|Peter Lürssen (CEO)|
|Revenue||€ 0.830 billion|
Number of employees
|Divisions||Fr. Lürssen Werft|
Lürssen Schacht-Audorf (Rendsburg)
|Footnotes / references|
My firm shall be known as the leader in both quality and performance
(Friedrich Lürssen, 1875)
Lürssen designs and constructs yachts, naval ships and special vessels. Trading as Lürssen Yachts, it is one of the leading builders of custom superyachts such as Paul Allen's Octopus, David Geffen's Rising Sun, and Azzam, the second largest private yacht in the world at 180 m in length after the REV Ocean.
On June 27, 1875, the 24 year-old Friedrich Lürssen set up a boatbuilding workshop in Aumund, a suburb of Bremen, Germany. The focus of work in the first years was on work boats for fishing and ferry operations. Hull number one was a five meter long rowboat. From the 1880s Lürssen opened up the sport boat market. In 1886 the first motorboat in the world was built by Lürssen (according to his own account).The 6-meter REMS was commissioned by the inventor and engine manufacturer Gottlieb Daimler, who needed a boat to put his new engine through its paces. Friedrich Lürssen, always open to new ideas, designed and built it without delay. The Daimler engine that powered it had a cylinder capacity of 0.462 liters, weighed 60 kilograms, and had an output 1.5 hp at 700 rpm. From about 1890 motor boats were built in cooperation with the Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft and Lürssen quickly became the leading German motor boat yard. Orders from abroad were soon received.
When Otto Lürßen - only son of the company founder - joined the company as a partner in 1906, the focus finally increased towards building motor boats. In the years up to the First World War, Lürssen boats successfully took part in international races. In 1911 the Lürssen-Daimler speedboat with its 102 hp engine became the sensation of the racing season, reaching a speed of 27 knots, exceptional for the time. In the Mediterranean off Monaco, it won the unofficial world championship, the Championship of the Sea. The speedboat went on to win the Prix de la Cote d´Azur and the Grand Prix des Nations later in the same year.
By 1916 the company that was his life's work had grown into a leading German shipyard, when Friedrich Lürssen died at the age of 65. A year after Friedrich's death, the German navy started using remote-controlled boats to enter occupied ports or attacking heavily armoured ships. These boats were co-developed and built by Lürssen. They also built shallow minesweepers (F boats) and submarines with cannon armament and early motorized speedboats (LM boats).
A new start
After the war, the shipyard shrank from around 700 to 100 employees. In 1918 the main plant in Aumund burned down and production was completely relocated to Vegesack by 1924. 1925 was a special year for Lürssen. They launched their 10,000th vessel, a 14-metre wooden motoryacht, a sister ship of the Onkel Fidi, and in addition, the company celebrated its 50th anniversary. Two years later they set another standard. With Oheka II, equipped with three Maybach engines that propelled her to a top speed of 34 knots, Lürssen builds the world's fastest commuter yacht. This boat was sold in the USA (Oheka was the abbreviation of its owner Otto Hermann Kahn, a banker of German origin); boats were initially developed in secret for use as torpedo speedboats. In 1929 the shipyard received the first official order from the Reichsmarine for a boat designated as UZ (S) 16 for testing purposes. It had a length of 28m, a displacement of 51.6 tons. It was not until 1932 that the camouflage designation was dropped and the boat was renamed S1. In the following years, with some changes, the model became the basic pattern for German speedboats. From 1929 the production of mine sweepers was started in cooperation with Abeking & Rasmussen. Later the same year, the company also built the world's longest and heaviest motoryacht: the 36-meter AAR IV weighed 130 metric tons.
In 1932 came the sudden death of 52 year-old Otto Lürssen. His wife, Frieda Lürssen, the daughter of a captain of a large cruise ship, took over the Lürssen yard. In 1935, a production facility was built on the opposite side of the Weser in Lemwerder for the growing production of speedboats for the Navy.
Three years later, the third generation took on more and more responsibility at Lürssen: Gert Lürssen came on board - bringing along the passion of motorboats he inherited from his father. In 1939, he set a world speed record on the lower reaches of the Weser River in a Lürssen diesel-powered speedboat. It achieved a speed of 68.2 km/h. The same year torpedo boats were delivered to Bulgaria The 35-meter vessels carried forward-mounted torpedo tubes better and no longer had the tendency to dive in heavy seas, as was the case with previous models.
Up until the end of the Second World War, the building of speed boats became the core business of the Lürssen shipyard - also for export. The boats were built as wooden hulls (Doppelkraweel - mahogany - white cedar) on light metal - frames built from S-100 were armoured with a navigation station. With three Daimler-Benz MB-518 engines, speeds of over 42 knots could be achieved. Due to the favourable underwater hull shape, specially adjusted rudder (Lürssen effect) and an improved foredeck structure, the boats were very seaworthy.
