Boathouse 4

Boathouse 4 Located in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Wooden boatbuilding college, historic boat collection, restaurant and interactive exhibition.

Boatbuilding and activity centre in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Free Entry.


Please note that Boathouse 4 is currently closed along with the rest of Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. We look forward to seeing you all once this is over in the meantime stay safe everyone.

IBTC Portsmouth
IBTC Portsmouth

IBTC Portsmouth

Job Opportunity on behalf of Seb:

I’m looking for someone to join us at PG tips, 1911 Morecambe Bay Prawner rebuild under way at Emsworth Yacht Harbour. Tasks to include seating new caulk, paying up, priming, sanding, heatgunning ex varnish, more painting.

I’m afraid the money is not great. Starting at £10 an hour. I need someone two days a week, short term, preferably Mondays and Tuesdays to try out. Working hours 8.30 to 5.30.

Working conditions are basic bordering on agricultural but it’s a fantastic vessel and very convivial company.

Keen? Email me in the first instance:

[email protected]

Or phone if you must 07883032300 but be aware I’m often making noise so leave a message.

Best of all, come and find me and bring a flying kit of tools and be prepared to start straight away.


Seb vdB

Prettiest Star Boatbuilding


Exciting news! We are offering individual tickets for a trip on our pre Second World War RAF High Speed Launch 102 on Monday 13th April (Easter Monday) at £50 per 40 minute trip. Please contact us on [email protected] for further information and to book your place.


Boathouse 4 is open as usual together with IBTC Portsmouth and the Boathouse 4 Restaurant. Do come in out of the wind and rain!


Due to storm damage, Boathouse 4 will be closed to the public for a few days, watch this space for details of when we plan to open again - sorry. (Volunteer and Student access is via the North door only).


Due to storm damage, Boathouse 4 will be closed to the public today - sorry. Volunteer and Student access is via the North door only.

For Danny, in Fred's words but wholly supported by all at Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust , IBTC Portsmouth & Boats...

For Danny, in Fred's words but wholly supported by all at Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust , IBTC Portsmouth & Boats Afloat Boathouse 4 💙

A Special tribute to Danny Cain – It is with sadness that I report that our longest serving volunteer and friend Danny Cain sadly passed away just after Christmas following a short illness. Our thoughts are with Vanda his wife and Danny’s family. I have included some photographs of Danny collected over the past 20 years or so as he went about his vital role. Danny joined the original Patterson’s Pirates at the back end of the last century in or about 1996. At the time he was still working watch rotas full time as the Coxswain of the cross-channel ferry Pride of Bilbao, he came into work on his days off and soon became our chief Coxswain being the intuitive seaman that he was. Danny was known for his cheerful demeanour and cutting Scottish wit. Over the years Danny, with his vast store of seamanship knowledge and experience became our ‘Mr Sea Safety’. He had a handle on all things maritime from bitter ends to sandy bottoms, from tenders to power launches, from seizing wire to heaving lines to mooring lines and towing lines, from life jackets to safety harnesses and everything in between. It was even believed by many that the tide only came in and out with Danny’s agreement, or so it seemed, as no matter what time of day or night the question was asked, he always knew instantly the state of the tide. If you wanted D49 lifted out, a retiring Admiral or Captain taken out in full rig for their ceremonials, a quick run across the harbour in the Motor whaler or a full-blown committal at sea, Danny was the man to make it happen. Danny even made it into the films as a Victorian dockyard matey driving the Japanese Navy around the Solent. Danny made tremendous contributions to the original Patterson’s Pirates and more latterly the PNBPT Historic Boat Crews and Boat House 4 Volunteers. He will be missed by everyone who knew and worked with him, it was a privilege and pleasure to have known him and to have worked with him for nearly 20 years.

I am sure that the photos above will bring back some happy memories and raise a few smiles. It was a pleasure to have known and worked with you Dan.

Boats Afloat Boathouse 4

Boats Afloat Boathouse 4

Contrasting mornings this morning, some of us had a delightful blast up to Lymington to Berthon for antifouling with MGB81. Meanwhile, do you know why the caged shipwright sings? Fred and John will be let out of the CMB....when its finished!

Boats Afloat Boathouse 4

Boats Afloat Boathouse 4

After months of painstaking care from Pauline, our Maltese Dghajsa is now on display in Boathouse 4. These colourful little craft provided a taxi service to the ships of the Royal Navy for two centuries of Maltese history as a British Naval Base in the Mediterranean. The RN finally left Malta in 1979 and many of our veteran volunteers have humorous but not always repeatable anecdotes about their antics in these craft. Though not strictly a Naval vessel, the dghajsa (Dy-sah) is an intrinsic part of our Naval history and a splash of colour in the workshop.

Winter sunshine and balmy out of the shade!

Winter sunshine and balmy out of the shade!

It was lovely on the water yesterday! MGB81 out with the students of IBTC Portsmouth in Boathouse 4

Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust
Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust

Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust

Can we help out Spitfires of the Sea (obviously we’d love to have this too!!!):

“Well well, look at this. Does anyone know where I can get a copy of The Daily Herald from the 4th May 1942 to get a better wartime picture of RAF HSL 102?”

Boathouse 4
Boats Afloat Boathouse 4
Daily Herald

Photos from Boathouse 4's post

Photos from Boathouse 4's post

HL(D) 49 lift out

HL(D) 49 Has been safely lifted out of the water, she can now be seen on the slipway just outside boathouse 4. Next stage – full survey.

Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust

Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust

Successful lift 🏗

Huge well done to all those from Boathouse 4, IBTC Portsmouth and Boats Afloat Boathouse 4 👍🏻💙

HMS Queen Elizabeth arriving this morning creating a lovely backdrop for Steamship VIC 56 and the other boats on our pon...

HMS Queen Elizabeth arriving this morning creating a lovely backdrop for Steamship VIC 56 and the other boats on our pontoons.

Boats Afloat Boathouse 4

Boats Afloat Boathouse 4

Back in her day VIC 56 would regularly supply Aircraft Carriers. These days they are less inclined to let us nuzzle up to one but this is a nice image of the old and the new.

Boats Afloat Boathouse 4

Boats Afloat Boathouse 4

First steam up and a tour around the harbour today to treat our IBTC Portsmouth graduates to a graduation day to remember!


We know it's only November but Christmas is getting closer and just in case you are planning a visit, we wanted to let you know that Boathouse 4 is closed on the 24th, 25th and 26th December along with the rest of Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Boathouse 4 is also closed on New Years Day when the rest of PHD opens at 11am.

Another small step towards completion.

Another small step towards completion.

Shiny new Cummins 418hp engine for the CMB replica was delivered today! Another step forward, we think it will fit!

Boats Afloat Boathouse 4

Boats Afloat Boathouse 4

Best seat in the (wheel)house for the arrival of HMS Prince of Wales this afternoon!

HM Naval Base Portsmouth

HM Naval Base Portsmouth

The wait is finally over!!🇬🇧🛳

HMS Prince of Wales will be passing Round Tower this Saturday at 2PM.

The second Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carrier started her journey back in May 2011 when the steel was first cut. Now she has completed the first stage of sea trials and is entering her new home for the first time!🙌

Come along and witness this historic moment for the city of Portsmouth and The Royal Navy. 😀⚓️


Aaron's Wood 'N' Stuff
Aaron's Wood 'N' Stuff

Aaron's Wood 'N' Stuff

This is what I have been working on recently with my old classmate from IBTC Portsmouth, Paul Tipping.

It is in collaboration with The Maker's Guild Portsmouth for The Host Coworking who are creating a new venue within St Luke's Church, Southsea. We are currently borrowing space from Boathouse 4 in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

Its very exciting to be working with these old pews and in collaboration with so many local communities.

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

On Remembrance Sunday, 10 November 2019, we'll be observing the two minutes silence with a gun salute.

Blank shots will be fired at 11am and then at 11:02am to signify the start and end of the national two minutes silence.

If you'd like to join us to observe the silence please head to the jetty alongside HMS Warrior and look towards the semaphore tower, with your back to the Spinnaker Tower.

If you have an annual ticket board HMS Warrior and view the display from the top deck.


Boats Afloat Boathouse 4

Boats Afloat Boathouse 4

Volunteering can result in some dramatic poses......

Boathouse 4's cover photo

Boathouse 4's cover photo

Boats Afloat Boathouse 4

Boats Afloat Boathouse 4

Things are getting decidedly steamy round here. Thanks to David Griffiths for these photos.

Much excitement here in Boathouse 4 this morning as Steamship VIC 56 arrived.  No video as they sneaked in early but her...

Much excitement here in Boathouse 4 this morning as Steamship VIC 56 arrived. No video as they sneaked in early but here she is alongside her new home, the Boathouse 4 pontoon.

Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust

Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust

We have a new arrival!

Introducing VIC 56 to her new home at Boathouse 4.

Good luck everybody!#greatsouthrunThanks to Tina for the photos 💙

Good luck everybody!


Thanks to Tina for the photos 💙

It’s nice to have you with us for the week The Maker's Guild 🛠 🧰 ⚒️

It’s nice to have you with us for the week The Maker's Guild 🛠 🧰 ⚒️

We’re at Boathouse 4 this week. We may not be able to respond for a while.



Veteran and looking for a new direction?

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Landau UK

Landau UK

Landau are cracking on with the finishing touches to the restoration of one of the last remaining Falklands Conflict landing crafts ‘Foxtrot 8’ at Boathouse 4 in Portsmouth. @PortsmouthNavalBasePropertyTrust
@Boathouse4 #restoration #landingcraft #liborfunding


Boathouse 4, HM Naval Base

Opening Hours

Monday 10:00 - 16:30
Tuesday 10:00 - 16:30
Wednesday 10:00 - 16:30
Thursday 10:00 - 16:30
Friday 10:00 - 16:30
Saturday 10:00 - 16:30
Sunday 10:00 - 16:30




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Thank you to everyone for making the trip round the Harbour memorable.
A very good set of instructional videos relevant to our work - I found the timber selection series in particular helpful.
Amazing support that will really make a difference.
The Swedish version of "Boats Afloat" :
Lovely view and a meal to match. Thank you.
A cracking visit to Boathouse 4 with Aussie relatives. Especially loved the displays and films covering the evolution of the Motor Gun Boats / Motor Torpedo Boats / Steam Gun Boats and clandestine visits to France during WW2 including the antics of my friend Carenza Wilton's grandfather Robert Hichens. Also to see traditional boatbuilding courses alive and kicking.
What an enjoyable visit to Boathouse 4 Restaurant. The meal was excellent and the service could not be faulted. Next time I visit I will bring Don Wilkinson with me (if he can tear himself away from the Golf Course)
Thanks to all the staff at Boathouse 4 and Russell, for making the Wedding Photography a whole lot easier on Saturday. Here are a few of the wedding day pictures for you.
Steam pinnace 199 in a bottle ! Just painted ready for the Gosport Marine Festival on the 27th May ........all that smoke and steam in an enclosed space cant be good for the crew .....