FAQs

How to Plan and Book – Useful Tips On Booking A Boat

If you have never hired a charter boat for a party before, then use this really useful guide to teach you how to plan and book your event.

Planning your Boat Charter – What we need to know to help you

  • Know the maximum number of guests in your party. Boats are limited by law as to how many people they can take and we want to offer you a comfortable vessel that fits all of you.
  • We suggest that you may like to cap your guest numbers for the boat capacity, as not everyone on your list will accept. Booking a larger boat than required will cost you more, or you may end up inviting more people than you’d like to spend the time with, trying to fill the numbers.
  • What kind of event are you planning? Social, corporate, private, birthday, wedding etc.? Are you doing a theme of any kind?
  • What type of charter you’d like e.g. river cruise, Carnac Island, Rottnest Island etc.
  • Have a specific date (or at least a month) and preferred departure time.
  • Are you thinking of a day or evening boat charter? The most popular day trips are from about 12 pm to 4 pm (unless you are doing a Rottnest or Carnac Island cruise – from 9 am to 5 pm). The most popular evening cruises tend to be from 6.30pm onwards.
  • Which jetty you’d like to embark from, and which jetty you’d like to return to?
  • Do you want any entertainment on board?
  • Do you want to BYO food and drinks or do you want our advice on catering?
  • Contact us on 0428 926 783 or send us an online quotation request specifying what you’d like to book. We will then call and chat with you to go over all of your booking details.
  • We will then email back to you a charter booking with the reference number. You’ll need to pay your 50% deposit within three days to confirm your booking date.
  • Catering doesn’t need to be ordered until 28 days before. All balances need to be paid in full at least 14 days prior to charter.

How far in advance can I book?

You can reserve a charter up to two years, with a deposit at the time of booking. Our return clients normally hold a standing deposit for several trips per year, or the same date every year. Our goal is to make your experience a memorable event that you will want to come and enjoy often.
 
If you have a special date for a hens party of bucks party with guests coming from interstate or overseas – book early to secure the date. Peak times and days such as weekends from October to March can be booked out up to a year ahead so do book early. December dates are especially popular and we recommend booking as early as January.

What is the minimum charter time?

As a general rule most river cruises have a 3 hour minimum. Carnac or Rottnest require longer minimum times to allow for travel to and from the islands. The day goes very quickly.
 
Whale and other sea mammal tours depend on the location and time of the year. Surf tours will have specified start and finish times. Speak to one of our friendly staff at the time of your booking to see is we can arrange something specific to meet.

Pick Up/ Drop Off Locations

Please note that wharf booking / access fees may apply to some locations. Some vessels may not be able to pick up from certain wharves because of reasons such as size or wharf condition. We are more than happy to suggest the most suitable pick up and drop off locations suitable for your group.

How much is the deposit?

The deposit will confirm the charter date and boat for you and ensures no-one else can book it. Peak times and days such as weekends from October to March can be booked out up to a year ahead do book early. December dates are especially popular and we recommend booking as early as January.
 
For your charter to be confirmed, a 50% deposit is required within 3 days of making your booking otherwise the booking reservation will automatically be cancelled. For most bookings the full balance of payment and any bond payable is to be made 21 days before the day of charter. For peak time bookings from November to February – payment in full is required at least 30 days prior.
 
Until the deposit is made – the charter is not ‘confirmed’ and you may lose that time or date if someone else makes a booking for the same time / date and pays their deposit immediately. Payments can be made by cash, bank deposit, cheque or money order.

Short notice bookings – 14 days or less

For a short notice charter to be confirmed – full payment is required within 3 days of making your booking. There are no refunds for short notice bookings because crew are booked and other charter enquiries for that time and date are excluded.

Confirmation of Your Booking

Please note that failure to make due payment in respect of bookings or instalments, shall entitle West End Charters to consider the booking cancelled. All effort from West End Charters will be made to contact the client before the booking is made available to other parties. However, should contact not be made or responded to, West End Charters shall be entitled to consider the booking as void and release the place to another person.
 
Clients must be aware that any booking confirmations held with a credit card as security do so with the knowledge that should you not turn up for the booking, or should you not cancel a booking within the stipulated guidelines as outlined below, the credit card will be debited in full for the booking amount.

Are there any Conditions to Booking?

Yes, there are terms & condition to each booking. These can vary dependent on the charter and will be supplied upon making a booking.
 
We will need a completed passenger manifest prior to the vessel departing. The form will be emailed to the organiser with charter paperwork.

When is Final Payment due?

The final payment is usually due 14 days prior to your cruise. For peak period charters 1 November to 28 Feb 28 final payment is due 30 days prior. To make this easier, we will send you a friendly reminder.

Making Payments

Payments must be made in Australian Dollars via electronic transfer, bank cheque or credit cards Visa or MasterCard only. Please note a 2% fee non-refundable for Australian & 2.5% non-refundable fee for International transactions are added for payments and refunds by credit card.
 
At time of booking, an invoice will be sent with payment details.
 
Receipt of the deposit by the due date deems the booking is final and subject to West End Charters’ Terms and Conditions.

Rottnest Island Landing Fees

A Government Rottnest Landing Fee is payable for Rottnest cruises and this is not included as a part of your charter fee. All visitors entering the Rottnest Island Reserve, including the marine reserve, are required to pay an admission fee as a contribution to the conservation of the Island and the provision and upkeep of facilities.

