Lurssen Coral OceanThe Coral Ocean from Lürssen Yachts. (Photo: Lürssen Yachts)German shipyard Lürssen Yachts has recently launched two superyachts, Azzam and Dilbar. In an exclusive interview, Elite Living Africa's Roman Zincenko speaks with Michael Breman, the sales director of Lürssen, onboard the Coral Ocean yacht

ELA: Dear Michael, please tell our readers about the outstanding history of Lürssen

MB: Our company is 141 years old. Its history began when Friedrich Lürssen started building little rowing and pleasure boats. Now the business is managed by the fourth generation of the Lürssen family and one member of the fifth generation. Since then the company has built over 13,000 vessels of different types. Throughout its history the most notable period was between the world wars when we built the so-called commuter boats for the US market– these were the boats fitted with Maybach engines made for wealthy Americans. We also have built, and are still successfully building navy and coastguard vessels of all kinds. Nowadays we build yachts from 60 to over 200 metres. Another business we are very active in is the repair and refit of yachts, with the recent acquisition of the Blohm + Voss yard in Hamburg, these two activities are further enhanced. Both Navy ships and yachts are built and refitted at our wholly owned shipyards located across northern Germany.

ELA: What trends are you currently seeing among purchasers of megayachts?

MB: It is difficult to see a particular trend when you only make two or three megayachts a year. However, we have noticed that in recent years our clients would like to have the latest communications solutions, spas, banyas (Russian saunas) and other facilities for healthy spacious living. They want to have more outdoor facilities reflecting the active lifestyle. Also, there is a clear tendency to use glass more and more and to make the windows larger.

ELA: What have been some of the most interesting projects Lürssen has worked on?

MB: They are all interesting because they are all individual creations designed for very demanding customers. All our boats are bespoke. For example, yachts like Pelorus, Azzam (the world’s longest) and Dilbar (the world’s biggest tonnage). The clients expected the highest quality in every detail and depending on size, it takes up to four to five years to build a boat like this.

ELA: What geographical regions are experiencing the strongest growth in yacht sales? What about the African market?

MB: Typically, the biggest markets are North America, Europe, Russia with other CIS countries where yachting is a tradition. In Africa and Asia, where it is unusual to enjoy yachting, it takes more than just wealth to become a yacht owner. There are certain people in these regions that enjoy yachting, specifically in countries like Nigeria and South Africa. It is however, only a matter of time for Africa to discover the wonderful lifestyle on yachts. If you own a yacht, you can take your house on a boat, and you can pick a different view for yourself to wake up to every morning.

ELA: What exciting plans does Lürssen have for the near future?

MB: Our mission is to make sure that we deliver the highest quality boats. Because you’re only as good as your last yacht. That’s why in this business you have to excel everytime. Talking about our newest plans – the yacht Mistral (over 100 metres long) is going to be delivered in early 2017. Mistral was designed by Espen Oeino - a designer we have worked a lot with in the past. But what is always important is to reflect the Lürssen DNA in each of them.

Lurssen interior Coral OceanThe interior of the Coral Ocean. (Photo: Lürssen Yachts)

Michael Breman Elite Living AfricaMichael Breman, the sales director of Lürssen. (Photo: Lürssen Yachts)