Kong & Halvorsen Marine & Engineering Company, Ltd.
HF: “In the 1960s Harold’s Halvorsen’s son Harvey became the company designer [of Lars Halvorsen Sons Pty. Ltd] and in 1975 he formed a joint venture between Lars Halvorsen Sons Pty. Ltd. and Joseph Kong, former General Manager of American Marine Company, in Hong Kong to design, build and market a new range of pleasure boats worldwide. The company was called Kong & Halvorsen Marine & Engineering Company, Ltd.” (1)
By the 1960s Harold’s son Harvey’s exceptional design skills were added to the talent base, and in 1975 a joint venture company was formed in Hong Kong to design, build and market a new range of pleasure boats worldwide. The company was called “Kong & Halvorsen Marine & Engineering Company” and over the next decade would build hundreds of the craft ranging from 30′ to 80′ under the “Kong & Halvorsen” and “Island Gypsy ” brand names.
By the early eighties production had moved across the border to Southern China, and to the present day over 900 Halvorsen Boats have been built and exported worldwide. (2)
Many thanks to Thomas Sposato for sending the article below. And also to Peter Wong who typed it out.
“Joseph HH Kong began his boat building career many years ago, as the very first employee of American Marine, builders of Grand Banks and Alaskan motor yachts. When I first met him, in 1972, he was in charge of the company’s wooden boat plant at Hong Kong’s Junk Bay. Having been shown through that sweet-smelling shop where some 1,500 craftsmen were framing, planking, and finishing extraordinarily handsome yachts, I commented to Kong that quality control seemed to be one of his strong points.
“Oh yes,” he said, opening a file drawer and pulling out a folder at random, “each boat has its own quality control record. Go ahead, take a look.” I leafed through a considerable sheaf of inspectors’ reports, and noticed that this particular boat, hull No. 431, had failed one inspection because of a portion of a thumb print in the transom varnish near the waterline. Obviously, Kong had a eye for detail.
When American Marine stopped building wooden yachts and concentrated on fiberglass construction in its Singapore plant, Kong formed a partnership with Australian Harvey Halvorsen and, with some of his key people, moved to another site in Junk Bay. Here, and in the nearby Shekou Industrial Zone in the People’s Republic of China, the firm builds fiberglass sportfishermen, trawler yachts, and motor yachts from 30′ to 110′ l.o.a. [the maximum length of a vessel’s hull measured parallel to the waterline] as well as the Frers-designed Dawn 48 ketch. The yard also does custom work (sometimes in other materials), most recently a 130′ motor yacht.” (3)
- Lars Halvorsen Sons Pty. Ltd – wikipedia
- Yachting Magazine, Apr 1985
This article was first posted on 16th November 2016.
- http://www.halvorsenboats.com/history-of-island-gypsy/ – article by Harvey Halvorsen
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