November 28, 2013
2013 has been a busy year for Berthon Lymington Marina – an integral part of Destination Berthon.
Lymington Marina was one of the first marinas to be built in Europe and although built by David May in 1965, we recently discovered it was his grandfather, the current generation’s great grandfather who first mooted the idea back in the 1930s; how’s that for forward thinking? The aerial photo dated 1947 below shows the yard and the initial fixed (rather than floating) walkways which afforded access to yachts moored in partial mud berths below the Shipyard and which eventually morphed into a 250 berth marina. Despite detractors who said that no one would be interested in berthing yachts in a marina where you could walk on, and walk off and that swinging moorings and mud berths were surely here to stay, the marina has always been a popular destination for yachtsman from all around the world.
Fortunately situated in the heart of Lymington, with its pretty Georgian town in the New Forest, not only is it a charming place to visit, with deep water and great access to the West Solent and the English Channel beyond, but there is stacks to see and do in the area. This makes Destination Berthon a great place to spend time even when not all the crew are mad keen on sailing or when the weather has turned inclement. Within a few minutes’ walk, there are fabulous places to eat and provision, to shop for clothes to antiques as well as having access to all the stuff that goes with being in the heart of the New Forest – walking, biking, horse riding, golf and so much more. The St. Barbe Museum & Art Gallery just off the Lymington High Street has a fantastic new exhibition from 30th November 2013 – 22nd February 2014 Title of Exhibition: The Story of our Coast: Fact, Fiction & Fantasy which aims to show, through paintings from different eras, changing local views with descriptive stories behind the subject matter.
In addition to 3 well stocked chandlers, we are also close to Lymington’s 2 yacht clubs, both of which welcome visiting yachtsman and new members. We are also unashamedly dog friendly so do bring yours when you come and visit.
Closer to the marina, and open seven days a week you can also visit our Sales Division which has around 80 yachts for sale from all over the world, and available on site on display from our easy to view gantries. Berthon Boat Company also offers a very comprehensive service for any possible sort of nautical makeover, or repair. Growing rapidly, we now have over 100 skilled craftsmen on the shop floor (including 30 apprentices) and making up a total headcount of over 150 across our three divisions here to make your yachting experience as user-friendly as possible.
At Berthon we offer a ‘one stop shop’ which enables our clients to draw on all the wider services, skills and expertise of the company without having to ‘shop around’. This includes our excellent Boat Care team, who can work wonders on any yacht – berth holders or visitors alike. With the keys held securely by the Dockmasters, work can be undertaken while owners are away without them having to worry about different companies getting involved….and prices remain exactly as they were in 2008!
Yes, we have mentioned it before, but we are still very proud of our washrooms and they are certainly the best in the neighbourhood; and depending upon how far you define “neighbourhood”, when you have a blue water cruising yacht, we could actually extend this accolade to the planet. Chris and Susan White, owners of the Nauticat 521 SALAMANDER which completed a circumnavigation this summer specifically mentioned that the only place that came close was at a marina in Turkey! We have a policy of constantly upgrading facilities throughout the Group, and 2013 has seen a new high quality WiFi system which gives full cover of the marina free of charge to our yacht owners. The kids love it as much as (if not more than) their parents!!
Although this year we had a slow start due to a cold, wet and thoroughly miserable Spring, July, August and September pulled in the crowds. We were totally booked several days in advance every weekend, and it was great to see so many returning yachts and new visitors.
The team in the Dockmasters’ office is a charming combination of maturity and youth! Two of our permanent Dockmasters have been here over 35 years, and our crew of summer students are selected for their personality, enthusiasm and yachting knowledge. As the Dock Office is so close to the waterfront it is at the heart of the marina, so our Dockmasters build up a rapport with our berth holders and regular visitors. And Melvyn never forgets a face!
Every year we welcome literally thousands of visitors to the marina. Below are just a few notable yachts that have passed through, sought refuge or based here for summer cruising:
• Two Dutch brothers, Roland and Walter van der Kemp, based their two yachts (one power, one sail) here for the summer after Walter stopped in for one night! Thereafter, they came to and from home in the Netherlands, left the marina for a few days at a time to cruise the Solent and South Coast, and always came back, loving the short walk to the train station which takes them to Southampton airport. Heathrow and Gatwick are easy taxi rides away.
• DJING, a shiny new J111 from Belgium used us as a base for the summer racing season, RTI , Cowes week, JOG, etc.
• TIGRE D’OR a 90’ custom build Dutch barge was a glamorous visitor to us, BERTHON having built the owner’s father a similar Jon Bannenburg styled one in the early 1990’s.
• TUACANA a 184’ luxury motor yacht stopped in for two nights.
• Hoek 56 TOUCAN is a long stay visitor and turns heads always
• Several longer distance cruising yachts left for warmer climes after refit and preparatory work and we know they will be back in due course
• A flock of Sigma 38’s (approx 15 boats) based here for their National Championships run by Royal Lymington YC
• Quite a few club and association rallies were hosted by us, including from France and the Netherlands with boatyard tours and a free glass of wine to boot!
• But we really doff our yachting caps to the sailing charities providing sailing to underprivileged youngsters and the disabled on fine vessels like such as the TSYT Tall Ships, Challengers, and JOLIE BRISE amongst others.
CHALLENGE WALES – Challenge 72
JOLIE BRISE – 1913 Gaff-Rigged Pilot Cutter
As the Marina plans for your sailing season in 2014, this winter sees ongoing building improvements for the Marina Building and we look forward to welcoming you to Destination Berthon soon.