Oertz grew up in his hometown of Neustadt Holstein. At the age of five, he lost both parents and grew up in a foster family in Berlin. After graduation Oertz studied at the Royal Institute of Technology in Berlin-Charlottenburg boat and shipbuilding. Hes love for travel led him into the ship Akademischer Segler-Verein (ASV) in Berlin. Both shipbuilding and sailing became his whole life from that point.
After his studies he worked as a senior design engineer on the Blekholmen (now Helsinki). He subsequently established in
St. Petersburg on a yacht shipyard. There he developed and lead the construction of light racing yachts called Nahtspantenbauweise.
In 1895 Max Oerts returned to Berlin and designed for the Berlin banker Barthold Aron the first all-aluminum built experimental racing yacht “Luna”.
Oertz ‘yachts were famous for their speed and elegance without compromising comfort on board. Oertz was a passionate perfectionist who kept every detail of a yacht designs in mind. So it was logical that he wanted to build the yachts in his own yard. In 1895 Max Oertz took over with his friend Hans Harder on the Reiherstieg Dreyer shipyard in Hamburg, and led them away under the name Max Oertz & Harder. In 1902 the shipyard was continued by him as sole owner.
Max Oertz big break reached when he designed and constructed the large schooner yacht Germania, which was commissioned by Gustav Krupp von Bohlen and Halbach in 1907 . “German flag from the bottom of the keel up to the
TOP mast” The yacht was a symbol that the domestic shipbuilding industry finally succeeded, catching up with the then leading industrial nations, especially with England. Except for the masts of American Oregon pine all the material was local, even the cotton sails were purchased from Germany. In 1909 Oertz plans where created, comissioned by the Emperor Wilhelm II, for the 47.14 m racing schooner Meteor IV, followed in 1914 by The Meteor II V, both built at the Krupp Germania shipyard in Kiel.
In 1918 he was the Technical University of Darmstadt for his service to the aviation of the honorary Doctor
of Engineering Sciences awarded (hc).
In 1922, moved from the now sold Oertz back yard and worked as a freelance designer.
Max Oertz made numerous significant developments for the yacht design and held numerous patents. The “Oertz-rowing”, was developed for the major shipping route which causes up to 15% less drag at 40% power savings and reduced the rudder turning circle of a ship. Not least with the help of Oertz`s Rudder the four-screw turbine steamer of the Norddeutscher Lloyd Bremen broke in 1929 the Trans-Atlantic record of the British Mauretania on its maiden voyage of four days 17 hours and 42 minutes and won for Germany the Blue Riband (average speed 27.83 knots
From 1926 to Max Oertz dealt also with the aerodynamically shaped chimney for large oceangoing vessels. With a drop-shaped in-built chimney Oertz achieved a clean smoke without the usual turbulence at the rear of the fireplace. This enabled the ship’s funnels to be considerably lower.
On November 24 , 1929 Max Oertz died in Hamburg from a heart attack.
- Model of Germania (1908) in the Museum of the Krupp Villa Hugel
- Meteor IV at Travemunde (1910)
- 12mR Heti (built 1912) at the Kiel Week 2009
- Marianne Bermuda cutter (built 1925) in Paimpol (2009)
The schooner yacht Germania, built at the Germania shipyard for Gustav Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach, was completed 1908th It was the first subscribed in Germany and built racing yacht of this size. Since she also sailed successfully Max Oertz received important business.
More yacht designs (a selection):
- Seekreuzer 150 KR “Cheers III” (1918)
- Schwertflunder “Dora” (1894)
- Racing yacht “Marina” (1894)
- Racing yacht “Navigare necesse est” (1894)
- Aluminum racing yacht “Luna” (1895)
- Racing and cruising yacht “Cheers” (1898) of the Academic Sailing Club in Berlin.
- Schooner “Margola” (1898)
- Racing yacht “Little Polly” (1899). Became the first German yacht successfully participated in regattas in France.
- Racing yacht “Polly” (1900)
- IIB Kreuzeryacht
- Racing yacht “Felca” (1906). Winner in the international race for the Cup of France 1906
- 12mR sword-yacht “Davo II” (1911)
- Motor cruiser “Roland” (1910)
- 12mR yacht Heti
(1912) for the Lubeck entrepreneur Hermann Eschenburg 
- 19MR-yacht “Cecilia” (1913)
- 8-Metre yacht “stint” (1914)
- 38mt Schooner-yacht Aello (1922) for Greece
- Twin-screw motor yacht “Camalote” (1922) for an Argentine banker
- Racing cruiser “Marianne” (1925) for Franz Brinkmann
- Ketch “Senta” (1928) for the Board of the German shipyard works since 1931 in
the possession of the Schmidt family, Bremen, 1935 converted at A & R for Spreizgaffelketsch.
Max Oertz Regatta 2008
Max Oertz was the first German yacht designer of international renown. At the dawn of the 20th Century, he
managed to develop yachts that were equally fast and beautiful. Thus Oertz was the pioneer for a number of other German yacht designers such as William of Geesthacht, Henry Rasmussen, Fritz Naglo.
Neustadt in Holstein is held annually in memory and in memory of him, the Max-Oertz Regatta circle of friends rather than for classic yachts.
Also, the ASV in Berlin organized each year in honor of his deceased member for his foundation a solid “Max Oertz Regatta” from which one of the largest regattas in Berlin.