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David McDonald is the owner and operator of Wild West Charters.


Inspired by a visit to New Zealand many years ago by a “jet boat” adventure cruise on the Dart River where the tour had an actual “destination” Dave returned and built his own vessel to 2D survey for twelve passengers and one skipper. When he first moved to Perth Western Australia he visited Carnac Island and observed the wild and endangered Australian Sea Lions that resided on the beach in the eastern cove, he then knew he had his destination and it all started to come together. Joining as a Swan River Guardian and as a member of the dolphin watch program with his boat – over time he built an understanding and trusting relationship with the wild pod of indo –pacific bottles nosed dolphins that reside in the river and with this trust the dolphins joined him on his quest and assisted him on finding his business name;


His business plan derived from a strategy that he could provide three things for his clients.


WILD RIDE: “A boat that truly offers a wild ride” not wild as in “thrill” but a wild ride that can be appreciated by all ages and all types of people, a comfortable vessel that has speed and manoeuvrability, that has staged seating for viewing pleasure. An “open air vessel” that can safely push through wind and waves to get to a destination and back home safely keeping people dry.


WILD DESTINATIONS: He asked himself – what is in the context of the word “destination” that would appeal to people so as they would want to try his tour. There was “distance” for a trip to be truly memorable it had to cover nautical miles to get to a known destination. Perth had it for short and long tours – two awesome river systems connected to the sea and a multitude of places to go and things to find plus many iconic and historic locations to visit with-in the rivers and the ocean beyond. There was “scenery” the Swan and Canning rivers both offer wild secluded spots right from a busy CBD to an amazing unspoilt park “KINGS PARK” two complete contrast only minutes away by water. The upper Canning River so secluded and secretive you could instantly forget you were in a capital city. Also some of the most expensive riverside suburbs and amazing real estate in Australia to view. A wide sparse of water with-in the river “MELVILLE WATERS” that bottle necks to a narrow channel before opening up into a massive industrial international Port at “FREMANTLE HARBOUR”. Then beyond Perth’s shores a multitude of Islands and reefs to explore including a protective Sound to her south in the clear warm waters of the Indian Ocean just beyond the city shores and her amazing world class beaches.


WILD LIFE: To have incredible “native wild life” that is not caged or in a zoo that can be viewed in its natural environment playing socializing and feeding that even with the utmost respect for the animals that they can still be viewed from merely meters away. All of this can be observed from the inner city where people of all ages can feel the buzz and anticipation and see in amazement these wild animals being totally interactive at their own accord and successfully living in harmony with-in and surrounding our capital city: these include the rare and endangered Australian Sea Lions on Carnac Island and the Swan River Indo-Pacific Bottle Nosed Dolphins pod and Western Australia state bird the Black Swan that reside in the river.

In March 2017 Dave secured the perfect location to operate his business from “Berth #1 Elizabeth Quay Perth City” to start his dream and to pass on with passion his knowledge and fascination and love for River Parks, the Ocean and the all the wildlife resides with-in for all that venture out on the water with him for a truly unique-memorable and wild experience.



Common Questions

IS IT A JET BOAT – “YES” it is! you will feel the amazing  and “wild” ride of jet propulsion!

DOES THE  BOAT TRAVEL FAST – “YES” to see as much as you can in 20 minutes.

WILL I GET WET – “NO” you won’t, we offer a “wild but enjoyable ride” we are not a “thrill ride” we do not do spins or bucket stops. We do not throw people around – we pride ourselves on beeing smooth and keeeping our passenger comfortable we take out children and elderly and make it enjoyable for all – its what we do !


The Ol’mate Hoodlum was purpose built and custom designed by Ocean Tech Designs and build by Calibre marine for jet boat eco tourism. Built to 2D survey for 12+1 (12 passenger and one driver) she is powered by a single Yanmar 380 hp 6LY3-UTP electronic turbo straight six-cylinder single turbo diesel engine and ran through a ZF gearbox and pushed by a DOEN DJ-120 Australian built jet unit. With a top speed of 35 knots and her comfortable seating she effortlessly cruises through the Rivers in complete comfort with an exceptionally smooth ride. With a staged open seating arrangement passengers can expect exceptionally amazing views and an exceptionally “smooth and dry” ride while still enjoying the thrill of jet propulsion. She is the perfect vessel to explore the Swan and Canning rivers and for ocean eco adventures tours out to Carnac Island.

The Swan and Canning rivers

Wild West Charters is the only charter vessel that offers tours in both the Swan and Canning Rivers. Both rivers have a rainfall catchment area of 120,000 square kilometres and are home to over 130 species of fish.

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