Shared Mooring System (SMS)

The Shared Mooring System encompasses access for both licensees and authorised users to the licenced moorings around the Island.

SMS authorised user access
Mooring licensees may nominate owners of other suitably sized vessels to use their mooring. This permission must be submitted on the “Authorised User Application” form. Authorised user status is only recognised with the display of a valid sticker and no other form of authorisation is acceptable.

Application forms must be processed well in advance of an island visit and appropriate stickers must be issued and displayed before accessing the moorings within the SMS.

Licensees maintain priority use of their mooring at all times and authorised users must contact the licensee to establish the mooring availability. Please refer to these guidelines

SMS casual access
As part of the Shared Mooring System, licensees and authorised users are also permitted to use other moorings within the SMS on a casual basis. The SMS uses a colour-coded disc system to indicate the appropriate vessel size for each mooring. Licensees and authorised users can only use moorings that have the suitable colour disc as displayed on their licensee or authorised-user sticker.

Operators of vessels using the SMS system should remain on their vessel during casual use. They can leave their vessel for up to 20 minutes if required but must display their contact mobile phone number for licensees and authorised users to contact them.

Licensees maintain priority use of their own moorings at all times. Authorised users of the site have priority over casual users. A competent operator must be available to move the vessel immediately should the licensee or any nominated authorised user arrive.

Persons not adhering to the SMS conditions of use may have their permission cancelled.

Please refer to the SMS Guidelines and Priority of Access

Guidelines and conditions of SMS casual access
Licensees and authorised users using other moorings using the colour coded discs should note the following rules:

  • The coloured disc attached to the mooring buoys indicate the rated vessel size for that mooring. Vessels can only use moorings that have the same colour disc as that displayed on their licensee or authorised user sticker.
  • During casual access, a competent operator must remain on board the vessel so that it can be moved immediately should the licensee or any nominated authorised user arrive to use the mooring site. 
  • Should you need to leave your vessel, you are permitted to do so for up to 20 minutes as long as you clearly display your name and contact mobile phone number and remain contactable.
  • Moorings under the SMS are available on a first-in/best-dressed basis.  Only the licensee’s vessel or an authorised user for that site has priority use. A licensee’s vessel has priority over the use of their mooring site at all times.
  • Moorings with green floats are Rottnest Island Authority rental moorings. These are not permitted for use without prior approval from the Rottnest Island Visitor Centre (to ensure the hire mooring is not already booked). Approval can be given after contacting (08) 9372 9730.

How to apply for the SMS
To use licenced moorings on Rottnest Island, boat owners must apply to become an authorised user or a mooring licensee.

Applicants are put on a waiting list for a suitable site. Waitlist applications are not permitted to access moorings within the SMS.

Steps to apply for authorised use:

  1. Complete the application form
  2. Submit application form with vessel’s registration and insurance paperwork. This is to confirm ownership, vessel length and adequate public liability cover. 
  3. All applications received are processed in order of receipt.
  4. Applications can take up to 10 business days to process.
  5. Once processed and approved, an authorised user sticker will be mailed to the applicant. This sticker needs to be displayed on the port side of the relevant vessel. Unless a sticker is displayed, entry to the Reserve and access to the SMS is not permitted.

If an applicant travels to the Island before the application is processed, payment of individual admission fees can become a partial payment towards the annual admission fee component of the authorised user application for the vessel. To apply for partial payment:

  • Attach a receipt confirming your individual admission fee payment and date of travel to the authorised user application.
  • Send your completed application with the balance of payment within 14-days of your previous visit to be eligible for the deduction.

Tender and additional vessel management

  • A tender is a vessel 3.75m long or less. Vessels of this length do not need to pay admission fees.
  • All vessels longer than 3.75m are classed as “additional vessels” and must pay admission fees.
  • Tender vessels owned by the licensee must be registered as an additional vessel on the Rottnest Island Authority moorings database to the mooring site license. Registration and insurance documents must be supplied. These can then be left on a licensee’s mooring between 1 October and 30 April each season, at the licensee’s own risk. They cannot be tied to a mooring that prevents the use of the mooring by other SMS vessels.

Secondary vessel guidelines
The Shared Mooring System allows for a suitable vessel to be tied alongside to a licensee’s or authorised user’s primary vessel while on a certified mooring. When a vessel is tied alongside another vessel is it termed a “secondary vessel”.

The following guidelines apply:

  • Licensees need to approach their mooring contractor direct with a request for the mooring to be certified for an additional vessel.
  • All moorings have potential to be approved for vessels alongside up to 6.75m with the mooring contractors’ certification. Only moorings with a certified maximum vessel length of 20m or more can be approved for suitable secondary vessels up to 10m by their mooring contractor.
  • If the mooring site contractor considers the site suitable, they can certify it accordingly.
  • The mooring buoy must clearly identify that the apparatus has been certified for additional vessels by the mooring contractor by adhesive stickers “+6.75m” or “+ 10m” as applicable.
  • Mooring site licensees must provide the written certification to the Rottnest Island Authority, confirming the mooring will support the rafting of both primary vessel and the registered secondary vessel on the site.
  • There is no option for other sized categories for additional vessel certification.
Also note that the following criteria applies:

  • A suitable secondary vessel is a rigid inflatable vessel; or a vessel fitted with a permanent air or foam filled collar. The Rottnest Island Authority reserves the right to determine if secondary vessels meet these specifications.
  • All vessels tying alongside the main vessel while on the mooring need to have paid appropriate admission fees and have adequate insurance.
  • Only vessels that are authorised users or licensees and displaying the current stickers can use a mooring independently.
  • The secondary vessel must be rafted along the port side only and cannot swing off the stern.
  • The secondary vessel cannot exceed the mother vessel in length.
  • Mooring site licensees or authorised users may only have one secondary vessel rafted to the nominated mother vessel on a mooring site at any time. They may also have a tender (under 3.75m) alongside, but this is only if safety and access to other moorings is not impeded.
Due to congestion and manoeuvrability issues within moorings areas, the Rottnest Island Authority requires tenders to be tied alongside the main vessel (rather than off the transom) to improve access, safety and minimise congestion in the bays.