Freedom Berthing: Yet more benefits for MDL members

Posted: 16th November 2017

This year has been another fantastic year for MDL Marinas and its Freedom Berthing members, with our network expanding to 124 marinas across Europe with Passeport Escales, perfect for weekend breaks or longer adventures.

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, all from the comfort of your own boat. 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.

Find out more about Freedom Berthing and Passeport Escales.


Freedom Berthing and Passport Escales

MDL's Marinas release event dates for 2018

Posted: 14th November 2017

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!

Bray Marina 2018 Social Calendar

Brixham Marina 2018 Social Calendar

Chatham Maritime Marina 2018 Social Calendar

Cobb's Quay Marina 2018 Social Calendar

Hamble Marinas 2018 Social Calendar

Hythe Marina Village 2018 Social Calendar

Northney Marina 2018 Social Calendar

Ocean Village Marina 2018 Social Calendar

Penton Hook 2018 Social Calendar

Queen Anne's Battery 2018 Social Calendar

Saxon Wharf 2018 Social Calendar

Shamrock Quay 2018 Social Calendar

Sparkes Marina 2018 Social Calendar

Torquay Marina 2018 Social Calendar

Windsor Marina 2018 Social Calendar

Woolverstone Marina 2018 Social Calendar


2018 Marina Social Events

MDL’s Brixham Marina Supports World-Record Breaking Challenge

Posted: 20th October 2017

MDL’s Brixham Marina is pleased to be supporting one teenager with an epic challenge: 19 year old Ollie Crane is attempting to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean, and in doing so, enter the world record books as the youngest person ever to accomplish this feat.

Ollie, who hails from New Jersey in America, has been living and training in Brixham for the last six weeks, taking advantage of the free berthing provided by Brixham Marina to get out on the water and prepare for this monumental adventure.

Andrew Millar, Brixham Marina Manager, said: “We’re delighted to support Ollie by providing him with a free berth as what he’s aiming to do is quite remarkable and inspiring. He comes and goes at all hours, all the staff know him and wish him well. He’s become part of the team here at Brixham Marina and we’re all rooting for him!”

Ollie is taking part in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, rowing some 3,000 miles from the Canary Islands to Antigua. Billed as the world’s toughest row, the challenge is expected to take around three months. Ollie will be facing a number of obstacles, including 40ft waves, capsizing, sleep deprivation, storms, saltwater sores and the risk of colliding with liners while he sleeps. Ollie also admits to getting a little seasick!

Commenting on the voyage, Ollie said: “I’m really excited, but very nervous. I’ve put in the hours of training, but I know it’s also going to be a huge mental challenge, dealing with three months of isolation and minimal human contact. For much of the crossing, I’ll be rowing naked to avoid chafing from the abrasive effect of salt water on my clothes. I’m going to miss my friends and family but I know they’ll be tracking my progress and cheering me on. I’d like to say a big thank you to Brixham Marina for their support over the last couple of months.

“I am using the challenge to highlight the work of Oceana, the largest international advocacy organisation in the world dedicated to protecting and restoring the world’s oceans on a global scale, and am hoping to raise as much money as possible for this worthy cause. I’m a keen scuba diver, and have seen first-hand the devastation that climate change, over-fishing and pollution have had on our seas.”

Ollie comes from a family of adventurers. His sibling’s achievements include climbing Mount Everest, cycling across Africa and hiking from Mexico to Canada. Ollie explains: “It’s a tradition in my family to take on a project before university. I found out about the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge when I was looking online for a suitable project. I have rowed for my school for the last four years, so this seemed like the perfect fit.”

Ollie will be attempting his challenge in a 23-foot custom-built ocean rowing boat, Homeward Bound, which has made one previous crossing with a two-man crew. The boat has a solar powered water maker to convert salt water into drinking water, but Ollie will need to carry enough dehydrated food for the journey. He will need to consume some 5,000 calories per day and will row in two hour stints before sleeping for two hours. Ollie will not have a support boat, but will be closely tracked by the event organisers and will have a satellite phone for emergency communication.

