Back in the early 1980s, retired contractor Dave Christensen was looking for a yacht—but not just any boat. He wanted one that was built in the United States, rugged and sturdy, and beautifully finished inside and out. Dave couldn't find what he wanted, so he commissioned Westport Shipyards to build a hull, and he completed all of the finish work himself. Before he launched his yacht, offers poured in to buy the vessel. Dave Christensen was on to something.
The Christensen name means quality, honesty, and integrity. Only the finest materials go into the yachts that emerge from Christensen Yachts’ full-service shipyard and marina on the Columbia River in Vancouver, WA. They are building a larger facility in Tellico Lake, TN, to accommodate vessels up to 225 feet.
The dedication and craftsmanship of Christensen’s more than 100 employees are what makes this boatbuilder stand out in a sea of custom yacht manufacturers. Christensen never uses subcontractors because they do all work in-house. The company's four-acre Vancouver facility comprises twelve shipbuilding bays and onsite shops for the trades that contribute to the finished product. Shops host not only fiberglass workers, metal fabricators, cabinet makers, plumbers, electricians, and mechanics but finish carpenters, stone masons, and even upholstery fabricators as well. They build the entire yacht under one roof.
Peek inside a Christensen yacht to find a space that resembles a five-star hotel penthouse. The hardwoods are polished to a perfect gloss, with colorful, inlaid tile floors, full-size sinks, and showers, solid stone sink and tub surrounds, indoor and outdoor dining areas and full-service bars, sunlight-filled living areas and lofty ceilings. It is easy to see why the company has won awards for its interiors.
Christensen strives to invest not only the best materials and artistry in its yachts but also the most innovative construction processes. Master stonemasons work with the best specimens of marble, granite, onyx, quartz, and limestone. Woodworkers can turn almost any species of wood into perfectly crafted cabinetry and furniture. The composite construction infused hulls are stronger than steel, aluminum, and solid laminate. The company builds an HVAC system designed specifically for their yachts and has replaced copper/nickel saltwater piping with composites.
Fully insulated composite hulls eliminate the so-called double-boiler effect, which occurs in laminate and metal hulls and can result in condensation, corrosion, and mold. The foam-core construction used in Christensen hulls also reduces noise and vibration, giving passengers a smoother, quieter ride.
Rather than rely on the tried and true, Christensen leaders strive to improve their formula at every turn. Two models, Hull 38 and Hull 42, are the newest offerings in a line that consistently garners awards for both interior design and exceptional series, particularly Robb Report’s Best of the Best award.
The leaders at Christensen Yachts believe in rewarding their creative, hard-working employees with profit sharing and bonuses. Fabricating the most beautiful, innovative vessels in the world is the common goal of every team member, as is delivering to clients not just a stunning yacht but a smooth, positive building experience.