Vote for the Winners of MDL's Photographer of the Year Competition

Posted: 14th August 2013

Starting today, MDL Marinas' facebook community can take control and cast their vote to see who will become MDL's 2013 Photographer of the Year and MDL's 2013 Under 16s Photographer of the Year.

MDL received numerous entries for both competitions this year with many of an extremely high standard.  Following the judging by professional photographers at PhotoRed, the top ten photographs from both competitions have now been uploaded onto MDL Marinas facebook page to allow MDL's facebook community to decide who will win the GoPro HERO3 Camera.

To cast your vote please visit the MDL Marinas facebook page.

Voting ends 12 noon on Wednesday 28th August 2013.

Young Pirate Wins Suzuki Outboard For Her Dad

Posted: 29th July 2013

Sunday’s RYA Active Marina Cruise from Hamble to Yarmouth (21 July) was a particularly special day for young motor boater Nancy Coates, when she won a 2.5hp outboard engine that was offered as a prize from event supporter Suzuki, for the best fancy dressed boat and crew.

Seven year old Nancy, from Speedy Blue, who was on the cruise in her father’s RIB, was dressed as a pirate.

“I'm so delighted that my daddy is happy because I have won an engine,” she said. “When we get a bigger boat we are going to use it for a tender which will be great fun!" said Nancy. She added, “I love going on my daddy’s boat and going to fun places like the Isle of Wight for fish and chips.”

Nancy's dad said, “Nancy was very chuffed to have won but probably not as chuffed as I am!”

Boat owners from MDL's Dry Stack facility at Hamble Point Marina and their families enjoyed the cruise across the Solent while brushing up on their boating skills at the same time with the help of Andy Cross, an RYA Instructor from Marine Matters, who accompanied the fleet.

The cruising motor boats enjoyed a warm and sunny day during their Solent crossing with easterly force 5 winds decreasing in the afternoon.

Andy Cross said, “In my experience, these accompanied cruises are invaluable in helping people expand their cruising horizons and visit new places on the water. They have a lot of fun, and often make new friends and learn a few boating tips along the way. All in all we had a great day out.”

Neil Coates described the benefits of the RYA Active Marina Programme. “It’s a brilliant opportunity to explore your local marine environment in a sociable and safe way whilst offering informal access to an experienced and extremely helpful RYA instructor,” he says.

“My family and I had a fabulous day and we would all thoroughly recommend the programme. We had a great day thanks and special thanks to Andy for making it so”

A programme of Active Marina events is taking place in marinas across the south, and indeed the whole UK, to get boat owners and crews fired up about their boating. Another Dry Stack cruise, for MDL's custoemrs whose boats are stored ashore in the Dry Stack at Hamble, is planned to Ryde Harbour on 21st September.

For more information about the RYA Active Marina Programme click here.

Marina del Gargano Opens in Style

Posted: 22nd July 2013

MDL’s newest Italian marina, the stunning Marina del Gargano, is now open to the public following an official opening ceremony, which was attended by around 5,000 people. Boat owners can now benefit from great opening offers, including free berthing for 2013 for anyone reserving their annual berth for 2014. Catamaran owners will also benefit, with berthing rates to match those for monohulls.

Marina customers and the team responsible for the marina’s construction joined the Mayor of Manfredonia, local authorities and politicians for an evening reception to mark the official opening of the development. The Archbishop of Manfredonia was also on hand to conduct a short service as part of the ceremony to bless the marina and all those who use it.

Jon Eads, Chief Operating Officer at MDL Marinas, was on hand to welcome guests, and later spoke to praise the hard work that has gone into creating this world-class facility. The marina is already receiving high levels of interest, including welcoming its first English boat.

Jon commented: “We have worked hard to build up our network of marinas, and are delighted to welcome Marina del Gargano as the latest addition - it is set to be an outstanding and welcoming marina.

