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Harvey Halvorsen

1939 -

Institution: Halvorsen Boats Pty Limited
During World War II, Harvey Halvorsen started working at the age of four in the family boat yard at Lars Halvorsen Sons Pty Ltd on the Parramatta River, Ryde. He left school at 14 to become an apprentice, initially working at the Bobbin Head facility and later at the Ryde boat yard as a fitter and machinist. When he was 18 Harvey was introduced to vessel design by his father Harold Halvorsen, Managing Director and chief designer for Lars Halvorsen Sons Pty Ltd. After completing his apprenticeship in 1959, Harvey worked in England with the Marine Engine Division of The British Motor Corporation and visited the Chrysler Marine Engine in the United States before returning to Australia to take up full time designing work under the guidance of his father.

Harvey gradually took over designing vessels ranging in size from 20 ft (6.09 m) to over 100 ft (30.48 m). He specialised in hard chine Vee-bottom boats and created the Viking 25 ft (7.62 m), 32 ft (9.75 m) and 40 ft (12.19 m) range. In 1967 he built ATTUNGA, the first offshore oil rig crew boat built in Australia. He also designed and built the 90 ft (27.43 m) motor cruiser EMMA, the largest recreational boat built by Lars Halvorsen Sons Pty Ltd. Harvey designed 26 ft (7.92 m), 32 ft (9.75 m) and 40 ft (12.19 m) launches for the New South Wales Water Police. In 1970 Harvey turned his sights to the American market designing and building 62 ft (18.90 m) and 66 ft (20.11 m) motor cruisers.

In 1975 Lars Halvorsen Sons Pty Ltd went offshore with a Hong Kong based joint venture. Kong & Halvorsen Marine and Engineering Co Ltd built a range of Island Gypsy pleasure trawlers designed by Harvey Halvorsen. This was followed by another joint venture with the China Merchants Steam Navigation Company and A Fai Engineers of Hong Kong to form Jiang Hua Marine & Engineering Ltd based in Shekou on the Chinese mainland. Here recreational boats were built to Halvorsen designs using Halvorsen technical support and then sent to the Hong Kong for checking before being exported around the world. This yard also built commercial ferries. In 1986 Kong and Halvorsen was purchased by the Halvorsens and renamed Halvorsen Boats Pty Ltd with Harvey as Managing Director. Harvey also ran a US based dealer network for the Island Gypsy range and continued designing.

In 2000 Harvey Halvorsen returned to Australia and took over the Bobbin Head marina after the death of his father. In 2006 Halvorsen Boats Pty Ltd sold the marina and Harvey retired as General Manager.