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Having been a major trading wharf for clay, quarried locally in the Purbeck Hills until around 1900, and subsequently used as, among other things, a torpedo boat build and repair centre during the war, Ridge Wharf was established as a Marina / Boatyard in 1965.

A drainage ditch was opened to create a marina basin, the redundant Bournemouth trolley bus standards were sunk to create the basis of a pontoon system, pontoons, jetties and workshops were constructed, new river frontage jetties were built retaining some of the history of the original jetties from 100s of years before. 

Adjacent land was reclaimed to expand the hardstanding, which had previously been limited to the ground occupied by the clay-works railway, and services to the yachtsman progressively improved.

During the 1970s development was limited because the property was lease held. In 1983 after considerable debate, freehold ownership was established, and this allowed the pace of development to accelerate. Ridge Wharf has been under the same family management for over 35 years, and continues to offer traditional boatyard facilities while adopting modern skills and practices.

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