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OYT South’s New Sail Training Vessel Re-launched After 12-month Refit

Posted: 27th October 2016

Ocean Youth Trust South’s new sail training vessel, Prolific, was re-launched on Monday 24th October 2016 following a 12-month refit at Saxon Wharf, Southampton.

Prolific will further the work of Ocean Youth Trust South, helping young people aged 12-25 – many of them disadvantaged and vulnerable – to develop the skills they need to succeed in life: confidence, team-work, communication, resilience and the ability to cope with unfamiliar experiences. The new sail training vessel, which was bought from Norway in 2015, is the long-term replacement for the Trust’s previous boat, John Laing, which has taken thousands of young people to sea over the last 26 years with the Ocean Youth Club and Ocean Youth Trust South.

The extensive refit was only possible through the support of major sponsors like International Paint, who are responsible for Prolific’s beautiful paintwork, and Marina Developments Limited who, as well as helping to raise money for Prolific’s purchase, provide free berthing and support with the lift-out and storage during the refit.

Dean Smith, Operations & Marketing Director at MDL Marinas said, "We're proud to support OYT South and it has been a pleasure to see Prolific be re-launched as we know she'll make such a difference to so many lives in the years to come".

Sail specialist Andy Cassell from Ratsey and Lapthorn (Cowes) Ltd went on a trial sail in Prolific in order to be able to advise on how to get the best out of the sails for the work that the Trust does. Members of the Owen Clarke Design team also went out in the new vessel to advise on how to optimise Prolific’s rig for sail training, and are involved in the design of a new mizzen mast and other improvements. Other major sponsors include BSI A/S who supplied Prolific’s standing rigging at a special rate; Holman Fenwick Willan LLP, who gave legal advice throughout the purchase; and Spinlock who serviced all the deck hardware.

Post-refit, Prolific, which was built in 2005 and is a hybrid of modern-day construction and an historic design based on 19th-century herring fishing vessels, offers modern accommodation and a low- maintenance design. Crucially the low-maintenance design will allow OYT South to focus on its charitable work allowing the Trust to continue, with Prolific, for the next thirty years.

Over the winter, Prolific has a busy programme of sea trials and staff and volunteer training, as the adults who sail on the charity’s voyages get to grips with working on board a very different boat. From April to November 2017 there is a full programme of youth voyages, including an expedition to the Baltic and back in summer, visiting Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Lithuania and Poland, taking in some Tall Ships races and festivals. Much of the rest of the year involves local voyages out of Southampton.

Mark Todd, Ocean Youth Trust South’s Chief Executive, says: “There has been huge enthusiasm amongst our existing clients plus a number of organisations such as schools, other charities and youth groups which want to start sailing with us In Prolific – bookings now are busier than they have ever been and we are delighted that our decision to buy Prolific has created such a sense of excitement about her potential to make a lasting difference to young lives.

Prolific’s refit has been a major project involving modifications to meet the charity’s requirements and the needs of the young people, plus significant amounts of new gear and extensive testing and servicing. Although she is now back in the water she is still awaiting a new mizzen mast and a complete new suit of sails. But we could never have reached this point without the invaluable help of a number of major sponsors. The purchase price and refit have been funded by the incredible generosity of a very large number of donors; but the whole project has been made possible by a number of key sponsors to whom we are enormously grateful.

“OYT South is thrilled to have brought this unique boat to the UK, and we hope that the sailing community in the Solent and around the British coast will welcome Prolific as she starts sailing in her new home waters.”

More details on Prolific can be found at: www.oytsouth.org/prolific.asp. Find the 2017 voyage programme with remaining vacancies for young people here: www.oytsouth.org/2017.asp.


Complimentary WiFi for all Cruising Club Members

Posted: 12th September 2016

We have great news! If you are a member of our Cruising Club you will now receive complimentary WiFi at all of our UK marinas as part of your membership. We are constantly looking at ways to ensure we are leading the way with both our Freedom Berthing package and Cruising Club and hope you are pleased with the new addition.

To access the complimentary WiFi, simply connect to the MDL WiFi Hotspot and enter your Cruising Club number as the user name (from the back of the card), followed by your home postcode as your password... and that’s it! Simple and easy access to super fast WiFi.

