KONG & HALVORSEN

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

THE ORIGIN OF THE ISLAND GYPSY NAME BY HARVEY HALVORSEN

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.


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