Shared Mooring System

Mooring Licencees

With the exception of Rottnest Island Authority rental moorings, all moorings in Rottnest Island waters are licensed to private boat owners. There is a waiting list to become a mooring licensee.

Applications to join the moorings waitlist will incur an administration fee (see Admission Fees and Forms). Licensed moorings may only be used by licensees or their authorised users. Penalties apply to any other vessel using a licensed mooring. Contact the Marine Administration Officer on +61 8 9432 9320.

New Applications

The Rottnest Island Authority wishes to advise that all applications received for Annual, Authorised Users and additional moorings site allocations are processed in order of receipt.  The Moorings Team endeavours to process all applications as quickly as possible. It is estimated that any application will take 10 working days to process.  

Any persons seeking to obtain an Annual Admission stickers are advised to pay admissions fees online at 

Admissions fees paid can be credited towards your Annual Admissions on receipt of your receipt within 14 days. Please forward your receipt, date of payment, and vessels details to the RIA to enable this to occur.

Authorised Users

A Mooring Licensee may nominate owners of other suitably sized vessels to use their mooring. This permission must be given on the official form available from the RIA's Fremantle Administration Office or on our website. Authorised User status is only recognised on display of a valid sticker. Admission Fees and Forms must be processed and appropriate stickers issued well in advance of your visit to the Island.

If you wish to become an Authorised User of a mooring during the boating season, you can nominate yourself to the RIA. Following completion of Admission Fees and Forms, you will be allocated use of suitable moorings depending on availability. Please note that licensees maintain priority use of their own mooring at all times.

Tender and Secondary Vessel Management

In order to manage the use of secondary vessels the guidelines below have been implemented. “Tenders” are defined as less than 3.75m.  All vessels greater than 3.75m are classed and treated as “secondary vessels” and must comply with current regulations. The system allows such vessels that are part of the Shared Mooring System (SMS) to be tied alongside to a Licensee’s or Authorised User’s primary vessel whilst on a certified mooring. 

Licensees need to approach their contractor direct with their request. 

  • All moorings have potential to be approved for vessels alongside up to 6.75m with the mooring contractors’ certification. 
  • Only moorings with an approved and certified maximum vessel length of 20.0m or more can be approved for additional suitable vessels up to 10.0m. 
If the mooring site contractor considers the site suitable then they can certify it accordingly. The Mooring site licensees must provide written certification to the RIA from their mooring contractor that the mooring apparatus will support the rafting of both primary vessel and registered secondary vessel on the site. 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. There is no option for other size categories for additional vessel certification.

Also note that the following criteria apply: 

  • Suitable vessel is a rigid inflatable vessel (RIB) means, a vessel fitted with a permanent air or foam filled collar.  The RIA reserves the right to determine if any additional vessel meets these specifications.
  • All vessels tying alongside the main (mother) vessel while on the mooring need to have paid appropriate admission fees. Only vessels that are authorised users or licensees can use the mooring independently.  
  • Secondary vessels must be registered on the RIA moorings database to the mooring site Licensee or Authorised User applicant. Registration and insurance documents must be supplied to the RIA with appropriate payment of admission fees. 
  • Secondary vessels must have adequate insurance as do all vessels entering the Rottnest Reserve.
  • Mooring site Licensees or Authorised users may only have one secondary vessel rafted to the nominated mother vessel on the mooring site at any time. They may also have a tender alongside.
  • The additional vessel must be rafted along the port side only and cannot swing off the stern.
  • The additional vessel cannot exceed the mother vessel in length.
  • All hire swing moorings are certified +6.75m
Due to congestion and manoeuvrability issues within moorings areas, the RIA requires the rafting up of tenders alongside mother ships (rather than off the transom) to improve access, safety and minimise congestion in the bays. 


Rafting of all other vessels excluding those involved detailed above will be managed according to the current Rottnest Island Regulations 1988. That is, such vessels can not raft up to another vessel while on a mooring site.

Unattended Tenders / Secondary Vessels

Under current policy only mooring site Licensees are able to attach and leave a tender/secondary vessel unattended on their mooring during the summer months. This is providing the vessel is secured in a way that does not preclude other vessels within the Shared Mooring System from using the mooring site (ie. authorised users and vessels using the site under casual access). Only Licensees can directly secure their tender or secondary vessel to their own registered mooring site without the primary vessel in attendance. This is not available to authorised users’ tenders. Licensees tenders may be left on moorings between 1 October and 30 April, but outside these dates must be removed from Rottnest Island waters. 


All vessels accessing the Rottnest Island Reserve (other than tenders less than 3.75m) must have paid the appropriate admission fees and clearly display a current RIA sticker.

Casual Access of the Shared Mooring System 

Licensees and Authorised Users of the Rottnest Shared Mooring System (SMS) are also permitted to use other moorings within the SMS on a casual basis. Coloured disc attached to the mooring buoys indicate the rated vessel size for that mooring. The mooring ratings are based on the certified length of a site.

When vessels are using a mooring under the SMS it is “First in Best Dressed”.  Only the Licensee’s vessel or an Authorised User for that site have priority use.

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. Licensees have priority over the use of their own mooring sites at all times.

Colour coded discs have also been added to all hire swing moorings to incorporate them into the Shared Mooring System (SMS). This allows Licensees and Authorised Users to access appropriately sized hire moorings if required whilst waiting for other moorings to become available. The 41 hire moorings all have green floats with the appropriately colour coded discs.  

Conditions for casual use of the rental moorings is that you must first check with the Rottnest Island Visitor Centre by phoning – (08) 9372 9730 to ensure the hire mooring is not already booked and a competent operator must remain on your vessel at all times.

Additional Vessel Length Increase - 10 Metre Additional Vessels on Moorings High demand

The two year trial was deemed successful and has now been implemented, increasing the permitted size of additional vessels from 6.75m to 10.0m for rigid inflatable vessels (RIB) on suitable moorings only. This only applies to moorings certified to hold vessels over 20m. The mooring must then be re-certified by a mooring contractor and have “+ 10m” lettering on the mooring buoy.

The RIA is conscious that many vessels greater than 20m have frequently have an additional vessel greater than 6.75m.  The spirit of this system is to work with vessel owners to enhance their boating experience to the Reserve, whilst still maintaining safe and clear passage between vessels and moorings at all times. Some of the criteria may need to be modified from time to time to achieve a positive outcome.   

These additional vessels should be rafted along the port side whenever possible. Full details and relevant criteria are:

  1.  The RIA must receive from the Licensees chosen mooring contractor written certification that the mooring is suitable.
  2.  The mooring buoy must display “+ 10m” or “+ 6.75m”. There is no optional other sizes for additional vessel certification.
  3. Only rigid inflatable type vessels (RIB) greater than 6.75m but not exceeding 10m.
  4. The additional vessel must be rafted along the port side only and cannot swing off the stern.
  5. Only one addition vessel up to 10 meters is permitted alongside the mother vessel at any one time.
  6. All additional vessels must be registered with the RIA and cannot use a swing mooring independently, unless that vessel has been issued with the appropriate RIA authorisation.
  7. The additional vessel cannot exceed the mother vessel in length.

This does not impede on the use of “tenders” which are defined as less than 3.75m.  ALL vessels greater than 3.75m are classed and treated as “additional vessels” and must comply with current regulations.

High demand

Due to high demand within the Shared mooring system availability for new RIA allocated authorisations is limited and the outcome of applications may not be known until the end of October of each season following the completion of the existing Authorised User renewal process.