Lochmaddy Marina unusable

dunedin

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Well, we're now well into June, and the pontoons are still unusable. The notices say "No Berthing" but there are plenty of work boats tied up alongside. It just seems that they don't want yachts. Even the toilets are behind a locked gate. Surely the dredging accident didn't upset the toilets. We're anchored today at Lochmaddy, and would have liked to have had showers at the "Marina". Not impressed.
I think that is quite unfair. I am not close to this but think the small community group have been trying very hard to get compensation for the damage so they can reinstate the yacht pontoons.
There have always been work boats at the inner end - which is mostly too shallow for deep keeled yachts.
And there are costs associated with running toilets and showers. With no berthing income who would pay for the cleaning and the electricity.
I am sure the Lochmaddy group would love to be able to welcome yachts back.
 

NormanS

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I think that is quite unfair. I am not close to this but think the small community group have been trying very hard to get compensation for the damage so they can reinstate the yacht pontoons.
There have always been work boats at the inner end - which is mostly too shallow for deep keeled yachts.
And there are costs associated with running toilets and showers. With no berthing income who would pay for the cleaning and the electricity.
I am sure the Lochmaddy group would love to be able to welcome yachts back.
I have stated the facts as they are at present.
I would have been very willing to pay for a shower. The incident causing the damage occurred in September last year. It's now June. What's needed is some proper management.
 

bikedaft

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I have stated the facts as they are at present.
I would have been very willing to pay for a shower. The incident causing the damage occurred in September last year. It's now June. What's needed is some proper management.
From the replies above, it is in the (very slow) hands of the lawyers.

I would not expect the current owners to be able to fix everything up out of their own pocket/current zero cash flow? Hence awaiting legal redress.
 

NormanS

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From the replies above, it is in the (very slow) hands of the lawyers.

I would not expect the current owners to be able to fix everything up out of their own pocket/current zero cash flow? Hence awaiting legal redress.
I would have thought that the current owners would have insurance. If they have, then their insurers would cover the costs of the work required, and then fight the legal battles. There are local fish farm work boats well capable of laying out anchors for the pontoons. A couple of day's work. If they don't have insurance, then it's entirely their own fault.
So far, nine months have passed with no progress apart from money spent on fencing and gates to keep people out.
Before the pontoonery was established, there was a set of concrete steps for coming ashore. These have now been buried under rock armour. Progress?
 

ylop

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Well, we're now well into June, and the pontoons are still unusable. The notices say "No Berthing" but there are plenty of work boats tied up alongside.
Its been quite clear since the original announcement, in every update since and on what it says on the website that visiting vessels would not be accommodated but there was still a minimal provision for local commercial vessels.

Even the toilets are behind a locked gate. Surely the dredging accident didn't upset the toilets. We're anchored today at Lochmaddy, and would have liked to have had showers at the "Marina". Not impressed.
I can’t recall if the toilets/showers were open to the public before or only berth holders / paying visitors? I can imagine three problems if they encourage use of bits of the facility by the general public:

- the message that it’s closed becomes inconsistent, people turn up “originally planning to anchor” but tie up. The public are idiots. The public buy boats.
- if toilets and showers are open they may attract the campervan crowd - which without staffing to manage could be more of a downside than anything.
- quantifying the loss becomes harder; a claimant has an obligation to minimise losses and that’s probably achieved by not having staff, cleaning, lighting etc. the occasional yachtsman’s paid shower would unlikely cover the admin of processing very infrequent payments

But it’s not a typical commercial marina, for which we should be grateful for. If it was they’d have a business continuity plan, access to capital to fix it and sue the contractor later, and the resource to run at a loss for a year or two to preserve reputation.

If you want to point the finger of blame, other than at the contractors incompetence then you have to wonder why H&I Enterprise and the Scot Gov haven’t managed to make any intervention that might have safeguarded the most basic facility to continue attracting visitors.
 

mainsail1

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I stayed at the marina soon after it was completed and I found the whole area incredibly bleak. If I pass that way again I would give Lochmaddy a miss anyway so I guess the timescale is of no worry to me.
 

