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A new Gourmet Cruiser

Australian builder Halvorsen Boats went home to build its new 38 Gourmet Cruiser. The company has built boats on five continents in its 135-year history, and construction of most of its existing line takes place in Asia. However, the entire process of producing the new 38-footer — from engineering to construction to sales — happens Down Under.

“We wanted mainly to have all our eggs in one basket,” says Harvey Halvorsen, managing director of Halvorsen Boats and the designer of the new cruiser.

Most of the Halvorsen boats to come out of Asian yards in the last few years have been trawler-style vessels, according to Halvorsen, so the fast, maneuverable 38-foot planing cruiser will be a departure from recent history. But Halvorsen points out that he has designed many swift police boats, patrol boats and offshore oil crew boats over the years.

Halvorsen says he emphasized single-engine propulsion when designing the 38, which hits a top speed of 30 mph with a 440-hp Yanmar diesel, and cruises at 23 mph. The Gourmet Cruiser is quite economical, Halvorsen says, burning about 11 gallons of fuel per hour. (Twin 240-hp diesels are available as an option.)

It is also a good, stable sea boat, he says. The 38 shows handsome, traditional lines, with a gently sweeping sheer, a series of oval portholes along the sides of the cabin top, a tall bow rail, and teak accents. The superstructure is off-white. Hull colors include blue, red, yellow, green, white and black.

Halvorsen calls the Gourmet Cruiser a very simple boat, with the galley up and large windows in the pilothouse. It also is available in a galley-down configuration and with one or two cabins. The full head with shower is below and to port. An optional extended hardtop to cover the cockpit is available, and a flybridge version of the 38 will be available soon, according to the company.

Halvorsen says he began work on the initial Gourmet Cruiser 32 in 1998 while living in the United States. “I came up with the name Gourmet Cruiser to sort of poke fun at the picnic boats,” he says, adding that he wanted to produce a boat that was more versatile than a picnic boat. He jokes that the Gourmet Cruiser is better suited for champagne and caviar than beer and sandwiches.

“We’ve been noted for our classic style of boats,” Halvorsen says of the family boatbuilder, whose history dates back to when wood was the building material of choice. “I wanted to do a boat that has the Halvorsen stamp, but with modern materials.”

Those materials include fiberglass with vinylester resin and a balsa-sandwich core above the waterline, with plenty of teak as a nod to tradition. “To make it look like a real boat,” Halvorsen says.

The company only builds boats to order and has completed three 38 Gourmet Cruisers to date, Halvorsen says. Production is about six months out. He says shipping from Australia to the United States isn’t a problem and that the company is currently looking to add a new U.S. dealer to its network.

The boat carries a five-year hull warranty and sells for $380,000 (U.S.) delivered to the United States, according to Halvorsen.

LOA: 38 feet Beam: 12 feet draft: 3 feet, 3 inches Displacement: 17,600 pounds HULL TYPE: planing TANKAGE: 300 gallons fuel, 100 gallons water ENGINE OPTION: single or twin diesels SPEED: 30 mph top, 23 mph cruise (with single 440-hp Yanmar) SUGGESTED PRICE: $380,000 CONTACT: Halvorsen Boats Pty. Limited, Turramurra, New South Wales, Australia. Phone: (02) 9457 9011.