From Hamble Point with Love: The Fairey Huntress at 60

Posted: 19th June 2019

On Saturday 22nd June our Hamble Point Marina is to play host to the Fairey Owners Club who will be celebrating sixty years of the elegant Fairey Huntress motor cruiser.

The Fairey Huntress was developed by Fairey Marine from a Ray Hunt ‘Deep V’ design in the late 1950s in response to the demand at that time for fast motor boats. This single engine motor cruiser soon became synonymous with style and performance aftern being launched onto the world stage with a starring role in the 1963 James Bond film, From Russia with Love.

Following this, Fairey Marine, originally based at Hamble Point, went from strength to strength and at one time was the world’s largest boat manufacturer outside of the United States, selling up to 1,000 boats a year across the range.

To honour this timeless classic around 17 boats and 60 members of the Fairey Owners Club will gather for a BBQ at Hamble Point Marina from 12 noon onwards. The BBQ will be held on the green outside Outlook House (our head office).

Chris Davey, Treasurer of the Fairey Owners Club, comments: “We are delighted to be able to celebrate this amazing anniversary at Hamble Point, where it all began 60 years ago. The Huntress was really the starting point for modern motor cruisers, and it is a reasonable statement to say that most planing powerboats, RIBs and raceboats can trace their DNA back to that initial constant deadrise hull form launched in 1959 by Fairey Marine.”

This year the Fairey Owners Club has combined its summer rally and concours d’elegance to form this unique celebration and therefore there will be a prize giving following the festivities. Trophies will be awarded to various people in recognition of the work that they do to maintain and keep the aging boats going.

“We would like to thank MDL for its continued support of the Fairey Owners Club,” continues Chris. “It makes important events like these possible.”

Visit the Fairey Owner’s Club for more information.

Cowes SailGP

From 10th August 2019 until 11th August 2019

Cowes, Isle of Wight, is the home of yachting and sailing in the UK and will host the penultimate event in SailGP Season 1.

Cowes SailGP has formed an exciting partnership with Lendy Cowes Week and will be an official feature event for their opening weekend of August 10/11 2019.

This new, annual global sports championship will take centre stage in the Solent and promises to deliver thrilling racing for the competitors and fans alike. As the home of UK sailing, fans will be out in force, both ashore and afloat, to support the home team, which features some of the best young Olympic talent in the country.

For More Information
Email: Michelle Ansell

Changing Lives at Sea – the MDL Sail Training Awards

Posted: 1st May 2019

On the 6th April six young people embarked on a life changing five-day sailing experience having won a place onboard the Ocean Youth Trust South’s flagship, Prolific, through our Sail Training Awards. Pictured are: top (L-R) – Alex, Millie, Ella, Josh, and below are Katie and Adam.

The awards were created to reward inspirational young people between the ages of 12 and 18 who have overcome adverse personal circumstances, or shown other exceptional accomplishments and achievements and rely on third party nominations from people who are in contact with young people, including teachers, guide or scout leaders, youth group leaders, friends and employers.

We’ve run the Sail Training Awards, in conjunction with OYT South, for over 30 years and the number of nominations has grown year on year.

Once the nominations are in, the hard work starts for our team. We go through all the nominations and choose just six who will be awarded the opportunity to go on the voyage. 

“All the children have their own story as to why they should be included, it is really hard to choose the final six,” says Hazel Craik who organises the Sail Training Awards.

This year’s winners, Josh Loman (14), Alex Salisbury (13), Adam Slim (12), Millie Nation (14), Katie Anderson (15) and Ella Plummer (15), completed the five-night voyage which took them from Ocean Village Marina in Southampton around the Solent and further afield to Poole and Portland.

The experience included night pilotage, a tour round Cowes RNLI Lifeboat Station and an impromptu man overboard recovery session when a bucket was dropped over the side. Each also earned their RYA Start Yachting certificate. This is a recognised qualification that can be kept in their Record of Achievement, used as evidence of transferrable skills or potentially lead to the start of a more enduring relationship with the sea and sailing.

In 2017, following a nomination from teachers at his school, Ciaran Robinson won a place on Prolific. Not only was this a ‘trip of a lifetime’ for Ciaran but has completely opened up a whole new side of life for him.

“The voyage taught me important tools for life like perseverance, communicating and teamwork. I enjoyed it so much that I have already been back as crew,” says Ciaran. “Gaining a place on Prolific has been the best opportunity that I have been given. It has definitely changed my life and shaped who I am today.”