“Being in Manfredonia for the opening ceremony reminded me of standing in the town of Sant Carles (Spain) seven years ago when we first explored the opportunity of opening a marina there. Today, some five years on since that marina was opened, the town of Sant Carles has flourished and changed in a very positive way, with increased employment and tourism, and I very much look forward to returning here in the future as I have no doubt that the same positive changes will benefit the marina and the surrounding area.”
Marina del Gargano will now be added to Zone 3 of MDL’s exclusive Freedom Berthing initiative, giving UK annual berth holders the opportunity to visit the new marina for free as part of their annual berthing package.

Located in the Gulf of Manfredonia, Puglia, within a few minutes walking distance from the city’s historic centre, the new marina offers 700 berths alongside parks and gardens, children’s play areas, extensive parking, restaurants and shops. Its newly-built floating pontoons are unique to the area, featuring state-of-the-art service bollards for water and electricity supplies. As one of the deepest marinas in the Adriatic, Marina del Gargano can accommodate boats of up to 60m.

Puglia is renowned for its sun-drenched landscapes and delicious food as well as for having some of Italy’s most beautiful coastline. The historic town of Manfredonia itself is situated in the heart of the Gargano National Park, a unique ecosystem covering over 120 thousand hectares, and famous for its wide variety of plant life. The new marina offers boaters access to the whole of the stunning Adriatic coast, with its caves, bays and secluded inlets that can only be accessed from the sea.

For more information on Marina del Gargano CLICK HERE.

Calling all Snappers! Win a GoPro HERO3 Camera!

Posted: 12th July 2013

At MDL Marinas, we love to see photographs taken of our marinas being enjoyed through the eyes of our customers and visitors. For the fifth year running, we’re holding our annual Photography Competition to find MDL’s 2013 Photographer of the Year, as well as MDL’s 2013 Junior Photographer of the Year for the under-16s.

The competition is open to both amateur and professional photographers alike, whether you’ve entered before or are submitting an image for the very first time.

The competition is open for entries from today, with photographers able to submit their chosen images via an online form on the MDL website or by post. We’ve got three categories open for entry from which the overall winner will be chosen for both the main and under-16s competition, which are:

My MDL Marina
Capture what really makes your days at the marina special. Last year we received some stunning landscape and sunset shots, so for 2013 we’d love to see more fast-paced action shots, images illustrating people enjoying the marinas and quirky or artistic compositions – feel free to be as creative as you like!

Me and My Boat
We want to see fantastic photographs of you enjoying your boat, from a day enjoying the sunshine, to experiencing an exhilarating race or enjoying watersports activities in the summer weather.
Fun at 40!
We’re celebrating our 40th anniversary this year, with a new category perfect for all those creative thinkers out there!  We’d like photographs taken at or around the marina to incorporate the number 40. This could be you enjoying an MDL 40th anniversary berth holders party or even snaps from your own 40th celebrations, or everyday objects arranged to form the number - if it has 40 in it somewhere, or somehow, it’s perfect for this category.  Remember, the only limit is your imagination!

For the first time, berth holders and other members of MDL’s online community will be able to vote for their favourite shots via the MDL Marinas Facebook page, giving you the power to pick the eventual winner. The winning shots are set to be revealed at September’s PSP Southampton Boat Show. As well as having their work displayed on MDL’s Waterside Pavilion at the show, winning entrants will also be in the running to win some great prizes with the overall winner of each category receiving a brand new GoPro HERO3 camera. The runner-up in the adult competition will receive a bottle of champagne, with iTunes vouchers for the under-16s, and all winners will also receive a pair of tickets to the show to see their work on display. Selected images may also be used in MDL’s marketing materials.

The competition entry closes at midnight on Sunday 11th August 2013, so grab your camera and get snapping!

CLICK HERE for more details and to enter

To take part in the voting of this year's winning entry, go to our facebook page.

Voting will take place between Wednesday 14th & Wednesday 28th August 2013.

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

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Quay Pontoon 5

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Quay Pontoon 4

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Quay Pontoon 3

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Quay Pontoon 2

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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.