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.
The 95-metre luxury motor yacht Kismet built by Lurssen in 2014 was spotted in Saint-Petersburg these days. According to Marinetraffic.com, the yacht spent one day at the shores of Saint-Petersburg on May 15, and today arrived to Tallin. Kismet is owned by Shadid Khan, Pakistani-American billionaire and business tycoon, the owner of the Fulham FC and Jacksonville Jaguars, belonging on the list of the largest superyachts of sports teams owners. The net worth of Mr. Khan is estimated at $6.6 billion (Forbes). Meanwhile, Kismet boasts a symbolic jaguar on the bow, representing the owner’s team. Stretching over five decks, the yacht was designed by Espen Oeino with corporate entertainment and charter in mind, thus suitable for parties of up to 270 guests. The charter price of the vessel starts from € 1,200,000 per week.Copyright: Oleg Zoloto via Komsomolskaya PravdaAmong innovative features on-board, Kismet boasts video walls, extending up to two decks high, able to show regular television but programmed to display high-definition moving artwork. A large swimming pool and Jacuzzi area, spa zone, movie theatre, an outdoor fireplace and winter garden can be found among the yacht’s luxury amenities.The yacht’s entertainment and design characteristics have been attracting top artists and events. For example, Jay-Z and Beyonce were spotted on-board last year, while Netflix filmed Kismet in party scene from its biggest production so far, "Six Underground".
May 17, 2019
Sitting off Italy's celebrated west coast, the sublime island of Sardinia represents a complex patchwork of Franco-Italian culture. The second largest island in the Mediterranean, with a pearly coastline is perfect ideal soaking up the sultry sun and crystalline water of the deepest blue with dream-like reefs, thriving coral beds and diverse marine life. Furthermore, Sardinia has always been at the forefront of chic Italian getaways, famous for it cultural life and cuisine. As to the latter, Yacht Harbour lists some of the best places to enjoy the local cuisine while exploring the magnificent coast of Sardinia on your yacht.Sardinia top lunch recommendations: #1. Cala di Volpe Location: Hotel Cala di Volpe Chef: Maurizio LocatelliThe Hotel Cala di Volpe and especially its restaurant is one of the most requested hot‐spots for lunch in the Costa Smeralda. The restaurant serves international and Mediterranean cuisine at the highest standard, whereas the Bar “Il Pontile” is the perfect place to enjoy an aperitif. The Sardinian decor of the restaurant welcomes guests to a delicate and refined ambient, where white stucco arches and the soft flicker of candles imitate the glittering lights strung around the harbour.As to the cuisine, the chef and his stellar team create sumptuous menu of Mediterranean specialties on a daily basis: an unrivalled selection of antipasti inspired by regional recipes and the freshest local product is complemented by fish and meat grilled to perfection over an open wood fire.#2. Petra Segreta Location: 25 min by car from Porto Cervo Chef: Luigi BergerettoNestled in the hills above San Pantaleo with spectacular views of the surrounding countryside, this hide‐ away place is a must for those who love Italian and regional cuisine. The Petra Segreta resort is the perfect place to get to know a different way of living in Sardinia, apart from the jet-set life of Costa Smeralda, and to enjoy a relaxed and elegant lunch. Petra Segreta Resort & Spa is a popular gourmet destinations in Costa Smeralda. The hotel encompasses two restaurants: Il Fuoco Sacro, an elegant and refined gourmet restaurant with views over the archipelago, and Osteria del Mirto Bistrot, offering a more informal atmosphere between lunch and dinner and is only open to resident guests.Explore two different experiences, still with a common culinary philosophy wherein the freshest and highest quality seasonal ingredients produced from the resort’s own organic farm are transformed, with respect and creativity, into the chef's dishes.Sardinia TOP dinner recommendations:#1. Gianni Pedrinelli Location: 5 minutes by car from Porto Cervo Chef: Clara Pedrinelli Gianni Perdinelli is a place trademarked with elegant atmosphere, high VIP factor, exquisite Italian and international cuisine. Furniture and kitchen stylisation recalls the best traditions of Sardinia; adding a touch of class and modernity. All that makes the restaurant to a popular destination for those who want to enjoy good food in an exclusive environment. The interior design features wooden roofing, white walls and the bottles of red wine on a tray in the middle of the dining room, adding a touch of warmth and romance to the restaurant. A glimpse through the light curtains offers the view of a nice garden. A large stone fireplace overlooks the dining room, offering a variety of selected art pieces including a permanent art show of local and internationally known artists. The exquisite food is mainly inspired by the Sardinian culinary tradition, and it is always enriched with an outstanding presentation. The best dishes at this restaurant are ravioli and gnocchetti, durum wheat pasta (pasta di busa) with red mullet and saffron, fish soup, lamb leg with myrtle, pasta with lobster. You would be also delighted by the exquisite sweets and cakes.