Meet the Crew


Nourdine Jensen (1914-2009):

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:

Jeri AhreniusNourdine’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 Ahrenius, President:mike ahrenius

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.

Nate Hertel, Environmental Specialist:

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 ensures the yard is maintaineed in accordance with our environmental responsibility.  You may also find Nate washing, painting or zincing boats.

Josh Compton, Travel Lift Operator:pict0003-3

Josh moved to Friday Harbor with his wife, from Everett.  He grew up north of Seattle and has had a wide range of work experiences including cars, parts retail, heating systems and an industrial shipyard.  Josh was drawn to the island for its remote location and laid back life style.  When he isn’t at work, Josh enjoys being outside, even if it’s raining.

Josh will probably greet you when you arrive for your haul out.  Like all of us, he does a bit of everything around here!