Ciaran is now waiting to be old enough to undertake his RYA Day Skipper qualification and hopes to then volunteer for OYT South and become a member of their ‘incredible’ team.

MDL will host a presentation of the Sail Training Awards at the Southampton Boat Show where the young winners will receive their trophies and a memory book. This book is a compilation of photos from the trip coupled with the OYT South’s personalised sail report, detailing where they went, what they did and each individuals’ highs and lows from the journey.  The presentation at the Southampton Boat Show highlights how important it is to give children the opportunity to go sailing and possibly change their lives at sea.

“They come back off the boat as different people – we look forward to offering the opportunity to more children,” comments Hazel.


60th Anniversary of the Fairey Huntress

On the 22nd June 2019

The Fairey Owners' Club will be celebrating sixty years of the Fairey Huntress at an afternoon barbecue at Hamble Point, the original home of Fairey. The event is part of the Club's annual summer rally and concours d'elegance.

More details to follow.

For More Information
Call: 07940 577633
Email: Chris Davey

Cowes Readies Itself for SailGP Spectacular

Posted: 2nd April 2019

SailGP will make its European debut this summer, touching down in Cowes following the American leg of the global championship’s inaugural season. Tickets for front row viewing of the world’s fastest on-water racing are now on sale for Cowes SailGP, set for the 10-11 August to coincide with the opening weekend of the iconic Lendy Cowes Week.

Featuring six nations going head to head on the world’s most technologically advanced catamarans, SailGP is like nothing witnessed on the Solent before. Fans will be able to cheer on the red, white and blue home team, piloted by Olympian Dylan Fletcher, as the Great Britain SailGP Team take on teams from Australia, China, France, Japan and the United States in the penultimate event of SailGP Season 1.

The supercharged F50 catamarans will be the fastest race boats to fly on the Solent as they are capable of hitting speeds exceeding 50 knots (60 mph).

The must-see event takes place off Egypt Point, and fans have two ticketed options to get a ring-side seat to the action. Situated in the heart of the public Official Race Village, the Cowes SailGP Grandstand gives fans unrivalled views of the race course from the premier grandstand seating. For those looking to enjoy the action afloat, the Cowes SailGP Premier Charter provides spectators with the ultimate on-water experience, placing fans in the heart of the action.

Tickets for this exciting event are available via the official website.

Bank Holiday BBQ

On the 26th August 2019

Join us for a mouth-watering feast! Complete with a cool tipple.

The South Coast Boat Show

From 17th May 2019 until 19th May 2019

The South Coast Boat Show is being held at Ocean Village Marina, 17-19 May 2019. This brand-new event will feature the marine industry’s most exciting and innovative global power and sail brands. There will be over fifty new boats on display for serious buyers to explore. The show is timed perfectly for those wishing to get afloat this season in a stunning 20-60 foot sail or power boat.

Over twenty top brands are already confirmed including: Arcona Yachts, Axopar London Group, Bavaria, Beneteau power and sail, Dehler, Dragonfly, Dufour Yachts, Elan, Fjord, Fleming, Fountaine Pajot, Galeon, Hallberg-Rassy, Hanse, J-Boats, Jeanneau power and sail, Lagoon catamarans, Marlin, Najad Yachts, Nautitech, Ocqueteau, Rhea, Sasga Yachts, Sargo and X-Yachts.

For More Information
Call: 023 8022 9385
Email: Scott Farquharson

Winterising your motor boat

Posted: 21st January 2019

Despite the exceptionally mild start to the winter, the threat of a sudden cold spell may be just a forecast away. If we get another beast from the east, or even just a standard seasonal cold snap, is your boat prepared? asks Neale Byart, editor of Motorboat Owner.

Winterising is the act of protecting your boat, its equipment and contents from the ravages of the winter weather. Failing to carry out any preparation for winter can result in expensive damage to the engine, domestic water system and even your soft furnishings. 

While many marinas, such as MDL, offer lifting capabilities and boat yard services at heavily discounted berth holder prices to help keep your pride and joy in tip top condition with hull scrubs, anti-foul and other maintenance, there are practical steps you can take while berthed.

Here we break down the process of winterising your boat into three categories. First, there is the ‘must dos’. These are the jobs that you should carry out as an absolute minimum, and look after the areas most likely to be affected by a cold spell and most costly to put right. Next we have the ‘good to do’ list. These are jobs that it would be worth considering, as they will keep other parts of your boat fresh and undamaged by winter ravages. Lastly there is the ‘also consider’ list. These are jobs that are good to get done at this time of year. Possibly because they will give you an early ‘heads up’ if anything is wrong, allowing you plenty of time to get things fixed before next season, or maybe just because it means your boat will be in a better state of readiness to go in the spring when the weather finally breaks, meaning you can get back on the water with the minimum of work.

