Now under new ownership the Christensen Shipyard in Vancouver Washington is about to prove it is back from the dead.
Just over a year after closing its gates on workers the shipyard is about to launch the 50 metre Silver Lining. The launch will mark an especially poignant moment for the 120 Christensen Shipyards’ employees, who only 15 months ago had lost their jobs by the closure of the shipyard.
Jim Gilbert, Christensen’s new president, said, “All of us in management, and particularly the two people who stepped up to purchase the yard’s assets out of receivership, feel blessed that so many of our best people hung in there through those tough times and were able to rejoin the new company when it was formed last summer. Silver Lining is the real symbol of the rebirth of the company and a testimonial to the extraordinary boatbuilding skills of an extremely talented and dedicated workforce.”
Henry Luken, chairman and now principal owner of the resurrected shipyards, says he’s particularly proud of the fact that so many of the yard’s former senior employees—supervisors, shop foremen, project managers, engineers and naval architects—have returned to the company.
Noting that the yard’s workforce now totals among them more than 1,000 man-years of experience, Luken remarks, “We’re boat builders. That’s what we love to do. The goal of our new company is to streamline every aspect of the building process to support the people who build the boats and those who buy the boats we build. We want our customers to have as much enjoyment during the process of construction as the exceptional artisans who create them.”
A three-time Christensen owner himself, Luken says, “I’ve been on both sides of the table, as client and as builder. I know how to simplify the purchasing and building experience. My personal experience enables me to create a culture in which clients have the real-time information they need to feel confident every minute of the construction process.”
Joining Silver Lining at sea this summer will be Chasseur, a fully MCA-compliant 50 metre yacht that will be launched in June.
While the two yachts are similar in length, Silver Lining features enormous interior volume beautifully finished with traditional high-gloss black walnut woodwork.
By contrast, Chausseur offers the slightly smaller interior spaces dictated by the MCA rules, but a light, highly contemporary sycamore interior design highlighted by elegant teak soles and dramatic baths uniquely finished with brilliantly hued onyx and marble.
Both yachts are expected to be on display at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show this coming November.