Wheatbelt dreamboat

Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser
The Lake Grace community have been in a buzz about the boat.
Camera IconThe Lake Grace community have been in a buzz about the boat. Credit: Supplied

Out of a Wheatbelt town facing severe water shortages comes a self-made 9.2m boat.

The giant craft may look a little out of place in the parched farmlands hundreds of kilometres from the ocean, but it has captured the imagination of the tight-knit local community.

Owner of Lake Grace Engineering Clint Earnshaw built the entire vessel, named Ocean Roads, by himself over 1500 hours in nine months.

“I chose the name because life is like an ocean road — you get calm days and rough days,” Mr Earnshaw said.

The boat is 3.45m wide, just under the requirements for needing an escort on the roads, and has two 225hp outboard motors.

It was tested on the water at the weekend, and to everyone’s relief, it floats.

With a light load, it reached speeds of 42.9 knots.

“It is the result of a lifetime of thinking about boats,” he said.

“It was really nerve-racking but it is a really cool feeling to put it in the water.”

The boat is kitted out with a few beds and a toilet.

Mr Earnshaw also built the trailer.

The skilled boat maker said he planned to take the vessel to every part of the Australian coastline.

“The plan is to have this thing go all the way around Australia in 15 or 20 years in small trips,” he said.

“Sometimes people get a bit negative with other people having these sort of things but the whole community has been really excited and got a buzz out of it.”

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