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Hampshire Map

Famous as the home of Nelson's Flagship, HMS Victory, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard also houses HMS Warrior, HMS M.33 and the preserved remains of Henry VIII's Mary Rose, together with a number of smaller boats and a large collection Naval artefacts.

All are interesting, but if I had to choose one it would be Warrior. She's still afloat and looks a feels as if she would be ready to set sail tomorrow; if only someone would let her.

Check the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard's website for opening times etc.

Boathouse 6

Boathouse 6 was designed by an officer of the Royal Engineers, Captain James Beatson in the 1840s, and was one of the first examples of a brick building erected around an internal metal frame.

Its purpose was to build and repair the small boats carried by large warships, a role it continued to fulfil right through until the 1970s despite extensive bomb damage during WWII.

These days it houses Action Stations a "high-tech, interactive indoor attraction" aimed at the kids. Most of the contents are beyond the scope of this site (and indeed its webmaster).

External Links and References

  • External Links

    • Action Stations
      More from the Historic Dockyard's Site

At the time of my visit HSL 102 was moored on the landing stage behind Boathouse 4 and was best viewed from HMS Warrior's pier.

She was built in 1936 by the British Power Boat Company at Hythe and was used by the RAF to rescue airmen from the sea during World War II.

In 1943 she was transferred to the Royal Navy who used her to tow targets. By the 1980s she was in private ownership as a houseboat.

In 1993 she was spotted and bought by an enthusiast, and was re-launched in July 1996 by HRH Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother following an intensive and thorough restoration.

Also moored on the landing stage behind Boathouse 4 at the time of my visit was MGB 81.

MGB 81 was built by the British Power Boat Company and was launched in June 1942 making her one of the first of her class. Commonly known as "The Spitfires of the Seas", these armed speedboats were amongst the most successful of the Coastal Forces craft of World War II, earning the battle honour 'Normandy 1944' for her role supporting the US landings at Omaha Beach on D-Day.

MGB 81 is the only Coastal Forces Gunboat that has been restored to her World War II condition. The restoration was completed in September 2002.