Making a difference for charity

Posted: 8th November 2018

What have fishing, cakes and mysterious celebrity lookalikes got in common? In this case they were all things which our network organised to raise money for our chosen charities. Between us, we’ve raised over £9,000 – a fantastic achievement.
 
We’ve had so much fun raising the money: here are just a few of the highlights.
 
Cobbs Quay Marina’s fundraising activities over the past 12 months included a fishing competition, a golf day and a summer party raffle. Members and staff raised a brilliant £3,133 for Julia’s House. This is a children’s hospice which provides practical and emotional support for families caring for a child with a life-limiting or life-threatening condition.
 
Torquay Marina raised a wonderful £2,025 for 2 Mikes 1 Boat. This was achieved with a wealth of activities including raffling a giant Easter Egg, and donating all stall pitch fees on Marina Day, plus charging for having photographs taken with a celebrity lookalike. (Hint: it wasn’t the real Stig). 2 Mikes 1 Boat is an epic rowing adventure where two men, named Mike, will row across the Atlantic in aid of Prostate Cancer UK and the StandUp Foundation which tackles bullying. The 2 Mikes journey begins in December 2018.
 
Over £380 was raised for Macmillan Cancer when Shamrock Quay hosted a Great British Bake Off. Cakes were crafted by members and marina staff and the delicious products were enjoyed by all (including a few Paul Hollywood lookalikes) while supporting the charity which campaigns for better cancer care.
 
The team at Ocean Village Marina raised £170 for The Southampton Children’s Hospital Charity, and £50 for Prostate Cancer UK from collection tins located within the Ocean Village Marina office.
 
And lastly, Queen Anne’s Battery Marina raised over £500 with a summer members party - all in aid of the Plymouth RNLI.
 
At TheYachtmarket.com Southampton Boat Show, we also raised £3,000, to be split between the Blue Marine Foundation and Ocean Youth Trust South. MDL members and guests bought tickets for a daily raffle featuring prizes such as 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., Clean2Gleam, Salcombe Gin, West System International, Hamble Point Yacht Charters, and Musto. Members also donated money for refreshments during a daily charity hour.
 
There are lots of activities which take place all year round. Find out more about your marina’s social calendar, and other events, by visiting their social media pages.


Top tips to enjoy winter boating

Posted: 1st November 2018

Chatham Marina


There’s no need for the end of the summer to be the end of your sailing season says Jake Kavanagh, yachting journalist. If you follow these top tips, you’ll be comfortable whatever the weather brings.

 

Why put the boat ashore when there is so much great cruising to be had during the winter? Many berth-holders are now opting to keep the boat afloat from November onwards, and only have a brief lift out in early spring to scrub-off and change the anodes.

 

As one sailing instructor remarks: “With modern clothing, great insulation and blown-air heating systems, there is no real end to the boating season.”

 

Extending the boating season is one of MDL Marinas’ specialties as its extensive network offers some really attractive winter berthing packages, with fully serviced pontoons allowing a boat to be ready to go at a moment’s notice. Dry stack customers are particularly good at making the most of a sunny winter’s day, as one phone call has the boat afloat and waiting for them as soon as they arrive at the marina.

 

The speed of service means that when settled weather arrives, those crisp, sunny days can be exploited to the full, even though the daylight is relatively short. It’s been known for UK boaters to go sailing in T-shirts in January when a clear sky allows the sun’s radiant energy to warm the decks, with perhaps a gentle southerly breeze wafting up from the Sahara. As winter boaters cruise along the coastline, they will find popular summer anchorages largely deserted, harbour moorings plentiful, and vast expanses of water with not another boat in sight.

 

So although daylight hours are shorter the spirit of exploration and adventure can remain the same, especially if owners take advantage of schemes like MDL’s Freedom Berthing. This offers complimentary stays in over 120 marinas in the UK, FranceItaly and Spain allowing passages between marinas during the short hours of daylight before enjoying all the comforts of home at your destination.

 

Here are some top tips to get the most from your boat with off-season cruising:

 

1: Have the right clothing

 

Most boat owners already have a good set of wet weather gear, but it pays to invest in a layered system underneath. Many manufacturers have their own dedicated system of breathable fabrics for maximum effect. Several thin layers beneath a fully waterproof outer layer are much better at trapping heat than a couple of thick ones. Most heat is lost through the head, so don’t forget a comfortable wooly hat!

