Foxhangers Canal Holidays have been delighting customers since 1997 with our beautiful fleet of narrowboats and exciting holiday adventures.

Based on the stunning, historic, Kennet and Avon canal near Devizes, Wiltshire, we now seek a motivated and passionate Boat Engineer to work as an integral part of the Engineering team.


The role requires someone with a strong work ethic and broad level of engineering skills.  The role encompasses several areas of the Foxhangers’ operation and is vitally important in helping to ensure our boats provide unrivalled boating experiences that are enjoyed by our customers as well as supporting a happy and positive environment to work in.

The Engineering department is focussed on the maintenance of our holiday hire boat fleet and privately owned canal boats.  The role will also involve assisting our boat building team as well as general site maintenance.  Given the varied nature of the role, a flexible can-do attitude is essential.

Key Responsibilities of the Job:

  • Hire fleet maintenance
  • Breakdown and on-call assistance to hire fleet
  • Hire boat handover demonstrations and training
  • Boat Building installation work
  • Repairs and maintenance to privately owned vessels
  • Slipway/docking works to vessels out of the water

The Boat Engineer is responsible for ensuring that all Foxhangers boats are maintained to the best possible condition during each turn around day and in the off-season winter maintenance period.

As a Boat Engineer, you will be required to take a senior role within a small team of engineers, mechanics and boat operatives and you will report to the Engineering Manager.  You will be responsible for: maintaining the high standards established for fleet maintenance and inspection; following handover procedures; and keeping in good order the general safety, cleanliness, security and customer care standards at the wharf area.  The role requires you to be available for ‘call outs’ to attend the hire fleet in the event of a breakdown; this is agreed as part of an established rota system.

Fundamental to this role is the ability to perform diesel engine installation, electrical and plumbing installation to Foxhangers’ boat building and general boat fault finding and repairs for the general development of Foxhangers Marine Services (FMS).

A positive, customer facing, ‘can do’ attitude is crucial to this role when conducting boat handovers and greeting customers, dealing with sensitive issues, as well as when carrying out boat repairs and servicing for private boat owners.


The standard working hours are 40 per week. As directed by management your week will be split into either five 8-hour days (08:30-17:00) or four 10-hour days (08:00-18.30).

  • during the period mid-March to end November this will include Mondays, Fridays and some Saturdays, with a half hour break for lunch.  On occasions, you will be required to start work earlier or finish later to fit in with the demands of the business.
  • from the end of November to mid-March this will be Mon-Fri, with a half hour break for lunch
  • in addition to your normal hours during the hire season you are required undertake call-out duties in the evenings and weekeneds as directed by management.  It can be the required of you of to share all call-out duties equally in a rota with one other engineer however, Management will endevour to spread call-out duties fairly with two other engineers.

When ‘On call’ out of working hours, the requirement is that you will be able to attend the customer/boat within 1 hour (or 2 hours if located at the extreme reaches of the K&A canal). We reserve the right to review your ‘on call’ requirements if the needs of the business change, note occasionally in the short-term the ‘on-call’ demands may increase to cover staff shortages and staff holidays.

Required Skills

Working as part of a small engineering team you will need to provide most of your own tools and possess the following skills and attributes:

  • Diesel engine knowledge and maintenance skills
  • AC and DC Electrical knowledge with fault finding skills
  • Welding skills
  • Plumbing knowledge and fault finding skills
  • Excellent communication skills at all levels
  • Confidence to liaise with customers
  • Hard working
  • Fit and relatively agile
  • Good team player
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Ability to prioritise jobs
  • Initiative
  • Flexibility in working hours
  • Attention for detail with engine room and internal boat checks
  • Current driver’s licence

 Preferred Skills / Experience or willingness to learn

  • Good narrowboat handling skills
  • LPG gas experience and or (Gas safe registered)
  • Boat master/Helmsman license
  • First Aid Certificate (training can be provided)
  • Computer literacy

Typical turn-round day responsibilities

  • Participate turn-around day running schedule meeting
  • Ensure all turn-around gear and equipment is set-out at the start and cleared away at the end of the day.
  • Welcome back returning hire vessels and crew
  • Ensure all vacated vessels are manoeuvred to suitable moorings for turn-around operations
  • Check vessels for obvious external collision damage and plan any necessary repairs
  • Conduct engine room checks
  • Maintain/service engines and central heating units
  • Re-fuel vessels
  • Internal checks and running repairs
  • External checks and cleaning down of vessels
  • Check that all the required boats are ready for the next customers
  • Greet new crews on arrival
  • Welcome customers aboard their designated boat and complete the full handover procedure which may include boat and lock demonstrations
  • Ensure relevant paperwork is completed and submitted in timely manner

Typical non turn-round day responsibilities (Mid-March to November)

  • Maintenance work to both hire and private vessels
  • Engine fits/plumbing and electrical installation for Foxhangers boat building

Typical winter responsibilities (November to Mid-March)

  • Engine, plumbing and electrical maintenance work to hire fleet vessels
  • Engine fits/plumbing and electrical installation for Foxhangers boat building
  • Assisting in the winter maintenance programme implementation

Additional responsibilities

  • Take a positive role in developing the slipway/docking business for privately owned vessels
  • To ensure the company vehicles are properly maintained

Job Type: Permanent, all year round

Salary: £25-32k per annum

If you think this could be the opportunity for you, please write to us telling us how your qualifications, skills, and experience make you suited to this position, be sure to mention your earliest availability and whether you would need to work any notice to any current employer. Please also enclose a full employment history CV.
We look forward to hearing from you.

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