LUX AND SCHOTTEL – A PARTNERSHIP THAT GOES BACK DECADES

Second and third generation in the family-run business: Managing Director Elmar Miebach in conversation with father Toni Miebach (left)
MS “Hansestadt Rostock”, 2x STP 0320,
1x STT 010
MS “Princesse Marie-Astrid”, 2x SRP 200,
1x SPJ 57 RD

Lux philosophy: each vessel is the product of the customer’s requirements and the Lux shipyard’s experience

 

The Rhine is one of the world’s busiest waterways. From its source in the Swiss Alps to its estuary into the North Sea in the Netherlands it covers a distance of around 1,200 km. For most of this distance it passes through Germany. The romantic nature of the Rhine Valley, with its numerous castles, has been a source of inspiration for poets and composers. Many companies use the river as a locational advantage, while creative entrepreneurs establish shipbuilding companies on its banks.

  

For 90 years, Rhine kilometre 578.5 has been home to the headquarters of the SCHOTTEL Group. 82.5 km further north, at Rhine kilometre 660.9, Johann Lux founded the Lux shipyard in 1945. Given their neighbouring location between the cities of Mainz and Cologne, there have been ties between them ever since. 90% of all vessels built at Lux are fitted with SCHOTTEL propulsion systems.

  

It all began with skiffs … 

Johann Lux, a trained shipbuilder, lay down the keel for his first skiff in 1945. The business flourished. More than 5,000 skiffs were produced, by which time Lux had started launching larger vessels: Official numbering began in 1948 with No. 1 in the Yard Number Register – a victualling tugboat nearly 16 m long and over 3 m wide. In 2010 came Yard Number 192 – MS “Princesse Marie-Astrid” with an overall length of 60 m and an overall width of 11.40 m.

 

Meanwhile, No. 197 is under construction. Three to five vessels leave the shipyard each year. The shipyard has carefully adapted its capacities to meet demand by means of organic growth and acquisitions, and builds vessels of the highest quality.

 

Today, LUX-WERFT UND SCHIFFAHRT GmbH is known throughout Europe as a passenger vessel specialist. Lux vessels ply the Rhine and its tributaries, as well as the Danube, Weser and Elbe, inland lakes, and the waterways of Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, France and the Netherlands.

 

... and grew to become a passenger vessel specialist renowned throughout Europe 

The third generation of the family is now active in the business. The range of products and services of the Lux shipyard covers all relevant fields, such as market analysis, location assessment, concept creation, design, construction, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, interior design, overland transportation and service.

  

Managing Director Elmar Miebach reveals the secret to the company’s success: “Each vessel is the product of the customer’s requirements and the Lux shipyard’s experience.” The company employs around 50 people. “Specialists in every field work together with the objective of building vessels that meet the requirements,” affirms Miebach.

  

Another important factor is the know-how of the major suppliers. Streamlined propulsion concepts are developed in close cooperation with SCHOTTEL. Miebach: “If a customer orders a vessel and does not explicitly state a preference for something else, we always recommend SCHOTTEL systems. The vessels in our own fleet are fitted with SCHOTTEL propellers. That is the most convincing argument.”

 

A second main pillar of business with its own fleet 

Since 1967, the family has had a second string to its bow, operating vessels on lakes and reservoirs, and has operated a ferry service across the Rhine since 2006. The company’s own passenger vessel fleet ably demonstrates the experience of the Lux shipyard.

 

Schütt shipping company – longstanding customer of Lux 

The shipping company Schütt has been a customer of Lux for many years. All vessels of the family-owned and Rostock-based company have SCHOTTEL propulsion systems. The old “Hansestadt Rostock” was replaced in 2010. The newbuilding was the first vessel to have two new-generation STP 0320s fitted in the stern. Installed in the bow is a Transverse Thruster of type STT 010. The 250-passenger vessel with a length of 34 m, a width of 8.20 m and a draught of 1.20 m, has been fitted with the most compact STP units. The two Twin Propellers, each with a power rating of 182 kW, form an overall system consisting of a propeller and shaft with integrated fins, resulting in a considerable increase in efficiency as compared with systems incorporating just one propeller.