Youngsters Experience the Trip of a Lifetime with MDL Sail Training Awards

Posted: 30th April 2014

Six deserving youngsters who won a place on this year’s MDL Sail Training Awards are now back on dry land, after setting sail from MDL’s Ocean Village Marina on 16th April for six days at sea.

The MDL-sponsored awards, which have been running for over 20 years, offer admirable young people - carefully selected due to their exceptional accomplishments, or for overcoming adverse personal circumstances – the opportunity of a lifetime aboard a training yacht operated by Ocean Youth Trust South.  

Joining a team on board the ketch 'John Laing' were Callum Archibald, 14, from Basingstoke, 13-year-old John Bratherton, from Fordingbridge, Erin Sutton, 14, and Jodie Beckham, 13, both from Totton, Oscar Perkins, 13, from Brixham and 15-year-old Robert Jelley from Romsey.
The 230 nautical mile trip saw this year's MDL award winners first heading for an anchorage in Studland, from where they motored into Poole on the Friday evening. Next morning they had a fabulous sail round the south of the Isle of Wight on a glorious day, ending up in Haslar. They sailed to Cowes for lunch, came out, anchored an Osborne Bay and planned a final pilotage exercise up to Southampton. RYA Start Yachting certificates were awarded to all participants.

Eamonn Feeney, Managing Director at MDL Marinas, commented: “We’re delighted to welcome back our Sail Training Awards winners following their exciting journey. This really is a once-in-a-lifetime trip for the young people selected, rewarding them for their achievements or inspiration and support to others.

“Over the years the MDL sponsored Sail Training Awards have provided over 140 young people the opportunity to experience a trip on board the 'John Laing', something which has been life-changing for some of our past winners. We are proud to continue to support Ocean Youth Trust South and the important work that it carries out”.

One of the scheme’s recent success stories is 17-year-old Toby Hunt from Bognor Regis who was one of the lucky winners selected to take part in last year’s trip, and has since been busy working as a volunteer, assisting Ocean Youth Trust South with its winter refit of ‘John Laing’. In addition, Toby has been working hard as a volunteer trainee Bosun for the 2014 trip and is looking to become a volunteer member of the sea staff for the future.

The six young winners from this year will now be invited to attend the PSP Southampton Boat Show, where they will be officially presented with their trophies at the MDL stand by the owner of MDL Marinas, Lord Iliffe.

Nominations for next year’s awards will be announced in December 2014.

For more information please visit

Hone Your Skills with Training Sessions at Cobb's Quay Marina

Posted: 30th April 2014

MDL’s Cobb’s Quay Marina is delighted to announce a busy schedule of events open to MDL berth holders this summer, each sponsored by RYA Active Marina, MDL Marinas, Cobb’s Quay Berth Holders Association (CQBHA) and Powerboat Training UK.

Saturday 10th May – Safety Refresher
The first of these events will be a Safety Refresher training session on the morning of Saturday 10th May, with a Pilotage and Passage Planning course in the afternoon. With space for 12 attendees, these sessions are designed to help participants brush up on their on water safety skills and to provide advice and guidance for navigation and route planning. Both sessions will also run on Saturday 28th May for those who can’t make the first date.    

Saturday 17th to Sunday 18th May – Cobb's Quay Open Weekend
Further training sessions will be available at the Cobb’s Quay Open Weekend on Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th May, including man overboard rescue scenarios and correct flare procedure, as well as improving technique for splicing, lassoing and springing on and off berths. These sessions will run alongside the on water displays, onshore demonstrations and entertainment for all the family at the event.
Saturday 14th June – Ladies Afloat
A female-only training session, Ladies Afloat, will be running on Saturday 14th June, giving female boaters the chance to handle a motor cruiser. The course will cover manoeuvring alongside pontoons and lassoing cleats and promises to be a lot of fun for all participants.
Saturday 15th June – Boat Trip to Lymington
Berth holders are also invited to take part in a day’s boat trip on Sunday 15th June, sailing from Cobb’s Quay Marina to the nearby market town of Lymington. The trip promises to be an enjoyable, relaxing day out on the water, with Powerboat Training UK providing a support boat and planning assistance as part of the CQBHA Cruising plan.
Saturday 12th July – Between the Bridges
Those looking for practice handling their boat are invited to attend the ‘Between the Bridges’ training session on Saturday 12th July, a course offering close quarter boat handling exercises onboard a motor cruiser between the bridges at Poole Quay. The session offers a great opportunity for boaters to hone their handling skills for stress-free manoeuvring.
Each session is priced at just £5 and all proceeds raised will be donated to the Poole Lifeboat Station. To secure your place, collect a booking form from Ian in The Quay Shop at Cobb’s Quay Marina. Contact Viv at Powerboat Training UK on 01202 686666 with any queries or for further information.

