MULTI-PURPOSE: Claudia Moffat in her caravan boat which she has designed and built.
MULTI-PURPOSE: Claudia Moffat in her caravan boat which she has designed and built. DARRYN SMITH

Caravan boat set to transform recreation industry

CLAUDIA Moffat has combined German ingenuity with a road trip around Australia to transform the boating industry.

The Sunshine Coast mum, who is a German-trained engineer, has designed and built a houseboat that can be transported on a trailer.

It is 2.4 metres wide so it fits on to a trailer, but when it hits the water it can grow to 3.6 metres wide.

The boat floats on pontoons, and the sides push out on sliders to give more room inside.

The slide-out can also be activated on the trailer so the houseboat can be used as a caravan.

"It's a cross between a pop-out caravan and a houseboat," Claudia said.

"It took me three months to design and research, about a year to build and another six months to tweak it once it was on the water."

Claudia said the idea of the boat came on a road trip around Australia with her then four-year-old son in 2007.

"As we travelled around, we saw trailerable houseboats, but the biggest issue was their weight, and that limited the towing vehicles you could use," she said.

"Also, they seemed very small inside.

"Then we came up with an idea based on the Transformer toys my son had."

Claudia said a slightly smaller version of the Inspire would cost about $160,000.

All materials used are extremely lightweight and mostly plastic and alloy for durability and resistance to sun and salt water.

The boat is not the first project Claudia has tackled.

She built a seven-metre motorhome and had a hand in the design of her home.


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