Driving Force Page 3
Phoenix — By Diane M. Byrne
— February 2005
20 Years Ago
It may be hard to imagine, given the size of the megayachts (more like überyachts) Lürssen is turning out today, but at 110 feet, Falco, pictured here, was an astounding length for any yacht when construction began in the mid-1980’s. Most so-called megayachts being built worldwide at the time barely crossed the 100-foot threshold. Also different was her hull form. To ensure comfort and stability while she achieved her reported 27-knot top speed, the yard employed the same round-bilge, semiplaning hull design that it had developed for its naval-ship-building sector.
But that was nothing new for this German yard. To truly put things into perspective, you need to go back to 1875, when a man named Friedrich Lürssen founded Friedrich Lürssen Werft GmbH & Co. and averred, “My firm shall be known as the leader in both quality and performance.” He wasted no time in fulfilling his goal: One year later, with the help of Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach, he developed the first power-driven boat. Since that time more than 13,000 vessels of all shapes and sizes, from mine hunters to megayachts, have launched down the Lürssen ways.
There’s no telling whether Falco’s original owner knew she’d be a part of history. What is certain, however, is that she’s still actively cruising, now known as Allegra.
And no doubt, somewhere, Friedrich Lürssen is smiling. —D.M.B.
This article originally appeared in the January 2005 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.