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MDL Marinas

Concerto

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16 Jul 2014
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2,683
Location
Sail on the Medway, Kent from Chatham Maritime Mar
This evening I received the following email from MDL.

"12th May 2020

RE: COVID-19 Update from MDL Marinas
Your next steps for returning to boating and watersports at MDL.

As promised we plan to continue to update you all in the changes to Government guidance and restrictions as they unfold from various authorities, British Marine and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

As much as we want to get back out onto the water, we want to make sure we are getting it right so that we can make your phased return to boating the best it can be.

When we have further clarification (at some point tomorrow) Michael Glanville our Managing Director will update all our customers and tenants to let you know if you can get out on the water and what to expect at your marina. We are aware that a handful of harbour authorities have approved some leisure boating this evening while others have not yet. We hope to clarify either way as early as possible. If you have a direct question please contact me HERE and in the meantime we look forward to seeing you for maintenance and boat checks.

We understand that you’ll be keen to get out on the water as soon as possible, and we are doing everything we can to help facilitate that, within the boundaries of keeping our team members, berth holders, and tenants as well protected as possible. Please wait for clarification before you take your boat out.

Thank you in advance and best wishes

Tim Mayer

Sales and Marketing Director

All Q&A's are being updated daily and can be viewed
HERE"

Well I think their comment is not following the advice of the RYA, so I sent the reply below.

"Good evening Mr Mayer

Reading your email I feel I should point out the regulations do not give the right to any harbour authority to stop people using from using their boats, providing they meet social distancing regulations. This is the advice the RYA is giving.
Coronavirus - advice and information for recreational boaters | News | News & Events | RYA - Royal Yachting Association

It is not the duty of MDL or a harbour authority to interpret the regulations or enforce your interpretation of them. We live in a free society, not a police state.

Trusting in the morning you will be immediately changing your advice to your staff to allow people to use their boats.

Roger Clark

Concerto
Berth B4, Chatham Maritime Marina
"

I now await a reply.
 

prv

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29 Nov 2009
Messages
36,509
Location
Southampton
Regardless of any merits of your argument, your wording makes you sound like a dickhead. Mr Mayer is probably therefore more inclined than he otherwise would be to file your letter in the circular cabinet.

Pete
 

xyachtdave

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9 May 2009
Messages
2,314
Location
MYC
Regardless of any merits of your argument, your wording makes you sound like a dickhead. Mr Mayer is probably therefore more inclined than he otherwise would be to file your letter in the circular cabinet.

Pete
That’s harsh PRV, although ‘file in circular cabinet’ made me chuckle!

The joke of the situation on the Medway is Peel Ports who do absolutely nothing about jet skis launching illegally, speeding mobo’s, removing buoyage they can’t be bothered to maintain that benefited leisure sailors, dumping abandoned yachts on club moorings and make the wreck their problem.....while charging their yearly ‘conservancy’ are now going to make a decision about whether I can go anchor in Stangate Creek this weekend.

I’ll be interested to know what they’re going to use to enforce this if they can’t get the basics right?

If I had a jet ski and was inclined to spend this weekend upsetting as many people as possible, I could hack about all over Gillingham reach, through the moorings, occasionally stopping for a snort of cocaine/swig of Stella/swear at someone and I can tell you what Perl Ports would do......

Nothing.
 

dom

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Joined
17 Dec 2003
Messages
6,285
The joke of the situation on the Medway is Peel Ports who do absolutely nothing about jet skis launching illegally, speeding mobo’s, removing buoyage they can’t be bothered to maintain that benefited leisure sailors, dumping abandoned yachts on club moorings and make the wreck their problem.....while charging their yearly ‘conservancy’ are now going to make a decision about whether I can go anchor in Stangate Creek this weekend.

I’ll be interested to know what they’re going to use to enforce this if they can’t get the basics right?

If I had a jet ski and was inclined to spend this weekend upsetting as many people as possible, I could hack about all over Gillingham reach, through the moorings, occasionally stopping for a snort of cocaine/swig of Stella/swear at someone and I can tell you what Perl Ports would do......

Nothing.

Great point, like finessing the semantics of whether to brake from 40 to 30 at a 30mph sign or just roll the speed down, while others are doing donuts right in front of plod
:whistle:
 

Concerto

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Joined
16 Jul 2014
Messages
2,683
Location
Sail on the Medway, Kent from Chatham Maritime Mar
Regardless of any merits of your argument, your wording makes you sound like a dickhead. Mr Mayer is probably therefore more inclined than he otherwise would be to file your letter in the circular cabinet.

Pete
Well Pete I did get a reply.

