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Liverpool marina

Billy300

New member
Joined
15 Sep 2020
Messages
2
Has anyone visited liverpool marina recently? Ir a berth holder there?
I visited last week and was very disappointed the way it has gone down hill since my last visit a few years ago.
Lock times are every hour which for us meant a 50 minute wait in the Mersey until the next opening. To do with water levels apparently and the berth holders I spoke to certainly weren't happy with this. There is no staff on duty over weekends and even the friday we arrived required 2 visits to the office to catch a staff member to book in and pay.
They have 3 party boats, which are wide beam canal boats, rented out to stag and hen parties mainly, most weekends apparently, with all the noise and disturbance these would produce.
According to the berth holders I spoke with the electricity on their pontoon was off for 3 weeks a couple of weeks ago and the water had also gone off that week.
Rather bizarrely you can only buy diesel online and have to specify in 20 litre increments how much you require.
The berth holders I spoke with where very fed up with the way the place is being run or run into the ground as they see it and are looking at moving as soon as their contracts are up. A number have gone already.
Just wondering if anyone else has had experiences like this at liverpool or any other marinas? I certainly haven't, unique to me!
 

ross84

Member
Joined
1 Mar 2019
Messages
135
They also recently raised the price quite significantly. Most people I speak to have nothing much good to say about the place. I viewed the facilities before Covid19 hit. They were OK but nothing fancy. No idea about the realities of living there long-term. A few people do, but most seem to be on narrowboats?
 

dankilb

New member
Joined
23 Jan 2008
Messages
21
I'm trying to break the habit of just lurking on these forums - and I run a business ‘on the water’ in the Liverpool docks and have seen the changes over the years - so here goes...:

Basically both posts are accurate! The narrow boats are taking over - now almost half of Coburg Dock, up from less than half a dozen a year or two ago (I suspect they negotiate more favourable rates than for yachts/mobos, although this isn’t advertised). We buy fuel from the garage on the main road opposite - or from Asda if we’re feeling tight!

Apparently the problem is the terms which Canal & River Trust impose on the marina as their ‘tenants’. They drive a very hard bargain and expect a profit from the Docks (presumably and understandably to cross subsidise miles of dilapidated canals that generate no revenue). They also control the lock of course.

On the other hand, where else are you going to go??! Our 12.5m yacht is destined for the Marina once off the hard in N Wales. It’ll cost us a fair whack for our LOA, but less than most city centre marinas (and, what, half the south coast?!). Then there’s the shelter it provides compared to, say (coughs!), Holyhead. We’ll save on mooring lines and fenders!

We’ll be on our way to better cruising grounds once the on-the-water part of our refit is complete anyway.

It’s undoubtedly ‘unconventional’ and a bit of a hassle (and waiting on the lock while the ebb starts running can be downright terrifying!), but it offers a sheltered city centre location and if you can tolerate the ‘wollyback’ (i.e. non-Scouse!) stag/hen/party groups at the weekend, it can offer serenely quiet, beautiful and of course historic surroundings.

In fact, it’s pretty nice shrouded in light fog/mist this morning! :)
 

Quiddle

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Joined
26 May 2003
Messages
3,629
Location
Eastern Atlantic seaboard
On the other hand, where else are you going to go??!
Conwy, Deganwy, Y Felinheli, Fleetwood, Glasson Dock, even Preston offers better value.
I live 15 miles from Liverpool marina and wouldn't dream of keeping a boat there. Sailing is very limited with locking only during daylight and 3+knots of tide pushing you up and down the river when you do get out. Very limited day sail destinations, the best being a bikers' pub which requires lying alongside a rough wall for an hour maximum on spring tides.
It's not even handy for the city centre.
 
Last edited:

Skylark

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Joined
4 Jun 2007
Messages
4,594
Location
Home: North West, Boat: The Clyde
I’ve used the marina a few times over the years and gave it serious consideration after being made homeless from Holyhead arising from the 2017 Storm Emma.

The 15 miles from lock to Formby Bar buoy, entrance to the channel, is a big issue. Once committed there’s no turning back. Once at the buoy it’s still miles from anywhere.

I really don’t like sailing in the river +/- 2 either side of HW so day sailing is out of the question.

They have very little hard standing so an annual berth includes, iirc, a maximum of 3 weeks out of the water.

Otherwise, the location (by land) is convenient for me and there are a million nearby attractions within a vibrant city centre.

I chose to move to the Clyde.
 

Danfarry

Member
Joined
21 Sep 2014
Messages
412
Location
Lancashire - North Wales
We went for a couple of weeks last summer from North Wales and were really excited about having the boat in the city centre and only twenty minutes from home. We left totally disappointed, it was expensive and tatty. Dog mess was all over the pontoons and the facilities were crumbling. Couldn’t wait to get back to our council run marina on the Menai Strait. I would much rather be at Douglas Boatyard, Preston, Glasson, Fleetwood or Whitehaven.
 

