Boathouse 4  - change of focus

We are sad to announce that in March 2023, IBTC Portsmouth will be closing. Boathouse 4 remains very much open, with our wonderful crew and volunteers continuing to maintain our historic boat collection.

This is not a decision that has been taken lightly, and we know how much the college has meant to both staff and students. We are so proud of all our alumni - many of whom have gone on to great careers in the marine industry.  Over the last few months, we have explored every possible option to keep the college open, but sadly it is not financially viable.

Boathouse 4 will continue to thrive as the National Historic Ships’ Shipshape Hub for the Solent region. The Shipshape network brings together historic vessel owners, skilled craftsmen, businesses, heritage organisations, training bodies and all those with an interest in Britain's maritime heritage and ship preservation, and we look forward to Boathouse 4 taking on a greater role in leading this collaboration in the Solent area.

Please see IBTCP website for any further details -



Boathouse 4 receives a Certificate of Excellence from Tripadvisor

We’re pleased to announce that Boathouse No 4 has been recognised with a 2017 Certificate of Excellence, based on the consistently great reviews our visitors have written on TripAdvisor.


Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust Secures LIBOR Funding for “Memorial Fleet”

The Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust (PNBPT) is delighted to have been granted £2.4M in LIBOR funding by the Chancellor for its “Memorial Fleet” project. The project will create an operational Memorial Fleet of small craft which have played a significant role in the defence of the nation during the Twentieth Century.

LIBOR funding comes from fines levied on the banking industry for manipulating the LIBOR rate, and is being used to support those that represent the best of values, in particular military and emergency services charities and other related good causes.

We are thrilled to have been granted LIBOR funding, which will ensure that valuable naval heritage is maintained for future generations; the project will offer the public the opportunity to engage with the historic craft both in Portsmouth and farther afield, and will provide rehabilitative and vocational training for veterans.

Read the full article


Photo Credit Simon Jenkins 



Portsmouth Society Design Awards 2016 - Best Reuse Award


Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust is delighted to have been awarded the “Best Reuse” award at the Portsmouth Society Design Awards 2016 for its Boathouse 4 project.


In an area dominated by Georgian and Victorian architecture, Boathouse 4 offers a striking contrast in architectural style. It is the only significant 20th century building in the Dockyard, offering a unique link to this important period in naval history as the nation prepared for the Second World War.


Several years ago many were advocating its demolition to make way for a hotel and exhibition hall; the impressive result vindicates beyond all doubt those who fought so hard to retain this 1930s industrial jewel, providing it with a new lease of life and, gratifyingly, for the purpose for which it was originally built. The late Sir Colin Stansfield-Smith, a trustee and a great supporter of the project, would have been delighted by the result.


Walters and Cohen has done well to retain the amazing sense of space highlighting the elegant steel structure that supports the four gantry cranes and, for the first time ever, visitors to the Historic Dockyard are able to view the archaeology at ground level in the form of the 17th Century tunnel which connects the Mast Pond with Portsmouth Harbour.


As the largest industrial complex in the world for two centuries, there can be no better place than Boathouse 4 to learn and acquire the skills required to practice boatbuilding and marine engineering, as well as those needed to preserve our maritime and built heritage.


The design team has demonstrated the art of skilful intervention, providing the perfect compact of ancient and modern.


The Boathouse 4 project received £4M in funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and £600,000 from the Regional Growth Fund, a Government initiative supporting large projects with the potential to create long-term private sector jobs.


Boathouse 4 - World Architecture Festival Award Category Finalists


Boathouse 4 made it to the final of the World Architecture Festival Awards and although we didn't win we feel very honoured to have been nominated!


Another Award!

The Britannia Naval Research Association which exists to preserve and promote Naval Heritage and where possible to protect it against loss.

They meet regularly and have a wide membership offering a great deal of expertise in a number of fields.

Its a great thing to be recognised for our part in that!

The following award was presented at the BNRA Awards Night Tahiti Dinner presided over by Chairman Dr Vaughan Michell.

Sir Robert Craven Trophy : To Diggory Rose Boatkeeper, Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust, for the Exhibition of RAF Seaplane Tender 1502 and primarily for his engagement of public interest in both this exhibit and the work of the 'The Forgotten Craft Collection' now preserved at Portsmouth Naval Dockyard.

This award was presented by Mr Rob White on behalf of last year's winner Mr David Mearns (Hood Bell recovery) who was unable to be present.



Marsh Volunteer of the Year award

We’re delighted to announced that Fred Attwood, one of the Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust Boats Afloat and Boathouse 4 volunteers at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, has picked up the prestigious Marsh Volunteer of the Year award at the recent National Historic Ships UK annual ceremony last week.

Fred, of Old Portsmouth, said: “I am absolutely delighted. I joined as a volunteer 16 and a half years ago and this is the first time I’ve won an award like this.

“Volunteering here keeps me ticking over and I really enjoy doing it.”

Boathouse 4
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
Victory Gate
HM Naval Base

Restaurant and Venue Hire

T: 023 9282 6077     E:

IBTC & General Enquiries

T: 02392893328 E: 



© Boathouse 4 - 2015
All rights reserved

Website by Red Pixel Creative