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MDL Marinas

Uksailing

New member
Joined
11 Apr 2020
Messages
4
Evening everybody.... and apologies if I am duplicating anything here... this post is largely aimed at MDL berthholders, but is open to all...

Whilst fully supporting social distancing... and stay at home (I am doing it... I hope you all too), I am both curious and very annoyed with MDL. As an annual berth holder with MDL for many years, I am more than disappointed with their response to their berth holders over the coronavirus situation and am keen to get views from other berth holders (Especially given what other marinas I.e. D & R are doing plus a few others etc.)

I have heard that MDL are offering winter berthing rates to those ‘stuck’ in one of their marinas! On an ongoing monthly basis. Would love to hear from anybody that has been offered / accepted (please be honest guys...)?

Are you still a live aboard in an MDL marina and are allowed to stay? I hope so especially if you work for the NHS or other supporting companies. and you get my full support... but others have been asked to leave? Are there others still in your marina?

Also, MDL are covering up within our marina on who is onboard their boats. Whilst putting out a message that people have left, we have proof that others are still allowed on their boats! Don’t know how or why......!

Would be interested to get views from other berth holders...! I for one paid up in full in January to secure the discount, now I hear (rightly or wrongly), that those paying on monthly on direct debit may be postponing their payments...!

This is not meant as a rant against MDL... but an honest question out there to fellow berth holders. Many thanks in advance.

Looking forward to getting back down to my boat and out on the water soon. Take care all....
 

Laysula

Well-known member
Joined
1 Jun 2008
Messages
1,195
Location
Brixham
We've been in Brixham for 5 years. The marina is 20 mins walk from the house. I've walked past a few times. It's closed so I haven't tried to go in, and wouldn't.
When we were moving house to Brixham we asked about living aboard for a short while between houses and were told that the policy is no liveaboards but if we were discreet they would turn a blind eye. Since moving into our house and retiring from gainfull employment we usually liveaboard for six or seven months although not always in Brixham. We're not the only ones, there are many that do the same and one couple rents their house out through the summer and spend their time on board. To be honest some one living aboard between house or temporarily for some reason should be allowed to stay (discreetly) but if you have a house then you should have gone back to it..
I also paid up in January to secure the discount because I could afford to. If you need to pay in instalments and things are a bit tight financially because of the situation then I am glad that MDL are being understanding about it. I find the staff and management at Brixham to be very helpful and understanding of berthholders that have problems.
At the end of the day, it's not the Marinas fault that we can't access our boats.
 

steveeasy

Active member
Joined
12 Aug 2014
Messages
829
If they have turned a blind eye to livaboards, due to the corona virus they are permitted to stay. this was se out in guidance. So they don't have a lot of choice but to let them stay. they might not be advertising the fact though.
Steveeasy
 

Uksailing

New member
Joined
11 Apr 2020
Messages
4
@Laysula No I fully agree with what you say ... I have also lived aboard my boat over the summer months...and don’t get me wrong, MDL have always ‘turned a blind eye’... as I am sure you do as per my contract, no live aboard allowed. Don’t get me wrong, my post is not intentionally about slating MDL... But, I am annoyed as an anual berth holder, who paid my fees up front... that MDL are now offering berths to ‘people’ in their berths who are ‘stuck’ at winter rates...! And other marinas next door to me that are offering their annual berth holders already a 50% discount for April alone... to be reviewed month on month! MDL are going out of their way to help people , apart from those who have already paid up front...... and they now have my money!
 

sailaboutvic

Well-known member
Joined
26 Jan 2004
Messages
7,141
Location
Med
Sorry I'm a bit lose here , are you complaining that people who have a home on land have moved on to there boat and getting a discount , or that there liveaboard in the marina i.e. Who have no other property and are getting the discount.
Or just people who are paying monthly are getting a discount and people who paid up front aren't .
Have you try and discuss the matter with the marina ?
 

xyachtdave

Well-known member
Joined
9 May 2009
Messages
2,232
Location
RHYC
Interesting 1st post, welcome to YBW.

Not sure why you're unhappy about people stuck from 1st April, being allowed to continue on a winter rate if they can't access and move their boats.

I have a mooring during the summer and use a marina over the winter, Ramsgate for example charged me about £1300 for October to March inclusive, their monthly (28 days) summer rate for my 11m boat is nearly £800.

