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Frequently Asked Questions

Boat Hirer Responsibility


Prior to setting off, you will be given detailed briefing on the operation, equipment and safe handling of vessel by trained Swan Boat Hire staff.

The driver has sufficient skills to drive the hire vessel.  They are medically fit to drive the vessel (without medical conditions) and must use this vessel in a safe and responsible manner, with regard for all vessel passengers, other vessels, swimmers and hire equipment.

Whilst on the water the driver must contact Swan Boat Hire on 07 54437225 immediately in the case of any mechanical difficulties or safety issues.

The driver must remain under 0.05 % BAC during hire time and is responsible for ALL of my passenger’s actions during the hire and until safely on shore.

The driver must only carry the maximum number of passengers for which the vessel is licensed and they will remain inside the vessel while underway.

The driver will be aware it is prohibited and dangerous to ride on the bow (the nose) of the small vessels or outside the gate on Pontoon and Cruiser vessels.

The driver will be aware vessels are restricted from entering the Maroochy Waters Canals, unless authorised by Swan Boat Hire staff prior to departure from shop.  While in the canals, drivers will observe all speed limits including 6 knot speed limit (walking pace), disregard for this results in hire termination.

WARNING! Hire vessel is not permitted to approach river mouth, cross the bar or enter the ocean. Access to Cornmeal Creek (Plaza), beyond the shoals sign in North channel and the 2nd rock wall in South channel, also Pincushion area is also forbidden. Disregard for this results in hire termination.

Drivers are not permitted to tow another vessel experiencing any difficulties whilst they are on the water. They must contact Swan Boat Hire for assistance. The hire vessel must stay 30 meters clear of all swimmers, non-motorized craft, obstructions and other vessels.

Drivers must promptly report to shop at hire completion with all equipment (map/manual, esky, handlines). Deposit is withheld if equipment is damaged/missing.  Hirers returning after the hire closing time for that day, must pay for the extra hire time plus a 50% surcharge and/or will lose full deposit.

Hirer’s will leave an imprint of my credit card for security if my pontoon group is consuming alcohol e.g. Bucks/Hens Party, 18th, 21st, Christmas Party etc.

Failure to comply with any of the abovementioned conditions will result in the termination of hire and forfeiture of all monies paid. Driver’s will need to sign a carbon copy of these terms prior to departing from shore, acknowledge the exact number of people onboard the vessel and accept full responsibility for any damages caused to this or any vessel or party and legal recovery costs.

Boat Hire Frequently Asked Questions

What are the hours of hire?

Swan Boat Hire operates boat and paddle hire during daylight hours only. Monday to Saturday hires begin at 7:30am (8:30am on Sunday) and before the sun goes down, all craft must be returned to the beach and hirers need to collect their deposit from the shop. In Summer the latest return time is 6:00pm and in Winter the latest return time is 5:00pm due to an earlier sunset.


Does the hirer need a boating license?

A boating license in not required as we provide detailed tuition on safe boating practice, navigation and observing speed limits. A car license or passport is required as a form of photo identification.


Do hirers need their own fishing gear?

Hirers can bring their own fishing gear, crab pots, cast nets, esky etc but Swan Boat Hire also provides pre-rigged handlines, knife, a bucket and an esky free of charge for use with all hire craft. Rods, crab pots and landing nets to hire as well as a full range of tackle for purchase are also available at Swan Boat Hire.


Where can the hirer get bait?

Swan Boat Hire has a large range of live and fresh bait (blood/sand worms, prawns, squid and mullet) available as well as local frozen bait for beach, estuary and offshore fishing. Hirers are also able to bring their own bait.


Is there an esky for the hirer to use?

Swan Boat Hire provides 25L and 45L eskies free of charge for all hirers. Just ask when you arrive at the shop. Block and crushed ice is available to purchase at the shop.


What else does the hirer need to bring?

It is essential that the hirer brings photo identification and payment in the form of cash, debit or credit card. We recommend hirers bring clothing appropriate to the weather, including sunscreen, hat and sunglasses for sun protection. Hirers may bring their own fishing equipment, though handlines and rods are available to hire or purchase plus we stock live, fresh and frozen bait.


Where can the hirer go in the river? Including fishing options.

Paddle craft have the entire river to explore and can do so over a few hours. Smaller boats can navigate through the entire river system also but need a high tide to fully access the lower reaches.


BBQ Pontoons are only allowed between Chambers Island and Bli Bli Islands. They are restricted from heading downstream from Chambers Island as they draw more water being heavier boats (i.e. shallow channels would result in the BBQ pontoon becoming bogged). Hire craft are prohibited from approaching the Maroochy River mouth or cross the bar into the ocean; doing so would result in termination of hire.


Can the hire craft go offshore and out the river mouth?

Maritime Safety Regulations prohibit all hire craft approaching the Maroochy River mouth or crossing the bar into the ocean; doing so would result in termination of hire. All craft at Swan Boat Hire are licensed and equipped for calm water use only - meaning rivers, canals or creeks.


Can the hirer use the craft at night?

All hire craft are hirable during daylight hours only. Hires commence at 7:30am and must be returned by 5:00pm in Winter, by 5:30pm in Spring and Autumn and by 6:00pm in Summer.


Can the hirer split their hire at all? E.g. during a three hour hire, use two hours in the morning and one hour later in the afternoon?

Hirers must take the amount of time booked in one block. Splitting up hire period is not permitted in any craft.


How far in advance does the hirer need to book?

Hirers are encouraged to book the day or a few days in advance, but also be aware that during weekends, public holidays, school holidays and special occasions such as Father's Day, the more popular craft with families and larger groups (BBQ Pontoons, Cruisers, 8-seaters) are often booked weeks in advance.


What happens if the hirer needs to cancel?

If the hirer needs to cancel the booking they need to contact Swan Boat Hire as soon as possible on 0754437225. If the cancellation is due to inclement weather, we encourage the hirer to rebook the hire craft at a later date and their deposit will be held until the actual hire date.


What is the deposit for?

The deposit is like a bond. The hirer pays this before departing with the hire craft and on completion of the hire the deposit is refunded once the hirer returns to the shop with any additional hire gear (hand-lines, esky, lifejackets) and the hire manual/map. Any extra hire time may be deducted from the deposit.

An open credit card imprint may need to be taken for party group bookings for hirers under the age of 21 years (e.g. 21st birthdays and Bucks Parties). This is essential to cover potential damage costs.


Can the hirer use a discount voucher for boat hire?

Any hirer wishing to take advantage of a discount voucher or special deal must mention this at the time of booking or present the voucher on the day of hire.

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