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Iconic Halvorsen’s Return to Water at The Boat Works

Iconic Halvorsen’s Return to Water at The Boat Works

The Boat Works hosted the official splashdown of three iconic Halvorsen timber motor yachts, returning to water after three years of meticulous restoration works.

An important part of Australian boat building history, Halvorsen boats have been a common sight on waterways around the country for close to 100 years. Lars Halvorsen Sons is considered one of the most famous names in Australian marine engineering.

Lars, the son of Halvor Anderson, a Norwegian farmer and boat builder, arrived in Australia in 1924. With his sons, Lars built a successful boatbuilding and repair business, launching their first boat, Sirius at Drummoyne, before setting up shop in Neutral Bay and then Ryde.

Over the decades, they built 1,299 craft and made the Halvorsen name an Australian byword for quality and style.

Russell Salisbury, Shipwright and owner of Russell Marine Maintenance, oversaw the restoration of these majestic motor yachts: MY Memory, MY Anna and his own vessel, MY Glenorie – a mammoth task spanning three years, due in part to the pandemic.

“It was a coincidence, really, that all three boats came to be in our shed at The Boat Works.

I found Glenorie at a Marina, near Runaway Bay in 2020, and she was just days away from sinking.

Cole and Abby, who own Memory, were married in 2020, but because of the pandemic, couldn’t travel for their honeymoon, so they bought a classic timber boat and set about restoring her.

And, John has owned Anna for about 25 years, and decided it was time to refurbish her. All the factors came together – time, budget, skills and passion. We worked together on them and shared the journey, said Russell.

The scope of works included replacing the steering, installing new cabin tops and full roof fabrication, intricate refinishing and respray works, resealing windows, tap and sink fixtures restored, new diesel engines, new interiors and superb upholstery, teak duckboards, and much more.

Trades involved include Russell Marine Maintenance, 143 Boat Building, Kingfisher Cruisers, Choice Stainless, Craft Coverings, Moreton Bay Boat Works and Spraytech Marine.

For Russell, who grew up boating on the Gold Coast in all kinds of craft, the appeal of the Halvorsen is both aesthetic and historic. “I’ve always loved timber boats. There’s something enduring and calming about them. The craftsmanship, the clever design and simplicity of operation. For people who understand the allure, it’s about the voyage, not the destination. They have a special hull shape that means they are never going to go fast. They’re a day cruiser or weekender and cruise along at about 8 knots – and they’re ideal for the canals and the Broadwater.”

Also on display at the launch of the Halvorsen Trilogy was the impeccably restored Halvorsen 44, ‘Septima’, which is for sale through Alexander Marine.

“People reminisce about their childhood, growing up on similar boats. Looking around on launch day, seeing all the families there and people from all walks of life, it was very heartening. It made all the effort worthwhile.”

“There is nothing like a classic timber boat for attracting attention,” says Russell, who is the authorised agent for the Grand Banks and Palm Beach brands of motor yachts.

The boutique marine businesses at The Boat Works have earned a reputation for quality shipwright and vessel maintenance service and timber refinishing works, from small repairs through to major project management. To find out about the boat yard services and onsite trades, visit


Published in print January-March 2024

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