HissyFit

Active member
Joined
13 Jul 2020
Messages
329
It may not be in their remit, but a word with the city council may be useful. After all, the state of the marina leaves a bad impression about Liverpool as a whole. They would probably be keen to have a word in the ear of those in charge.
 

dankilb

New member
Joined
23 Jan 2008
Messages
21
Agree with everything said about the better marina facilities (and sailing opportunities) offered in N Wales/Lancs - but the city centre location is unrivalled. Shame they can’t make more of it...

I still suspect the root of the issues lie with CRT. They are reluctant to invest and keen to squeeze out all they can (fair enough, I guess). They really aren’t orientated towards the sailing/yachting world either. Come to think of it - the marina filling up with CRT-licensed canal boats constitutes a win-win for them. This was actively planned for with the opening of the Leeds-Liverpool canal link.

Things could get interesting if there is competition in the future. There’s talk of a marina in Nelson Dock as part of the Bramley Moore / Everton stadium redevelopment. There’s deeper water there, so perhaps access could be better?

But how many waterside redevelopment masterplans promise ‘marinas’ or ‘moorings’? ...when in reality you’re lucky to end up with a pontoon for the peddlos (and yes, CRT actually built one for that exact purpose in Salthouse Dock!!!)
 

Billy300

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Joined
15 Sep 2020
Messages
2
Agree with everything said about the better marina facilities (and sailing opportunities) offered in N Wales/Lancs - but the city centre location is unrivalled. Shame they can’t make more of it...

I still suspect the root of the issues lie with CRT. They are reluctant to invest and keen to squeeze out all they can (fair enough, I guess). They really aren’t orientated towards the sailing/yachting world either. Come to think of it - the marina filling up with CRT-licensed canal boats constitutes a win-win for them. This was actively planned for with the opening of the Leeds-Liverpool canal link.

Things could get interesting if there is competition in the future. There’s talk of a marina in Nelson Dock as part of the Bramley Moore / Everton stadium redevelopment. There’s deeper water there, so perhaps access could be better?

But how many waterside redevelopment masterplans promise ‘marinas’ or ‘moorings’? ...when in reality you’re lucky to end up with a pontoon for the peddlos (and yes, CRT actually built one for that exact purpose in Salthouse Dock!!!)
Do the canal and river trust own the marina? I would be surprised if such a large organisation allowed one of their marinas to go down hill to this extent.
I cant see some of the canal boats that where there passing any sort of Safety tests required for the canal system!
There did seem a disproportionate amount of canal boats there, maybe that's all they can attract now with the ridiculous policy of only operating the lock once an hour
 

dankilb

New member
Joined
23 Jan 2008
Messages
21
Do the canal and river trust own the marina? I would be surprised if such a large organisation allowed one of their marinas to go down hill to this extent.
CRT are essentially the landowner and manager for that entire part of the Dock system (and everything 'watery' in/to do with it). AFAIK they lease the site back to Liverpool Marina. They may well be the freeholder for the marina buildings too.

That is certainly how it works for Liverpool Watersports Centre, which is the other major user/business in the docks - CRT own the building and car park, but LWC (part of a local authority run non-profit) operate the centre on a very long lease.

So that was the point I was making about the limited margins and room for manoeuvre/improvement within which I suspect the Marina operates. Not that this excuses poor day-to-day management, of course.

Add to that, the relationship between the CRT and the Marina may not be so rosy either... The word among the CRT berth holders in the Albert Dock was that there was some dispute or even court case a couple of years back whereby the Marina took CRT to task for essentially under-cutting them (Albert Dock berthing was about half the price of the Marina) while also having them by the short and curlies as their 'landlord'. Apparently the Marina won, the prices went up to match, and thus why so many of the narrowboats and AirBnB boats moved up to the Marina (where they could get the facilities for the same price as 'unserviced' and less quiet/secure/private berths in the Albert Dock).

There did seem a disproportionate amount of canal boats there, maybe that's all they can attract now with the ridiculous policy of only operating the lock once an hour
I don't know anything about the new lock situation I'm afraid - apart from that it too is CRT owned and operated. Although I'm sure the Marina do have some considerable say/weight as basically its sole user.

I'm not saying that the situation is helpless by any means! More that it is just 'unconventional' compared to many other places where - I guess, at least - the marina operator owns or leases the site with fewer restrictions (and more opportunities for sailing afforded by the tides and geography!).

Therefore I think Liverpool will always be a mixed bag of canal boats, windfarm launches, AirBnBs and unofficial liveaboards and - sadly but likely true - fewer and fewer regular/active sailors. Aside, that is, from the racing lot at the Yacht Club who pre-C-19 could still muster an impressive turnout to completely fill the lock (I once counter a dozen yachts in there at one time!) for their weekend turn around the cans.
 
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