Jensen Motor Boat Company
Thanks to Dan Dolson for this great photo..
Jensen Motor Boat Company is located on the north side of Portage Bay,in Seattle, Washington, just west of the Montlake Cut and surrounded by the University of Washington.
For scale comparison, the three white decks in the water on the front-side of the building are more then 40 feet in length.
* Scroll to the bottom for links to our boat database by decade.
Tony Jensen's first boat building job in Seattle was at the Moran Ship Yard in 1906. It was ship building during the day and playing the violin in the evening at the local symphony or theaters. Jensen moved to Victoria around 1912 to play for the Pantages Theater and to work in the Shipyards.
Upon returning to Seattle in 1925, Tony started a new boat building business in the Greenlake area of North Seattle. He rented building space from Miller Aircraft and when he finished his boats he would haul them down to Portage Bay for launching ceremonies.
The property for the Jensen Motorboat Company on Portage Bay was purchased by Tony & Bessie Jensen & two Partners in 1927 and has been in the same location for 81 years. Since it's founding in the 1920's, Jensen Motor Boat has build hundreds of custom classic wooden boats and rebuilt thousands of others during its amazing 81 years of operation.
In the 1950's, son Anchor Jensen co-designed and built the Slo-mo-shun IV and V. Jensen's Slo-mo-shun IV became the prototype for all hydroplane builders for the next 15 years.
In 1950, Slo-mo IV smashed the "World Water Speed Record" and then quite unexpectedly broke the stranglehold of Detroit racers by winning the Gold Cup on their home course and claiming the famous Cup for the City of Seattle.
This kicked off the incredible string of victories the Slo-mo team would achieve over the next five years, including stunning the racing world with five straight Gold Cup victories, winning the prestigious Harmsworth Trophy and breaking the World Record Mile Run again in 1952 with a speed of 178.5 miles per hour.
This legacy of accomplishments by Jensen and the Slo-mo team had a lasting impact on the image of Seattle. Every major newspaper, magazine and TV station carried stories, year after year, about the Slo-mo-shuns, making Seattle a city known across the United States and the rest of the world.
Anchor, one of the world's greatest resources on wooden-boat technology, owned and managed the Jensen Motor Boat Company for 63 years until his death in 2000.
Jensen Motor Boat is now owned by Tony's grandson, Anchor DeWitt, still holding true to the values and practices which have allowed the company to become a Seattle institution.
Jensen Motor Boat Company has carried on the tradition of its famous family of founders and continues to offer premium service and knowledge of the boat building industry to its customers. Since 1927, Jensen Motor Boat Company has been recognized with quality and great craftmanship.
Jensen Motor Boat buildings, as viewed from Lake Union - 1962
Jensen's circa 1927
Jensen Motor Boat - - - BOAT DATABASE