Suitable vessels, apparatus, installation and maintenance for private moorings

To hold a private mooring licence, your vessel must be visually suitable and seaworthy. You are also responsible for installation and maintenance of the mooring apparatus.

Visual suitability of vessels on moorings

Vessels moored on a private mooring are subject to a number of conditions. Your vessel 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 are used to assess your vessel’s visual suitability for a mooring:

  • The vessel must be of a style considered by Transport for NSW 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 Transport.
    • 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:

  • no temporary repairs that are visually obvious (patched up) without written approval from Transport
  • being kept clean and tidy
  • being kept free of bird droppings, vermin and insects
  • 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 Transport
  • The vessel must not be used as a repository for refuse, garbage, or 'junk'.

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

Mooring apparatus

Any costs associated with buying, installing and servicing mooring apparatus are your responsibility. On cancellation, you’ll need to remove the apparatus from the seabed.


For private moorings, marker buoys must be yellow and clearly displayed at all times. The issued mooring number should be written on the buoys in characters at least 50mm high.

We recommend you use 1 of the commercially available buoys supplied by ship chandlers or mooring contractors.

Mooring installation and maintenance

Moorings must be adequately maintained, so that they are able to secure the vessel in the worst conditions.

We recommend you engage an experienced mooring contractor to ensure your mooring is installed correctly and use only quality materials. The mooring apparatus must be serviced every 12 months or more frequently if it is subject to specific mooring conditions. You must show proof of mooring service to us on request.

If you fail to service your mooring your private mooring licence may be cancelled and your liability insurance may become null and void.

If you fail to maintain your mooring and your vessel detaches and comes adrift, you'll be responsible for any associated damage. Penalties may also apply.


Your vessel must not be absent from its mooring for more than 28 consecutive days without written approval from Transport. You can fill out a Private Mooring Licence Request for Vacancy and submit it at any service centre, or post or email it to the address on the form.

While your vessel is absent from the mooring, no other vessel is authorised to occupy the site.

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