Must do

The most important, and expensive, item on your boat is its engine or engines. Seriously cold weather can cause water in the cooling system to freeze and expand. This in turn can crack any part of the cooling system, including the engine block itself. 

On a raw-water cooled engine you can choose to simply drain all cooling water, but if the water is salty, you will still be leaving behind a certain amount of potentially corrosive mixture. Far better is to mix up a solution of antifreeze and run it through the engine, either by pouring it into the raw water strainer, lowering the sterndrive into a container containing the mix or by using some engine flush muffs. 

Engines with an enclosed cooling system will still have some raw water inside certain parts of the cooling system, such as heat exchanges and raw water pumps. Again this can be drained or purged using the same method as above.

Even though engine blocks with an enclosed cooling system are protected by the antifreeze that the coolant should have within it, it is worth remembering that this should be changed every couple of years to ensure its efficiency. On an engine with an enclosed cooling system, you should, at least, test the enclosed antifreeze mixture to ensure it is capable of doing its job. 

Domestic water system

Perhaps the most common form of frost damage experienced is to the boat’s domestic water systems. The best thing you can do to protect this part of the boat is to completely drain it. You can simply run your taps until the tank runs dry, and this will remove most of the water from the system, but there will still be enough trapped water inside the pipe work and taps to cause damage. Once the tank is empty, take the supply hose from the tank and using a dinghy pump blow water out of the system by opening one tap at a time. Don’t forget any taps out in the cockpit or on the transom, as these are the most vulnerable. You can then leave all taps open to allow any remaining water a bit of expansion room, if required.

Don’t forget to drain your water heater. If you have a calorifier, just take off the lower hose. If you have a gas water heater, it should have a drain cock that you can simply undo. Check your owner’s manual for its location. 

If the worst comes to the worst and something does goes awry, many marinas offer boat maintenance and engineering. MDL’s network even welcomes outside contractors onto marinas with its open yard policy, plus for MDL members there is often substantial discounts from onsite tenants.

Good to Do

Make the most of winter offers which are offered by marinas like MDL and get ahead of the game with a quick lift and check for hull damage, scrubbing and anti-fouling. Plus, your marina manager or onsite chandlery will be able to tell you which anti-foul you should be using in the local area. 

Soft furnishings can take a bit of a beating in a cold and potentially damp environment. If you can, take them off the boat and store them at home somewhere dry. If you can’t take them home, or have nowhere to store them, you need to ensure the boat remains as dry as possible. Fix any leaks, ensure all covers are in good condition and all cover fixings are in place. You could consider running an electric dehumidifier for a few hours a day if you have access to a reliable source of power. If not, you may be better off ensuring good ventilation through the boat by leaving a hatch or porthole or two open. Just make sure that they are ones that won’t let rain in. 

The boat’s exterior is fully exposed to the worst of the weather so consider giving the boat a final wash and then apply a generous coat of a good quality wax. You don’t have to polish the wax off until the spring, when doing so should reveal a nicely preserved and shiny boat beneath. 

If you have any grey or black water tanks, have them pumped out and flushed through, leaving them empty and clean ready for the next season. Don’t forget the little grey water shower sumps. These should be emptied, which also gives you an opportunity to clean the filter to ensure another year of trouble-free service.

Using a good corrosion protection product, give the engines, mechanicals and any exposed electrical items a good spray. While you are working in these parts of the boat, perhaps also grease any movable linkages and squirt some grease into any grease points.

The subject of fuel tanks is a thorny one. Our recommendations would be to leave petrol tanks as empty as possible and diesel tanks full. A full diesel tank will ensure there is minimal internal tank surface left for condensation to form on, keeping your fuel as free of water as possible. Petrol, on the other hand, does not keep well, particularly in a vented tank, so you would be better off starting the new season with a fresh tank of fuel. Adding a fuel stabiliser to any petrol that does remain in the tank should help ensure it keeps it fresh enough to start the boat in the spring and get you to the fuel berth.

To ensure that your batteries make it through the winter, check the electrolyte levels, top up if required, and ensure that they are fully charged. If possible, give them a trickle charge, or a sporadic short charge, during the winter to keep them in top condition.

