Displaying items by tag: Marina
Cove Saling Club’s brand new marina pontoons have been put to immediate use in Cork Harbour with yachts and motorboats occupying the new berths since the opening up of sailing activity on 8th June.
Coronavirus restrictions delayed the original expected completion date in April, but the berthing pontoons are fully assembled and connected to the gangway that was installed earlier this year.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Cork Harbour club has also been working on upgrades to its dinghy park facilities including a new meeting room, office and kitchen at Whitepoint in Cobh.
On 15th June the Northern Ireland Executive announced further relaxations to the Coronavirus Regulations and subsequently Bangor Marina updated its information yesterday on Northern Ireland Marinas and Harbours. These developments make some changes to the information here.
From 26th June, caravan parks, campsites and self-contained tourist accommodation will be able to reopen. With this in mind, the Marina believes that from 26th June, leisure boat owners should be able to overnight onboard their vessels. The same goes for Carrickfergus and Glenarm Marinas.
The position with Belfast, Ballycastle and Portrush remains the same - open to resident berth holders only, no visiting boats and no overnighting. Rathlin and the Copeland Islands remain closed. In Strangford Lough, Portaferry status is the same - open to resident and visiting boat owners, no overnighting until further notice. Further round the Down coast Ardglass is only open to resident berth holders only and no overnighting.
Isle of Man Marinas
Across the Irish Sea the Isle of Man borders are closed so there is no access to Peel, Ramsay, Port St Mary, Castletown, Port Erin, Douglas, Laxey, and Derby Haven. Vessels may transit through IOM waters and lie at anchor but you are not permitted to go ashore – you may be put into forced quarantine. On 20th March a 26-year-old arriving on the island by ferry was arrested for failing to self-isolate against Coronavirus. He faces a fine of up to £10,000 and a possible three-month jail sentence.
In an update from Scotland, Portpatrick Harbour remains closed. The marinas at Troon, Largs, Rhu, Kip, Ardfern are open to residents only, no visitors at present, no overnighting. Harbour Master Kevin Baird adds “ We have been told that Scottish marinas and leisure harbours are expected to open 15th July (approx.) but this could change as they progress along the road to recovery”.
And in Wales Aberystwyth, Conwy, Pwllheli, Milford, Neyland, Penarth, Cardiff and Swansea are open to residents only who live within a 5-mile radius of the marina site, no visitors at present, no overnighting. It is understood the Welsh Government plans to offer further guidance on the lifting of COVID19 restrictions.
Bangor Harbour Master Kevin Baird says that Bangor, Carrickfergus, and Glenarm marinas and harbours are open to visitors but for short stay only – no overnighting.
Also open to all are the Ards and North Down harbours but the Copeland Islands off Donaghadee are completely closed. Marinas and harbours in the Newry and Mourne Council areas are open on the same basis – short stay only.
Belfast Harbour Marina has confirmed that it is open for residents only.
Going north all the Causeway Coast and Glens Marinas and Harbours are now open but only to residents, with the exception of Rathlin Island. It will remain closed for in the short term to all vessels, including visitors. John Morton, Ballycastle Harbour Master, has clarified, “We are not open for any visiting vessels at this time, only resident ones. This will be reviewed over the coming weeks”.
In Strangford Lough, Portaferry Marina has been open for residents and visitors since 25th May but there is no news on Strangford town pontoon or on Foyle Marina in Derry.
The current Foyle Port website posts a Notice to Mariners stating that Foyle Port Marina is closed to visiting vessels and crafts. A further notice will be issued when the marina has re-opened to all.
On the subject of crews, Kevin Baird says, “ Our understanding is that groups of up to six people who do not share a household can meet up outdoors and onboard boats while maintaining social distancing, i.e. two metres”.
As well as Bangor Marina opening, also nearly back to normal is Carrickfergus across Belfast Lough, Glenarm on the Antrim Coast Road and the inland marina at Portglenone on the River Bann.