The complimentary WiFi is available right now and is the same high speed connection that our Freedom Berthing members enjoy. If you haven’t signed up to our Cruising Club don’t delay as it’s free to join and not only do you get access to the WiFi but you enjoy every 7th night free when berthing at our 18 UK marinas.

If you have any issues connecting, please contact the WiFi Spark helpdesk on 0344 848 9555.


Warming Winter Offers from MDL Marinas

Posted: 4th September 2016

Whilst we don’t want to talk too much about the coming winter, we do have some fantastic offers that will take the edge off any winter chill and ensure your boats are kept safe and maintained through the winter months, with fantastic savings on essential maintenance and winter berthing packages.

We are offering great value winter offers at our marinas on the south, east and west coasts of the UK, including the chance to enjoy three months berthing at Shamrock Quay or Ocean Village Marina for just £649 including VAT for an 8m boat. Other marinas offering similar packages include Hythe Marina Village, Hamble Point, Northney, Queen Anne’s Battery and Port Hamble. Cobb’s Quay in Poole is also offering a winter dry stack berthing solution for any boat up to 7.5m.

You can also save on winter scrubs and storage ashore at a number of our boatyards with typical savings of up to 40% for Freedom Berthing members. There are also additional packages at selected marinas, including Queen Anne’s Battery, Mercury Yacht Harbour and Hythe Marina Village.

As always we encourage you to book early as these offers are always very popular!

For more information on the offers we have available, and to book, please visit www.mdlmarinas.co.uk/winter-offers.


Share Your Bank Holiday Adventures With Us!

Posted: 25th August 2016

The long weekend is almost upon us and there’s plenty going on at our sunny marinas. We’d love to see how you are spending your time on the water and it would be great to see you all flying your burgees and sharing your adventures on our social media pages, using #burgeesontour.

We know there’s loads planned at our marinas so whether your burgee is joining you for the Pirates of the Caribbean Cruise at Shamrock Quay, enjoying a tipple on the back of your boat on the Thames or visiting the ice cream boat on Bournemouth Beach, we’d really like to get our social media buzzing with all of your photos in the spectacular weather we’ve been promised!

It’s also a great chance for you to showcase your cruising adventures with other fellow boaters, and us (we will certainly be green with envy)! Why not share your photos and let us know your cruising destination and any new-found gems you’ve uncovered. Just remember to use #burgeesontour.

If you haven’t picked up your burgee yet, please pop into the marina office where yours will be waiting.

Happy Bank Holiday boating!


It’s Pimm’s–a-Plenty this Bank Holiday Weekend at our Marinas!

Posted: 25th August 2016



With the sun set to shine, we are busy getting ready for the annual August Bank Holiday weekend at our marinas, with lots of fun and activities being prepared to ensure you really make the most of it. We will be there to ensure your every boating need is taken care of and to make sure you can simply kick back with a cold drink after a fabulous day of cruising... because that’s what August Bank Holidays are all about!

There seems to be a Pimm’s theme running across many of our marinas with the Trolley of treats transforming to the Trolley of Pimm’s and touring the pontoons at Torquay Marina, along with an early evening Pimm’s welcome reception at Northney and Sparkes. Cobb’s Quay Marina is also going all out with a complete Pimm’s weekend!

However, don’t worry if Pimm’s isn’t your tipple, there’s plenty more for you to enjoy this weekend. Here’s just a snapshot of what our marinas are up to!

Torquay Marina will be hosting a children’s crabbing contest on Saturday 27th August with prizes for the most crabs caught (and if you haven’t registered yet please give us a call). This will start at 11am and all crab lines, bait and buckets will be supplied, along with complimentary tea, coffee and bacon rolls for the adults. You can also take part in a spot of wine tasting on the pontoons as the day draws on.

Penton Hook Marina is holding its big berth holder party on the lawn on Friday welcoming all annual berth holders and visitors to an Italian themed party with drinks and nibbles in the sunshine.

Port Hamble Marina will be hosting a ‘Bank Holiday Beer on the Berths’ with the team touring the pontoons throughout the weekend to give out cold beverages while you relax on your boat.

Shamrock Quay is embarking on the weekend with a Pirates of the Caribbean berth holder’s cruise on Friday with a Pirate themed tour up and down the Solent in fancy dress (not compulsory), after they have walked the plank! Once onboard they will enjoy a disco, food and drinks as well as be in with a chance to win a number of fantastic raffle prizes including tickets for the England vs Malta game at Wembley with hospitality which is worth £500, all to raise funds for Leukaemia Busters. Over 180 berth holders and friends are joining the cruise and taking part in a treasure hunt! In addition, George, Shamrock Quay’s Freedom Maker will be breaking out the Trolley of Treats on Sunday to present owners with a cold glass of wine or beer and a tasty croissant or Danish pastry.