If this is payable, it will be specified at time of booking and be based on the current Rottnest Island Landing Fee rates – which can either be paid by the charterer prior to the charter online www.rottnestisland.com – or arranged with the crew on the day.

If any passengers disembark on the island (even just one person) then FULL individual admission fees apply for all carried passengers.

Why not just catch the Ferry to Rottnest?

According to ABC News Perth in April 2015 – The cost for a family of five — two adults and three children — to travel to Rottnest Island from Perth on a weekday in April is $295, which includes a government fee of $45.
 
Taking bikes adds another $75. Then, add a credit card booking fee of $5.56, bringing the total of going to Rottnest Island for the day to more than $375. Add another $100 for food and a day trip to Rottnest is likely to cost a family of five almost $500.
 
If say four families join together, you can have “your own boat” for the day at Rottnest away from the crowds with a more intimate and special trip at Rottnest.

West End Prices

All prices provided are in AUD$ and include 10% GST.
 
Prices are subject to change without notice. Surcharge for seasonal rates, special events, and public holidays may apply. Public holidays may have a 25% surcharge because of increased crew wages. The minimum charge is for a three (3) hour boat charter.

Public Holiday Loading

Public holidays may have a 25% surcharge because of increased crew wages under the Charter Boat Industry Award.  Australia Day has a 50% loading. Xmas day has a 100% loading as the crew are paid triple time.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellation must be in writing or via email to ensure no misunderstandings as to whether your booking is being cancelled or not.

Upon cancellation the following fees apply: 

  • An administration fee of $50.00 for cancellations more than 90 days from tour departure date.
  • For tour departure dates between 1 March and 31 October a cancellation fee equivalent to 20% of the total tour cost for cancellations 60 – 30 days prior.
  • For tour departure dates between 1 November to 28 Feb 28 a cancellation fee equivalent to 50% of the total tour cost for cancellations 90 – 60 days prior.
  • For tour departure dates between 1 March and 31 October – If a cancellation for a charter is made within 30 to 15 days of the charter date, deposit or full payment is refunded less 20% of charter fee, only if West End Charters can rebook the boat to another customer. In the event West End Charters cannot rebook the boat, the customer is only entitled to a 20% refund of total charter amount. For cancellations within 14 days or less of the tour departure date, no refunds will be issued.
  • For tour departure dates between 1 November to 28 Feb 28 – If a cancellation for a charter is made within 60 to 30 days of the charter date, deposit or full payment is refunded less 50% of charter fee, only if West End Charters can rebook the boat to another customer. In the event West End Charters cannot rebook the boat, the customer is only entitled to a 50% refund of total charter amount. For cancellations within 30 days or less of the tour departure date, no refunds will be issued.
  • Cancellation due to inclement or unsafe weather will be made at the Master’s discretion and every attempt will be made to reschedule the charter to suit the client. If West End Charters is unable to reschedule the charter at a mutually convenient time with the client, then 50% of the total fees will be refunded.

The above cancellation fees are charged at the company’s absolute discretion, but can be waived under special circumstances in arrangement with the company.
No refund will be issued upon failure to join the tour or if a choice is made to depart the tour, for whatever reason before the scheduled completion of the tour. Exceptions can be made in the case where an agreement has been sought with the company at least 21 days prior to the tour departure.
In extreme cases of passenger (or crew) illness or injury and where the decision is made by the Master or crew to cease operating the outing to ensure the person’s well-being, West End Charters are not responsible or obliged to give refunds or offer an alternate outing in the event the charter is finished early or cancelled because of illness or injury.

Is there a Bond payable?

A bond is payable on all charters. The amount of the bond will be $1,000 unless otherwise stated. The bond amount may be greater from boat to boat and sometimes dependent on the type of event

When will my Bond be refunded?

Bond will be refunded in full within 14 days after the cruise has taken place, unless the crew has notified any of the following have occurred:

  • Loss or damage to the vessel or its fixtures, equipment or fittings, caused by the Charterer’s Group;
  • Damage caused by the Charterer’s Group to any fixtures, equipment or any property to the jetties carpark or facilities;
  • Anyone within the Charterer’s Group, with or without intent, jumps or falls overboard;
  • Having to call the Water Police or Ambulance due to any inappropriate behaviour, drug use or intoxication;
  • Excessive uncleanliness or extra cleaning required caused by the Charterer’s Group.
  • Failure to disembark within the 5-15 minute allocated disembark time

Although the refund of your bond may take up to 14 days to return, it usually happens a lot quicker providing none of your bond stipulations have been contravened.

Safety

West End Charters has been operating since 1985. Safety is paramount on our vessel and as professional mariners, our first duty is the safety and readiness of the ship, and then to the safety of passengers and crew.

West End’s vessels are licensed, commercial charter vessels and have strict licensing requirements with both state and federal government departments and authorities.

A few include:

  • The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA);
  • The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA);
  • The Dept. of Transport (DOT);
  • The Rottnest Island Authority;
  • The Swan River Trust;
  • The Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW); and
  • The Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor.

Our company operates under an AMSA Safety Management System, which our crew adheres to. Our vessels are inspected annually by an AMSA accredited Marine Surveyor. West End II in survey for both 1B and 1D. Thevenard is in survey 2C.