In a Notice to Mariners Harbour Master Billy Withers from Carrickfergus said that Mid and East Antrim Harbours and Marinas are moving to the restoration of services and facilities. He goes on to reiterate that as elsewhere, health and safety of everyone involved are paramount and social distancing must be maintained.
The Notice states “We have spoken with Harbour Masters and Marina Managers from around Great Britain and Northern Ireland, considered the advice of the British Marine Federation, The UK Harbour Masters Association, RYA NI, and the Coastguard as well as consulting with health and safety staff”.
Boat owners will now be able to go to sea. This includes launching and recovery from the Council’s Harbours, Marinas, and slipways. The advice is that this is for a limited time and during daylight hours (3-4 hours maximum is recommended). Belfast Coastguard should be notified on leaving and returning to the harbour/marina/slipway. At this stage boats from outside the Mid & East Antrim harbours/marinas will not be able to access the facilities. Overnighting on board is not permitted at this stage unless it is the owner’s permanent residence.
The details on access to the Marina are clear:- Priority should be given to berth holders coming up the main access ramps ie exiting. At this stage the Marinas will be open between 8am and 8pm every day. However, the number going to any one boat should be limited. The Marina reserves the right to limit the number of people on the pontoons if social distancing is not being observed or not possible. Access is currently by the buzzer on the gate. It is hoped that fob access will be restored by next week at the latest to all those who have returned contracts. The West Gate, adjacent to the Windrose, remains closed.
The marina reception will remain closed in the meantime, but please telephone, radio, email the office for any enquiries as staff are available during normal office hours.
Toilets, Wash Hand Basins & Showers
The toilets, urinals, wash hand basins and showers have been opened in the berth holder facilities, however please do not use the individual units that have been cordoned off to create more space between users.
On the Pontoons
When passing on the pontoons, practice safe navigation, port to port and pass well clear, using the pontoon fingers to get that extra clearance distance.
Contractors Working On Site
If a berth holder requires a contractor to conduct work on a boat, then it is down to him/her to ensure that they and the contractor observe social distancing and that the contractor has adequate PPE.
Authorised contractors are required to contact the marina office in advance.
RYA Guidance which is widely publicised and should be adhered to.
Other Considerations to Minimise the Risk of Transfer of virus.
Berth holders must take responsibility for their own safety and this now includes using PPE where appropriate. To minimise the risk of any transfer and berth holders are urged to maintain high levels of hygiene on their boats and especially when using taps, hoses, rails, gates etc. on the pontoons and entrances.
The situation will continue to be regularly monitored in line with government guidelines, and advice and communications that we are receiving from the British Marine Federation, the UK Harbour Masters Association and RYA NI.
The easing of restrictions plus the lifting of the Coastguard advisory requesting the public not to take part in any water-based activity on or in the sea means that limited boating subject to social distancing guidelines will be possible.
While marinas have, in general, remained open, manned and fully functioning throughout the lockdown period, guidelines meant berth holders could not access their boats.
As part of the Government Return to Work programme, the marinas will open but with limitations as the responsibility on organisations for contact tracing during the 'Return to Work' period is onerous.
There are approximately 4,190 coastal marina berths across Ireland in 60 marinas or more, supporting 1,530 full-time jobs in coastal communities around our coast, according to Tourism Development International.
Access is largely limited to berth holders only and boat owners living over 5 km from marinas or boat owners ‘cocooning’ should not travel.
Irish Marina operators have put a lot of hard work in behind the scenes to ensure they are ready for 'Phase 1', according to Irish Marine Federation (IMF) Chairman Paal Janson.
The IMF has worked with world marina body ICOMIA to issue Irish marinas with guidelines.
"With the good weather forecast for next week, boat owners will need to be conscious for their own responsibilities within the government guidelines, 5km limit for travel, the possible increased demand on emergency services and social distancing", Janson told Afloat.