To succeed, Ollie will need to accomplish what very few humans have; in fact fewer people have rowed across the Atlantic than have gone into space or climbed Mount Everest. He will be following the same route Christopher Columbus took in 1492 when he first sailed to the Americas. If he completes the crossing, he will become the youngest person ever to row an ocean, taking over the coveted record from British student Callum Gathercole, who achieved this at the age of 20 in February 2016.

To track Ollie’s row, please visit www.taliskerwhiskyatlanticchallenge.com/race-tracker.

To learn more about Ollie’s adventure, please visit www.homeward-bound.com.


Yacht Club

From 27th September 2017 until 31st October 2017
Great food, great views
Visit the Brixham Yacht club

MDL Launches Official Partnership with Beds on Board

Posted: 15th September 2017

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.


Young Sailing Talent Celebrated at 30th Anniversary Sail Training Awards

Posted: 15th September 2017

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.


MDL Marinas Row to Sail 2

Posted: 20th June 2017

MDL Marinas, Europe’s leading marina operator is today launching an exciting charitable initiative which will see its team and members raise money for Ocean Youth Trust South by rowing a combined total of 910 miles to help raise funds.

The company initiative has been created after being inspired by the Land Rover BAR team who, in preparation for the recent races, rowed a total of 910 miles in seven weeks. 

To conquer the challenge MDL will install rowing machines across 11 of its marinas starting in Northney, Queen Anne’s Battery and Penton Hook, where team members and customers will be challenged to row as far as they can to raise funds for such a worthy cause. Rowing machines will be installed in the marinas from 13th June. 

The rowing challenge will culminate at Southampton Boat Show which starts on 15th September with a final ‘row in’. One rower will be on our stand to give people a chance to show what they can do and go head to head against their friends, all in the name of a good cause. 

Ocean Youth Trust South is a Hampshire-based charity which specialises in using an ‘Adventure Under Sail’ concept to help young people develop confidence and the essential problem solving skills needed to succeed in life. MDL Marinas and Ocean Youth Trust South first came together in 1987 to create the Sail Training Awards, which recognise the outstanding efforts of young people who have faced exceptional challenges, or have gone above and beyond to support others. 

Adrien Burnand, Head of Marketing at MDL Marinas, commented: “The 35th America’s Cup may have come to an end for Land Rover BAR but what an incredible journey and one that MDL is honoured to be part of. The training begins now for 36th America’s Cup which we fully support. We are all very excited about the rowing challenge and are looking forward to seeing all of our team, as well as many of our willing members, row up a storm in one of our 11 UK marina locations.”

If you would like to donate or find out more, visit our MDL Row to Sail charity challenge page.


MDL Row to Sail

MDL Marinas Row to Sail

Posted: 20th June 2017

MDL Marinas, Europe’s leading marina operator is today launching an exciting charitable initiative which will see its team and members raise money for Ocean Youth Trust South by rowing a combined total of 910 miles to help raise funds.

The company initiative has been created after being inspired by the Land Rover BAR team who, in preparation for the recent races, rowed a total of 910 miles in seven weeks. 

To conquer the challenge MDL will install rowing machines across 11 of its marinas starting in Northney, Queen Anne’s Battery and Penton Hook, where team members and customers will be challenged to row as far as they can to raise funds for such a worthy cause. Rowing machines will be installed in the marinas from 13th June. 

The rowing challenge will culminate at Southampton Boat Show which starts on 15th September with a final ‘row in’. One rower will be on our stand to give people a chance to show what they can do and go head to head against their friends, all in the name of a good cause. 

Ocean Youth Trust South is a Hampshire-based charity which specialises in using an ‘Adventure Under Sail’ concept to help young people develop confidence and the essential problem solving skills needed to succeed in life. MDL Marinas and Ocean Youth Trust South first came together in 1987 to create the Sail Training Awards, which recognise the outstanding efforts of young people who have faced exceptional challenges, or have gone above and beyond to support others. 