 

2: Keep a well-stocked galley

 

Winter sailing requires regular hot food and drinks, especially on a longish passage. One-pot meals are always popular, and usually comprise of tinned ingredients that can be poured into a pan, heated quickly, and served in a bowl so it stays warm in an exposed cockpit. There are plenty of good cookbooks that suggest these instant meals.

 

3: Switch to propane

 

Boaters who cruise all year round – or who are planning a blue water adventure - often change their cooking gas from butane to a propane system instead. This is because propane has a higher calorific value and freezes at a very respectable minus 40oC, whereas butane succumbs at just minus 4oC. If there was an overnight frost, the butane in the regulator would freeze and there would be no gas until it had thawed. Propane, however, will still light easily, even if the sea itself has iced over! Most cookers will happily use either gas, although a different regulator will be needed. Long range cruisers often carry both types of bottle and regulator to cover their options.

 

4: Keep those fingers warm

 

Cold fingers stop working very quickly; not good when it comes to handling ropes. Invest in a good pair of gloves, and keep those extremities warm. Fingerless gloves are a sort of compromise in summer, but ideally the finger tips should be protected at all times in cold weather. A mitten works well, as you can still steer, throttle and wind winches, but the hand can be easily slipped out of it for tasks requiring more dexterity.

 

5: Embrace the hot water bottle

 

The hot water bottle is a major asset afloat. Choose a fleece-lined one, and keep it tucked under your jacket to warm the inner core. Also great at night – as the thicker the bottle’s coat, the hotter the water you can use and the longer it will stay warm. They are great around your feet under the duvet if you haven’t got a heating system.

 

6: Why not fit blown air heating?

 

Talking of which, why not fit a blown air heater? Arguably the safest way of heating a boat, it is free from potential carbon exhaust emissions within the cabin. (Running the gas stove all night is highly dangerous, unless there is excellent ventilation, which rather defeats the object.) A blown air heater burns small amounts of diesel from the boat’s main tank, with the combustion gasses exhausted over the side. A small electric motor then drives the hot air from a heat exchanger throughout the accommodation. A good tip is to insulate the heating duct between outlets, and to reduce the diameter of the duct as it travels further from the heater to maintain velocity. (The duct can be left un-insulated as it passes through hanging lockers to help damp clothing to dry). Check out products from manufacturers such as Eberspacher and Webasto, to name just two, with prices highly competitive due to the volumes made for the trucking and RV industries.

 

7: Indulge in a luxury sleeping bag

 

Warm bedding will make a big difference to your comfort afloat, so look for winter sleeping bags or duvets with a high tog rating. This rating is a measure of thermal insulation, and the higher the number, the warmer you will be. A lightweight summer duvet, for example, will have a tog rating of between 3.0 to 4.5. A spring/autumn-weight duvet will score between 7.5 to 10.5tog, and the one you will want for mid-winter will be between 12.0 to 13.5. 

 

8: Run a dehumidifier

 

Condensation can be a problem in the winter months, especially when the warm air inside the boat meets the windows. With little insulation from single-pane glass (although you can make insulated covers) the cold air outside promotes condensation and can cause annoying runs. The same thing can happen on uninsulated headlinings. 

 

If you are taking advantage of MDL’s Freedom Berthing, you can expect to connect to shorepower every night and run a small dehumidifier. These inexpensive machines strip all the excess water from the air and transfer it to a built-in reservoir, whilst some can drain directly into the galley sink. It is best to get a reputable make, and keep an eye on it, as some cheaper ones have been known to burn out if used excessively. Even a relatively small unit will make a big difference aboard and some 12-24V versions are also available for use at anchor.

 

9: Get the most from Freedom Berthing

 

MDL’s complimentary berthing scheme allows you to check out marinas in the UK and participating marinas in southern Europe with a series of free visits. In addition, some of MDL’s marinas have partnered with hotels ashore, such as Southampton’s Ocean Village and the 5-star Harbour Hotel within the marina complex. If your partner is reluctant to sail in the midst of winter, then a stay ashore in such luxury should make a chilly sail worthwhile.

 

Plus, when you use MDL’s network, you’ll benefit from 24/7 marina staff and security, and great onsite restaurant and bars. All the marinas are experienced with looking after off-season cruisers, and offer warm showers, warm clubhouses and a warm welcome.