Pre-Christmas Cruise to St Malo 2017

From 8th December 2017 until 10th December 2017

Come and join in the fun on our ever-popular MDL Marinas, family and friends pre-Christmas cruise to St Malo on board Brittany Ferries Pont-Aven on the 8-10th December 2017, departing Friday evening from Portsmouth at 8.15pm and returning Sunday morning at 7.45am. Package includes:

  • Return ferry crossing
  • Ensuite cabin accomodation for 2 nights
  • Welcome drinks reception - Friday evening
  • 2 breakfasts
  • 4 course dinner including wine on Saturday evening

*£109.00 per person based on either 2 persons sharing a 2 berth inside cabin or 3/4 persons sharing a 4 berth inside cabin. Please note that 2 berth cabins are 1 upper and 1 lower berth!
per person for those that want a little more space - 2 persons can have sole use of a 4 berth cabin. Ideal for those that need 2 lower berths!

Take your car for free - minimum of 2 persons per vehicle required - max 1.83m (6') high / 5m (16' 5") long.

Download and complete this form to book your place.

For More Information
Call: 01202 674299
Email: Dave Wilson

The South's Premier Family Boat Show Returns to Hamble Point Marina

Posted: 25th April 2014

Families can once again pay a visit to one of the South’s premier new and used boat shows this May, with the Hamble Point Boat Show taking place on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th May. Linking up with National Watersports Month, this year’s show is set to be a great weekend of on and off the water activities with a huge range of boats on display.

Open from 10am to 5pm on Saturday and from 10am to 4pm on Sunday, the always-popular free family event will feature over 250 new and used boats for sale. The great selection on show will range from day boats to sports boats, cruisers and RIBs to suit a wide range of budgets. Visitors can also take advantage of the wide range of products available from some of the UK’s leading marine companies, as well as speaking to expert brokers and finding out more about the other marine services available on-site.

This year’s show will be taking place during National Watersports Month, a joint collaboration between the British Marine Federation (BMF), Royal Yachting Association (RYA), British Canoe Union (BCU), British Rowing and British Water Ski & Wakeboard (BWSW) to encourage the nation to get out on the water.

Visitors to Hamble Point Marina over the weekend will be treated to on-water displays, practical workshops in conjunction with the RYA Active Marina programme and dry stack demonstrations, as well as family entertainment for younger visitors. There will also be an RNLI lifejacket clinic on site and a 'distress flare amnesty' on the Saturday, run by Hampshire Constabulary Marine Unit in conjunction with Ramora UK, one of the UK's leading bomb disposal companies. Refreshments will be available from the Ketch Rigger restaurant and bar.

Nicholas Parton, Hamble Point Marina Manager, commented: “The Hamble Point Boat Show is always a popular event, and we are looking forward to welcoming visitors back for a great weekend. The show is perfect for those considering their first boat purchase, those wanting to try something new or for seasoned boaters who are in search of a day out, with experts on hand to offer advice and the chance to browse a whole range of new and used models available from leading brands.”

Entry to and car parking at the show are both completely free.

For further information or to add your name to the line-up of exhibitors at the show, simply visit or contact the marina on 023 8045 2464.

Dogfish Dave & PBSBAC 2016 Species Competition

On the 9th July 2016

MDL's Dogfish Dave, in partnership with Poole Bay Small Boat Angling Club (PBSBAC), is gearing up for the biggest fishing competition of it's kind in Poole Harbour. Teams of up to 4 can reel them in, tick them off and take plenty of photos before coming back to Cobb's Yacht Club Bar & Restaurant at Cobb's Quay Marina for the prize giving and FREE hearty supper.

New for this year, a specimen fishing competition will also be run on the same day, focusing on bass, black bream and plaice only.

An extensive prize table will be on offer, full details available from the marina office. All profits from the day will be donated to to the Heroes on the Water charity.

For More Information
Call: 07970 767149
Email: Rob Francis

Exciting Events for the New Season!

