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ANMM Collection

Collection of 161 photographs of the Halvorsen cruiser KU-RING-GAI

Date: September 1999
Medium: 35mm coloured photographic slide
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Copyright: © Australian National Maritime Museum
Classification:Photographs
Object Name: Archive series
Object No: ANMS1080

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    Description
    This collection of 161 colour transparencies were taken by Brendan Read in 1999. They feature the luxury Halvorsen cruiser KU-RING-GAI.
    HistoryLars Halvorsen (1887-1936) was a Norwegian boat builder who, after struggling to create a successful boat-building business, migrated firstly to South Africa in 1922, and then after hearing favourable comments about Sydney Harbour, arrived in Australia in 1925. Halvorsen began working from a small rented boat shed in Drummoyne with his eldest son Harold. His first commission was a yacht, and Halvorsen quickly received more work constructing cruising racers. He also began building the first of several ‘Missionary boats’ for the Seventh Day Adventist church. Needing larger premises, the fledgling business moved to a boat shed at Careening Cove, and in 1927 to Lloyd’s yard at Neutral Bay.

    In 1928 Lars Halvorsen built Sydney’s first trailer boat - a dinghy with an outboard motor. In the same year, Halvorsen was given the commission to build the MIRAMAR II. Described in the press as a ‘floating palace’, it was a 75 foot sea-going motor cruiser and was reportedly the largest and most luxurious boat on Sydney Harbour.

    The Halvorsens rented boats and established a speedboat joyride operation on Sydney Harbour during the 1930s and Halvorsen built boats gained an increasing reputation for their quality workmanship. In 1940 Lars Halvorsen Sons Pty Ltd purchased a five acre property on the Parramatta River at Ryde and production moved from the Neutral Bay boatshed, which was retained as a service branch, to the new boatshed. The Ryde facility was the largest boatyard in the southern hemisphere, with an engineering section, blacksmith and lumber shops, stores, machine shop, plumbers shop, sheet metal shop, fueling facilities and five slip-ways for craft up to 90 feet and 100 tons.

    During World War II owners of boats over 40 feet in length were asked to hand over their vessels to the government for the war effort and were refitted for military use. The momentum of war time production continued into the 1950s with the manufacture of cruisers and the subsequent establishment of a large hire fleet at Bobbin Head, on Pittwater north of Sydney in the late 1940s. During the 1950s, ‘hiring a Halvorsen’ and taking a trip up the Hawkesbury River became something of a Sydney institution.

    The Halvorsens were well known for their Bridge deck cruisers, creating their first, IOLANTHE, in 1933. The 47 foot KU-RING-GAI, originally named the SIEGLINDE, was launched in 1952. Originally powered by twin Chrysler Crowns, KU-RING-GAI now operates under diesel power.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: Collection of 161 photographs of the Halvorsen cruiser KU-RING-GAI

    Collection title: Commissioned Halvorsen photographs collection

    Related People
    Photographer: Brendan Read

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