Adrien Burnand, Head of Marketing at MDL Marinas, commented: “The 35th America’s Cup may have come to an end for Land Rover BAR but what an incredible journey and one that MDL is honoured to be part of. The training begins now for 36th America’s Cup which we fully support. We are all very excited about the rowing challenge and are looking forward to seeing all of our team, as well as many of our willing members, row up a storm in one of our 11 UK marina locations.”

If you would like to donate or find out more, visit our MDL Row to Sail charity challenge page.


MDL Marinas and Ocean Youth Trust South Celebrate 30 Year Partnership

Posted: 27th April 2017

MDL Marinas and Ocean Youth Trust South have come together to celebrate an incredible 30 years of partnership, marked this month with the maiden voyage of the Trust’s new sail training vessel, Prolific. Young sailors from across the south of England took part in the intensive voyage, which included six inspirational young people who were chosen as worthy winners of MDL Marinas’ annual Sail Training Awards.

OYT South is a Hampshire-based charity which specialises in using an ‘Adventure Under Sail’ concept to help young people develop confidence and the essential problem solving skills needed to succeed in life. MDL Marinas and OYT first came together in 1987 to create the Sail Training Awards, which recognise the outstanding efforts of young people who have faced exceptional challenges, or have gone above and beyond to support others.

Three decades later and the annual awards are still going strong. This year’s MDL winners included George Hopwood, Ciaran Robinson and Alexandra Corrigan, all from Hampshire; Adam Gianfrancesco from Surrey and Rachel Mosley from Torquay.

The maiden voyage of Prolific saw 11 young people in total take to the Solent for a rigorous four-day sailing trip. 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, said: “Everyone involved in the transformation of Prolific has been eagerly awaiting its maiden voyage, and it’s fantastic that such a worthy team of young sailors marked the first passage. Combined that this is our 30th year of partnership with OYT, the sailing was a truly special experience. Our Sail Training Award winners were chosen for their inspirational attitudes and commitment to supporting others. It’s been a once-in-a-lifetime trip for those selected, honouring them for their remarkable achievements at such a young age.

“Over the last 30 years, the MDL sponsored Sail Training Awards have provided over 150 young people the opportunity to experience a trip on-board John Laing, Prolific’s predecessor, something which has been life-changing for some of our past winners. We are proud to continue to support OYT South with Prolific and the important work that it carries out.”

OYT South Staff Skipper, Andy Viney, commented: “We had a fantastic group of young people for Prolific’s first voyage with the charity, and we were absolutely delighted to be joined by the MDL award winners on this memorable trip. For the last 30 years MDL Marinas has given us tremendous support and, without them, we wouldn’t have this magnificent boat 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. This week has been a great start to Prolific’s sailing career and we are all looking forward to offering more outstanding voyages, in partnership with MDL, as the season goes on.”

Rachel Mosley, one of the young MDL sailors who took part in the voyage, added: “I want to thank MDL Marinas and OYT South for the opportunity to take part in the sailing trip. I thoroughly enjoyed the week and it's really opened my eyes to sailing. The experience has given me the opportunity to go back as a junior boson and learn more about the boat and how the sea staff look after it and keep it running. Thank you again for the amazing opportunity.”

Prolific was bought by the charity in 2015 and has spent eighteen months undergoing a refit and modifications, with close support and sponsorship from MDL Marinas, ensuring it would sail safely and effectively for young people aged between 12 and 25. Prolific provides the opportunity for all to sail onboard, from keen and competent young sailors looking for real adventure, through to vulnerable and disadvantaged people who might never expected the chance to sail.

To see Prolific in action please visit the following link: https://youtu.be/TQ2Elp8AJvw. Further information about OYT South can be found at www.oytsouth.org/charity.asp.


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