ylop

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I would have thought that the current owners would have insurance.
If they have, then their insurers would cover the costs of the work required, and then fight the legal battles.
Have you ever made a claim on insurance? Small claims, or undisputed/disputable claims are often settled quickly. Unusual, or expensive claims often take a long time to resolve.
There are local fish farm work boats well capable of laying out anchors for the pontoons. A couple of day's work.
The owners have described the damage as “being assessed as writing off the marina” exactly what that damage is or what that means requires some supposition. It almost certainly is not just a case of relaying the anchors.
If they don't have insurance, then it's entirely their own fault.
Many people discover after the fact that their insurance was not as broad reaching as they thought. Insurance is expensive. Was the risk they needed to cover entirely forseable? If it’s not the marina’s “fault” why should their insurer carry the can for the cash flow / business continuity risk if the damage was caused by a third party. Business insurance often isnt as clear cut as say motoring insurance.
So far, nine months have passed with no progress apart from money spent on fencing and gates to keep people out.
Before the pontoonery was established, there was a set of concrete steps for coming ashore. These have now been buried under rock armour. Progress?
Encouraging yachtsmen to come ashore via damaged pontoon seems like a fools errand. Did you object to the original planning application, highlighting the loss of the steps which would be a useful contingency if the marina was destroyed? Because it seems that you have 20:20 hindsight.
 

NormanS

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Have you ever made a claim on insurance? Small claims, or undisputed/disputable claims are often settled quickly. Unusual, or expensive claims often take a long time to resolve.

The owners have described the damage as “being assessed as writing off the marina” exactly what that damage is or what that means requires some supposition. It almost certainly is not just a case of relaying the anchors.

Many people discover after the fact that their insurance was not as broad reaching as they thought. Insurance is expensive. Was the risk they needed to cover entirely forseable? If it’s not the marina’s “fault” why should their insurer carry the can for the cash flow / business continuity risk if the damage was caused by a third party. Business insurance often isnt as clear cut as say motoring insurance.

Encouraging yachtsmen to come ashore via damaged pontoon seems like a fools errand. Did you object to the original planning application, highlighting the loss of the steps which would be a useful contingency if the marina was destroyed? Because it seems that you have 20:20 hindsight.
If the current owners think that the "marina" (actually a fairly modest pontoon) is "written off", maybe they should declare bankruptcy, and let others do a proper job. I'm anchored here at Lochmaddy, and I can see that the main pontoon is in place and being used by fish farm boats, seaweed harvesting boats and other local craft. All that appears to be missing is the hammerhead and the 2 or 3 finger pontoons.
I have never suggested that anyone should land via the "damaged" pontoon. Don't put words in my mouth. I said was that landing used to be easy at the now buried concrete steps. The steps still existed when the pontoon was installed. It is a later ferry car parking development which has buried the steps.
 

NormanS

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Its been quite clear since the original announcement, in every update since and on what it says on the website that visiting vessels would not be accommodated but there was still a minimal provision for local commercial vessels.


I can’t recall if the toilets/showers were open to the public before or only berth holders / paying visitors? I can imagine three problems if they encourage use of bits of the facility by the general public:

- the message that it’s closed becomes inconsistent, people turn up “originally planning to anchor” but tie up. The public are idiots. The public buy boats.
- if toilets and showers are open they may attract the campervan crowd - which without staffing to manage could be more of a downside than anything.
- quantifying the loss becomes harder; a claimant has an obligation to minimise losses and that’s probably achieved by not having staff, cleaning, lighting etc. the occasional yachtsman’s paid shower would unlikely cover the admin of processing very infrequent payments

But it’s not a typical commercial marina, for which we should be grateful for. If it was they’d have a business continuity plan, access to capital to fix it and sue the contractor later, and the resource to run at a loss for a year or two to preserve reputation.

If you want to point the finger of blame, other than at the contractors incompetence then you have to wonder why H&I Enterprise and the Scot Gov haven’t managed to make any intervention that might have safeguarded the most basic facility to continue attracting visitors.
The toilets and showers and washing facilities were open to the paying public. I expect the "campervan crowd's" money is as acceptable as any.
 

Fr J Hackett

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Hopefully the marina will in the final settlement receive consequential damages to cover loss of revenue from berthing contracts etc. I would have thought it might have been uppermost in the minds of the other parties insurers rather than fighting the case.
 

SaltIre

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I have stated the facts as they are at present.
I would have been very willing to pay for a shower. The incident causing the damage occurred in September last year. It's now June. What's needed is some proper management.
Did you you read the statement on the marina's website? As others have said, they await a response from insurers.