Also consider

These are not really winterising jobs, but are good to do now for a number of reasons, but mainly because it means that, come spring, the boat should be in a ‘ready to go’ state with no nasty surprises lurking.

Change the engine oil. Old engine oil contains contaminants that can harm the internals of your engine. If you change the oil now, the clean fresh oil will coat and protect the internal running surfaces. It will also provide an early ‘heads up’ of any problems such as water or fuel contamination.

Change your sterndrive or outboard gearbox oil. It is not uncommon to find water contamination here, so you don’t want to leave that water in contact with your gears all winter. It will also give you a few months to get the source of the problem fixed, making use of a quieter time of year for most marine engineers. If you leave it until spring, you may find yourself at the back of a very long queue.

Check your props for damage. Like good engineers, the people who refurbish propellers get very busy in the spring, so get the prop off and in for repair early, if required.

Lastly, check your safety equipment. Items such as lifejackets, liferafts, PLBs, EPIRBs and firefighting equipment all have service requirements and/or expiry dates. Winter is a good time to get these items serviced, or hunt out some well-priced replacements.

If you’re berthed at a great marina, you can always ask for advice from the marina staff. MDL’s marinas offer members a a 30% discount on boat yard services and have 13 boatyards across the UK network – with lifting capabilities for all types of boat. The company offers inclusive storage ashore and with 500 tenants across its network, MDL always knows someone who can help.

We’ve raised a whopping £3,000 for charity

Posted: 17th December 2018

Here at MDL Marinas we’re delighted to have raised £3,000 to be divided between two great charities, Blue Marine Foundation, and Ocean Youth Trust South.

The money was raised at Southampton Boat Show 2018, where our members and guests bought tickets for a daily raffle and donated money for refreshments during a daily charity hour at our waterfront stand. 

The raffle featured prizes such as a Crewfit 180N Pro lifejacket from Crewsaver and a spa package courtesy of Towergate Insurance, as well as many other terrific prizes from other sponsors such as Mistral Hayling Ltd., Clean to Gleam, Salcombe Gin, West System International, Hamble Point Yacht Charters, and Musto. 

Additionally, the following companies made a donation to be featured on the charity supporters wall: Hamble Point Yacht Charters, Inland & Coastal Marina Systems Ltd., Marine Advertising Agency, Mistral Hayling Ltd, Musto, OneSails GBR (South), Plymouth Sea Chest Ltd., and Ski Weekends.

The Blue Marine Foundation (BLUE) works to provide innovative solutions to overfishing and enabling the creation of marine reserves. We’ve supported BLUE for three years, during which time BLUE has initiated a conservation project to replenish the Solent’s oyster population. Currently there are 105 Oyster cages in our marinas.

Tim Glover, BLUE’s UK Projects Director says: “MDL Marinas has made a huge contribution to BLUE’s Solent Oyster Restoration Project by funding its original research study and then going on to design, build and install innovative cage systems beneath its pontoons in seven Solent marinas. Thanks to MDL’s enthusiastic support, the project has been able to house more than 20,000 breeding oysters in these cages which are capable of producing billions of oyster larvae a year to significantly help the re-population process. This kind of commitment from a Solent marine enterprise is invaluable to the project’s success.”

Mark Todd, Chief Executive of Ocean Youth Trust South says: “MDL is one of Ocean Youth Trust South’s most valued supporters and we are so grateful for all that they do for us. Not only do they provide a home for our vessel Prolific, but they do a tremendous amount to give disadvantaged and vulnerable young people the chance to experience sailing and to benefit from the skills learned on a voyage, from confidence and communication to resilience and teamworking. The money that MDL has raised will ensure that more places can be offered to young people who would never otherwise have the chance to take part in anything like this. Earlier this year, we were contacted by a 14-year old whose first voyage with us was supported by MDL, to say: ‘The knowledge and skills that I gain each time I sail will stay with me for life. My confidence grows with each voyage and so does my leadership and teaching skills. There is nothing quite like sailing on the Prolific.’ MDL’s support for Ocean Youth Trust South really does change young lives for good, and on behalf of all the young people who benefit, we can’t thank them enough.”

“We are delighted with the amount of money we have raised for our chosen charities,” says Adrien Burnand, MDL’s Head of Marketing. “We’ve been supporting both for a long time and continue to be impressed with their dedication and the difference that they are making in their respective areas. Our members and partners have been brilliant, getting behind all the activities at this year’s boat show, and we will continue to raise money for these two fantastic charities throughout the year.”