No update has come from owners of Christensen Shipyards, the Vancouver, WA-based builder of custom yachts as to the status of its shuttered manufacturing plant. According to the local Columbian newspaper, the media blackout on the long-term status of the shipbuilder continues, even though employees recently arrived at the yard to pick up paychecks following the shuttering of the facility earlier in February. Christensen Chairman Joe Foggia has not returned telephone calls or emails regarding the shipyard’s status.
Workers arrived at the shipyard on February 9 to find the gates locked, even though it appeared that some employees were working on Missing Link, a Christensen yacht, nearby in the Columbia River. The company had reportedly sent emails to employees, telling them not to show up for work.
Three days after Christensen closed, one of its suppliers filed a lawsuit alleging that the company failed to pay more than $966,000 for materials and equipment used n construction of hulls. In addition to naming Christensen, the complaint by Stellar Industrial Supply also names Emerson Hardwood Company, Hyak Electroworks, Y.E.S. Marine, Bank of America, Indian Marine II and Ocean Alexander Marine as defendants.
This month’s production halt is not the first time that Christensen has stopped construction as the yard closed down late in 2014 for one week. Although production restarted, questions remained about the state of Christensen’s financial health. The company also reportedly informed employees just prior to the shutdown that some voluntary benefits would be terminated or cut back.
The fate of Missing Link was also uncertain, although Project Manager John Cochran indicated that he would continue to work with Missing Link’s representative on delivery of the vessel.
Christensen incorporated in July 1985 and by the following year had its own facility and mold to build hulls. The shipbuilder once sold a custom yacht to Tiger Woods. Company founder Dave Christensen retired in 2009.
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