The shower/toilet block is the best I've ever seen. The shower was a real pleasure. The staff are very helpful but still learning, they were only taking four boats into the lock at one time unlike Shotley or St. Katherines where they really pack them in. I had no trouble locking through, they have floating pontoons in the lock to tie up to but water turbulence is to be watched for. The marina itself has plenty of room for manoeuvering but I suspect some more pontoons will be going in. Chatham dockyard is 10 minutes walk away but there is all there is really to do there. Looking at the roads that are being laid out, in 2 or 3 years there will be a lot more waterside homes/shops? There is only one place to eat within walking distance and the meal is best seen hanging in a frame on a wall, certainly not the place for a good feed. The marina is not one of the cheapest, I think I paid about £12/£13 a night for a 27 foot boat (I am used to the east coast). You won't get a club discount for less than 10 boats but overall an efficient marina.
I would agree with all of this, except we didn't try to eat there. Visited mid July. The marina was half full, plenty of space, staff very helpful. Maritime museum slightly disappointing and not up to its own hype.
I think the answer depends upon if you are talking as a permanent berth, or just a short stay.
As a permanent berth, you clearly have to compare against Hoo and Gillingham, but Hoo, with its difficult access is looking less and less competitive so the real comparison is Gillingham.
The Marina there has all the facilities and is now well placed beside the northern by pass. Its two problems are the dated stern-to berthing between poles (charging extra for finger berths!) and the attitude of the management, (though not the staff) which without competition has always been based on the idea that they are doing you a favour.
Chatham does not have either of these two problems. It also has the all tide access for smaller boats. Its weakness is the lack of facilities ashore. No chandlery, work yards, cranes etc. At the end of the day these are probably more important than food and shops if you have your boat in the Marina.
For a visit, Chatham is better placed in terms of getting to Chatham (not the most attractive of towns, but it does have the usual shops), but Gillingham is better for things in the Marina (including a newly completed Sports centre, but it costs)
We approached Chatham from the north against a strong SW wind and a very strong outgoing current at less than half tide. It was necessary to motor in fairly hard to get in straight and then suddenly you are in still water with absolutely no wind and having to slow down very quickly! Fortunately the inside of the lock has floating pontoons with lots of cleats.
Fabulous loos and shower but nothing else. We walked 20 minutes to the pub for a meal that cost £90 for 4. There is a shop for buying provisions next to the pub. Go by tender if you have one to save a long and boring walk. If you want to eat out then ask the lock-keeper to ring for a taxi and have a short ride into town where you will have a better and cheaper choice of food.
£12 berthing fee. Should be good in a couple of years when they get the onsite facilities in place.