association.

A person may not have more than two private moorings in the one designated mooring area.

In mooring areas designated ‘Residents Only’ a person may not have more than one private mooring.  These areas exist in Pittwater and lower Hawkesbury River.  Please contact Maritime for details.

A Private Mooring Licence is only allocated when:

  • The vessel licensed to the mooring is 5.2 metres or more in length
  • The vessel is currently registered in NSW in the name of the applicant; and
  • the applicant is the sole owner or, at least equal or majority shareholder of the vessel

The vessel will be subject to a visual assessment (refer to Visual Suitability of Vessels on Moorings) to ensure that it is suitable for the particular mooring area.

If no vacancy exists for your preferred mooring area you can, on application and payment of the prescribed fees have your name added to a priority waiting list. These lists are maintained in strict order of receipt of application and payment.

What is a Priority Waiting List

Priority Waiting Lists exist for each designated mooring area where mooring sites are not immediately available. These lists have been developed to ensure fair and equitable access for all users.

An application fee is required, based on the minimum mooring fee for the area. When the licence is issued this fee is deducted from your initial Private Mooring Licence fee. 

How to apply to be on a Priority Waiting List


Where the area has no immediate site available, you will need to:

When a site becomes available the following will apply:

  • The site is offered by letter to the applicant at the top of the Priority Waiting List
  • A written acceptance is required within 14 days from the date of the offer

If the offer is accepted the applicant will have a further 31 days to:

  • Have a suitable vessel registered in the applicant’s name
  • Complete an Application for Private Mooring Licence (which incorporates a Statutory Declaration - Vessel Ownership)
  • Provide Proof of Identity;
  • Pay the balance of fees;

Once the Private Mooring Licence is issued you will need to:

  • Contact the Boating Service Officer for an appointment to inspect and allocate a suitable position.
  • Arrange with a mooring contractor to purchase and positioning of a suitable mooring apparatus at the site allocated by the Boating Service Officer.  It is however the responsibility of a mooring contractor to ensure that the mooring and its location are suitable for the vessel in question.
  • Secure your vessel to the mooring.

Where an applicant is unable to accept the offer, the applicant may make written request to remain on the waiting list but will revert to the bottom of the list. Where a subsequent offer is made and is again declined the applicants name will be removed from the Priority Waiting List.  A refund, less an administration fee, will be issued on receipt of a written request.

If no response to the offer is received within 14 days, reasonable steps to contact the applicant will be made.  Where the applicant is not able to be contacted, their name will be removed from the Priority Waiting List.

In order to provide applicants with adequate notice of impending offers of a mooring site, letters are issued every three months to the top five applicants on each Priority Waiting List indicating:

  • Their position on the Priority Waiting List;
  • The date of the last offer of a mooring in that area;
  • The number of moorings allocated in that area for the last twelve-month period.

When a site becomes available in an area, it is offered to the first person on the Priority Waiting List. Some areas have high turnover, while more popular areas have limited turnover.

How to Apply for a Mooring in an Area with Immediate Availability

Where the area has immediate availability, you will need to:

  • Have a suitable vessel registered in your name;
  • Complete an Application for Private Mooring Licence (which incorporates a Statutory Declaration - Vessel Ownership);
  • Provide Proof of Identity;
  • Pay the prescribed Private Mooring Licence fees including the establishment fee. The mooring licence fee is determined by the mooring location and vessel length.  

Once the Private Mooring Licence is issued you will need to:

  • Contact the Boating Service Officer for an appointment to inspect and allocate a suitable position
  • Arrange with a mooring contractor to purchase and positioning of a suitable mooring apparatus at the site allocated by the Boating Service Officer.  It is however the responsibility of a mooring contractor to ensure that the mooring and its location are suitable for the vessel in question.
  • Secure your vessel to the mooring

Mooring Apparatus

Cost for the purchase, installation and servicing of the mooring apparatus is the responsibility of the mooring licensee.  On cancellation, the licensee is responsible for removing the apparatus from the seabed.

Mooring Buoys
Mooring Buoy
Mooring marker buoys must be yellow in colour and clearly display, at all times, the issued mooring licence number in characters at least 50mm high. Maritime recommends that you use one of the commercially available buoys supplied by ship chandlers or mooring contractors.

Mooring Maintenance

Moorings must be kept in such a condition as to secure your vessel in the worst conditions.

To help ensure your mooring is installed correctly, Maritime recommends you engage an experienced mooring contractor and use only quality materials. The mooring must be serviced as a minimum, once a year, to maintain it in good order and condition.

Failure to maintain your mooring apparatus in good condition may result to mooring failure and set the vessel adrift with expensive consequences. Penalties may apply.

