There are several ways in which you may wish to become involved with John Pinkerton Canal Cruises.

On the John Pinkerton II in Hampshire


The John Pinkerton II is crewed by trained volunteers who are all members of the Basingstoke Canal Society. Crew members are responsible for the safety and comfort of up to 50 passengers and undertake all operational tasks such as:
– Steering
– Serving in the Galley
– Overseeing embarking and disembarking
– Mooring
– Lock and Bridge Operation

Training in steering the boat, boat and passenger safety etc, will be given.

A crew consists of 4 volunteers, including a skipper who holds a Boatmaster’s Certificate issued by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency, an Executive agency of the Department of the Environment.

If you’d like to help support the Basingstoke Canal by crewing the John Pinkerton II please email Derek Taylor or call him on 07752 301175.

Volunteer Evening Cruises

If you are unsure about whether this is for you, every month we have fully crewed Volunteer Cruises on a Monday night for Society or prospective members and volunteers. For dates and times, please see the trips page. These trips usually involve a bit of a Crew Social. You will have the opportunity to talk to our crew members and find out more about the JPCC operation and, if you like, have a go at the helm. There will also be other Society members available with whom you can discuss other volunteering opportunities. If you would like to join us for one of these trips, which are free of charge, these may be booked via our online booking system. Alternatively, please email our Booking Team, or call  on 07506 864411 (10am – no later than 6pm please).


Weekly Maintenance (Cruising season)

A number of routine jobs need to be carried out when the boat is working during the cruising season. Jobs include restocking the galley, refuelling, filling the water tank and pumping out. A small team of volunteers meet at Colt Hill in Odiham as required to do this.

Winter Maintenance

During the off-season, the boat needs to be serviced. It is also the opportunity to carry out any necessary repairs, modifications or repainting. Another team under the acting leadership of Dick King will meet as and when is required to complete this work, usually during November to January.

If you’d like to help support the Basingstoke Canal by maintaining the John Pinkerton II please contact Dick King.

On Kitty in Surrey

Kitty is the Society’s recently acquired second and smaller trip boat which operates in the Woking area.


Kitty is crewed by 2 trained Society volunteers, one of whom will be an MCA-accredited skipper or a helmsman appropriately certified for this type of vessel. Crews have similar responsibilities to those working on the John Pinkerton II (and in fact, some individuals work on both boats), ie steering, ensuring the safety of passengers when embarking and disembarking, and mooring. Kitty crews will also be responsible for the operation of the lift for wheelchair users (but not of the wheelchair users themselves, who will be the responsibility of an able-bodied attendant). However Kitty has no galley, and there are no locks along the section of canal on which it operates.

If you would like to help support the Basingstoke Canal by crewing Kitty in Woking, please email Ian Moore, or call him on 07841 771537.


Routine maintenance of Kitty during the cruising season (for example, refueling and basic engine checks) will be undertaken by the crews. However volunteers are needed to assist with as required off-season servicing, repairs, modifications and repainting which is likely to take place between February and April, and of course with any emergency repairs. If you would like to be involved with Kitty maintenance, please contact Ian Moore (contact details above) for more information.