AOMA – 30′ Halvorsen ‘Special’




AOMA – 30′ Halvorsen ‘Special’

Aoma was launched in May 1963 & was build # 1185 for the Halvorsen company, in fact the last special built.
Aoma is in fact unlike most of these Australian woodys in that her hull was splined & the helm was on the starboard side rather than port.

The photos above of Aoma are ex Peter Arnold & show case the classic Halvorsen design, you either love or dislike these Australian classics, me ? I love them. They have a very strong class association & most are presented in a similar standard to Aoma. Most do not see much blue water, to be found cruising the inner & protected upper harbours. I believe the A-Cup man Iain Murray owns the largest Halvorsen built.

They represent good value for money on the market – but I’m not sure on the Aussie laws re exporting them ?

UPDATE: The photo below is of Iain Murray’s 60′ Halvorsen – Tooronga. Her designer Carl Halvorsen spec exported Tooronga to the States in 1949. The story goes that Carl was lunching in the Newport Yacht Club & a fellow diner saw Tooronga tied up outside – he immediately called a club steward & sent a blank cheque across the room to Carl on a silver tray. Carl returned the keys on the same tray – sale made 🙂
Ian Murray bought Tooronga in 1992 & returned her to Australian waters & commissioned a magnificent restoration.
You can read, see more on the boats here

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details & photos ex Ken Ricketts
36 ft long, circa 10 ft 6″ beam, built of 2 skins of Kauri, one full length,  & one diagonal, by Alan Williams, at Milford Creek, circa 1950, either built for, or bought, when almost new, by Len Pepper of Lake Rd Takapuna, a substantial building contractor of the day.
A beautiful example of Alan Williams work, with a low profile, & real balance & individuality in her exterior styling.
One thing however they sacrificed a little headroom for the low profile, & taller people would have to bend a little inside her. She had a very “open plan” layout with open bulkheads, from one section of the boat to another, with the engine under a box in the centre of the bridgedeck, fairly well forward, as indicated by the side exhaust outlet, in the above pic I took, circa 1951.
Sadly, from the perspective of  lovely low profile & aesthetic balance, she has been “modified” through the years with the combings raised & the beautiful varnish work now long since painted (such a shame, in my view, as the varnished combings gave all classic boats such character, as perhaps many would agree), & whilst still fairly recognisable, unfortunately, her beautiful lines have been lost, also the addition of a flying bridge did not help.
She was originally powered by an 8 cyl in line, Buick petrol engine, with a label on the side push rod cover, saying, “Buick Detroit Marine,” however notwithstanding the label, I feel it may well have been added, by the person, or people, who actually marinised the engine, as a “one off,” as I have never seen or heard of another one.
The current engine, when I last saw her, about 1 &1/2 years ago, was a 6 cyl Ford Diesel, & she was living at Port Fitzroy, Great Barrier Island, being used, more or less, just as transport, & for a little fishing, by a family living there.  She could have done with some TLC at that time.
I know she belonged to a plumbing contractor in the mid 1980s, as I was aboard her, at Mansion House Bay wharf, at Kawau Island, one day, when he was the owner.

Nov 2013- Ken Ricketts Update – She has been owned for many years by “Bruno” A Swiss gentleman & his wife, who live at Port Fitzroy Gt Barrier Island & as you can see, in the “before & now”  pics., she has sadly had very substantial changes & has lost the “bloom of youth,” she had, when I took the first pics In 1951.

One intersting thing I picked up on, in my recent inspection is, that she is built of 2 opposite diagonal skins of Kauri, which is not that common & is different from her sister ship Juanita, which the outer skin fore & aft & the inner skin diagonal which is more usual.

The colour photos was taken on the hard stand at Gulf Harbour (Nov 2013) where she is presently having a little TLC.

The present owners use her for transport to & from their home & Bruno also goes fishing of a few days at a time from time to time to the Broken Islands, Kawau, etc., & enjoys living aboard & cruising in the usual way, as well as the essential transport aspect. He has owned for around 20 years.

Updated photo 15/01/2015 ex Colin Pawson

Updated photo 15/01/2015. This ones an Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta photo, the 18 footers race, ex the National Libarary. Ex Nathan Herbert.


15-03-2016 photos below ex Ken Ricketts, hauled out at Gulf Harbour. Looking a lot smarter post her visit to Geoff Bagnall’s yard.


At Gulf Harbour – Dec 2020 – photos ex K Ricketts