Text: Emily Weekes
Photos: Mike Dalmau
When regulations for houseboats were relaxed in the Australian state of Victoria in 2014, this triggered a rapid increase in oversized models on Lake Eildon. It was clear to Phil Dixon and Jeff Thynne, owners of Lake Eildon Marina and Houseboat Hire, that they would need a whole new type of trailer with BPW axles to transport these hulls.
»He has built something for us that is completely unique in Australia – and probably beyond that.«
Phil Dixon, owner of Lake Eildon Marina and Houseboat Hire
Water level on the lake varies strongly
DLake Eildon is a unique home for houseboats, but there is a challenge: at times the shoreline can recede by up to 1.5 kilometres. There are around 750 houseboats on the lake and in several marinas, and this year the water level of the reservoir has fluctuated between 85 and currently 68 per cent of its nominal volume. “When the water level drops, our whole marina moves outwards. Our fuel tap, absolutely everything,” explains Dixon. “Everything has to adapt to the respective water level. Our slipway is two kilometres long, because when the shoreline recedes, the boats move closer together and things generally get tighter.”
At the other extreme, rainwater from the nearby mountains provides a huge influx of water that is sold to farmers further north for irrigation. “When the water starts flowing, it’s like someone has pulled out the plug,” laughs Dixon.