Posted: 17th April 2014

Many our marinas across the UK will be playing host to a series of exciting events for berth holders and visitors to enjoy.

Open Days, in conjunction with the RYA’s Active Marina Programme, will be held at several of our south coast marinas, including:

Ocean Village Open Day26th April, 10am to 5pm
Northney Marina Open Day26th April, 10am to 3pm
Hamble Point Open Day27th April, 9am to 6pm
Hamble Point Boat Show10th and 11th May, from 10am on both days
Cobb’s Quay Open Weekend 17th and 18th May, from 10am on both days


These free family events offer a great opportunity to try out new boating activities for the first time with training and ‘try a boat’ sessions, as well as providing a wealth of advice and information to help you make the most of your time on the water this season.

Woolverstone Marina will be the home of The East Anglian Boat Show this year, held in conjunction with the BMF. On Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd June visitors will be able to try their hand at a host of on and off the water activities designed to keep the whole family entertained, as well as browsing exhibits from major boat manufacturers and small independent businesses. For further information call Woolverstone Marina on 01473 780206 or email:

Queen Anne’s Battery in Plymouth will also be welcoming visitors for two prestigious boating events. Thousands of sailing enthusiasts are expected to descend on the city for the La Solitaire du Figaro race from 11th – 15th June, with this top international sailing race generally recognised as the World Championships of single handed sailing. And if powerboats are more to your taste, make a date in your diary for the start of the exciting Round Britain Powerboat & RIB Challenge 2014, due to depart from Queen Anne’s Battery on 25th July, returning to the marina on 5th August after completing a full circumnavigation of Britain.

Click here for a list of events taking place at our marinas this season.


MDL: Investing in our Marinas

Posted: 12th March 2014

At MDL we have been hard at work investing in all of our marinas over the winter to achieve our ambitious target of continually improving the MDL estate with new facilities, new developments and extensive renovation work across many of our sites.

We’re continually reviewing and planning for the maintenance and renewal of our key marina infrastructure across the group, continuing our commitment to offering class-leading marinas and the finest customer experience.

Demonstrating our commitment, we are pleased to announce our plans to invest a minimum of £20 million across our 19 UK marinas over the next five years, marking the halfway point in our long term £34 million investment programme. 

Here are just a few examples of where that money is going…

£650,000 renovation works at Woolverstone
This major redevelopment project, which has taken three months to complete, has enhanced the layout of the marina with all piles and pontoons on piers A to D replaced, giving a completely new look to the marina. Find out more here.

£150,000 investment in new facilities at Shamrock Quay
This full refurbishment of berth holder facilities at Shamrock Quay, which includes the redesign and upgrade of the existing showers including completely new hot water generation and supplies, upgraded heating, ventilation, toilets and lighting throughout, is set to be completed in time for the new boating season. Find out more here.

£500,000 winter dredge programme
Routine dredging operations are essential to maintaining full tidal access in the marinas and this is always a top priority. Dredging work is constrained to the winter months to preserve the sensitive marine environment and so as not to interfere with the boating season. This also means that our dredging teams and contractors are regularly faced with challenges from the weather, none more so than this year!

Despite the relentless strong winds and heavy rainfall, MDL is making good progress with its £500,000 winter 2013/14 dredge programme, with dredging works already completed at Cobb’s Quay, Hythe, Hamble Point and Mercury. Dredging at Northney, Sparkes and Saxon Wharf is planned for the remainder of March, and will be complete in time for the boating season and better weather. Next year’s dredging programme is already being planned with projects expected to total around £600,000 spread across many more of MDL’s marinas.

Further planned investment projects for 2014 - Further projects planned for the coming year include pontoon re-decking and replacements across many of the marinas, replacement of some of the pontoon mooring piles at Shamrock Quay, Port Hamble and Northney, ongoing maintenance of wavescreens, yard and roadway re-surfacing. There will also be investment in new berth holder facilities at Hythe Marina Village, which like Shamrock Quay will see a full refurbishment of the berth holder toilet and shower facilities.

Cobb’s Quay Marina Open Weekend

From 17th May 2014 until 18th May 2014

Push the boat out at Cobb’s Quay Marina in partnership with the RYA Active Marina Programme. We have crammed a wide range of shore and on-board activities into our two-day event to offer an informative and fun experience for all ages and abilities! Each day begins at 10am and activities will include:

  • Safety Demonstrations from RNLI
  • Instructional advice and mini-workshops form Powerboat Training UK
  • Extensive display of new and used boats for sale
  • Children’s activities and interactive challenges
  • Choice of international cuisine
  • Climbing wall
  • Marine–related retailers
  • Boat Jumble
  • Plus many more attractions inclduing the Clipper Marine Used Boat Show

Free entry, free parking and free berthing for all visitors staying over on Saturday night!