 

10: Don’t forget to take pictures

 

The winter offers some dramatic seascapes, with brooding skies, glassy reflections and spectacular sunsets. For those who hate getting up early, then the late sunrise is rarely missed. Keep your phone and camera handy, as the winter offers some excellent photo opportunities. If you are into astronomy, then crisp clear winter nights reveal the magnificence of the Milky Way and other northern constellations away from the light pollution of towns and cities.

 

11. Keep the tender available

 

The downside of a winter cruise is that some of the summer services, such as a water taxi, may not be available. Make sure your tender is accessible and easy to deploy, as this will allow you access to the shore when you have no choice but to anchor off. However, such will be the lack of crowds that some quayside pubs and restaurants may also throw in alongside overnight berthing even through they usually have strict time limits during the summer. The dinghy is also a great way to go creek crawling, and explore those places you missed during the season. But if you’re staying at an MDL marina you obviously won’t need a tender as you can step straight from boat to pontoon.

 

12: Take a course

 

Many sea schools do a brisk trade off-season as students like being able to practice their skills in empty harbours and anchorages. There are very few onlookers, and plenty of room to manoeuvre. Another big advantage is the short daylight, allowing them to practice night navigation for several hours and still manage to get back in time for a leisurely pub supper. Prices are generally cheaper, too, and will allow new boaters to gain confidence and skills before the busy summer season. MDL marinas always has a list of approved RYA sea schools available, with many operating out of each marina. Ask the dockmaster who they can recommend. Or visit www.mdlmarinas.co.uk/services-directory

 

And that’s it. You’ve invested a lot of money in your boat, so make the most of it by enjoying every fine day during the winter. 

 

Check out all that MDL has to offer with winter offers, Freedom Berthing and much, much more.


Christmas has come early with winter offers from MDL Marinas

Posted: 22nd October 2018

MDL winter offers 2018

We’re delighted to announce a great package of winter offers across our extensive marina network, offering boat owners excellent quality and great value berthing, dry stack, lifting and storage packages. With these winter offers, boat owners can put their minds at ease as the nights draw in.

Highlights of the offers include savings of up to 40% on winter scrubs and storage ashore at a number of boatyards including Hythe Marina Village in Southampton and Queen Anne's Battery in Plymouth. Great-value short term berthing is available in the finest UK marinas, including the chance to enjoy three months berthing from just £649 at Shamrock Quay in Southampton, available on boats up to 8m.

“It’s very important to keep your boat well maintained, especially during the winter season when it tends to be used less frequently and is most at risk from adverse weather conditions,” says Adrien Burnand, MDL’s head of marketing. 

“Our lifting and storage packages give owners the chance to carry out essential maintenance work and prepare their boat for next season. For those seeking a safe and secure home for their boat during the winter months, our berthing packages give peace of mind with boats looked after around the clock. We’re always keen to welcome new members too. Offers like these are a great way to come aboard our network, experience our renowned customer service and get a really good feel about what we offer. Once owners have taken advantage of a winter deal, we’re very happy to talk to them about what we can offer year-round.” 

Read more about our full range of winter offers.


Winter Offers

MDL Marinas ‘insures’ a bright future for its members

Posted: 14th September 2018

MDL Marinas has appointed Towergate Insurance as its new insurance partner for members’ boat insurance, offering comprehensive cover that stretches across its entire network of 124 marinas.

Highlights of the new insurance being offered include no excess fees when a claim is made for an incident within an MDL Marina, and up to £1,500 for repatriation / loss of use. Also covered in the Towergate Platinum Cover is cover for a single tender, loss of keys, misfuelling and legal expenses plus many more factors.

Additionally, MDL’s Beds on Board scheme which enables members to reap economic benefits from their berthed boats through a bed rental scheme can be covered.

“MDL members deserve peace of mind, whether that’s while berthed or out enjoying their boat,” says Adrien Burnand, MDL’s head of marketing. “That’s what we’re giving them with Towergate, an enhanced product over anything we’ve offered before. For example, Freedom Berthing is the most innovative marina berthing product available to boaters allowing them to explore our impressive network at no extra cost, and we wanted to complement our members’ spirit of discovery with an equally innovative insurance product and service. Whether customers are renting out their boat via our Beds on Board scheme, or enjoying a few weeks exploring the Med in our marinas, we want them to rest assured that they’re being covered by the best.”

