skip to Main Content

Future Proofing for Generations to come

Nelson’s iconic Boathouse is seeking public help with the rebuild, after Cyclone Fehi sent unprecedented tidal surges through the 1906 building. 

The initial cleanup and work is underway and with the help of good insurance and fundraising The Boathouse is going to be back and better than ever within months.While insurance will cover most of the repairs, we are asking for donations from the community so we can invest in modern technology to future-proof the building for generations to come.  

We’re really heartened at the support that has been shown to The Boathouse so far. Over the years the old girl has supported many a fundraiser and it is just wonderful to see the warmth and support that’s coming forward now that it’s her turn to need some help.

Donations can be made through The Boathouse Community Trust at  Givealittle.  Your donation is eligible for a tax credit.

If you prefer to make a donation directly to The Boathouse please email [email protected] for bank account details.

Thank you for your continued support. Up to date information on exciting fundraising events can be found on our Facebook page.

About The Boathouse

Situated over the sea on the picturesque Nelson Haven, The Boathouse is a whole lot more than an historic building

Full of history and a big part of the local community the venue also opens it’s doors as a cafe, music venue, club, community hall and function venue

 The Boathouse opens Wednesday through to Friday for relaxed brunch and lunch dining with a stunning backdrop of the Nelson Haven, Haulashore Island, The Boulder Bank and mountain ranges.  Friday evenings are all about music with the cafe re-opening at 5pm for dinner, drinks and dancing with live music. During weekends and evenings the venue is occupied by functions, events and community groups.  On a Sunday the building takes a rest from being a business and members have run of the building with families often seen lunching on the deck, throwing celebrations in the hall or out in the small craft.

Built in 1906 by the Nelson Rowing Club, the hall was used extensively by rowers and later by the Iron Duke Sea Scouts who purchased the building in the 1920s. After the Second World War, it became a popular Saturday night dance hall and saw the flourishing of  many a local romance. By the 1970s dances were out of fashion and the scouts moved to solid ground in the port as the building was liable to be washed out to sea in the next storm! ‘A few good blokes in the pub’ decided that demolition was not an option and rallied twenty five residents to purchase the building. Together they formed The Iron Duke Boat Club Society, later changing the name to The Boathouse Society. Memberships were offered and a sympathetic restoration started in 1992. Where possible original features were retained or reused and the old timber recycled.

The Boathouse now counts over 240 members; with many an original member among that number.

The objectives of The Boathouse Society are to:
• Provide recreational and social facilities for members
• Restore The Boathouse
• Involve children in activities
• Provide for the storage of small craft
• Provide a centre for theatre, music, dance and arts
• Encourage recreational use of Nelson Harbour
• Promote the conservation of the harbour

The Boathouse holds a special place in the heart of many a Nelsonian

We welcome you all to stop in and enjoy the view


OPEN FOR dining and drinks 10.30am – 2pm Wednesday-Friday and then again from 5pm-late Friday Evening (live music from 8pm)


EVERY FRIDAY  We host a large variety of talented musicians every Friday night, from around the globe!


BOOK YOUR NEXT FUNCTION HERE The Boathouse is available for functions and events