#2. Il Pescatore Location: old port of Porto CervoChef: Franco TonelliThis stupendous restaurant in the heart of Porto Cervo designed by the same architect as the Cala di Volpe Hotel ‐ Jacques Couëlle – has a beautiful terrace giving a magnificent view over the sea. Il Pescatore offers a menu that celebrates the Mediterranean, focusing on dishes that combine flavours, creativity and lightness. The only pieds dans l’eau (on-water) restaurant in Costa Smeralda, Il Pescatore has earned itself a reputation because of its superb seafood, stunning views of the port and the timeless charm. A genuine Costa Smeralda icon, it despises of a seafront location in the heart of Porto Cervo bay, and has been there even longer than the port itself.With its seafront location, the Pescatore offers the best seafood, freshly caught with unexpected combinations for a unique culinary experience. The restaurant invites its guests to taste the best from the island with exquisite menus, respecting general traditions, though applying simple cooking methods without manipulating the products too much. Two dishes one should not miss while in Sardinia according to the chef, are Maccheroni alla Chitarra with saffron lobster as well as Fish Mezze Lune with fresh Peretta cheese, containing his favourite ingredients, saffron and herbs.#3. Cipriani / Billionaire Grill Location: 5 minutes by car from Porto Cervo Offering Cipriani's trademark exquisite cuisine, this fabulous three level villa is perched amongst the cliffs, providing you a unique and beautiful view of the Gulf of Pevero. Occupying the main restaurant space of Billionaire, Porto Cervo’s premiere nightclub venue, the restaurant is an opulent indoor/outdoor dining room, along with extensive menu in a celebrity environment.#4. Madai Location: 5 minutes by car from Porto Cervo Chef: Elio SironiThe newly opened restaurant, run by the ex‐chef of the famous restaurant of the Bulgari Hotel in Milan, offers a cuisine based on tradition and on essence of the product. In an elegant but informal atmosphere guests will take pleasure in the excellent dishes served while enjoying the magnificent view over the Old Port and the Maddalena archipelago. The distinctive signature of the Chef is the “exacting simplicity” through the rediscovering of Italian cuisine great classics, re-elaborated to value real flavours and consistency in dishes.The unlimited quality of the ingredients and the use of the traditional cooking technique make basics for the restaurant’s menu. Furthermore, the use of the wooden oven and the charcoal grill contributes to the distinctive and antique taste of the dishes.#5. L’Officina del Gusto Location: Pevero Golf Club; Cala di Volpe Chef: Stefano and Gianni AzaraThe restaurant is situated in the complex of the Pevero Golf Club offering authentic cuisine in an exclusive setting marked by a succession of colours and emotions from the stylish interior to the incomparable outdoor area. While tasting the predominantly Mediterranean cuisine guests may enjoy the beautiful view over the bay of Cala di Volpe. Born from the passion of the brothers Stefano and Gianni Azara, Officina del Gusto is a gourmet project offering high-end cuisine. The gourmet menus offer rich choice of starters, main courses and exquisite desserts. The rethinking of traditional recipes and the use of high quality local products, provides the restaurant’s international dishes with a brand new flavour.Among alternative destinations, check out our top Cannes' restaurants listing.
May 17, 2019
Cannes Film Festival 2019: 10 out of the largest billionaire superyachts spotted on the French Reviera
Annually, the Cannes Film Festival unofficially represents the beginning of superyacht season in France. The event becomes one of the season's destinations for many of the world's wealthiest people. This year’s Festival started on May 14, continuing till May 25, with the most magnificent superyachts showcased in various locations along the French Riviera. Below is the listing of some of the largest superyachts owned by billionaires, that have already occurred in the area, according to Forbes information.#1. EclipseBuilder: Blohm+Voss (2010)LOA: 162,5mOwner: Roman Abramovich ($12.8 billion)Location: AntibesFamously built for Russian billionaire, Roman Abramovich and the owner of Chelsea football club as the flagship of his fleet, Eclipse was delivered in 2010 by German shipyard, Blohm+Voss (now part of Lurssen), as the largest yacht in the world, a title that she held until the delivery of the 180-meter Azzam in 2013.Although not on the open charter market, Eclipse is available for rent according to several sources at a rate of €3 million per week with the owner's team dealing with the management of the superyacht's operations themselves, without the involvement of any brokerage firm.Refitted in 2015, Eclipse boasts a 56-meter private owner's deck, a 16-meter swimming pool that can transform into open deck and can carry up to three helicopters at a time.#2. DilbarBuilder: Lurssen (2016)LOA: 156mOwner: Alisher Usmanov ($12.8 billion)Location: AntibesKnown during her highly secretive build as Project Omar, the 156-meter yacht was launched at Lurssen facility in 2015. She became Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov's third yacht and the third yacht to bear the same name Dilbar, after the businessman’s mother.With her gross tonnage of 15,917 tons, she has officially become the world's largest yacht by volume.Diblar boasts exterior design by Espen Oeino and interior styling by Andrew Winch. Dilbar features a combined 3,800 square meters of living space, being able to host up to 40 guests and a crew of 80.