For more information about the benefits offered to MDL members, please click here.


Young Sailing Talent Celebrated at 31st Sail Training Awards

Posted: 31st August 2018

Six deserving young people who won a place on the 31st MDL Sail Training Awards voyage will be officially presented with their trophies by Lord IIiffe, on Thursday 20th September at 2pm (stand E52). The youngsters returned from their trip earlier this year after spending five days at sea with the Ocean Youth Trust South, on the incredible tallship Prolific.

The MDL-sponsored awards, which have been running for 31 years, offer admirable young people - carefully selected due to their exceptional accomplishments, or for overcoming adverse personal circumstances – the opportunity of a lifetime aboard the sail training ship. 

The passage commenced from MDL’s Ocean Village Marina and the team made their way down to Dartmouth, being taught along the way how to sail the vessel, before circling back along the coast. During sailing, the team carried out drills such as rescuing a man overboard and pilotage planning, whilst having plenty of fun in between. Upon returning to shore, the young sailors deservedly earned a ‘Royal Yachting Association Start Yachting Certificate’.

Adrien Burnand, Head of Marketing at MDL Marinas, commented: “Our Sail Training Awards are a hugely important initiative for us, which we have undertaken with Ocean Youth Trust South for an amazing 31 years. It was a once-in-a-lifetime trip for those selected, honouring them for their remarkable achievements at such a young age. We look forward to this day at Southampton Boat Show each year, as it’s a fantastic chance to hear all of the stories and see what an inspiration the trip has been for everyone.”

Mark Todd, Chief Executive of Ocean Youth Trust South, added: “Over the last three decades years we have met many truly inspirational young people through the MDL Sail Training Awards. Throughout the 31 years, MDL Marinas has given us tremendous support, the MDL award winners are always highly deserving and inspirational young people and this year’s winners were no exception.

“We have a long track record of using adventure under sail to give young people the skills to succeed in life – the skills that individuals, families, schools, employers and communities need – and MDL’s generosity plays a key role at the heart of all our work.”


MDL to deliver 5-star experience at Southampton Boat Show

Posted: 22nd August 2018

MDL Marinas is delighted to reveal that within its hospitality lounge overlooking the main boat show marina (E052), Salcombe Gin will be hosting daily taster sessions and teach the art of distilling, while the five-star Southampton Harbour Hotel spa team offers complimentary head, neck, and shoulder massages.

Known across its extensive network of over 120 marinas for its excellent customer service, prime locations and top of the line facilities, MDL Marinas is applying its key ethos of relax, enjoy and discover to its stand at TheYachtMarket.com Southampton Boat Show.

“We’re recreating the excellent experience people enjoy at our marinas,” says Dean Smith, commercial director for the European-wide group of marinas in UK, Italy, France and Spain. “There’s always something exciting happening onshore, so it makes sense to continue that at Southampton Boat Show. We’re delighted to be welcoming two partners to the stand.”

Guest hosts
Salcombe Gin, a traditional copper pot, one-shot distiller based in Devon, will host a tasting session every day between 4 and 5pm on MDL’s stunning members’ waterside hospitality lounge. Distillery demonstrations will take place on both Sundays (16 / 23 September), and Wednesday (19 September) between 3 and 4pm. 

Southampton Harbour Hotel's HarSPA, will also be offering complimentary head, neck and shoulder massages throughout the show, as well as foot pampers. Known for their deep tissue massages to ease muscle aches and areas of tension, HarSPA therapists offer Lava Shell, Bamboo and Lomi Lomi massages in the five-star hotel.



Relax, enjoy, discover
MDL is looking forward to welcoming over 4,000 members and their guests to its stunning waterside hospitality lounge. Visitors are encouraged to use the area as a meeting place, or somewhere to take a well-deserved break. With free WiFi, refreshments and massages from the Harbour Hotel’s spa staff, the lounge is the ideal place to relax in comfort.

Helping its members to explore with friends, MDL will showcase its impressive network of over 120 marinas. Visitors will also be able to discover the exciting benefits of becoming an MDL member such as Freedom Berthing which gives access to the marinas in the European network at no extra cost, and upcoming offers that feature options for winter marina berthing and storage. Plus, it’s the ideal opportunity to discuss Beds On Board, the accommodation scheme designed to unlock the economic potential of members’ boats.

