Sailing in Melbourne

Information on the rules on boat licences and sailing permits, the sea safety recommendations, maritime weather and more, with details of the ports and harbours and links to local sailing associations...

Melbourne’s Port Phillip Bay, rivers and vast coastline are ideal for all types of boating and sailing activities.

Sea Safety and Emergencies

For emergency assistance 24 hours a day call 000 and ask for Melbourne Water Police.

The Department of Transport’s Boating Safety and Facilities Program is aimed at making boating in Victoria safer and more accessible.

The Australian Volunteer Coast Guard has flotillas located around the Bay, including:

  • At: Marine Drive, Safety Beach 3936
    Tel: 03 5981 4443
  • At: St Kilda Marina, St Kilda 3184
    Tel: 03 9525 3714
  • At: Jetty Road, Sandringham 3191
    Tel: 03 9598 9092

Volunteer Marine Rescue based in Mornington provides 24-hour assistance to anyone who needs help in or on the waters of Port Phillip, Tel: 0419 223 999.

  • For up-to-date wind, tide and weather conditions: Click here
  • To check the weather forecast in Victoria: Click here

Boat Registration and Licencing

Any person who wishes to operate a registered recreational powerboat must have a marine licence. Persons over the age of 12 are eligible to apply. To get a licence, it is necessary to take a marine licence test at a VicRoads Customer Service Centre or with an accredited training provider.

  • For more information and to apply for a marine licence: Click here

Registration of boats helps in the identification and recovery of a vessel if it is stolen. Most boats need to be registered and are subject to an annual registration fee. Yachts, canoes and surf skis are exempt from registration.

Sailing Clubs and Associations

Melbourne has a number of sailing schools and clubs, mostly located around the Bayside suburbs and the Yarra River.

  • Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron: Provides sailing courses for children, race entry and links to useful websites for sailors, including official wind and wave forecast maps and Tide Predictions for Victoria
    At: Pier Road, St.Kilda 3182
    Tel: 03 9534 0227
  • Port Melbourne Yacht Club: Regular training and racing activities. Facilities include boat storage, sailing school, clubhouse, bar and function centre
    At: Beach Road, End of Bay Street, Port Melbourne 3207
    Tel: 03 9645 3107
  • Yachtmaster Sailing School: Runs sailing courses for all ages and levels
    Tel: 03 9699 9425
  • Royal Yacht Club of Victoria: Club with over 900 members and 300 yachts. Organises bay and ocean racing
    At: 120 Nelson Place, Williamstown 3016
    Tel: 03 9397 1277
  • Yachting Victoria: Represents and promotes sailing and boating in Victoria with events and competitions throughout the year
    At: Suite 2/77 Beach Road, Sandringham 3191
    Tel: 03 9597 0066