Industry » Features » Stateside: Trouble In Paradise

Stateside: Trouble In Paradise

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Christensen Yachts. Drop that name in any superyacht conversation and images of such beautiful 50m builds as Silver Lining, Remember When, Odessa, Primadonna, and Casino Royale comes to mind.

But now the Vancouver, BC-based yard could be teetering on the brink of serious trouble as Stellar Industrial Supply, located in Tacoma, Washington, filed a lawsuit on February 12, 2015, for non-payment of materials and equipment. Some $966,000 has been the figure tossed around.

Back in January, as reported by various news sources, including The Columbian, a daily for Vancouver, Washington and Clark Counties in the state of Washington, and one that has been keeping tabs on what has been happening at Christensen, about 50 employees were, for the time being, let go in the hopes of bringing them back.

odessa 01 exterior

Then, according to the same source, on February 9, 2015, the front gates to the yard were locked and a day after the lawsuit was filed, employees were told the company was halting production.

Having had assignments on various Christensen builds in the past, it is my hope that the company can, once again, find its sea legs and get on with creating some of the most beautiful yachts in the business.

50m 160 silverlining 1 exterior2

Water, water, everywhere.... anytime

We all know that when boats become yachts and then develop into mega and superyachts, it takes specially engineered and designed systems to power and keep them running. And one of those specific areas is desalination. In a word, watermakers.

Bluewater Desalination, based in Carson, California, co-founded in 2013 and helmed by industry veteran Chris Collins, has, according to its latest news flash, introduced the world’s first fully automatic large yacht and commercial watermaker.

The easy to service and maintain Legend LX System includes a 7” color touch-screen controller, fresh water flush system, dual voltage 50/60 Hz motors, is NMEA 2000 capable, and has the capability to supply from 2,100gpd/7,950lpd to 3,400 gpd/12,870lpd among many other features.

If you are building a big boat, or doing a refit and are considering an upgrade to your water making system, and would like to do some comparisons, contact Bluewater at; 855.553.3725.

LX Profile2


Here in the U.S., boat clubs are starting to have an impact on the way many can ‘test the waters’ of the lifestyle before committing themselves to a rather hefty outlay of cash only to discover the financial disparity between the expenses and the amount of time they spend out on the wat, and are just a few of the new crop of online websites offering a chance to rent a vessel, crewed or bareboat, for the day or weekend.

These services, which connect private boat owners to renters, can help owners recoup some expenses, and can also give non-owners a chance to get on the water with friends without the cost of full-time ownership.

While there are some caveats to this leaning such as condition of vessels, insurance, renter capability and experience, and final costs among others, it seems to be catching on with a rather robust grass roots movement.

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Some Politics about Stateside Boating

While our congress remains hopelessly mired in their own muck—trust me here readers, this in one aspect of my Stateside life that I do not relish—there are some lawmakers who do have those of us who enjoy our boating lifestyles in their thoughts.

Democratic Senators Jeff Van Drew and Jim Whelan of New Jersey, a state with some 200+ miles of coastline, major boating communities with both inshore and offshore fishing, pristine beaches and a vital economy based on them, have introduced legislation that would impose a limit to the state sales and use tax on non-commercial boats.

With more and more boaters seeking a more competitive state tax law such as that in Florida for example, their proposal would seek to not only encourage in-state sales but be used to attract out-of-state buyers as well.

The Van Drew-Whelan proposal is meant to promote economic activity in the state’s shore regions and protect area businesses.

The bill would provide a maximum limit of $US20,000 on the amount of sales and use tax that can be imposed and collected on a non-commercial boat or other vessel including motorboats, sailboats, yachts and cruisers.

It would also establish a limited grace period to impose the tax for specific boats and vessels that were purchased out-of-state. Under the current law, boats and other vessels are subject to a seven percent sales tax, according to the State of New Jersey Department of Treasury.

New Jersey Beach2

Perhaps the shape of things to come

In recent years, there has been a remarkable change in both the exterior and interior design of both small, large, and extra large yachts.

Monte Fino, the Azimut Magellano Series, the striking and controversial SuperSport offerings from Palmer Johnson, and the spectacular 223ft/68m Abeking & Rasmussen-built Aviva, are just a few of the many profiles that are redefining the concept of what a boat should look like.

One of the latest of these ‘new look’ and Eco-touted vessels to land on our shores here is the Arcadia 85, US Edition.

Strolling the docks at this past Ft. Lauderdale and Miami shows, and while the display was quite busy, I had the opportunity to take a quick view of this head-turning design.

The boat I was on was hull #8 is this series. A 26m yacht painted military gray, her angular lines and distinctive profile garner immediate attention, especially the array of solar panels.

Covering a total of 40sqm of space, the panels provide power to such systems as the heads, refrigeration, and interior lights.

Other notable features include a deckhouse with double layered reflected glass and overhead and lateral blinds. On the construction side, she presents three layers of reinforced fiberglass and resin in the lay up with hull sides utilizing PVC sandwich and fiberglass construction, this for weight saving.

Combined with a semi-planing hull, the Arcadia 85 can run on lower power engines.

There’s much more to this yacht than first meets the eye and hopefully, I can schedule a more thorough visit with a complete sea trail and walk through in the near future.

Watch for it. In the meantime, you can visit Arcadia Yachts at

The envelopes please

Each year at the Miami International Boat Show, both the NMMA and BWI organizations have their judges pick products recognized for technical advancement.

Among this year’s Innovation Awards winners are Volvo Penta for its alternative drive technology (pods and stern drives), Simrad – Navico for consumer safety equipment (forward scan), Navionics for consumer electronics, apps, and software (SonarCharts and SonarChartslive), WakeWorx for an environmental award for its Mussel Mast’R Aquatic Invasive Species filter system, and StormFender’s docking and fendering system.

For a full list of all the winners and other information, visit www.miamiboatshow/innovation-awards

Miami 2016: Part two follow up

And on the subject of Miami: With the fluid situation in constant motion, literally from week to week, the venue change for the 2016 Miami Boat Show from the Convention Center to the Miami Marine Stadium park site and basin has, once again, taken a front and center position in industry news.

According to Thom Dammrich, NMMA President, “We’re now tenants of the City of Miami since the deal with the Friends of Miami Stadium fell apart.The city commission has issued a license to the NMMA to hold the 2016 Miami International Boat Show at the park and basin and voted to invest up to $US16 million to get it ready.”

miami boat show dock 2

The dates for the 2016 show, as noted by the latest Boating Writers International (BWI) posting of February 26, 2015, are set for President’s Weekend, February 11 – 15.

If things change, I will update this particular subject as quickly as possible.

In the meantime, for continuing coverage, visit

Fair winds, shipmates. – Capt. Ken

Should you have any special interests that you would like me to look into, please send your request to the OnboardOnline site and I will do my best to track it down for you. I hope to see you around the docks or better yet, out on the water.

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