How to Choose a marina – Dan Reading – The Green Blue
OK, I admit it, sometimes when I travel around the UK I book my accommodation last minute, normally in an effort to save a few quid. Often with all these fancy last minute websites I will be given a choice of a number of hotels and B&B’s near to where I have my next engagement. When faced with a choice of two hotels for £50 a night there is not much to choose between them, however if one hotel has three stars and one has two stars I will normally go for the one with three stars, unless of course the two star promises a large fry up!
With this in mind how does one choose a suitable marina to stay at when planning a cruise? Cost, facilities location?
Well, the Yacht Harbour Association (TYHA) has completely revamped its Gold Anchor Award Scheme.
Now marinas will be rated between one and five Gold Anchors by independent assessors.
Not only do the marinas have mystery shoppers and stringent criteria to keep them busy but they also have environmental considerations to take into account. These include ensuring that all of their operations do not result in oil or fuel entering the water as well as being encouraged to install sewage pump-out facilities, which for those of us who spend time in the water from capsizing smaller vessels will appreciate.
Marinas are encouraged to manage the flotsam and jetsam and this means that your boat won’t be surrounded by plastic objects blown into the marina from the nearest town. Meticulous cleaners at Mayflower Marina in Plymouth have found inflatable alligators to boomerangs.
I was recently invited to join TYHA assessors for a mock up marina inspection and was very pleased about how certain practises have now changed, resulting in less potential pollution on the river and less muck surrounding the boats.
Over the last few years it has become harder to find marinas at capacity except perhaps at the PSP Southampton Boat Show marina. This means that marinas are finding themselves in even more competition with each other which is great for boat owners.
As a savvy group of boaters, the more of us who ask why the marina does not have a pump-out facility or spill kits available next to the fuel berth the more likely that we can use consumer power to influence some positive change.
So, when you are planning your next cruise why not look at which marinas have Gold Anchors and plan your journey accordingly.
To check out the new THYA ratings and criteria check out www.which-marina.com