For More Information
Call: 01202 674299
Email: Claire Jeffery

Turn Every Weekend into an Adventure with Freedom Berthing

Posted: 11th March 2014

With our first taste of spring warmth last weekend and the season bringing with it increasing daylight and the rebirth of flora and fauna, why not take the opportunity to discover some of the UK’s stunning coastline? Freedom Berthing allows you to explore the seashore from the West Country round to East Anglia, including cruising the Hamble and the world-famous Poole Harbour. Freedom Berthing members can stay at any of the marinas in our UK network for FREE* – perfect for stays away.

If you fancy something more adventurous why not sample the delights of cruising in France, Spain or Italy? As Europe’s largest marina operator, we are proud to offer the most comprehensive berthing package available, which will give you the chance to take advantage of unique and unrivalled access to some of Europe’s very best cruising destinations.

And as summer approaches you can start planning your European getaway, with access to our MDL marinas in Spain and Italy, as well as over 50 marinas on the northwest coast of France, from Granville on the Normandy coast right round to Port Médoc in the Gironde. Ideal for those who are keen to extend their cruising and discover new destinations without the additional cost of visitor berthing fees.
As part of your Freedom Berthing package you also receive a whole host of other benefits and savings throughout the year including fuel at cost, up to 30% off MDL boatyard services and various events and social activities - click here to see our events calendar. Your Freedom Berthing pack, which contains all the information you need to take advantage of the benefits, will be available for collection from the Marina Office. The pack will also include your Freedom Berthing card and a Tide Table booklet – we hope you find it useful.

You can also log on to MyMDL – the customer online portal - for the latest discounts and offers and to see at a glance all the benefits of Freedom Berthing. Don’t forget you can also use MyMDL to book and manage your marina visits and arrange berth swaps at other marinas, giving you – and your boat - even greater freedom than ever before.

* Subject to availability

New Faces at MDL Marinas – Investing in the Future

Posted: 7th March 2014

Berth holders at MDL's marinas will be benefitting from several new faces for this coming season, as new businesses open on site at many of our marinas.

Shamrock Quay will be providing a brand new dining experience with the opening of the new Quay Fifteen restaurant. Tucked away in a spot overlooking the River Itchen, just a stone’s throw from the centre of Southampton, Quay Fifteen’s aim is to deliver fine dining without the fuss, to exceed expectation and give its guests an all round dining experience.

Quay Fifteen will join other recently-opened tenants at Shamrock Quay, Oil Spill Response, RIB Shack Marine and Inderkitchen. Existing tenant, Sakks Menswear, has also extended its premises on the site, whilst beauty parlour Beauty Bay also opened its doors late last year.

Berth holders and visitors to Cobb’s Quay in Poole can also try a new eating experience, with The Boathouse bar and restaurant now under new management and renamed Cobb’s Yacht Club Bar & Restaurant.

The restaurant’s new owner Julia Sweatman (pictured above with the team) said: “With superb marina views of Cobb’s Quay and Holes Bay, we offer a stylish and friendly environment for enjoying breakfast, lunch and dinner, 7 days a week. Our team has created an exciting range of dishes based upon what is fresh local & seasonal, with a special emphasis on fish & seafood. We are proud to offer an extensive range of beers, ales and ciders, an attractive modern wine list and freshly ground Illy coffee. We look forward to welcoming all to the Club.”

Meanwhile at Saxon Wharf, yacht upholstery firm Passmore of Southampton is now operating from its new unit at the marina. Amongst other customers, the established Colchester-based firm supplies Oyster Yachts, already a neighbouring tenant at Saxon Wharf.

Dream Yacht Charters, the largest privately owned charter company worldwide, is also now based within an MDL marina, following the opening of a base at Port Hamble Marina late last year. Managed under a joint venture with Britannia Corporate Events and Fairview Sailing, the firm will be welcoming sailors to explore the cruising available in the area, from Cowes to Lymington, Yarmouth to Gunwharf Quays, Hamble to Beaulieu and numerous other destinations in the Solent.

You can search our entire online Services Directory here.