Boat Building Tradition

The family boat building tradition can be traced to the Norwegian coastline around Arendal and Grimstad, where Halvor Anderson followed local tradition and built boats during the savage winter months when farming activities were restricted. The love of the sea and the heritage of boatbuilding are still fundamental to this region and in February 1887, Halvor was blessed with a son, Lars. The Halvorsen surname adopted by Lars follows the accepted Norwegian tradition of using the father’s first name and being “son of “-sen, hence Halvorsen.

Lars built his first boat in 1903 at the age of 16 and it soon became apparent that boats would his forte. He designed and built boats for the local market, travelled to America for further experience, and returned to Norway, where he took advantage of a boatbuilding boom caused by the First World War. A post-war slump saw Halvorsen family eventually relocate to Cape Town, South Africa, however Lars was uncertain of the family opportunities in South Africa and, following the highly regarded advice of a business associate, he investigated Sydney in late 1924.