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Latest Coronavirus Update

January 8, 2021

Berthon Covid-19 Protocol (06/01 changes in purple, 08/01 changes in green & red; 12.01 bright blue)

Berthon COVID-19 Protocol Update 13 (12.01.2021) Lockdown

UPDATE 13; 12/01/2021

Information for boat owners, Berthon staff & contractors using our marina and boatyard based upon Government guidelines and our own Risk Assessments:

  • Keep 2 metres distance
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Wear a face covering in enclosed spaces
  • Self-isolate if you or anyone in your household has symptoms

From Wednesday 6th January, you must not leave, or be outside of your home except where necessary.

On Friday 8th January 2021 we received more details regarding boating via British Ports Authority following contact they had with DfT (Dept for Transport) as follows:

British Ports Authority have received further clarification on guidance related to boating and leisure** activities from CO/DCMS [Cabinet Office/Dept of Digital, Culture, Media & Sports].

Therefore, we can confirm that boating is allowed as exercise** [in England]. This covers all sailing boats/yachts** as long as they abide by the gathering limits, social distancing rules and stay local rules.

As before Departments are not planning to put out any specific guidance,….

** It appears within these carefully worded phrases that leisure activity is not sanctioned on boats; that sailing is the operative word, and we should be careful not to interpret yachts as including motor boats unless you are Fishing: It has now been confirmed (that fishing is allowed as exercise ‘so long as participants adhere to the rules on staying local, gathering limits, social distancing and limiting the time spent outdoors’. Please click here to read the new rules, leisure and recreation are not sanctioned, only exercise is. Accordingly, it would seem that if a kayak and a sailing dinghy or paddle board or rowing craft is deemed as exercise, the DfT appears to be extending those activities to include larger sailing boats. and now motor boats for fishing purposes. To remain within the law you should follow the Government’s guidance, and only fish locally within the district where you live. If you have no local fishing available then you will have to take your daily exercise in other ways. This is a strictly limited resumption of LOCAL fishing and very different to how we have been allowed to operate since May. No overnighting on board is sanctioned.

Please also remember that those using such craft must be local to the craft moorings, local to a marina, mooring, slipway and remain local once afloat:

If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local – unless it is necessary to go further, for example to go to work. Stay local means stay in the village, town, or part of the city where you live.

We ask that masks are worn at all times on site – which means from and back to the entrance barrier.

The Visitor Economy guidance was also published yesterday. Under the travel section this includes text on essential maintenance for boats.

It says….


  • People must not leave home without a reasonable excuse (for example, for work or education purposes). If travel is necessary people should stay local and look to reduce the number of journeys.
  • The list of reasons that people can leave their home and area include, but are not limited to:
    • work, where they cannot reasonably work from home
    • accessing education and for caring responsibilities
    • visiting their support bubble – or childcare bubble
    • visiting hospital, GP and other medical appointments
    • buying goods or services that they need, but this should be within their local area wherever possible
    • outdoor exercise. This should be done locally wherever possible, but people can travel a short distance within your area to do so if necessary (for example, to access an open space) attending the care and exercise of an animal, or veterinary services
  • Maintaining second homes, caravans, boats** and other assets is not generally a reasonable excuse for leaving home. However, people may leave home to secure their second home, caravan or boat in order to avoid it posing a risk of harm/injury to themselves or others.

** All of our Covid statements have made it very clear that Berthon has a 24x7x365 watchful eye on site and as such LOCAL owners should be careful using the above as an excuse to be on board their boats on site other than to do a quick check. Owners that are NOT LOCAL can ask us to do specific checks on your boat externally and/or internally (using FaceTime). There is no charge for this.

All our current advice makes it very clear that we must remember it is the spirit of what we are trying to do that is of prime importance; IE Stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives.  If we do this and support it now, we may yet get the chance to start the boating season far earlier than if we in the maritime society ignore these simple messages.



Berthon & Lymington Marina

Berthon (including all its subsidiaries) is still fully operational, working within the government guidelines in a Covid safe environment: This is essential to keeping the country operating and supporting sectors and employers….businesses providing….manufacturing [&] repair services…storage and distribution facilities may also stay open).

The weather may seem poor at present but demand will grow as we move towards Easter and spare parts may become more difficult to procure with ease or speed.  Therefore please contact the project managers listed below for any works you require to make sure your boat is in tip top condition ready for warmer brighter weather.

  • When considering if you can visit your boat we request that you consider it in the context of the latest lockdown regulations and guidance as a whole.
  • If you are local and elect to exercise by walking to the boatyard or marina to check your boat and return home, then we strongly request:
    • you consider the safety of skilled staff who maybe working on board or nearby
    • please first ensure with our project managers that no-one is working on board
    • you inform dockmasters and your relevant project manager(s) by email in advance of your arrival and be certain that you have had written clearance before you arrive on site from both
    • you check in from a distance at the Dockmasters office where the stable door prevents access before you access the piers
    • once you have verified your boat is safe, you must then check out at the dockmasters, either by phone or by waving and to receive acknowledgement as you leave. NB by going on board, we are then UNABLE to work on board for 72 hours.
    • Maintenance, recreation or leisure on board would be law-breaking, so please do not put Berthon staff in an invidious position; we want to protect the forthcoming boating season.

