164-foot Silver Lining opens a new chapter for Washington State’s Christensen Yachts.
By Anthony Brown; Photography by Neil Rabinowitz
Vancouver, Washington-based Christensen Shipyards has been refining its line of cored-composite motoryachts for nearly 40 years. The company’s latest delivery, 164-foot (50-meter) Silver Lining, represents a new design philosophy from the generally conservative company while introducing an interesting and, until now, unavailable option.
Christensen’s operations manager, Chuck Singleton, said that as the first of what the company is calling its High Volume (HV) Series, Silver Lining has design differences that he believes will bode well for future sales. HV motoryachts incorporate two structural modifications that differentiate them from the builder’s Custom Series yachts that were introduced in 2004 and updated in 2009 with 160-foot (48.7-meter) Odessa.
The first modification is a hull redesign that altered the aft deck and swim platform arrangement, and that moved the transom farther aft. This increased the usable length of the cabin deck by 8 feet 5 inches (2.6 meters), for gains in the crew quarters, guest accommodations, engine room and lazarette.
The second modification enlarged the superstructure, allowing for gains in the main and dining salons, as well as in the bridge deck lounge. More noteworthy on the bridge deck, however, was the elimination of exterior side decks from just abaft the wheelhouse to the forwardmost part of the exterior lounge, allowing the interior lounge and adjacent spaces to be extended athwarthships.
“The result,” Singleton said, “is the biggest boat we’ve ever built. Compared to the Custom Series, this new design increased interior floor space by 55 square meters [592 square feet] and light-ship displacement by nearly 101 metric tons. With numbers like that, you can imagine the amount of extra volume the HV Series provides a customer.”
Silver Lining’s owner agreed. Although he has owned a number of boats, the last of which was a 141-foot (42.9-meter) Christensen, he said his new yacht represents a change.
“For me—someone who’s not used to being around a [shipyard] and boats this size—everything about this boat and the construction is larger than life,” he said. “Without the exterior decks on the second level, the sky lounge is wider. And although it’s unique, the concept works especially well for guests, because the boat has an elevator that [facilitates] traffic for guests and crew.”
And even with the increased interior volume that the HV Series affords, yachts such as Silver Lining are designed with an eye toward being flagged in the United States, coming in below 300 gross tons. American buyers who want to fly the Stars and Stripes can do so.
The launch of Silver Lining in June marked a significant day for the shipyard, which ceased production for several months in 2015. Now under new ownership, the company has restarted its delivery schedule, launching two yachts—including Silver Lining—this summer, as well as resuming work on two others in the same size range.
Christensen is continuing its tradition of building yachts using foam-cored FRP composite in a flexible hull mold, and of installing high-quality interiors through its joiner shop, which includes a 16,000-square-foot annex that can house interiors for at least four boats simultaneously. Silver Lining’s interior décor was a collaboration between the owner’s designer, Kimberly Graham, and Anna Libby Pipher, Christensen’s décor planner.
The concept is a conservative, residential style that is at once relaxed and formal. Architectural woodwork—bulkheads, cabin-etry and doors—is raised-panel American black walnut finished in high-gloss lacquer. Panels, including forward- and aft-facing pilasters that separate rows of windows, are book-matched. Hues and tones are consistent between the solid timber and veneers of the naturally variable walnut. Satin-finished maple has been used in the crew quarters. The yard’s in-house craftsmen also built all of Silver Lining’s stonework, including the complex installations in the lobby and main salon entrance. All of that interior craftsmanship is highlighted by a great deal of natural light, thanks to Christensen’s customary expanses of superstructure glazing. (Silver Lining’s vertical windshield is set beneath a deep brow to limit glare.)
With Silver Lining, Christensen also expanded its list of standard features. It now includes a 1,200-gallon system that delivers fuel to the sundeck, and a 4.7 kW Fischer Panda generator that reduces the weight and stowage associated with banks of emergency batteries that had been standard on previous Christensen models. The emergency generator system, located on the sundeck, reduces the battery count by 50 percent.
Both Silver Lining and her 160-foot, MCA-compliant sistership, Chasseur, debuted at the 2016 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. Silver Lining’s owner then planned to cruise the East Coast, visiting New England during summer 2017.
Ask a dozen yachtbuilders whether a yard can remain in business without constantly investing in new tools and technology, and they’ll all answer the same: no.
However, ask whether a company should invest in equipment and personnel that are used only on a limited basis, rather than relying on subcontractors, and a far more interesting discussion is likely to ensue.
Stonework is often subcontracted throughout the yacht industry, but Christensen brought the specialty trade in-house. The builder erected a 10,000-square-foot, stand-alone building adjacent to the main shed and staffed it with craftsmen.
Thanks to high-capacity material-handling equipment and a complement of computer numerical controlled (CNC) tools—a water-jet cutter, panel saw and three-axis mill—this shop has produced some of the most intricate stonework available anywhere in the United States. In addition, the shop has become a separate profit center, producing work for architects and interior vendors in the greater Portland/Vancouver area.
LOA: 164ft. (50m)
LWL: 149ft. 9in. (45.6m)
BEAM: 29ft. 6in. (9m)
DRAFT: 8ft. (2.4m)
CONSTRUCTION: vacuum-infused composite
DISPLACEMENT: 465 short tons
GROSS TONNAGE: 299
ENGINES: 2 x 1,770 bhp MTU 12V 4000
FUEL: 15,300 gal. (57,920L)
WATER: 3,592 gal. (13,600L)
SPEED (max.): 16.5 knots
SPEED (cruise): 14 knots
RANGE: less than 4,000 nm
GENERATORS: 4 x 65 kW Kohler
STABILIZERS: Quantum QC1800 Zero Speed
CLASSIFICATION: ABS Maltese Cross A1, Yachting Service, AMS
NAVAL ARCHITECTURE: Christensen Shipyards, Ltd.
EXTERIOR DESIGN: Christensen Shipyards, Ltd.
INTERIOR DESIGN: Christensen Shipyards, Ltd.
GUESTS: 12 in 6 staterooms
CREW: 10 in 5 cabins
BUILDER: Christensen Shipyards, Ltd.
For more information: christensenyachts.com