Ocean Village Marina guests will enjoy a Bank Holiday BBQ on Saturday followed by a Greek nibbles event on Sunday, which sounds simply delicious. And, on Friday night Saxon Wharf is hosting a berth holders party which is a sure fire way to start the Bank Holiday weekend as you mean to go on!

Hamble Point Marina will be rolling out its Trolley of Treats delivering ‘Ploughmans in a Jar’, which really is as delicious as it sounds, along with strawberries and cream and free drinks. They will also be giving out packs for the kids with lots of treats to keep them busy including bubbles and quiz books.

Woolverstone Marina will be hosting a BBQ on Friday night at on-site restaurant, The Riverside and after the Pimm’s arrival drinks at Northney and Sparkes’ the teams will be delivering fresh pastries for breakfast on Saturday as well as ensuring you have refreshments for your journey home. Queen Anne’s Battery will be enjoying a Sun and Sangria evening on Saturday and Mercury Yacht Harbour will be rolling out its Bank Holiday Trolley of Treats.

What is for certain is there’s a lot going on this Bank Holiday weekend and that we are focused on making sure it’s one of your best weekends this summer! 

If you don’t want to miss out on all the fun or want to have a chat with the team ahead of the weekend please don’t hesitate to give your marina office a call. If you are planning a visit to our marinas this weekend please note they are filling up fast, with many already booked, so please do get in touch.


MDL Marinas Gears Up for the America's Cup World Series Portsmouth

Posted: 17th July 2016

MDL Marinas, Europe’s leading marina operator, is looking forward to supporting this week's prestigious Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Portsmouth, where they will be showcasing their extensive marina network, now comprising of over 100 destinations in the UK, France, Spain and Italy.

As the Official UK Marina Partner to Land Rover Ben Ainslie Racing and the recent announcement of their new Engagement Partnership with the America’s Cup World Series Portsmouth, this year MDL will be proudly exhibiting in the exciting Marketplace located in the heart of the Race Village. The three-day spectacular event, taking place on Southsea seafront, will see the MDL Group get behind the team and join the nation in backing Land Rover BAR’s quest to bring the Cup home.

MDL’s annual berth holders and visitors enrolled on their Cruising Club scheme, also have the opportunity to secure preferential rates for tickets to the exciting Race Village in Southsea. Those who are lucky enough to acquire a ticket, will afford the best views of the race course in the Solent, as well as receive a unique insight into the history, technology and racing teams in this esteemed sporting event. The Race Village will also include big screens with commentary to watch the racing and the opportunity to access the exciting new ‘Tech & Team Zones’, watch live BMX shows and secure the best spot on the sea front to enjoy aerial displays by the Red Arrows, Red Bull Matadors and Blades.

The Marketplace will boast a variety of shops and food stalls, while MDL’s stand will welcome the return of its popular Cleat Challenge, first seen at last year’s America's Cup World Series event in Portsmouth. Those participating will have the chance to win one of three Henri Lloyd jackets, competing for the fastest rope cleating time!

Adrien Burnand, Head of Marketing at MDL Marinas, commented: “It’s set to be a fantastic event and we’re looking forward to exhibiting once again at the America’s Cup World Series in Portsmouth. As the Official UK Marina partner for Land Rover BAR we’re excited to be supporting the team in bringing the Cup home. Our friendly and experienced staff will also be on hand to discuss Freedom Berthing, the most extensive berthing package in marketplace.

The event takes place this week between 22nd and 24th July, and will see the world’s best sailors descend on the Solent to battle it out on high-speed AC45 foiling catamarans. The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Portsmouth is expected to entice up to 650,000 visitors across the three-day sporting bonanza.

Land Rover BAR’s home city of Portsmouth is a dynamic and vibrant place, with its proud naval and maritime heritage, towering world-class visitor attractions, museums and galleries, unique shopping destinations, great places to eat and miles and miles of beautiful waterfront.

Visit our Land Rover BAR Portal for all the latest information from the America's Cup, including team news and race results.


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