Our crew have first aid training and are RSA accredited and will be following RSA guidelines on charters.

We will need a completed passenger manifest prior to the vessel departing. The form will be emailed to the organiser with charter paperwork.

  1. At the start of each charter, our skipper will conduct a safety briefing.
  2. Safety procedures must be observed at all times. The Master’s decision on the day is final in all matters relating to the vessel and the dories / tenders.
  3. Instructions or advice given by the Master or crew on matters of safety must be observed by all on board and clients must at all times take all reasonable precautions for their own safety.
  4. Any breakages, loss of equipment provided or damage caused on board as a result of clients misbehaviour, irresponsibility or carelessness will be charged to the client.
  5. If any passenger found to be in possession of anything illegal; or engaging in behaviour causing danger to themselves or other persons or property on board, including consumption of alcohol to excess, then he or she will be put ashore at the first opportunity and the authorities notified as may be necessary. Any such passenger shall fully release, discharge and indemnify the Vessel Owner / Master from any liabilities incidental costs or responsibility arising out of any breach of this condition.
  6. All persons on the charter must wear appropriate footwear, being flat non-marking footwear. The master is authorised to direct any person to remove footwear that does not meet this requirement.
  7. Neither the Master nor deckhand accepts any liability for any accident or injury incurred by any passenger on board the vessel engaged in fishing, angling, diving, sightseeing, photography, filming whilst in transit or similar activities, caused by actions of any other passengers on board howsoever occurring.
  8. The laws of Western Australia shall govern any legal action or proceedings arising out of or connected with this contract.

What happens if the Weather is bad?

If the cruise is in the river it is rarely affected by the wind as the water is sheltered. As for the rain, all of the boats are have an undercover back deck to protect you. With this in mind, we rarely cancel cruises. If however the weather is really bad and the skipper deems it is unsafe, your cruise may be cancelled or moved to another time.

Weather Conditions

As with all charter companies, we cannot guarantee a blue sky with light winds. West End Charters endeavour to operate all charters in safe and appropriate weather conditions. Weather is monitored closely at all times and in the event the conditions are considered to be unsafe West End Charters reserve the right to cancel charters up until the intended departure time.
 
When you book we will ask you for a contact telephone number for where you are staying – preferably a mobile that you will be carrying with you on the day of your cruise. If we need to cancel we will contact you to see if you can reschedule for another date. On very rare occasions we have to cancel a tour due to weather at the very last minute. This means our office may be trying to contact you between 6.00 – 7.00am on the morning of your cruise, so it would be helpful if you could have your mobiles switched on just in case.
 
If the cruise is in the river it is rarely affected by the wind as the water is sheltered by a lot of land. As for the rain, all of the boats are have an undercover back deck to protect you. So with this in mind, we rarely cancel cruises.
 
“Strong wind warning” as issued by the WA Bureau of Meteorology it is assumed to be unsuitable weather if the charter is to be conducted in exposed waters, i.e. Rottnest Island Charters. In this case, the vessel’s Master has complete authority to make the decision of cancellation or an alternative itinerary.
 
All effort is made to give as much prior notice of cancellation as possible but no liability is accepted for inconvenience or last minute change of charter plans by West End Charters. Passengers have the option to reschedule a booking for another mutually convenient charter date in this instance.
 
Cancellation due to inclement or unsafe weather will be made at the Master’s discretion and every attempt will be made to reschedule the charter to suit the client within 6 months of the original charter date; or offer an alternative Itinerary for the day.
 
Payment will still apply for catering or optional staff arrangements in the event of postponement.
 
If West End Charters is unable to reschedule the charter at a time that is mutually convenient with the client then 50% of the total fees will be refunded. Rescheduled charters must be used within 6 months of the original booking date.

Duty of Care

Our vessel has full Public Liability Insurance. Prior to departure, every trip will start with a safety brief. A Passenger Log must also be completed prior to departure so we know how many and who is on board – including any relevant medical conditions.
 
During this safety brief, all clients will be requested to notify us of any pre-existing conditions or medication requirements. All pre-existing medical conditions or medication will be recorded in the vessel logbook.
 
Disclosure of a pre-existing condition or mediation could result in the Captain/Master advising that weather conditions are not suitable for that passenger to participate in that particular trip. If this does occur, the passenger with the condition may not be permitted to undertake the trip or that the trip needs to be modified to suit that passenger. Non-disclosure of a pre-existing condition or mediation is considered negligent and West End Charters takes no responsibility should an incident arise.
 
West End Charters emphasise the risks of personal injury or loss of life, damage to or loss of property that can be sustained on boats. Alcohol consumption does affect your ability to adapt to the conditions present at sea and stress the importance of minimal alcohol consumption levels.
 
The Master of the trip has the right to instruct that any passenger – at any time wear a life jacket.

Can we have a few Extra Passengers over the Maximum Passenger Number?

No, you cannot exceed the maximum passenger number allowed. Commercial vessels are licensed and regulated by AMSA and can only take the maximum number of passengers for its license. Under no circumstances are our vessels able to extend their maximum capacity. The maximum passenger number is specified for each vessel in our fleet and we cannot exceed that number.

What is included on the boat?

