Nominations Invited for the Sailing Experience of a Lifetime

Posted: 19th December 2013

We’re inviting you to nominate deserving youngsters for the trip of a lifetime, with nominations still open for this year's MDL Sail Training Awards.

We are proud to have run the awards in conjunction with Ocean Youth Trust South for over 20 years. The annual awards are designed to recognise, reward and challenge young people who have shown exceptional accomplishments and qualities which have inspired or supported others. 

The winning youngsters will receive an unforgettable sailing experience on board the Ocean Youth Trust South's training yacht John Laing in April 2014. The six youngsters selected for the trip will spend five nights living and sailing on board, and will become involved in all aspects of life at sea, including hoisting sails, helping with maintenance, sailing the boat at night and cooking and cleaning with the rest of the crew. 

Past winners have included young people who have been outstanding achievers, as well as those who have been involved in voluntary work, those who have never had the chance to travel abroad, and those with added family responsibilities.

Anyone working with young people can send in nominations, including teachers, guide or scout leaders, youth group leaders, friends and employers. Anyone can nominate, apart from parents, guardians or close family. If this sounds like you or someone you know, click here for further information or to make your nomination.

Don’t forget the deadline – nominations must be made by Friday 17th January 2014.


It’s a Gold Rush for MDL Marinas!

Posted: 18th December 2013

Earlier this year we brought you the good news that several of our marinas have achieved the coveted Five Gold Anchor status, the highest grading possible from The Yacht Harbour Association.

We’re very proud to announce that two more marinas have joined the ranks of award-winners, with Five Gold Anchor status now granted to Hamble Point and Chatham Maritime marinas. The assessments included a mystery shop, berth holders survey and an audit against a wide selection of criteria, offering an impartial review of the services and facilities available.

The two marinas are to be congratulated on their achievement, which is just another demonstration of the consistently high quality offered by our marina portfolio.

The scheme has been designed by The Yacht Harbour Association, with contribution from the RYA, to help boat owners make an informed decision on where to berth.

The news follows the Five Gold Anchor status achieved by all three of our Thames marinas, as well as Shamrock Quay, Northney Marina and Mercury Yacht Harbour earlier this year. 

The full list of MDL's marinas with Five Gold Anchor status is now as follows:

  • Bray Marina
  • Brixham Marina
  • Chatham Maritime Marina
  • Cobb's Quay Marina
  • Hamble Point Marina
  • Hythe Marina Village
  • Mercury Yacht Harbour
  • Northney Marina
  • Penton Hook Marina
  • Port Hamble Marina
  • Queen Anne's Battery
  • Shamrock Quay
  • Torquay Marina
  • Windsor Marina

 

For more information on the Gold Anchor Award scheme visit www.which-marina.com.


Working to Build an Even Better Marina Experience

Posted: 18th December 2013

At MDL Marinas we pride ourselves on providing the very highest levels of quality and service at our marinas and facilities to our customers throughout the year. That’s why we’ll be investing further in our marina sites all over the country, to make sure that we maintain and wherever possible improve your marina experience.

Just some of the works and improvements planned for the coming months are:

  • A complete re-deck of the catamaran berths at Sparkes Marina, alongside improvements to car park lighting and the installation of a new refuse area which will improve the appearance of the marina entrance
  • Comprehensive maintenance works over the winter at Northney Marina, helping to improve the appearance of the marina and making the grounds look fantastic for the new season
  • The opening of a new on-site restaurant, Quay Fifteen, at Shamrock Quay
  • New dining options at Cobb’s Quay as The Boathouse bar and restaurant comes under new management
  • Continuing maintenance works at Hythe Village Marina and Ocean Village Marina following the refurbishment of the North Side facilities block at Ocean Village
  • Further improvements to the pontoons, marina electrics and facilities at both Mercury Yacht Harbour and Port Hamble Marina
  • Upgrading the main facilities block and marina reception/administration facilities at Hamble Point Marina, as well as improving CCTV coverage and increasing the number of pontoon trolleys available

 

Already completed this year has been extensive refurbishment of the facilities at Queen Anne’s Battery, providing beautiful modern showers, toilets and washing facilities, and customers at both Brixham and Torquay marinas are now able to use the new boat lift, making boat maintenance more convenient than ever. The 60 new berths opened at Chatham Maritime Marina earlier this year have also already reached capacity.


