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Watsons Bay Pilot Station

The Watsons Bay Pilot Station has been converted into a boating safety education centre.

The Watsons Bay Pilot Station has been converted into a boating safety education centre

The new centre was opened by the Minister for Roads, Maritime & Freight (the Hon. Duncan Gay MLC) and the Attorney-General (the Hon. Gabrielle Upton MP – local member for Vaucluse) on Tuesday, 30 June 2015.

The Pilot Station has existed here since 1959. It replaced a lifeboat station which was at the site from 1907. This place has a long history of saving lives at sea and on the water, so the conversion of this heritage building into a centre for boating safety education is entirely appropriate. The project has had the support of the local member and the local council (Woollahra) since the idea was first proposed in 2012.

Conversion work on the building began in August 2014 and was completed in February 2015. The floating pontoon, which enables the centre to provide facilities for sailing for the disabled (Sailability), was installed in May 2015.

The Pilot Station – Boating Safety Education Centre is now leased from Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) by the Boating Industry Association (BIA) on behalf of a consortium of the Marine Teachers Association (MTA) who run a marine studies program in High Schools, Yachting NSW, Paddle NSW and Sailability. Other groups involved in teaching boating safety will be joining as time goes by. Local schools have also been invited to get involved. Please note that courses will be run by and through these organisations only for the time being. For more information find their websites via an internet search engine.

The project was paid for by a grant of $1.5 million from the Waterways Fund. The income for this fund comes from boating activities (boat licenses, mooring fees etc.) and this money is then used solely to benefit the boating community in NSW.

Project library

Before work could begin on the project, it was necessary to check that local environment concerns had been addressed. These included:

  • Traffic movements.
  • The natural environment.
  • Noise levels.
  • Heritage concerns.
  • Access for people with disabilities.
  • Impact on the local community.

A review of environmental factors was carried out and this document, with its appendices, is available:

Some documents on this page may not comply with accessibility requirements (WCAG 2.0). If you are having trouble accessing information, please contact us.

Contact the Pilot Station

Please note the Centre is not open every day but the Centre Manager will respond in due course.