Christensen Shipyards has filled a niche in American yacht building since 2000 by launching a series of customized composite yachts that issue forth from a single, expandable mold at its Vancouver, Wash., facility. Christensen begins each of its 150-foot-range yachts on speculation, looks for a buyer, and then finishes the interior to suit the owner’s taste. The builder sells most of its yachts five to 12 months before completion on the basis of renderings and blueprints.
Christensen has streamlined its construction process to the extent that it now can start a new hull every four months. However, to ensure that customers enjoy the same sense of exclusivity that comes with building a custom yacht, each Christensen has a unique appearance, thanks to various joinery styles and interchangeable superstructure mold sections that enable the builder to alter window shapes as well as profile details.
Christensen’s latest refinement will debut with hull number 29, a handsome 157-footer that will be available in September 2006 for $24 million. The yacht will feature an innovative underwater profile with a bulbous bow—like those on full-displacement vessels—and a semidisplacement hull form aft.
Because the bulb pushes the wake away from the hull and reduces drag, the shape allows for faster speeds and shallower draft. Christensen claims that, according to its tank testing, this feature will increase hull efficiency by 12 percent to 15 percent, giving the yacht transpacific range and the ability to sprint at 20 mph on a pair of 1,800 hp MTU 12V4000 engines. The shape of the hull also will reduce pitching in head seas.
Christensen delivers its yachts turnkey; everything is included, even the china, tableware, and plasma TV screens—all of which the fixed price covers. The builder will finish hull number 29 with a high-gloss dark cherrywood interior, and the price includes a generous allowance of $3 million for interior furnishings. The yacht’s layout will include a formal dining room, a skylounge, and six staterooms. Among those staterooms will be a main-deck master suite with a separate study and his-and-her bathrooms.
Christensen Shipyards, 360.695.3238, www.christensenyachts.com