… It's in good food and good company. Which is why we've brought you a list of restaurant offers, from across the network, to help make sure you've got your Valentine's Day plans covered.
Whether you want to make the most of having your boat within walking distance of the restaurant or fancy a romantic jaunt along to another one of our marinas using your free visitor nights, here's what's going on around MDL Marinas…
Port Hamble Marina, Hamble, Southampton - In the heart of the marina, Banana Wharf adds a touch of the exotic to the Solent waters. With a special Valentine's Day menu, be sure not to miss out by contacting them here.
Hythe Marina Village, Hythe, Southampton - From February 13th to 17th La Vista at Hythe is offering a special menu; even for those who can't make the day there's still opportunities to make the most of time with your Valentine… Book today!
Ocean Village Marina, Southampton - With a host of restaurants there's something for all palates, from Bacaro's Valentine's Day Tapas to Southampton Harbour Hotel's Jetty with a four-course meal, bubbly and entertainment, and not forgetting Banana Wharf's a la carte menu. Click on the links to see what's on offer!
Chatham Maritime Marina, Chatham - The ever-popular Ship & Trades is a short walking distance from the marina and is offering couples a romantic meal for two with delicious specials, a glass of bubbly, a single stemmed rose and romantic setting. If this sounds like your idea of romance contact them to find out more.
Hamble Point Marina, Hamble, Southampton - Overlooking the marina, and with a great choice of food and drink, Ketch Rigger will be offering a Sunday carvery if you're short of time during the week, book on their webpage here.
Of course, many of our marinas have fantastic restaurants in their nearby towns too, our marina teams can make great suggestions, so be sure to ask if you want more ideas!
On top of our incredible locations and fantastic restaurants and bars, find out more about the other benefits to Freedom Berthing and membership. Or if you're thinking about joining us, you can get a quote today!
MDL's Shamrock Quay is delighted to announce it has joined the YoBike dockless bike-sharing scheme that recently launched in Southampton.
Shamrock Quay will become one of the recognised bike parks for the scheme in the city, which is the UK’s first large-scale bike sharing scheme that is free of docking stations. YoBike riders can find and unlock a bike at hundreds of parking spots using a mobile app, then simply hop on and cycle around the city, for just £1 per hour, or a capped fee of £5 for 24 hours.
Mark Elliott, Dockmaster at Shamrock Quay, commented: “We're thrilled to announce that we are now a recognised bike park for YoBike. The scheme will be a fantastic benefit for members and visitors to Shamrock Quay, who can simply jump on a bike and explore the surrounding area, head into the city or visit local shops and amenities.
“The bike park is conveniently located behind our marina office and being bright yellow, the bikes are very easy to spot.”
YoBike was set up in 2016 by tech entrepreneurs, Bin Wang and Michael Qian. Following a successful launch in Bristol, the bike-sharing scheme came to Southampton in September 2017. Located at convenient sites across the city, the bikes can be found via the YoBike app; scanning the unique QR code printed on the lock of the bikes unlocks them. Once finished with, the bikes can be returned to any official bike park.
For more information, visit the YoBike website.
Last season MDL saw the addition of 24 new marinas, expanding our network to 124 marinas, across Europe with Passeport Escales - making it the perfect tool for weekend breaks or longer adventures. You can now explore even more of coastal Europe from the luxury of your own boat and it doens't cost any extra; it's included in your Freedom Berthing benefits!
In addition to the UK and Italy, Passeport Escales allows MDL members to explore a stunning array of destinations across France, Spain and now Belgium too. With the addition of Ostend in Belgium, sailors can enjoy the varied landscapes of Europe’s Atlantic coasts, to Porto Deportivo Cangas in Spain, before heading around to our very own Sant Carles Marina on the beautiful Mediterranean Sea.
Over the last year alone our members have benefited from over 15,000 visitor nights across our European network, saving on visitor fees whilst experiencing the joys of sailing further afield. Popular destinations include Cherbourg and Jersey in the Channel and Roscoff in Brittany
From the wild, rugged coasts of the Belle-Île in Brittany, to the cultural hub of Bilbao with its impressive Guggenheim museum, Passeport Escales provides a gateway into Europe that all MDL members can enjoy.
With Freedom Berthing, our members also benefit from fuel at cost, free wifi, discounted boatyard services, great socials and the option to explore the UK’s coastline and waterways in any MDL Marina at no extra cost. Get a quote today!
Or find out how the Foxes got on when they toured the European network.
If you're a planner then we've got good news for you; grab your 2018 diaries and a cup of tea and make note of the fantastic calendar we have in store for you next year!
