Passeport Escales Proves Popular On Both Sides of the Channel

Posted: 12th July 2013

Following the great news that MDL Marinas has joined forces with French marina operator, Sagemor, giving berth holders access to an additional 55 marinas this season, we’re delighted to report that the scheme is already proving popular with berth holders from both sides of the Channel.

Simon and Jenny Wilmshurst-Smith from MDL’s Brixham Marina were the first to make the crossing to France aboard their yacht Fenicia, enjoying stays at Camaret-Sur-Mer, Port Louis, Port Haliguen and Port Joinville.

Simon Wilmshurst-Smith, commented: “We had a great journey and received a fantastic welcome from all the marina teams. They have been very efficient with the Passeport Escales arrangements when we arrived and were very excited that we were their first British customers. The arrival couldn’t be easier and we’d highly recommend others get out there and use it.”

Meanwhile, the skipper and crew of Blue Berry from Port Blanc, Ile Aux Moines, received a warm welcome from the marina teams at Torquay and Port Hamble marinas as the first French customers to use the scheme to explore MDL’s marinas in the UK.

Passeport Escales gives MDL’s UK annual berth holders a completely unique package to gain free visitor nights at an additional 55 marinas on the northwest coast of France – all within their annual berthing fee. Berth holders can take advantage of the scheme for the rest of the season, which is an easy-to-use, fully automated system. It works as a reciprocal programme where berth holders check out of their marinas and choose another marina to stay at from the network. The only condition of the scheme is boaters must check out on leaving.

For more information on Passeport Escales click here

MDL Berth Holders to Benefit From Even Greater Cruising Opportunities

Posted: 3rd July 2013

MDL Marinas has once again extended the cruising opportunities available to its berth holders with the signing of a new agreement with the Public Ports of Andalusia. Under the new partnership, our berth holders will gain access to a free visitor guide service that will assist boaters in making reservations at the 10 ports of Andalucía under the public ports direct control, making cruising the beautiful Spanish coast easier than ever before.

On the coast of Huelva, berths for MDL customers will be available in the ports of Mazagón, Ayamonte, Punta Umbria and Isla Cristina. On the coast of Cádiz, the ports of Puerto America, Rota, Chipiona and Barbate. Finally, in the province of Almería, Adra and Garrucha will be included in this agreement.

The news comes just months after MDL announced an exclusive partnership with French marina operator, Sagemor. The two schemes will now allow MDL berth holders the opportunity to visit more than 80 marinas in the UK, France, Spain and Italy, opening up the largest cruising network offered by any European marina operator and reaffirming MDL’s clear market leader position.

Dean Smith, Marketing Director at MDL Marinas, commented: “This latest partnership is fantastic news for our customers, with our annual berthing package just getting bigger and better every year. It opens even greater cruising opportunities for our annual berth holders to enjoy the opportunity to travel further afield than ever before, without the need to worry about language or a lack of availability.”

The Andalusian coast has a wealth of attractions for boat owners, with beautiful beaches on Cadiz's Costa de la Luz, from palm-fringed sweeps of golden sand to hidden rocky coves. Further inland, visitors can explore the region’s capital, Seville, and the Alhambra, the breath-taking Moorish palace in Granada.

MDL Proud to Participate in Ground-Breaking Back to Work Scheme

Posted: 1st July 2013

A ground-breaking Back to Work programme that steers young people into employment has been rolled out in Southampton.

Change Direction, a JobCentre Plus funded initiative provided by Isle of Wight based youth education and maritime training charity UKSA, has already seen 80% of participants move into employment, education or training.

As part of a plan to roll the successful scheme out across the UK, participants were selected for a Southampton programme and within two weeks of the course finishing, half had signed off benefits and moved into employment.

The six-week programme takes young adults who are living on benefits and gives them a whole range of on and off the water experiences, a healthy routine, and raises their aspirations and self-belief. Participants also gain important life and work skills and complete a CV. They are also helped to overcome a great deal of barriers that were preventing them from gaining employment.

Lee Jones, UKSA Youth Development Co-coordinator, said they had created a course to inspire young people, teach them new skills and help them be creative with their job search.

The completely unique course, which until recently was only running on the Isle of Wight, is now being extended out to areas of Kent and London, as well as Southampton.

Lee explained: “The reason we have extended it to other areas is because JobCentre Plus has seen the value of the programme, as it does get people back into work. Because of the contacts made with the maritime companies it has opened up options for these young people. All the participants have improved their soft skills, their transferable skills, so they can better interact with potential employers.

“We would like to extend a huge thank you to all the local businesses who gave up so much of their time to work on this programme with us. The opportunity to be inspired by so many proactive employers was a huge benefit to these young people.”

Jonathan Walcroft, Manager of Saxon Wharf and Shamrock Quay for Marina Developments Limited, offered work experience to the participants. He said “I would just like to say on behalf of Marina Developments Ltd, what a pleasure it was to have your students working with us during their six week placement. They had a superb attitude towards all tasks asked of them and were a great help to me. I am sure they have an excellent chance of securing long term employment in the future.”

