James McKenna moved to Noosaville between the wars. Originally a carpenter, cabinetmaker and self-taught boilermaker from Gympie, he bought a property on the northern side of Hilton Terrace in 1932. At number 110 he built a typical 1930s weatherboard structure set high on wooden stumps with a corrugated iron roof. McKenna became well-known locally as a builder, a general engineer and especially for his boat building. He built Miss Tewantin II for the Parkyn family.

Mckenna House

McKenna’s house at #110 Hilton Terrace at the start of the 21st Century

McKenna mostly built small vessels in his shed that were used on the Noosa River. But his property was not located on the riverbank, so he cut a shallow canal next to his property with the permission of the Council and the Harbours and Marine Authority. A power-operated slipway with a wooden cradle was later used in conjunction with the canal running from the river, handling boats of up to 38 feet (11.6 metres) in length.

Boat Slip

Remnant logs that guided the boats on McKenna’s slipway, early 21st Century