Open day to celebrate boatshed’s 80-year milestone

News for the Department of Transport


People who have long wondered what happens at the old green boatshed at the bottom on Pier Street in East Fremantle will have the opportunity to find out next month when the Department of Transport (DoT) marks the building’s 80th anniversary with a special open day.    

DoT operates the Marine Education Boatshed (MEB) from the building today training as many as 12,000 young skippers each year on how to be safe on the water. However, the building was originally commissioned in 1942 by the Royal Australian Navy to undertake torpedo maintenance and cadet training.

An average of 25 school groups visit the MEB each week to learn more about boating, sailing, snorkelling and canoeing and engage in a range of programs including the Junior Crew for primary ages or to gain a Recreational Skipper’s Ticket for high school students. 

DoT Manager of Safety Education Laurie Adams said throughout the building’s rich history it had been predominantly used for the purpose of training mariners and its importance and value to WA had been reflected in its heritage listing in 2015. 

“Not only is the building a long-established landmark for skippers on the banks of the Swan River, it also has a special place in the hearts of many in the East Fremantle community,” Mr Adams said.  

To mark the building’s 80 years of service, for the first time, the MEB will open its doors to the public with a special open day on Saturday 8 October 2022 from 9am to 1pm. The event also coincides with the end of National Safe Boating Week.

People can learn more about the history of the boatshed and participate in a number of safe boating activities including lifejacket servicing, knot tying and flare demonstrations. There will also be on water displays and vessel tours. 

“This is a unique opportunity to visit the boatshed and find out more about its unique history and the important role it continues to play in teaching young people how to be safe on the water,” Mr Adams said.

To find out more about the MEB and the programs it offers visit our website

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Page last updated: Mon Sep 12 2022 3:56:55 PM