Additionally, the boat show offers a great opportunity to celebrate and enjoy the end of the season. On the members’ balcony overlooking the marina, MDL’s hospitality lounge offers a buzzing social environment, complimentary refreshments and fundraising events for the two great charities that the company supports.

“We love the Southampton Boat Show,” Dean continues. “It’s a great opportunity to touch base with our members and hear about their marina and cruising experiences. Plus, we enjoy meeting those who haven’t stayed with us before, finding out about their sailing adventures, plans, and letting them know all about the benefits of becoming part of the MDL family. We’re also really looking forward to sharing more information about the great work we’re doing with the Blue Marine Foundation, the Ocean Youth Trust South and our Sail Training Awards. It’s going to be a great show!”

Make sure that you plan time in your day to visit the stand (E052), enjoy the view and learn more about MDL Marinas.


MDL Marinas' summer deals have landed!

Posted: 2nd July 2018

Summer is officially here and a glorious season out on the water is underway. At MDL Marinas that means one thing – it’s time for our famous summer offers. There are great deals of up to 55% off across the group, up and down the Thames and along the Solent coastline.

If you’re not yet an MDL member, enjoy cruising some of the most beautiful coastlines and waterways in the UK from the country’s finest marinas with two months’ summer berthing from just £350.

If your boat is in need of a lift and scrub, our boatyards have come up with generous deals - up to £380 off - to make sure boats are gleaming for the summer ahead. Prices start from just £16 per metre for a lift, pressure wash and relaunch at Shamrock and Hythe marinas in Southampton.

For further details on the full range of offers available at MDL marinas this summer visit www.mdlmarinas.co.uk/offers.


Marina Day 2018

On the 9th June 2018

Which MDL site will you be heading to on Marina Day? Open to everyone, we’re throwing fun-packed family days out across the group on June 9th.
 
With plenty to do and try on the water, jaw-dropping displays, food stalls, great music and perhaps the odd tipple, it’s the perfect way to spend a summer’s day.
 
Highlights from around the group include jet ski safaris at Sparkes, the Bomb Squad and their robots at Queen Anne’s Battery, jet rib rides with Saber at Shamrock Quay, a flyboarding display and light show at Torquay, an open-air cinema at Mercury Yacht Harbour, sea kayaking at Woolverstone and lots more besides.

Events are being held at the following MDL marinas:

  • Chatham Maritime Marina, Kent
  • Hythe Marina Village, near Southampton
  • Mercury Yacht Harbour, Hamble
  • Northney Marina, Hayling Island
  • Ocean Village Marina, Southampton
  • Queen Anne's Battery, Plymouth
  • Shamrock Quay, Southampton
  • Torquay Marina, Torquay
  • Woolverstone Marina, Ipswich

Please click here for a full list of events.

Marina Focus on South Devon

Posted: 17th May 2018

With a summer of cruising stretching ahead of us, there are few lovelier places to be than the English Riviera, 22 miles of breathtaking coastline in South Devon. MDL’s three West Coast marinas, Torquay, Brixham and Queen Anne’s Battery in Plymouth, offer a range of idyllic destinations within easy cruising distance of one another.

MDL members are able to take advantage of the Freedom Berthing programme, visiting these delightful and characterful English holiday spots – part of MDLs 120 marina network - for no extra cost. MDL members can also buy fuel at cost, with Brixham and Queen Anne’s Battery both offering fuel stations. Additionally, members can sign up for the secure Beds On Board programme to recoup money on their annual costs, and make the most of storage ashore and boatyard discounts. All three are 5 Gold Anchor marinas.

There’s so much to see and do in Torquay, Brixham and Queen Anne’s Battery and with a busy social programme at each marina, the holiday begins as soon as you arrive.

Torquay Marina
Nestled in the north-east corner of Torbay and sheltered from the prevailing south-westerly winds, Torquay Marina is a safe haven in all weathers, with modern facilities, superb bluewater cruising and secure facilities.

The maximum LOA is 30 meters and there are 440 berths. The nearby MDL 7 acre Dartside Quay dry boat storage area has space for over 300 boats and a 65-ton hoist.

Cruising
Torbay itself offers many lovely anchorages, with plenty of coves and beaches to explore, including Babbacombe Bay, Fishcombe Cove and Goodrington Beach. Heading south brings you to the picturesque fishing village of Brixham, where MDL also has a marina. Members can make the most of the MDL Freedom Berthing programme to cruise to neighbouring marinas (not to mention many further afield – 120 across the UK and Europe).

