UK marina berth holders will be aware that due to the COVID-19 crisis the government has placed a restriction on the population’s movement outside of their primary residence (their home). This clear directive instructs every person in the UK that “The single most important action we can all take, in fighting coronavirus, is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives”. TYHA strongly recommends that government directives are followed and respected.
In addition, to reduce social contact, the government has ordered certain businesses and venues, primarily in the leisure sector, to close. Although not specified on the list marinas have been compared by government with caravan parks which have been directed to close. Marinas are therefore obligated to discourage people from visiting their boats and additionally to close their sites to berth holders and visitors.
To ensure that marinas remain viable businesses and retain many highly experienced staff most marinas have had to put some staff on Furlough leave. Please be reassured however that even though boat owners cannot access their vessel essential daily dock master inspections, maintenance of key infrastructure and security provision continues.
Marinas are very conscious that they are the custodians of their customers valuable assets and take that responsibility seriously, berthing income is however vital and without this many marina businesses would become untenable and forced to close permanently leaving boat owners without berthing. Vital promised financial support from government will help this but cannot compensate for the dramatic loss of revenue from boat sales, chandlery, boat yard services, visitors and tenants.
Marinas are however sympathetic to boat owners who are unable to access their boats and/or find themselves having to pay increased fees due to the Covid-19 crisis; marinas therefore encourage boat owners who find themselves in this situation to talk to their marina manager who will consider each customers situation carefully. Marina groups may have a group wide policy to support their customers through this unprecedented period.
Marinas very much hope that normality will be restored soon and look forward to welcoming boat owners, their families and guests back to their boat and marina.