The move comes after a three-year legal battle between the US yard’s co-owners
After nearly 30 years of building luxury yachts in Vancouver, Washington, Christensen Yacht Company is just months away from weighing anchor at a new facility in Tellico Lake, Tennessee, that will allow the company to build larger vessels and adapt more quickly to changing trends in the industry.
The move will occur following completion of the final two yachts being built at the Vancouver site and several of the 70 employees have agreed to move with the company.
The move, and sale of Christensen Shipyards LLC to Vigor Industrial – which plans to manufacture a new type of landing craft for the US Army at the 180,00sq ft facility – is possible following a January settlement to a three-year legal battle between company co-owners Dave Christensen and Henry Luken.
The settlement details are not publicly available, but the complaints and responses filed by both parties earlier in the case shed some light on the grievances that drove the lawsuit. Most of the disagreements stemmed from differing claims about which party was calling the shots in the years leading up to the company going into receivership in 2015, according to coverage in The Columbian.
In May of that year, a court-appointed general receiver filed a declaration stating that the best course of action to repay creditors would be to sell all of the company’s assets to a buyer who would be willing to keep operating it, and he recommended Luken.
Despite objections from the Christensens, the proposal was approved and Luken subsequently bought the Christensen Yachts name and assets — including its long-term lease on the shipyard – for $5.5m. The money was used to repay creditors, while in the meantime Luken reformed Christensen Yachts as a new business entity, now officially called Christensen Shipyards LLC.
A second lawsuit filed a year later continued until both parties sought dismissal following sale of the shipyard to Vigor Industries.
At its peak, Christensen Yachts employed 500 people. Vigor Industrial plans to start with 130 workers and ramp up to 400 after a few years.