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Boat builder

Boat builders build, repair and refit marine craft from small sailing boats to large sea-going vessels.

Potential salary
£16,000 to £35,000
Working hours
45 to 47 a week
  • maths knowledge
  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • design skills and knowledge
  • knowledge of physics
  • analytical thinking skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to read English
  • knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Depending on the job, you’ll:

  • plan your work in line with design instructions
  • use tools to cut and shape boat parts and sections
  • join sections together using welding equipment or resins
  • service and repair engines
  • refit vessels, for example with new electrics or plumbing
  • install navigation and communications equipment
  • apply finishes using varnishes and paints
  • carry out safety and quality checks

You may need to wear protective clothing.

You could work in a workshop, at a marina or at a shipyard.

Your working environment may be physically demanding, at height and outdoors in all weathers.

With experience and qualifications, you could become a marine engineer.

You could also move into boat design, work as an assistant to a naval architect or specialise in maritime equipment sales and support.

You could use your skills to transfer to other branches of engineering or into construction.

You can find out more about becoming a boat builder from The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology and British Marine.

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