Janson, who is the General Manager of the country's biggest marina at Dun Laoghaire, also says: 'The pandemic has not finished, we are just at the beginning of the very first phase of restrictions being eased and we all need to act in a responsible and safe way and promote the very best aspects of boating life".
Howth Yacht Club Marina
Howth Yacht Club marina in north Dublin will open on Monday but the clubhouse will remain closed. Commodore Ian Byrne has issued a reminder that HYC Members should arrive with gloves and masks and adhere strictly to the two-metre physical distancing and hand washing etiquette.
Overnight stays on the HYC marina will not be permitted and members must be off the premises by 9 pm.
Dun Laoghaire Marina
As Afloat previously reported, Dun Laoghaire Marina, closed to berth holders since March 27, will also reopen to its 500 plus owners.
Dun Laoghaire Marina is asking that family-units only visit boats initially 'as boats do not readily allow physical distancing to be maintained'.
The Marina will keep toilets, changing rooms & laundry shut to avoid cross-contamination for the moment, subject to review. 'We want to ensure that all our berth holders, guests and staff can use the marina in a safe and responsible manner and that their health not be put at undue risk at any time', a notice to berth holders says.
Dun Laoghaire Marina's fuel berth will reopen on May 18th and the marina asks that payments are made by card.
General Manager Paal Janson has told berth holders, 'We would reiterate that boating is a safe and responsible outdoor activity and there is now a clear pathway to getting back to normality. We would like you now to get full enjoyment from your boat and make 2020 a summer to remember, instead of a year to forget'.
Greystones Harbour Marina
Greystones Harbour Marina will continue to be open to berth holders. Berth holders and their families are expected to strictly adhere to the government guidelines relating to Social Distancing and Hygiene and observe Irish Sailing’s guidelines in terms of going back on the water, according to Marina operator, James Kirwan of BJ Marine.
"For those that can’t travel to their boat, the marina team remain on-site daily and are contactable by phone and email to assist in any way possible, says Kirwan.
"Our community has pulled together brilliantly in staying apart and we look forward to seeing our berth holders more regularly, both on the pontoons and on the water, Kirwan told Afloat.
Royal Cork Yacht Club Marina
In Cork Harbour, Royal Cork Yacht Club marina to members for boat access only. The club bar-restaurant and changing facilities will remain closed.
Club dinghy activities will not be undertaken for now, according to Marina Manager Mark Ring. 'We feel it is best to start off slowly as we don't want to knock back activity as the weeks' progress', Ring told Afloat.
RCYC is preparing for opening with several COVID-19 measures being put in place this weekend. A policy document will be circulated to members and staff also this weekend.
Crosshaven Boatyard Marina
Likewise at neighbouring Crosshaven Boatyard Marina where General Manager Matt Foley expects to launch upwards of 30 boats next week as the marina reopens to berth holders in Cork Harbour.
Kinsale Yacht Club Marina
In West Cork, Kinsale Yacht Club Commodore Mike Walsh confirmed the club marina is open to members living within 5km of the facility from Monday, with 'sailing for household units' from that date too. With the country in lockdown, renovations were recently completed on the KYC marina. Last extended in 2003, sections of new marina replaced pontoons dating back to the original build in 1978.
The much cherished and frequently used accessibility pontoon has also been replaced and will continue to allow Kinsale’s Sailability programme to develop.
Port of Galway Marina
In Northern Ireland, Bangor Marina may still be closed but Harbour Master Kevin Baird has given berth holders a very clear and concise set of guidance notes detailing what to expect when it reopens and indeed something to look forward to after the weeks of shutdown. As Afloat reported previously, Baird says “ We have been considering how we may enable berth holders to use the Marina facilities whilst adhering to the Health Protection Regulations and the new government guidelines.
With the current COVID-19 pandemic forcing Northern Ireland into lockdown, the RYA has received a considerable number of enquiries from members who are not able to gain access to their boats now that most marinas have closed.