Youngsters Rewarded in MDL Sail Training Awards

Posted: 5th November 2013

Six deserving youngsters who won a place on our Sail Training Awards this year are now back on dry land, after setting sail from Woolverstone Marina in late August for six days at sea. The winners were presented with their trophies on our stand at the PSP Southampton Boat show by the owner of MDL Marinas, Lord Iliffe.

The 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 the training yacht. 
 
This year’s week-long trip, which travelled from Woolverstone to Ocean Village Marina in Southampton, saw the youngsters plotting their intended course and getting involved with all elements of sailing. During the voyage the participants also had the opportunity to obtain the Competent Crew certificate, an RYA recognised qualification.

Nominations are already open for next year’s awards, with a round-trip from Southampton’s Ocean Village Marina taking place from Wednesday 16th to Monday 21st April. The deadline for submissions is Friday 10th January 2014, so if you know a young person who deserves a place on this once-in-a-lifetime trip, make sure to place your nominations as soon as possible.

For more information or to nominate a young person for next year’s awards, please visit www.sailtrainingawards.co.uk.


MDL Marinas Donates £60,000 to Ocean Youth Trust South

Posted: 31st October 2013

Following a year of fundraising activities as part of its 40th anniversary year, MDL Marinas has made a generous donation of £60,000 to Ocean Youth Trust South, a charity dedicated to providing ‘adventure under sail’ to young people aged between 12 and 25.

The £60,000 cheque was presented to the John Laing skipper Andrew Viney at Ocean Village Marina, with some of the young people the charity supports in attendance. The group came from Community Links, a charity based in Canning Town in East London which runs a wide range of community projects for over 16,000 people every year.

The money was raised through various activities throughout the year in particular during a special charity auction held at this year’s PSP Southampton Boat Show. There were some fantastic lots on offer including a skiing holiday in the Alps, a half-day Land Rover experience, a luxury hotel stay in Devon and a five-night sail training voyage. Funds were also raised through activities at each of our 19 UK marinas and boatyards throughout 2013, with MDL matching these amounts to reach the impressive total.

The donation will go towards the build of a brand new training vessel, which will provide ‘adventure under sail’ to young people from the widest possible range of backgrounds. With the charity’s current vessel, John Laing requiring constant maintenance after more than 20 years in service, the new vessel will allow Ocean Youth Trust South to open up the experience to a new group of disadvantaged young people.
 
Dean Smith, Marketing Director at MDL Marinas, commented: “We are very pleased and proud to have raised a significant amount for such a worthy cause. We have worked with Ocean Youth Trust South for over half of our 40 year history, and so it seemed only natural to further this relationship with fundraising during our anniversary year. It was an honour to be able to present the cheque to the charity, where we know it will be put to very good use.”

Mark Todd, CEO of Ocean Youth Trust South, added: “This donation is a fantastic stepping stone in our quest to raise approximately £3million to build our new training vessel. Whilst we rely on the goodwill of public contributions, we are absolutely delighted to receive such a large donation which puts us closer to our ultimate goal.”

Pictured with the cheque are Terry Bufton, Lucinda Neal, Mark Todd, Dean Smith, Andrew Viney, David Heffer and Amy Brown.


MDL Rolls Out ‘Zero to Landfill’ Policy Across its UK Marinas

Posted: 25th October 2013

MDL Marinas, Europe’s leading marina provider, has overhauled its recycling and waste management strategy in order to divert 75 per cent of its waste away from landfill.

MDL has been working with leading recycling and waste management company, SITA UK, in order to prevent up to 750 tonnes of refuse generated at its 19 UK marinas and boatyards from entering landfill each year.

MDL’s new ‘zero to landfill’ waste solution involves regular collections of glass, mixed recycling (cardboard, plastic and cans), wood and metals at each marina. Berth holders are even able to recycle marine shrinkwrap – which will be turned into biodiesel – as part of the extended recycling services. Residual waste will be turned into Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF, which is used to power cement plants and power stations.

