Volunteer at IBTC Portsmouth

Volunteers at Boathouse 4

Do you love Portsmouth and our Naval Heritage? Wooden boats?

Could you tell visitors our Boathouse 4 story?

Boathouse 4 is a new attraction at the Historic Dockyard.

IBTC Portsmouth needs a team of enthusiastic volunteers to make our new home come alive for visitors.

IBTC Portsmouth have a team of 45 volunteers who offer a warm welcome to our thousands of visitors here at Boathouse 4 in the Historic Dockyard. You could be one of them!

What is a Boathouse 4 Volunteer?

The volunteer role is varied. You might lead our daily tour of the workshop floor telling visitors about the boats being restored.

You might be doing a bit of restoration or some conservation cleaning on some of our historic wooden craft. Visitors love to see how things work, so you may demonstrate boatbuilding tools or try your hand at making an oar or paddle.

Our volunteers are all customer facing so you need to be friendly and approachable. You will get the most out of your experience if you can come along at least one day per week. We particularly need help on Saturdays and Sundays.

Apply to Volunteer

The first step is to let us know that you’re interested. Either fill in the registration form here on our website or email Marian Smith: marian@boathouse4.org, our Volunteer Manager and request one. If you would like to visit us first before you register please email and we’ll tell you the time and date of the next tour for prospective volunteers.

Once you have registered, we’ll invite you in for a brief chat. You will then be invited to come for a Taster Day when you will spend the day with an experienced volunteer to learn more about our work and our visitors.

Volunteers’ Stories

“So why do I volunteer in and around boats? Well I suppose the well-known phrase ‘ Happy as a pig in Mud’ would probably sum it up.”

Fred Attwood, IBTC Portsmouth Head Volunteer

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a Dockyard ticket to come along as a Volunteer?

No! Boathouse 4 is free to enter. You do not need a ticket to volunteer.

How frequently can I volunteer?

Most of our volunteers come along one day per week. Monday-Friday volunteers also work one weekend day each month. A commitment of at least 6 months is required.

Is there an age limit?

Anyone over 18 can join us. You need to be reasonably active to participate fully. The Boathouse is a boat workshop and a boatbuilding training college. As a working boatshop, it can be cold, noisy and dirty, but we love it.

What are the hours?

Boathouse 4 is open the same time and hours as the Historic Dockyard. We are closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. We are open 1000hrs to 1730 in Summer and 1000hrs until 1700 in the Winter. You will get a lunch break and a tea break.

Do you pay expenses?

We pay £7 per day expenses. This can go toward your lunch costs or your transport.

Do I have to wear a uniform?

Yes, Boathouse 4 Volunteers wear a practical blue coverall and a name badge. You will be more comfortable if you wear several warm layers and warm footwear in the Winter.