“We’ve created the accommodation…now all you have to do is find the view!”

Always wanted to have your own holiday getaway but you couldn’t decide on what or where? Then maybe an Arkiboat houseboat is the answer for you.

Architecturally designed, each Arkiboat Houseboat is a creation of each owners imagination. All we provide you with are some guidelines and basic designs, and you the customer create the rest to suit your needs, tastes and desires. And the best thing about an Arkiboat, is you can change your address whenever you like.

Want to know more about this innovative houseboat?…then read on!!!


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.


In order to ensure that everyone who buys an Arkiboat Houseboat gets exactly what they want, we have devised a procedure that works much like any regular building project.

A member of our sales team will meet with the customer and find out what their specific requirements will be. Number of bedrooms, living space, outdoor facilities etc.

We will then recommend a design that Arkiboat’s designers have already produced, but the customer has the ability to change, refine and personalise their final creation to suit their tastes and requirements…all falling within a budget that the customer can afford.

Construction takes about three months and customers are encouraged to visit regularly as their Arkiboat takes shape.

Arkiboat can also assist in the process of transportation from construction to destination and helping the customer find a suitable mooring or berth.

If you wish to find out more about Arkiboat or have a salesperson contact you, all you have to do is Contact Us


  • Pontoons
  • structure
  • electrical
  • Appliances
  • plumbing

The charging system has 4 X 150 watt solar panels mounted on the roof. There are 2 x PL 40 solar regulators. If power is low or when driving there is an option for a 24 volt quick charge alternator to be adapted to the flywheel of the starboard motor. Alternatively a generator or shore power can be used.

The vessel runs a 24 volt house system that has availability of nearly 1500 amps in battery storage.

All wiring is installed to Australian Standards.

Photos and Plans

Arkiboat Team

Ian Ugarte

Ian’s love affair with the river began over ten years ago when he moved to Berowra Waters on the Hawkesbury River. Ian, being a licensed plumber, began to tinker with new designs for the river system upon which he lived. He constructed his own barge and ran a service on the river which still operates today; along with a floating cinema he used to put on for the locals.

Arkiboat was an idea he had from early on, but didn’t become more than that until more recently after seeking the expertise of his architect friend, Drew Heath. Ian now plays a vital role overseeing the design and production of Arkiboat.

Ed Barton
Production Manager

Until recently, Ed had spent his entire career in the real estate industry. He relocated to the Hawkesbury River in 2001, where he met Ian and Chris and played a vital role in the construction of the Arkiboat prototype. Ed had since accepted the role as production manager of Arkiboat on a full time basis.

Drew Heath

Mention the name Drew Heath in the architectural world, and chances are most people either know of his designs or buildings that he has constructed. Drew is an extraordinary Architect and also holds his building license. He has been in the industry for over 15 years and has won countless awards from his industry and peers. Drew jumped at the chance to design and construct the Arkiboat prototype and has since put his name to several new designs that Arkiboat will offer to its market. His original design was featured in the Sydney Morning Herald Domain and Vogue Living magazine.

Related Links

  • Drew Heath - View a slideshow of Drew Heath’s architectural and building works over the past 15 years which involves the award winning Wollombi cabin and the original arkiboat prototype.
  • Drew Heath Project Photos - Drew Heath Project Photos. Click on image to see Bondi, Blackheath Library, Wollombi Z-cabin
  • ABC Houseboat Interview - The Comfort Zone. Read about the Drew Heath interview on ABC Radio National about our own Arkiboat Prototype and find information on ‘The Houseboat Book’ by Barbara Flanagan.
  • NSW Maritime (Waterways) - Visit the NSW Waterways website. View registration, licensing details and survey requirements.
  • Wisegeeks view on houseboats - Wisegeeks view of Houseboats. Read about houseboats and visit other houseboat links from this page.
  • Houseboats For Sale - Houseboats For Sale in the Netherlands. Not happy with the Arkiboat design, then have a look at some of these houseboats.
  • Amsterdam Houseboat Hotel - Netherlands Houseboat Hotel. Check out a photo gallery of a Houseboat hotel in Amsterdam.