Marinas and Moorings

“We approached Madge Bailey Associates to review our operations and charges to ensure continuing best practice.  Madge’s comprehensive report will help us to develop and improve our business.  We found Madge to be thoroughly professional with an in-depth knowledge of the marine sector, and always happy to give advice and contacts to help deal with the day-to-day practicalities of running a marina business like ours”  Managing Director of a marina on the Thames in central London

If you are looking to develop a marina or mooring scheme, whether for leisure, residential, tourism or mixed use, we can provide the expert advice you need.  We can help you with:

  • Preliminary enquiries, scoping, assessment and viability
  • Steer you through the regulations and requirements
  • Provide the skills to support your planning application, making a well-argued case and engaging local stake-holders
  • Help you assemble the team of professionals to construct and fit your marina
  • Develop a marketing plan and pricing strategy, based on thorough market analysis
  • Establish comprehensive site maintenance and customer service plans, based on best practice

We also provide advice to existing marina operators on matters such as:

  • Mooring contracts and charges
  • Infrastructure maintenance and statutory regulations
  • Planning issues relating to unofficial residential berths
  • We are also leading experts in residential moorings

Examples of our work

Infrastructure review for a large dock-based marina
This marina’s infrastructure included serviced pontoons, facility buildings, footbridges, a boatyard, office and lock operating equipment.  Our experienced engineer drew upon existing inspection information, a site visit, staff interviews, current legislation and industry good practice.  The report provided a detailed asset inspection regime, timescale and costs.  It also highlighted outstanding inspections and estimated repair costs.  This ensured our client complied with legislation and operated with ‘due diligence’.  It also enabled them to assess their level of long term liability against profits and plan more accurately for future repairs.

Pop-up marina for the 2012 Olympics
We advised Sail Greenwich Ltd on their proposals for 350 temporary berths for sailing yachts coming from Europe for the 2012 Olympics.  Our work included the planning application, running a public information day, providing website content, drafting the management plan and risk assessment, whilst working closely with Southwark Council.

Mooring fee and rent reviews for a range of mooring operators
We undertake a thorough market assessment of a broad range of moorings in the London region for our clients.  The main relevant considerations include comparable mooring sites, facilities and location, along with the level of demand.  This provides a robust basis for our advice on pricing both their leisure and residential moorings.  We have also helped to clarify the rights of the different parties involved at Thames-side mooring sites and provided in-depth analysis and best practice for service charges.

Advice to individual house-boaters about their mooring licence
We have provided advice to several individuals about their mooring licence from their ‘landlord’.  We reviewed the terms of the licence, looking particularly at the term (number of years), security of tenure, ability to assign, obligations on both parties for maintenance and repairs, and the price.  Our advice provided an independent expert view and helped them with their negotiations.  Our charge for this type of work is usually one day or sometimes less.

Moorings Strategy and Business Plan for the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames and the Thames Landscape Strategy
We produced a strategy for a range of moorings along Kingston’s waterfront, making connections with relevant local plans/strategies and land use, researching demand and supply conditions and conducting stakeholder liaison.  With Intermarine providing pontoon lay-outs, we produced a business plan which scoped and costed options for the moorings (visitor, leisure, residential, floating restaurant and trip boat moorings) demonstrated the commercial viability for the council who are now implementing some of the proposals.

Inland Marina Development *
Madge Bailey developed comprehensive guidance for the marina/boating/property trade on developing off-line moorings and marinas on BW waters, compiling specialist advice from a diverse range of disciplines and devising a new application process to satisfy both developer’s and BW’s needs. The website content includes advice from the feasibility stage through to construction and operation.  The project led to the establishment of the New Marinas Unit, and several thousand new berths have been facilitated.

Moorings Business Management *
Madge Bailey put British Waterways’ London moorings portfolio on a solid commercial footing and grew the business significantly to 22 sites, 600 customers and a turnover in excess of £1.3m.  A programme of refurbishments, competitively tendered maintenance contracts and an operational staff restructure delivered new standards of customer service.  A market-based mooring fee review enhanced income and enabled profitability analysis. Recognised as best practice within BW, Madge was asked to produce national guidance on moorings management and ran seminars for 60 staff.

Planning Enforcement Appeal – Ladies Bridge, Wilcot *
Madge Bailey was one of BW’s expert witnesses at the planning inquiry, giving expert evidence on moorings.  BW won the appeal and was awarded costs in a landmark case for Britain’s canals which brought clarity to this important area of planning law.

Packet Boat Marina, West London
Whilst business development manager at British Waterways London, Madge Bailey was responsible for the concept development and viability assessment of this 120 berth marina constructed on contaminated land.  Project management included partnership building, consultation, coordinating different disciplines to secure planning permission and grant funding. Once constructed, she established site management and operations.  The marina filled quicker than anticipated and is now operated by BWML.

* Work undertaken whilst national project manager at British Waterways (now Canal & River Trust)