We ask that masks are worn at all times on site – which means from and back to the entrance barrier.

We will carry on performing bespoke virtual security checks on boats at owners’ requests so please contact our Dockmasters if you would like to make use of this service.

Leisure Boat Movements

Berthon Lymington Marina will remain open, it being an outdoor environment but we await further guidance from British Marine (which currently suggests it should be noted that members of the public should not be travelling to move vessels) and RYA regarding use of boats. Since travel is limited to locally – which means within the village or town – it is hard to imagine boat use will be sanctioned unless it is for genuine exercise – IE a local motoring down the river is hardly exercise. The RYA currently suggests the following:

The new guidance in England states that you must not leave, or be outside of your home except for a limited number of specific circumstances. The latest guidance states that:

  • Outdoor exercise is still permitted, with your household or bubble, or with one person from another household as long as social distancing is observed
  • It should be limited to once per day
  • You can only leave your home to exercise, not for the purposes of recreation or leisure (e.g. a picnic or a social meeting)
  • You should not travel outside your local area, unless to travel a short distance for exercise
  • All outdoor sports clubs, centres, venues and facilities will need to close, alongside indoor facilities
  • Elite sports, and organised activity for people with disabilities, can continue….

…The RYA is urgently seeking further clarification from the relevant Government departments, including the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), Department for Transport (DfT) and Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to confirm and clarify exactly what the new guidance fully means for boating activities. Pending this clarification, our interpretation is that boating as a form of outdoor exercise is permitted as long as:

  • you are able to safely access, launch and recover your boat from a public space;
  • you are able to do this without leaving your local area;
  • in a single or single household/support bubble crew; and,
  • if the relevant waterway authorities permit recreational boating

Accordingly, we will not be providing short stays (IE up to 4 hours) and overnight berths for visitors in line with the stay at home policy. Long term casual or annual berths (starting from the beginning of each month) are still available but under the same limitations as above.  Berthon can arrange for boats to be collected if necessary; please call the Dockmasters on 01590 647405 or VHF Channel 80 to arrange this.

Overnight on Board

Government guidance states that the population should not stay ‘overnight away from your main home unless permitted by law.’ Therefore overnight stays on boats are not permitted except for specific reasons (which includes if the boat is a primary residence) stated in government guidance.

For additional guidance please click on the links below:

2m Distancing – it is still 2m wherever possible

We ask individuals to distance themselves 2m from our staff and other owners at all times. All piers are more than 8’ (>2m) wide; individual finger pontoons are between 2’and 5’ (<2m) wide. Accordingly, please be alert and move into a finger when someone is coming in the other direction.

Coronavirus Hangs Around

This is for the safety for all parties and we specifically request owners, buyers and contractors not to make impromptu visits if jobs are outstanding in case a contractor or we are working aboard.

Quarantine – Boats & Yachts in transit from Overseas

We will welcome any yachts returning from overseas and will assist in their 14-day mandatory quarantine (if not from a country with a travel corridor to the UK) quarantine or the balance of 14 days if you have been outside the common travel area and have isolated at sea by providing a berth, fuel, water, power and a provisioning service where needed to allow diligent quarantining for the mandated time period. Please check here for the latest country guidance. You can leave the UK within the 14 days or balance of quarantine period. Yachting has always been a community sport and now more than ever is the time to look after one another. Please contact the Dockmasters for more information.

Arrivals from overseas via Eurotunnel, ferries and airports

If you’re a resident or visitor travelling to the UK from any country, you must provide your journey and contact details.

You’ll also need to self-isolate in the place you’re staying for the first 14 days after you arrive, unless you’re travelling from certain countries or territories. It is not permissible to visit your boat during this period or undertake any activity away from that address.  Further information under Useful Links, below.

Site Security

The Dockmasters regularly patrol the piers and gantries to ensure the overall safety of our property and in the process may notice and correct issues that may cause damage. If this involves a berth holder’s boat, an email is sent as an aide memoire. We offer bespoke security checks on boats (often with FaceTime) at owners’ requests; contact the Dockmasters if you wish to take advantage of this.

WC’s & Washrooms

The marina washrooms have had a rigorous cleaning routine since early summer 2020 and until further notice the marina washrooms will be unavailable between 1500-1700hrs seven days a week whilst being decontaminated; additionally, we are cleaning washrooms regularly throughout each day whilst open.

We politely request that after you have used the lavatory you close the lid before flushing. This prevents airborne particles (possibly containing bacteria and/or viruses) being released into the air. Wipes will be provided for cleaning loo seats, door handles etc, including those at the exit; bins for the wipes are inside and outside the washrooms.

However, we cannot guarantee washrooms will be Covid-19 free at any given time. Where possible and for your own safety purposes, owners are asked to use their boat’s showers & toilets please.

Whilst the dockmasters and cleaners will continue to monitor the washrooms, please do report any situation that merits immediate attention at the Dockmasters’ office.


