Vacancy: Harbourmaster

Harbour Master, Severn Estuary

Package £51,750

Deadline: 02/11/20

Location:  Sharpness, Gloucestershire


A vacancy has arisen for a Harbour Master to join Gloucester Harbour Trustees. Over 300 small and medium sized cargo ships and a multitude of leisure craft transit this extensive and picturesque tidal harbour area of the Severn Estuary each year. The role offers the successful candidate considerable autonomy and a real opportunity to shape the future .


Gloucester Harbour Trustees (GHT) is a self financing, not for profit trust port which manages an extensive area of highly tidal estuary at the top end of the Bristol Channel.  Approximately 300 small and medium sized cargo ships transit this waterway a year, to and from the Port of Sharpness.  There is also a healthy recreational sailing and boating presence. Please see for more details.

We require a Harbour Master.  Their responsibility will be to manage all aspects of the tidal harbour, including conservancy and the safety of vessels, and to safeguard the marine environment.  This duty includes maintaining all navigation marks and aids at a high state of availability and certain functions related to the provision of pilotage (GHT authorises pilots who provide services under contract).  The management of the Port of Sharpness is not GHT’s responsibility since this is owned by the Canals and Rivers Trust (CRT) and operated by an independent port company.

The successful candidate will report to the Board of Trustees and will also attend meetings as an ex-officio Board member.  The Trustees provide broad strategic governance but the Harbour Master will plan and execute all operations without detailed direction from above.  He or she will lead a small team comprising a part time administration officer and a part time finance officer.

The essential competencies and qualities of the candidate are:

  • Self-starter; the ability to plan and execute all required activities without direction.
  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills and an enthusiasm for communicating.
  • Stakeholder management skills – essential in our multi-stakeholder environment that includes the Trustees, the Pilots, CRT, the Sharpness port company and the various recreational stakeholders and other parties with an interest in the extensive waterway.
  • The ability to manage people, whether employed directly or via contract.
  • The ability to produce and administer operating processes and procedures.
  • An interest in ships and maritime management matters.
  • Able to run the administration within approved capital and expenditure budgets set by the Trustees
  • The ability to become passionate about our unique waterway.

Highly desirable competencies and qualities include:

  • Prior leadership experience in a marine related environment either land based or afloat.
  • Proficient in using office IT applications.
  • An ability and appetite for undertaking practical, hands-on maintenance activities relating to navigation marks and lights, and workboat operations.
  • Knowledge of the Port Marine Safety Code and MCA Guide to Good Practice.
  • Boat-handling experience/qualification (for GHT workboat operations).
  • Experience of risk management.

The successful candidate will be required to either hold or gain the UK Harbour Master’s Certificate ( within 15 months of commencing employment.

CVs by post by 2nd November 2020 to:

Mrs Hazel Smith

Gloucester Harbour Trustees

Navigation House

The Docks



GL13 9UD

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