About Us


The Need For High-Speed Ferries

Africa is experiencing booming urbanization, especially in coastal cities. Travel in Africa by road is difficult and dangerous as many roads are unpaved and poorly maintained. Africa is home to some of the fastest-growing economies in the world. As a result, traveling between cities is an arduous journey that often takes hours due to road conditions and long waits at the many border crossings.   These difficulties and the high cost of air travel makes water travel using high-speed ferries an excellent alternative.


The LightSpeed Experience

For example, traveling from Lagos, Nigeria to Accra, Ghana, a 280-mile trip, takes twelve hours and requires three border crossings and numerous security stops.  Picture the same trip on a LightSpeed ferry carrying 149 passengers and cruising at a sustained speed of 42 knots. The same trip on a  LightSpeed high-speed ferry takes 5 to 6 hours as the ferry’s wave-piercing hull design and roomy cabin provide passengers with a pleasant, relaxing cruise..


Lake Victoria Success

EarthWise Ferries, a sister-company to EarthWise Ventures, currently operates two ferries crossing Lake Victoria, Africa's largest lake. The ferries, the M/V Amani and M/V/ Bluebird, were built by Thain Boatworks, Inc., in Everett Washington and were then shipped and assembled in Africa for use on the lake. EarthWise Ferries provides a safe way for residents to cross the lake in comfort quickly.


Partnership with Thain Boatworks, Inc.

  EarthWise Venture's will partner with Thain Boatworks, Inc. of Everett. Washington to build the LightSpeed high-speed ferries.

On January 10th 2020, Thain Boatworks, Inc. reached a milestone with the licensing of a ferry for use on Lake Chelan, located in central Washington state. Lake Chelan, stretches fifty-five miles North to South, is surrounded by mountains and wilderness.  The addition of the new ferry, the M/V Sunny Jo, will help to connect residents in water-bound communities with services. 



Rob Smith, CEO & Founder

Rob Smith, raised in Zambia and South Africa, is the CEO of EarthWise Ferries International, Inc. and Thain Boatworks, Inc. The primary focus of EarthWise is the creation of jobs and economic life by restoring water transportation in poor areas of the world, with a focus in East and West Africa. Rob and his team have produced and deployed two ferries on Lake Victoria. He has over twenty years of experience as a general contractor and fifteen years of manufacturing experience. 

In addition to his impressive list of accomplishments, those who know Rob know him to be to be a kind, caring man who is passionately committed to God, his family, his friends, his community and to Africa. Rob is a natural leader whose gifts include both the skills to lead a company and a spirit of adventure which motivates those who work with Rob to strive for excellence. Rob's personality turns serious, however, when the topic is assisting those in need. This dedication to the mission can be seen when Rob addresses the issue of healthcare in Africa. 

Rob knows the impact of poverty and disease on those in need and the toll it takes on Africa, especially the children. Rob's experiences have led Rob to spearhead the "Race Against Malaria" nonprofit initiative to help to control the killing disease of Malaria, which takes the lives of thousands of African Children a day. Blending his passion for building state-of-the-art boats with his desire to leave a lasting impact on the lives of those in need in Africa, has led Rob to become one of the unique entrepreneurs in business today.

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(425) 329-6499



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