If the boats you refer to were due to leave 31st March, I really can't see an issue with them being allowed to stay at the cheaper winter rate regardless of your early payment for the year up front. If nothing is moving anywhere, they can't be in the way blocking someone's berth.

At the local MDL marina here, 83% of the boats didn't leave their berth once last year, yet there's a surprisingly high number of people asking for discounts for lack of access, when the majority never go anywhere anyway.

Personally when the lockdown was looking inevitable, I made the decision to bring the boat early, I was actually about to have an early night on board before leaving at 5.00 am, on the Monday evening Boris announced the lockdown at his later than usual press conference.

As I was already there and the alternative was likely to be £800 a month and a train plus taxi ride home, I left as planned saving myself the hassle of arguing with Thanet Council over the summer rates.

Edit to add, I have also lived aboard under the radar at an MDL marina.
 

Little Grebe

Well-known member
Joined
9 Jun 2009
Messages
6,272
Location
From the Needles to the Nab, from Cowes to St Cath
At the local MDL marina here, 83% of the boats didn't leave their berth once last year, yet there's a surprisingly high number of people asking for discounts for lack of access, when the majority never go anywhere anyway.
Yet we keep getting told here we can't go to our boats because suddenly the entire marina will want to come down at the same time

(Apologies to the OP for the thread drift)
 

Concerto

Well-known member
Joined
16 Jul 2014
Messages
2,523
Location
Sail on the Medway, Kent from Chatham Maritime Mar
As a MDL berth holder for 6 years, I again pay in January to obtain a discount. In Chatham there are about 30 to 40 permanent liveaboards and provided it is no obvious like having plant pots on deck, no one seems to worry despite in being against MDL's T&Cs. Yesterday I checked my boat by a web cam run by a resident in the tower block alongside the marina (Alan Buckman) and watched a number of people still walking on the pontoons. My neighbour is a liveaboard of about 3 years and I saw him working on deck. The main car park still has a number of cars and vans parked. So, Chatham Marina is still open to people, but being a locked in basin means no boat can enter the Medway.

With regard to any one being trapped and unable to move to a river mooring, I think an extension of winter rates is fair by MDL. Should we get a rebate as an annual berth holder? Difficult answer. I have already accepted their terms and conditions to keep my boat in their marina. However I feel they should show a gesture to berth holders who are unable to access or work on their boats. Having already paid for the year, then possibly a free lift out, high pressure wash and lift in (not necessarily on the same day) after the rush to launch boats in the boatyard once lockdown is lifted would cost them very little. In Chatham they own the crane and still have to pay their staff, so the cost to them would be negligible and I would save about £350. This would certainly cost them less than a discount/rebate and be very easy to administerwithout hurting their revenues too much.
 

Boater Sam

Active member
Joined
14 Mar 2020
Messages
204
Location
Philippines and Cheshire, England.
But having paid the yearly rate you would normally have paid anyway, why the beef?
Its not the marinas fault that you cannot use your boat.

Who would you want to rebate to you?
When we were locked in due to a stoppage for most of the summer, we did not ask for a licence rebate as we would normally pay it in any case.
 

WF36

Active member
Joined
28 Jan 2009
Messages
1,033
Location
RHYC,Suffolk
Most of the marinas around here have allowed customers to stay in or out of the water FOC.
One chap at MDL was told he wasn’t allowed access to his boat and they would be sticking him on the usual summer rate. He got a local tug to go into the marina and tow his boat away - worked out cheaper that way!
 

russ

Member
Joined
9 Nov 2009
Messages
694
Location
North East Hampshire
I've had no berthing fee correspondence from MDL other than when I asked them to check something over in the cabin. Which was done within half an hour of asking plus a photo. So excellent service from them.
My only gripe would be if they are to furlough staff and still charge the full amount. Therefore being paid by us and the government for non working staff.
 

Dijon

New member
Joined
12 Apr 2020
Messages
2
Thats the issue to me - it is clear staff have been furloughed and as a result MDL will be in receipt of grants whilst still maintaining full revenue from annual berthholders. Also presuambly they are not incurring maintainance costs of keeping shower blocks open etc. Other leisure industries whose revenue is impacted still given full or partial refunds for restriction of services so why not Marinas who are maintaining revenue
Also who is a "liveaboard" seems to be a bit selective.
 