"Mr Clark

The note is very clear, as explained we will update later today.

Best Wishes

Tim

Tim Mayer
Sales and Marketing Director

Marina Developments Ltd
MDL Marinas Group Ltd
"
 

Concerto

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Joined
16 Jul 2014
Messages
2,683
Location
Sail on the Medway, Kent from Chatham Maritime Mar
The latest news from MDL is far better in this email. The bold italic text says yes we can now use their marinas to go sailing. I doubt if my earlier email made any difference, but at least they now know that we are customers and users of their facilities and do not take lightly being told what we can
or cannot do by their interpretation of the law when it is clearly wrong.


COVID 19 - UK Boating returns - 13th May

Return to boating - Your next steps for returning to boating and watersports at MDL.

As promised, we plan to continue to update you all in the changes to Government guidance and restrictions as they unfold. Many of you will be aware of uncertainty as we await specific government guidance on boating or the opening of leisure boating by the harbour and river authorities.

As a reminder the Government have updated their message from “stay at home” to “stay alert” and you can now visit your boat, following our social distancing rules for maintenance and checks. However, you will all be familiar with the Governments advice;
  • Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home
  • If you go out, stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people at all times
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home
  • Do not meet others, even friends or family. You can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms.

These should be observed in all parts of life including boating and visits to the marina.

Like you, we’ve been eagerly following the latest developments in the Government’s rightly cautious approach to easing the lockdown. While we were delighted to be able to welcome customers back to our marinas for maintenance and security checks on their boats, we were cautious about our customers putting out to sea given the added pressures that could put on emergency services. We continue to await further clarification from harbour and river authorities about their understanding of where boating sits in the bigger picture, thinking about the ‘spirit’ of the guidelines and ‘common sense’. It’s no secret that people travel a long way to make the most of MDL’s beautiful marinas, so we were also careful to point out that, under the eased regulations, people are still not allowed to stay overnight on their boats.

Now we have further clarification from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, Forestry Commission, Environment Agency and Natural England who have said all forms of water sports practiced on open waterways, including sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, rowing, kayaking, surfing, paddle-boarding and the use of privately-owned motorised craft (in line with the guidance issued by the relevant navigation authority) are allowed. We are delighted that recreational boating is now allowed in England.

We understand that you’ll be keen to get out on the water as soon as possible, and we are going to do everything we can to help facilitate that, within the boundaries of keeping our team members, and berth holders, as well protected as possible.

What you need to know . . . it will take a few weeks for our ‘new normal’ to settle, so please be patient with one another and our teams across the marina on the pontoons and respect any additional requests made by our team members as they develop and adapt social distancing protocols for specific areas. For the time being our teams will be unable to take lines for customers and assist in the normal way, at peak times and particularly this coming weekend the team have been asked to close the marina office doors and to only walk pontoons when social distancing can be maintained. Please keep the marina office phone numbers with you so you can contact us for assistance and to answer questions.

Please follow the rules; going boating as a sport is a gift and if the authorities believe rules are not being followed or social distancing is not actively maintained we face a further lock down. Please “Stay Alert”.

You’ll want to know what happens next. You can find details of the plans on our website but here’s a quick summary.

Boats on berths
If your boat is already on its berth, you are welcome to come and go from the marina as you please, making sure that you adhere to all the social distancing guidance in place. As mentioned above, you will not be able to stay on your boat. You are respectfully asked to move freely through the marina from your vehicle to your boat and away from the marina to enjoy your sport as quickly as possible. Please do not linger and be aware of the government’s rules about groups of people and being with people not in your household. Your travel to the boat is for exercise and sport it is not for hospitality and leisure.

Boats in boatyards

We will do our best to return boats to the water as soon as we can. We will contact owners who have a boat out of the water and design a launch plan around their needs. Please wait for your marina office to contact you about your yard’s launch plan as they’ll be juggling where each boat is, the team members phased return, the refresher training of that team to keep your boat services safe and as professional as possible and other customers.

Because of the logistical jigsaw, we are not going to accept priority bookings, so please do not ask.

If you require a lift out, you may book one in advance with your marina office – we anticipate starting lift outs from 1st June. You may see lift outs happening at your yard; these are for our business tenants and part of their commercial operations and not for leisure customers.

Can I attend my boat launch? For the next four weeks we ask you not to attend the launching of your boat. This is so our team can operate freely around the boat yard while maintaining social distancing and operating inside of their risk assessment. Once your boat has been launched and the team have returned to the boat yard you may collect it. Remember no food and beverage is open on site, the marina offices are closed, facilities only offer toilets so there is nowhere for you to go. Please do not arrive expecting to attend your launch the team will be unable to fulfil your request.

