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Report - Hamble Boatyard - Southampton - March 2015

gargoylecity

28DL Member
28DL Member
#1
Earlier this year we travelled out to a boatyard we'd seen along the river on the motorway heading towards Southampton. After clambering out of a marina nearby we made our way under a motorway bridge and found more than what we thought we'd see in this small boatyard.

Some history
From the little I could unearth about this particular boatyard I managed to divulge that these appear to be the remains of the current River Hamble's marina's predecessor. The Hampshire council records note that there was a storm on the river during the 1979 "Fastnet Race", which led to the abandonment of 23 vessels on the river, which is a plausible cause as to why there were boats abandoned in the location we found them. We discovered a metal jetty in the centre of the yard which had a wrecker on it as well as some shipping containers filled with things that appeared to be fly-tipped, although the wrecker appeared to be unused for sometime. We gathered that there must have been some sort of salvaging project at one point, but everything looked untouched for quite some time.

Exploring
We visited the site across 2 days. The first day ended with ridiculous amounts of mud meaning we weren't able to explore the entire yard, but we returned on a brighter day and managed to get across the whole site.

1.jpg

The first sight that greeted us was this small blue boat, in the distance you can see the new marina that's been recently built to replace the one we were visiting. This boat looked quite battered but was in good shape compared to the rest of the boats I would see as I went into the yard.

2.jpg

The first real view of the entire boatyard. It seemed much bigger than we thought it would be when we saw it out of our car window on the motorway. The jetty over there looks like it connects up to the other marina but it doesn't, there was actually quite a gap between the two yards. These two boats in the foreground were in bad shape, the one on the right had been completely hollowed out in the bottom and as you can see the one on the left was rusting and had holes all over it.

3.jpg

Closer view of that boat on the left, the steering wheel still moved which was interesting, maybe needed some WD40 however. The boat on the right I managed to clamber into but was met with water up to my knees, the whole other side of the boat was letting water in. You can see the shipping container in the corner, which was where I decided to head next.

4.jpg

To our great surprise we found another disused wrecker behind the container - interesting. The container itself was pretty much empty other than a motorcycle helmet and a pile of empty boxes which was a little disappointing.

5.jpg

In front of the container was this metal jetty with the other wrecker on it. This wrecker was boarded up and we couldn't get into it. The rest of the jetty was covered in wooden boards and sawdust. The jetty was surprisingly stable but the wooden platform you see to the left was not at all and seemed to fluctuate with the waves.

6.jpg

Here's the view of what we had explored already from the jetty. We'd managed to escape clambering through those wood piles by traversing the coastal path, or rather the "scenic route".

7.jpg

View of the wrecker and jetty from behind one of the boats on the right hand side of the jetty. The ropes here were surprisingly helpful for shifting around the debris. We were fairly safe, however, as there was a thick wooden plank along the ground that we could shift along.

10.jpg

We backtracked a little from the jetty as we saw that we'd be able to get onto the deck of one of the boats we'd seen earlier, and the view was worth it. The boats surrounding here were in equally awful condition, although we'd learnt to expect this from our trip so far. We couldn't quite determine the age of the boats, many were completely totalled. The Fastnet Race was our only viable option for figuring out when they'd been abandoned here.

12.jpg

We'd decided at this point that it was probably a good idea to call it a day, it was starting to spit light rain and the mud was becoming insurmountable. Managed to grab a few quick closeup shots of the destroyed boats before leaving.

13.jpg

And another closeup of the back of the wrecker.

Day 2

14day2.jpg

We came back about 4 days later to a much more sunny scene. Some of the mud had washed away which made the site much more traversable.

15day2.jpg

One of the boats by the jetty in much clearer light.

16day2.jpg

What appears to be a motor engine dangling out of one of the boats.

17day2.jpg

Not the easiest method of entrance, but sure, go for it.

Pretty sweet spot, not even that hidden. Thanks for reading through our report.
 
Last edited:

gargoylecity

28DL Member
28DL Member
#6
Reminds me of a scene from Scrapheap Challenge lol. Shame none were big enough to venture inside. Nice one for getting in though, and seeing what was on the other side. :thumb
Hah, if you wanted to use any of this for a scrap heap challenge you'd need a pressure washer and lots of industrial lubricant!
 

Warspite7

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#8
Did there appear to be any other ways to gaining access without having to walk from another marina. As having trouble finding any
 

fatdeeman

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#9
If this is the place I'm thinking of there used to be a lot more there but there have been efforts to tidy it up over the years, there used to be several hopper barges that were dumped there after being used during the construction of the motorway bridge, there used to be a Thames barge there too with the mast still intact for years gradually crumbling away.

I'll see if I can dig up the info I once read, it may have been part of a larger study about shipwrecks on the Hamble river.
 
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