Christensen yard bounces back as 50-metre is prepared for launch in May, and the yard is preparing another 50-metre for launch in June.
The 50-metre Christensen Silver Lining (above) will feature spacious interior volumes, and will be be finished with traditional high-gloss black walnut woodwork. Built as Hull No 36, the yacht will be launched into Christensen’s five-acre lagoon, which will be her new home during four weeks of trials on the sea and the Colorado River.
Silver Lining’s arrival – on time and on budget – is a welcome sign of strength from a yard under new ownership, and will be an especially poignant moment for Christensen Shipyards’ employees, who only 15 months earlier had lost their jobs by the closure of the shipyard. “I can’t imagine the angst and the hardship our workers suffered when they arrived at work and found the gates locked,” says Jim Gilbert, Christensen’s new president. “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 principal owner of new Christensen Shipyards LLC, says he’s 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 at Christensen. “We’re boatbuilders. 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,” he says.
A three-time Christensen owner himself, he adds: “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.”
The 50-metre Chasseur, which follows Silver Lining down the ways in June, boasts a light, contemporary sycamore interior design. Both yachts will be on show at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show in November. “These two boats will provide prospective clients and the yachting industry with a dramatic showcase of Christensen’s dedication to quality as well as to the diversity of our boatbuilding capabilities,” says Jim Gilbert.