  • Sound system to connect your Android smartphone; iPod or iPhone and play your music;
  • BBQ and our crew to cook. The boat must be stopped at anchor or on a mooring to use the BBQ for safety reasons;
  • BBQ utensils, serving food trays, oil, alfoil;
  • Complimentary tea/coffee – please order from our crew;
  • Removal of all rubbish and bin bags;
  • All toiletries for the toilet;
  • Dishwashing liquid, tea towels however our crew will do the washing up;
  • Large ice boxes for your drinks;
  • Fridge, freezer, convection microwave , toaster oven;
  • Serving spoons, platters, bowls etc;
  • 6 assorted snorkelling sets – 2 small, 2 medium and 2 large; and
  • 2 kayaks and paddles.

If ordering our catering, quality disposable plates, napkins, and cutlery, are supplied. If you self-cater but would like us to arrange the essentials there is a $50 fee. Please request when booking.

Food – BYO or catered

You can BYO food; or you can order with us at 28 days before your charter. If BBQ’ing allow at least one hour of time to stop and cook because of safety issues.
 
If you’re bringing along your own food that requires cooking we would recommend BBQ based menu as we only have a small oven and a convection microwave oven on board. There is small fridge and two small freezers on board – along with several larger ice boxes.
 
Some of the things that you might like to bring along are any condiments (e.g.: tomato sauce, mayonnaise, salt, pepper etc.), napkins, quality disposable plates, platters and serving dishes.
 
Alternatively feel free to arrange your own caterer or we can recommend some. If you are choosing your own caterer, please have them call our office to discuss utensils and facilities etc on board.
 
Any catering ordered through West End Charters via a third party caterer will incur a 20% handling fee and must be paid for in full 14 days before the charter. In the event of rescheduling or cancellation, there are no catering refunds.

Drinks and Liquor

Please remember that your safety and enjoyment are our main concern. Being on a boat is not a license or excuse to get drunk. Boats and water can be dangerous enough when sober. As with licensed venues (like pubs and hotels), intoxicated passengers will not be tolerated and may cause a charter to be terminated without refund.

Drinks and ice are BYO. Please ensure that you not only bring enough alcoholic beverages but plenty of water and non-alcoholic alternatives, especially in the warmer months.
On our vessels that allow you to BYO liquor – substantial food must be provided. The vessel will not leave the wharf without food unless organised prior that no food is required. Alternatively, we can suggest our recommended caterers.

We operate under exemptions to the Liquor Control Act 1988. West End vessels are prescribed as regulated premises under regulation 18, therefore offense provisions apply to the sale/supply of liquor to juveniles and drunken persons.

We are a BYO vessel and as such when our clients are chartering our vessel for a private event such as birthday, anniversary, wedding, corporate staff party, hens party, staff Christmas party or any celebration – where you are supplying alcohol complimentary and are NOT SELLING the alcohol to your guests, then these boat functions are EXEMPT from liquor licensing regulations regardless of the duration and number of guests.

Despite being exempt from the application of the Act, offense provisions apply if a juvenile or drunk person is sold, supplied or permitted to consume liquor on the premises. The penalty for a breach of the Act is a fine of up to $10,000.

Section 3A of the Act states that a person is ‘drunk’ for the purposes of the Act if:

  • The person is on licensed or regulated premises; and
  • The person’s speech, balance, coordination or behaviour appears to be noticeably impaired; and
  • It is reasonable in the circumstances to believe that that impairment results from the consumption of liquor.

Our crew are Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) trained and will be following RSA guidelines on all charters.

It is the Master and crew’s job to ensure that liquor is not consumed by juveniles or drunk persons on the vessel.

This information has come from The Department of Racing, Gaming, and Liquor, so please feel free to call or email their office if you are still unsure. http://www.rgl.wa.gov.au/home

Waitressing

We do not supply wait staff on our charters. Our crew will cook the BBQ for you but all food will be placed on main table for your guests to help themselves. Our crew are mainly there to follow our safety procedures and ensure the safe operations of the boat.
 
If you would like us to provide wait staff they can be provided at an hourly rate, please request when booking. The hourly rate depends on the day and time and is usually around $38 per hour [excluding public holidays].

Set up prior to Charter

Included in your charter hire is a 10 – 15 minute window before your charter, where our vessel will be at the departure jetty for you. At this time, we suggest any catering, drinks, ice be delivered for our crew to load your drinks and ice into our iceboxes and handle your catering.
 
At this time, the event organiser is welcome to board vessel to decorate if needed. However, the rest of the party will need to wait on the jetty till the departure time. Once the crew and skipper are in place and ready to assist guests, then boarding can begin. If you require additional, setup time, please request when booking as a surcharge will apply.

Party Decorations

Please check with our office as some products are not allowed because they can lift paint or stain when wet from the dyes used. Products to avoid are – sticky tape; confetti and coloured streamers [when wet they can stain our white boat]; no sparklers or no candles because of the fire risk on a boat; glitter.
 
Flowers, bunting, balloons, table arrangements are generally OK.

When can we board the vessel?

Our vessels use public jetties for your trip. DOT license us to use the jetties, and only allow a maximum boarding / disembark time of up to 15 minutes. We are monitored and can be fined at peak times if we exceed the allowed times especially at busy jetties such as Barrack Street, Perth.
 
