Directory of Skills

A peer-reviewed directory of skills and trades available to boaties, almost certainly with the magic boatie discount.

Waterways Photographer

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Richard Clarke, is a local photographer based in Bradford-on-Avon with several pages of photos on his website of life and people on the canal.


Boaters’ Voices update

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

The Boaters’ Voices project run by Wiltshire Council has held several meetings. The first meeting in Devizes on 27th February was attended by 45 or so people, who discussed in small groups the many positive and negative points about living on the K&A.

Read more…

Wooden boat builder available

Monday, June 6th, 2011

Woodworker available for all jobs, from doors and windows, lining out to furniture and full fitouts. Cheap rates and good service. Trained and experienced wooden boatbuilder for those with wooden boats! Present and past clients include RLL Boats, Trickett Boats, SS Great Britain and Underfall Yard, Bristol.

Ring Max on 0777 257 0025.


Boat to rent

Friday, May 6th, 2011

70ft narrowboat to rent from June – on the K and A canal. Lovely liveaboard with solar panels, large woodburner, gas CH, reliable engine etc. Furniture if wanted. No mooring, but very happy to help you move her until you’re comfortable to do so; or to help you find a mooring. £500 / month including license. Please contact Chris on 07980 509003 or with any questions or to arrange viewing.


Monday, June 21st, 2010

We received a message from Colin Hobbs who is looking for photos of Tipton, the coal and diesel boat featured in our article here

Colin says “My Mother’s family worked and I guess lived on Tipton in the 1930s and 1940s, and I was wondering if there may be some old photos of the family about somewhere. The family name was Holt, my grandfather the skipper was Arthur Holt. They may have worked other boats but this is the only boat name I remember”.

If anyone can help, please contact Colin at

Boaters’ storage

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

We received this message recently:

I’m pleased to be able to offer a storage facility to all boaters. My idea is to let 1metre x 1metre x 2metre (high) lockable boxes. If this is of any interest please contact me: 07803 034577


Tony Berry

Tipton – Coal and Diesel Boat, Andy Jackson – Signwriter

Friday, October 16th, 2009
Tipton and Scavenger, seen at Bathampton in early autumn

Tipton and Scavenger, seen at Bathampton in early autumn

Andy says
“Since she was built in 1936 Tipton has worked the waterways and we have had the pleasure over the last twenty years of maintaining that tradition. Carrying fibre optic cable first drew us to the Kennet and Avon followed by a stint short hauling wet cement for weir works.
Now we have settled into the role of roving coal and diesel supplier to boats and canalside premises, concentrating our run between Great Bedwyn and Bath.
Being typical boaters we are unable to be constrained to a schedule but find ourselves, sometimes to our own surprise, reaching each end about four times annually.
Text us for info on our whereabouts or listen our for our holler. ‘coal and diesel!’.
I have also been improving my signwriting skills and I am confident enough to take on any combination offering affordable rates. Obviously this is a weather dependent occupation requiring a suitable towpath work site.”

Tipton is currently expected;

  • Bath: 17th October
  • Devizes: End of October
  • Bedwyn: mid November
  • Then back to Bath in December

To catch them or get more up to date information, send them a text on 07779 185375.

They are currently experiencing difficulty getting to Hungerford and beyond due to the dilapidated state of the Kennet and Avon at this point due to BW’s refusal to carry out any maintenance. Give them a ring if you are in this area to see if anything can be done to help (with coal not the dredging – ring British Waterways for that).



Current prices;

Coal in 25kg bags

  • Newflame £9.50 per bag, £90 for 10 bags
  • Maxibrite £9.50 per bag, £90 for 10 bags
  • Anthracite £9.00 per bag, £87 for 10 bags available in large or small nuts
  • House coal £8.70 per bag, £84 for 10 bags

All prices subject to fluctuation, check with them for the latest prices.


  • 73p per litre, before duty.

Most of you will be aware of the current situation regarding self-declaration of use, where your use is divided into diesel used for propulsion and diesel used for heating and power generation – the price above is for 0% propulsion, ie a boat that doesn’t move – cue all the continuous cruising jokes.

As an example, 10% propulsion, 90% domestic would cost 78.5p per litre. A self-declaration form is required at the time of filling. If you need more information about the current fuel tax regime then leave a comment and we’ll do an article.

Andy does pretty fine signwriting, he is going to do a bit of a write up with some examples shortly. In the meantime, get in touch if you need some signwriting doing. Check out his web site email addresses

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

Want your own boatie email address? for £20 per year, including webmail and forwarding.

If you’re interested send us an email at or leave a comment on this post with your phone number

We can provide hosting,  domain registration,  website design and Google optimisation services too.

Kev The Pipe – foremost boatie plumber!

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

I have lived and worked on boats for nearly 7 years. Recently started to re-establish my towpath roots having worked for 3 years with Will Trickett Boats.

Have gained lots of experience with gravity/convection loops. There’s been a couple of mistakes along the way but I’m fine tuning all the time.

Always willing to give advise and consultations are free. All parts supplied at trade discount plus ‘a bit’ to cover my time and diesel. Can over a basic chandlery service so ask me first about anything you might need.

Also ask me about plumbing fittings; I’ve worked on lots of boats and know shortcuts and cheats to get stuff fitted in tight spaces.

In addition to plumbing, I know a thing or two about;

  • Welding
  • Basic carpentry
  • 12v electrics
  • Solar heat recovery
  • Fibreglass

Boats that I’ve worked on;
Stanley (obviously!), Kestrel, Almighty , Betty Blue, Free Spirit , Flint, Ashby,   Harlequin, Elegant Zigeuner , Nelly Fly, Gilly Bean, Violet Sarah, Sally Girl, Mrs T, Holt, Captain Jack, Sulis, KarenJane, PathFinder,  Annie Dolly, Bird On A Wire, Das Boot, Bellatrix, Aston

If you’re thinking of doing some work to your boat, give me a call; if I can’t do it, I probably know a man who can!
Basic rate; £15ph…. very negotiable!
07796 560476

Advertise your service in the Directory of Skills

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

We are attempting to put together a list of people who will carry out work on your boat, sell you the stuff you need or give you advice to solve the problems you encounter.

Please let us know if you would like to be included in this directory.

Please also let us know if there are any skills you need that you are having trouble finding.

It is our intention that the comments to posts in this section will serve as a peer review of the people advertising here.