Boats in marina locks

Our marina teams at Hythe and Chatham will be running queues to access the locks, given that it is not possible to social distance in a packed lock. The queuing systems may include staggering boats in the lock to maintain distance, and not including smaller boats (like RIBS) in between bigger boats. The marina teams will assess the boats waiting and will endeavour to put the best queue system in place for the challenge they’re presented with. You are asked to please be patient, contacting our teams to express your concerns will hold up operations, please work with them, respect them and remember, there are still significant restrictions in place across the country, we expect to refine operations as government guidance changes.

Fuel services

For the next 4 weeks marine fuel will be offered on a limited and pre booked basis only. The reason for this is we are expecting peak demand and must maintain adherence with Government guidance. Booking slots will be 30 mins apart and you are asked not to arrive before or after your allotted time, the team will not be able to collect lines from you or have more than one boat on the fuel berth at any one time. We will unfortunately not be able to service everyone, please do not book fuel if you don’t need it at this time. Fuel at some marinas will be available during the week when demand will be much reduced so please consider carefully your boating needs. You can book fuel by calling your marina on the main line or emailing

As with all of the measures above, we’re asking our customers to be patient, and to respect all social distancing guidance and the ways in which our marina teams respond to the individual challenges each marina presents. As you know, we couldn’t be prouder of our marina teams who have been looking after our marina network, our teams have in some cases been treated inappropriately by some customers in recent weeks, we respectfully ask for your patience, understand and above all adherence to the rules to avoid a further lock down. Please show them your support as we adjust to our ‘new normal’.

Best Wishes

Michael Glanville
Managing Director

 

dom

Well-known member
Joined
17 Dec 2003
Messages
6,285
Well Pete I did get a reply.

"Mr Clark

The note is very clear, as explained we will update later today.

Best Wishes

Tim

Tim Mayer
Sales and Marketing Director

Marina Developments Ltd
MDL Marinas Group Ltd
"

Wow, what you wrote was somewhat sharp. Notwithstanding that, if anyone in my business responded to a client like that, they would receive a formal warning followed by retraining. Utterly unacceptable to treat customers like that, no exceptions.

FWIW I called Premier today, asked if I could book a launch, "of course Sir" came the reply, "when would you like". So I booked a date next next week and they're more than happy to cast lines for a boat move that day.

FWIW #2, friends of mine are struggling to get a timely launch date in MDL.
 

Blue Sunray

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Joined
20 Jul 2015
Messages
2,154
Wow, what you wrote was somewhat sharp. Notwithstanding that, if anyone in my business responded to a client like that, they would receive a formal warning followed by retraining. Utterly unacceptable to treat customers like that, no exceptions.

FWIW I called Premier today, asked if I could book a launch, "of course Sir" came the reply, "when would you like". So I booked a date next next week and they're more than happy to cast lines for a boat move that day.

FWIW #2, friends of mine are struggling to get a timely launch date in MDL.
FWIW having tolerated MDL for a few years the interactions that I've had with their head office staff reinforce my view that they regard their berthholders as a rather irritating necessity, whilst their main interest is in property development. I get the impression from speaking to marinia managers to try to get relatively minor but non routine issues fixed that share that they similar frustrations with head office and that they are also often treated like the proverbial mushrooms.
 

Little Grebe

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Joined
9 Jun 2009
Messages
6,920
Location
From the Needles to the Nab, from Cowes to St Cath
Wow, what you wrote was somewhat sharp. Notwithstanding that, if anyone in my business responded to a client like that, they would receive a formal warning followed by retraining. Utterly unacceptable to treat customers like that, no exceptions.

FWIW I called Premier today, asked if I could book a launch, "of course Sir" came the reply, "when would you like". So I booked a date next next week and they're more than happy to cast lines for a boat move that day.

FWIW #2, friends of mine are struggling to get a timely launch date in MDL.
Fearing a lengthy delay while they cleared the backlog I sent a speculative email to my marina this morning and was very pleasantly surprise to receive a phone call to say they should be able to launch the boat this week.
 

dom

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Joined
17 Dec 2003
Messages
6,285
Fearing a lengthy delay while they cleared the backlog I sent a speculative email to my marina this morning and was very pleasantly surprise to receive a phone call to say they should be able to launch the boat this week.

Just as a matter of interest, are you in MDL now?
 

dom

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Joined
17 Dec 2003
Messages
6,285
Boatfolk nee D&R.

I got the impression that the restriction on not being able to stay overnight was putting owners living further away off launching at this time.

Ah yes, that’s what I thought.

