Boat rental company that dates back to 1956 hits the market
A long-standing business with one of the best “offices” in the area is for sale.
Craig and Kerrie Chandler have decided to sell Bill’s Boat Hire in Golden Beach after six years at the helm of the 66-year-old business.
Kerrie said they enjoyed their time on the waterway, but were looking forward to travelling.
She said there was a “wonderful opportunity” for someone else to take over.
“The last six years have been a highlight for us.”
“We really enjoyed every moment.
“Our goal has always been to spend five or six years in the company and develop it.
“We introduced new products, renewed the fleet and introduced a digital platform.
“We raised the bar and it’s now the #1 thing to do in Golden Beach on Trip Advisor.
“But we think now is the time to move on and start the next chapter, because we’ve achieved everything we set out to do.”
Kerrie said the biggest asset was the business’s idyllic location.
“It’s in one of the best offices on the Sunshine Coast,” she said.
“Overlooking the tip of Bribie Island, with Pumicestone Passage and Caloundra as a backdrop, it is stunning.”
It is based at 1 The Esplanade, operating in the northern passage of Pumicestone, between the new Bribie bar to the south and the old Caloundra bar to the north.
Boaters can enjoy calm conditions and stunning views and they can moor their boat on the island for relaxing day trips.
The company operates from five moorings and has three barbecue pontoon boats, a fishing pontoon boat, half-cabin canisters, stand-up paddle boards and single and double kayaks, as well as a new bicycle. on four wheels.
Bill’s Boat Hire was established in 1956 by Bill Aspen, who chose the company logo and the colors white and red, which remain today, to match the old Caloundra lighthouse.
The business has only had a handful of owners and is believed to be one of only two local businesses to have operated in the same location for so long – the other being Henzells estate agency, which operates from Bulcock Street for over 70 years.
“It’s a proven company,” Kerrie said.
“There were about six boat hire companies in Caloundra, but Bill’s Boats is the only one that survived.
“(The last few years) we’ve been through COVID, cyclones and an island breakout and we’re still here and going strong.”
When the breakthrough happened earlier this year, the Chandlers feared their business might not survive, but conditions in the northern passage turned favorable and provided them with a beautiful area to work with.
“It’s become a beautiful, calm lagoon in this area,” Kerrie said.
“We don’t have raging currents at 12 knots. It’s perfect for things like SUPs and kayaking.
Craig and Kerrie took over the business in 2016.
“Craig lived across from Bill’s Boat Hire when he was young and often helped the owner pull the boats to the beach,” Kerrie said.
“Then one day, as we were returning home from a three-year hiatus on the West Coast, we heard it was for sale.
“Craig said ‘this is an absolute dream come true for me and I would love to buy it.’
“So, we did it, and we built it.
“But now we hope to be able to hook up the caravan and do some trips to Queensland. It’s the only state we haven’t traveled to.
Kerrie said they can’t wait to pass the business on to someone who will cherish it as much as they do.
“It’s not just a fleeting 12 month turnover and you’re gone. It’s an opportunity to sit back and really enjoy this tourist component of Caloundra,” she said.
“You meet so many happy customers who are full of anticipation. They get out on the water and really enjoy it.
“And because it’s an iconic company, it has to stand with the community.
“He has generations of loyal customers who return year after year.
“There are people who used to come here as kids, now bringing their grandkids.”
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The Chandlers were hoping to do a private sale.
“We’ve already received many inquiries,” Kerrie said.
“We have an idea of what their visions are.
“It’s an iconic company, so we want it to go into good hands rather than someone with deep pockets.
“It’s about finding the right people who want to continue to spread the good name of Bill’s Boat Hire.
“Hopefully they can even raise the bar with the business, because there is still room for growth.”
For more company information and purchase enquiries, see Bills Boat Hire and contact 0408 102100 or [email protected]