Nourdine’s father (Albert Jensen) started the shipyard in 1910. After attending the University of Washington, Nord worked as a mechanic in Seattle for a few years. He served on a shore base in the South Pacific during WWII and at the age of 32 settled back in his hometown with his wife Vera to run the family business. Nourdine has designed and built over 150 wooden pleasure craft boats for customers between 1946 and 1983. Since then he actively managed the yard until he was 95 when he passed away.
Jeri Ahrenius, Legume Enumerator:
Nourdine’s daughter, Jeri also has early memories of the yard. After school she moved to the mainland and worked as a bookkeeper for a Seattle law firm. She started her family and decided to move back home in 1988 where she has been handling the finances for the yard ever since (when she isn’t playing tennis).
Mike began managing at the Shipyard in 1989, he is Nourdine’s son-in-law. Mike grew up in the Seattle area and spent several years in Eastern Washington working as a Surveyor as well as for the Forest Service. Later, back in Seattle, he worked in the Commercial Property Management business before moving his family to the island.
You’ll find Mike walking the docks, surveying the yard or in the store. He has been the face of the yard since he arrived and handles all facets of the business.
Alisa is Nourdine’s Granddaughter and graduated from the University of Washington. Out of college she pursued a career in Corporate Event Planning. After moving to Denver and getting married, she and her husband moved back to Friday Harbor in 2006.
When you call, it will likely be Alisa who answers. She is in the store most of the time and schedules the haul-outs and repair projects, manages the inventory, business operating systems and advertising efforts.
Duane moved to Friday Harbor from Oregon back in the 70’s. He has held some interesting jobs in the brick manufacturing business where he drove the big rigs. After some commercial fishing time in Alaska, Duane settled down with property on San Juan Island.
He is probably the most familiar face to customers that have been coming to us regularly over the years. Since 1980, Duane has seen a lot of change in the yard. He can do anything but he is known for his accuracy with the Travel Lift and his way with repairing props. Fuzzy and Bear were a couple of his ‘shipyard dogs’ in the past.
After graduating from Friday Harbor High School, Nate enlisted in the Coast Guard where he was stationed at Bayonne, New Jersey. Later he moved to Seattle and worked for Olympic Boat Center among other trades before returning to San Juan Island.
Nate is responsible for keeping our yard in accordance with our Boatyard Permit and the Department of Ecology. He does our water sampling and ensures the yard is maintaineed in accordance with our environmental responsibility. You may also find Nate washing, painting or zincing boats.
David is a 7th generation islander with a family history in the marine industry. He has fond memories of Jensen Shipyard as he spent his early years living aboard a sailboat moored at Jensen Shipyard and in the surrounding bay. After graduating from Spring Street International School (Friday Harbor), David attended SOKA University in Aliso Viejo, California and later received his two Associate Degrees from Lake Washington Technical College in Diesel Heavy Equipment and Welding Fabrication.
Although David’s talents are not limited to diesel engine repair that is what he spends the majority of his time doing. He also knows his way around the shop with the machining and welding equipment and has experience in the carpentry trade as well.
David has come back to his family’s business after spending a few years in the commercial and residential construction industry. He has come a long way since he opened his candy store on the counter of the shipyard store during his summers off from elementary school.
David’s experience operating heavy equipment makes him a natural around the travel lift, running in boats or repairing them. His carpentery skills come in handy for those constant dock repairs also.
Niko was born in Colorado and came to the shipyard with Alisa. He is a five year old Newfie and loves all the activity at work each day. He usually does a morning patrol of the yard and naps in the afternoon in the store. Niko is soft and gentle but he does still have a lot of puppy in him and when he gets excited tends to drool –so watch out or you’ll be slimed!