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Voith Provides Inline Thrusters for Superyacht

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Feb 22,2024


Spanning more than 118 meters long, Liva, delivered in August 2023, is the largest superyacht to date built by the prestigious Abeking & Rasmussen shipbuilder in Lemwerder, Germany, near Bremen. However, its length is by no means the only record-breaking feature that the shipyard offers in the superyacht segment. The sleek black hull is a visual highlight that draws the observer’s gaze to focus entirely on the elegant silhouette. All technical necessities are accommodated in a way that makes them as invisible as possible.

These features are capped off with a sophisticated diesel-electric propulsion system, designed for exceptionally quiet operation to deliver a high level of comfort on board. The elementary building blocks of this concept include four Voith Inline Thrusters 1000-300 (VIT). At 300 kW each, they help ensure exceptionally quiet maneuvering.

Since its introduction in 2008, the VIT has proven effective in numerous maritime applications. The popularity of the system is based among other things on its compact design, extremely low-vibration operation, fast responsiveness, and low maintenance requirement.

In the VIT, a rim-driven propeller is driven by a permanent magnet electric motor. The system works without a drive shaft or transmission. The propeller is mounted on a seawater-lubricated slide bearing patented by Voith. This technology ensures a compact design, low vibrations, and extremely quiet running. The specially developed blade geometry also reduces cavitation and helps minimize vibrations and noise.

Thanks to its design, the VIT has very few wear parts. Moreover, the propeller blades can be replaced individually and underwater. These two features allow uncomplicated and cost-efficient maintenance.

“The VIT is the perfect drive system for vessels whose passengers expect an especially high level of comfort. The extremely quiet operation ensures an exceptionally comfortable stay on board, while the design principle guarantees continuous reliable operation,” says Oliver Lenz, sales application manager at Voith.

Abeking & Rasmussen has been working closely with Voith for many years and has already used innovative drive concepts from Heidenheim in countless vessels. For example, the three new Scharhörn-class multipurpose vessels built for the German Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration in 2021 are also equipped with VIT systems.

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