Sydney Harbour Wash Campaign this weekend

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Sydney Harbour will be the focus of a NSW Maritime campaign this weekend aimed at reducing and preventing excessive ‘wash’ – the waves vessels produce while underway.

NSW Maritime Chief Executive Steve Dunn said the large amount of water traffic on Sydney Harbour meant it was doubly important that each skipper was aware of how much wash their vessel created and ways of minimising it.

'All skippers have to be mindful of the wash that their vessel creates,' he said.

'The sheer number of vessels on any given section of Sydney Harbour, and especially on weekends, means the message about the need to keep wash to a minimum is crucial.'

Wash is the turbulence created by a boat as it moves through the water. Wash size and influence is affected by the amount of water a boat displaces, the boat’s speed, its planning attitude and other factors such as water depth.

'This means that a large cruiser moving through the water at 8 knots (about 14.8 km/ph) will displace a large amount of wash – big enough to capsize small dinghies, damage moored boats and contribute to foreshore erosion,' Mr Dunn said.

Skippers should be aware that all vessels are different and depending on a boat’s make and the location, it may not be possible to travel at the maximum speed signposted in an area, he said.

Ignoring a signposted No Wash area can result in a $500 on-the-spot fine, while producing wash that causes damage can result in a $250 on-the-spot fine.