Head further west and explore the sheltered River Dart. Beyond Start Point is the beautiful Salcombe Estuary with spectacular 400 foot cliffs at Bolt Head. 

The marina is also conveniently situated for crossing the Channel to Brittany, Normandy and the Channel Islands, ideal for a weekend away.

Local highlights
Torquay, which played host to the sailing events in the 1948 Summer Olympics, is a hugely popular destination for yachtsmen and all manner of watersports enthusiasts.

When it comes to drinking and dining, the Hotel & Restaurant John Burton-Race, masterminded by the Michelin starred chef, is a short walk from the marina. The Pier Point Restaurant & Bar, The Fat Cow and the Offshore Bar & Restaurant are all great destinations for fresh local dishes, lighter bites and drinks.

There’s plenty of entertainment organised at the marina, too. Join the flotilla and enjoy watching the famous Torbay air show from June 1st to the 3rd, or take part our flash rally to Guernsey in July. The Torbay Royal Regatta is on from August 25th - 29th, with a French Market on the water. Check the MDL website for all the other fun and games planned this year.

Torquay is a beautiful town with many fantastic bars, shops and restaurants well worth a visit. There’s also the beautiful Pavilion Garden, home to the English Rivera Wheel. The Wheel offers unrivalled views out over the harbour

Personal recommendations
“With the busy members events calendar and the amount of things to do in and around the bay, you’re not just berthing here, it’s more of a holiday package experience with the addition of a nice selection of restaurants and bars to choose from after a busy day on the water.”

Access
By land, you can visit the marina via railway. Torquay Railway station is just a short walk from the marina. If you’re coming by car, take the A380 from Exeter then the Riviera Way. Thanks to recent improvements, journey times have been reduced by as much as an hour.

By sea, Torquay is a working harbour and visitors should read and abide by any safety signs and information to apprise themselves of potential hazards or dangers. Call 01803 200210 or VHF channel 80 call sign ‘Torquay Marina’.

 

Brixham Marina
Brixham Marina is in the heart of Brixham, one of south Devon’s prettiest fishing towns. Sheltered from the south-westerly winds and offering safe access in all weathers and at all states of the tide, it’s the perfect base for your sailing adventures.

Facilities
The maximum LOA at Brixham is 18 LOA, although larger vessels can be accommodated by prior arrangement. The marina has 485 berths. There’s storage ashore available at the nearby MDL Dartside Quay.

Cruising
Torbay has several beautiful anchorages and there are many fine restaurants to visit, both in Brixham and Torbay across the bay. To the west is the River Dart, and further on the spectacular Cornish coastline with the cruising grounds of Fowey, the Fal Estuary and the Helford River, all within reach.

Head east and visit Babbacombe Bay, the Teign Estuary and the River Exe. For the more adventurous, a cruise across to the Channel Islands is a popular weekend trip. Again, watch out for challenges from the wind directions.

Local area highlights
Brixham Harbour is located on the southern side of Torbay and boasts one of the largest fishing fleets in the UK, plus a thriving fish market.

Over 100 fishing boats land and sell their catch at the local fish market on the quayside. The comings and goings of the fishing fleet, made up of large beam trawlers and the smaller day boats, can be enjoyed from a visitor viewing platform.

The harbour is also home to a fleet of heritage trawlers, all lovingly restored by passionate enthusiasts and now offering chartered voyages. 

For food and drinks close to the marina, the family-run Breakwater Bistro serves tasty bites, coffees and with panoramic views across the bay.  The Prince William restaurant and bar, overlooking the harbour, offers quick bites, a la carte meals and a carvery.

There’s always plenty to do at the marina, check the MDL website for events. This summer, we’ll be enjoying all the action from the World Cup and Wimbledon, marking Father’s Day with special treats, and enjoying the annual summer party takes place on September 7th at the Berry Head Hotel.

The fishing harbour is buzzing from early in the morning when the fish auctions are held, until late in the evening when the seafood restaurants are filled with diners and a great atmosphere.

The nearby Berry Head National Nature Reserve offers spectacular views, coastal walks and fabulous food at the award winning Guardshouse Café, open for breakfast, lunch, Devon teas and cakes.