Business was difficult in the wake of the war (shipbuilding was initially completely banned in Germany). Everyone had to start from scratch and the Lürssen shipyard was no exception. Household items such as wooden tubs and pots were temporarily made in the shipyard. But soon the first repair orders came in and from 1946 fishing cutters were built. After the owners returned from captivity in 1947, the company's involvement in commercial shipbuilding began. During this time of change, the brothers Gert and Fritz-Otto Lürssen agreed on the division of shares in the company, which they held from then on jointly with their mother Frieda Lürssen. In 1952 the shipyard was named "Lürssen-Werft". and in the postwar period Lürssen set a new standard for fast patrol boats. They launched the Jaguar in 1959, especially developed for the German Navy. At 42 meters, the ships were larger than those built during WWII. They served as a model for future fast patrol boat designs.
In 1962 Frieda Lürssen decides to hand over the responsibility of the firm to her sons Gert & Fritz-Otto. That same year, the 55-meter yacht Pegasus II was delivered, like her predecessor, to a London shipowner.
In 1971 the yacht Carinthia VI was designed by Jon Bannenberg - his first major yacht project. To this day, the 71-meter vessel remains contemporary in styling, and she can be seen as the precursor of today's Lürssen yachts.
In 1977 Lürssen delivered the first vessel in the series to the Turkish navy. Three other ships were built at a partner shipyard in Turkey using material packages. A total of ten 57-meter Dogan-type ships were built.
In 1981 at the age of 63 Fritz-Otto Lürssen died unexpectedly, abruptly ending the successful collaboration between the brothers Gert and Fritz-Otto Lürssen. A quote from one of the eulogies at his funeral reflects his popularity: "For us employees, he was an entrepreneur and a boss, someone you could talk to and negotiate with, a friend and advisor". A couple of years later Gert decided to withdraw from active company leadership. He handed over the management responsibilities to his son, Friedrich. In 1987 Peter Lürssen joined the company - after studying shipbuilding and industrial engineering in Germany and business administration in the United States as well as gathering considerable professional experience. In previous positions, he spent a year as a building inspector at different Japanese shipyards, and already familiarized himself with various Lürssen departments.
In 1988 Lürssen decides to add a new division. Currently the shipyards are operating at 90% capacity with navy contracts but the company decides to split the production between naval ships and luxury yachts. From now on, the company devoted half its production capacity to the building of large yachts. In 1991 the yacht Be Mine was completed, one of the first yachts to be designed and built entirely under the direction of the newly established independent Lürssen yachtbuilding division. She went on to win the prestigious International Superyacht Society Design Award as well as the Superyacht of the Year Award. At this time the corvette Victory was delivered to the Singaporean Navy as the leading ship in a class of six corvettes. Due to its stealth design, the ship is difficult for enemy vessels to detect. It is also characterized by low underwater noise emissions.
After playing a defining role in the company's progress for half a century, senior partner Gert Lürssen died on January 2 1991 at the age of 77. This comes at a time when Germany is cutting back its defence spending in response to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. The new yachtbuilding division becomes more important for the company.
In 1990, the United Arab Emirates received two complex naval vessels from the Murray JIB class equipped with helicopter landing pads and with an extensive array of weapon systems and sensor technology, not usual for ships of this size.
Eight years later, the Kiliç, with a total length of 62 meters was delivered to the Turkish Navy. This corvette has modern weapons and fire control systems integrated. The seafaring qualities of the new enlarged ship have been considerably improved. Also the Indonesian customs authorities have ordered five patrol boats with a top speed of 40 knots and ten with a top speed of 50 knots.
2000: One-and-a-quarter centuries after its founding by Friedrich Lürssen, the company celebrated an important anniversary. The small boatbuilding company on the Weser River had grown into a large shipyard that builds military vessels as well as modern megayachts. Lürssen delivered the Berlin, one of the key task force vessels, to the German Navy. This highly important vessel type ensures the ability of the entire fleet to perform in action.
In 2002: thirty years after Carinthia VI set new standards, Carinthia VII, at a length overall of 97 meters, is delivered. A year later, the superyacht Pelorus, designed by Tim Heywood is delivered. With its overall length of 115 meters it is one of the world's largest private yachts.
In 2005 the 90 meter yacht ICE is delivered. It is the first yacht to be equipped with a compact Azipod drive system. This ultralow noise- and vibration propulsion system is especially effective in fulfilling the owner's demands in terms of ecological operations.
A couple of years later, the last of a total of six minehunters are handed over to the Turkish Navy in cooperation with the consortium partner Abeking & Rasmussen. From 2010 on, also Brunei started sending orders to Lürssen for patrol boats and offshore vessels.
In 2013 Lürssen delivers Azzam, once the longest yacht in the world. She not only set a record with regards to her length of 180 meters and speed of more than 30 knots but also her building time of less than three years is record-breaking. In 2016 Lürssen launched the 156 meter long yacht Dilbar. The yacht, with a width of more than 23 meters is the biggest yacht in the world in terms of gross tonnage (over 15,900 GT).
On 1 March 2018, a German consortium consisting of Thyssen Krupp and Luerssen was excluded by the German Government from the tender for the construction of the multi-purpose warship MKS 180 for the benefit of GNY (German Naval Yards), belonging to the Prinvinvest group, and the Dutch shipbuilder Damen.
