After nearly 30 years of building yachts in Vancouver, Washington, Christensen Shipyards finishes relocation process within several months, moving to a new facility at Tellico Lake, Tennessee. The move follows a long-lasting court battle between the co-owners of US yard, Dave Christensen and Henry Luken. Yacht Harbour takes a closer look at the story behind the decision.
Dave Christensen founded the Christensen Shipyards, Ltd. in 1985. Since then, the company specialised in building yachts of up to 45 metres LOA and a maximum beam of 10 metres within its 17,000 m2 facility. During the 1990s, affected by general crisis in the industry and high costs of yacht construction, the company’s revenue became inconsistent. Often unable to get bank loans to finance projects, they were selling yachts in advance, with ongoing operations financed by not very frequent customers.
Dave Christensen and Henry Luken first met in 1997, when the latter purchased a yacht from the yard. In 2003, Luken bought 50 percent share of the company’s stock, joining the board of directors. The remaining shares were split between Christensen and his family.
As it was later revealed from the legal filings, the owners parties’ discontent with each other had been raising from that time, as Luken claimed his funds were allocated on company expenses and operations or even ended up missing, instead of being held in trust while the boats were being built. The Christensens argued that Luken demanded large commissions on every yacht sale, reducing the company’s revenue.
In 2006, Luken began construction of another facility at the Tellico Lake in his home state of Tennessee. He aimed to open an eastern division of Christensen yachts, suitable for construction of larger vessels. However, due to economical problems the building was soon frozen. The economic downturn also hit the company’s Vancouver operation, eventually forcing the company to lay off up to 80 percent of its local workforce.
Starting from the end of 2014, multiple creditors began to file notices under the Uniform Commercial Code, declaring interest in the property as collateral for debts. The edge of bankruptcy led Luken to file a lawsuit in 2015 asking for the company to be placed into receivership. After a period of receiveship, the court decided that the best way to repay creditors would have been through selling the company to a buyer willing to keep its operation.
Thus, the shipyard was sold to Luken for $5,500,000 despite objections from the Christensens. The acquisition implied name and all the company’s assets including a long-term lease on the shipyard and reforming Christensen Yachts as a new business entity. The Christensens though argued that Luken
used his financial influence and position on the board to draw the company into receivership so that he could purchase it cheaply.
A second lawsuit between the parties was filed one year later, lasting more than two years until both parties agreed on selling Vancouver facility to Vigor Industries, American shipbuilder and ship repairer, in February, 2019. The latter plans to manufacture a new type of landing craft for the U.S. Army called the Maneuver Support Vessel (Light) at the yard. Vigor plans to start with employing 130 workers and grow up to 400 after a few years, as Christensen used to employ 500 people at the peak.
According to Christensen’s President, Jim Gilbert, the company is now negotiotiating for the first contracts to be implemented within the new facility. The construction processes at the new yard finishes in 6 months, and the company is to come up with some fresh designs models within the time. However, they are going to stick to the traditional focus on large volume boats in general.
The company is currently building a 50-metre Hull 42 at Vancouver facility, but the vessel will be moved to Tennessee this summer for completion. Christensen yachts currently employs about 70, Gilbert said, and all of them are being offered the chance to stay with the company at their current salary if they move to Tennessee.
All in all, members of the Christensen family have not commented on the details of the settlement. According to Luken, it implied a lien on the shipyard property, and that he would receive nearly $ 5,000,000 from the sale. Despite that, Luken still claims that his involvement with the company caused him in an estimated net loss of nearly $15,000,000, largely due to a yacht he bought from the yard, never seeing her delivery.
During the fourteenth edition of Italian Film Festival Cortinametraggio, a movie “The Master Bridge (La Plancia)” was premiered as a tribute made by the Ferretti Group to the genius of Carlo Riva, two years after his death.La PlanciaA 15-minute film celebrates the historic headquarters in Sarnico and Carlo Riva’s famous futuristic office the Plancia, overlooking Lake Iseo. The latter was designed by Riva himself along with architect Giorgio Barilani, and is considered an authentic architectural masterpiece. Carlo Riva was so fond of it that even after he sold the shipyard, he rented La Plancia and continued to use it as his office for almost ten years.The short film also highlights the history of the entire shipyard, telling the story of a young filmmaker, played by actor Gabriele Stella, in search of the secret and the essence of the Riva myth.Following an enlightening tour among the yachts under construction and an interview inside the Plancia with an enigmatic Giorgio Marchesi, who plays the shipyard manager, the young filmmaker grasps the enchanting power of the most famous speedboats in the world. Indeed, master craftsmanship with cutting-edge technologies and innovative design remain the distinguished features of the Riva brand, with such famous people as Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, who used a Junior as the tender of their yacht, Sean Connery, who owned the historic Rudy model, and on to Sofia Loren and George Clooney listed among the brand’s clients.One of the oldest boatyards in the world, Riva, was established in 1842 on Lake Iseo, in Sarnico-Italy. One hundred years later, the already recognised brand became to a synonym of elegance, status and perfection under Carlo Riva’s direction. Riva’s creations became the object of desire for the aristocracy, successful businessmen and movie stars. For instance, next month, RM Sotheby’s will auction one of the notable vessels built then for Princess Grace Kelly and Primce Rainier III.
