The UK's leading manufacturer of performance kayaks

Join us

We’re expanding our team of builders

Enjoy working with your hands? Take pride in your work? Have a good eye for detail? Come and join our enthusiastic hard-working team of craftsmen in this rare and fulfilling opportunity to master the art of kayak building in making some of the world’s highest-performance composite kayaks.

What’s a composite?

Unlike the typical plastic boats you’ve probably seen at your local, river, canal or beach, our boats are made from precisely hand-placed layers of specialist cloth such as glass-fibre, Kevlar and Carbon fibre. Each layer is impregnated with performance resins, to create stunning, ultra-light, durable kayaks that arguably have more in common with Formula 1 than everyday paddling. It’s a time consuming process that requires attention-to-detail, elbow-grease and practice to truly master.  We’ll give you all the training you need.

Job satisfaction

Kirton is not just a factory. We design, test, manufacture and sell some of the UK’s finest sports equipment, here in heart of Devon, England. Each boat and accessory, is lovingly handcrafted and made bespoke to the customers exacting requirements. Almost every boat is different from the last, keeping the projects fresh and the work varied – it’s not like any production line you’ve seen before. You’ll gain the reward and satisfaction of seeing your creations evolve to the gleaming finished article.

Engineering passion

Kirton Kayaks is a family run business with over over 50-years experience in building and designing kayaks. We consider ourselves very fortunate to be able to keep the hand-skills alive here the UK, while introducing modern CAD and CAM practices using our in-house CNC machines. Each construction and boat model is engineered to the tightest tolerances possible. You’ll get to work with some of the the finest engineering materials such as Carbon Fibre and heat-cured epoxy resin, to produce light-weight and structurally optimised products, using a range of techniques including Resin Infusion and Vacuum Bagging.  We’re constantly innovating and improving, and you’ll be encouraged to contribute to our development meetings when designing new boats and accessories, and also to test our equipment on the bench and in-the-field, as we continually strive to build the finest kayaks possible.

Bring your talents to the table

We welcome all past skills and trades as every talent has a place in our business, but being one of the few kayak manufacturing bases in the UK, we know it’s unlikely that you will have all of the skills we require before you start. It can take 1-2 years to be fully trained in all areas of kayak building, and even longer to master the intricacies. Besides a keenness and a commitment from yourself, here are some of the key things we’ll be looking for…

Apprentice: A successful Apprentice will…

  • Have proven experience of working with their hands
  • Have an eye for detail
  • Be a fast and efficient worker
  • Be a team player
  • Be enthusiastic and a fast learner

Laminating Technician: A successful technician will…·  

  • Have experience working with polyester and epoxy resin systems
  • Have hands-on experience laminating with woven cloth
  • Have previous experience with vacuum bagging and resin infusion techniques.
  • Be a precise and efficient worker
  • Be able to manage their own workload

Painter/Finisher: A successful finisher will…

  • Have an exceptional eye for detail
  • Be a clean and efficient worker
  • Be able to manage their own workload
  • Have experience of spray painting and polishing automotive products
  • Have experience of flatting and fairing body work to a high standard
  • Have an artistic streak

Apply now

If you think you have what it takes, we’d love to hear from you. Tell us who, what and why! Email us at with a few words about yourself, any previous relevant experience you have, and why you’d like to join the team. Include a CV if you have one. Easy.

We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

The Kirton Team