Batemans Bay is worth a stop
Reviewed Nov 2017
We last visited Batemans Bay aboard our 12.4 m sailing catamaran "Single Malt" in November 2017.
There is one courtesy mooring at Snapper Island and one in Chain Bay but neither of them has a mooring line, only a light catchng rope. This would be alright if the ring on the mooring float was easily reachable, or in light conditions, but for us it became a dangerous farce, trying to reach down to run our own line through the ring. The lack of line also begs the question about the condition of the chains and linkages under water, and doesn't instil confidence.
There is limited room for secure anchorage at Snapper Island, and the mooring is located right in the sweet spot, making anchoring here on either side less than ideal.
This is really the only anchorage in Batemans Bay for southerly conditions, so there are limited options when a storm is approaching.
Crossing the bar into the river on our way north was fine in good weather on a rising tide. Anchoring opposite town amongst the moorings has limited swing room and needs to take into account a swing with the change in tide and the facts of nearby shallow sand bars and the low bridge upstream. A stern anchor is recommended.
Marine resucue here advise that the bar's leads are now accurate and they can provide an up to date datum depth over the bar.
When we crossed the bar on our return trip south it was in driving rain and poor visibility, with a rising sea, seeking shelter from an approaching storm. The leads were not visible and were unlit (it was daytime, but with visibility about 200m), as was the approach sector light on Square Head. So much for navigational aids when they are truly needed: simply not there! Fortunately our chart plotter was spot on and we crossed the bar safely.
We sought shelter in the marina as flooding rains and 50 knot winds were forecast, making the river an unattractive option for anchoring.
The marina was well-priced, with very helpful staff, Jorge, even coming out to take our ropes in the driving rain. Entering the marina through a gap in the rock wall from the river, with a strong tidal flow, would have been a bit of a challenge without our powerful twin motors, so yachtsmen beware of the current here if your engine power or steerage are limited. You may need to wait for slack water to enter.
We found the marina to be modern and convenient. The slipway here looked busy and well set up. There is a funky bar / restaurant set up next to the marina and the shops of Batemans Bay are only a few minutes level walk away, making for convenient provisioning.
The only down side was the marina toilets and showers, which were adequate but only just so, and were not cleaned during the two days that we stayed there. Nonetheless we would happily return and stay here again.
Convenient to town and provisioning
The marina was friendly, convenient and helpful
Limited shelter from strong southerlies
Public moorings with no lines
Navigation markers were not lit when we really needed them