Access
The marina is easily located in Torbay at N 50° 24' 31 W 003° 30' 85. The wind directions can cause some challenges but in the main, the marina is open all hours. The VHF radio is ch80.

By land, take the Brixham turn-off at Paignton on the A380 from Newton Abbot. Brixham benefits from the recently improved road network with journey times from Birmingham and Bath vastly improved.

 

Queen Anne’s Battery
Queen Anne’s Battery is in the centre of Plymouth, known as a City of the Sea and historic base to many famous seafaring voyages around the world. Offering outstanding facilities for yachtsmen and motor cruisers alike, there’s plenty to do on the water, in the town and at the marina.

Facilities
The maximum LOA is 18 meters (42 meters on visitor’s pontoon). The total number of berths is 235 plus visitor berths. There’s boat lifting and storage ashore and 40 ton boat hoist.

Cruising
The marina provides an ideal departure point for those heading off around the UK - Wales and Southern Ireland – are good destinations – or across to Brittany and further afield.

There is extensive cruising around Plymouth Sound. Further west there's plenty to explore in the rivers Fal and Fowey along the rugged Cornish coast. Heading east towards Devon, visit Dartmouth, Torquay and the pretty fishing village of Brixham. The Channel Islands are a popular weekend destination from Queen Anne’s Battery.

Local area highlights
As City Of The Sea, steeped in maritime history, Plymouth is a fascinating destination for yachtsman. Additionally, as home to the Royal Western Yacht Club, and many international short-handed yacht races start and finish here, including the single-handed Transatlantic Race, the Round Britain Race and the finish of the prestigious Rolex Fastnet Race.

The Sound Bites Café serves hearty breakfasts, delicious lunches as well as coffees and drinks. Chandlers Bar & Bistro on the serves excellent food and wines with a beautiful view of the Plymouth Sound and Drake's Island with the Cornish coastline as a backdrop. The large heated dining terrace makes it a cosy retreat by day or night.

There’s a fun-packed schedule at the marina this summer, with highlights including the summer party with the Royal Western Yacht Club on July 28th – a hog roast, drinks and dancing are on the cards this year. There’s the British Firework Championships to look forward to in August.

Plymouth is a lively and bustling city with plenty to do. The National Marine Aquarium is within walking distance of Queen Anne’s Battery. There are guided tours of Plymouth Gin and the interactive Pilgrim Fathers & Mayflower exhibition – or catch a show at the Theatre Royal Plymouth. There’s also a Vue cinema and Tenpin bowling just an eight minute walk away from the marina for a relaxed evening out.

Personal recommendations
John Tinkler: “Queen Anne’s Battery – a great place to park and right next to the sea. Chandler’s Restaurant is a great place to eat.”

Mike Read: “Coming to the end of another great season at QAB, thanks for all your help guys, always there to help with whatever the problem. A well-kept and clean marina.”

Ed Mant: “Helpful staff and polite. Good amenities. Sheltered from the wind and very clean and tidy. Lovely little pub with friendly staff and great food.”

Access
From the road, join the A38 fast road to Plymouth from the M5 at Exeter. Coming via the sea, Queen Anne’s Battery is to the right of Plymouth Hoe at the mouth of the river Plym. There’s easy access to the marina opposite the historical Barbican area of Plymouth.

Contact the Marina on VHF ch80 on approach, or call on 01752 671142. Vessels should consult charts on approach.


Special Norwegian Fjords offer for MDL Members

Posted: 2nd May 2018

Circa 1500 miles plus see some amazing sights, berths are available on a Challenger 72 that will sail from Portsmouth to the Norwegian Fjords and back.
 
The plan is to depart from Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth on 13th May and get to Norway 5 or 6 days later. Stavanger will probably be the first port of call. You’ll then spend 5 or 6 days exploring the dramatic fjords before reaching Bergen where we'll then head back down the North Sea through the oil and gas fields and on to Portsmouth.
 
Price is usually £1677 and includes all food on board, fuel, gas, oilskins and insurance. For MDL Members this has been reduced to £1425, a saving of 15%!
 
This is a great opportunity for anyone looking to build miles and get experience of a watch system / night watches / sailing up and down the North Sea / through the Dover Straits / navigating in the Fjords etc.
 
Challenger 72 is an extremely seaworthy yacht and built to sail around the world, a feat it has accomplished twice. A professional skipper and mate will also be provided.

Visit the First Class Sailing website for more information.


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