Lürssen, the Bespoke Yacht Builder

Lürssen’s core business is of course the construction of new yachts, and the yard has been very busy so far in 2023 with the delivery of three yachts with a total length of 374 metres.

The first delivery was the yacht OPERA in early 2023 – a 146-metre yacht – followed by the 90-metre yacht NORN. NORN was built for an owning couple who previously sailed on a 70-metre Lürssen, which has served them faithfully for over 20 years. They required top- notch design and engineering as well as seagoing comfort for their family. For the exterior, they once again trusted the designer Espen Oeino, who gave the yacht a striking design with extraordinary features and which is dominated by flat surfaces, straight lines and angular corners. The crispness of the exterior styling suggests a geometrical precision that permeates every facet of the yacht. Her interior was designed by Dölker + Voges and echoes the same design themes as her exterior. Cornelsen & Partner was acting as Project Manager in the Owners’ team throughout the construction process.

As with all Lürssens, the yacht is equipped with state-of-the art technology and engineering systems. These include, zero speed stabilisers, an outside cinema and an adjustable pool floor with dance floor illumination. A dynamic positioning system enables electronic anchoring in sensitive and remote areas, protecting the seabed and allowing for safe mooring regardless of water depth. The third delivery to leave the shed is project Luminance, a 137-metre private yacht.

Today, 32 of the Top 100 yachts in the world have been built by Lürssen (and 12 of the Top 20). Many more yachts in the range of 75 to over 130-metres are currently under construction. The Lürssen founder’s dream to become one of the leading shipbuilders in the world is still present in the spirit of Lürssen and all the people who work there.


Lürssen – Progress through Research and Innovation

The Innovation Laboratory has been up and running at Lürssen since last year, where they are simulating and testing the integration and operation of a Marine Hybrid Fuel Cell System on board a yacht powered by methanol. Under real life ambient conditions and with all required auxiliary systems, this demonstration plant can be considered to be the final preparation to bring fuel cells on board a yacht successfully. The delivery and integration of their first fuel cell system is scheduled for the middle of next year for project COSMOS. The design phase has been completed and Lürssen is the first shipyard to receive the necessary certificates from Lloyd’s Register for the integration of the Methanol-powered fuel cell and the related shipboard systems in June 2023. COSMOS was launched in March 2023 and the outfitting phase is now in full progress.

Lürssen has committed to a strategic partnership with Freudenberg, one of the leading experts for maritime fuel cells and a global technology group with around 50,000 employees in 60 countries. An essential milestone in maritime fuel cell technology is that Freudenberg has recently received type approval from RINA. The safety concept thus conforms to the IMO Interim Guideline and is approved for use on all types of ships. This is also the world’s first type approval for a maritime fuel cell system with integrated fuel reforming for the fuel type methanol.

Peter Lürssen says: ”With Freudenberg e-Power Systems we have a strong partner at our side. We both have the aim to bring fuel cells on board ships in the near future and revolutionise the yacht’s energy and propulsion system. The innovation laboratory will definitely bring us a step closer to a CO2 emission free Lürssen yacht.”


Lürssen finalised major Refit on-board Carinthia VII

The 97-metre CARINTHIA VII left the Lürssen facilities in Hamburg in early September 2023 and has been redelivered to her delighted owners. After being in the same hands for 20 years, with only a handful of people ever seeing the inside of this world famous yacht, she was meticulously refitted for her new owners, who acquired her in 2022, to ensure she remains at the forefront of the yachting industry. CARINTHIA VII represents a milestone in the history of both Lürssen and the world of yachting today. Built in steel throughout, she exemplifies a level of craftsmanship, engineering and styling rarely matched, even to this day. Widely regarded as one of the world’s first true mega yachts, with exterior lines designed by multi award-winning Tim Heywood, the influence of CARINTHIA VII has been felt far and wide across the yachting industry.

Peter Lürssen comments: “I am very proud that, after building Carinthia VII, we have now been able to participate in her new lease on life with an extensive refit. She remains a very particular vessel and is a testament to the solidity of our German engineering and manufacture.” At 97-metres she will be the largest yacht present, and undoubtedly the queen of the show.

Refit has become a core business for Lürssen, thanks to its unique facilities and a second to none ability to undertake multiple refits at a time, all in Northern Germany. “A refit is not just about necessary maintenance, it can also be a way to completely transform a  yacht,” says Alberto Perrone, Refit Sales Director at Lürssen. “We enjoy the very complex rebuilds and refits, we like it when owners come to us with problems to solve, we want to do the things that other yards steer clear of,” he says.

During the last year, more than a dozen yachts between 70 and well over 100 meters have used the Lürssen facilities for modifications and maintenance works. And with over 1,800 qualified and experienced employees, Lürssen also has the manpower to tackle any
project – be it a new build, refit or a conversion. Even though Lürssen specialises primarily in carrying out large refits, it is not above supporting smaller yachts as well. As it happens, in September, the 25.64-metre yacht SPIRIT OF GINETTE was looking for a shipyard at short notice to help with an emergency.

After hardly any shipyards responded to their urgent request, Lürssen offered to help out. Carinthia VII had just left Dock 11, and so it happened that a 26-metre yacht was in a 320- metre dock for 7 days! The main job was the acute repair of the defective water lubricated bearing in the stern tube. The steering gear was disassembled and then the propeller and drive shafts were pulled. The damage required that the drive shaft had to be machined.

The production of the bearings, which normally have a delivery time of about 4-6 weeks, was achieved in only 6 days. Afterwards, the new parts were installed and the propeller, shaft and rudder were rebuilt. At the same time, Lürssen manufactured and installed a shaft brake, replaced the seawater valves, repaired and modified the exhaust outlet and repaired the antifouling coating. The owner commented on the job: “I had not expected a shipyard like Lürssen to respond so flexibly to our request. I am impressed with how quickly and professionally we were helped.”

Another remarkable refit project docked at Lürssen at their Berne facilities in mid- September. Originally planned at a Dutch yard, the refit of a 66-metre offshore rescue and support vessel, project name UFO, was transferred to Lürssen. An extension of
the hull to 70 metres is intended, so as to create a fully equipped vessel for the owner to sail and charter around the world. The core task is first to review the design and specification already created before a final quotation can be issued and the actual work can begin. Much of the existing structure, hull and systems are to be retained – so the vessel will stay true to her commercial look but function like a yacht. Alberto Perrone comments, “UFO is not a yacht in the traditional sense, but neither is it an explorer or support vessel. The best way to describe this new type of vessel is as a “Pick-Up”. We are well positioned for such a conversion – the outstanding engineering capabilities of Lürssen and our experience is of great benefit to the project.”

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