From “Transmanche”,: a young organisation of mostly family-run yacht harbours located either side of the Channel, to “TransEurope Marinas”, a 73-strong European group, three decades of growth have left intact the simple values underpinning the attraction of membership. The group’s unchanged maxims hinge on an interest in working in cooperation with other marinas and a reciprocal discount system to motivate berth-holders to sail amongst the network.
Julian Goldie, owner of Tollesbury Marina, has travelled the world in the interest of promoting industry links and also dedicated time as one of TransEurope’s early Chairs. He expressed his pleasure at seeing the network’s successful expansion:
“Tollesbury Marina has been an enthusiastic member and supporter of Transeurope Marinas since our joining in 1999. We always really enjoy meeting up with other Transeurope members and exchanging experiences, as well as new best practices. The additional benefit of membership is also much appreciated by our berth-holders, who are encouraged to get out sailing from port to port. It is thrilling to have watched the membership grow to include over 70 marinas, now located all over Europe; well done to all our successive Chairpersons for all their hard work!
Chris Windsor, Marina manager at the Port of Dover commented on his experience as one of the most long-standing members of the group :
“The Port of Dover Marina is a proud member of TransEurope Marinas, which has given us the advantage of a wealth of shared experience, ideas and offers, all of which have benefited our berth-holders. As part of the organisation, Dover Marina has welcomed visitors from other participating marinas and the scheme has been a fantastic way to encourage partnership and promote sailing across Europe.”
Current Chairman Jean-Michel Gaigné, manager of Saint-Quay Port D’Armor in France shared his satisfaction in reaching this milestone:
“One of TransEurope Marinas’ greatest strengths has been the group’s faith in cooperative activity; almost counter-intuitively helping to promote other marinas and encouraging our berth-holders to set their sails for distance shores! Now, when reports about sector decline are bolstering everyone to find innovative solutions to buoy boating practice, I am especially proud of our members for being pioneers of the sharing economy within the marina industry.
Associated marinas are positioned at a minimum distance of a day’s sail in order to minimise competitive conflict and agree to maintain services at a level that inspires a “home from home” welcome; making it as easy as possible to visit other countries.
Good seamanship is a hard won skill. The very least we can do as marinas is facilitate boating as one of the most fulfilling leisure activities out there.”