UKSA would like to thank Marina Developments Ltd, Seadub, Rona Sailing Project, Red Funnel Ferries, Doyle Sails, Walcon, Southampton Water Activity Centre, Green Marine, Elvstrom, Ocean Quay and Stormforce Coaching, who all offered work experience opportunities.

In addition, thanks go to RNLI College in Poole, Spencer Rigging, Ocean Safety, LDC Racing, the National Geographic Centre, Calshott Tower and Berthon in Lymington.

Case Study: James had suffered more than his fair share of bad luck by the time he turned up to start the Change Direction programme at the age of 24. He was left in a coma after a near-fatal accident, but once on his road to recovery he wanted to work. Apart from a temporary Christmas placement at Argos he remained unemployed – and frustrated.

When James heard about the Change Direction programme, he thought it sounded perfect. He persistently rang up Jobcentre Plus to ask to be considered for the programme. Once accepted he loved the course, which involved a mixture of activities at UKSA, work experience within the maritime industry and a focus on improving personal development skills. Having previously studied marine engineering when he left school he would like to pursue a career or receive further training in this line of work. James has since received news that following his work experience placement with Walcon, he has secured employment with the company building jetties and pontoons, some of which may be used for the Southampton Boat show.

For more information about the Change Direction Programme please contact Lee Jones, Youth Development Coordinator at UKSA

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10% Discount Visitor Berthing

From 22nd June 2013 until 23rd June 2013
Book a visitor berth by Midnight 21/6/2013 to gain 10% discount for this weekend only
To take advantage of this offer you will need to book a visitors berth by Midnight Friday 21/6/2013 for the weekend (22-23/6/2013).

New Marina Berths for Chatham Maritime Marina

Posted: 14th June 2013

Chatham Maritime Marina will be able to offer even greater space for berth holders, with the official opening of 60 new marina berths. The new pontoons, which represent a significant investment in the Kent marina, were officially opened by the Mayor of Medway, Councillor Mrs Josie Iles. 

The construction work forms part of the Chatham Maritime Project, with MDL Marinas – Europe’s largest marina operator - working in partnership with the Homes and Communities Agency and Chatham Maritime Trust as part of extensive regeneration works in the area. Cllr Mrs Iles and other invited guests were treated to a tour of the marina by boat, learning more about the important maritime history of the area, before stepping onto the new pontoons for the official opening ceremony.

Dean Smith, Marketing Director at MDL Marinas, commented: “We are committed to investing in our marinas, and these new berths will allow even more boat owners access to both the beautiful cruising opportunities in the Medway Estuary and the renowned MDL customer service that people using the new berths will experience. The local area has undergone a significant transformation in recent years, and we are proud to be part of this, whilst also ensuring our customer service and locations are of the very highest standards.

“We were delighted to welcome the Mayor and our other guests to this important occasion and look forward to seeing the new berths being well used this summer.”

2013-2014 Tide Table Booklets

Posted: 30th May 2013

We now have the 2013-2014 Tide Table booklets available to purchase from our marina offices. They are being sold at £1.00 per booklet and all proceeds will be donated to the Ocean Youth Trust South (OYT South), a charity that we have supported for many years with the Sail Training Awards.

In celebration of our 40th anniversary, MDL is supporting OYT South throughout 2013 by hosting a series of charitable events including raffles and prize auctions. We’re also encouraging marina tenants and businesses run by berth holders to get involved and choose Ocean Youth Trust South as their nominated charity for 2013.

For further information about the Ocean Youth Trust South and its vital work with young people visit, or to book a voyage for yourself click here.

Shamrock Quay Open Day

On the 20th July 2013

Showcasing all that Shamrock Quay marina has to offer, in association with the RYA Active Marina programme and Stormforce Coaching. Visit Shamrock Quay between 14.30 and 17.00 on Saturday 20th July for a FREE fun day out for all the family, packed with opportunities to get on the water and be entertained shore-side with live demonstrations.

Get Afloat with try a boat (all boat trips are FREE, subject to availability)

  • SB20 Performance Keelboats - Stormforce Coaching
  • RIB rides – RIB Shack Marine
  • Rowing with Romsey Sea Cadets
  • Jet RIB experience – Saber Powerboats

Live Demonstrations within the marina (all shore-side activities are FREE and running throughout the day)

  • Launching a Life Raft
  • Live Firing of Distress Flares
  • Man Overboard Recovery (Power & Sail)
  • Weather / GPS Workshops
  • Diesel Engine Workshop
  • Radar Workshop
  • Water Marking from Hampshire Police
  • Static Displays from Hampshire Fire & Rescue


With all this activity both on the water and ashore, you’re bound to need some refreshment. Stop by at the afternoon street party, hosted by The Yellow Welly café, pick up some sweets from the mobile sweet shop or visit The Waterfront pub’s BBQ – there’s something for everyone!

For More Information
Call: 023 8033 9490
Email: Sophie Bisset