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Boathouse 4 is home to the International Boatbuilding College. Assisted by Portsmouth and Highbury colleges, this venture helps train a new generation of students in the techniques of traditional boatbuilding and other related skills, which are still very much required today to build and conserve wooden boats.

Overlooking the boat building college is a naval exhibition that provides visitors with the opportunity to discover the fascinating world of small boats - which were the backbone of the Royal Navy. Ships such as HMS Victory, HMS Warrior and The Mary Rose would not have seen the success they did had it not have been for the small craft ferrying their food supplies and troops from the docks.

This exciting new exhibition in Boathouse 4 tells the story of small craft, from wooden cutters that ferried Lord Nelson to and from his flagship, to powerful motorboats that helped win WW1. The exhibition features a range of innovative interactive exhibits which bring these small craft to life!

Take a seat in the activity boat and see if you can row in time with the other sailors. Test your strength on 'lift yourself’ and learn about how different weight distributions can make lifting even the heaviest of boats the easiest of tasks. Enter the boat theatre and learn the heroic exploits of the Coastal Forces and daring missions of the WW2 motor boats. For those visitors feeling extra courageous, you can put your wits to the test by scaling the amazing ‘Mast & Rigging’ experience to see if you've got what it takes to make it to the top of the crow’s nest! (small extra fee applies)

This mezzanine floor area, overlooking the college trainees busy at work, offers visitors of all ages the opportunity to explore the UK’s largest collection of small Royal Naval craft and find out about their role at the sharp end of naval operations.

Falklands Landing Craft Trips

The Falklands Landing Craft Trips are back for 2024! Throughout summer Boathouse 4's Falklands Landing Craft F8 will be offering trips around the harbour every week from Thursday to Sunday. Trips run for 20 minutes and cost £10 per person. There will also be a discount available where if you buy three tickets for F8 you get a fourth for free.

Standard trip times:

Spaces on the F8 trips sell out very fast so pre-booking is recommended - email, or you can buy tickets on the day with a Visitor Host in Boathouse 4.

Please note, F8 trips are subject to availability and weather conditions. Minimum age 5.

High Speed Launch 102 and Motor Gun Boat 81 rips

If you're a thrill-seeker, a history and boat enthusiast, or simply love getting out onto the water, Boathouse 4 is now offering individual tickets for its 1936 High Speed Launch 102 and 1942 Motor Gun Boat 81 during the Pontoon Open Weekend dates.

This is an excellent opportunity to explore the Solent and Isle of Wight while enjoying speeds of up to 30 knots! The trips on HSL 102 run for an hour and cost £100 per person. Trips on MGB 81 - the only operational MGB in the world which saw action off Omaha Beach on D-Day - also run for an hour and cost £130 per person.

The standard trip time is 1pm for HSL 102 and 3pm for MGB 81 on the following dates:
Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 May
Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 June
Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 July
Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 August
Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 October

Please note that spaces for these trips are limited and sell out very quickly. Therefore, pre-booking tickets is recommended - you can do this by emailing Alternatively, you can buy tickets on the day with a Visitor Host in Boathouse 4. Please note: trips are subject to availability and weather conditions, and the minimum age requirement is 10.

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Guide Prices

Ticket TypeTicket Tariff
Free admissionFree

Boathouse 4 is free to enter.



  • Accessible Lift
  • All Areas Accessible to Disabled Visitors
  • Guide Dogs Permitted
  • Parking Areas for Disabled Visitors
  • Wheelchair user accessible


  • On-Site cafe/restaurant
  • Picnic Site

Establishment Features

  • Event Venue
  • Open all year round
  • Open New Year
  • Toilets

Parking & Transport

  • Parking (charge)

Provider Preferences

  • Indoor Attraction
  • No Smoking Attraction

Specialist Features

  • Family Fun
  • Marketed Towards Children
  • Marketed Towards Families
  • Marketed Towards Senior Citizens
  • Marketed towards student/youth

Tours and Demonstrations

  • Demonstrations Given
  • Educational Visits Accepted
  • Guided Tours Available for Groups


Map & Directions

Boathouse 4


Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, College Road, H M Naval Base, Portsmouth, Hants, PO1 3LJ
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Call direct on:

Tel023 9289 3338

Opening Times

Summer Opening Hours (1 Apr 2024 - 31 Oct 2024)
Monday - Sunday10:00 - 17:30*
Winter Opening Hours (1 Nov 2024 - 31 Mar 2025)
Monday - Sunday10:00 - 17:00*
Dates and times marked with a '*' are provisional and may be subject to change

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Family looking out at HMS WarriorPortsmouth Historic Dockyard, PortsmouthPortsmouth Historic Dockyard is the UK’s premier destination for exploring 500 years of naval history.

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