The owner of a houseboat that washed ashore in Co Mayo in 2016 has been found in Vancouver, Canada.

The mysterious vessel washed up on Drum beach, near Belmullet, three years ago, RTÉ reports.

The 20ft (6-meter) long vessel was solar powered, made with driftwood, and had sheets of polystyrene attached to the hull to assist with flotation. The wooden exterior was painted with tar to weatherproof the boat.

Read More: Ghost houseboat from Canada washes up on Irish shore

On one of the walls was an inscription saying the houseboat was to be given to a homeless person so they could live rent free without bills. Also written on the wall was the name of its owner, Rick Small.

Image via Ballyglass Coast Guard.

Image via Ballyglass Coast Guard.

It has since emerged that Small is a 62-year-old environmentalist from Vancouver. Known as an eco-adventurer, he trekked across Canada on a three-wheeled bicycle powered by solar panels in 2015.

Small built the houseboat to raise awareness of climate change and had planned to sail from Newfoundland around the Arctic. However, he could not find the right motor to assist with the voyage and gave the boat away.

After becoming loose from its moorings, the custom-built vessel was then washed across the Atlantic, landing in Ireland after a few months.

Small told Canadian TV that he was surprised to see it had made it to Ireland relatively intact.

When it was found ashore, the vessel was taken by Mayo County Council and moved inland.

Read More: The mystery of how a Canadian houseboat washed up on Ireland’s west coast 

Under maritime law, the Receiver of Wrecks must be contacted,  RTÉ reports. When there was no contact from the owner after 12 months, volunteers worked to refurbish the craft.

The vessel is now on display at a community garden in Binghamstown near Belmullet.