Amie-Jo Trayes is excited about opening up the newly-revamped Boathouse which was pummelled during Cyclone Fehi in February. Photo: Charles Anderson.

Boathouse ready for reopening


The Boathouse is back.

On February 1 it was poised to host one of its biggest months in the venue’s 34 year history. But as Cyclone Fehi hit the region, all staff could do was watch in horror as the waterfront building was pummelled by waves and lashed by winds.

“It was pretty horrific to see,” says manager Amie-Jo Trayes. “The floorboards where all pushed up and out the front was hit hard.”

Now, however, staff are back in their offices, café supplies are arriving, weddings and bands are booked and Nelson’s historic waterfront venue The Boathouse is about to reopen.

It’s been an ‘epic effort to get the old girl up and going’ after the storm damage of Cyclone Fehi back on February 1, according to Boathouse Manager Amie-Jo Trayes.

“We had great insurance but the rebuild uncovered more work that needed doing and was also an opportunity for us to make improvements to facilties such as the kitchen and bar,” she says. “Right from the first few hours after the storm we have had amazing support from our builders and other contractors, donations from the community, grants from heritage and community funds and our own members turning out to paint and help with the shift.”

Amie-Jo says the new floor was laid using West Coast beech recovered from a previous cyclone, the deck was also renewed, the new kitchen would add to hirage facilties for larger events and gangways to the entrance doors and port holes drilled in the concrete wall under the building will help to prevent future storm damage.

The Boathouse Society management committee chair Annie Henry paid tribute to all those involved.

“It’s been a testing time but also an opportunity to rejuvenate the building and make it magnificent once more,” she says.

A blessing will be held this week, followed by an open day for the public on Sunday, October 28, from 10am.

“The café will be open, the staff and committee will be there to answer questions, we really want the people of Nelson who have shown us so much goodwill to come down and see what the renewed Boathouse is all about,” Annie says.