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Lürssen Yachts: Exploring the oceans in an environmentally friendly manner

Many people dream of owning a yacht. It’s not just a status symbol, it represents freedom and the opportunity to explore the oceans. And turning yachts into sustainable luxury items is the mission of the family owned German shipyard Lürssen. 

We have all probably seen the wonderful pictures of celebrities and millionaires on their luxury yachts in the ports of Southern France, the Mediterranean or the Caribbean. For many, it is a dream to one day own a yacht, to explore and cruise the oceans, and to feel the sense of freedom that comes with it. However, in the age of climate change, it seems almost irresponsible to sail the seven seas with such an emission heavy machine. This is about to change though thanks to Lürssen. 

The Lürssen shipyard was founded in the North of Germany, close to the North Sea in 1875 by Friedrich Lürssen. Lürssen’s ambition was to build a company that “shall be known as a leader in both quality and performance”, and to this day his descendants, who still are in charge, take his motto to heart. This is apparent in the innovative product portfolio that Lürssen has.

In 1997, in order to mitigate CO2 emissions, Lürssen built a hybrid yacht called LIMITLESS. She had both diesel mechanic and diesel electric propulsion, allowing her to make optimal use of the efficiencies of both systems. Today, more refined versions of this application are being installed in the permanent quest for efficiencies, carbon footprint reduction and the further reduction of emissions. Lürssen has developed proprietary filtering systems to respond to the requirement of reduction of NOX values and the removal of particle filters.

In this vein, Lürssen is now testing the use of fuel cells in order to arrive at effectively emission free yachts. This research is done together with research facilities and industry partners, and is actively supported by the German government. A test plant which simulates an on board installation will be up and running in the spring of 2021 at one of Lürssen’s shipyards.

But even beyond engines, Lürssen finds a way to make their yachts more sustainable. Many of their innovations are already part of the family-run company’s yachts or will be in the near future. For example, installed air-conditioning systems reuse condensate, while exhaust gas cleaners are implemented for lower harmful emissions. Speaking of air-conditioning: heat in general is where Lürssen’s yachts get really sustainable. For example the large windows on board the yacht RISING SUN are coated with heat-insulating special foils in order to efficiently reduce energy that would have normally been used for air conditioning. Furthermore, Lürssen engineers developed a heat recovery system to reuse heat energy from the engines to for instance heat up the pool and domestic water of a yacht.

The fact that sustainability and environmental friendliness is an important factor to Lürssen, is also clear outside of their line of products. Internal programmes support the efficient use of sustainable resources and materials, as well as optimising processes and training personnel.

In addition, Lürssen invests substantially in research of sustainable energy technologies and is a vital supporter of the Blue Marine Foundation; an organisation that is dedicated to restoring healthy oceans by securing marine protected areas and protecting their biodiversity. 

 With all their actions in research and in product development, both within and outside their own company, Lürssen makes it clear that the company is leading not only in quality and performance, but also in sustainability.






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