Anna Wyse, Environmental Policy Manager at MDL Marinas, said: “I believe MDL is one of the first UK marina operators to go down the 'zero to landfill' route for waste management. Working with SITA, we’ll be able to significantly reduce our carbon footprint, whilst also tightening up on costs. It’s a win-win situation and will benefit both our berth holders and our business.”

Leah Francis, National Accounts Manager at SITA UK, said: “This contract will mean that berth holders can do their bit for the environment. We look forward to helping MDL and its berth holders to be even more sustainable in the future.”

MDL already recycles 100% of its hazardous waste and purchases 100% renewable electricity for its sites. MDL is constantly striving to reduce its impact on the environment and in 2012 was the recipient of the Practical Boat Owner Magazine Award for Most Sustainable Service Provider.

‘Zero to landfill’ is a waste management philosophy designed to capture and re-use as much of the resource in the waste as possible.


Special Offers on MDL's Winter Berthing and Boatyard Services

Posted: 2nd October 2013

Boat owners across the UK will be able to ensure that their boats are kept safe and well-maintained throughout the winter months, with great discounts on essential maintenance and berthing packages from MDL Marinas.

Visitors to many of MDL’s marinas on the south and east coasts can benefit from great value winter berthing packages, with prices ranging from as little as £27 per metre for a boat of up to 7m in length at Hythe Marina Village. Many of MDL’s marinas are also providing a further 10% discount on winter berthing for three months or more when paid in full in advance, an ideal option for those seeking out a home for their boat for the whole winter. More details of which can be found at www.mdlmarinas.co.uk/winter-berthing.

In addition to the winter berthing offers, marinas in all three of MDL’s UK Freedom Berthing zones are providing non-berth holders with the chance to experience MDL’s renowned service, with a 20% discount on lift, scrub, block off and re-launch at any of seven of MDL’s leading marinas, with some also providing storage ashore for a specified period.* There are additional packages at selected marinas, details of which can be found at www.mdlmarinas.co.uk/winter-boatyard-offers.
 
Dean Smith, Marketing Director at MDL Marinas, commented: “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. It’s important these options represent good value and we would encourage customers to book early as they are always popular.”

* Marinas offering 20% discount on lift, scrub, block off and re-launch are:
Hythe Marina Village, Shamrock Quay, Hamble Point Marina, Northney Marina, Sparkes Marina, Penton Hook Marina and Chatham Maritime Marina.


Brixham Marina Unveils New Lifting Service for Torbay Boaters

Posted: 27th September 2013

Boat owners in Torbay will soon be able to benefit from the very latest marine maintenance technology, thanks to the installation of a new lift at MDL’s Brixham Marina. The new boat lift dock will be open for business on Tuesday 7th October, bringing this exciting new technology to the area for the first time.

The new boat lift is only the third of its kind, with a state-of-the-art system capable of lifting boats of up to 50 tons and 60ft in length in just ten minutes, allowing quick and easy access for essential maintenance tasks. The whole process of lifting the boat, scrubbing the hull and returning it to the water can be completed in under an hour – far quicker and more convieinient than traditional methods. The new boat lift will be staffed by fully-trained operators and supported by MDL’s nearby Dartside Quay Marine Service Centre who will be on hand to provide a raft of maintenance packages, bringing their years of experience to a whole new group of customers in and around Torbay.

Shaw Smith, Manager at Dartside Quay Marine Service Centre and Brixham Marina, commented: “This new boat lift is set to be a real asset for all boaters in the area, whether they are local residents or visiting our beautiful coast for the first time. This is a unique service that cannot currently be found outside the Solent in the UK, and one, which we know will be hugely appreciated by the thriving marine community in Torbay.

“The extensive packages on offer will help boat owners get more out of their time spent on board – we can oversee the lifting and all aspects of maintenance, allowing owners simply to enjoy their leisure time. We hope to see many berth holders and visitors taking advantage of the new service over the coming months.”