With members' parties, fireworks, BBQs, fishing competitions, classic car shows, boat shows and open air cinemas, there's plenty for everyone! What's more, even when there isn't a dedicated event on there's always plenty to enjoy in your local MDL marina, so if you ever find yourself at a loose end, it's always worth heading to your boat to see what's on.
See what events are happening at your local marina below, with your downloadable social calendar for 2018, or see what's happening around the network to plan your weekend trips away!
Four members of staff at MDL Marinas’ Shamrock Quay in Southampton have been recognised for their bravery after rescuing a woman who fell into the water at the marina.
Mrs Chrissie Cockburn, a member at Shamrock Quay, lost her balance and slipped from the pontoon into the water. The incident, which happened on 26 May 2017, was seen by Marina Manager, Jonathan Walcroft and Marina Supervisor, Barry Radband, who rushed to the scene, alongside Boatyard Supervisor, Andy Trim and Marina Operative, Colin Cool. Andy and Colin were first to jump into the water, quickly pulling Chrissie, who was facedown and unconscious, from the water.
In recognition of their actions to save the life of Chrissie, the team of four from MDL have been awarded with Royal Humane Society commendations. The Royal Humane Society awards are presented for acts of bravery in the saving of human life and for effecting successful resuscitations. Thankfully, Chrissie went on to make a full recovery.
Commenting on the incident, Chrissie said: “I am extremely grateful to my four rescuers for their swift actions. Unfortunately I was not wearing a life jacket at the time as I was simply walking along the pontoon from my boat, Ilkallia. I tried to steady myself, but misjudged the distance to the hose reel station and toppled into the water. I’m now fit and well and back enjoying life on the water.”
The Royal Humane Society Awards were presented to the team from Shamrock Quay by Lesley Robinson, Managing Director at MDL Marinas. Lesley commented: “We’re extremely proud of the team at Shamrock Quay. Without their swift action, the outcome could have been a lot different. Our marina teams all undergo extensive first aid and life saving training, but it’s very rare that their skills are put to the test in this way. It’s great to see that they all kept their heads and their training kicked in. Congratulations to Jonathan, Andy, Barry and Colin on their Royal Humane Society Awards, which are very much deserved.”
MDL Marinas has launched a unique integrated partnership with leading online boat accommodation platform, Beds on Board, marking its continued position as a pioneer within the marine industry.
In a world-first tie-up between a marina group and a sharing economy platform, the exclusive partnership will provide MDL’s members with a fully managed service to rent out accommodation on their yachts. The platform allows holidaymakers to access unique getaway experiences in unrivalled locations across Europe, whilst offering the boat owner a tried and tested model through which to securely rent out their vessel.
Dean Smith, Commercial Director at MDL Marinas, commented: “Within the tourism industry there is a growing appetite for alternative, unique accommodation and we’re thrilled to offer our members access to this audience through our partnership with Beds on Board. The platform will offer our members a hassle-free, safe and fully-managed approach to book out accommodation on their yachts, helping our members to create additional value through their boat ownership.
“At MDL Marinas our unshakeable benchmark is to maintain a leading position within the industry, so it is essential we continue to evolve and provide access to services such as Beds on Board. Our dynamic network of marinas across the UK and Europe are situated in a variety of stunning locations, affording users of Beds on Board the opportunity to experience a stay on the water and see the local area from a novel perspective.”
Launching in 2015, Beds on Board is a peer-to-peer marketplace that allows owners to rent their boat to guests looking for an alternative to traditional accommodation, such as hotels and bed & breakfasts. Users of the site can search for boats in their desired location, before chatting to the owner through a secure Message Centre. After a stay, both the user and owner are encouraged to write reviews in order to grow trust and the community.
Co-founder of Beds on Board, Jason Ludlow, added: “This exciting partnership shows our commitment to working with the marine industry to help grow the boating community and to help owners offset their costs. We’re looking forward to working with MDL to offer their members a managed solution for renting their boat on bedsonboard.com.”
Existing MDL members can list their boats at bedsonboard.com.
Six deserving young people who won a place on the 30th Anniversary MDL Sail Training Awards voyage will be officially presented with their trophies by Eamonn Feeney, Chairman of Ocean Youth Trust South, on Tuesday 19th September at 3pm (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 maiden voyage of its refurbished vessel, Prolific.
The MDL-sponsored awards, which have been running for 30 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 training yacht.
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 30 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 30 years, MDL Marinas has given us tremendous support and, without them, we wouldn’t have our magnificent boat, Prolific, back in the water – so it was very fitting that they supplied so many of the young crew members for this voyage. 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.”
For more information, please visit www.sailtrainingawards.co.uk.