Once the boat is safely alongside and tied up, wait for crew directions before getting on and off the boat and loading / unloading of supplies and belongings.
Please chat with us, if you require extra time and we will try our best to accommodate your request.

What time should I tell my guests to arrive?

To avoid latecomers it is a good idea to tell your guests to arrive at least 15-30 minutes before your departure time. We have experienced clients losing up to a third of their charter time waiting for late comers. We will not extend the charter beyond the booked time without further payment; and assuming there is not a subsequent charter booked. For example if your function sets sail at 6pm have your guests arrive at 5.30pm to 5.45pm.

Can we stop to pick up late Guests / Entertainers or drop off the photographer?

It is possible, but is advisable to have as few stops as possible. It takes a while to dock a boat and it can be quite disruptive to the cruise journey – you lose cruise time.
 
However, if you need to pick up or drop off entertainment during your cruise – that’s fine, we do this all the time. Contact our office about the best pickup location for your entertainment prior to the day of the cruise.

What should I bring?

  • Sun block & wide brimmed sunhat.
  • Polaroid sunglasses for improved underwater visibility.
  • A beach towel if swimming.
  • Soft soled shoes for the deck & beach/reef shoes.
  • A camera.
  • Soft bags for easy stowage.
  • IPod, IPhone or Android smartphone loaded with your favourite tunes (all boats come with an iPod and other jacks / adapters).
  • All your food & drinks.
  • Please leave esky’s in your car as we do not allow esky’s on-board because they take up deck room.
  • A sense of adventure.

What type of Clothing should we wear?

Dress for the conditions, casual and comfortable layered clothing is recommended. Make sure you wear a hat and sunscreen to protect you from the hot Aussie sun. Bring a warm jacket as the sea breeze can be cool even in summer.
 
Use protection such as clothing, hats, sunglasses and sunscreen to avoid both direct sunlight and reflected UV radiation from the water. Please bring drinking water and personal sunblock / lip sunblock with you.
 
For a sunny day, choose clothing that:

  • Covers as much skin as possible eg. shirts with long sleeves and high necks/collars;
  • Is made from close weave materials such as cotton, polyester/cotton and linen;
  • If used for swimming, is made from materials such as lycra, which stays sun protective when wet.

A broad-brimmed, legionnaire or bucket style hat provides good protection for the face, nose, neck and ears. Caps and visors do not provide enough protection. Choose a hat made with closely woven fabric – if you can see through it, UV radiation will get through. Hats may not protect you from UV radiation reflected from the water.
 
You should also wear sunglasses and sunscreen. Choose close-fitting wrap-around sunglasses that meet the Australian Standard AS 1067. Sunglasses are as important for children as they are for adults.
 
For evening or cooler day’s charters, be sure to bring a jacket that will cut the breeze and keep you warm. Water resistant is recommended.
It is recommended that loose jewellery and accessories be left behind. West End Charters do not accept responsibility for damage or loss to any personal property during the charters.

Sun Care – Slip on a shirt, Slop on Sunscreen and Slap on a Hat

West End Charters recommends customers/passengers apply sunscreen prior to arrival for day charters. We provide sunscreen on board for customers to use throughout the day at their own discretion. Please help yourself at any time to the sunscreen when on board.
 
We do not provide lip zinc or specific lip sunscreen due to risk of cross contamination of bacteria and viruses. Please bring your own.
 
We also strongly recommend wearing appropriate clothing and head wear to shield your skin from the sun as you are often out for extended periods at full exposure.
 
Make sure your sunscreen is at least 30+ broad spectrum and water-resistant. Don’t use sunscreen to increase the amount of time you spend in the sun and always use with other forms of protection too. Apply sunscreen liberally to clean, dry skin at least 20 minutes before you go outside and reapply every two hours especially when swimming.

Is there a certain type of footwear we should wear?

Being on a boat, you are more likely to be relaxed, having a dance or even swimming, so easy slip on and off shoes are the best. Non marking soles & flat shoes are recommended. With some of our vessels there is a no-shoe policy to avoid damage to teak decking and we may request that you remove your shoes upon boarding, please don’t get offended.

Can we swim off the boat?

On most of our boats you will be able to swim off the boats dive platform.
 
Any person who enters the water from the vessel does so at their own risk. The inherent risks in swimming in harbour or other waters include the risk of drowning; attack by sea fauna; attack by sea mammals; stings and lesions; cuts and scrapes (from sharp objects; and hypothermia. You must advise any person proposing to enter the water of these risks.
 
Please be aware that it is the parent’s responsibility to supervise their children during the cruise. We don’t have staff available to supervise their children while you are in the water. On previous cruises, parents have shared supervision responsibilities by swimming at different times to ensure one parent is always available to supervise the child- we will not allow children to be left on-board the vessel unsupervised.
 
You must adhere to the crew and master’s directions. Please don’t forget your bathers, towels, sunscreen etc.

Snorkelling & Diving Tips

  • West End provides snorkelling gear free of charge – but we don’t provide wetsuits.
  • The waters around Rottnest have the clearest water off Perth.
  • Wetsuits or lycra body suits are recommended for the summer and autumn months providing protection from jellyfish, coral scratches and sunburn.
  • If you are going to take the plunge with your child, we recommend that you spend some time getting your children comfortable with a mask and snorkel before the big day on charter. This will definitely increase enjoyment for both child and parent.
  • Please be aware that it is the parent’s responsibility to supervise their children during the charter.
  • For the first time snorkeler, select protected bays where you can snorkel straight from the boat.

