Boatshed ruins to museum

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Something very nautical is planned by Queenstowners (from left) Tony Butson, Alan Kirker and Spike Wademan.

Their Wakatipu Community Maritime Preservation Society aims to create a $700,000 maritime museum from
a historic Frankton boatshed threatened with demolition.

The boatshed – still used to repair craft – was built in the 1930s by Dunedin lawyer Frederick George Duncan for his 36ft motor launch.

Duncan also bought the 1870s New Zealand Railways shipping/ticket office and relocated it from the Queenstown wharf to tack on to the boatshed as a holiday cottage (below).

The dilapidated buildings are now owned by Queenstown Lakes District Council, which had had a demolition order on the boatshed.

With the order lifted, the preservation group plans to restore the structures to their former glory as a working maritime museum, with displays of boating memorabilia and early photos.

It’s launching the project, scheduled to start this summer, with a public meeting on Monday in SkyCity Casino’s Summit Room at 5.30pm.