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
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.”
MDL owned Ocean Village Marina in Southampton will be opening its doors on Saturday 18th May, encouraging people of all ages and abilities to come and have a go at watersports. The leading marina is one of the locations across the country taking part in the RYA Push the Boat Out weekend, which will see hundreds of people enjoy free on-the-water activities, and benefit from expert advice on matters such as marina berthing and sea safety.
All the family can enjoy an action-packed day with free RIB rides and jet ski experiences from 10am. There’s also plenty to see and do on land with an on shore sailing simulator – giving visitors the chance to experience dinghy sailing before even taking to the water. In addition, as part of the RYA Active Marina Programme, boat owners and MDL’s berth holders can enjoy tuition to help improve manoeuvring in and out of the marina, engine maintenance, sea safety and first aid. These sessions are free of charge but booking is recommended as a limited number of spaces are available. There is also the opportunity to book a motor boat own boat 90 minute training session for just £35.
Debbie Burns, Marina Manager at Ocean Village Marina, said: “We are delighted to be taking part in RYA Push the Boat Out. We are inviting our local community to get involved and have a go at watersports, which for many may be their first experience of being out on the water. It is set to be a fantastic day and there will be something fun for all the family to enjoy, as well as lots to benefit our berth holders.”
The open day at Ocean Village Marina is part of the RYA’s Active Marina Programme which encourages and supports increased berth holder activity by partnering with marinas, RYA recognised training centres, berth holders groups and yacht clubs to establish or enhance a programme of training, cruising and social opportunities.
The open day will run from 10am – 4pm on Saturday 18th May 2013. For further information contact Ocean Village Marina or visit www.solentboattraining.co.uk/rya-active-marina.
This year at the Devon County Show, MDL Marinas will, for the very first time, be exhibiting at the biggest show in Devon. Amongst the cattle showing, cup-cake decorating and a Royal visit, MDL Marinas will be onsite enjoying the sunshine alongside Sunseeker and Bentley. Why not pop by and meet Mike Smith from Torquay Marina who will be manning the stand along with Sunseeker Torquay. Come and speak to us about the benefits of being an MDL Annual Berth Holder as well as our latest benefit of Passeport Escales, offering you even more free cruising destinations off the coast of northwest France.
The Devon Country Show takes place at Westpoint, just 3 minutes from junction 30 of the M5, at Exeter. It runs for three days on 16th, 17th and 18th May and is a show to entertain the whole family.
If you would like to know more about the Devon Country Show, please visit www.devoncountyshow.co.uk.
In celebration of our 40th birthday, we are aiming to host a series of fundraising events for Ocean Youth Trust South throughout 2013. As well as this, nominations are once again open for MDL’s Sail Training Awards, offering deserving youngsters the opportunity to experience a week aboard a sailing yacht operated by Ocean Youth Trust South.
MDL Marinas is pleased to announce that we have selected Ocean Youth Trust South as our chosen charity for our 40th anniversary year, with 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.
MDL’s Managing Director, Eamonn Feeney commented: “We’re proud of our continued commitment to Ocean Youth Trust South, and are delighted to be providing the charity with even greater support this year through our 40th anniversary events. The Sail Training Awards are a very important initiative for us and we have so far helped well over a hundred youngsters to experience something truly exceptional.
Mark Todd, Chief Executive from Ocean Youth Trust South, added: “MDL’s support has been absolutely critical to us for many years. The staff in MDL marinas do a great job and go out of their way to be helpful and welcoming to vessels including our own John Laing. And the young people who come to us through MDL’s sponsorship are always exceptionally deserving – and some are truly inspirational. Ocean Youth Trust South is very proud to be working with MDL and honoured to be the chosen charity for their 40th year: with their generous support and that of their berth holders and marina tenants, we can go on to provide adventure under sail to many more young people from the widest possible range of backgrounds. We wish MDL a happy birthday and many successful years to come!”
MDL Marinas is preparing for a year of celebration as it marks 40 successful years since the opening of its first marina. Purchased in 1973, Penton Hook Marina in Surrey has since been joined by 18 marinas and boatyards in prime locations across the UK, as well as two first-class marinas in its MDL Mediterranean network. A third Mediterranean site, Marina del Gargano in Italy is due to open this spring, with the new addition seeing the network of marinas grow to 22.
A series of events and activities to mark this important occasion are now being planned throughout 2013, including a celebratory event at the PSP Southampton Boat Show. The search is also on for berth holders who have chosen to keep their boat in an MDL marina from the very beginning - if this is you then please let us know!
Jon Eads, Chief Operating Officer at MDL Marinas, commented: “We are very pleased and proud to be celebrating 40 years of continued success for MDL Marinas in 2013. The past four decades have seen the company grow to become Europe’s leading marina operator, recognised for our excellent customer service and superb boating locations. We are delighted to welcome our staff and berth holders to celebrate with us and are looking forward to what this exciting year has in store.”