THE INSIDE STORY
THE SILVER CLOUD
The Silver Cloud
THE SILVER CLOUD - Excerpt from The Hardy Bay News (Gosford), Dec. 2009
As the historic 70 year old timber motor cruiser made its way into Hardys Bay, an admiring
onlooker likened the grand entry to an “operatic diva sweeping onto the stage for yet another
rousing encore”. The 20.6-metre - or 67 ft 7 in - Silver Cloud was designed by Harold Halvorsen and launched in 1939. Meticulously restored to world-class standard in more recent times, it nevertheless represents an example of delightful contradictions where the designing values of the
past and present are evenly divided. It is this sweet conspiracy of the old and new which
generates this special aura.The vessel is stunning, with a dominance of glistening white paint and chrome, contrasting with varnished timber, teak decks and canvas awnings.
The Silver Cloud is currently moored at Point Frederick and owned by businessman, Robert Hunter who purchased the cruiser 4 years ago and regularly calls into Hardys Bay to visit friends. With its stylish, sleek lines, it is truly a sight to behold.The gentlemen's cruiser ' enjoys a generous main saloon, a dining area that seats 8, roomy galley, 3 double cabins each with a double bed, a double
V berth which sleeps 4 and expansive outdoor entertaining areas on the bridge and fly decks, a rare sight in today's modern vessels. There is an abundance of storage space which includes an engine room housing a well-equipped marine workshop with outboard motors, diving gear, refrigeration, generators and a fully-equipped laundry.
The vessel has all modern conveniences including state of the art electronics, navigation, air conditioning, refrigeration, sanitary systems, etc.Throughout the years, The Silver Cloud has
enjoyed the enviable reputation of being referred to as the ' Jewel of Sydney Harbour ' and the
pride of the Halvorsen fleet. It has hosted royalty on a number of occasions, is believed to have
been Australia's first floating casino, has featured in film documentaries and has been used for
numerous charity purposes.
Many of its army of admirers would be aware of the heroic contribution it made on our country’s behalf during the second world war when Japanese midget submarines entered Sydney Harbour on the fateful evening of May 31st, 1942. At the time, a number of Halvorsen owners with boats exceeding 40 feet in length were requested by the authorities to hand over their vessels to assist the war effort. One of these was The Silver Cloud which was 'decked out ' in naval colours and fitted with depth charges and Vickers machine guns.
As a member of the ' Hollywood Fleet ' ( as the glamorous Halvorsen vessels were popularly
described ), Silver Cloud was honoured with the Mentioned in Despatches citation over the pursuit, and eventual sinking, of two of the three submarines which had penetrated the harbour
At the conclusion of the war, The Silver Cloud was severely burnt in an engine room fire at the Balmoral Naval Station before being returned to her owner. She was subsequently acquired by the
Halvorsen family who gradually restored the vessel to her old status as a ' gentlemen's cruiser'.
The more recent restorations so lovingly administered by Robert Hunter should ensure that this stately vessel continues to weave its special colours and charm for at least another 70 years.