One of the first boat hire businesses on the Noosa River was Terrace Boat Hire. It was started by the Salta family in 1938 and was located opposite the intersection of Gympie Terrace and Weyba Road. It remains in business as T Boats today.

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T Boat Hire, 21st Century. Image courtesy of T Boat Hire

The original wooden boats, hired on a weekly basis, were built by the Parkyn family and fitted with Olds putt-putt motors, manufactured in Maryborough. Afternoon T, built in 1960, is still seen and heard, putt-putting as a private run-about on the river today.

Tom and Audrey Salta also owned Terrace Stores, a grocery shop over the road, and later developed Kirraweena Motel & Caravan park on the opposite corner. The caravan park land had previously been used for live bait ponds, providing plentifully for the family’s fishing and their boat hire business.

Terrace Boat Hire was taken over by Tom and Audrey’s son, George, and his wife, Jean. They also managed the Ocean Breeze Resort and George’s Sports Store in Noosaville. George represented the division as a Councillor in the 1960s. Jean was involved in the formation of the Noosa Yacht Club and sailed in its first race in 1958.

George and Jean, and their children, were heavily involved with the Noosa Coast Guard. For 10 years Jean operated a 24-hour radio service for boats in distress. They were also keen fisherfolk, including both of the children who held commercial fishing licences.

Terrace Boat Hire was subsequently bought by Reg Gilbert, then Ginger and Rob Black, and then Paul Milnes in 1989, who renamed the business ‘T Boats’ so that the name would fit on the sails. In 1995, it was bought by its current owners, Greg Patrick and Brian Hearn.

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T Boat Hire, 21st Century. Image courtesy of T Boat Hire