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Silver Cloud

Vessel Number: HV000401
Date: 1939
Vessel Dimensions: 19.81 m x 18.82 m x 5.06 m x 1.52 m (65 ft x 61.75 ft x 16.6 ft x 5 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
SILVER CLOUD is a luxury Lars Halvorsen Sons bridge-deck cruiser from 1939. It has always been associated with Sydney and the nearby coastal areas. The vessel is the largest surviving Halvorsen built bridge-deck cruiser and showpieces the type of magnificent craft that were the epitome of classic boating in the middle of the 20th century. There were few craft of this calibre in private ownership in Australia, and the Halvorsen firm built most of the type. SILVER CLOUD saw war service from 1941 to 1945, and was rebuilt in the late 1940s after a fire destroyed the superstructure and interior. It then became well known around Sydney and Pittwater under a succession of owners and remains an eye-catching cruiser after a complete overhaul and restoration between 2007 and 2010.

DescriptionSILVER CLOUD was commissioned from Lars Halvorsen Sons by Jack Bruce, a well known Sydney identity. It was his third cruiser from the same firm, and was designed by Harold Halvorsen. The cruiser was job number 209 and begun in May 1938. It has an Oregon carvel planked hull, and was originally fitted with two Buda diesel engines from Chicago USA. The bridge deck style superstructure was a favoured arrangement allowing entertaining in the saloon or outside on the bridge deck.

It was launched in 1939 and soon after chartered by American publisher Cleveland Putman for his honeymoon cruise on the Great Barrier Reef. The Second World War broke out later that year and during 1941 it was requisitioned by the Government and became part of the RAN as HMAS SILVER CLOUD with the number 52. As part of the so-called Hoolywood Fleet of luxury cruisers pressed into service, it was called to action during the Japanese Mini-Submarine attack in Sydney Harbour in May 1942, and later served as a patrol launch off Port Kembla.

After the war it caught fire while awaiting transfer back to Jack Bruce. The superstructure and hull were severely damaged, and it was bought by Halvorsens for 700 pounds and rebuilt at their Ryde yard. During the reconstruction they left some of the charred frames in place, and they are still visible today.

SILVER CLOUD was then bought by Stan Oldfield, but a year later it was sold to Norman Hannan. Under Hannan's ownership it began a decade long association with Sydney Harbour as a 'glamour craft', a relationship that continued under different owners. It was kept in top condition, and cruised extensively on the harbour and offshore doing short coastal trips. Hannan kept it the Royal Motor Yacht Club, but under Bob Ibbotson's ownership it became the flagship for the St George Motor Boat Club at Botany Bay. Dr Derek Freeman then returned it to the RMYC and his family used it for their holidays and entertaining.

Freeman was a significant supporter of Halvorsen craft and formed the Halvorsen Club during his ownership of SILVER CLOUD. He also added the flying bridge which fitted in seamlessly with the elegant profile, and gave it a slightly raked stem. When Dr Freeman purchased a newer, similar sized Halvorsen, KANAHOEE (renamed SILVER CLOUD II and listed as HV000025) the new owner of SILVER CLOUD Gary Rothwell refitted the interior and installed two Cummins diesels.

The current owner bought SILVER CLOUD in late 2005, and decided to completely overhaul the vessel. This was undertaken in Port Macquarie over an almost four year period, and the SILVER CLOUD now graces Sydney Harbour once again in immaculate condition. Early in 2010 it was given the honour of a relaunch gathering at the Australian National Maritime Museum, where past owners and members of the Halvorsen family joined guests to celebrate the return of SILVER CLOUD as a flagship for the heritage of Lars Halvorsen Sons and Australian boat building.

Vessel Details
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:timber planked
Current status:floating
Current status:operational
Deck layout:cabin
Deck layout:multiple decks
Deck material and construction:timber planked
Hull material and construction:carvelcarvel-planked
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:plumb stemvertical stem
Hull shape:plumb transomvertical transom
Hull shape:round bottom
Hull shape:semi-displacement
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:launch deadwood
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:skeg rudder
Motor propulsion:diesel
Motor propulsion:inboard
Motor propulsion:motor vesselMV
Related materials:news clippings
Related materials:photos
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:wheel
ship:Byzantine ships:ships:ships:wheelhouse
Alternate Numbers

Vessel Registration Number: 56657

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