BTW as I understand it, the not staying o/n requirement Is more a question of navigating the holiday home rules. Quite possible though it’s also a way to keep facilities use down amongst other potential social distancing issues.
 

dom

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Joined
17 Dec 2003
Messages
6,285
FWIW having tolerated MDL for a few years the interactions that I've had with their head office staff reinforce my view that they regard their berthholders as a rather irritating necessity, whilst their main interest is in property development. I get the impression from speaking to marinia managers to try to get relatively minor but non routine issues fixed that share that they similar frustrations with head office and that they are also often treated like the proverbial mushrooms.

Seems like a pattern developing here. I know people in the Hamble being offered launches over a month from now.

Pretty bad form if MDL has furloughed so many staff it can’t bounce back into life quickly now. It’s not as if they lack the necessary cranes, etc.
 

FlyingGoose

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Joined
12 Feb 2019
Messages
4,124
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The Known Universe
As a Scottish boater nothing applies to me yet, but it will when we lift lockdown and I suspect that we will follow England to the letter
Can I ask outwith the argument of spreading a virus
Is it fair that some one who lives a fair distance from their boat is not allowed to stay on it, as the return journey back and forth for a number of days maintance then for a sail is putting then at a serious disadvantage
Also do you think if you go sailing and anchor off and stay the night this would be breaking the law,
I ask for a number of reasons
1, weather can play a part in returning
2, Failures of part on the boat can force you to stay on your boat at anchor

3. those like myself who have limited mobility, to travel back and forth over the week will seriously cause my condition to worsen
4. tiredness and not being able to sail the boat back that night, for safety concerns

Just points that need some clarification for all I suppose, and I do not want to be on here with my AIS data , with the usual plague carrying assault,:p


I have no intention of infecting anyone or going to places were there are other people , when I get to sail but there has been times I have had t o anchor and wait until the next day to move on,
Should I and others in the same predicament just not sail:cry:
 

Little Grebe

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Joined
9 Jun 2009
Messages
6,920
Location
From the Needles to the Nab, from Cowes to St Cath
Seems like a pattern developing here. I know people in the Hamble being offered launches over a month from now.

Pretty bad form if MDL has furloughed so many staff it can’t bounce back into life quickly now. It’s not as if they lack the necessary cranes, etc.
It may be that people that lost their slot over the last 7 weeks are being put to the back of the queue while those original booked for next week will be OK.

The last place I used to go for the winter haul out used to do something similar so during the awful spring of 2013 those that missed the original date as the weather had prevented them from antifouling had a long wait. That year it started snowing just as I had finished painting!
 

Mark-1

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22 Sep 2008
Messages
2,813
I don't know what the law requires but it's pretty clear that staying on a boat overnight in a marina carries risk of spreading CV because you're sure to use the marina heads/showers and possibly interact with people even if it's from 2m away and briefly. Also encourages people to travel from further away spreading CV between regions.

In contrast anchoring/picking up a buoy somewhere remote is not going to spread CV.

So for me, personally, I shall be spending as little time as possible in the marina and maximising my time outside the Marina and away from people.

Other people are grownups and can make their own judgements how they can best stay away from other people.
 

Blue Sunray

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Joined
20 Jul 2015
Messages
2,154
MDL do seem to have decided to offer some money back:

We are giving you the option to receive 40% cashback of the pro rata value of your your fees for April 2020, or putting 50% of your pro rata April fees on account, which you could use for lifting, storage, fuel or any other MDL Marinas service. You can if you want to donate that money to charity, the choice is yours.

But that’s not all whatever you decide we are also holding 50% of your pro rata fees for May 2020 against your up-front early settlement renewal price when we ask you to renew for 2020/21.
 

Vicarage

Member
Joined
21 Mar 2017
Messages
46
In MDL's latest Facebook PR triumph they've spammed all their accounts with pictures of their staff " out checking
🚤
Lines, Fenders, Electrics and Covers every day
". The same photos for every marina and some of the staff pictured left several years ago. Well done MDL, yet again you're taking your clients for mugs.
I was always impressed with Chatham's social media always looking so good until I 'liked' two of their marinas on facebook and realised all the posts are identical. It's obviously all controlled from a central marketing office. MDL are the bane of our life at the moment. We're right down west but I've had to speak to head office a couple of times, including the chap who Concerto emailed and he was about as short over the phone as he was in that email you got.
 

xyachtdave

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Joined
9 May 2009
Messages
2,314
Location
MYC
So for me, personally, I shall be spending as little time as possible in the marina and maximising my time outside the Marina and away from people.
I did this every weekend anyway, even when I lived aboard!
 
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