About Us

Living on the Hawkesbury River outside of Sydney for 10 years, Ian Ugarte and his partner Christine Manning had seen a countless number of poorly designed houseboats drive past their home. In late 2002, after seeing a houseboat with a Bali style hut sitting on top, Ian had simply seen enough.

Ian then contacted his long time friend Chris Kopsiaftis and wife Rachael, and asked whether they would like to be part of a prototype houseboat that Ian had had on his mind for a few years.

They agreed to undertake the project and Drew Heath, Architect and Builder, was contacted for his design genius to shed some light on the undertaking. He was given a simple spec. They wanted a good looking houseboat that opened up to a surrounding deck; a design created to capture and enjoy nature—not shut it out.

The Arkiboat prototype was built on top of a floating platform that Ian had used for his plumbing business and occasionally as a floating cinema he operated for locals on the river. It took nine months to design, manufacture and complete; and the rest is as they say…history.

The site which saw the building of the original Arkiboat prototype.