The governing body is acutely aware that members currently have valid concerns about the inability to undertake checks in respect of security and essential maintenance. In response, the RYA is writing to key Government Ministers seeking definitive guidance that will give a clear and practical way forward to give owners immediate access to their boats whilst respecting current measures to control COVID-19.
Over recent weeks the RYA has been in discussions with the Government officials making the case for limited and controlled access to boats locked down in marinas. The RYA believes that visiting marinas and spending time working on a boat that is moored or ashore can be readily achieved within the parameters of the existing core Government advice regarding hygiene and social distancing. With representations to date not delivering a solution to what is evidently a critical issue for affected members, the RYA is taking the case to Ministers and calling for the support of Members of Parliament.
Boat owners need access to their property to undertake essential maintenance, for example, checks for water ingress, maintenance of engines and electrical installations that cannot be undertaken by marina staff. Many boat owners are also obligated by their insurers to visit their vessel regularly to avoid cover being refused in respect of maintenance related claims. The RYA’s advice to members is that you should check this aspect of your insurance policy with your insurers no matter what the policy states. A lockdown insurance update has also been published on the RYA website.
Sarah Treseder, RYA Chief Executive, says: “We acknowledge and appreciate that marina operators are working as hard as possible under difficult circumstances, and are doing their best to take care of boats during the lockdown. However, marina staff obviously cannot undertake the sort of essential maintenance that responsible owners would do. The significant number of approaches that the RYA has received from members demonstrates that this is a critical issue for boat owners. We believe there are measures that could be permitted immediately within the existing Government guidance to allow access for essential maintenance.
All are predicated on the overarching need to keep people socially distant from those outside their immediate household, to shield the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions and prevent unnecessary travel”.
Concerned members should contact [email protected] and use the RYA Coronavirus hub, which outlines current advice and information for recreational boaters.”
With all sports starting to consider recovery, the RYA is developing a ‘Return to Boating’ strategy aimed at getting the message over that there is a very strong case for boating to be one of the first activities that could be resumed safely within any necessary parameters for social distancing, once we start to see a relaxation of the current restrictions.
Bangor Marina tells Afloat that the staff are very busy acting upon requests to check berth holders’ boats.
With the country in lockdown, it’s heartening to see major renovations recently completed on the marina by Kinsale Yacht Club.
Many readers will be familiar with Kinsale Yacht Club marina, which is right in the centre of town and guarded by its historic forts.
Last extended in 2003, sections of new marina replaced pontoons dating back to the original build in 1978.
The much cherished and frequently used accessibility pontoon has also been replaced and will continue to allow Kinsale’s Sailability programme to develop and flourish.
Commenting on the marina renovations, rear commodore Tony Scannell said “we are delighted to see these works carried out in such a timely and efficient manner. There was minimal disruption to berth holders and the new sections will make the marina, safer and more secure for its users. Special thanks to suppliers and contractors Inland & Coastal Marine Systems along with our own marina team of manager Paul Murphy and Richard McKinley”
Due to the Covid 19 crisis, unfortunately, the yacht club remains closed and barring the Custom Rigging Frostbites, the sailing season has yet to really kick off in earnest.
Vice Commodore with responsibility for sailing Matthias Hellstern told Afloat: “We are closely following Government and HSE guidelines with regard to our club and sailing calendar. Unfortunately, we have had to postpone the Squib nationals until 2021 but currently, we are planning as normal for the Dragon Gold Cup in September and will make a final decision in June. I think it’s fair to say that we all miss our club and the ability to go racing, however, our primary concern is the safety of our staff and members and all of our thoughts here in Kinsale are with those affected by this crisis”.
Largs Yacht Haven in Ayrshire has been awarded the marina industry’s top accreditation, the Five Gold Anchor award, for the fourth time in a row.
The Gold Anchor award scheme rates the quality, level of service and overall standard of a marina’s offering. Marinas are assessed every three years meaning that Largs Yacht Haven has now carried the industry’s highest accreditation for over 12 years.