On 14 September 2018, a fire broke out in the floating dock at Fähr-Lobbendorf, burning the then-under construction structure of the yacht Sassi.With around 900 emergency services deployed, it was the largest deployment of the Bremen fire brigade in the post-war period. The damage was estimated at more than 610 million euros.
- Vegesack: Lürssen Vegeack has been the hub of operations since 1918. The offices of the Managing Directors are located there, as well as project management and all the administrative functions. Vegesack is also home to the subsidiary Lürssen Logistics.
- Lemwerder: Lürssen has been building ships at Lemwerder since 1935. With a total area of 127,000 square meters, Lürssen Lemwerder features the full spectrum of construction, production, and assembly facilities. It is also home to their main warehouse and their Refit and Repair department. Lürssen Lemwerder specializes in yachts 80 to 110 meters in length.
- Aumund: The shipbuilder Bremer Vulkan Marineshiffbau, with a 170-meter dry dock, was integrated in the Lürssen Group in 1997. Lürssen soon added a floating dock with a length of 220 meters making Lürssen Aumund ideal for the largest yachts (+ 100m).
- Schacht-Audorf: The Lürssen-Kröger Werft shipyard near Rendsburg was acquired in 1987. Located directly on the Kiel Canal, which links the North and Baltic Seas, Lürssen Rendsburg specializes in 60- to 90- meter yachts. In addition, Navy ship maintenance and yacht refit work is carried out there.
- Wilhelmshaven: In 2006, Lürssen integrated the Neue Jadewerft shipyard in Wilhelmshaven into their group to further enlarge their yacht capacity. At Lürssen Wilhelmshaven, maintenance, repair and refit work on yachts and other vessels up to 150 meters in length are carried out. Major clients including the German Navy rely on Lürssen for their maintenance needs.
- Berne: The facility in Berne belongs to the Lürssen shipyard since 2010. It is located on the left bank of the river Weser, not far away from the main Lürssen Shipyard in Lemwerder. With a total area of 400,000 sqm the shipyard is equipped with highly modern production and assembling buildings as well as a floating dock. A synchro lift can elevate ships that are up to 150 meters in length and 4,800 t weight. This facility is specialized in refit, repair, and conversion of yachts and naval vessels.
- Hamburg: 1. The Hamburg Norderwerft was included in the Lürssen Group on October 1, 2012. The core business of the yard is the repair and conversion of ships and swimming unities for the commercial shipping industry, but also the maintenance of naval vessels. 3 docks with a lifting capacity up to 12,500 t, 3 berths with a length of 450 meters and a crane capacity up to 95 t are available. The portfolio is rounded up by class renewals, intermediate surveys, and mobile operations worldwide. 2. Blohm+Voss
- Wolgast: The Peene-Werft, located in Wolgast, belongs to the Lürssen Group since May 2013. This facility is specialized in new built and repairs of naval vessels and special ships, but is also supporting the yacht shipbuilding. The company area has a full size of 253,570 sqm with a 46,500 sqm heated hall space, a dry dock with a crane of 175 meter length, as well as a lift for ships up to 110 meters in length, and a 950 meters long outfitting quay.
At the end of October 2019, Lürssen took over the insolvent Elsflether shipyard.
Below is a list of all the yachts built by Lürssen :
Naval ships built by Lürssen include:
- Many E boats of World War II, based on Lürssen's design for Otto Hermann Kahn's private yacht Oheka II
- World War II R boat minesweepers, including the first minesweeper (1929) fitted with a Voith Schneider propeller (R8)
- Jaguar class fast attack craft
- Seeadler class fast attack craft
- Zobel class fast attack craft
- Intrepida class fast attack craft
- Tiger class fast attack craft
- Frankenthal class mine hunter
- Kılıç class fast attack missile corvette
Lürssen has the contract to design and build twelve Arafura-class offshore patrol vessels for Australia. Construction of the first two will be in Adelaide by ASC Pty Ltd. The remaining ten will be constructed in Western Australia by Civmec.
- Lursen-S was the name of a Soviet counter-espionage operation of the late 1940s/early 1950s that infiltrated and compromised Operation Jungle, an MI6 program that used Lürssen E-boats to insert British-trained Baltic agents into the Soviet Union.
- Lürssen has an app offering a gallery of pictures for most of their luxury yachts along with the length measurements.
- Daniel Fisher (2013-04-05). "German Shipyard Launches World's Largest Private Yacht At 591 Feet". Forbes.
- Nicholls, Laura (24 August 2019). "World's largest yacht launched: The 183m REV Ocean". www.superyachttimes.com. Retrieved 20 October 2020.
- Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger. 16. September 2011, P. 11
- "Breaking news: Lürssen acquires Blohm + Voss". superyachttimes.com. 28 September 2016. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
- Murphy, Martin (March 1, 2018). "Deutsche Werften gehen bei Großauftrag der Marine leer aus". Handelsblatt.com.
- "Lürssen shipyard fire under control". superyachttimes.com. September 16, 2018. Retrieved September 16, 2018.