Christensen Shipyards, which has wrestled with financial troubles, lawsuits and shut-downs since late 2014, is now preparing to launch Silver Lining, the first of two 164-foot yachts under construction.
The launch is scheduled for early May, with sea trials expected to take four weeks. Silver Lining is the first yacht to head toward completion since Henry Luken (a three-time Christensen owner) became chairman and principal owner of the shipyard, and Jim Gilbert took over as Christensen’s president.
“I can’t imagine the angst and the hardship our workers suffered when they arrived to work and found the gates locked,” Gilbert said of incidents that occurred under the previous ownership.
“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.”
He added, “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.”
Silver Lining will be the first Christensen launched with a new cradle and dolly system, which is expected to save at least a day’s worth of time compared with the previous system.
Right around the time that Silver Lining completes her sea trials, Christensen expects to launch Chasseur, another 164-footer that is expected to leave the shed in June.
Where to see Silver Lining and Chasseur: Both yachts are scheduled to be on display at this autumn’s Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.