Keeping the Marina AfloatAutumn 2016
Paul Tetlow is the General Manager at St. Katharine Docks, the only marina in Central London. He is commonly found ushering in glamourous super yachts, finalising the finish line for the Clipper Round The World Race or planning the berthing arrangement for the Queen’s row barge Gloriana.
Catching him on a break between tasks, Navigator caught up with Paul to learn more about his role and the exciting future of St. Katharine Docks’ marina. “No two days are ever the same,” says Paul. “There are daily operations such as locking and berthing to manage, as well as faceto-face customer service where I look after berth holders and visitors.”
Paul is a man who has a passion for boats and all things maritime. An early riser thanks to his previous Army career, he can often be found in the marina at dawn: “I really like that first few hours of the day to get work done or to exercise. Being around the Docks in the early morning is a real privilege as the place is so peaceful.”
Even on his days off, Paul is busy on the water. Together with his wife, he often sails his own clipper downstream to Greenwich to meet his family. Once moored in the naval town, he makes time to visit the National Maritime Museum – a sort of busman’s holiday!
Paul also has an impeccable background when it comes to maritime management: “I’ve always enjoyed working with people and boats. My last job was looking after groups of up to 40 yachts and 250 crew, sailing around the world over the course of 15 months and 18 countries.”
For these very reasons, St. Katharine Docks is excited by Paul’s involvement in the marina’s future. Those who live and work around the Dock will have already noticed a transformation in the central basin. “We’re investing in new pontoons and dockside services to improve the look and facilities of the marina,” adds Paul. “A lot of care has been taken to get the final design right and also to carry out the work in a responsible way, with minimum disruption for those who we share St. Katharine Docks with. I’m responsible for communicating and implementing a careful plan to move boats around the marina so that each stage of the improvements can take place. It’s like one of those puzzle games where there are nine spaces and eight tiles – you need to keep moving the tiles around, one by one, to make the picture!”
The resulting facelift will inject a new sense of sophistication into the Docks, lifting it in line with other global marinas “St. Katharine Docks has great heritage, iconic status and a favourable location among some of the world’s most recognisable landmarks. My job is to pay respect to that setting, ensure our berthing facilities are world-class and to make the area an attractive, welcoming and enjoyable place to work, live and relax.”