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ANDERSONS BOATSHED

Booker Bay NSW

history

Andersons has touched the hearts of many families for over 70 years

The story began when Bill Anderson Sr and his wife Dorothy came to Booker Bay in 1932 and opened a general store. They rented out holiday cottages and built timber boats, which were taken down to the beach and hired out for 2 or 3 weeks at a time.
The garage at the rear of the present Boatshed was used for building the boats from the 1940s. Soon after, the holiday house on the beach came up for sale and the Andersons bought it and converted it into a boatshed and shop.
Floods washed away the wharf in 1954 and it was rebuilt.
Bill Anderson Jr took the helm in 1969. This was a very busy period for the Boatshed, and families continued to visit the area to hire out the famous putt putt boats. In 1974, cyclonic conditions severely damaged the boats and destroyed the wharf again, then in 1983 vandals burnt down the original Boatshed and the business had to operate from the old garage. The current brick building was completed in the mid 1980s. Bill started a wholesale bait supply company operating out of the back workshop known as Andersons Bait. 

In the mid 1990s, Andersons Bait was moved to a factory in Woy Woy and the Boatshed was sold to Ray and Jill who then converted the old wharf into a floating marina complex. They also updated most of the old putt putt boats to outboard motor drive, which proved more practical in the boat hire environment. The Boatshed was then sold again in 2000 to John and Carolyn, and continued to operate with hire boats and marina berths during weekends and school holidays.
In 2007, Rob Graham took over the Boatshed. Rob has been involved with the Boatshed since 1990, where as a high school student he worked for Bill Jr, then Ray for a short time, then intermittently over 12 years while working in the commercial shipping industry. The Boatshed was opened again 7 days and the hire fleet was built up to 25 boats. Most of the old boats (some of which have been in the fleet for over 50 years) were refitted, while some new boats were added including BBQ boats and Half Cabins.
These days most boats are hired out for 3-4 hours or the whole day to locals, people from Sydney and visitors staying in the area, along with a few weekly hires from time to time.