The 85-foot yacht was being eased into the water for the first time when it began to list significantly.
The crew tried to adjust ballast to right the boat but the engine room quickly began to flood.
Rescuers used an axe to chop open a space around a porthole, allowing them to save five trapped crew members.
“I just want to thank the lord that we all got out safe,” Wade Benda told KIRO-TV in Seattle.
“It seemed like forever, but it was probably 60 seconds to a minute.”
The yacht’s builder says the $10 million Bäden will now require heavy refitting. "Everything inside is toast, everything, nothing's made to be submerged in salt water," Wes Fridell with Northern Marine told The Skagit Valley Herald.
The Coast Guard is investigating the sinking.