Woolverstone - no more lift-outs!

pvb

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It seems that MDL has decided to stop offering lift-outs at Woolverstone Marina. Which also means no more winter storage ashore. I imagine there are some very unhappy customers.
 

WF36

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Comes as no surprise, amount of people hauled out at Woolverstone seems to be on the demise for a few years.

More interested in keeping the holidaymakers happy in the log cabins I'd imagine.
 

pvb

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Comes as no surprise, amount of people hauled out at Woolverstone seems to be on the demise for a few years.

More interested in keeping the holidaymakers happy in the log cabins I'd imagine.
Do the contracts for swinging moorings there include lift-outs and winter storage?
 

LittleSister

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I would have thought that the potential for a boats to be lifted would be an almost essential facility for a marina of that size.

I can believe that developing more holiday accommodation (if flood risk etc. didn't rule this out) would be more profitable than boat storage in itself, but the absence of any boat lift and storage facility at all would significantly reduce the attractiveness of the marina to many customers.

I imagine that the other yards and marinas in the vicinity that do provide lifts will be pleased to get the displaced business.
 

Leighb

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Yes, except that shore storage is fairly limited at most.
Not sure why you say this, there is a pretty large area near the marina itself, and then a huge amount up either side of the approach road.
They seem to have shot themselves in the foot if this is their future policy as having the ability to lift out berth holders yachts is a pretty fundamental need I would think?

They used to own their own crane, but when that failed a safety inspection they decided to just hire one in when needed. This was the start of the slippery slope as it was not cost effective . A friend ringing up a few years ago to enquire about getting a lift out was told, "we can't book a lift out unless we have at least 5 boats and we don't have any others" he said, "How about about if I am the first of your five?" The answer was obstructive to say the least and he arranged a lift and scrub elsewhere.

I am not sure I would want to stay in a marina, especially a very expensive one, if I had to trawl around other Orwell marinas to get lifted out for routine maintenance.
 

pvb

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Not sure why you say this, there is a pretty large area near the marina itself, and then a huge amount up either side of the approach road.
I said that "shore storage is fairly limited at most" in reply to LittleSister's post saying "I imagine that the other yards and marinas in the vicinity that do provide lifts will be pleased to get the displaced business."

Most other local marinas are stuffed with boats on hard standing in winter. Fox's is stuffed virtually all year. Levington is quite full in winter, but maybe could find more shore space. Shotley again is busy in winter but could use some hard standing (before the house building starts).
 

Kukri

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I suspect that they can’t book the crane that they used to use, and MDL HQ don’t want to buy them a travel lift, because Woolverstone is so much less profitable than their Solent marinas.

Anyway we are booked into Foxs for the end of the month, so “I’m all right, Jack!”
 

pvb

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I suspect that they can’t book the crane that they used to use, and MDL HQ don’t want to buy them a travel lift, because Woolverstone is so much less profitable than their Solent marinas.

Anyway we are booked into Foxs for the end of the month, so “I’m all right, Jack!”
There are loads of cranes for hire, that can't be the reason. Fox's hire a crane for mast work (or they did a few years ago, they could have bought their own by now).
 

Cantata

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.......................... Woolverstone is so much less profitable than their Solent marinas.
Why would that be? It's pretty expensive to stop there as a visitor and when I go past it always looks rammed full.
 

LittleSister

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Woolverstone is so much less profitable than their Solent marinas.
I was thinking that it’s much cheaper than MDL marinas in the Solent.
There's no direct link between price and profitability. I am imagine the cost of acquiring and running Woolverstone is far cheaper, too, than MDL's Solent sites.

And not only that, they do, of course, get a better class of customer on the East Coast. :D
 

xyachtdave

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Marinas are a lot like gyms, if the customers actually come and use the facilities, they become a real PITA.

‘You want what?’…’a lift out to paint and annual maintenance?’

‘Why can’t you just leave the boat tied to the pontoon like everyone else!’

‘Weirdo!’
 

shortjohnsilver

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This seems very odd.
I had been a berth holder there until September last year moving my boat to Chatham as a result of copping covid and increasing travel issues M25/A12.
Anyway as mentioned they hire in or had hired in a crane generally every two weeks or so for a week, around suitable tides. This worked well.
As alluded to there must be an issue with hiring a suitable crane.
In respect of storage, there really is enough for the size marina it is, with two reasonably large areas set west of the office and they didn’t pack em’ in. They have more space available than Chatham, where they do.
Finally, they’re pretty full. Yes there’s a turn over of berths but berths don’t sit empty long at all.
It goes without saying that although an MDL it’s not cheap, but in comparison to the South coast MDL marinas it is.
 

Concerto

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This seems very odd.
I had been a berth holder there until September last year moving my boat to Chatham as a result of copping covid and increasing travel issues M25/A12.
Anyway as mentioned they hire in or had hired in a crane generally every two weeks or so for a week, around suitable tides. This worked well.
As alluded to there must be an issue with hiring a suitable crane.
In respect of storage, there really is enough for the size marina it is, with two reasonably large areas set west of the office and they didn’t pack em’ in. They have more space available than Chatham, where they do.
Finally, they’re pretty full. Yes there’s a turn over of berths but berths don’t sit empty long at all.
It goes without saying that although an MDL it’s not cheap, but in comparison to the South coast MDL marinas it is.
At Chatham, I believe they own the crane and have in August just bought the tractor rather than hiring it. The cradle lifting trailer was rented several years ago, but I do not know the current situation. Recently chatting with the manager, she said they have only 5 years left on the lease so are currently negotiating for a new longer lease than the original 20 year lease. Then more investment should be forth coming.

I should be back in my berth before the end of the week from the boat show, so if you see me onboard come and have a chat. My berth is B4 which is just outside the loo block.
 

Chae_73

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Hiring a crane is pretty simple and not too expensive when boat lifts are £500 or so a time.

I can't imagine being based at a marina with no lift out, unless it had some significant other USP such as price or location. Which as far as I can see, Woolverstone does not. Maybe because we are in "peak boat ownership", there is enough demand for customers to overlook the inconvenience.

I hope everyone doesn't head over to SYH for the winter - cos that's where we are planning to go!
 
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