Boat Name: Hoona
Build Year: 1960
Length: Approximately 23 ft - 24 ft (not 100% sure)
Engine: 318 Chrysler V8
We acquired this 1960 Halvorsen sea skiff in early 2014, after finding it in Lovett Bay (Pittwater). Unfortunately, the boat had been poorly maintained for several years, but was thankfully kept afloat by a local boat builder until we took it out of the water.
After being contacted by several people since (including a former owner, and the boat builder that built the hull of this boat at Halvorsen, we have been able to confirm that this boat is in fact Hoona, and it was built new for a John Heine (who ran John Heine & Sons engineering company in Sydney Australia). We have found out there were several boats of this style built, so initially we were questioning exactly which boat this was. It is a very unique and attractive design when compared to some of the other sea skiffs of the era.
We are told that this boat's original engine was a 318 Chrysler V8, giving the boat a top speed of 30 knotts. The original engine did not come with the boat, however in 2015 we subsequently managed to track down an original Chrysler engine with Halvorsen tags, so looks like we can do a really genuine restoration to original spec.
A previous owner contacted us advising he had owned the boat in 1985 - and has several images of the boat he can share with us, which we will upload here shortly. He also noted that the boat was featured in an article of "Modern Boating " magazine, and we will try to obtain an article copy of that.
Everything else on the boat is original, and includes all Halvorsen badging, and confirmation that the boat was built by Halvorsen and Sons on a plaque above the helm. The superstructure of the boat is teak, and we have put a layer of varnish on that to preserve it for the time being (It had not been treated for some years we believe). The boat has all original instruments, and fit out (Bunks, kitchen, toilet etc. It even has its original copper fuel and water tanks - which in themselves would be worth a fair bit for the material!
The unfortunate thing is that this Halvorsen has suffered from a substantial amount of rot in the decks / roofing. The top roof has recently been removed, to be completely replaced. The front deck roof appears to be fine, however, all of the decks themselves will need to be replaced, before we start to work on the hull. The boat has a clinker hull, and only the planks above the waterline appear to be damaged. The planks are plywood, and have started peeling / separating, and therefore most will need replacement.
The project has a long way to go, but once complete, it will be better than new, and one of the most unique (and fastest) Halvorsens in existence.
Please contact us if you have any information on the history of this boat, it would be greatly appreciated (including old pictures). We have found one image on the Halvorsen boat club website, (see last image). Really looks to be the exact same boat, however, the one in the photo appears to be called gypsy - whilst this one was meant to be Hoona???
Update 2016: We found an article in tradeaboat.com.au with another sister boat "Maree II". See the last image attached with the article - It has virtually an identical hull and superstructure (other than the front round port holes). Interestingly, it mentions Maree II's sister boat, "Gypsy", but there is no mention of "Hoona". According to the article, the boats were utilised for offshore fishing competitions.