#3. Rising SunBuilder: Lurssen (2004)LOA: 138mOwner: David Geffen ($8.3 billion)Location: CannesRising Sun was built by Lurssen in 2004, with the design of Jon Bannenberg. David Geffen, a billionaire with a net worth of $6 billion, co-owned Rising Sun along with Larry Ellison from 2004, before he bought it in 2010. Being one of the largest yachts in the world, it costed $200 million to build Rising Sun, according to some reports.#4. Sailing Yacht ABuilder: Nobiskrug (2017)LOA: 143mAndrey Melnichenko ($12.9 billion)Location: headed to AntibesThe yacht delivered in 2017 features masts stunningly taller than Big Ben. With the height of nearly 100 meters, S/Y A boasts over 12,600 GT of interior volume, just 3,100 less than Dilbar, the most voluminous yacht in the world. By this measurement, she's also 4.6 times larger than the largest sailing yacht in the world, the 108-meter Black Pearl.The yacht powered by twin MTU engines of 4,827 HP each, is projected to reach her top speed at 20 knots without using her sails and feature cruising speed of 16 knots under transatlantic range of 5,320 nautical miles.#5. Bravo EugeniaBuilder: Oceanco (2018)LOA: 109mOwner: Jerry Jones ($6.8 billion)Location: MonacoBravo Eugenia had been technically launched in 2017 and delivered in 2018 to her reported owner, US billionaire and owner of the Dallas Cowboys NFL franchise, Jerry Jones. The latter is estimated at $6,9 billion. Meanwhile, Dallas Cowboys acquired by Jones for $150,000,000 in 1989, currently worth $5 billion.Designed by Nuvolari Lenard with naval architecture by Lateral Naval Architects, the yacht claims to be the first to feature a LIFE (Lengthened, Innovative, Fuel Efficient, Eco Friendly) design.The 109-meter's interior was created by Reymond Langton, with an expected over 4,000GT of volume stretching across a 16,3-meter beam. Powered by a hybrid propulsion system, the yacht is capable of reaching a top speed of 17,5 knots.#6. Al RayaBuilder: Lurssen (2008)LOA: 110mOwner: Bahrain Royal FamilyLocation: AntibesFamously built as Dilbar, the 110-meter Lurssen was renamed to Ona by Russian billionaire, Alisher Usmanov, when the new, 156-meter Dilbar was delivered in 2016 and became the largest yacht in the world by gross tonnage. First listed for sale at the end of 2016 asking €250 million, Ona was later no longer publicly marketed for sale. Earlier this year, her name was changed to Raya presumably by a new owner although the yacht remains berthed at the same location in Monaco.#7. Quantum Blue Builder: Lurssen (2014)LOA: 104mOwner: Sergei Galitsky ($3.5 billion)Location: Currently cruising Côte d'AzurBuilt in 2014, Quantum Blue was designed by Tim Heywood and Alberto Pinto. She has a length of 104m, a beam of 16.8m and a draft of 4m. The yacht's alluring amenities include a spa with a pool, a lift, helipad, beach club, gym and movie theatre. With a maximum speed of 22 knots, she can cruise at 13 knots.#8. LionheartBuilder: Benetti (2016)LOA: 90mOwner: Philip Green ($3.6 billion)Location: MonacoThis custom mega yacht was built by Benetti in 2016 as the yard's flagship and the largest vessel, keeping the status until the recent launch of three 100m+ gigayachts.Stefano Natucci collaborated with Benetti on the exterior design, while Green & Mingarelli Design was responsible for the interior design. Lionheart has a sporty aggressive look, with a large beach club and side-opening doors for easy launching of the tenders. The yacht provides a wide range of amenities including an outdoor bar and ample space for sunlounging and relaxing. She can accommodate up to 12 guests, the cabins with private balconies on the main deck are a notable addition and will offer great sea views. Also, guests can enjoy open Jacuzzi, spa and barbeque and helipad.Featured with interior volume of 2,990 GT and a beam of 14.4 metres, the yacht boasts maximum speed of 18 knots with cruising speed of 16 knots.#9. Lady LaraBuilder: Lurssen (2015)LOA: 91mOwner: Alexander Machkevitch ($2.4 billion)Location: headed to AntibesBuilt by Lurssen in 2015, the yacht features the exterior and interior design from Reymond Langton. Lady Lara's alluring amenities include VIP suites with fold down balconies, a large beach club, a gym, Jacuzzi, a swimming pool and a helipad.The yacht features feminine elegance when viewed at a distance, thanks to her sweeping curves and elegant proportions that allow her masculine details to emerge. #10. Maltese FalconBuilder: Perini Navi (2006)LOA: 88mOwner: Elena AmbrosiadouLocation: headed to AntibesMaltese Falcon is an iconic yacht that had held the title of the world’s largest sailing yacht until Oceanco launched the Black Pearl in 2017.Commissioned in 2000 by Tom Perkins, the late venture capitalist, the Maltese Falcon took nearly six years to complete. Sold to hedge fund manager Elena Ambrosiadou at an asking price of €70 million in 2009, the 88-meter is now one of the largest yachts available for charter with a rate starting from €360,000 per week.Maltese Falcon’ most innovative attribute became her sails that could rotate based on the direction of the wind. This was a first for the yachting industry. This innovative system allows the yacht to even sail against the wind. Maltese Falcon features a cruising speed of 16 knots. Meanwhile, in a storm in the Gulf of Lion, France she demonstrated a speed of 26 knots under sail alone.Designed by Ken Freivokh, the Maltese Falcon was extensively refurbished in 2015/2016 during a refit. She can accommodate up to 12 guests on-board.