Please return trollies to the new trolley pound adjacent the Dockmasters Office having first cleaned the handle with wipes provided; we recommend NO touching other parts of the trolley, that are not easy to clean. Please convey this to children.

Covid-19 Protocol Centre

We have borrowed BHG’s boat show trailer to use as a centre for brief discussion with contractors; 2m distancing is mandatory and we request only one-on-one meetings where possible.

Security Gatehouse

We have added a temporary security gatehouse at the marina entrance to demonstrate to the public at weekends that we are private property and general access is not permitted. Please inform dockmasters if you have a guest arriving in another vehicle; they can mention your name or boat name to verify access.

Dockmaster Office (staffed 0800–2000hrs Friday and Saturday, 0800 – 1800hrs Sunday – Thursday by Dockmasters; 1800/2000 – 0800hrs by security)

The Dockmasters have been  working throughout the lockdowns and to comply with 2m distancing we have set up a secondary dockmaster reception area adjacent the marina building, thereby providing an area for more informal discussion with owners and contractors; this enables the main office to continue to hand out keys using the protocol we adopted prior to lockdown. This includes sterilising keys before handing them out and again upon receipt.

Annual Berth Holder Reviews

We thank those who filled in the annual review form. We scored between 8.2 and 9.5 /10 over the nine questions and this year we still plan more changes to ensure we continue to improve where we can. If you have time, please add a comment to Trust Pilot or Google. We appreciate your support.

Yacht Maintenance and Repair (YMR)

The reception on the 2nd floor is closed to owners. If you would like to discuss works with a member of the YMR team please call the project manager.

Yacht Maintenance and Repair (YMR) phone numbers:

  • Tom Cload (Boat Moving & YMR Manager) 01590 647413,
  • Kevin Ashworth (Engineering YMR Manager) 01590 647436,
  • Matt Hart, (Dry Sailing, Valeting & Guardiennage, & YMR Manager) 01590 647440,
  • Jim Caterall, (Electrics & Electronics YMR Manager) 01590 647411

Please do NOT attend site or approach Berthon staff; meetings can occur by Zoom or Microsoft Teams.

Sea Trials

We are all aware boats have a habit of hiding problems until the last minute. With necessary parts taking longer to arrive, and labour needing to be allocated carefully in advance, why not be certain that your boat is running well, and include windlasses, electronics and other moving parts within your service instructions and ask us to perform a sea trial. This will avoid any angst after a long drive when overnight staying on board is eventually permitted.

Boatyard Work

We have tested all employees on January 4th 2021 and most of our management team, who are not high risk, and skilled employees are at work along with our apprentices whilst some sales roles are being performed on site or at home by rota. Our collective challenge is still to monitor when you, contractors, and we are aboard boats on site if we are to be working on them or showing them for sale (virtually at present) – see link for viewing boats. With Covid-19 surviving airborne and on surfaces we have been quarantining boats with a 72-hour moratorium between individuals going aboard. The amount of work and demand for separate skills has necessitated a change in protocol.

Boatyard Work Protocol

Thank you to all owners and contractors who have diligently checked in and out at the Dockmasters office, as part of our collective challenge to work on as many boats as possible. We will continue to monitor when owners, contractors, and our staff are on board, to comply with 2m social distancing and either with a 72-hour quarantine period or subject to availability, decontamination.

  • Owners check-in & out at Dockmasters;
  • Contractors must wear PPE and check in upstairs at reception or at Dockmasters after normal work hours;
  • With Covid-19 surviving airborne and on surfaces our Risk Assessment still suggests a 72-hour moratorium between different individuals going aboard unless we decontaminate with an appropriate antibacterial and antivirus disinfectant that kills 99.9 per cent, dries within an hour and is not alcohol based and therefore safe for engine rooms.
  • When it becomes necessary, Berthon will endeavour to decontaminate boats if they are to be used by owners who give at least 48 hours advanced notice to the YMR Team and with a deadline of the previous Wednesday lunchtime for weekend use/arrivals, in writing.

The above renders the boat safer for all parties.

Berthon Sheds

The boatyard-gated entrance at Bath Road will remain closed and access to sheds is for Berthon staff only; owners and contractors are simply not permitted unless accompanied by a project manager.  The stores are operating with a closed counter and all items and materials ordered via your project manager for delivery to our Berthon staff. Project Managers can place orders for owners.

Boat Lifting & Launching Movements

We continue to ask that owners do NOT come to watch the launch/lift of their boat during these hazardous times.

Dry sailing

After launching, boats may be berthed on the north side of A pier to aid ongoing work activities and distancing measures on the yard wall.

Berthon International

New Yachts Sales & Brokerage Viewings

Berthon International have a specific protocol for viewing boats for sale. Please call direct on 01590 679222 to make an appointment.

Useful Links:

Thank You

We thank you all for your continued patience and determination to see off the virus. We, collectively, now need to ready ourselves for a different way of boating that is mindful of the safety of all boat owners, your household members, and the wider Berthon and contractor workforce, as well as maintaining sensible behaviour afloat to prevent poor press that might jeopardise the gift that has been returned to us, IE going to sea.

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