All Hands on This Deck

Songwriter Denise Rich chose Christensen to build and design her next super yacht, a 157-foot vessel, because of its commitment to her yachting needs.


In a competitive world where the greatest shipyards are located in Europe, Christensen is holding ground in the United States and has shifted the balance of power by landing Denise Rich, The Lady Gatsby of Yachting.

“Because of the dollar and the way the euro was, I knew that I would get more value for my money at an American shipyard. I wasn’t sure about American shipyards since I had owned a Heesen, but I started visiting American shipyards,” said Rich, a songwriter. “Christensen is a top shipyard and can compete with any European shipyard.”

The American builder, located in Vancouver, Wash., is constructing for Rich a Christensen 157′ Custom Series motor yacht, only the fifth in the series. The tri-deck Lady Joy II will be ready to set sail in August 2007, Rich said.

The beauty of the 157′ Custom Series is that no two yachts will be the same, and Rich’s yacht is no exception. In fact, Lady Joy II will have the ultimate setup for a premier songwriter with impeccable tastes.

Christensen – with the help of Rich and her team, including Carol Williamson of Carol Williamson & Associates — has designed a luxurious yet comfortable 6,500-square-foot interior with raised panel cherry joinery and custom stonework.

“It’s like a full-time job,” Rich said. Rich works very closely with the shipyard and visits it once a month. She has made sure to be there for every major decision as well as the small ones. “It’s like building a home,” Rich said. Even when Rich is out of the country, she keeps in touch with Christensen. “They flew to the south of France when I was there and brought me a video presentation about what they had done so far.”

While at sea, Rich will be able to continue songwriting. Rich has specifically designed the vessel to house all the necessary equipment for her talents, including a superior sound system, mixing and recording facilities and a baby grand piano.

And when Rich needs to take a break from working, she’ll be able to join her guests on the custom foredeck and sundeck to sunbathe, lounge around or dine.

“What I love so much about [this boat] is that I created another outdoor space. It’s a tri-deck, so it has three outdoor bridges,” Rich said. “It didn’t have anything in the bow, and so I created a Portuguese deck.”

In the end, Christensen gave Rich the space needed – both figuratively and literally – for her to create a sophisticated super yacht with all the amenities she desired.

“I fell in love with the people here. These people knew what they were doing with the boat. It was a very good yacht for a very good price. And I got everything that I wanted out of it,” Rich said.