Read more about the new Brixham Marina boat lift here.


FREE Active Marina Workshops at PSP Southampton Boat Show

Posted: 27th August 2013

Following the success of last year's inaugural RYA Active Marina Experience, we will once again be offering you the opportunity to refresh your boating skills and gain top tips from expert instructors.
 
Once you have entered the PSP Southampton Boat Show with a valid entry ticket, you can sign up for FREE on-water and shorebased workshops in partnership with WHICH MARINA? and on-the-water.
 
From berthing and boat handling to man overboard recovery, engine maintenance to radar operation, workshops will run each day and will provide you with some real hands-on experience.
 
Places are very limited, so it is highly recommended you book your shorebased workshop session in advance now and from the 27th August limited on-water workshops will be available (Valid entry ticket required for the day).
 
This year's offer provides even more opportunity to refresh your boating skills with two F40 yachts, Sealine 390 Flybridge, Pilothouse Cruiser (Quiksilver 580) and a RIB powered by Suzuki.

For further information on the courses available, please click here.


Join us at PSP Southampton Boat Show

Posted: 23rd August 2013

If you’re paying a visit to next month’s PSP Southampton Boat Show (13th to 22nd September), be sure to call into our new double-height Waterside Pavilion (stand E52) overlooking the Boat Show marina.

The show is the perfect opportunity for boat owners to find out more about our 22 marinas and boatyards including our international network of marinas. You can also learn about the benefits our Club Outlook members enjoy, from Freedom Berthing with unlimited free visitors nights and fuel at cost to discounted boat show tickets, Berth Swap and unlimited free WiFi at our marinas. Details will also be available on our upcoming winter boatyard and berthing offers – please also check our website as details will be available very soon. Car parking is available at our multi-storey Ocean Car Park at Ocean Village Marina, which is conveniently located just a short walk away from the show. The postcode for your sat nav to get to Ocean Car Park is SO14 3TJ.


Exclusive Benefits for Club Outlook Members
Club Outlook members will be able to enjoy the very best views of the show whilst sipping a refreshing drink, as well as soaking up the atmosphere either out on the terrace or within the stand. Don’t forget that Club Outlook members receive complimentary hospitality, so remember to bring your Club Outlook membership card!

Club Outlook members will also be able to enjoy free parking at Ocean Car Park at Ocean Village Marina, which is conveniently located just a short walk away from the show - for details visit www.oceancarpark.com. Simply bring your car parking ticket and Club Outlook card to the stand and we will give you an exit card for free.


Exciting Events on the MDL Stand
If you’re joining us on our Waterside Pavilion at this year’s show you will not only be able to find out what’s new at MDL, but you will also be treated to a series of special events on the stand throughout the show.

On Monday 16th September we will be welcoming international guests with an Andalusian Marinas presentation (click here for details on our new visitor berthing scheme).

We will be welcoming a group of deserving young visitors to the stand on Tuesday 17th September, as the winners of the MDL Sail Training Awards are presented with a trophy by the owner of MDL Marinas, Lord Iliffe, at 3pm.

Wednesday 18th September will see the return of our international team with a ‘Sant Carles and Catalonia day’.

On Thursday 19th September the wait will be over as the winners of the hotly-contested annual Photographer of the Year competition are revealed, with prizes presented in both the adult and under-16s category at 2pm. Later the same afternoon, we will be announcing the winners of the annual MDL in Bloom competition, which rewards the ‘green-fingered’ teams across all 19 UK sites. Always a closely-fought competition, the winners in each category will be presented with gift vouchers for the marina teams, as well as a coveted trophy to display at the marina.

The week’s activity will culminate in true festive style on Friday 20th September with our 40th birthday party taking place on the stand between 11am and 5pm. The celebratory event will include a live charity auction with auctioneer Nicholas Bonham in aid of our nominated charity Ocean Youth Trust South, with some fantastic lots including an annual berthing package with MDL Marinas, as well as live music from our house band The Saga Louts, and birthday tea and cake. A programme of events and further details of the live auction will be posted on our website very soon, so watch this space!


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