April 22, 2019
The hugely popular 40ft-plus power segment is set to exhibit at the 2019 Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show (SCIBS), with a multitude of international debuts, Australian launches, and Queensland firsts.“The 40ft-plus segment offers an extremely diverse and versatile selection of boats,” said SCIBS General Manager Johan Hasser, whose team is preparing to host more than 45,000 visitors and 300 exhibitors at the event from May 23-26, 2019 in Queensland, Australia.The Whitehaven Company was established by Keith Hanson to fill what he believed was a niche in the market for high-end boats that would reflect their owners’ visions. The boats are built in Taiwan with Keith’s son, Ryan overseeing the team of boat builders. The Harbour Classic 40 concept was drawn by highly respected New Zealand yacht designer builder Bill Upfold, with Australian naval architect Misha Merzliakov reimagining her for discerning Australian day boaters. Merzliakov is based in Brisbane and has traditionally designed large motor yachts both here and overseas. You can see the enthusiasm in the design and listening to him, it sounds like he has borrowed design elements from all over the place. There is a chance that such an approach could deliver a Jekyll and Hyde result, but like a mad scientist, he has mixed the elements together with a fine touch.The Harbour Classic 40 is a sophisticated and supremely comfortable 40ft dayboat, which combines the aesthetic and timeless appeal of a gentleman’s cruiser with the benefits of high-tech design and engineering, constructed with an expertly-designed hull for a quieter ride.Except much-anticipated Harbour Classic 40, the all-new Whitehaven 6100 Coupe with its incredible superyacht-inspired Euro Edition styling package will be presented.“These vessels represent close to two years of R&D and production, and we are very proud to bring them to SCIBS,” Whitehaven Motor Yachts Managing Director Bruce Scott said.Below decks, the galley is bathed in natural light, enjoys a line of sight to the helm and all the mod-cons of boutique apartment living for a perfect day or weekend on the water. Accommodation is flexible depending on owners needs with the ability to sleep up to six aboard, so friends and family are always welcome.Offering single or twin-engine arrangements, owners can prioritize pace and maintenance to suit their boating lifestyle. Either way, she'll achieve 25 to 30 knots to find that ideal anchorage in time for sunset cocktails. Underpinning the boat in standard guise will be a single Volvo D6 480hp shaft drive with ZF gearbox. The first boat built has received an engine upgrade in the form of a Cummins Q6.7 550hp engine. It is quiet and unassuming and the performance perfectly suits the leisurely nature of the Harbour Classic 40 and will see you cruising from bay to bay in comfort. Elegant, refined, so well suited to a more leisurely pace of boating, the Harbour Classic 40 represents the romance of yesteryear with the precision engineering, power, and performance that are synonymous with all Whitehaven vessels.Each Whitehaven Harbour Classic 40 will be a customized masterpiece, brought to life for her owners with the personalized approach, precision and pride that are hallmarks of Whitehaven Motor Yachts.@Photos by Whitehaven Yachts
April 22, 2019
Visitors to this years’ Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show will have the opportunity to view Longreef Yacht’s newest addition, the Longreef 60 SX Flybridge. She is a super luxury boat and was designed through feedback from 400 boat owners. The result is a super-refined boat providing functional glamour and grandeur. She easily accommodates two families across three luxurious bedrooms including a full-beam owner’s bedroom amidships. Double Pullman bunks in the downstairs lounge and in a crew cabin aft of the engine room make this one of very few 60s that will comfortably sleep 10. Her main deck layout makes her one of the most social and comfortable boats on the water with an indoor/outdoor layout, giant swim platform, a sun lounge on the foredeck and a huge flybridge for maximum views. Bi-fold tinted glass doors open to provide a shared space between the comfortable interior and the aft deck. The super-large flybridge with its bimini cover is reached by a staircase from the aft deck. The Longreef 60 SX Flybridge is powered by a pair of Cummins 550 hp diesel engines. Anyway, it will be the outstanding debut for the 60 SX in Queensland.@Photos by Longreef Yachts
April 22, 2019