In 2017, as previously reported by Afloat, Largs Yacht Haven won the UK's Coastal Marina of the Year Award.
Since their previous inspection, Largs Yacht Haven has had major capital investment to ensure the marina remained at a high level. Recent investments included a new surfaced car park with a number plate recognition service for berth holders, new finger pontoons and an upgrade of all Wi-Fi hardware and infrastructure. These investments have helped ensure the marina remains an option for national and international events with various sailing fleets visiting Largs over the past few years.
New for this year’s assessment, marinas are highly scrutinised over their environmental impact. Particular attention is paid to the range of events and general awareness of environmental impacts. The assessor paid credit to Largs’ efforts in this area saying;
“Largs Yacht Haven is a true water sports centre; a nautical village in its own right. Largs Yacht Haven and Largs Sailing Club have helped put Largs on the map as a water sports destination with international allure. Largs Yacht Haven breathes respect for nature… it is green in both the literal and figurative sense. Environmental awareness is obvious throughout the marina, while the marina manager and marina team lead by example.”
– TYHA Assessor, 2019
Marina Manager Carolyn Elder has managed Largs Yacht Haven for over 30 years. Carolyn believes this year’s accreditation is extra special due to the current economic climate; “Just like many other businesses, we’re being forced to find new ways to attract customers, while working more efficiently and ensuring our business is as environmentally-aware as possible. Marinas need constant care, maintenance and improvement so we’re delighted that our efforts have been recognised across the board.”
Next year promises to be another exciting year at Largs Yacht Haven. The Visit Scotland Year of Coast And Water 2020 will coincide with the return of Fife Regatta in June, as well as D Zero Nationals, Optimist Nationals, Largs Regatta Festival and the RYA Zone Championships.
Shandon's senior men's eight were the fastest rowing crew at the Skibbereen Head of the River at the Marina in Cork on Saturday. They covered the course in nine minutes 4.97 seconds.
Andrew Sheehan of Lee, a junior 18 competitor, was the fastest single sculler in 11 minutes 29.22 seconds. Junior women’s sculler Hannah Gahan of Cork Boat Club topped the rankings.
Cork Boat Club's women's eight (bow number 268) were the fastest women's crew.
The head was held in very good conditions, though there was some difficulty due to bigger craft earlier in the day.
Last week the ICOMIA World Marinas Conference 2018 was held in Athens, hosted by the Greek Marinas Association who provided a programme of topics, speakers and events under the theme: “Cross Sea Challenge for Marinas – Setting the Scene for Collective Development and Growth”.
The Irish Marina Operators Association who represent over 20 Irish coastal installations and who are members of ICOMIA, did not attend this year's tenth such event.
Marina managers of the world met at the World Marina Conference in Athens to discuss the importance of marinas and waterfront redevelopment for economies, with a particular emphasis on how marina development can support the growth of boating, tourism and manufacturing markets. The conference is the only one of its kind, focusing in-depth on the marina industry on a global scale.
A conference for marina managers
The ICOMIA Marinas Group works hard to allow and encourage the exchange of technical, environmental and marketing information; educate government on the economic importance and environmental compatibility of boating facilities and creating a network so that information can be pooled for the common good. Additionally, the group organises the biennial ICOMIA Marinas Conference.
Through the work of IMG, and collaboration during the ICOMIA Marinas Conference, marinas from across the world work towards a less bureaucratic industry, and a more straightforward approach to the expansion and improvement of boating infrastructure. With international pressures on boating and associated industry, from steel tariffs to environmental legislation, it has never been more important to develop an international forum, and have a unified body to allow the industry to speak with one voice.
A conference for investors
Marinas are very long-term businesses, and it is common for investors to expect a long and slow payback period. It is important that governments understand this, otherwise, there is a great risk that short-term leases will affect the viability of the industry. That is why the advocacy work of ICOMIA is so important, and the attendance of those working in government and politics at the World Marinas Conference is sure to have a positive impact on the industry.