After 35 years of loyal service, Marina Director Carolyn Elder will be stepping down from the day-to-day management of Largs Yacht Haven.
Carolyn joined Largs Yacht Haven in 1987, helping Yacht Havens Group to develop the site from initial proposals into a thriving boating community on the west coast of Scotland. Largs Yacht Haven is now Scotland’s largest marina, home to over 700 berth holders and supporting employment for over 100 full time jobs.
Over 30 years at Largs Yacht Haven
During her three decades of service, Carolyn took on a number of additional roles locally to drive marine tourism and trade for the Ayrshire area. This included being the President of the Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce and working with yacht clubs and classes to develop Largs Yacht Haven as a host to national and international sailing events. She is also part of the local committee which manages the Largs Regatta Festival and Fife Regatta.
“It’s been an honour to have managed Largs Yacht Haven for so many years. I’m so grateful that the Kalis family (owners of Yacht Havens Group) entrusted me with developing Largs Yacht Haven and I’m so proud of what we’ve been able to achieve together.”
“During this time, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some wonderful characters, colleagues and companies from around the world. I will treasure the memories of welcoming members of the royal family to Largs Yacht Haven, hosting the wonderful Fife Regattas, and winning UK Marina of The Year in 2017. I would say that establishing the new clubhouse and events centre for Largs Sailing Club in 1999 would be one of my proudest accomplishments. The facility, supported by a Sport Scotland grant, allowed us to bring national and international events to Largs, bringing with it benefits for the wider economy, as well as providing an RYA Centre of Excellence for the Scottish sailing community.”
- Carolyn Elder
“Carolyn has spearheaded the development of Largs Yacht Haven for over 30 years, making it the finest boating location in Scotland and a thriving nautical centre."
" We’re so grateful for Carolyn’s outstanding dedication to the company and we were delighted when she accepted the invitation to join the Group’s board of directors in 2013. What’s more, her contribution to the wider Ayrshire economy cannot be overlooked. Carolyn has brought events, businesses, tourism and, most importantly, jobs to this part of Ayrshire.”
- Dylan Kalis, Yacht Havens Group Managing Director
A new manager
Carolyn will remain as a Yacht Havens Group Director, taking on a new role providing operational support to the Group’s nine marinas around the UK and the Netherlands, and spending more time on her 8.5m sailing yacht, Wavelength.
Taking the reins as Marina Manager at Largs Yacht Haven will be Dave Hewitt. Dave joined the company in 1999, becoming the Assistant Manager in recent years as well as completing the professional Advanced Marina Manager (AMM) qualification. Dave is a long-standing member of the Largs RNLI team and is the Station Mechanic for their B Class lifeboat.
John Stewart will step up into the Assistant Marina Manager role. John joined Largs Yacht Haven in 2002 working as a hoist driver in the boatyard before becoming a Haven Master and completing his Intermediate Marina Manager (IMM) qualification.
Drawings and first pontoons in the early-1980s, to welcoming HRH to the RYA Youth Championships in 2014, the Commonwealth Flotilla in 2014, the new Championship slipway, opening the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust Office, onboard the paddlesteamer Waverley for the marina's 30th anniversary, winning Marina Of The Year and taking class honours in the 2021 Largs Regatta Festival.