Russian billionaire banker, Oleg Tinkov, whose net worth is estimated at $2.3 billion by Forbes, has ordered the first private 77-metre icebreaker yacht dubbed La Datcha. She is set to become the first private luxurious ice breaker, capable of exploring the furthest destinations possible. Planned for delivery in autumn 2020, the yacht is being built as a part of Damen’s SeaXplorer series in the Netherlands.The explorer is being built as a part of the businessman’s luxury recreational project La Datcha, consisting of several holiday hikes in ultra high-end destinations. La Datcha will be available for charter according to Tinkov’s interview with Forbes, at a price starting from € 690,000,000 per week. Meanwhile, the owner himself is planning to spend up to 20 weeks a year on the yacht. The six-deck expedition yacht will feature a 14-metre beam, along with a draft of 6.5 metres, adding up to interior volume of 2,560 GT. She will also boast a speed of 14.5 knots. In fact, it is an expedition yacht, able to break ice up to 40 centimetres thick and maintain autonomy at sea for up to 40 days.Thanks to generous storage spaces, a wide range of equipment and tenders can be housed on-board, including 2 helicopters, 1 submarine, 1 VIP tender / rescue boat, 1 beach lander tender, 1 dive support tender, 4 waverunners, 2 expedition ribs and 2 snowscooters.The yacht’s custom interior design by Amels and Damen will be trademarked with full height windows of the observation lounge, main saloon and the owner’s suite and an observation deck upstairs. Expedition Yacht 77 will come with hot water Jacuzzis — 1 indoor and 1 outdoor, a sauna and steam bath, massage room and a fully equipped gym.La Datcha Expedition Yacht 77’ six guest cabins, including 2 master suites and 2 VIPs, offer accommodation to 12 guests, along with a crew of 25. Each suite comes with a bathroom and a walk-in wardrobe.Tinkov plans to premiere the vessel at Monaco Yacht Show 2020. After that, he is going to tour the 77-metre across Mediterranean, Seychelles, Madagascar and then Kamchatka and Kuril Islands, with the yacht to be seen in the Antarctic in January 2021. Tinkov also ensures, according to Forbes, that a Russian businessmen from the Forbes list has already expressed interest in renting the boat for six months, while Microsoft founder Bill Gates wants to sign up for a three-week charter.Photos via La Datcha
April 22, 2019
A new-build 27.02-meter hull by Italian shipyard Canados Yachts has been sold by Northrop & Johnson is set for delivery in 2020 as a Canados 888 Evo model. In 2018 Canados 888 was awarded as Most Functional Yacht. Also in May 2019, the first Canados 120' Caesar should be delivered.Canados is one of a few Italian builders capable of producing one-off versions of its models that are fully customized with tailormade interiors. One of the yacht’s most exceptional features is her four-meter tender garage accommodating a Williams 3.85 meter jet tender, and a Seakeeper gyroscopic stabilizer system. She comes with a hard top that provides guests with ample shade when enjoying her gigantic flybridge.The Canados 88’ is the direct evolution of the Classic 86’ of which 46 have been delivered. One of the Canados clients had four 86’s built over the course of 13 years! The interior of the Canados 888 Evo is being conceptualized by Rome-based designer Michela Reverberi. All in-house built furniture has been designed with rounded edges equipped with indirect strip LED lights which, when lit in the dark, give the impression that the furniture is floating.Built with an Aramat/Kevlar hull and superstructure, the 88’ Evolution comes with a reversed deck saloon overlooking the water and gigantic saloon floor to ceiling windows. The main deck layout remains an example of practicality with its oversize saloon with direct sea view, thanks to the cut-down bulwarks, dining room, Boffi galley, day head and crew dinette in the wheelhouse. On the flybridge, guests will find two corner sofas with drinks tables looking out over the stern. Another L-shaped sofa is placed on the port side and looks forward to the central alfresco dining area, where eight guests can savour a meal beneath the hardtop that folds back to let in the sunshine. The accommodation total is for eight guests across four cabins. The lower deck still offers its reputed four cabin layout with a VIP to the bow, two twin guest cabins to the sides and the full beam owner’s suite in the centre. Bathrooms are equipped with custom-made wash basins in Striato Olimpico marble.She capable of cruising at 27 knots and can reach a top speed of 32 knots, the Canados 888 Evolution 48 is powered by two Caterpillar C32 Acert 1,925hp diesel engines. The asking price was €5,240,000@Photos by Canados Yachts
April 19, 2019