what is made possible by new technologies? Every customer push-
es the envelope a bit further. There are questions around noise, vibrations, cleanliness and odors. Each customer wants more than the last. Because of this pressure we talk to a great number of suppliers. We are also often contacted by inventors. Our engineers frequently attend trade fairs. We will look at noise-cancelling headphones, for example, and think about whether this technology could be applied to a ship’s engine room. A budget is set and the research starts. We explore all options except those that are totally absurd. How have the wishes of the clients changed over time? People no longer spend hours sunbathing. Shade is important today, and customers usually ask about additional “experience zones.” Wellness facilities are more prominent than they were in the past, whether in the form of steam baths or rest areas. Today, spas on yachts are fitted out like those in luxury hotels, complete with ice rooms in which you can have snow falling on you after a sauna visit. Are there any features that bear a specific Lürssen signature? No, not on a visual level. We have made a conscious effort for each project to be unique, so there is no Lürssen signature look. But what about quality? I don’t like talking in superlatives. Our customers know that as a rule, our vessels are designed and constructed to be robust. They appreciate our efforts to ensure their ship’s day-to-day operations run smoothly and that its maintenance is straight-forward. That’s a remarkable bit of Hanseatic understatement. We have one
rule around here: if someone says that we are the market leader, I usually get quite brusque. We were simply lucky that early on, we had the right product in the right place and at the right time. And that was due to many fortunate circumstances. The fact remains that half of the world’s ten biggest superyachts were produced by Lürssen.
This may be the case, but it’s partly due to the fact that we had the expertise that others lacked. When you increase the length of a yacht from 50 meters to 60 or 70 meters, it is not just a matter of adding the extra length. Everything becomes a lot more complex. And going from 90 or 100 meters to 120 meters is a quantum leap. We learned this the hard way early on. Nevertheless, each yacht is a new challenge. But if there really is a major issue we have hundreds of engineers capable of fixing the problem. How important is it to your customers that Lürssen is a German company?
I believe that it’s reassuring for customers to know that we manufacture exclusively in Germany. We don’t say: let’s get a hull from Poland or Romania. That’s not to say that such hulls are technologically inferior, but our customers feel reassured knowing they’ll be getting a genuinely German product. You have three children and your cousin has one son. What are the plans for the next generation? All
the children have been to college and finished their degrees. We are in a transition phase and it is a matter of slowly introducing those children who are interested into the company. It is rather unlikely, though, that all of them will be equally qualified and equally motivated.
Made in Germany, Lürssen, Porsche, Montblanc, Christian Völkers...