From today, part of the historic boats fleet at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard will be available for public charter. The Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust (PNBPT) has a collection of small military craft, ranging from the 1910 35’ (10.7m) Armed Steam Cutter 26 FALMOUTH to the 1960 43’ (13.1m) Landing Craft Vehicle Personnel FOXTROT 8 (F8), housed in Boathouse 4, also home to the IBTC Portsmouth.
Maintained and restored by both experienced volunteers and boatbuilding students at the IBTC, two of these boats are now fully coded and available for skippered charter by the public, film work and corporate and educational events. F8 will be running 20-minute boat trips daily at £10 per person, as well as being available for longer charters, while HIGH SPEED LAUNCH 102 – a 1936 64’ (19.5m) RAF rescue craft – can be hired for private trips for up to 9 people from one hour to a full day.
The hope is that more boats will join the charter fleet in the future. Currently MOTOR GUN BOAT 81 – commissioned in 1942 and used in action 6 times, including for the Normandy landings – is in the process of being coded for charter.