The Vancouver, Washington-based superyacht-builder was sold to its former part-owner, Tennessee businessman Henry Luken, in mid-2015 after the company was forced into receivership earlier that year. At that time, the company had been suffering from multiple lawsuits.
Gilbert’s appointment was announced by Luken and the shipyard’s other major shareholder, who remains unnamed. Before the fallout at the company, Christensen was controlled by a board of directors that included Luken, former president Joe Foggia, and Dave Christensen, who founded the shipyard back in 1983.
Luken has been a significant shareholder in Christensen since the mid-1990s. He was also a shareholder in ShowMedia LLC, the holding company for ShowBoats International, when Gilbert and other shareholders sold the magazine group to Curtco Media, publishers of The Robb Report, in 2004.
“I’ve known Jim for many years both as a friend and as a business partner. He’s a creative, highly knowledgeable and deeply respected member of the large yacht community, an experienced manager and someone who shares our vision of taking Christensen to the next level of success.”
Since the sale of ShowBoats International, Gilbert has spent his time writing and providing strategic services for a small group of selected clients through his company, ViewPoint Consulting. “I was upset last year to learn of Christensen’s financial turmoil, which was not due to a lack of quality or perceived value of the yard’s production, but simply a matter of poor management,” he says.
“In all my years as a superyacht editor and publisher I appreciated how Christensen was universally regarded for the quality of its construction, systems, and especially for its superlative finishes,” he adds. “I look forward to working with the company’s owners – who bring a history of remarkable successes in the ultra-sophisticated field of telecommunications – to create a shipyard capable of both lowering costs and increasing quality, while at the same time significantly enhancing a owner’s experience of building a large custom yacht.”
Christensen currently has four yachts under construction from 160ft-164ft in length. Several of these are available for purchase.