May 16, 2019
Dutch builder Feadship has revealed a new 65-metre super yacht concept named Silence, right ahead of the opening ceremony of new Amsterdam facility, that will be held by Her Majesty Queen Máxima.The vessel with a beam of 12 metres will be built on a steel hull and aluminium superstructure. The design project meanwhile was developed with a female American client in mind, capable to “facilitate partying by day, becoming zen by day.”Silence’ key exterior features comprise a hanging pool aft, supported by a glass structural pillar in the centre. Then, a stage for dancing and sunbathing, accompanied by a spacious beach club would sit below. The yacht will also be fitted with a touch-and-go helicopter landing pad forward, a hydroponic garden and crow’s nest.Thanks to Silence’ tender lift platform system, the passengers will be able to board tenders while they are still on the platform, lowering them down into the water safely without the need of a crane.Indoor attractions comprise a spa, main deck bar and underwater lounge. Furthermore, Silence will come equipped with a significant eco feature that would be deployed to remove plastic from the sea when the yacht is afloat. Special stores beneath the lower deck will be used to store plastic until it can be disposed of at shore.The yacht will have accommodation capacity for up to 12 guests within four double guest staterooms and a full beam-VIP on the lower deck, along with a master suite fitted with a spa pool on a private deck. In addition, crew capacity on-board amounts to a staff of 18.Silence will be powered to a top speed of 16 knots, along with cruising speed of 14 knots and a range of 5,000 nautical miles while at 12 knots.Images: Feadship.
May 16, 2019
After the sale of the first hull of Bilgin 156 series, Starburst III (ex. Nerissa), in March 2019, Turkish builder Bilgin Yachts has launched the second hull out of the range at Kucukcekmece of Istanbul. The 47-metre Lilium will now undergo sea trials before heading to the South of France for her public debut at the 2019 Monaco Yacht Show. Meanwhile, as the shipyard is currently buzzing with activities at its facility in the West Istanbul Marina, the launch was set to become the last one at the old marina. Lilium features exterior design and naval architecture by Istanbul-based Unique Yacht Design, who has collaborated with Bilgin for Starburst III, and interior design by Bilgin Yachts in-house design team.İsmail Şengün, CEO of Bilgin Yachts comments on the latest model: The Bilgin 156 -II is named after the beautiful white flower Lilium as a sign of our promise to the yacht owners: A sunny and happy day on a deck. Lilium slightly differes from her sistership Starburst III. Besides having light colours in the living areas, Lilium's main difference from her sistership is certainly her galley. The layout has been changed in order to make it easy for the crew to move around without coming accross with the guests. There is a pantry located between the galley and the living room.Emrecan Özgün, Founder and CEO of Unique Yacht Design, explains: It is always exciting to see the end result of our designs. After the success of ex. Nerissa, we can’t wait to see how Lilium will affect the ones who see her. She is a proud example of today's globally recognized Turkish craftsmanship.The interior colour palette mostly includes white and golden touches. Brass helps to create the warm atmosphere as a material. The lighting also enhances the relaxing atmosphere in the interior. The staircase reflects the daylight from the above Jacuzzi, while the specially designed Caviar lights are the result of the inspiration from nature. The owner's cabin as well as four guest cabins have special design features such as the headboards and lighting, while the marble in the bathroom of each cabin breaks the monochromatism and adds luxury feeling to the area.Lilium features a top speed of 16 knots, along with comfortable cruising speed of 12 knots under a range of over 5,000 nautical miles.Alongside the 48-metre yacht, Bilgin is currently building two units of the 80-metre Bilgin flagship 263 series. The first hull of Bilgin 263 will be available for delivery in 2019, while the second one is planned to be launched in 2020.
May 16, 2019