Your cruising hotel

on the Canals and Rivers of the UK


Crew on Reed Boats in 2012.

Job Description.


We now have the crew we need for 2012 ---

They will be joining the boats on Monday 10th September if you wish your name held in reserve in case of the unlikely event of either crew member not coming, then send an email as instructed at the bottom of this page and it will be held on file.

N.B. First please note .....

1.. The job is to help operate a pair of narrowboats working as a traveling hotel on the inland waterways of the UK. We pay about £240 a week and provide full board and lodging in return for working evenings. You get a chance to travel around the UK on the inland waterways.



2.. If you are interested then please, please, read this job description very, very carefully, we have been repeatedly let down by people who, because they do not take the time to read this, have false ideas about the job. I know it is a long document and you will be tempted to just flip through it, but it is an unusual and exciting job so please read it all!






Oak & Ash, two 70 ft by 7 ft narrowboats, operate as a cruising hotel, Oak is a motor, or powered boat, Ash is the unpowered Butty always towed by Oak. On them a crew of three, including the owner, all living on the boats, take up to seven guests for week long cruises on the canals and rivers throughout the UK., these cruises usually start and end in different places. The crew operate the boats and supply full board to a four star hotel standard. It is a full time job, every other evenning is off, otherwise days off are deferred to the end of the cruise.

Standard Day.
8.00 a.m. Morning tea or coffee is served to guests in their cabins.
8.30 a.m. Breakfast is served to guests in the motor lounge. During Breakfast one of the crew cleans guest cabins.
9.30 a.m. We move off. Morning coffee is served on the move.
1.00 p.m. We moor up for lunch.
2.00 p.m. We move on again. Afternoon tea is served on the move.
5.30 p.m. We moor for the night.
7.15 p.m. Soft drinks and snacks will be served in the butty lounge while the table is prepared for dinner.
7.30 p.m. Dinner is served in the motor lounge for the guests.

Turn Around Days.
On turn around days one cruise finishes after breakfast, the next starts with the arrival of new guests at 4.30 p.m., during the day both boats have to be thoroughly cleaned, all laundry done and shopping for the week purchased and stored away.

It is a full time job.

The Work.

Job Description - Owner/Motor Steerer.
" Is responsible for steering Oak and working locks during the day and general boat handling duties.
" Preparing food for an hour before breakfast and cooking and assisting with washing up on two nights out of three.
" Also responsible for maintenance of both boats, external cleaning and, with assistance, shopping on turn around days.

Job Description - Butty Sterer.
" Is responsible for steering Ash, bow hauling her in lock flights and working locks during the day. Also assisting as required with other boat handling duties.
" Cleaning inside the butty for 40 minutes each day.
" On turn around days for a thorough clean throughout the inside of the butty, dealing with the laundry, (we use a service wash to do the actual washing!), and setting up cabins for the next guests. Every other turn round day also meeting new guests and collecting laundry.
" Every other evening laying up, serving at the table, and, with assistance, washing up dinner.

Job Description - Assistant Cook.
" Is responsible for morning tea or coffee. Laying up for, cooking, serving, clearing up after and washing up, for breakfast and lunch; tea and coffee during the day.
" On some days is required to help with operating locks during the day.
" Responsible for keeping the inside of the motor boat clean during the day.
" On turn around days for a thorough clean inside of the motor boat. Preparing shopping lists, and with assistance doing the shopping and putting it away. Every other turn round day also meeting new guests and collecting laundry.
" Every other evening laying up, serving at the table, and, with assistance, washing up dinner.



The Pay.

The basic UK wage, which was set In October 2011, as £242.00 for a unit of six working days. But from this we have to deduct tax and National Insurance before paying it.

We provide, in addition without charge, accommodation on the boats, all food, all laundry.

Tips from guests, ( These are in adition to the pay, not deducted from it, unlike some places!).



General Conditions.

" The boats are a non-smoking zone inside for everyone, and there is very restricted covered space outside for smoking, sometimes none.

" Crew are not allowed to handle the boat or food under the influence of alcohol or drugs. (One glass with dinner at night is fine, it is excess, which is the problem.)

" If you are asked to come for interview you will be required to produce documents showing you are entitled to legally work in the UK.

" It will be useful if outdoor crew have some experience in the operation of canal boats but not essential as training will be given. However the Assistant Cook must have some experience of at least ordinary domestic catering.. (Essentially cooking breakfast and following simple lunch time recipes.) Training will be provided in the way we operate the boats and in our catering and cleaning systems.

" Fitness is essential. Boat work requires a certain amount of physical effort, although skill replaces brute strength in most situations.

" Crew also need dexterity to be able to handle themselves safely while moving around the boats and between the boats and the shore.

" Crew will be required to supply their own clothing; they will need jeans, polo shirts, T-shirts, sweat shirts pullovers, etc. and non-slip shoes or boots for working the boats in sometimes cold and muddy conditions. (We will loan crew some boat sweat shirts and polo shirts.). They will also need separate tidy clothes for wearing in the evenings, fresh tops and clean Jeans are acceptable.

" Although Butty Steerer anbd Assistant Cook are set out as separate jobs it is possible either for the crew to swap roles each week, or for a couple, by mutual agreement, to vary who does what work. Our only concern is that all the tasks set out are covered between the two crew members.


Next ?

First explore this web site to find out more about the boats. If you have any questions phone us on 07977 229103


Then to apply .....send an email to which includes ...



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