The manager of Windermere Marina Village reveals why it’s such a special place to visit and what’s on the cards for 2015…
Marina What’s your role at Windermere Marina Village?
DF We have around 400 berths, surrounded by luxury holiday accommodation, a busy bar and restaurant and a boat sales and service centre. My role is to oversee the day-to-day running of the site and ensure it is operating as it should be for boat owners, guests and staff. My main focus is the moorings side of the business and those customers.
Marina What’s your boating background?
DF I have been around boats since an early age, growing up in the Lake District and enjoying sailing, powerboating and windsurfing on the lakes and coastline. While studying at University in North Wales, I gained RYA qualifications for powerboating and windsurfing at Plas Menai and have continued boating ever since.
Marina What’s the most enjoyable part of your job?
DF We have quite a diverse range of boats within the marina from small fishing boats, to wakeboarding boats, yachts and motor cruisers up to 50’ in length. As the boats vary, so do the owners and I enjoy dealing with such a wide range of people.
A highlight during the year is our Sailing Regatta Series, which runs from April to September each year with the help of one of the lake’s sailing clubs, the Windermere Cruising Association. Getting out on the lake for these is always enjoyable. The racing is fun but competitive and the backdrop of the Lake District fells is always stunning, whatever the weather is doing.
Marina What challenges have you faced over the last 12 months?
DF The last 12 months have been quite straight forward but prior to that, the completion of new luxury apartments and the two-storey bar and restaurant, both of which overlook the marina, had its challenging moments. The weather can often be seen as a challenge but we are so sheltered, it has to be particularly bad for us to be affected (and we are used to the odd drop of rain every now and again!).
Marina What makes Windermere Marina Village so special?
DF It’s a stunning location in the heart of the English Lake District. We are in a very sheltered location giving easy access to the nearly 11 miles of cruising available on Windermere. As we have no tides, those who do their boating here get maximum use out of their boats with access to the lake 24/7, 365 days a year.
On the days when you don’t fancy boating, all that the Lake District has to offer is right on the doorstep with fantastic days out and a wealth of excellent eating and drinking establishments. The ‘village’ part of our name is a true description of us – we have a vibrant boating community, fantastic holiday accommodation (whether you are a boater or not) and a great bar and restaurant, all on site. In addition, we have the services of Shepherds Marine on site, who operate boat sales and servicing, with full workshop and craneage facilities.
Some of our customers have been with us for 30 years, so we hope we are doing something right!
Marina Is anything special happening here during 2015?
DF For the first time this year, in March, we are planning our own Windermere Boat Show with Shepherds Marine. We will have boats available to view from Sealine, Jeanneau, Fourwinns, Haines, English Harbour Yachts and others. We are looking forward to showcasing some fantastic boats and all that Windermere Marina Village has to offer new visitors.
Marina When you’re not at the Marina you’re…
DF …Usually outside, being active. I enjoy spending time with my family, mountain biking or windsurfing.
Marina What are your top tips for marina etiquette?
DF Be considerate to your neighbours and spend the time to learn the basic navigational rules before heading out of your berth!