What’s the Water Temperature like?

Water around Fremantle and Garden Island varies throughout the year between 18 °C in winter through to 24 °C during the summer and autumn months.
 
Rottnest Island generally has warmer water temperatures than the coast due to a warm water current known as the Leeuwin Current, ranging from an average of 24°C in summer to 19°C in winter.

What Wildlife could we see?

Western Australia is home to vast range marine animals, including whales, turtles, sharks, sting ray, manta rays, dolphins, seals and sea lions. Year round there are underwater experiences for the qualified scuba diver and the first time snorkeler.

Whales and dolphins

There around 16 species of whales and dolphins found off Fremantle waters.
 
Humpback Whales swim past Rottnest between July and December on their way from the Kimberley to Antarctica for their summer feeding. The peak time for whale watching off Fremantle is late August to early November.
 
A good lookout needs to be maintained during these months and exclusion zones apply.
 
The most common species of dolphin is the Bottlenose Dolphin. They are found year round and may swim under the bow for periods of time when your boat is underway.

How close will Seals and Dolphins come and can we touch them?

They both come incredibly close. The dolphins often enjoy ‘surfing the bow’ of the boat where they sit in the pressure wave created by the movement of the boat’s hull through the water. To ensure that we do not harm the dolphins or seals in any way we have a strict no touch and no feeding policy.
 
You can transmit skin diseases to dolphins or damaging their protective skin layer. People often splash the surface of the water to attract the dolphins’ attention – beware your fingers may look like a fish and people’s hands have been bitten in the past.
 
Seals can be very friendly, swim around and frolic but be aware that they can bite. A seal bite is like a large dog bite / attack.

Are we likely to see any Sharks?

The chances of a shark encounter are very low. To ensure the safest possible environment for our passengers and crew we recommend the use of Shark Shield™ which generate an electric field that produces an intolerable discomfort to the sharks sensory receptors known as Ampullae of Lorenzi (found on the snouts of all predatory sharks) forcing them to veer away and leave the immediate area.

Can I have children on-board?

Yes you can – our vessels are checked for safety by AMSA every year. All children must be supervised by a parent or guardian at all times whilst on-board and especially when swimming.
 
As the parent you need to be 100% comfortable and confident your child’s ability to handle what can be a long day on the ocean. Their comfort will be your full responsibility and understandably if they are not handling the conditions then this may detract from your quality time on the boat; or sight-seeing if you’re wildlife or whale watching.
 
We don’t have staff available to supervise their children while you are in the water. On previous cruises, parents have shared supervision responsibilities by swimming at different times to ensure one parent is always available to supervise the child – we will not allow children to be left on-board the vessel unsupervised.
 
Usually full day trips are better for the children and the parents if they leave the little ones with friends or family at home. Please take your time to make a decision regarding children as this is very important for all involved.
 
We have a few children’s life jackets available, however this depends on the boat and you may need to bring your own. Please inform the office by email or phone if there are any children in your party and their age. Please don’t hesitate to contact us should you have further questions about this.

Does the boat have video games or television so my kids can play or watch them?

No, We believe kids are only out here for a little while and there are enough sights to see and things to do that they can’t do at home – such as having a turn to drive the boat assuming the weather is safe to do so. If seas are not exactly calm, they might need to stay down stairs for safety’s sake. The Master will let you know if it is safe.
 
The ladder upstairs can be slippery and dangerous. We ask you help the little ones come up and down and depending on age, might have to limit the number of times they come upstairs. We don’t want them or anyone else to get hurt.

Where do the Boats Cruise?

There is no set route as such, however if there is something or somewhere you would particularly like to experience on your cruise, please chat with our knowledgeable crew and if time and weather allows, we will endeavour to cater for you.

Can we smoke on your Boats?

Yes, you can smoke at the very back of the boat. Best to check with the crew upon boarding where the designated smoking area is on-board. Appropriate waste buckets for butts are provided on board each charter vessel.
 
Smoking is not permitted throughout the vessel and only a small area outside will be designated as available for passengers to smoke cigarettes where respect and care to the environment is essential. Please take care of our fish and marine wildlife by refraining from throwing your butts in the water

Do your boats have toilets on-board?

All of the boats have at least one toilet on board; some may even have two or more. If you have not eaten it or drank it, please don’t try to flush it. We can only flush limited amounts of toilet paper at a time. Please place baby wipes, feminine products, plastics, etc. in the rubbish bin in toilet

Waiver of Liability for Swimming or Equipment Use

All passengers are required to sign a waiver of liability to participate in swimming, snorkelling or using equipment such as the kayaks. This must be completed on-board the boat on the day of your cruise prior to departure. We respect the passengers right to decline signing the waiver. However, this will result in the passenger not being able to enter the water at any time during the cruise and does not remove the passenger’s obligations stated in our cancellations and conditions policy.

