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Halvorsen De-lux marine toilet

Date: 1950s
Overall: 780 x 530 x 450 mm
Medium: Ceramic, wood, metal
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Harvey Halvorsen
Object Name: Marine toilet
Object No: 00045356

User Terms

    HistoryIn 1945 Halvorsen Boats Pty Ltd purchased land at Bobbin Head as a base for their hire fleet. They began with a small fleet of eighteen boats mostly rowing skiffs and by the mid 1950s had expanded to 150 boats including open launches, 12-foot (3.65m) rowing skiffs and motor cruisers ranging in size from 21-feet to 30-feet (6.4-9.1m). In the late 1950s a line of 36-foot (10.97m) cruisers was added.

    In its hey day 63 cruisers were available for hire making it the largest private hire fleet in the world catering to celebrity visitors and holiday makers. A large staff included shipwrights, painters and general hands cleaned the boats, serviced the engines and restocked the vessels with fuel, crockery, ice, linen and fresh water.

    The hire fleet operated until February 2003 when factors such as an aging fleet, competition from houseboats, increasing insurance premiums and the expense of adding holding tanks to the marine toilets to prevent sewerage discharging into the waterways, forced Harvey Halvorsen to close down the hire fleet service and sell off the remaining boats. The 9m cruisers sold for $59,000 and the 12m cruisers for $89,000.

    The appeal of a Halvorsen hire cruiser was their reputation for being easy to handle, structurally sound and convenient for the novice as the driver did not need a special licence or previous experience.

    Hiring fees were based on the size of the boat so the more passengers the cheaper per head to rent a cruiser.

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