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Kong & Halvorsen boat building factory main office building in Clearwater Bay Hong Kong. c1976.


When we started the Joint Venture with Joseph Kong in 1975, I decided to start designing a range of boats to build and market through our dealer network. At this stage, American Marine was in bankruptcy and I felt that we could design and build a better and more attractive range, and never dreamt that we would one day end up in competition with them.

I decided to start with a 30 foot design, and while I was drawing it out of nowhere came the name "ISLAND GYPSY". I thought this was perfect as it conjured up thoughts of cruising the Great Barrier Reef and other exotic lands with girls in Hula skirts. I had been thinking of a name to call our boats in case one day we wanted to sell out, as I would never have considered selling the Halvorsen name.

After settling on the name I contacted the dealers for an opinion, and all of them were delighted with the name except our dealer in Newport Beach California, who was also a very good friend of mine. He was worried that customers may link the name to the Romany Gypsy's of Europe, who were not particularly honest. I wouldn't budge on the name, so "ISLAND GYPSY" it was.

Next on the agenda was designing the logo and I settled on the crossed flags theme which was popular in the U.S.A. on large Motor Yachts. The letters on the flags are "K" and "H" to tie in with Kong & Halvorsen. Several years later I suddenly remembered that we had restored a large boat by that name and thought that this had possibly been the source of the inspiration. Much later I found out that we had built the boat in 1948 for the tourist trade on the Great Barrier Reef, when I was just 9 years old.