What is better, a Berth or a Swing Mooring ? Generally it is a matter of personal preference, as both have their advantages and disadvantages ... We prepared this brief description to assist you in making this choice.

Factors to consider are access, water and power, galvanic corrosion, safety, security, privacy, installation and removal of apparatus, insurance, repairs and maintenance, responsibility, waiting time and costs.

   

Berth

 

Swing Mooring

   
    Commercial   Commercial   Private
Access  Berth provides far more convenient access to Boat with friends and staff ...  Swing is generally harder to get to – small dinghy, a large group of people, windy day, esky full of ice and drinks ... Alternatively, you have to get your Boat from the Mooring and tie up to a wharf … You have to own a Dinghy (buy, maintain, bilge out, clean, store). If it is a remote Swing, you might want to have a small engine (service, repair), as paddling is not always fun… Small dinghy might be just dangerous in an inclement weather. If you are intending on owning a Dinghy anyway, there is no difference, however to access it, you must have it.
Water  Water is supplied to Berth.  No water supply. You have to go somewhere to fill her up with water.
Power  Power is supplied to Berth. Berthing your boat with a shore power connection provides the conveniences and comforts of home when you're at the dock.  You do not have shore power.
 Your battery charger and systems could be permanently on, your batteries get charged and conditioned.  Solutions are available, come at an extra cost, and might be insufficient. Unexpected replacement of dead batteries is a cost. 
 Most importantly, your bilge pumps are much less likely to drain the batteries flat and stop working …  If your battery goes flat, and your bilge pump stops working, consequences may be severe, especially in heavy rain or if your Boat is taking water …
Galvanic Corrosion  When a boat is connected to shore power it is also connected to the shore earth grounding system which might cause an accelerated corrosion of submerged metals. Most forms of corrosion can be eliminated with a galvanic isolator, but your boat must have it.   Not an issue.

Safety  Boat is more protected from the occurrences of the inclement weather.  Boat is less protected from the occurrences of the inclement weather. At the end of the day it is only one strong rope. If Boat breaks from the swing mooring, it usually happens in a strong wind, damage to other boats and herself may be severe.
Security  Berth is more secure – wharf is lit, watched closer, there is always people around.  Your Boat on a remote Swing Mooring is less secure.  
Birds Droppings  Almost no difference. Your Boat might be just slightly less affected in a Berth.  Almost no difference. Your Boat might be just slightly less affected in a Berth.  
Privacy  Less privacy at the Boat.  More privacy at the Boat when at mooring.  
Installation  You have to own your Mooring Ropes. Common set up includes 6 ropes, most people have them permanently attached at the Berth.  You do not have to pay for mooring apparatus – it remains in possession of the Marina.  You have to buy your mooring apparatus, and install it at your expense.
Insurance  Your Boat must be insured.  Your Boat must be insured. Some Insurers are reluctant to insure a Boat on a Swing Mooring.  Insurance is highly recommended. Some Insurers are reluctant to insure a Boat on a Swing Mooring.
Maintenance  Marina is responsible for Servicing Your Berth.  Marina is responsible for Servicing Your Swing Mooring.  You must conduct compulsory annual service of your mooring. Non-compliance may invalidate your insurance. Service involves lifting apparatus from water for inspection, cleaning, replacement of worn parts - buoy, chains, ropes, chuckles.
Repairs  Marina is responsible for Repairs to Your Berth.  Marina is responsible for Repairs to Your Swing Mooring.  You are responsible for Repairs to Your Swing Mooring.
Ho to Get  Sign an Agreement with the Marina. Waiting time is subject to availability and varies from 1 hour to a few months.  Sign an Agreement with the Marina. Waiting time is subject to availability and varies from 1 hour to a few months.  Apply for Private Swing Mooring licence with NSW RMS. Waiting time varies from 3 months to 2.5 years.
Responsibility  From legal stand point You are responsible for your mooring apparatus.  From legal stand point You are responsible for your mooring apparatus.  You are responsible for your mooring apparatus from any stand point.
Exit  No Exit cost.  No Exit cost.  It your licence is discontinued, you must completely remove the apparatus at your cost. You may be able to sell it, but because it involves licensing, and your licence is not transferable, it might be difficult to achieve and even more unlikely to recover any amount resembling the installation cost.
Cost  A Berth is generally more expensive than a Swing Mooring.  A Swing Mooring is generally cheaper than a Berth.  You pay for installation, your licence, maintenance and removal of the apparatus. Cheaper than a Berth, not necessarily cheaper that a commercial Swing. The math would depend on your circumstances.
 One Time    Berth Ropes, One Time   -   Installation, One Time
 Ongoing    Mooring Fees, Ongoing   Mooring Fees, Ongoing   -
Ongoing    -   Dinghy Storage Fees, Ongoing   Dinghy Storage Fees, Ongoing
 Ongoing    -   -   Licence Fees, Ongoing
 Ongoing    -   -   Maintenance, Ongoing
 Ad Hoc    Repairs, Ad Hoc   -   Repairs, Ad Hoc
 Exit    -   -   Removal & Disposal, One Time