Due to an ongoing incident the marina is closed.​

DO NOT ATTEND.​

Visiting yachts cannot be accommodated.​

The marina has now been assessed and has been written off due to the damages sustained when the area around the marina was being dredged.
The dredging and you will recall was part of the ongoing pier redevelopment work and nothing to do with the marina, however one of the chains was snagged by the dredger and the whole marina was dragged along with it, causing catastrophic damage to the marina. The contractor has denied liability and we await an update from the insurance company. The marina is still functioning for local commercial boats and we ask that all others stay away at this time.
Lochmaddy Marina – Gateway to the Western Isles and beyond
 

NormanS

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Did you you read the statement on the marina's website? As others have said, they await a response from insurers.
I wonder how long they are prepared to wait on the insurers? That's nine months so far.
In the meantime the pontoon is working well for local boats and workboats.
For some reason they don't want yachts.
Some "Gateway to the Western Isles and beyond".
 

jamie N

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I wonder how long they are prepared to wait on the insurers? That's nine months so far.
In the meantime the pontoon is working well for local boats and workboats.
For some reason they don't want yachts.
Some "Gateway to the Western Isles and beyond".
I believe that the inner pontoon wasn't affected as the 'dragged anchor' was the outer, the yottie pontoon.
To say ".....they don't want yachts." doesn't do you justice.
This is from a Western Isles web-site,
"The marina has been closed since last September after dredging operations for the new harbour infrastructure dragged the pontoons five metres eastward, flipped it over and caused “several hundred thousand £s” of damage.
Lochmaddy Marina Ltd (LM) maintain that they did not agree to the dredging works without the provision of an anchor reinstatement plan, which they say was never provided.
According to Lochmaddy Marina Ltd (LM), they received a text from the main contractor saying the dredge had commenced and the marina would be unaffected.
Three engineering companies were contracted to carry out the pier improvement works. They were, say, Lochmaddy Marina Ltd (LM), meant to locate and remove the marina’s anchors clear of the dredge area with the help of a local dive company and the main contractor’s workboat.
A spokesperson for Lochmaddy Marina Ltd (LM) writing in the company's blog after the opening ceremony which they attended: “We remain now in the hands of the various solicitors when it would be much simpler in our view for reinstatement costs to be paid, and we can all move on.
“The fact that a small community marina that was just starting to improve post-COVID years has been damaged in such a manner - with no liability admitted or offers to repair is, I feel, staggering and a real shame for the users of the marina and for tourism.
"Let’s see where this ends up, and I appeal to the better nature of all involved; however, five months on, it is wearing a bit thin.”
They continued that it was “very lucky” that no one was killed or maimed when the pontoon flipped over.
Four active directors are recorded for Lochmaddy Marina Ltd (LM). They are Scott Roland Apsey, George MacDonald, and Rachel Morrison, with correspondence addresses listed as 5 South Charlotte Street, Edinburgh, and Roderick MacKillop Nicholson, of Strumore, North Uist.
 
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NormanS

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Have you asked them if they want yachts or did you make that up.
Unlike other contributors, I am anchored in Loch Maddy. I am judging by the evidence.
I prefer to anchor, so the lack of a pontoon doesn't bother me personally, but knowing that there are toilets, showers and washing facilities behind a locked gate, shows a distinct lack of initiative. I have said all I am going to say on the matter.
 

SaltIre

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Unlike other contributors, I am anchored in Loch Maddy. I am judging by the evidence.
I prefer to anchor, so the lack of a pontoon doesn't bother me personally, but knowing that there are toilets, showers and washing facilities behind a locked gate, shows a distinct lack of initiative. I have said all I am going to say on the matter.
That's a shame. You could go ashore, ask somebody, then make a helpful and meaningful post.
 

dunedin

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Unlike other contributors, I am anchored in Loch Maddy. I am judging by the evidence.
I prefer to anchor, so the lack of a pontoon doesn't bother me personally, but knowing that there are toilets, showers and washing facilities behind a locked gate, shows a distinct lack of initiative. I have said all I am going to say on the matter.
So to repeat, who do you think should pay for the cleaning and electricity etc for the showers if there is no visitor berth income?
For people who don't know the location, this is not a "marina" but a small pontoon which had a handful of yacht visitor spaces, and a tiny annual income even before the pontoons were wrecked by dredgers expanding the ferry pier.
I don't know who the "owners" are but the small company is not for profit and probably has no paid staff, just local volunteers.
PS Perhaps you could offer your time and or funds to help resolve the complex issues around liability and getting the pontoons repaired.
 
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