Boat skippers are the unsung heroes of the swim. Experienced skippers should know how important it is to prepare your craft for the journey, checking that everything on board is current, in date and in working order. Please ensure your boat is registered, and that you have a current registered skipper’s ticket. To be elegible to provide boat support there is prerequisite information and agreements that you need to confirm.

Contact details for more information:


The maximum allowable charge for a boat will be $700.

If your vessel is over 10 metres, you are advised to stay easterly of the main fleet.

You will need to supply the following information to the race Director to register:

  • Skipper Name
  • Skipper Email
  • Skipper Address
  • Skipper Mobile
  • Skipper License #
  • Boat Rego Number
  • Boat Length
  • Boat Make
  • Prop guard

Skipper tips

You are responsible for the safety of your craft, swimmers and crew on board and, importantly, the safety of other swimmers, kayakers and boats. The safety of everyone in the water is of critical. Solo swimmers have the right of way at all times. You are in charge and responsible for your swimmer’s safety and their kayaker, keep a keen eye for the safety of swimmers in the water in your immediate vicinity.

Skippers and swimmers should have a plan and know how to identify your paddler and your swimmers style and how long it takes for that swimmer to swim 1000 metres. Swimmers Must not proceed pass the 1km mark if they are not matched up with their support boat. From the 1km mark from the start of the swim either skipper or crew observer should be able to see their swimmer at all times, their kayaker and other people in the water.

Skippers should be wary of the danger associated with propeller accidents. Boats should not go astern at all. However, skippers can use reverse thrust to stop the forward way of their boat, to avoid swimmer, paddler or vessel collision. This must be done in a controlled manner with the skipper checking it is all clear directly behind his boat before acting. An observer is an essential crew member to assist in safety.

Your swimmer must never be out of sight or out of mind, set each crewmember a specific task with one member being responsible to watch for swimmers. Your radio must be on at all times. Communication is the key to safety. A crewmember should assist in vigilance with a stationary boat to ensure safety of others regarding the prop AND never use reverse to approach your swimmer. Highly recommend that engines are completely shut down when retrieving your swimmer from the water.”

Please refer to the event rules for more information for skippers. An information package will be sent to skippers about boat protocol and communications for the day.

Depending on conditions the fast swimmers will be in the water approximately 6 to 8 hours depending on conditions. It is likely that you will be between 500m to 1.5km offshore depending on the currents. The closest proximity to shore for the boats will be at Long reef, a small peninsular between Collaroy and Dee Why beach.

Vessel size restrictions

Support boats are to be organised by entrants. No personal watercraft is allowed. E.g. jet skis.

Vessels used in the Palm Beach to Shelly are restricted to 5 – 12 metres in length. It is recommended vessels over 10 metres stay to the east of the main fleet. To determine how many people are legally permitted on board, please refer to the Department of Transport requirements. Your boat must be licensed to carry your whole team including swimmer/s, paddler/s, and all support crew

Boat Support

All support boats must be equipped with all the required mandatory marine safety equipment as set by the NSW Maritime regulations for that particular vessel for open waters and if required by the Regulations, lifejackets are to be worn on those so affected vessels/kayaks/skis.

All support boats are to ensure their swimmer number is displayed on both sides of the boat with numbers no smaller than 300 millimetres in size.

Support boats MUST be no more than 20m away from their swimmer after the 1km mark.

Any solo swimmer that gets back on the boat during the swim is deemed to have finished the swim and recorded as a DNF. The skipper must notify the race director on the radio.

In the event of a swimmer emergency, you are required to radio the race director vessel and request assistance.

Team changes should be made approximately 10m from vessel in a visible manner. Engines must be in neutral when swimmers get onto the boat.