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How a time-honoured riverside structure was carefully restored to its former glory

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An iconic Sunshine Coast boathouse has undergone a significant and “challenging” makeover.

The heritage-listed Maroochy River Wheel House has been restored, thanks to specialist heritage advice and the handy work of volunteers from the Buderim Men’s Shed.

President Barry Cheales said the project took about 300 hours to complete using traditional restorations methods.

“When the owners of the 1965 Wheel House approached us, the structure had been badly damaged by weather events and vandalism, and was in desperate need of restoration,” he said.

Inside the privately owned boathouse.

“Specialist advice was sought from heritage building reports, structural engineers and expert character builders.

“It was a challenging project, subject to tides and the availability of specific materials and trades.

“We’re lucky to have some incredible expertise among the 12 members of the Buderim Men’s Shed who completed the project led by Don Kitson, and we’re really proud of the outcome.

“It’s a wonderful example of community collaboration to preserve our region’s history.”

Volunteers from the Buderim Men’s Shed.

Sunshine Coast Council Division 8 Councillor Jason O’Pray said the project captured the nostalgia of a simple life focused on enjoying the outdoors.

“These quaint Maroochy boathouses are culturally significant,” he said via a Sunshine Coast Council media release.

“They remind us to enjoy life’s simple pleasures – fishing by the river fanned by a summer breeze or basking in the winter sun.

“The original Wheel House is one of just five privately owned boathouses on Bradman Avenue constructed between 1940 and 1970.

“They capture the essence of our coastal roots, are well loved and highly visible on the river when entering Maroochydore.

The storm-damaged structure before its restoration.

“I’m very pleased to see the Wheel House returned to its former glory and preserved for future generations to visually enjoy.”

The Wheel House restoration project was developed with support from the Sunshine Coast Council’s Arts and Heritage Levy, its owners and the Buderim Men’s Shed, in accordance with the Department of Environment and Science approvals.

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