Laysula

Well-known member
Joined
1 Jun 2008
Messages
1,195
Location
Brixham
At the local MDL marina here, 83% of the boats didn't leave their berth once last year, yet there's a surprisingly high number of people asking for discounts for lack of access, when the majority never go anywhere anyway.
Not only that but there are plenty of boats in Brixham that I have never seen anyone even on them in 5 years. let alone move.
 

V1701

Well-known member
Joined
1 Oct 2009
Messages
3,509
Location
South Coast UK
If enough monthly paying annual berth holders withhold their payments and that encourages the marina to offer a discount or gesture to annual berth holders then you will also benefit from that so the only issue that I can see here is whether or not they should. If they are making significant cost savings by furloughing staff, not having to pay business rates, etc. then it would be appropriate but it is up to them...
 

Dijon

New member
Joined
12 Apr 2020
Messages
2
I think you will find that you are a liveaboard if you have no other place to go to, that is, the boat is your sole residence.
I wish it was that simple!! --There are some owners who live full time during summer and rent during winter, there are some going through divorces and living on board 2-4 days a week , there are some living onboard because they have just rented out their proprties because they were going off sailing , there are some living onboard because that is what they enjoy but they have plenty of family/places to stay with, ....the only genuine liveaboads I respect are those that have been living aboard for a at least a year and are key NHS workers working localy. At the end of the day it is a breach of the MDL contract which some have been respecting and others have relied upon the "blind eye" - MDL need to respect all these situations fairly if indeed they are turning a blind eye.
 

V1701

Well-known member
Joined
1 Oct 2009
Messages
3,509
Location
South Coast UK
I wish it was that simple!! --There are some owners who live full time during summer and rent during winter, there are some going through divorces and living on board 2-4 days a week , there are some living onboard because they have just rented out their proprties because they were going off sailing , there are some living onboard because that is what they enjoy but they have plenty of family/places to stay with, ....the only genuine liveaboads I respect are those that have been living aboard for a at least a year and are key NHS workers working localy. At the end of the day it is a breach of the MDL contract which some have been respecting and others have relied upon the "blind eye" - MDL need to respect all these situations fairly if indeed they are turning a blind eye.
So let me get this right, you're saying that the marina should intentionally make homeless anybody who literally has nowhere to go but their boat unless they work for the NHS & have been living aboard for at least a year?

The whole liveaboard thing is a red herring, it's nothing whatsoever to do with the only issue here which is whether the marina should offer some sort of discount or gesture to annual berth holders...
 

steveeasy

Active member
Joined
12 Aug 2014
Messages
829
The whole liveaboard thing is a red herring, it's nothing whatsoever to do with the only issue here which is whether the marina should offer some sort of discount or gesture to annual berth holders...
[/QUOTE]
I think people might feel its unfair they cant access their boats while those who may be in breach of their contract with the operator can now carry on accessing their boat. cant blame them being feeling a bit fed up. The fact is due to corona virus, people who can prove they dont have a main residence elsewhere can carry on living in Hotels, B&Bs, caravan parks and it seams marinas.
Where I keep my boat I cant go down and work on it. but those who live on site can spend all thier time working away on their boats. yes it is unfair. Still there are allways winners and loosers.
Steveeasy
 

V1701

Well-known member
Joined
1 Oct 2009
Messages
3,509
Location
South Coast UK
On behalf of all liveaboard boaters everywhere we collectively and profusely apologise for the fact that we don't have anywhere else to live and that we can work on our boats because we are still allowed to be on board. Might I suggest that those boat owners who do not currently live aboard move on to their boats full time as soon as they are able in order that they may work on their boats in the event of another pandemic necessitating lockdown...(y)
 

Lucy52

Active member
Joined
21 Dec 2014
Messages
207
Location
Eastbourne
I am sorry V1701 you forgot to mention, don't forget to sell, bequeath or otherwise dispose of any other property you own so that the boat is your only residence.
I got caught, I live on the boat over a long weekend and sofa surf with my daughter during the week as it is nearer my work. Now I am locked out of my boat with only a bag of clothes. Maybe I should just retire.
 
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