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Crawley Edge Boatshed
CrawleyEdgeBoatshed.jpg
The Boatshed in 2008
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General information
Status Constructed
Location Crawley
Town or city Perth
Country Australia
Construction started 1930s
Owner Nattrass family

The Crawley Edge Boatshed, commonly referred to as the Blue Boat House, is a boathouse located on the Swan River at Crawley in Perth, Western Australia. A well known landmark, the boatshed was built in the 1930s, and since the 1940s has been owned mainly by the Nattrass family.

History

The boatshed was originally built in the 1930s. It first came into the hands of the Nattrass family when Roland and Joyce Nattrass purchased the land behind it in 1944 as the site for their family home. The real estate agent insisted the boatshed be purchased with the land for an additional five pounds.

In 1972, Roland Nattrass gave the boatshed to Ron Armstrong, a patron of the Perth Sea Scouts. A slightly larger boatshed was built around the original. In the 1990s, ownership of the boatshed passed to Barry Kollman, a sailor from the Royal Perth Yacht Club.

In 2001, the boatshed was put up for sale and purchased by Peter Nattrass, son of Roland Nattrass and Lord Mayor of Perth at the time. The boatshed had become very run down by that time. Faced with government threats to demolish and remove it, the family began to rebuild it. At the suggestion of a family friend, the local federal member of parliament Julie Bishop, the boatshed was repainted in a bold blue colour. On 6 February 2004, the refurbished boatshed was re-launched by Perth yachtsman Jon Sanders and Perth sailor David Dicks.

It was also given a facelift in late 2015, which included repainting the exterior and replacing the wooden jetty with a new one with steel pylons.

Tourism

In the 21st century, the boatshed has become an Australian icon, and star attraction for tourists visiting Perth from Asia. As of June 2019, the hashtag #blueboathouse had thousands of Instagram posts to its name. A CNN article published that month claimed that the boatshed was the most photographed travel attraction in Perth, ahead of Elizabeth Quay, Cathedral Square and the Bell Tower in Barrack Square. Another article published that month, on the website The Conversation, claimed that the boatshed had become Perth's second-most popular spot for tourist selfies, and that social media publicity about the boatshed had generated global awareness about Perth potentially worth millions of dollars.

According to Tom Nattrass, images of the boatshed have been used in marketing material for Singapore Airlines, Qantas and in Japanese advertisements. In March 2019, a group of tourists queuing up to take selfies at the boatshed included a woman from Singapore who told The West Australian, "Everyone from Singapore that visits Perth gets a photo here, it's all over social media." One visitor from Thailand told ABC News in June 2019 that young couples from her country would travel to the boathouse to participate in pre-wedding photo shoots. Another visitor, from Malaysia, said that she had travelled to Perth specifically to take a photo with it.

At a meeting of the City of Perth held on 28 May 2019, the Commissioners of the City resolved, due to the increase in visitors to the boatshed, the nearby Eliza statue and the Old Swan Brewery, to spend AUD 400,000 on a new "stand-alone" solar powered toilet at Quarry Point, between the boatshed and the brewery. Construction of the toilet was due to be completed by August 2019.

In mid-July 2019, the boatshed was temporarily and controversially wrapped in red plastic sheeting, as a tribute to the Manchester United football team, which was visiting Perth to play two friendly matches. On 14 July 2019, three of the team's players, Tahith Chong, Axel Tuanzebe and Joel Pereira, visited and were photographed at the wrapped boatshed.

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