The Yacht Harbour Association finds out why moorings on Lake Windermere are booming
Published on 20/7/2012
The Yacht Harbour Association (TYHA) organises annual marina study tours in different areas throughout the UK and Europe. This year marina operators were invited to get together and explore the unique marinas of Lake Windermere. This event is a great opportunity for networking but also to explore other marina businesses in detail.
42 marina delegates joined together for a dinner, sponsored by Dura Composites in the superb Low Wood Bay hotel located on the banks of the lake which presented the perfect environment to meet and build relationships with other UK and European marina operators in a relaxed environment.
The following day’s tour started with a visit to Low Wood Bay Watersports centre which was founded in the 1950’s by Water Speed enthusiast Norman Buckley. This business consists of an RYA, BCU and British Water Ski training centre, a marina and dry boat storage. Everyone learnt about the significant impact of a 10 mph speed limit which was introduced in 2005 and how it has reduced the number of boating visitors to the lakes resulting in reduced boatyard, restaurant and accommodation income for most of the local businesses.
Despite this challenge, Low Wood Bay marina remains full with a waiting list in what is a water sport enthusiasts’ heaven. This is obviously helped by the variety of leisure activities on the water and at the onsite hotel which includes a spa and easy access to local scenic walks. The company also takes advantage of the local changeable weather conditions by providing a sophisticated weather station and webcam which can be controlled by web site visitors. This is a tool which drives a huge amount of traffic through their website.
The tour concluded with a visit to the Windermere Marina Village, a large 300+ berth marina in a sheltered, marina basin holiday village format which is located just outside the popular tourist town of Bowness-on-Windermere.
Windermere marina sector has matured and adapted to the boaters needs brilliantly. Each of the businesses are full to capacity with a waiting list and are excellent examples of how competing businesses can complement each other and offer unique services and packages. This proves that the good quality marina destination is still in high demand despite the changeable British weather conditions.
Simon Haigh, Operational Director of Quay Marinas says of the event, “The recent TYHA visit to Windermere proved to be a fascinating day out. As ever, it was great to have the opportunity to talk about current marina issues amongst likeminded and knowledgeable industry colleagues in real, but less familiar marina surroundings. The lake marinas were very interesting, with their own very specific issues and priorities. In particular, the thorny subjects of lake speed regulations and difficult planning restrictions within this National Parks environment came through loud and clear. Despite this the marinas were full and commanding good berthing rates. One of the main operational points of interest for me as a coastal marina body, was how all the marinas had made excellent use of very restricted space, both ashore and afloat – they sure can pack those boats in!”
The Yacht Harbour Association runs regular networking and marina visit events with everybody welcome to join. The next marina study tour is planned for Holland in Summer 2013 to gain a better understanding of that area and with opportunities to build good working relationships with some successful Dutch operators.
Upcoming TYHA networking events include:
- Scottish Marina Operators Networking Lunch – Caley Marina, Inverness – 17th October 2012
- Inland Marinas Forum – Mercia Marina, Derbyshire (TBC) – 23rd October 2012
- TYHA Members reception – Which Marina stand, London Boat Show – 17th January 2013
Visit the TYHA website for all events and details www.tyha.co.uk
Bookings can be made by contacting Libby Gordon 01784 223 817 or firstname.lastname@example.org
To learn more about the Windermere speed limit campaign visit Keep Windermere Alive’s website www.kwaa.org.uk