New guidelines are now available to assist the masters of superyachts when navigating into and around Sydney Harbour.
NSW Maritime Chief Executive Steve Dunn said the Sydney Harbour Superyacht Guidelines, produced jointly by NSW Maritime and Sydney Ports, were written to guide the masters of private vessels with overall length of more than 24m – whether sail or motorboats – known internationally as ‘superyachts’.
Superyachts are typically worth between $20 million and $100 million, with industry estimates that a visit by an overseas superyacht to Sydney can see an injection of $1 million into the local economy if refit or maintenance work is carried out.
'Since the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, the number of superyachts visiting Sydney each year has more than doubled,' Mr Dunn said.
'These guidelines provide local information on such things as bridges, speed limit zones and what marine radio channel and other communication services are available in the port.'
The guidelines list prohibited areas - such as 100m from berthed tankers, 30m from moored commercial ships and the entire waters of Sydney Cove - and the requirements and procedures for the disposal of sewage and garbage.
There are also sections on SCUBA diving and helicopter operations, as well as protocols for operating in the vicinity of whales and dolphins, and the requirement for superyacht masters to give way to ferries displaying an orange diamond shape.
'Superyachts, as their name suggests, are some of the largest private vessels in the world and if only used privately there is no requirement for the master to take a pilot on board to navigate in the harbour,' Mr Dunn said.
'While pilotage for superyachts can be arranged on request, the aim of the guidelines is to provide the master with all the necessary knowledge in preparation for a visit to Sydney Harbour, the world’s best harbour.'
These guidelines promote safe and responsible boating, and can be viewed at NSW Maritime Website