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Vessel Propulsion Systems

Vessel Propulsion Systems for the Future

Be it out at sea or in port, on rivers or lakes - Voith makes maneuvering more precise, safer and faster. Voith not only offers custom-made propulsion systems but also a complete vessel: the Voith Water Tractor. It is specially designed and equipped for all maritime tasks.


Voith Turbo GmbH & Co. KG
Alexanderstraße 2
89522 Heidenheim, Germany

Postfach 2011
89510 Heidenheim, Germany

Tel. +49 7321 37-4099
Fax +49 7321 37-7580

"If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea."

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The Voith Schneider Propeller is unique. The system generates stepless thrust in all directions with precision and speed. Propulsion and steering are combined in one unit, thus allowing precise maneuvering. The Voith Radial Propeller and Voith Turbo Fin complete the range of propulsion solutions.

The Voith Water Tractor is much like a worker bee on water. It is a good choice for all vessel applications where compact design, high maneuverability and precise steering are of the essence.

To continue setting the standards in the future, Voith carries out comprehensive research. In addition, propellers and vessel models are tested in a model tank at the Heidenheim headquarters. After all one thing is certain: Many years of experience result in more safety on the water. And Voith has been developing technical solutions for all kinds of watercraft for 90 years now.

Brochures, Downloads

Research & Development

Even the best can get better.
And more customer and application specific.

The Voith Turbo Marine Research & Development department has therefore been working on new and ever more powerful propeller generations and vessel concepts for over 85 years. All of our research is based on the expertise of our staff.

Marine engineers, mathematicians, computer scientists, mechanical engineers, instrument technicians, design draftsmen, electronics engineers and model makers cooperate closely to develop ever better solutions - from the propulsion system up to the complete vessel. Specific customer requests can be integrated into the development process.

Such development is possible thanks to the availability of highly specialized research technology. Voith has its own vessel simulator where customers can virtually test the maneuverability and power potential of their vessels, even before the start of vessel construction.

In the Voith test tank in Heidenheim with its adjoining pattern shop, the design results are verified by means of comprehensive model testing. This ensures that the propulsion type and hull shape ideally suited for the customer's needs is found.

Before the model testing can begin, much design work is required from design engineering. Voith uses state-of-the-art CAD tools together with computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and the finite elements method (FEM). This allows Voith to provide highly advanced technical system solutions.

Voith's research and development team has ambitious targets:

  • promote the development of even lighter and therefore more efficient propulsion systems.
  • optimum vessel solutions designed individually and optimized specifically for the various maritime tasks.
  • provide more power while at the same time preserving resources.


Technical Expertise & Service

Be it a Voith Schneider Propeller (VSP) with a blade circle diameter of several yards for a powerful water tractor or a VSP with a much smaller diameter for a small ferry: Each purpose-built solution is backed by the same high level of commitment and expertise resulting from 80 years of experience and a tradition of close working relationships.
Development, design, production and service are subject to Voith's strict quality management principles, which include conformity with the DIN EN ISO 9001 quality assurance standard.

Experienced Voith Turbo Marine service engineers are on hand to supervise the correct installation and commissioning of the VSP on site at the shipyard.

And our support does not end once the ship is launched. Wherever a VSP-equipped vessel is in service, Voith offers its customers comprehensive instruction for the vessel crew and thorough nautical training as required.

Voith's outstanding after-sales support includes assured long-term availability of spare parts.

After Market
Spare Parts Management

Voith Turbo Schneider Propulsion has been supplying customers with Voith Schneider Propellers (VSP) since 1928. Many of these propellers have been in operation for decades. Whatever the age of the VSP - Voith Turbo ensures that spare parts are available.

Service Engineers

Thanks to our worldwide service network provided by the sales organizations, Voith Turbo can provide highly trained service specialists - anywhere and at any time.


Machine operators, superintendents or technical personnel - Voith Turbo Schneider Propulsion offers solid, practice-oriented training programs for maintenance, repair and troubleshooting. The training courses are tailored to the specific customer requirements and can be held worldwide in English, Spanish or German.

Health Check

Upon request, Voith Turbo performs a health check on the propellers. A technical examination reveals the exact scope of service measures required. As a result, service costs are minimized and you benefit from the long service life of Voith products.

Production of Large Cyclo-Palloid Bevel Gears

Highly wear-resistant bevel gears are core components of the Voith Schneider Propeller (VSP), but they are also integrated in non-Voith products. Voith Turbo makes its gear-production capacities available to other companies requiring high-performance bevel gears for sophisticated machinery.

For the VSP, Voith Turbo produces cyclo-palloid spiral bevel gears and pinions with a diameter of up to 7.5 feet on state-of-the-art gearing machines.

Bevel gear production is subject to the most stringent quality requirements and in compliance with quality standard DIN EN ISO 9001. In addition, Voith Turbo produces its bevel gears in conformance with the requirements of all ship classification societies.

The employees operating the gearing machines have undergone specific qualification measures and receive continuous training to meet the high technological requirements of this particular field.

Technical Information

Important Information on modern shaft seal rings for older Voith Schneider Propellers.


Controlling a virtual Voith Schneider Propeller

"I hear and I forget; I see and I remember; I do and I understand." In full accordance with this quotation by Confucius, Voith Turbo Schneider Propulsion has developed the iVSP (Interactive Voith Schneider Propeller) program in English and German. With the help of this program you can experience for yourself how a Voith Schneider Propeller (VSP) actually works.

Viewers can play captain by using their mouse to control an on-screen steering wheel and lever or, alternatively, an on-screen joystick. The virtual VSP reacts immediately and visibly to any change in rudder or driving pitch. A kinematic or hydrodynamic viewing option illustrates the actual VSP operation. The relevant forces are shown by arrows in different colors.
The maneuvers performed by the ship are displayed in the upper right hand part of the screen. A Voith Water Tractor (VWT) can be watched during its maneuvers from a bird's eye perspective (a camera linked to the VWT). The compass in the right-hand corner indicates the sailing direction.