Relaunched in 2019 this iconic Australian brand has been successful around the world and are ideally suited to couples who enjoy entertaining onboard and the quiet pleasure of coastal cruising. Constructed to meticulous specifications at the purpose-built factory, under the watchful eye of many of the original management and craftspeople involved in building Island Gypsy boats, not far from the original Island Gypsy facility, the brand comprises 4 model lines, the popular 400 sedan, 460 sedan as well as the 500 series and the new 650 all of which are currently under construction.
Seasoned motor yacht designer and dealer, Brett Flanagan is Director and CEO.
He has decades of experience within the marine industry. His mechanical engineering expertise was crucial for the brand’s point of difference.
Island Gypsy Yachts traces its roots back to over 130 years ago, when Halvorsen Boats were launched in Norway in 1887 by Halvor Andersen. His son, Lars joined the family business, and after some difficult times he moved to South Africa in 1922 and began a boat repair business.
A few years later, Lars and his family relocated to Australia, settling in Sydney. There the Halvorsen name became synonymous with quality and style in the boat building industry.
During WWII, Halvorsen Boats built many boats for the Allied Forces, including Air-Sea Rescue crafts to defend Sydney Harbour. Halvorsen also built 11 110 foot “Fairmile B” cruisers for the war effort. These saw active service in the north of Australia and in New Guinea area.
Lars passed away in 1936, and the business passed to his eldest son Harold, and he became Managing Director of the newly formed Lars Halvorsen Sons, Pty. Ltd. He continued to design pleasure, commercial and military vessels – he was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in 2000 in recognition of his contribution to the war effort.
Following the end of the war, the family moved the business to Bobbin Head in Sydney, where they built a fleet of over two hundred hire boats. This hire boat operation was the world’s largest privately owned fleet at the time!
In 2000, ninety of their classic boats held a regatta on the Hawkesbury River to mark the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the family in Australia and Harold Halvorsen’s ninetieth birthday.
In 1962, Lars Halvorsen Sons, Pty. Ltd built Gretel the first Australian challenger for the America’s Cup, and following that Lars’ sons Trygve and Magnus Halvorsen won three Sydney to Hobart races while sailing Freya designed by Trygve and built by Lars Halvorsen Sons, Pty. Ltd.
They still hold the record for three consecutive Sydney to Hobart wins.
During this 1970s, Harold’s son Harvey became the new designer for the business, and in 1975 he orchestrated a venture between his family business and global marine heavyweight Joseph Kong, former General Manager of American Marine Company. This new project was to design, build and market a brand-new range of pleasure boats all over the world.
Harvey started with a new 30-foot design, and whilst designing the vessel he began to brainstorm names for the brand. He wanted to sell a lifestyle, so began gaining inspiration from thoughts of cruising the Great Barrier Reef, and other exotic lands with girls in Hula skirts. He wanted to avoid using the Halvorsen name in case the range was ever sold, as he didn’t want to sell the Halvorsen brand – out of nowhere he came up with the name Island Gypsy. He created the concept for the new logo, taking inspiration from the popular crossed flags theme, which seemed to be very fashionable on large Motor Yachts in the USA market. Years later, he found out that in 1948 the family business had actually built a large boat for the tourist market with the name Island Gypsy to be used on the Great Barrier Reef. He was just 9 years old, so this name had obviously remained with him in the back of his mind, just for this moment.
Kong & Halvorsen Marine & Engineering Company, Ltd built many of boats at a purpose-built factory in China over the next 20 years ranging in size from 9.1 metres to over 40 metres, under the Island Gypsy brand. Following the contact with the Chinese government expiring in the early 2000s, the factory closed but Harvey and his son Mark Halvorsen continued with their boat building business by contracting to approved boat yards, launching new additional models.
Relaunched in 2019 the iconic Australian Island Gypsy brand of motorised yachts has been successful around the world, and is ideally suited to couples and families who enjoy entertaining onboard and the quiet pleasure of coastal cruising.
Constructed to meticulous specifications at the purpose-built factory, under the watchful eye of many of the original management and craftspeople involved in building the original Island Gypsy boats, not far from the original facility, the brand comprises 4 model lines, the popular 400 sedan, 460 sedan as well as the 500 series and the new 650 all of which are currently under construction.
Blending the allure of the classic lines of a ‘down east’ style cruiser with advanced engineering and unique Python Drive technology which results in close to silent cruising, the Island Gypsy range of semi-custom motor yachts builds on the seaworthiness and seafaring spirit of this iconic brand. Island Gypsy Motor Yachts glide through the water effortlessly with optimal fuel economy, making them the ideal family cruiser for those who enjoy the journey as much as the destination.
0414 997 654
Gold Coast City Marina, Waterways Drive, Pier H