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Job opportunities

We are looking for a Mechanic to join our team.

If you have mechanical experience, this could be the job for you.

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Please send a completed Application Form (Word document) to Nigel Stevens. Closing date 5 August 2017.

This is a job with a richly rewarding variety of activities. There are many creative aspects, lots of responsibility and plenty of appreciation from customers.
The job has two main elements:

  • Servicing and repairing boats
  • Giving customer service and training

We are Yorkshire’s most progressive operator of holiday canal boats. We have been trading for 35 years and are fortunate in our high reputation. This job covers many aspects of looking after our boats, our customers, and other people’s boats. It has a marked seasonal variation. Our working environment among the listed buildings of Sowerby Bridge Wharf is exceptionally attractive.

Shire Cruisers (Britannia Narrow Boats Ltd)
The Wharf
Sowerby Bridge

Company operations
Our main business is the operation of a hire fleet with 20 boats. These go out for holidays of 3, 4, 7 or 14 nights. Our customers come from all over the world, and stay for about 12,000 visitor nights a year.
We also look after a boat belonging to the Guides, and a varying number of shared-ownership boats.
We fit out our new boats ourselves.
About 50 privately-owned boats rent our moorings, and we do maintenance work on these.
We provide service to passing boats, such as fuel, toilet pumpout, repainting and repairs.
For a brief introduction, see www.shirecruisers.co.uk , including the boatyard section on the left-most dropdown menu.

Place of work
As above, plus some travel in firm’s van, including work at satellite bases.

Hours of work
8.00 to 4.30, with half an hour for lunch – 40 hours, 5 days.
Saturday and bank holiday working required from mid-March to end October, with a day off normally between Tuesday and Thursday.
November to mid-March: Monday to Friday.
Some overtime is required during the season, and available in the winter.
28 days paid holiday, including bank holidays (which are normally worked in season).

Period of employment
Permanent position.

Reporting to
Nigel Stevens, Director.


Job title

Main purpose of the job
To maintain mechanical and electrical systems.
To train hire customers in boat handling.
To attend and repair hire boats in case of breakdown.
To share on-call duties.
To carry out steelwork repairs and alterations.
To carry out other maintenance and repairs.
To fit out new boats for the fleet.

Scope of the job
You will join a small and busy team. Each person has his or her own strengths, but each can perform a wide variety of the tasks described below. Training is given on the job to widen skills.
The work routine is quite different in two parts of the year, the season and the winter.
During the season, the boats are prepared for each new hire, and customers are given training in boat handling and the use of locks. Turnround days are Monday, Friday and Saturday. On other days, maintenance of hire fleet and private boats is carried on.
During the winter, the fleet is prepared for the new season. This includes servicing of the engine and all other equipment, substantial repainting, and some alteration and refitting. There is also work on privately owned boats.
New boats are fitted out as an ongoing project most of the year – about one boat is built per year.
Initially you would work alongside other staff as appropriate, but you would be expected in due course to become an equal member of the team.
The firm is fortunate to have a high reputation for the quality of its work and service, and you would therefore be expected to show a high and consistent quality of work, whilst fulfilling demanding deadlines.

Main tasks of the job (you are not expected to do all these at first)

During season
Hire fleet maintenance
Preparation of boats between hires (pumpouts, refuelling, checks, servicing and repairs).
Faultfinding and repairs in case of breakdown.
Following routines, both weekly and periodically.
Customer service including handover and training (see below).
Evenings on call, on rotation as required (extra pay).

Hire boat handover
Help arriving customers to their boat and to park their cars. Demonstrate and explain the working of engine and all on-board services. Give basic lessons in boat-handling. Demonstrate and explain the working of canal locks. When satisfied with the customer’s performance, sign off the paperwork.

Work at satellite bases
On rotation, share the work of travelling to satellite bases to turn round boats, driving company vehicle. Welcome and help arriving and departing customers.

Repair and refitting of hire fleet
Service and overhaul of engine, gearbox, drive, engine electrics.
Service and repair of internal systems including pumps, plumbing, heating, electrics.
Steelwork repairs and alterations using MIG welder, plasma cutter and oxy-acetylene.
Woodwork repairs and refitting.
Repainting exteriors of boats.
Revarnishing of internal woodwork.

Throughout the year
Preparation and painting of narrow boats
You may assist with our extensive repainting programme.

Boat fitting
You may assist with boat fitting.

Work on customers’ own boats
Full or partial repainting.
General repairs and maintenance.

Boatyard work
Moving boats; toilet pumpouts; supply of fuel; crane lifting.

Health and safety
The company takes its obligations to staff and customers very seriously, and you will be expected to play your full part.

Dealing with customers
Meeting customers and potential customers; showing potential customers round boats; dealing with queries; occasional telephone-answering; occasional staffing of shop.

Induction and training
On the job training will be given, to enable you quickly to learn the specialised work of looking after narrow boats, boat-handling and our health and safety procedures.
In due course and as appropriate, you will be given on the job training in gas fitting and provided with training to become Gas Safe registered to carry out gas work on boats.

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Please send a completed Application Form to Nigel Stevens. Closing date 5 August 2017.