Boathouse 5 was built as a mast house, but later used for the construction, repair and storage of small boats. Timbers for mast construction were stored in the nearby Mast Pond to prevent them seasoning unevenly or cracking. The annexe to the south was originally a sail loft.

Along with Boathouse 7, Boathouse 5 is a good example of the timber-framed buildings once common in Naval dockyards.

Originally, Boathouse 5 sat on wooden piles, but in 1882, these were replaced by a cast iron structure. The building was taken apart and rebuilt on the new piles. In the 1900s, new doors were installed, and the roof replaced.

The annex of the building is now our Volunteer Hub, a meeting space with lounge, kitchen, library and changing facilities for our wonderful volunteer teams.

We are currently exploring options to develop a shared flexible performance and exhibition space in the building.