Proof of mooring service must be produced to Maritime on request.

The Mooring Licensee is responsible at all times for damage caused by the licensee’s vessel and/or mooring apparatus to any other vessel or property.  It is strongly recommended that the Mooring Licensee has adequate insurance to cover such contingencies as Maritime bears no responsibility.

Failure to service your mooring may result in cancellation of the Private Mooring Licence and the liability insurance being null and void.

Vacancy

The vessel must not be absent from its mooring for more than 28 consecutive days unless Maritime has been notified in writing and written approval has been given. Whilst the licensed vessel is absent from the mooring no other vessel is to occupy the site.

Change of vessel

You must notify Maritime if you intend to change the vessel licensed to your mooring to allow for re-assessment of space requirements. Once a suitable replacement vessel is purchased you must complete an Application to Change Vessel on Mooring (which incorporates a Statutory Declaration - Vessel Ownership) and pay the prescribed fee.

Transferring of a Private Mooring Licence

Transfer of a Private Mooring Licence is subject to conditions and subsequent approval by Maritime. An Application for Transfer of Private Mooring Licence (which incorporates a Statutory Declaration - Vessel Ownership) must be completed and submitted together with the appropriate fee.

Non Priority Waiting List Area

A Private Mooring Licence can only be transferred in a non priority waiting list area where the vessel currently licensed to the mooring site has changed ownership and has been registered into the name of the person seeking transfer of the mooring licence to him/her.

Priority Waiting List Area

A Private Mooring Licence is not transferable except in the following circumstances:

  • To a legal or defacto spouse on a once only basis, without restriction, subject to the spouse being the beneficiary of the Will in respect of the Private Mooring Licence and the vessel. The spouse is required to be at least the equal majority shareholder of the vessel.
  • To the beneficiary other than the legal or defacto spouse of a deceased licence holder’s Will for a maximum period of 12 months if the vessel is retained by the beneficiary.

Relocation

Should you wish to relocate your mooring site within the same designated mooring area you are required to lodge an Application For Relocation Of Private Mooring Within The Same Mooring Area Code.

The application will only be processed once your preferred site becomes available. A fee applies and is payable at the time the mooring is relocated. Please note, there is no guarantee as to when relocation may occur or if at all.

The cost involved to re-position the mooring apparatus is the responsibility of the mooring licensee.

Mooring Maps

Cancellations:

Priority Waiting Lists

Cancellation and refund requests must be in writing and signed by the applicant. All refund requests will incur an administration fee.

Private Mooring Licence

Cancellation and refund requests must be in writing and signed by the licensee. On receipt of your written request, Maritime will respond and indicate that the vessel and mooring apparatus be removed within 7 days.

The refund applies from the date written notification is received or when the vessel and mooring apparatus is removed from the water, whichever is the later.  However the refund will not be processed until Maritime has confirmed removal. All refund requests will incur an administration fee.

Change of address

Maritime must be advised immediately of any change to address and contact details. This ensures that all correspondence is sent to the correct address and Maritime can contact you should there be a problem with your vessel or mooring.

Visual Suitability of Vessels on Moorings

Vessel on a mooringVessels moored on a private mooring or commercial mooring, are subject to a number of conditions, including:

Vessels must be visually suitable for the bay and be maintained in a seaworthy condition which means being capable of undertaking a voyage.

The following criteria is used to assess a vessel’s visual suitability for a mooring:

  • The vessel must be of a style considered by Maritime to be consistent with the general style of vessels moored in the bay.
  • Vessels constructed of materials other than fibreglass, must be painted in colours appropriate to the general amenity of the bay.  Bright or iridescent colours are not acceptable without written approval of  Maritime.  Timber vessels may be varnished (or similar) provided that the varnished timbers are kept in good condition.  An exception is made for teak, which should be appropriately maintained (eg, oiled).

Vessels must be kept in good condition including, but not limited to the following:

  • The vessel must not show temporary repairs that are visually obvious (that is patched up) without written approval from Maritime.
  • The vessel must be kept clean and tidy.
  • The vessel must be kept free of bird droppings, vermin and insects.
  • The vessel must not be used as a repository for refuse, garbage, or “junk”.
  • Painted substances must not be peeling, flaking, crazed or otherwise deteriorated.
  • Metal surfaces must be kept free from rust and any other forms of oxidisation.
  • Marine growth on the vessel’s hull must be kept to a standard acceptable to Maritime.

A vessel will only be deemed to be in a seaworthy condition if it is capable of undertaking a voyage.

The above conditions will not be enforced in relation to vessels that are the subject of a formal agreement for repair by a business provided that the repairs commence within thirty (30) days of the vessel first occupying the mooring.

 

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