Sea Sickness

Anyone can get motion sickness (sometimes called ‘travel’, ‘car’ or ‘sea’ sickness), but it affects some people more than others, especially women, and children aged between 3 and 12 years. About 30% of the general population get motion sickness when travelling by air, car, sea or train, with 5% experiencing severe symptoms. Seasickness symptoms arise due to conflicting sensory information between the inner ear, eyes, and brain. In essence, your brain thinks it’s moving more than it actually is.
 
It is recommended passengers use sea sickness tablets according to personal needs. It is unusual for passengers to get seasick on our rivers cruises. As West End II is a catamaran she is quite stable, with passengers usually experiencing a better ride that a normal single hulled vessel.
 
West End Charters do not supply seasickness tablets as they may interfere with other medication you are on or pre-existing medical conditions. In the event a passenger gets seasick, West End cannot bring any passenger back to Jetty until the charter is completed. In extreme cases of passenger (or crew) illness or injury and where the decision is made by the Master or crew to cease operating the outing to ensure the person’s well-being,
 
West End Charters are not responsible or obliged to give cash refunds or offer an alternate outing in the event the charter is finished early or cancelled.
Should you or your passengers choose to use sea sickness tablets follow the directions on the packet. Hyoscine hydrobromide (brands include Kwells and Travacalm HO) is the main medicine used for motion sickness and is available in pharmacies ‘over the counter’ in Australia.
 
Our experience shows that alternative or natural sea sickness therapies usually don’t work – for example ginger tablets or wrist pressure bands.
 
If you take a medicine, you will usually need to take it before your journey to prevent symptoms developing – say the night before, and again when you get up before getting on the boat. Motion sickness delays digestion, so your body will not absorb a medicine as well if you take it when you already have symptoms. Taking them when you get on the boat or start to feel sick is usually too late.

Our top tips for Managing Seasickness

  • In most cases seasickness tablets can prevent you from getting sick.
  • If you wish to take seasickness tablets to reduce the risk of being sick you will need to purchase these tablets from a chemist before the charter and read the directions in regard to taking them. Please contact your physician to check if these tablets interfere with your other medications.
  • If you are using seasickness tablets, take them before your journey to prevent symptoms developing – say the night before, and again when you get up, at least an hour before getting on the boat. Again – check directions on the packet prior to taking them.
  • Keep your gaze fixed on the horizon or on a fixed point until your inner ears and brain better synchronize with each other in terms of movement. Use the horizon as a point to maintain your equilibrium or looking out the window also gives you a view of the horizon point.
  • Take every opportunity to get back in the water. Even if you are feeling absolutely terrible! It’s amazing how quickly you recover once you are off the boat and refreshed by the water.
  • Don’t go into the toilets or cabin to be sick. Warm, confined spaces will only make you feel worse.
  • If you are going to throw up, please do so over the side of the boat to avoid the chain reaction effect!
  • Sip water- if you are being sick it is important to stay hydrated.
  • Keep your body temperature on the cooler side.
  • If you wear glasses or sunglasses keep the lenses clean at all times.
  • Avoid looking down at phones, through cameras, binoculars, reading books etc.
  • Stay away from acidic foods before the cruise such as orange juice and coffee.
  • If you start to feel sick, let our crew know so we can assist.

Do we have to get rid of the Rubbish at the end of the Cruise?

No, the crew will remove your rubbish for you. On board all of the boats, we provide bin bags and bins to allow you to place your rubbish into throughout the cruise.

Forgotten Personal Effects and Belongings

Ensure that you take all of your belongings at the completion of charter. We are not responsible for any of your belongings that you leave on the vessel. If you leave something on the boat, please call us on the next business day and we will do our best to check the boat before the next charter and if found, arrange a suitable time and place for you to collect it. Our experience shows that missing items have usually been included with other passengers’ belongings.

Do we need to tip the Captain and Crew?

Tipping the captain and crew is your prerogative. If he does a good job, it is always appreciated. The Master’s main focus is to ensure the boat, clients and crew are taken care.
 
On fishing charters the deckhand expects to be tipped for good service. You will need to have at least a 20% (minimum) fee in cash for the deckhand. For a day trip, that means at least $250. You pay him after the trip and after he has cleaned and bagged your fish. If you have someone else covering the fee for the deckhand, make sure they do not short him. They often seem unaware of the cost of the deckhands’ services.

Alcohol Policy

If a group; or members / individuals arrives for their charter clearly under the influence of alcohol and the Master is of the opinion that the group; or members / individuals are not in a suitable condition to take part in the charter, the trip will be cancelled and the full amount of charter will be forfeited.

The Master reserves the right to refuse boarding to any person he/she believes is intoxicated prior to the commencement of the trip. During a trip, should the consumption of alcohol result in unruly behaviour, the Master reserves the right to terminate the trip without refund.

Responsible service and consumption of alcohol must take place at all times for both personal and vessel safety. The responsible service of alcohol is a key requirement of the Liquor Control Act 1988. It is against the law to sell or supply liquor to a person who is noticeably intoxicated. Sections 3A & 115(2) – Liquor Control Act 1988.

It is permissible for a reasonable amount of alcohol to be brought aboard for personal consumption – a reasonable amount is considered no more than 2 cans (375ml or less of full strength beer or pre-mix) per person per hour. The Master has the right to refuse to allow any alcohol to be brought onto the vessel. This may happen when the Master believes consumption of alcohol could result in unsafe behaviour whilst on-board the vessel.

