Posted by: Nicholas | January 9, 2012

Which marina to choose in Mahon, Menorca?

I’ve decided to move my sailing yacht Tripitaka to Mahon, for reasons I set out in a previous post on moving to Menorca.

The question now is which of the three marinas to choose.

Port Saltrabanda

Port Saltrabanda appears to be a series of pontoons and moorings along the north side of Mahon harbour (i.e. the other side of the harbour from the city and the old town. This has the advantage that it is likely to be quieter and a more peaceful mooring.

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The disadvantage is that I hope to live aboard the boat for a week at a time with the children. As far as I can tell from looking at the marina website, it is a little remote. It’s not clear how much there would be to do in the near vicinity if the weather was bad or if, disaster of disasters, the kids decide that they don’t want to do any sailing.

  • 12 months mooring: €5,454.99 (including IVA)

Marina Menorca

Marina Menorca is at the very western end of Mahon harbour. We’ve visited there once, perhaps 7 or 8 years ago, and my recollection is of a functional, working, slightly industrial harbour. It appears to have great facilities, and to be a great location if you want to keep a boat secure in a marina, rather than to stay there for a week or more at a time.

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  • 12 months mooring: €6,170.34 (including IVA)

Marina Mahon

Marina Mahon appears to be the marina on the waterfront in Mahon, just ten minutes from the old town. I had initially wanted to keep Tripitaka here, because it would be easy to get ashore and go for a walk into town with the children, but feared it would be ridiculously expensive.

It turns out to be cheaper than Marina Menorca, which makes it a much more viable option.

The advantage is that we are on shore, near the town, with all the facilities of Mahon a short walk away.

The disadvantage is that it might be noisy and bright at night, and is in a town, rather than the quieter backwater on the north side of the harbour.

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  • 12 months mooring: €5,592.00 (including IVA)

Other considerations

If it weren’t for the fact that Alasdair is three and Lucy is only one, I would be much less worried about the choice. All three seem to have good facilities for the boat. I seem to be having to choose between “a bit industrial but good facilities, expensive” (Marina Menorca, currently option #3 in my head) and two others which are roughly the same price where one is a teensy bit more remote.

My “passage plan” for the first week we live aboard as a family focuses on staying within Mahon harbour. I can imagine sailing to each of these marinas in turn (and the anchorage at the entrance to the harbour) to get the children used to sailing on a yacht. So in some ways, the choice isn’t that important – if we don’t like it, we can always move next year.

Yet getting it right for my first trip seems important. Which one would you choose, and why?


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