About Us

IBTC Portsmouth: Building Confident Boatbuilders

We are a world-renowned training provider based in the heart of Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.  We offer a Level 3 City and Guilds Qualification, our own Diploma and a range of short courses. Teaching techniques of traditional wooden boatbuilding and related transferable skills.

Our Teaching Ethos

A year with us is a life affirming experience, training fit for industry on real boats.  47 weeks dedicated to learning new skills and creating things of beauty, worth and purpose. Students vary enormously in ability and experience. We teach the individual – all we ask is that you are willing to learn, to work hard and that you love working with wood.

As Featured on BBC South Today

The Portsmouth Historic Dockyard boasts some of the most precious pieces of maritime history, like HMS Victory and Warrior. Now it’s nurturing the skills needed to keep them in good shape for the future.


At the heart of Portsmouth Historic Dockyard in Boathouse 4

Based in Portsmouth serving the Solent and beyond. In the cathedral like space of Boathouse 4 we are building and conserving wooden vessels. Whether school leaver or career changer, reskilling or adult gap-year, students work from day one on their tools on real projects.

Lifting Rover into position

See Us In Action

Our graduates apply their shipwright skills all over the world, not only in wooden boatbuilding but in a host of other applications including green frame timber construction and furniture making.

Visit Boathouse 4 free of charge to see what our students are working on and to find out more about our hands-on courses.



Volunteers are an essential part of the team within Boathouse 4 – Restoring and maintaining the boats in our care, building a CMB4 – Motor Torpedo boat, welcoming visitors, hosting group visits and crewing our operational boats. Please do get in touch if this is something you’d like to be a part of too.