Substantial food is to be provided from the beginning of the charter if guests are drinking, with enough bottled water to be provided for all guests during the cruise and upon departure from the vessel. The Master reserves the right to notify Police of the imminent return to the Water Police for Drunk & Disorderly customers. Any equipment lost due to negligence will be charged to the credit card supplied for security purposes.

West End Charters emphasise the risks of personal injury or loss of life, damage to or loss of property that can be sustained on boats. Alcohol consumption does affect your ability to adapt to the conditions present at sea and stress the importance of minimal alcohol consumption levels.

West End Charters are alleviated from any liability caused from passengers not adhering to or conforming to stated recommendations and rules outlined by crew on board the vessel.

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES ARE BOTTLES OF STRAIGHT SPIRITS TO BE BROUGHT ON BOARD FOR CONSUMPTION. SPIRITS OR MIXED DRINKS MAY ONLY BE CONSUMED IN PRE-MIXED / READY TO DRINK (RTD) CAN FORM. ALCOHOL IS PREFERRED IN CANS.

How do we get our drinks and ice to the boat?

We recommend trying the Perth Flying Squadron Yacht Club (PFYSC)  as they can deliver your order straight onto the boat, usually before the charter. You should order about a month before your event. You will need to pay PFSYC direct prior, but we can organise the delivery. PFSYC can be telephoned on 9386-6437 or email functions@pfsyc.asn.au

Our crew will meet them and unpack the drinks and load the ice and drinks into our onboard ice boxes. Although there is no set rule of knowing how much ice to bring, it all depends on the length of your charter, whether on the day, how many people you have and amount of drinks you are bringing. As a rough guide, we suggest around 1 bag of ice per carton of drinks plus one for the esky. Assuming 20 plus people – We recommend 50kg of ice for a 4-hour charter. As the boat already has several eskies on-board there is no need to bring any additional eskies.

Behaviour & Conduct of Passengers

Our staff are not to be insulted, sworn at, abused or defamed. The Master reserves the right to cancel any trip or return to the nearest Port any individual without refund where staff are being harassed and/or abused.
 
It is a requirement that all Customers behave in a respectful manner whether that be prior to, during or after the charter, having full consideration for all other users of the jetty and its immediate vicinity. Obscenities and unruly behaviour will not be tolerated under any circumstance and may result in your booking being cancelled and payment and / or bond being forfeited.

Liability Conditions

West End Charters offer charters involving some physical activity and adventure itineraries, and is personal choice. This being the case, West End Charters expects each passenger to understand any risks involved and is personally able to accept such risks as part of the charter offered.
 
Any person who enters the water from the vessel does so at their own risk. The inherent risks in swimming in harbour or other waters include but are not limited the risk of drowning; attack by sea fauna; attack by sea mammals; stings and lesions; cuts and scrapes (from sharp objects); boat or propeller strike; and hypothermia. You must advise any person proposing to enter the water of these risks.
 
If we make available to you any recreational water craft (such as a kayak) or vehicles (such as a tender) you agree to use it only as directed and you acknowledge the risks involved in using it. Those risks include, in addition to the risks specified previously, muscular injury, propeller strike injury and injuries caused by collision with other vessels or caused by running aground the watercraft or vehicle.
 
You will compensate us for any damage caused to any water craft or vehicle we make available for your use. The availability of the water craft or vehicle will be at the discretion of the master.
West End Charters will undertake to deliver services at indicated times. However, does not accept any losses, costs or expenses suffered as a result of any delay in the delivery of services.
West End Charters does not accept any liability for breach of contract when such things as force majeure, war, industrial dispute, civil unrest or natural disaster, inclusive of weather conditions and passenger illness or injury that would prevent West End Charters from operating in some capacity.
 
Under no circumstances are passengers allowed onto the fly bridge area. This area is strictly out of bounds unless invited by the Master or crew.

I know that your Master and Crew are not sailors, but do they curse as if they were?

Most of our crew are ‘Rated G’ and a few are ‘PG 13’. G: Our crew will not use profanity, foul or offensive language, or wear offensive clothing. They are of non-smoking, sober habits and under AMSA rules for commercial vessels, are not allowed to consume alcohol whilst working. You can bring your children or grandparents without fear of offence to your family or your values.

Why Cruise with West End Charters

We have been servicing Western Australia and organised thousands of boat charters as a family owned business since 1985; ensuring clients have the best possible experience on the day with our extensive experience for your enjoyment.
 
Our qualified and licensed Captains and crew have spent many years experiencing and enjoying the delights of the Western Australian coast and Swan River. We have been fortunate enough to visit many amazing places and experience the environment that only W.A. can offer.
 
Many West Australians have never experienced the islands off Fremantle of the other many places and islands along the W.A. Coast. There are many locations in the Swan River, Rottnest Island, Carnac Island and Garden Island which lay undiscovered to the average West Australian and tourist. West End II has a very shallow draft allowing her to get into areas and bays that most other charter vessels cannot get into.
 
There is a diverse range of marine wildlife off of the Perth coast that may surprise and delight you. You will have the opportunity to observe seals, sea lions, whales, dolphins, sharks, fish, stingrays and sea birds in their natural environment.
 
When aboard West End you will be in a safe and friendly environment and our qualified and experienced crew will do everything possible to ensure your safety.

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